September 20, 2014 by Robb Powell
Hello. It’s been a little while again, apologies. Two mega awesome festivals and my cousin’s spectacular festival-themed wedding. It has been a mental month or so I can tell you but so enjoyable! Now the most recent series of my Band of Badgers Presents music podcast has come to an end and I take a break to get back to studying it is time to share another from the archives before we all forget the amazing tunes therein. Let’s hurry and get them all up on the blog! Well, we’ll see what I can do. This one, show #22, is from way back in early February so naturally there are a number of updates to share about the musicians and bands featured. To finish there will be a few blogcast extras as usual.
- Brother & Bones – To Be Alive
- Luke Jackson – Notebook
- Kelly Oliver – Far From Home
- Oysterband – A Clown’s Heart
- Tom McRae – Border Song (live)
- The Doors – Riders on the Storm
- David Bronson – Crooked Trails
- Phil Jackson – So Long Gone
- To Kill A King – Because She Said
- Zander Sharp – Meet Me
Kicking off is the fabulous Brother And Bones who have been busy recording their debut album which I am salivating for more frantically than Pavlov’s dogs high on the canine equivalent of catnip. Seriously! The record is due for release early next year but feast your ears and eyes on the official video for Kerosene below. I need to sit a fair distance away from the laptop or there would be severe water damage. I count myself very lucky I got to see them at two festivals last year and even though I’m a rather busy chap from next week I hope I get the opportunity to see them again sometime soon.
Luke Jackson just goes from strength to strength. Given the incredible vocal power he had back when I first heard and saw him in 2012, his growth as an artist and musician is not only phenomenal but his continued success is a joy to follow. At risk of repeating myself, he wows you beyond words EVERY SINGLE TIME! That is another reason he ends up featuring on the blog and podcast so frequently. It is never like going over the same thing with Luke. Even older songs he brings to life anew with a different slant. Always so fresh even when that different slant is a subtle one. He seems to be constantly on the road all over the place having recently completed a second tour in Scotland and also a few shows alongside the sensational Ange Hardy. The most recent of these was the album launch for her new album The Lament of the Black Sheep which you need to go and buy right now. No waiting, no hesitating – this is music your life cannot do without! I can only imagine the serenity and beauty that would have been in their duet. So sad I could not make it down to the southwest for that show. The song Notebook I played on this podcast is one of pure serenity. It closes his second album Fumes And Faith just perfectly.
Luke also featured with the brilliant young musician Kelly Oliver on her recent single Diamond Girl. It is a wonderful pairing of beautiful vocal talents so check it out below. More good news is that it’s looking like Kelly’s debut album This Land will be getting a release on Folkstock Records on 27th October so not too long to wait at all! Here I played her song Far From From Home.
Finally back to Luke again to share the superb news about his forthcoming live dates in Europe which will then be followed by a stint opening for Marillion in December. This is a fantastic opportunity to well and truly wow some massive audiences. And there’s no doubt in my mind this is precisely what he will do. They are in for a treat!
10 FROM TOM
If forced at gunpoint to choose a favourite overall Tom McRae song, then Border Song will always be high on my list. Although even at gunpoint I would have difficulties and would likely end up still considering my list with a bullet in the head. Ah well, at least there’d be good music to enjoy to offset the pain and severe blood loss. Border Song marked the midway point of my 10 From Tom feature.
The Doors hold a special place in my heart for many reasons and there had been some wild and freaky weather around the time so naturally I decided to play Riders on the Storm. Cue my best ‘air piano’. This is now an automatic response when hearing this song. Just so you know if you see me tinkling those imaginary ivories.
I worked in a little short feature for superb US musician David Bronson. Having released a two-part album known together as The Long Lost Story I played the song Crooked Trails from The Long Lost with another song from the other album Story to come in podcast #23. You can listen to this >>here<<.
Even just reading the title of Because She Said from To Kill A King gets it back on my earworm playlist and these boys have been making it big. Not even big, mahoosive and mountainous let’s call it. My ears are rather excited about their new EP which has possibly one of my favourite titles, EVER: Exit, Pursued By A Bear. Bringing the show to a nice close was a free download from Zander Sharp. Feast your ears and eyes on this latest new song too, also a FREE download. Loving the sound here!
A very brief look at what albums are currently in my player.
Dry The River
Alarms in the Heart
A fabulous and stunning follow up to debut Shallow Bed. http://drytheriver.net/
The Lament of the Black Sheep
Pure folk gold! Magnificent music and spellbinding vocals. Buy it NOW! http://www.angehardy.com/
Americana at its utmost best! Only just received this so about to immerse myself in it properly. Very excited about the gig in November with Mary Gauthier. http://www.benglover.co.uk/
A FINAL FEW…
On This Great Day EP
The Slow Readers Club
Don’t Mind **new single**
One of the first bands I stumbled across in the early days of music blogging. Such power in the vocals, the sounds and music and lyrics. They have their single launch gig this very evening. TARDIS required please! http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk/
Until I Wake Up **acoustic**
Until I Wake Up is one of my favourite songs of all time. Ever. Okay, this list is never really exhaustive relatively speaking as there are just way too many songs out there which are too amazing to omit. However, even taking that fact into consideration there are still a decent handful of tunes which float at the very top end of that list and this is without a doubt one such song. I first heard it thanks to my geekness and enjoyment of the TV show Charmed when the band showed up as themselves in an episode. This is how I came to the music of Dishwalla. While I dearly love the full-band version (which I have played a couple of times on the podcast), this particular version is a much more delicate affair and as such it packs even more emotion. JR Richards wrote the song while writing Dishwalla‘s second album during his own battle with depression. Perhaps the song struck such a chord in me upon hearing it for the first time because I had been having a bit of (a lot of) a tough time at the point I began watching Charmed way back in 2006. http://jrrichardsmusic.com/
GREATEST HITS & MORE
With a tremendous Greatest Hits collection due out at the end of the month those Levellers are as busy as ever. Not only this together with another forthcoming tour but there are screenings of the film/documentary A Curoius Life being announced here and there some of which also include one of their delicious acoustic sets. Now, Levellers Electric is electrifying but Levellers Acoustic is just sublime! Goosebumps just thinking back to this year’s Beautiful Days opening when Simon turned the Boatman into a Fez-man in a special nod to the Facebook chat group.
Back to the Greatest Hits and there are new singles and special versions to boot. We’ve had Frank Turner’s take on Julie and Billy Bragg’s wonderful rendition of Hope Street. The most recent makeover to be shared is Beautiful Day courtesy of Imelda May which sounds superb. Also on the list are folk juggernaut Bellowhead working their mighty musical magic on Just The One. These are all somewhat very different versions but this makes them all the more special.
This vast collection includes EVERY one of the band’s singles and videos released over the last 25 years. In fact, it will mark a fantastic first point of call for any new Levellers fans out there. And there are plenty of them coming to the band for the first time via many channels. I recently suggested Levelling the Land to a friend who saw the band play live at last week’s On Blackheath festival. Although this is a perfect starting point (and I feel is my first suggestion as it was the first album of their’s that introduced me to their music 17 years ago), this Greatest Hits collection would give new fans a much broader range of Levellers tunes across the years. In addition to the stunning new versions of some songs thanks to collaborations with other musicians and friends of the band.
I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my CD copy but now my record player has arrived I’m kind of lamenting the fact I didn’t pre-order the vinyl. In fact, thinking about it I’m going to need to replace my entire collection with vinyl. Funds required please folks.