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Albums Of The Month – February 2022

Our Top Six Releases Feb 22

Paul Hoffman, Greensky Bluegrass – Photo: LTTL

Top Six Releases

February 2022

Our Top Six Releases Feb 22

By Rob Dickens

Delsinki

City/Country

Independent

4 February 2022

Singer songwriter Craig Johnston aka Delsinki has been busy lately with skippering two in-the-round themed shows which have travelled successfully (well, as much as COVID will allow). (I’ve enthusiastically enjoyed both shows – read our review of one of them).

He has also found time to release City/Country which provides further evidence of his rich vocals and ability to tap into the Australian zeitgeist perfectly – the clip below of “Across The Ocean” is a great example of his imposing singing range. The album was produced by Cameron McKenzie whose craft brings vitality to the ten tracks contained herein.

Delsinki’s ability to attract consummate musicians on his live shows extends to City/Country – a reflection of the standing in which he is held. Players include Justin Brady, Brooke Taylor, Coby Grant, Monique Brumby, Hamish Davidson, the late Dion Hirini, Nick Seymour and Kylie Auldist.

A colourful and ambitious release.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Dave Laing Publicity

Don Stewart

The Hope Of Something Better

Independent

11 February 2022

Don Stewart is a member of folk band Dalriada which specialises in Scottish music and, in particular, music written for the bagpipes. He started a project a few years ago with the notion of recording a bagpipes album of tunes by Australian composers. Liking the guitar/bouzouki parts and reflecting on a previous spoken word album (The Taste of Apple with James Laidler), he turned to the words of one of the country’s most famous poets Henry Lawson (featured on our first $10 note) and melded them with the music that he had composed.

The result is remarkably vivid and powerful. Here’s an example of the fiery lyrics featured in “A Song for the Sydney Poor” (clip below):

Long the rich have been protected by the walls that can’t endure;

By the walls that they erected to divide them from the poor.

Crumbling now, they should not trust them, for their end is drawing near;

Walls of Cant and Walls of Custom, Walls of Ignorance and Fear.

Henry Lawson

The melding of words and composition, the strident narration, the elegance and dynamism and the contributions of Claire Patti, Pete Denahy and others are a heady folk delight.

OFFICIAL SITE

Greensky Bluegrass

Stress Dreams

Thirty Tigers

21 January 2022

I’ve long been attracted to jamming, extended bluegrass/old time bands and Greensky Bluegrass fit the top layer of them. Have see the outfit live three times, their shows are a marvel of virtuosity, interplay and spark. (Thanks to LTTL’s Jim Jacob for capturing in the header image front man Paul Hoffman so beautifully in Georgia in 2019).

When touring ceased in 2020 in the face of the global pandemic, Greensky Bluegrass hunkered down and compiled demos individually, then got together when safe to do so, eventually recording what would become Stress Dreams over sessions in Guilford, Vermont and Asheville, North Carolina.

The album is an ideal document for the times, the worries brought on by the pandemic and society’s responses to it, lockdowns, isolation and division. Yet Stress Dreams is not a downer, rather a resilient statement from which we can take much comfort.

The clip below extends to eight minutes. If you can stay the course, you’ll see what I mean about the inspired, elongated playing.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Jo Corbett Publicity

Jamestown Revival

Young Man

Thirty Tigers

14 January 2022

Childhood friends Zach Chance and Jonathan Clay are Americana folk duo Jamestown Revival. When plotting what was to be Young Man, the pair made a bold decision to eschew electric guitars and heavy production and let the songs speak for themselves. Accordingly, the end product is unlike anything the group has previously released which lends a vitality and freshness that jumps out of the speakers.

Young Man was produced and mixed by Robert Ellis and Josh Block and a bunch of talented Texas friends and musicians boost the adept songwriting, soaring harmonies and intricate finger picking. The album is a toxic brew and another landmark release by the duo.

The new release follows 2020’s A Field Guide To Loneliness and 2019’s San Isabel, two other terrific outings.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via IVPR Nashville

Jamie McDell

Jamie McDell

ABC Music

22 February 2022

Born in New Zealand, Jamie McDell has been pursuing a musical career since the age of seven and was signed to EMI at sixteen. Her 2013 debut album Six Strings and a Sailboat achieved Gold album sales and three NZ Music Award nominations, winning Best Pop Album.

In 2017 McDell made the trip to Nashville, looking for a change of scenery and Extraordinary Girl was the result, followed by a relocation to Toronto, Ontario for another new chapter. Eventually a return to Nashville was the catalyst to begin working on this new eponymous album, teaming up with Nash Chambers and drawing on A-list musical talents Dan Dugmore, Jedd Hughes, Dennis Crouch, the McCrary Sisters, Robert Ellis and Erin Rae.

A talented songwriter and gifted singer, this is an album of unabashed and captivating honesty.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Sideways Media

Jana Pochop

Astronaut

Independent

4 February 2022

Now residing in Austin, Texas, Jana Pochop hailed from the also culturally rich town Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she earned a degree in history and cut her performing teeth at coffee shops, street corners and folk festivals. In 2019, she got a residency gig at the legendary Austin venue Threadgill’s and also joined Kiya Heartwood’s band and toured Ireland and the U.K, learning and honing her craft all the way.

A project born in 2019 but shelved due to the hectic (pre-COVID!) life of a travelling musician, the pandemic provided an opportunity to embrace new collaborations, create new music and finish Astronaut. Produced by Daniel Barrett at Congress House Studio in Austin, Pochop recorded her vocals and guitar parts in just two days and enlisted guests such as Sean Hutchinson, Lloyd Maines, Eliza Gilkyson and Don Dixon.

Elegaic and mindful, The Astronaut is a smooth and impressive accomplishment.

OFFICIAL SITE

Via Broken Jukebox Media

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LAST MONTH’S BEST ALBUMS

More Music Adventures Await!

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Our Top Six Releases Feb 22

Our Top Six Releases Feb 22

Our Top Six Releases Feb 22

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Author: Rob Dickens

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