MAGIC MIX

folk . americana . blues . r&b . rock&roll

WEEK STARTING 12 Feb

Genre pick of the week Cover of Scheherazade by Freakwater.
Scheherazade is Freakwater’s eighth album and first in over 10 years.
Like the heroine of Scheherazade’s The Arabian Nights, their longevity sometimes depends on leaving their audience hanging. It is a release of familiarity as much as it is one of change, one that is distinctly different, but never loses sight of what it is that makes them Freakwater: It's new blood from a familiar vein.

Anchored around the fragile and compelling harmonies of Janet Bean and Catherine Irwin and the subdued, oracular bass playing of Dave Gay, their utterly unique sound is distilled from many sources. There’s the elemental ache and loss in the soil & limestone of Kentucky and the songs & struggles that passed over the Atlantic from the British Isles centuries ago. There’s the energy and freedom in the ratty punk clubs of Louisville and Chicago at a time when rules and formalities were meant to be ignored. At once bluegrass, blues, folk, and country, it is also none of them; Freakwater is not dealing in historical artifacts. Rather, it is a product of two voices intertwined with one another for over three decades, creating a sound that might be best summarized as Appalachian soul.

Includes guest appearances from Warren Ellis (Nick Cave) and Eleventh Dream Day's Jim Elkington.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Includes MP3 Download Code.

All Them Witches

Dying Surfer Meets His Maker

All Them Witches present their New West Records debut ‘Dying Surfer Meets His Maker’. The collection of songs was crafted in a remote cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN where the band lived and recorded over the course of five days.

‘Dying Surfer’ finds the band embracing their past with a nod to the future. In every swell and breakdown, every riff and groove there is a story. The narratives are often unspoken, sourcing musical touchstones from across the States, offering an almost cinematic experience wrapped up in their propulsive rhythms and subtly funky anthems.

For All Them Witches, music is the conduit to channel experience into sound, creating filmic landscapes rendered by guitars, keys and drums.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: White vinyl LP is packaged in a gatefold sleeve
with digital download card.

Bulat teamed-up with friend and collaborator Jim James of My Morning Jacket on the album’s production, driving 600 miles from her home in Montreal to La La Land recording studio in James’ hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Bulat originally met James backstage at the Austin City Limits music festival; the two reconnected when she toured with him in the summer of 2013 and became friends. Good Advice is a departure from Bulat’s previous work, with her voice backed up by drums, bass, electric guitar and keys. James plays electric guitar, synth, saxophone and bass on the album; further Louisville guests including members of Houndmouth, Twin Limb, Seth Kauffman of Floating Action and more also join Bulat.

“Pop songs can take all those big statements and those big feelings that you have,” Bulat says. “You don't need to necessarily have everything so detailed because everybody understands. Everybody understands those feelings.” “Basia has something truly unique,” says James. The duo recorded the album over several visits Bulat made to Kentucky. “I knew immediately that it was the exact right place to be,” says Bulat. “To go so far from home, then to find that it felt like home.”
Of the sessions, James recalls, “The entire process was so amazing. Hearing her voice just exploding out of her soul brought us all to tears in the control room. Watching Basia come out of her shell with great power was an extraordinary thing to witness.”

Good Advice follows Bulat’s critically acclaimed Juno and Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2013 release, Tall Tall Shadow, which The Line of Best Fit calls “a brilliant and engaging pop record” and the Austin Chronicle praises for its “lovely, spectral musing that balances indulgence with homespun tendencies.” In the two years since, Bulat has played shows across North America and Europe with Sufjan Stevens, Destroyer, Daniel Lanois, Bahamas and more.

Since the release of her debut album, Oh My Darling, Bulat has shared the stage with artists including Arcade Fire, The National, Nick Cave, St. Vincent, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Tune-Yards, Sondre Lerche, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Head and the Heart, Owen Pallett, Devotchka and many more. Known for her talents on little-known instruments including the autoharp and charango, Bulat has also been tapped for tributes to Leonard Cohen and The Band.

FORMAT INFORMATION

Includes MP3 Download Code.

Here it is folks! Eagerly anticipated debut LP from Manchester guitar virtuoso, cornucopia of all things blue and grass, the axe wielding train-rider etc etc (insert plethora of Kerouac-inspired clichés here) - but this is the REAL DEAL! Tom Blackwell comes from the same camp as DBH, Sam Schlict, C Joynes, Nick Jonah Davis et al - ie. Modern men with a penchant for simpler times and big guitars. When artist success was judged on how many rural pubs might crop up on their latest toilet tour, not how many facebook or twitter 'likes' they might amass on the way. When musicians travelled by road, train or foot and slept on floors and bar stools between gigs, without elaborate agent-led riders and booking fees. Basically, when music was more honest, more pure and downright fun. This collection of songs touches on all the turbulent aspects of life that must be worked through to reach the ripe 'ol thirties. Tales of heart break, financial ruin, of being an outlaw, drinking with your friends, being on the road, the mysteries of life and of course unrequited love - you know, all the good stuff. The instrumentation leans on the traditional bluegrass, country and folk stylings that have existed since the evolution of mankind. Tom's vocal performance really elevates the set - charismatic, clear, defined and almost angelic. With all the panache and dexterity of his enigmatic live performances. The artwork is beautiful. The record is essential!

FORMAT INFORMATION

Ltd LP Info: Contains lyrics sheet with illustrations

My Wild West is Lissie's third studio album; it is a celebration of new adventures to come as she moves back to the Midwest and waves goodbye to her life in California. Growing up in possession of a strong rebellious streak surrounded by the memory of steamboats and railroads of past, acclaimed songwriter Lissie has returned home to the Midwest after spending several formative years in The Golden State.

Lissie's two previous albums, 2010's Catching a Tiger and 2013's Back to Forever, both hit Top 20 in the UK charts with the former record going Gold. Her songs have been licensed for countless films and TV shows, topped numerous Best Of polls whilst 'The Longest Road,' a song she wrote with DJ Morgan Page was subsequently remixed by Deadmau5 and nominated for a 'Best Remixed Record' Grammy. Her new album, My Wild West, recorded in Nashville with her producer Bill Reynolds (Band of Horses), her band in Ojai and executive producer Curt Schneider in his Studio City home, is Lissie's most personal effort to date.

FORMAT INFORMATION

LP Info: Limited orange vinyl pressing.

Includes MP3 Download Code.

The original Torch building, on Hose Street in Tunstall, Stoke On Trent, dated back to 1824, when it started out life as a church before becoming a roller-skating arena and then a cinema. It was finally bought by local entrepreneur Chris Burton in 1965 who turned it into a cabaret club promoting star turns of the day. It wasn’t until 1969 that a regular soul night began, hosted by budding DJ Keith Minshull. By 1972 the all-nighters had taken over establishing the Torch as the country’s No.1 northern (Midlands?) soul venue.

Outta Sight continue their club-themed vinyl compilation series with a set featuring legendary northern soul tracks from the playlist of ground breaking soul jocks Keith Minshull, Johnny Beggs, Colin Curtis, Alan Day et al at the Golden Torch. An important collection from the club that forged the sound track to northern soul.

The sleeve image features a photo from the time Major Lance played the club: “The greatest reaction the club has ever given is to Major Lance, 9th December 1972. That was the night he recorded the ‘live’ album of his greatest hits: it was also the night that he broke the existing gate record. There were almost as many people outside trying to get in as there were inside.” - Chris Burton.



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