With the release of Renmin Park (on the 25th October), Cowboy Junkies are beginning their most ambitious period yet. Inspired by a three-month stay that Michael Timmins and his family spent in China—which he describes as “an other-worldly experience” – Renmin Park is the first of four releases planned over the next 18 months, collectively titled “The Nomad Series.” Several of the tracks on this volume were built on loops made from “field recordings” Michael made in China where he recorded a myriad of sounds from music and conversations to badminton games to students chanting their lessons or performing their morning calisthenics. The album also includes covers of songs by two of the country’s most important rock artists—”I Cannot Sit Sadly By Your Side” by Zuoxiao Zuzhou (ZXZZ) and Xu Wei’s “My Fall.”
Sweet England is a stunning collection of British and American
traditional song, capturing a turning moment in the English folk song
revival of the 1950′s. Recorded in 1958 when Shirley Collins was but 22 years old, Sweet England was one of the first full length albums to be recorded by a solo singer during the mid-twentieth century British folk revival.
Solveig Slettahjell Slow Motion Orchestra
Solveig Slettahjell, one of Norway’s most lauded vocalists, and the talented group of musicians known as the Slow Motion Orchestra have created an album of beautifully composed soundscapes. Solveig’s mellow voice, sometimes breathy, sometimes almost crystalline in its clarity, incorporates blues and gospel influences that throw both light and shade on her beautifully measured performances.
Keepers is the follow album to Trevor Jones 2009 album Hopeland. Keepers follows in the overall mood of Hopeland with an acoustic based sound but this time augmented with sparse and sympathetic orchestration. The new album continues with Hopeland’s structure by introducing some tracks with spoken word poetry. Although not a concept album, it does feel as if you are listening to a beautiful story.
Marc Minkowski & Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble
Handel: Water Music
Following the huge success of their Haydn Symphonies set, Marc Minkowski and his Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble’s fifth recording on Naïve is Handel’s popular Water Music, commissioned by King George I for a big “river party” on the Thames that took place in July 1717. Minkowski and his band have performed this many times in concerts all over Europe and now they record it for the first time.