Category Archives: Music

Various Artists’ Deadicated

I find most tribute albums to be pure unadulterated shit. Some are so bad that defy any logic as to why they were even conceptualized, let alone made. An example to be avoided of this sort of tribute album is … Continue reading

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Steve Tibbetts’ Life Of

If you’re looking for a deeply contemplative album of meditative music, look no further than Steve Tibbetts’ Life Of. As with much of the Minnesota-based guitarist’s body of work, his latest release draws on world, ambient, jazz and experimental musics, … Continue reading

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Gabriel Yacoub’s The Simple Things We Said

Gabriel Yacoub began his career singing and playing guitar in Alan Stivell’s band, before going on to form the legendary French Renaissance rock band Malicorne. Malicorne’s compilation CD Légende: Deuxieme Epoque exceeds the quality of any of the similar compilations … Continue reading

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Fairport Convention’s What We Did On Our Saturday

Saturday, August 12 2017 to be precise. The final evening of Fairport’s Cropredy festival in their 50th year. It was always going to be a special occasion, and the likelihood of a recording was strong, after releases of similar previous … Continue reading

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Terry Riley’s Cadenza on the Night Plain

Cadenza on the Night Plain (the disc, not the work of that title) presents four of Terry Riley’s works for string quartet, works that, if your only acquaintance with Riley has been pieces on the order of In C or … Continue reading

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Robin Laing’s Ebb and Flow

The music coming out of Scotland is as wide and varied as anywhere in the world today. For not only is Scotland truly steeped in its own tradition, but also it is home to some of the finest singer-songwriters on … Continue reading

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Ryley Walker’s Deafman Glance

I’ve been listening to Chicago-based folk-rocker Ryley Walker maturing his music since his first full-length All Kinds of You came out on Thompkins Square in 2014. He gained critical acclaim for his second Primrose Green the following year, with its … Continue reading

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Kiran Ahluwalia’s 7 Billion

The first I ever heard of Kiran Ahluwalia was her stunning rendition of the qawwali standard “Mustt-Mustt” backed by Tinariwen on a recording from what turned out to be the final Festival au Desert. Ahluwalia was born in India, raised … Continue reading

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Beatrice Deer’s My All To You

Beatrice Deer is a singer-songwriter from Nunavik, the icy region of Quebec north of the 55th parallel and home to Quebec’s Inuit people. My All to You is her fifth record since she left her tiny hometown of Quaqtaq for … Continue reading

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Siobhan Miller’s Strata

I first encountered Siobhan Miller at Cropredy ten years ago. She was in a duo with Jeana Leslie and together they had won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award that year, and that also gave them a spot at … Continue reading

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Terry Riley’s The Cusp of Magic

Terry Riley is one of the more remarkable composers of the post-War American scene, and one whose music I have been enthusiastic about for many years. Part of the fun is that you never quite know what to expect from … Continue reading

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Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Awase

I was immediately smitten by the music of Nik Bärtsch when I first heard it via Continuum, the 2016 ECM release from his all-acoustic project Mobile, and a show I saw from that tour was probably my favorite from that … Continue reading

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Jethro Tull’s Aqualung Live

This new recording of Jethro Tull’s classic rock album Aqualung was produced for XM Radio’s “Then Again Live” programme. This is a show that aims to “re-create the most important albums of all time . . . offering total creative … Continue reading

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Various artists’ Swing West!

Country music and Nashville are synonymous, right? Wrong. Since the late 1940s, California, particularly Bakersfield, has been the breeding ground for its own strain of country music that stands outside of the mainstream flowing from Nashville. Razor & Tie, which … Continue reading

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Lindisfarne’s Lindisfarne Live

The first hint that Lindisfarne Live is going to be a disaster comes literally twenty-two seconds in on the disc, when lead singer Alan Hull shouts the magical words “Rock and roll!” to the audience. A simple rule of thumb for live … Continue reading

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Fairport Convention’s Fairport unConventional

I have chosen a somewhat unconventional way to review this collection, partly because of the title but mainly because there is just so much stuff in this box that it demands consideration. Geez! It cost almost $30 to mail it … Continue reading

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Dave Pegg’s A Box Of Pegg’s

If the name Dave Pegg means anything to you, it’s probably in the context of his role as bass player for Fairport Convention and/or Jethro Tull; the latter from the early 1980s to mid-’90s, the former continually since late 1969. … Continue reading

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Elina Duni’s Partir

“We’re all leaving. Bound to be torn away, one day or another, from what we love.” With those words Elina Duni welcomes her audience in to her latest project, a cycle of songs from around the world about love, loss … Continue reading

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The Turbans’ self-titled debut

Listening to this album is the most fun I’ve had (musically speaking) in a long time. The Turbans bring a passionate spirit of adventure and an infectious liveliness to their music. Even if you can’t understand the lyrics – which … Continue reading

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Kristjan Randalu’s Absence

About two minutes into “Forecast 1,” the first track of Kristjan Randalu’s Absence, the Estonian pianist takes a brief pause after a gently improvised introduction, then leaps into a Lisztian whirlwind of arpeggios and it seems this is going to … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ Hummingbirds & Helicopters Vol. 1

Jolie Holland, the idiosyncratic folk singer-songwriter (who’s one of my favorites) is spearheading an effort to raise money to benefit the people whose homes were devastated by hurricanes in 2017. The first installment is Hummingbirds & Helicopters Vol. 1: A … Continue reading

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Sarah Shook & the Disarmers’ Years

By the time we reach the second track of Sarah Shook’s new album Years, it’s already the second time she’s not just saying goodbye to a lover who doesn’t meet her standards, but saying, in effect, “get the hell out, … Continue reading

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Eva Salina and Peter Stan’s Sudbina

This review is different from nearly every one I’ve ever written, in that it draws more from the album’s publicity and background than my opinions about the recording itself. The publicity material is uncommonly well-written and presents quotes from the … Continue reading

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Various Artists’ The Ultimate Guide to Welsh Folk

When talking Celtic music we often think Irish or Scottish, or maybe music from Britanny. But remember Wales also claims Celtic roots, though their language is not from the same branch of Celtic languages as the Gaelic of Scotland and … Continue reading

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Western Centuries’ Songs From the Deluge

Western Centuries makes country and western music like they used to, but it’s not an exercise in nostalgia. They rock, they roll, they twang and they shuffle. They keep close to their roots and draw from the wide spectrum of … Continue reading

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Ensemble Alcatraz’ Cantigas de Amigo

This review was written by Brendan Foreman for a previous incarnation of GMR. I’m beginning to suspect that eventually Dorian will have released a version of every single piece of Iberian medieval music still extant. This is by all means … Continue reading

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The Dufay Collective’s Music for Alfonso the Wise

Alfonso X, “el Sabio” (“the Wise”), was king of Castile and Leon from 1252 to 1284, a time when those realms were an outpost of European culture on a peninsula under the domination of the Muslim Moors. He was known … Continue reading

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Tony Trischka, Bill Keith and Bela Fleck’s Fiddle Tunes for Banjo

The MusicHound Country Essential Album Guide (Visible Ink, 1997), under its entry on  Tony Trischka, lists Fiddle Tunes for Banjo as “worth searching for. Thanks to the good folks at Rounder, you no longer have to search for a rare … Continue reading

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Birch Pereira & the Gin Joints’ Western Soul

Birch Pereira, Oregon-grown and now based in Seattle, leads his band the Gin Joints through a set of hot jazz, rockabilly, bluesy folk and more on their sophomore album Western Soul. It’s a tour through Americana in the era of … Continue reading

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Vivian Leva’s Time is Everything

Time is Everything is a notable debut from Vivian Leva. The young country-folk singer-songwriter is rapidly becoming someone you need to know about, so you can say “Heck, I’ve liked her since her first album way back in 2018!” Leva … Continue reading

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Jay Ungar and Molly Mason’s The Quiet Room

If you’re expecting a logical appraisal of this new recording — whose subtitle Music to heal the heart and soothe the soul could be applied to every recording that this superb artistic couple has done over their long career — … Continue reading

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Oslo Kammerkor’s Kyst, Kust, Coast; Voces Nordicae’s Nordic Voices

The Olso Kammerkor, based in the Uranienborg Church in Oslo, is an internationally known chorus with an extraordinarily wide repertoire, ranging from Gregorian chant to jazz and folk music. The group has been most widely recognized for its translations of … Continue reading

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Gabriel Fliflet and Ole Hamre’s Eine kleine Kraftmusik

My first reaction to Fliflet and Hamre’s Eine kleine Kraftmusick was to break into laughter from sheer surprise and delight. One forgets, sometimes, how raucously fun-loving Norwegians can be. That is only one point in favor of this collection — … Continue reading

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Anna & Elizabeth’s The Invisible Comes To Us

Anna & Elizabeth quickly became one of my favorite roots music acts with their self-titled sophomore release in 2015. They gave some hint about the direction they were taking their love of traditional ballads with a vinyl single they released … Continue reading

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Jody Marshall’s Cottage in the Glen; Malcolm Dalglish’s Jogging the Memory

Jody Marshall has a distinct facility for drawing together a variety of musical threads into a rich and engaging weave. Cottage in the Glen was my introduction to her music, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. One hallmark of this collection … Continue reading

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Danish String Quartet’s Last Leaf

Last Leaf is the Danish String Quartet’s second foray into “traditional” music. Their previous album in this vein, Wood Works, focused on music of the Faroe Islands and various small Nordic towns and villages. Last Leaf, although still focusing on … Continue reading

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The Knitters At the Aladdin Theater

Quick, name a band that has only recorded one album, but 15 years later has inspired a tribute album and is packing clubs with deliriously loyal fans.  If you said The Knitters, you’re right. Buy yourself “a big-ol’ cheap bottle … Continue reading

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Captain Beefheart’s Grow Fins

Big Earl Sellar penned this review. So Green Man Review has come to this: the inevitable “who or what is a Captain Beefheart?” paragraph. I’ll reduce it to a sentence: Captain Beefheart is the all-encompassing focal point of all 20th century … Continue reading

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Mike Barnes’s Captain Beefheart

It seems that the time has come for a reassessment of the career and work of Don Van Vliet. The past year has seen a major reissue campaign. His earliest albums have been remastered with bonus tracks and new essays; … Continue reading

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Boiled in Lead’s The Well Below EP

I’ve heard Boiled in Lead in person but one time, and that was twenty years ago when they played in a field one late summer. Lovely they were, and their live sound carries over very well to being recorded. Describing … Continue reading

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Arturo Toscanini, The Complete Philadelphia Orchestra Recordings 1941-42

There are vanishingly few twentieth-century conductors of classical music whose names have become household words. Perhaps foremost among those few is Arturo Toscanini. There will be objections, I’m sure — Stokowski has a strong following (as well as film credits), … Continue reading

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Robin & Linda Williams’ Visions Of Love

(This review was written by Judith Gennett for a prior incarnation of GMR.) Visions Of Love is, by my count, the sixteenth album by American music harmonists Robin and Linda Williams. It is produced by Garrison Keillor and, unlike most … Continue reading

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Odetta At The Gate of Horn

Albert Grossman, who among other things managed Bob Gibson and a number of other prominent folk artists, opened The Gate of Horn in Chicago in 1956. It became quite arguably the performance venue for the burgeoning folk music scene in … Continue reading

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Frigg’s Frost on Fiddles

It doesn’t seem that long ago that the Finnish band Frigg, fresh from releasing their self-titled debut album, made an impression at the Nordic Roots Festival in Minneapolis for both their good playing and their youthful appearance.  But that first … Continue reading

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Dirtmusic’s Bu Bir Ruya

I am no longer waiting for change I am no longer trying to escape I am no longer breaking chains I am no longer on We are gone – where we belong. – Dirtmusic, “Bi De Sen Söyle” The multinational … Continue reading

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Bee Gees – One For All Tour Live in Australia 1989

I’m a gal of a certain age.  Which means that I grew up listening to the Bee Gees.  I remember those summers, waiting for  my local pool’s Adult Swim to wrap up so I could get back in – how … Continue reading

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Amarillis’ Waltzing in the Trees

Waltzing in the Trees is a delightful record that brings lively contra dance music into your home. Amarillis is a Pennsylvania-based trio: Maro Avakian on piano, Donna Isaac on fiddle and Allison Thompson on accordion and concertina. They play a … Continue reading

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George Frideric Handel’ Water Music/Royal Fireworks Music

This review was written by Huw Collingbourne for an earlier incarnation of Green Man Review. What the world really does not need, you might think, is yet another recording of Handel’s Water Music. Along with Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the Water … Continue reading

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Joan Baez’s Whistle Down The Wind

It’s just great to know that Joan Baez is still out there falling in love with good songs, singing them to her fans, and putting them on record. She’s been doing that since the year I started kindergarten in 1960, … Continue reading

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I’m With Her’s See You Around

Having tested the waters with a single and a couple of EPs since 2015, the Americana super-group trio I’m With Her now releases its debut full-length See You Around. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb … Continue reading

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