JACK & CALEDONIA GOOD SPIRIT…ZOE RECORDS .
This new 16 track CD is a collection of country, folk, and traditional instrumental pieces and songs associated with the bands current line-up and on stage performance and tracks from the former “Colorado” Catalogue. 15 of the tracks are written by Geordie with the traditional pieces also arranged by him, while track 16 is composed and arranged by Kevin Jack (“Spirit Of Glenfarclas”). The guests include George Hamilton IV, Kathy Mattea and the late Tommy Collins with their tracks (and some others on the CD) recorded in Nashville some years ago. The single “Making Friends” featuring George IV has spent some months on the Euro Indies Chart reaching No 4 at its highest and its popularity with country fans is keeping it there. I can see other singles coming from this CD ensuring continued radio play for many months (“Pillow Of Love” “Mountain Men” “Crazy Celtic Music” “We’re Still Burning” and “Something to say”). Once again Geordie comes up trumps with a fine collection of Country (and Scottish/Irish/Folk/Traditional/Roots) music and I’m sure come awards time this CD will be up there with the winners. The CD is enhanced with a slide show, bonus tracks and web links, a discography and even a tour of Glenfarclas Distillery. (Soon you’ll probably be able to have a dram from the CD as well….now there’s a thought). In the meantime pour yourself another and sit back and enjoy Good Spirit from Geordie Jack and Caledonia. You can get a copy on the web at www.geordiejackandcaledonia.com or from the usual local outlets, or from the band at their gigs.
OTHER TRACKS: Millbank Cottage/ Banks of the Roses / Dying of a Broken Hear / Holdin On / Irish medley / Road of Life / Don’t ask me for a reason / Play One More / Molly Malone Medley.
EVANGELINE - BEER TALKIN` (evacd001)
Glasgow based 6 piece band EVANGELINE have released this 15 tracks collection as a complete collaboration between band members who contribute their musical talents and song writing abilities in various forms. John Naismith sings backing vocals, plays acoustic guitar and mandolin, and co-writes all 15 tracks, as well as being the Executive Producer of the project. George Adams sings lead vocals, plays harmonica and co-writes 4 songs, while Willie Evans, (not a band member, but the band's manager) co-writes 15 tracks, sings on one song, plays bass, guitar, keyboards and does the programming as well as producing the album. And that’s only part of the line-up. Guests include John Permenter on Fiddle and Scott Hendrie on Classical Guitar. Evangeline bass player Billy Matthews also sings backing vocals, plays harmonica and keyboards and produces one track, “Wings of an Angel”, while in his spare time he did the CD artwork (nice job there, too). The songs are basically traditional country arrangements, with a Cajun feel added on one, a little country rock on another, a western swing song and so on, and some great ballads. The song writing is the highlight of the album for me, with a variety of subjects covered. Track 14 is a Willie Evans demo recording of his tribute to the late Harlan Howard, while track 15 is a reprise of the album's lead-in track, "Burning Heat". It’s a great collection of songs well produced and reflective of what’s happening in country today at club and festival level. Once again this should be in the awards, and the band should seriously think of “singles” and more promotion. It could be well worth the effort and expense. You can get a copy on the web at www.evangeline.org.uk or from the usual local outlets, or from the band at their gigs.
OTHER TRACKS: Shame On You / If I Can Let Them Go / Run With The Devil /Flying on the Wings of an Angel / Dark Skies / Say You`ll Marry Me / I Think I’ve Just Fallen in Love / Fightin` For My Eight Cents / Drink & Cocaine / Hanky Panky / Dirty Cheatin` Man / You’re Already Gone .
THOMAS MAGUIRE - MARGIE`S AT THE LINCOLN PARK INN - K-MAC RECORDS
Thomas Maguire is from Co Fermanagh in Ireland and this is his 1st release ,a good collection in true country and Irish style. The up tempo quicksteps shine and give the album a lovely bounce while the 5 waltzes add to the Irish lilt. Its mainly covers, with lovely arrangements of “Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn” “ I Love you a Thousand ways” “Wedding Bells” “ Cuttin The Corn” “If Love had A Heart” “Seattle” “Let her Fly” and “A Bible and a Bus Ticket“. The new songs come from Thomas who writes 2 songs, (one with co writer D Rowe) 3 from Eamonn Mc Philomey and one from Henry McMahon. Also included is the 2 songs from his recent hit single “A Lifetime’s A Long Time” and “Where Did We Go Wrong”. When I tell you that the musicians include the Sheerins, Danny, Dessie & Kevin along with Charlie Larkin and Billy Condon on fiddle along with a host of top session players you’ll know that the CD is of the highest quality. “A Lifetime’s A Long Time ” “Where Did We Go Wrong” and the quickstep version o the title track do it for me as the standout tracks, but I do love Thomas’s version of the Lefty song “I love you a Thousand ways” as the one song on the album that sells it for me. Release it as a single It’s a chart-winner. Its available from 02087 893012 or by e-mail to [email protected]
OTHER TRACKS; Country Star / Irvinestown My Home / Cardboard Homes / Co. Fermanagh and me / Sleep my Baby / Mum and Dad’s waltz / Omagh in Tyrone.
JOHN HINSHELWOOD ~ HOLLER `TIL DAWN - LITTLE ROOTS CD 1003
14 songs from a great songwriter covering country in an Americana styling comes to you with this fine album running for nearly 52 minutes. John writes 11 of the songs ,and there lies the CD`s high point. Thought provoking lyrics set to a variety of tunes in a variety of tempos and country stylings Tell me Something with an acoustic feel. Its nearly folky at times as with the song “We’re All in this Together” featuring Gene Parsons on banjo, guitar and harmony vocal. His other guests include Cathryn Craig, Kathy Stewart & Rab Noakes on harmony vocals and instrumentalists Junior Clark on banjo, Alasdair Kennedy on mandolin and David Scott on el.guitar. The 3 covers are “My Uncle” (Chris Hillman/Gram Parsons), “Six feet Of Snow” (Lowell George & Keith Godchaux) and “Your Secret Love” (Kathy Stewart).An excellent production of well crafted songs makes for enjoyable listening and success. It’s available direct [email protected] or visit the web site at www.littleroots.com
OTHER TRACKS: Tell me Something / No hiding Place / Message to you / Just your memory / In another world / Your move / Mean woman / Forever changes /Needless road / Who dares wins.
MARTIN CUFFE ~ AMY` EYES - TULIP RECORDS
Another quality 13 track CD with a country and Irish flavour is Martins 4th release for Tulip. The Irish content is limited to 2 songs “Home is Where the Heart is” and “If It’s Lonesome at your table” both up-tempo tracks. The remaining 11 songs are all covers of lesser known country hits and standards that have not been done to death over the years. I love the up- tempo version of “The House of the rising Sun” and Martin’s voice shines on the ballads “Amy’s Eyes” “ The Window Up Above” and “The Farmer’s Daughter“. A fine ensemble of top session players come together under producer Paul Gallagher’s careful guiding hand and they include Brendan McGarrity drums, Richard Nelson steel & dobro, Charlie Arkin fiddle, Ryan Turner Keyboards Kenny Devanny Bass while Paul plays lead guitars and sings harmony. Triona Moore also sings harmony throughout and joins Martin on the duet “The Days Of Wine & Roses” to close the CD. It’s available from Tulip records at i[email protected] or Tel No 02866 323238.
CAITLIN ~ I LOVE YOU STILL - TULIP RECORDS
Now heres a new find on the Irish scene, Caitlin (pronounced Kate-Lyn), who picked up the award as “Best Newcomer In Country Music” at the recent “Irish World Gala Awards 2003”in London. The CD is her first and its got 7 Irish and 7 Country songs (running time 45 minutes approx) .They are all covers of country and traditional Irish songs, and as a first outing for Tulip I would expect no less. Its sure to be a seller and already she has found great radio play and chart successes in her native Ireland. She has got a lovely voice that shines with a maturity of someone singing for many more years than her age allows. Her phrasing is exceptional. The closing duet (A Couple More Years) with Clive Culbertson deserves a special mention and it could grace the top of ANY chart given the promotion. Once again Clive shines also as producer arranger and engineer as well as playing bass, keyboards and backing vocals throughout the album. Also in the musical line-up is Johnny Scott on dobro, guitars, mandolin and banjo, while Liam Bradley handles the percussion and drums, John McHugh plays accordion, Alister Mc Quilken plays steel, John Fitzpatrick fiddle and Charlie Arkin Harmonica & Fiddle. Outstanding debut album for another young female vocalist who should have a great future with her newly formed band touring the UK. It’s available from Tulip records at [email protected] or Tel No 02866 323238.
TRACKS: Three leaf shamrock / Galway shawl / I love you still / I couldn’t leave you if I tried / The spinning wheel / How I’d love to be alone with you / Unwed fathers / I’ll be all smiles tonight / Any town in Ireland would be home / Silver & Gold / Rosslare Harbour / Moonlight on the Shannon / If I had my life to live over / A Couple More Years.
CHUCK PYLE - AFFECTED BY THE MOON, - BEE `N FLOWERS RECORDS
Let me jog your memory with the name Chuck Pyle, he’s a songwriter whose written songs recorded by John Denver, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Suzy Bogguss, Jerry Jeff Walker and others, but most notably “Cadillac Cowboy” for Chris leDoux .This is his seventh (yes 7th) album of mainly self -written songs, and good songs too. The 13 tracks run for nearly 60 minutes, the last song is a catchy solo guitar instrumental showing his finger picking to perfection. “Blue Train” is written by Tom & Jennifer Kimball, “Outlaw’s Dream” is by Jack Williams, and “Why Pretend” is by Tom Kimball and Jeff Franzel. The CD is produced by bass & el. guitarist Doug Haywood, Pete Wasner plays keyboards, steel guitar is from Dr. Daniel Jones, while Gordon Burt plays fiddle, Christian Teele drums etc and Larry Knight el. guitar. It’s a gentle musical journey, nothing gets in your face from the musicians, nothing distracts you from the voice and the voice just lays the words across you. It wafts through gentle ballads, slightly jazzy feeling to the guitar work and arrangements and leaves you with an overall feeling of having just enjoyed a great singer, singing a great song. His last single “Think I’ll Go To Texas” is included I really enjoyed the whole CD and I’m sure I’ll be playing this one again. This is available from his web site at www.chuckpyle.com.
OTHER TRACKS: Affected by the moon / 97 Hillside road / If not now / Inside of my face / Laurie Ann / Romancing the moment / I love you back / Cowboy’s Christmas Dream / Spank.
WAYNE AUSTIN And The Sierra Sidekicks BY THE OLD SAN JOAQUIN - DARK HORSE RECORDS.
Now something for the fan who likes western along with his country music, this 15 track CD (runs for 43 minutes) is from Wayne Austin, who, along with his 2 country sidekicks carry on the western tradition in the Western States. Recorded in California, Wayne writes nearly all the material for this and all his Cds. His Sidekicks are Hal and Patricia Follett who play lead guitar & bass guitar and that’s the backing, apart from the addition of Steve Follett lead acoustic guitar on 5 songs,, Tim O’Connor on fiddle on 5 songs, and Mike Lothrop on harmonica on 2 others. Traditional & Western it certainly is and a joy to listen to. Wayne’s rich voice is ideal for the songs he sings, he makes it all sound so believable Co- Produced by Wayne and Randall Cousins and recorded at Steve Follett`s Sacramento Studio the secret here is what they’ve left out. Lovely western songs, sparse backing and a great voice to sell it all. His new single “Bandanas and Chaps and old Cowboy Hats” has now entered the Euro Charts and is included on the Cd which is available via e-mail [email protected]
TRACKS: By the old San Joaquin / Bandanas & Chaps & old Cowboy hats / After all / Song of the 49`ers / Lonesome range / Rio Sacramento Waltz / Silver timber wind / Ridin on the old S.P. / Colorado Train / Jesse James / California moon / Sail along silvery moon / Adios Querida:The ballad of Joaquin Murrieta / May God Go With You.
THE RENOVATORS ~ BLUES COUNTRY - BERGER PLATTERS
Here comes 14 songs running 55 minutes from a New York based `country` band with a definite edge to their sound. This is certainly not your fiddles and steel guitar sound, more your up-beat-bluesy-rockin country. The Renovators are Ted Hemberger on drums & percussion, Bob Rasero guitars dobro and vocals, Bob Mayo guitars keyboards and vocals, and Al Hemberger Bass and vocals. That’s all you get on this Cd , none of your 25 guest artistes and 22 back-up vocals, just 4 guy’s and their undoubted musical talent and song writing capability. The songs are written by the band in various forms, one with Tom Percoco (No Better Place To be), one with Gary Patton (Between The Lines),and one with Don Epstein (That Lonesome Whistle Sound). The songs tell the tale on this CD, good songs too like Blues Country, Between The lines, Dancing with Lorraine (both versions) and the very fast paced closer Ten gallon Heart. I must confess when I saw the title “You must be over me cause now you’re under him” I just had to listen to it first off. If you like the alternative modern sound you’ll love this and you can find a copy direct via e-mail at [email protected] or check out their site at www.renovators-music.com
OTHER TRACKS: Drinking you off my mind / She took the wrong way home / A man of her own / The deepest blue / The heart knows what’s real / The girls are out .
HEIDI HAGUE ~ COUNTRY BLUE - SHOWTIME RECORDS.
Unashamedly country al la the Nashville Sound as it was in the 70`s with songs from the same period , with the addition of some from later years, like the 90`s and a sound to match make up this 13 tracks COUNTRY CD from Heidi Hague, a Norwegian 35 year old mother of 4.With no musical background Heidi was discovered singing in a bar in her hometown Skien, was offered a recording contract with Showtime Records and her first album went Gold. Obviously more followed and now she’s got 4 under her belt, this is the 4th one. It opens with “Turn it on, turn it up, turn it loose” which charted across Europe and hit No 1 for 5 weeks. Her current 2 singles on the charts “Once A Day” and “Does my Ring Hurt Your Finger” are both Top ten, and heading upwards. Her CDs are now available across Europe and her sales have now reached 400,000 copies still climbing. This CD has gained outstanding airplay across Europe making her one of the Top 3 most played artistes, so the words “Keep On Keeping It Country” have certainly paid off for this lady. Her slight Scandinavian accent adds that hint of something special to the recordings. The backing musicians include steel, lead, acoustic, bass guitars, piano, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, and drums with Bjorn A Hague (her husband) joining Heidi for the duet “ We believe in happy endings” and Nina Hogness sings backup vocal. Great sound too and well produced and arranged by Armand Torp who has stayed true to the original sound and styling of the original recordings. A most enjoyable CD. Its available from www.heidi-hague.com
OTHER TRACKS: Lay down beside me / Coat of many colours / Free to go / Hello Little bluebird / Love is the foundation / Mama say a prayer / walk that line / The last dance / Blue eyes crying in the rain.