BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN Hearts Of Glass Proper Music [Release date 09.02.18] www.bethnielsenchapman.com
Beth Nielsen Chapman’s latest album is nearly all her own songs, with many of them being re-recorded versions where the piano on the originals is replaced by guitar. The opening track, ‘Come To Mine’, was composed with the legendary Graham Gouldman (10CC) and Kevin Montgomery at Chris Difford’s (Squeeze) songwriting retreat in Somerset. A song that has a topical slant and suits Beth’s vocals and performance perfectly.
Of the newer songs the gentle love song ‘You’re Still My Valentine’ you can picture been sung in a bar late at night. A beautiful tale of how love still lasts long after the gifts and cards have gone. ‘Child Again’ mixes a traditional nursery rhyme into the outro to good effect, one of the album’s highlights.
Sam Ashworth’s production sets Beth’s vocals as the focal point backed by sparse, yet effective musical backing. Sure to find favour amongst her fans and songs like ‘You’re Still My Valentine’ and ‘All For The Love’ deserve a wide as possible audience. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
ALL THE LUCK IN THE WORLD A Blind Arcade [Release date 23.02.18]
All The Luck In The World are a three Irish songwriters, Neil Foot, Ben Connolly and Kelvin Barr, who formed in 2011 and are currently based in Berlin.
Musically All The Luck In The World mix in folk and indie – the latter from their ingenious use of atmospherics and the clarity of the various instruments’ sounds – take the guitar playing on ‘Starboard’, wonderful listening. ‘About The Ghosts’ is another song full of interesting sounds – early Elbow keep coming to mind when listening to this album – and the use of their vocals, almost progressive and in these more enlightened listening times lovers of prog may well enjoy this album.
A talented trio that is for sure and they have the musical appeal for those enjoying the current modern folk boom and those who enjoy atmospheric indie sounds. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
Frontiers [Release date 01.12.17]
Raintimes is a new melodic rock/AOR project band featuring drummer Pierpaolo ‘Zorro’ Monti (Charming Grace, Shining Line) and keyboards player Davide Barbieri (Charming Grace), and on vocals Von Groove’s Michael Shotton (who was part of LRS, another Storm/Journey sounding band and who featured Josh Ramos of the Storm). The band’s line-up is completed by Sven Larsson and Ivan Gonzalez on guitars and Andrea Gipponi on bass.
Monti wanted to write an album based on his love of the two Storm albums, both of which should be staples of any self-respecting melodic rock fan’s collection. Raintimes isn’t quite that essential, that said with Michael Shotton on vocals you have that smooth vocal style associated with the Storm, plus the guitar solos on here are off the scale at times! Full credit to both Gonzalez and Larsson.
The Storm/Journey sound really comes into its own on the big production of ‘Swan’ and the rockier refrains of ‘Don’t Ever Give Up’ and ‘I Need Tonight’ – both would have been radio staples if this was the late 80′s.
Raintimes is an enjoyable melodic rock album, lets face it with Michael Shotton singing it would lift most albums, however it is not one that draws you back again and again like the aforementioned Storm albums. Still it is streets ahead of many of the recent melodic rock releases out there though. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 21 November. Next session 12 December. The video above was a Halloween Special, streamed 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 21 November 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 November 2021.
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From 29 November the Featured Albums and Power Play segments will reflect those artists and tracks featured during 2021.
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