Sunday, 23 June 2019

Weekly Blog Post 23rd June 2019: Summer Begins?

Yes it did, well maybe temporarily, but the Saturday of Beardy Folk Festival saw the beautiful setting of a lavish sloping walled garden bathed in gorgeous sunshine. This South Shropshire event effectively kicked off the 2019 outdoor season and it was a delight to make a second consecutive Saturday visit to a festival building considerably on its 2018 debut. There was an abundance of exceptional UK folk acts on the bill, including personal favourites, those on the periphery of my horizon and the brand new. The most pleasing aspect was witnessing an impressive attendance spike on the Saturday, thus repaying the energy the organising team had put into promoting the event. As per last year, only the Saturday of this three day festival was attended, but I'm pretty sure those present for the duration will concur to this positive sentiment. Look out for more festival coverage over the summer, which may or may not feature Maverick, SummerTyne, Over the Hill, Moseley Folk and the Long Road. Stay tuned but for more from Beardy Folk check out the Saturday review. 

The other gig attended this week was also a cracking affair. Ryan Bingham has been a firm favourite here for over a decade, but that has only transpired into seeing him live twice. Both have been out of town gigs and without hesitation this latest trek down to Oxford was a massive upgrade on seeing him in Manchester back in 2015. For the hour and three quarters the band was on stage, the music bristled with Americana excellence as they sailed through a storming set of rock 'n' roll, folk, blues and country, all tinged with that unmistakeable Ryan Bingham Texas style. Admittedly his new album AMERICAN LOVE SONG had taken a while to bed in while accessing it on the streaming sites. Now having heard many of the songs live and the shiny physical CD in hand, it is growing into one of the best records out this year and re-affirming my faith in Ryan Bingham to make great music. Some artists require a studio to nail the western Americana sound, this guy just taps into his heart, soul and soil from his native Texas/New Mexico.

Just perusing the album album release directory for Friday 21st June revealed two entries. RED BANDANA by Aaron Watson was a relatively late submission, and weighing in at over an hour, some serious listening space will need creating to fully grasp its worth. The first couple of spins of this hefty twenty-track album throws up some interesting songs and undeniable evidence that he has chucked everything at this record. Like all albums mentioned here, check it out for yourself. Tracks like 'Ghost of Guy Clark', 'Legends', 'Am I Amarillo' and 'You on My Hands' are likely to raise an opinion. Aaron Watson will always be an intriguing act and one ripe for comment, but his relevance will never waiver. A lot of factors will render where you place him. The one thing about RED BANDANA is that he doesn't hide or shirk away.

The other album release to surface this week is TRAITORS TABLE an exciting record from US based-exiled Argentinian Fernando Viciconte. Definitely an album for those tuned into a particular sound. Make your mind up by spinning a couple of tracks on the artist's Bandcamp site. They won't mind if you try before you buy. It's 2019 and a very crowded music market.

A quick final video share of the new Martha L. Healy single 'Keep the Flame Alight'.

June 21 Album Releases:
Aaron Watson - Red Bandana
Fernando Viciconte - Traitors Table

Gigs Sun 16 June - Sat 22 June:
Ryan Bingham - The Bullingdon, Oxford Thurs 20th June
Beardy Folk Festival - Shropshire Sat 22nd June

New albums on the way:
Rod Picott - Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil due to be released in the UK on September 6th.
Rachel Harrington - Hush the Wild Horses due to be released in the UK on September 6th
Chip Taylor - Whiskey Salesman out on July 5th
Runaway June - Blue Roses out on June 28th

More gigs and album stuff in seven days.

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