Firstly an apology for the lack of updates this week, but a couple of extra days holiday added to the weekend have kept me away from the office. Still better late than never here’s the summary of our new releases for this week.
Sarah Siskind – Say It Louder
Sarah Siskind is seen as one of America’s most promising young songwriters with songs covered by Alison Krauss, Randy Travis, Bon Iver and more. Alison Krauss released both Siskind songs she recorded as singles, and in 2008, her rendition of Simple Love was nominated for a Grammy. Even though Sarah has been making records since the age of 14, she truly steps into the artist spotlight with Say It Louder. Many listeners in Europe were introduced to Sarah in 2008 when folk/rock sensation Bon Iver invited her to tour with them and covered one of Sarah’s songs as their nightly encore. This year she embarks on a UK/Ireland tour with Paul Brady in April and May. Dates include Grand Canal Theatre – Dublin, The Journal Tyne Theatre – Newcastle, Bridgewater Hall – Manchester, Colston Hall – Bristol, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – London, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and Cork Opera House . She will open and perform with Paul. As usual you can find all of the latest tour information on the tour section of this blog, or click here to go directly to Sarah’s site for the dates. I’ve also found this animated bio, which at least gives you decent audio of the lead off track of the CD as well as highlighting some of the excellent reviews she’s been picking up.
Joyce & Donato – Aquarius
This beautifully understated and utterly infectious collaboration between two of Brazilian music’s greatest stars is a magical recording encompassing a world of music but rooted their homeland. Joyce combines her wonderfully expressive swoop and soaring vocal with special guest and bossa legend, Joao Donato’s peerless pulsating piano and warmly-crafted rhythms. Injecting pure-quality jazz into bossa nova, old-school Brazilian samba and laid back Cuban vibes, Aquarius is intricate yet endlessly listenable. Featuring true classics alongside stunning new compositions this gorgeous recording is testament to Joyce’s standing as Brazil’s greatest female singer-songwriter & celebrated international artist. Both Joyce and Donato have included new versions of perhaps their most famous tracks, Feminina and Amazonas respectively, while new tracks including the jumping No Fundo Do Mar and addictive Xangô É De Baê are true standouts. This is modern Joyce at her most captivating in wonderful solo and memorable duet with Donato’s golden vocal. Here’s a video that offers some snippets of the two on stage together that gives a good idea of the chemistry between them.
Davy Graham – From Monkhouse To Medway
Davy Graham was one of the most innovative guitarists of the 1960s and, with his eclectic mixture of folk, blues and jazz, was considered to be the catalyst of the British folk scene and beyond. His legendary Angi single was released in 1962 and would prove hugely influential on a generation of British guitar heroes, while touching the likes of Paul Simon across the Atlantic. But Britain was still in the pre-Beatles world of ‘Light Entertainment’ and Davy Graham, ahead of his time, couldn’t get arrested. So closet guitar buff and radio/TV star Bob Monkhouse stepped in and funded a demo acetate which resulted in Davy’s first album deal. Now restored from a sole surviving copy, those tracks are heard here for the first time, along with a folk club set recorded in stereo from Davy’s ‘wilderness years’ in the early ’70s. The release of this CD now adds numerous otherwise unrecorded titles to Davy’s unique legacy. The accompanying booklet include extensive liner notes by renowned folk journalist Colin Harper, and an interview with Bob Monkhouse. I’ve found this clip from the BBC’s excellent Folk Britania series about Davy.