And Then –  Katie Doherty and the Navigators (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

“Good things come to he who waits” is the perfect adage for this the second album from Katie Doherty and the Navigators. More than ten years down the line from Bridges she is no longer the emerging artist breaking through into the folk scene but a stalwart of stages shared with the likes of Karine Polwart, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and the legendary Ray Davies. But as is often the way though, life moved quickly on after that debut release, circumstances changed, and for Katie Doherty that meant working as a composer, collaborating with the Royal Shakespeare Company, starting a family and relocating to enjoy life on a farm. While nourished by her life and work, her own music had to take a backseat.

Continue reading “And Then –  Katie Doherty and the Navigators (reviewed by Dave Franklin)”

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Karine Polwart announces new album and tour

mailMulti-award winning songwriter and musician, theatre maker and published writer KARINE POLWART – six-time winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including 2018 Folk Singer of The Year – will release a new album, Laws of Motion, on October 19, 2018 via Hudson Records.

Polwart’s seventh release, Laws of Motion is the follow-up to 2017’s much-praised A Pocket of Wind Resistance, which earned Karine & co-writer Pippa Murphy a New Music Scotland Award for its innovative blend of folk music, spoken word & sound design, alongside a nomination for the Radio 2 Folk Album of The Year. The new album – recorded alongside long-term collaborators Inge Thomson (accordion) and brother Steven Polwart (guitars) – will arrive amidst a 13 date UK tour, including London’s Cadogan Hall on October 17, 2018.

A Pocket Of Wind Resistance used the migratory habits of geese to crack open universally human societal & ecological issues. Here, across Laws of Motion, Polwart coalesces the familial and the familiar effortlessly alongside the foreign, the frightening and the unknown, driven as ever by her gift for empathy and accessibility. Subject matter as disparate as Trump, WW2 & holocaust survivors are drawn together by the laws of the album’s title alongside the experiences of Japanese migrants and allegorical folk & children’s stories. Speaking about the album’s broad focus, Polwart says; “I didn’t set out to write songs on a unified theme – they’ve just landed that way. Perhaps that’s no surprise, given the times we’re in.”

Continue reading “Karine Polwart announces new album and tour”

Songs of Separation – Various Artists (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

SOS1-288x257Songs of Separation is a collaborative project, which takes the theme of separation and explores its many meanings through song. Taking ten of the most prominent female folk artists from England and Scotland, this 12-song collection is a wonderful collection of traditionalist music. This album comes ahead of a planned tour to culminate at the world famous Celtic Connections festival in January 2016 and was recorded in the idyllic setting of The Island of Eigg in the Inner Hebrides.

 

The separation it explores may be linguistic, musical, cultural and social but obviously given the embedded traditions at work here and the recording location being very much in the celtic fringe, the idea of Scottish separation is also on the menu. But this is not an overtly political album and raises its issues as much through its feeling, its unspoken subtexts and its mere existence and seeks only to pose questions in the gentlest and most intangible and indirect way rather than provide answers.

 

In an ever shifting culture, a world ever on the change and one doing so at an ever faster rate, this album is the perfect counterpoint of traditional sounds and adapting to an unwritten future and proves that as much as things change, some can still stay the same. It’s a musical Trojan horse, a familiar package but one that may contain keys to the future, a future that we are all going to have to deal with in our own way.

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