A Conversation With Elizabeth & Jameson
Elizabeth & Jameson is an award-winning collaboration comprising two rising stars of the UK acoustic music scene. Hannah Elizabeth and Griff Jameson have joined forces to create an indie-folk sound which encompasses both their individual musical backgrounds. Hannah’s influences are firmly planted in traditional folk-roots, whilst in contrast Griff has formed his musical reputation within folk pop/rock genres. Together as a duo Elizabeth & Jameson arguably offer the best of both backgrounds; this is simplistic, classic song writing at its best - a stripped back harmony-driven sound with acoustic guitar, violin and exquisite harmony vocals.
As well as securing high-profile support slots on the UK folk/acoustic circuit the duo have built up a strong following after spending the last few years touring folk and acoustic clubs and venues across the UK. Their debut studio album, Northern Shores & Stories was officially released in May 2020 and has been receiving critical acclaim across the acoustic folk/roots community.
A Conversation With Chroma
CHROMA is a three-piece band from South Wales. Their sound fuses Garage Rock with math influences, inspired by bands like Biffy Clyro, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rage Against The Machine and Gossip.
They've played sold-out shows all over the UK with the likes of Peace, IDLES, Astroid Boys, Pretty Vicious, VANT and Tigercub.
In addition they've received radio support from BBC Introducing on BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music, Kerrang! Radio, Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru plus more.
They've also played prestigious festivals such as Reading Festival & Leeds Festival, BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend, FOCUS Wales and Festival Number 6 along with some European festival appearances in Barcelona and Brittany.
Their Debut EP and all singles since are available on Apple Music, Spotify and Youtube. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to keep updated with what they are up to.
A Conversation With Joe Newberry
Joe Newberry is known around the world for his clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” Award. With Eric Gibson, he shared the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” Award for “They Called It Music.”
A longtime and frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion, he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K. with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas, and at the Transatlantic Session’s debut at Merlefest in 2017 with fellow singers James Taylor, Sarah Jarosz, Declan O’Rourke, Karen Matheson, and Maura O’Connell. In addition to performing solo, he plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.
Newberry has taught banjo, guitar, singing, and songwriting at numerous camps and festivals, including Ashokan, Midwest Banjo Camp, American Banjo Camp, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Targhee Music Camp, the Swannanoa Gathering, Centrum Voice Works, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Pinewoods Camp, Vocal Week, Bluegrass Week, and Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, the Australia National Folk Festival, the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week, and the Bluff Country Gathering. He was for many years the coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center.
Newberry is a board member of the International Bluegrass Music Association, representing Artists, Composers & Music Publishers. He says that serving on the IBMA board allows him a chance to give back to the music that has given him so much.
Growing up in a family full of singers and dancers, he took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from the great Missouri fiddlers. Newberry moved to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the state. He does solo and studio work, and plays and teaches at festivals and workshops in North America and abroad.
A Conversation With Kat Goldman
Kat Goldman is a Canadian singer-songwriter, whose songs have been covered by Grammy-nominated band, The Duhks (Canada), Dar Williams (United States), and Kate and Ruth (Australia), among many others worldwide. Her break-out album, “The Great Disappearing Act” (2002) garnered her attention from NYC manager Ron Fierstein, who managed the careers of Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega, and Dar Williams. He asked to sign her on the spot, after he flew up to Buffalo to catch her show one night. Kat went down to showcase in New York City for several years, but in 2003, was in a freak accident which essentially put her career on hiatus. After a long recovery, she released her come-back album, "Sing Your Song," in 2007. It was met with high acclaim. When Dar Williams heard it, she wrote, “I can’t imagine the world without it.”
Kat moved to Boston in 2009, where she began taking classes at Harvard and Boston universities. She lived in Cambridge for six years, during which time she also made her third recording, “Gypsy Girl.” Kat graduated from Boston University in 2015, with a degree in English literature. She returned to Toronto in 2016, to work on her most recent release, “The Workingman’s Blues.” Kat calls it her “rock musical.” The songs tell a story about a young, tough workingman from South of Boston and his hardscrabble past. Kat has won several awards from The International Songwriting Competition (Nashville). Her songs have appeared in numerous movies, documentaries and television shows, including The Duhks version of her song, “Annabel,” which aired in the TV series, “Hell On Wheels.”
In the spring of 2021 she released her first, published book, “Off The Charts: What I Learned From My Almost Fabulous Life In Music” (Sutherland House books), a comic look at her experiences as a songwriter, along with zany how-to advice for the beginner. Kat has been there, almost to the very top, and now she’s back with sage advice and hilarious behind-the-scenes stories from a lifetime of toil in the dive bars and legendary venues of the contemporary music scene. she recounts what it’s like to meet your first fan, date a rock star (never again!), perform in a grocery store, and rebuild your career after getting hit by a car in a bagel shop. She tells of feeling the sting of rejection and rampant sexism, and the thrill of writing a hit song and performing with your idols. Off the Charts is a whimsical, uproarious tour through a fickle business that never seems to repay what performers put into it, and one woman’s highly intimate account of how she made the best of almost making it. Featuring a sparkling set of original illustrations by the award-winning Nina Berkson. Kat Goldman is one of Canada’s most celebrated songwriters.
A Conversation With James McMurtry
James McMurtry spent his first seven years in Ft. Worth, Texas but was raised mostly in Leesburg, Virginia. He attended the Woodberry Forest School, Orange, Virginia. He began performing in his teens, writing bits and pieces. He started performing his own songs at a downtown beer garden while studying English and Spanish at the University of Arizona in Tucson. After traveling to Alaska and playing a few gigs, he returned to Texas and his father's "little bitty ranch house crammed with 10,000 books".
After a time, he left for San Antonio, where he worked as a house painter, actor, bartender, and sometimes singer, performing at writers' nights and open-mic events.
In 1987, a friend in San Antonio suggested McMurtry enter the Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk songwriter contest; he became one of six winners that year. Also around this time John Mellencamp was starring in a film based on a script by McMurtry's father, which gave McMurtry the opportunity to send a demo tape to Mellencamp. Mellencamp subsequently served as co-producer on McMurtry's debut album, Too Long in the Wasteland (1989). McMurtry also appeared on the soundtrack of the film Falling from Grace, working with Mellencamp, John Prine, Joe Ely and Dwight Yoakam in a "supergroup" called Buzzin' Cousins.
“I first became aware of James McMurtry’s formidable songwriting prowess while working at Bug Music Publishing in the ’90s, “He’s a true talent. All of us at New West are excited at the prospect of championing the next phase of James’ already successful and respected career.” - New West President John Allen
McMurtry joins New West's singular roster of top-tier roots music all-stars including Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell, John Hiatt, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Buddy Miller, Nikki Lane and dozens more.
A Conversation With Richie Blackmore and Candice Night
Richie Blackmore: Is a British guitarist and songwriter, began his professional career as a session musician as a member of the instrumental band The Outlaws and as a backing musician of pop singers Glenda Collins, Heinz, Screaming Lord Sutch, Neil Christian, etc.. Blackmore was also one of the original members of Deep Purple, playing jam-style rock music which mixed simple guitar riffs and organ sounds During his solo career, he established neo-classical metal band called Rainbow which fused baroque music influences elements with hard rock. However, Rainbow gradually progressed to catchy pop style hard rock. Blackmore formed the traditional folk rock project Blackmore's Night transitioning to vocalist-centered sounds.
CandIce Night: Although she's done back-up vocals for such major bands as Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Twang (the Hank Marvin Tribute album), Candice Night's success was anything but overnight. In 1997, the talented lyricist and lead singer of Blackmore's Night completed a musical project with legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore titled Shadow of the Moon. The album features acoustic renaissance music, a direction she thoroughly enjoyed. "This music is feel good, soul searching music," says Candice. "Listening to it makes me appreciate the beauty in simple things that most of us overlook everyday. It has a magical effect. It makes me smile and it makes me cry, but listening to it always takes me on a different journey somewhere else. Being a part in creating such music is a reward in itself."
A Conversation With Stephen Fearing
We feature an exclusive two part interview with Stephen Fearing, where we go in depth on the making of the album 'The Unconquerable Past' and the tracks on it.
Multi-JUNO Award winner and co-founder of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings, Stephen Fearing has been regarded as one of Canada’s great musical storytellers — not to mention one of its most acclaimed guitarists — since the 1980s, and his 13th solo album The Unconquerable Past, adds another unique chapter to that impressive body of work. It’s also a striking and often surprising example of his restless creative spirit.
While fans of his solo work may be more familiar with Fearing’s acoustic side, brilliantly displayed on his 2018 special vinyl-only release The Secret of Climbing, or his electric-trio work on 2017’s Every Soul’s A Sailor, The Unconquerable Past finds him stepping back into the wide-screen world of layered instruments and arrangements in collaboration with Winnipeg-based producer/songwriter Scott Nolan (William Prince, Mary Gauthier, Hayes Carll) and a superb group of players featuring acclaimed pianist Jeremy Rusu, bassist Julian Bradford, drummer Christian Dugas, vocalist Andrina Turrene, and Nashville’s legendary multi-instrumentalist Jim Hoke.
Like other artists who are loosely categorized as ‘folk’ and ‘Americana’, Fearing questions what those terms really mean. The Unconquerable Past can be seen as embracing and transcending the labels and genres simultaneously. Above all, on The Unconquerable Past, Stephen Fearing steps out once again with a fresh perspective and a new batch of songs and stories drawing deeply from over thirty years of writing and playing across Canada and around the world.
A Conversation With Elizabeth Thomson
Author of Joan Baez: The Last Leaf
Liz Thomson is a London-based journalist, author and broadcaster, and the co-founder of Square Roots Productions CIO and, in New York, of The Village Trip, a non-profit arts festival. She was a founding trustee of the Desmond Elliott Prize for first novels.
A contributing editor to TheArtsDesk.com, Liz’s work has appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world, among them The Times, Guardian, Independent, New Statesman & Society, Mojo, the Big Issue and the Washington Post.
Since she appeared unannounced at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, Joan Baez has occupied a singular place in popular music. Within three years, she had recorded three best-selling albums and her voice had been described “as lustrous and rich as old gold”. She has mentored generations of singer-songwriters, including Dar Williams, Josh Ritter, Grace Stumberg and, most famously, Bob Dylan.
But Joan Baez has always been much more than simply a singer. Even before she joined Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. on the podium at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, she had used her gift to bring solace and hope to people who had little of either. In words and deeds, Baez has consistently championed social justice, nonviolence the guiding principle of her life, and the causes for which she has campaigned are legion. Whether playing to integrated audiences in the American south during the years of segregation, in Latin America during the years of brutal dictatorships, or Sarajevo under siege, Baez offered “an act of love, sharing, witness and music”. Approaching 80, she has stepped down from the stage following a worldwide farewell tour and a final, Grammy-nominated album. She is now embarked on a new chapter of life—painting.
Drawing on interviews with long-time friends and musical associates, and on conversations across four decades with Baez herself, Joan Baez: The Last Leaf is a celebration of a timeless figure whose music and influence will endure long after her voice is silenced.
A Conversation With Eric Bogle
He is one of Australia's eminent singer/songwriters, Eric Bogle has been sharing his unique Scotsman-goes-down-under view since the late-'70s. His songs, including "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," "Leaving Nancy," "Nobody's Moggy Now," and "Little Gomez," have been covered by a growing list of artists, including June Tabor, the Pogues, Mary Black, Donovan, Billy Bragg, and the Dubliners. The Fureys' rendition of "No Man's Land (Green Fields of France)" spent 26 weeks on the Irish music charts, including ten weeks at the top position.
Influenced by Elvis Presley and Lonnie Donegan, he taught himself to play guitar and joined a series of rock and skiffle bands. A career in music was the furthest thing from Bogle's mind, however. After leaving school at the age of 16, he worked a variety of jobs, including manual laborer, export clerk, and bartender.
Moving to Australia, in 1969, to work as an accountant, Bogle soon connected with a folk club in Canberra and became immersed in the country's acoustic music scene. His first song to capture international attention, "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," was inspired by watching an ANZAC march in Canberra, and was originally 15 minutes long. "No Man's Land (Green Fields of France)," which was written after a visit to a military cemetery in northern France, reflected Bogle's continuing fascination with World War I.
On 25 January 1987, Eric Bogle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, "In recognition of service to the performing arts as a song writer and singer".
A Conversation With Shaun Murphy
Shaun Murphy is an American blues and R&B singer songwriter, best known for her powerhouse singing style. Her recording career started in 1971 with Motown Records. Murphy shared the stage with many Detroit-based bands, including Wilson Mower Pursuit and Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers, in venues such as Detroit's Grande Ballroom, as well as the first Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1969, along with various large state fairground music venues. She was soon noticed by an employee of Motown in a touring theater production along with Texas native Meat Loaf. The two were signed by Rare Earth Records, a division of Motown Records, as Stoney and Meatloaf in 1971. That pairing was short-lived and became defunct, although they had previously also been fellow cast members of the Detroit production of Hair. Only Murphy was retained under contract after the breakup of the duo.
After a period of inactivity with the new division of Motown in Los Angeles, she left Motown and contacted Detroit music producer Punch Andrews for possible opportunities. Murphy then relocated back to Detroit in 1973 to work with Bob Seger. She has continued to work with Seger in the studio since 1973, in addition to performing on all of his tours since 1978.
Murphy's career in vocals has been both as band lead singer and session singer. She has sung, toured, and recorded with such acts as the Moody Blues, Bob Seger, Herbie Hancock, Phil Collins, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, Maria Muldaur, Bruce Hornsby, Michael Bolton, Coco Montoya, Alice Cooper, Little Feat and rock musicals, Hair and Sgt. Pepper's, etc.
In 1993, she became a full-time member of the Los Angeles-based band Little Feat. She stayed on for the next fifteen years, recording and touring with them until 2009.
In September 2009 the Shaun Murphy Band released the album Livin' The Blues. A second album, The Trouble With Lovin', followed in 2010. Late in 2011, Murphy released a DVD and live album both titled Shaun Murphy Live at Callahan's, recorded at Callahan's Music Hall, Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Her album Ask for the Moon, released in 2012, was nominated for three Grammy Awards and won two Blues Blast music awards. She released Cry Of Love in 2013. Loretta was released in February 2015. Mighty Gates was released in October 2017 on Vision Wall Records.
Murphy was nominated for the 2020 Independent Blues Award in five categories: Contemporary Blues CD, Female Artist, Traditional Blues Song, RNB Song, and Road Warrior
A Conversation With Suzzy Roche
Suzzy Roche: After a lifetime of performing and recording with The Roches and as a solo performer these days Suzzy enjoys singing on the road with her daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche (lucywainwrightroche.com) Lucy & Suzzy recorded their first CD Fairytale and Myth which won the popular vote for best singer/songwriter album of the year for the Independent Music Awards 2014. Suzzy and Lucy released their second recording Mud & Apples in 2016, which was also nominated for best singer/songwriter album of the year. Both recordings are available on their website as well as itunes. I Can Still Hear You, Lucy & Suzzy brand new CD was released October 30, 2020.
Suzzy also performs with The Wooster Group (thewoostergroup.org) most recently in: A Pink Chair (in place of a fake antique), Early Shaker Spirituals ~ a record album interpretation , and The Room by Harold Pinter.
Suzzy is a founding member of the singing group The Roches. She has written two books; a novel Wayward Saints, and a children's book Want To Be in a Band? Her second novel The Town Crazy is being published by Gibson House Press and is out now!
In addition to recording numerous albums with The Roches, Suzzy has recorded two solo albums, and an unusual collection of musical prayers, Zero Church (with Maggie Roche), which was developed at the Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at Harvard University.
Suzzy has taught performance at NYU graduate and undergraduate schools and at Princeton University in the Atelier Program.
A Conversation With Mick Hanly
Mick Hanly: Homeland is Mick Hanly at his very best, always striving to find the ultimate album as the vehicle that will express his innermost thoughts and allow them to sing out to whoever will listen, he paints a beautiful picture on this album of his beloved Ireland, a land of storytellers, singers, songwriters, musicians, a land with spectacular landscapes to pull inspiration from, full of warm, welcoming people, it's a country that punches way above it's weight in the music world, and Mick Hanly has been right up there with the best of them for a couple of decades now.
Born in Limerick, he was inspired by mid-50s rock ‘n’ roll and the Liverpool beat group scene of the Sixties. He soon turned his attention to American folksingers such as, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, and emerging singer songwriters, Paul Simon, James Taylor and Canadian songstress, Joni Mitchell. However on first hearing Planxty he immediately fell in love with this fresh take on Irish traditional music. Together with Michael O’Domhnaill (ex Skara Brae) he formed Monroe, and supported Planxty on several tours during 1972 / 73, subsequently releasing Celtic Folkweave, before O’Domhnaill left to form the Bothy Band in 1975.
He spent two years in France and on his return to Ireland, he recorded two acclaimed solo albums for the Mulligan label with Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Declan Sinnott. He then toured Ireland and Europe with Irvine, who had recently left Planxty. In 1983, Hanly joined Moving Hearts as a vocalist, and contributed his own songs to the album Live Hearts. He left the band after 14 months, again to pursue his solo career songwriting, and recorded three more contemporary albums with Ringsend Road Records. His album All I Remember spawned the song Past the Point of Rescue, which was a huge hit in the US for country singer Hal Ketchum. The song recently received the BMI award for Two Million Radio plays in the US.
His songs have been covered by Christy Moore, Mary Black, Dolores Keane, Delbert McClinton and many more and he continues to write with a freshness and vitality that few can match.
' Homeland ' as an album was written with the intent of expressing his feelings for Ireland, a vehicle to create an identifiable sound that would evoke the atmosphere of this beautifully rugged place. Hanly strived to create images through song of what he loves about his home, his land. It might be a windswept island on the edge of the atlantic, but he wanted to say something good about the country he loves so deeply, it's people and it's landscape. Listening to the title track all those feelings come rushing in like the tides from the ocean. The stunning title track is his anthem to Ireland and the reprise at the end of the album is a truly spectacular touch, it sent tingles down my spine, and in that moment, I longed to be there.
' The Good Ship Delirious ' is a fantastic track with a really Irish flavour to it, the musicianship and songwriting are outstanding, a constant trait throughout the recording.
' Attention Sous ' has a wonderfully true and funny story that inspired the track, a tale of when Hanly lived and worked in Brittany in the northwest region of France. Unloading fishing vessels of their catch at the dockside could be dangerous work if the crane operator did not like you.
There are many great stories on the recording, I feel Mick Hanly has found the essence of Ireland, it's as near perfection as it gets to describing the familiar places, but it goes much deeper than anything I've heard for a long time, the way he hangs on the delivery of words, you feel his love for the places he is singing about, that sort of feeling only comes from the heart, from living the experience, Hanly has said that the songs were all written for himself and what he wants to say, when his voice and music sing out, we should all listen because it doesn't get much better than this.
' Homeland ' reunites Hanly with some of Ireland’s most respected musicians, such as The Voice Squad, Donal Lunny, Keith Donald, Eoghan O’Neill, Dave Keary and Ray Fean, it has class stamped all over it. I love this album from start to finish.