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Previous Journal Entries

"The cords of all link back...strandentwining cable...

"Hello...put me on to Edenville... aleph, alpha: nought, nought, one"

Wednesday
Jul232014

Eden off the line

It's coming up to 4 years since I launched this site and now, having taken on some new commitments elsewhere, I've decided that it's time to take a break.

I've said most of the things I wanted to say when I started and there's clearly no shortage of music criticism available elsewhere. So I'll shut up for a bit.

Many thanks to everyone who has visited, read and commented so far - it has been fun.

Au revoir.

Sunday
Jul202014

Guest review: A Tale Of Two Shows

By popular request, legendary guest reviewer Rob Zanders is back with an account of two rather different blues shows. You can read it here.

Friday
Jul042014

New music isn't everything

Taking a break from being sniffy about 2014's new releases, I'm knocked out by the first vinyl outing for Lucinda Williams' 1998 classic Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.

I find I don't make enough time regularly to listen to the really great records. And this one definitely is great. Strong songs, spot-on arrangements and sympathetic playing, and Lucinda in consistently wonderful voice.

I could single out virtually any of the songs on it, but take a listen to the spare lyricism and lazy erotic charge of the opener, 'Right In Time'.

Well done to Music On Vinyl for a clear and solid pressing: every home should have one.

Tuesday
Jul012014

First half of 2014

Hmmm... not feeling like a vintage year so far.

My top five of this year's releases so far are:

  • Wussy Attica!
  • The Hold Steady Teeth Dreams
  • Two Wings A Wake
  • Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper Cantos De Lisboa
  • Beck Morning Phase

All splendid and well worth listening to, but I'd have trouble coming with another five at this point. I think Neil Young's A Letter Home will be up there with them, but I haven't yet got my hands on a vinyl copy.

So far as gigs have gone, The Hold Steady are on top, with Powder Blue and Michael Chapman in joint second...but, again I just haven't been to as many as I would usually have at the 6 month point.

Buck up, 2014.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Cantos de Lisboa

At least some of this is great...

A slightly qualified recommendation, after a couple of days getting to know this new release from the great Steve Gunn and veteran Brit bluesman Mike Cooper.

It's an improvised two-guitar-plus-occasional-vocal set, with some inspired moments of gorgeously intertwined tones and textures. The opening track 'Saudade Do Santos-o-Vehlo', which you can hear below, is particularly strong:  a lovely melange of twangs and harmonics and picking. Classically apposite warm weather listening, I'd say - which is what (for a day or two at least) the UK needs just now...

Some of the other tracks are less immediately accessible and will need more listening, but there's certainly enough going on to justify the effort.