RUSTON KELLY Dying Star Rounder Records [Release date 07.09.18]

This is the debut album by Nashville based Ruston Kelly who has Jarrad K as collaborator and producer, with a number of guests including his wife Kacey Musgraves. Kelly said he wanted “to make a very human record. A raw transcription of a particular time in my life. From ugly to hopeful and intensely honest.”

It certainly is that, mixing country (there is plenty of Nashville in the sound), folk and Kelly’s knack for adding in a pop melody. That pop sensibility is present on the wonderful ‘Mockingbird’, one of the album’s more uplifting numbers, whilst ‘Faceplant’ dwells on things going wrong in daily life.

He was on his path of self-destruction, however he is now on a stronger footing and this album documents his life’s journey to date. An assured debut from Ruston Kelly who has a world weary voice a perfect match for the songs.  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

MARC RIBOT Songs Of Resistance 1942-2018 Anti-Records [Release date 14.09.18]

Marc Ribot wanted to release this album of mainly previously recorded protest songs partly our of frustration that few people know of them or sing them now. Ribot himself has worked with many artists including Robert Plant, Elvis Costello and the Black Keys.

The new song ‘Srinivas’ is based on Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a Sikh immigrant murdered in February 2017 by a racist who mistook him for a Muslim. Steve Earle adds his vocal to this powerful song. Tom Waits adds his distinctive vocal to ‘Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)’, whilst Steve Earle appears again on ‘Ain’t Gonna Let Them Turn Us Round’.

Marc Ribot succeeds in getting these protest songs back into the public conscience again and he can only hope that people latch on them to spark their own forms of protest. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

KITTY MACFARLANE Namer Of Clouds Navigator Records [Release date 21.09.18]

Kitty Macfarlane has released an EP ‘Time & Tide’ in 2016 to date and now we have her full debut album. Jacob Stoney and Sam Kelly (who is the ‘go to’ for young folk musicians) produced the album, with both playing on the album as well and a number of Kelly’s band the Lost Boys make an appearance too.

The title track highlights her soothing and melodic singing, based on Luke Howard the man who have clouds their cirrus, cumulus etc. classifications. Elsewhere we have a tale of turning seventeen and what that means on ‘Seventeen’, then the intriguing ‘Sea Silk’ which starts with the voice of Chiara Vigo, the last of the silk seamstresses who lives on Sardinia. Her retelling of Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem ‘Inversnaid’ closes the album with a gentle flourish.

Of note on each song are the ‘found sounds’ which were recorded in various locations and include birdsong, waterfalls and knitting needles. These add marvellously atmospheric moments to each song.

Kitty Macfarlane has an airy and beautiful vocal that will see her soar above her many contemporaries. Folk music with one foot in the past and one foot firmly in the present and plenty of crossover potential outside of the folk music world. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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Power Plays w/c 8 August 2022 (Mon-Fri)
BORN LOST Take Time (Mouthpiece) (Revolver Records)
JAIME KYLE Driving With The Brakes On (Conquest Music)
SCARLET DORN Born To Suffer (SPV Recordings)
HOLDING ABSENCE Coffin (Sharptone Records)
TYRANNOSAURUS NEBULOUS Get Some (Echoed Past Records)
KROOKED TONGUE When The Beaches Bleed (indie)
SKYPILOT Knifed On The Beach (The Distortion Project)

Featured Albums w/c 8 August (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 LESSMAN VOSS Rock Is Our Religion (Atomic Fire Records)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. Force Majeure (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 THE SLAMBOVIAN CIRCUS OF DREAMS A Very Unusual Head (indie)

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