Category Archives: Folk

Lisa Richards blends folk and jazz in new album

A Light From The Other Side is Lisa Richards’ new album set for release on 21st April, and the Australian singer-songwriter has formed the new record from a base of folk and jazz that create an almost unheard of sound for modern audiences.

Lisa suffered during her childhood, with a difficult upbringing that included her mother being involved in a car crash and a lot of substance abuse, even from a young age. Yet it is these memories and experiences that allow her to write her introspective songs in her own unique style,

Taken from the new album, ‘Frank Sinatra’ is an upbeat tune full of delicate shuffling guitar and Lisa’s incredible vocals that occupy their very own private estate in the world of singing voices; you’ve honestly never heard anyone quite like her.

A Light From The Other Side exhibits Lisa Richard’s fascinating and turbulent life story, which is weaved throughout her songs. Set for release in April of this year, the record was also put together with the help of internationally renowned producer-singer-songwriter, Greg J Walker.




Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla Reissue ‘Gaodhal’s Vision’

Irish celtic-rock violinist, Joe O’Donnell, and his band Shkayla are reissuing their classic album, Gaodhal’s Vision, in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

As someone who has strong Irish roots, going back in lineage to the people who originally brought St. Patrick to Ireland, Joe feels strongly about the heritage of his country and this is an idea explored in Gaodhal’s Vision. The album tells the story of the Milesian people who set sail for the island, foretold to them by Moses, called Eire (Ireland). The record displays Joe’s fascination with the esoteric and celebrates the origins of the Celts and many distinctive aspects of their famed culture.

As well as Joe, the album featured some highly talented musicians of the day including virtuoso guitarist, Rory Gallagher, with whom Joe enjoyed a warm musical friendship. Consequently, the album was met with strong praise as a result of Rory’s involvement, but also because of Joe’s unique approach to his compositions and the experimental choice of instrumentation.

With this year marking the album’s 40th anniversary, Joe and the band will also be performing the record in its entirety at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, on 31st March and 1st April. However, it will not just be a gig like any other: there will be Irish and Indian dancers, live narration and as well as that, the original recordings of Gallagher’s solos will seamlessly play alongside Joe and Shkayla. The set up is sure to make for a multi-sensual experience like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Although Joe learnt his trade as a musician the conventional, classical way, his early experience in rock bands allowed him to see the similarities between Celtic and Indian music which he has blended together within Shkayla. As well as this, the band employ elements from rock, jazz and orchestral styles.

The 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Gaodhal’s Vision is set for release 28th April 2017.

Find out more and buy tickets here:



Buy tickets for the shows here:

Mark L. Oakes – ‘Shredded Jeans’

‘Shredded Jeans’ is the beautiful single taken from Mark L. Oakes’ debut album, Call Me The Moon.

With a highly listenable and endearing singer-songwriter style, Oakes can be compared to the likes of his influences such as Tucker Zimmerman, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Ryan Adams. However, ‘Shredded Jeans’ is most easily identifiable wit the sound of Neil Young which comes through strongly from Mark’s sweet vocal tone and the use of harmonicas in the track.

Mainly tracked at Mark’s home studio in the heart of the Ardennes, the record has been finalised with the help of Londoner cellist Ben Trigg and mastered by Grammy award winner Gavin Lurssen in Los Angeles.

While singles ‘Shredded Jeans’ and ‘Friend From Above (Sleepless Spouse)’ are tinged with soft melancholy vibes, other tunes like ‘Aloof Again’ and ‘None Of These Roads’ display Mark’s wide ranging capabilities as a musician.

Overall, if you’re looking for a well-crafted piece of easy listening Americana, then look no further than Mark L. Oakes’ Call Me The Moon.


Track Review: ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ by The Maladaptive Solution

The Maladaptive Solution are an Orlando based collective of musicians including Brad Beard, Michael Carpenter, Michael Giblin, Jimmy Haber and Kylie Whitney, who create a refreshing brand of spiritual folk-pop with meaningful lyrics.

There is a great deal of mystery surrounding the band and their concept, especially with their cryptic logo which they are hoping will become synonymous with the ideology of the group.

In terms of songwriting, it doesn’t come much more effective than ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’. The band have noted that the music is based on ‘Buddhism, quantum physics, a course in miracles and the science of changing your mind’, all of which are encapsulated within their positive folk-pop songs.

‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ is a super listenable, feel good track that won’t fail in revealing some of your deepest emotions. Although it is a very upbeat, positive song, a range of feelings have been reported upon first listen. For example, many have cried, others have felt a sense of support during a difficult time, whilst some have even been disturbed by the track.

A beautifully enticing sitar-like drone sends the song into a swirling spiritual journey before simply strummed guitars and calming backing vocals join the fray, forming a potent sonic combination. As the song builds, so too does the emotional factor behind the song, and this culminates in a firework display of drum crashes and satisfying guitar solos.

As for lyrics, although the band keep them simple, you can’t doubt that there is a lot of hidden subtext underneath just waiting to be unpicked to reveal its true meaning. As the band suggest, ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ is a ‘form of brainwashing’, and as disturbing as this might sound, it urges listeners to actively engage with the music on an intellectual and spiritual level.

Overall, ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ is a must listen track which the band point out as ‘Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” in less than 5 minutes’; it’s not just a song, it’s a message.

Find out more on the band here:


Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla gearing up to release ‘Noel Nouvelet’


Joe O’Donnell is famed for his 1977 violin led concept album with Rory Gallagher, ‘Gaodhal’s Vision’.

In 1996 O’Donnell moved to Coventry where he became aware of the Coventry Carol and whilst touring Brittany learnt the traditional Christmas carol ‘Noel Nouvelet’. He decided to blend the two.


Shkayla (Gaelic for ‘stories’) blends traditional Celtic melodies, rock and jazz, creating an entirely unique sound.


After staging and producing ‘St. Patrick Goes To The Punjab’ at Coventry’s Albany Theatre, Shkayla are returning to headline Asian music and dance event ‘Fire and Light’ on Saturday 29th October. It’s expected that O’Donnell will be using his self manufactured 8 string Ceramic violin, giving the group that one of a kind combination of mediaeval English and Indian music.


Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla is now a power-house five-piece able to generate great energy and excitement, and also capable of the sensitivity and delicacy needed in keeping faith with Celtic music.

Check out Noel Nouvelet below:

Tuffet Bunnies dedicate ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’ EP for circus performer girlfriend

Tuffet Bunnies is set to release his debut EP ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’, which he wrote for his circus performer love Scarlett. The musician behind the folk-rock four tracks is Clem Darling who explains the songs as sounding like “they’ve been  written by a bunch of gypsies that popped out of the back of a caravan”.

Darling’s emotive lyrics were loved by his holocaust survivor Grandmother who sadly passed away recently. However Tuffet Bunnies continues to share the love through his upcoming EP ‘Love Songs For Scarlett’.

Listen to ‘Everything’ here:

Cambridge based folk/pop sensations Fred’s House

Fred’s House, an award winning band based in Cambridge, have a unique sound mixing elements of folk, pop and country with strong nods towards bands such as Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.

Fred's House 1Having played more than 500 gigs to date, their fans ‘Housemates’ create electric vibes making the shows electric leading to the band winning ‘Audience Choice Award’ at the Annual NMG Awards.

Their debut album, Bonnie and Clyde, was critically acclaimed gaining 4 and 5 star reviews all round. They have now released their second album Faultlines. The full length studio album was produced by the fantastic Neil James Rogers.

Check out their music here:

Fred’s House have often had airplay on BBC 6Music, Amazing Radio, BBC Radio Wales, as well as having been invited to perform live for BBC Introducing and Radio 2 DJ Bob Harris’ Under the Apple Tree sessions.

Having made dozens of festival appearances, such as the main stage at the Acoustic Festival of Britain, Cambridge Folk Festival and Bestival, the band are currently playing many dates during which their tracks from the new album, Faultines, will feature heavily.  If you are a fan of live music we recommend hearing their amazing sound live. You’re sure to be in for a fun, energetic but beautifully sounding gig!

Check them out at one of their upcoming summer dates here:

24th July- IF International Festival, Milton Keynes

30th July- Maidenhead Beer and Cider Festival, Maidenhead

28th August- Wokingham Music Festival, Wokingham

28th August- Catfest, Hulcote







Haunting new album Cherry Fair from singer-songwriter Stephen Harrison

‘…like postcards from an earlier, purer, more positive time’ – The Sunday Herald on Stephen’s previous album Today Tomorrow

English-born, Scottish-residing singer-songwriter Stephen Harrison delivers this intimate and heartfelt new folk record Cherry Fair.

Having written his own songs since he was a teenager, Stephen got into music through legendary sixties acts such as The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan and George Harrison – the music that his older siblings would listen to.

As a teenager I was writing folk songs on acoustic guitar. Aged 16, I would strap my guitar on my back and head off ‘on my moped’ to places such as the Barnoldswick Folk Club.

During the late seventies, Stephen’s musical interests shifted. Attending the Edinburgh College Of Art in 1977, he was founding member of the post-punk band Metropak. The band supported the likes of The Rezillos and Josef K, and received airplay from John Peel.

Having since disbanded, Stephen has now returned to his folk roots. His new album draws on his experience, exploring an array of pensive topics from unrequited love to reconciliation to the brevity of life.  The subject matter deepens as the tracks progress.

Although minimal in sound, Cherry Fair is the result of a lot careful time and effort, Stephen going to great lengths to achieve the perfect sound using unconventional guitar tunings and a particular picking style. Vocals are often recorded multiple times so that he can achieve the exact phrasing. The result is a very clean and polished record.

Stream the album here on Soundcloud:

As well as having a passion in music, Stephen is also a keen painter. Emotional tone plays a key part in his interest in the arts.

Artists that Stephen can be compared to include the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, early Lou Reed and Richard Hawley.

Cherry Fair is out 9th May


Newton Faulkner is taking us ‘Up, up and away’!

Newton Faulkner’s single ‘Up, up and away’ is an infectiously uplifting, vocally impressive and super catchy track that fills you with love for the likable songwriter that’s back and touring again.

The track comes from Newton’s album ‘Human Love’ and is part of as big move forward for the singer-songwriter that was signalled by the loss of the length of the famous ginger dreadlocks in the dramnfatic video – ‘Get Free‘.

Human Love is produced by Newton himself and a host of high profile collaborators. ‘Step In The Right Direction’ is produced by Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, London Grammar, Florence And The Machine), Far To Fall was co-written by Ed Drewett (One Direction, The Wanted, Olly Murs), and Shadow Boxing was produced by the Australian duo Empire Of The Sun.- See more at:

He is touring the new album currently and after coming back from the European leg is now set upon the UK.

This is a victorious return for Faulkner to the world of music and it is also a much welcomed one.

Buy the album on iTunes now!





Belle Roscoe set to make a bang with second album ‘Boom Boom’

JX9B4690Born and raised in Australia, sibling duo Belle Roscoe combine contemporary sounds and production with classic retro song writing styles. They have been described as ‘a cross between Arcade Fire & Fleetwood Mac’ but in truth this description does them a disservice. In their varied, melodic music, you can hear many influences, including the eclectic likes of Neil Young, Bowie, Springsteen, Elbow and Fleet Foxes.

It’s a combination, underpinned by flawless sibling vocal harmonies, that tightly fixes their ambition to marry the modern with the classic; an ambition which is more than met with new album ‘Boom Boom’. For a taste of what we’re talking about, check out lead single ‘Gun To My Head’ here:

Radio Edit :

The new album was written in Paris (recorded between Belgium, Malta and Paris) and is heavily influenced by the joys and hardships of living and writing so far from home – as summed up perfectly on album track ‘Paris II’, itself a follow up to ‘Paris’ from their self-titled debut album. Life in the creative, romantic French capital tended to blend moments of beauty with those of struggle, mostly in financial matters and in dealing with music industry types. Still, the pair clung on to their lives in the city and drew from it a rich vein of song writing inspirations.

Now back in Melbourne, the exciting but humbling experience has resulted in a new maturity to their music, and a new perspective on life in general. The new album ‘Boom Boom’ is produced by Luuk Cox (Shameboy, Girls in Hawaii, Stromae & MLCD), and the time will soon be right to share it with the wider world.

Over the years Belle Roscoe have either supported or played alongside many major Australian artists including Jet, Cat Empire, Husky, Wolf Mother, James Reyne, Killing Heidi and more, as well playing countless festivals and sold out shows in both Europe and Australia. Hard working and genuine in their love of the art, Belle Roscoe are set to make 2015 a breakthrough year.

And, if you’re in any doubt as to their pedigree, they even have a live appearance on TV soap Neighbours to their name. How many up and coming bands can say that?