Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cash was supported by Denver singer songwriter 'Nathaniel Ratcliff'

Cash was very well supported at her City Halls gig Celtic Connection Glasgow January 2011 - by Denver singer songwriter 'Nathaniel Ratcliff' who has a powerful voice

'Rosanne Cash' at the City Halls Celtic Connections January 2011

Rosanne took us a heartfelt journey in the Glasgow City halls - over to heartbreak, hope redemption and love.  She travelled with her famous deep-voiced father Johnny Cash and his second wife June Carter, and the Carter family who she toured with as a young teenager and who helped to shape her musical voice.   
Rosanne was there at the concert with her husband  - producer, composer and guitarist John Leventhal.  Leventhal provided the perfect backing to Rosanne songs with melodic and blues-filled guitar - and he has produced and written for many famous artists. 

Her set consisted of well-known country songs such as 'Ode to Billy Joe'  and also original material by Rosanne.  She started with songs from her well-received album 'The List' released in 2009:  the songs for this album were selected from a list of 100 songs that Johnny wrote for her -  when she didn't seem to know many of the songs that meant the most to him, he went to the back of the bus and wrote this 'List.' Later she realised it was his legacy and tonight she performed from 'The List' album -  'Sea of Heartbreak,' 'Long Black Veil,' 'Girl From the North Country (Dylan),' '500 Miles', 'Heartaches by the Number.'     

Then she also performed her own original songs from her 2006 album ' Black Cadillac' album  - 'Burn Down This Town,' 'House on The Lake,' 'I Was Watching You,' and 'The World Unseen.' And also her first hit single 'Seven Year Ache'  - her 1981 breakthrough hit. 
For her encore, as it was Burn night, Rosanne sang a Burns song - 'My Love is Like a Red Red Rose', along with Scottish singer songwriter Roddy Hart.  She then finished the evening with a Carter family song 'Bury Me Under The Weeping Willow Tree.'  

Cash often wears muted clothes but her 'magenta purple velvet shoes' gave her away!   It feels like she has lived through many rollercoasters, seen bright sides and heartache to be able offer us her moving songs and a voice that can crack and break your heart.  

Cash was very well supported by Denver singer songwriter Nathaniel Ratcliff who has a powerful voice.  

Bob Dylan 'Forever Young Tribute concert' at Celtic Connections festival January 2011

Cast of singers: Thea Gilmore, Josh Rouse, Gemma Hayes, James Grant, Justin Townes Earle, Kris Drever, Rab Noakes, Laura Cantrell,  Hart and his band the Lonesome Fire.  One aspect that draws me to Celtic each year is the interesting collaborations - and this night was certainly one of them. A concert packed with not only talent but the genius that is Mr Bob Dylan.

The Show was introduced by mellow-toned Bob Harris. First up was organiser of this concert Roddy Hart and his band the Lonesome Fire with 'Homesick Blues.'  With thirteen songs each set the concert was certainly pushing the boat out.  (Full set list below, which I hope I got right)  The artists performed songs from several of Dylan's' albums - 'Blood on the Tracks.'  'Nashville Skyline' 'Time Out Of Mind' 'Blonde On Blonde' - with Roddy's band provided a tight backing unit.

*There were several stand out performances -  Scot James Grant's vibrant finale of the first half with a rousing Hendrix version of 'All Along The Watchtower; Scot's veteran Rab Noake's with his character depth and challenging selections of songs -  'Absolutely Sweet Marie' and ' Mississippi;'  American singer Nell Bryden performed a song from Dylan's romantic side, 'Just Like A Woman'; while Thea Gilmore's sang his darker side with 'Masters' Of War' and 'Lay Down your Weary Bones'  - songs that are still as relevant today.
Bryden spoke of how she admired that Dylan's writing often followed this fine line between innocent, fresh, naive and sweet with lilting arpeggios and lyrics that can be so vulnerable - yet at the same time lyrics that were often ironic, strong and dark. 
'I was so much older then I'm younger than that now.'
O'Brien spoke of Alison Krauss asking Dylan to sign his large book of Lyrics - he said that it came in handy for him!  Gilmore spoke of how Dylan often took old folk tunes, and Scottish ones too, and wrote new songs around them (amateurs imitate, professionals steal!)  Some few get the 'heart' of a song and it is not something that can be taught.

Dylan is 'deep' - an often over-used word!  It is not easy to explain in mere words, and only truly though the emotions of art. I guess what it is NOT is about being thin, superficial or fake, and Dylan sees through all that!  That is not what Dylan is about - more than any other artist Dylan is about 'individual voices' and how those voices might work together to create beauty and sometimes miracles.  I only discovered Dylan in recent years after watching Scorcese's illuminating Dylan documentary 'No Direction Home' - and also reading Dylan's brilliant autobiography 'Chronicles'.  I saw Dylan perform with his Highwaymen band at the Glasgow SECC in 2006 - he takes no time to introduce himslef, but simply plays his songs with the band - and I guess he doesn't need to!  His audience was all ages, and all walks of life, and he may be turning 70 this year but he is still on that artistic road.... Words to describe Dylan - substance, elusive, questioning - a true troubadour is one who lives through music and art. Some of his albums (of which there are many and not all are great) are now like old friends of mine. If I need sustenance - he provides; if I need answers - his lyrics inspire and take me home. 
Noakes said that 'Dylan's creative longevity was one of the wonders of the 20th century.'  A concert packed with not only talent but the genius that is Mr Bob Dylan.

'Time is an Ocean it isn't the Show'

Order of Performance - Set List
Roddy Hart - Subterranean homesick Blues
Rab Noakes - 'Absolutely Sweet Marie'
Tim O'Brien (and band) -  'I Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm no More'
Eddi Reader -  'Buckets of Rain'
Thea Gilmore - 'Lay Down Your Weary Tune' 
Thea Gilmore - 'Masters of War'
Gemma Hayes - 'Times They are a Changing'
Gemma Hayes - 'Most of the Time'
Kris Drever - 'Hard Rain Gonna Fall'
Nell Bryden - 'Just Like a Woman' 
James Grant - All Along The Watchtower'

II Roddy Hart - 'It's Not Dark Yet but It's Getting There'
Josh Rouse - 'The Man in Me'
Josh Rouse - 'Lay Lady Lay '
James Grant - 'Simple Twist of Fate'
Laura Cantrell - 'I Threw it All Away'
Laura Cantrell - 'Mr Tambourine Man' 
Tommy Reilly - 'It Ain't Me Babe'
Gemma Hayes and Roddy Hart - 'Oh Sister'
Rab Noakes - 'Mississippi'
Rab noakes and Thea Gilmore - 'Blowin In the Wind'
Rosanne Cash - 'Licence To Kill' 
Rosanne Cash - 'Girl From The North Country'
Rab Noakes, Tommy Reilly, Gemma Hayes - 'My Back Pages'
Assembled Cast on stage Finale - 'Forever Young'

Roddy Hart- 'Baby Blue'
Assembled Cast on stage - 'I Shall Be Released'
'Like A Rolling Stone'
(This is as accurate a list as I could make without asking for the set list!)   

PKIMAGE Photography -


Monday, 24 January 2011

'Jerry Douglas' at Celtic Connections ABC Glasgow 23 Jan 2011

Jerry Douglas - who is considered one of the world’s most renowned Dobro or resonator guitar players - performed at Celtic Connections Festival Glasgow 2011.  
For this concert he had two highly accomplished musicians with him - Viktor Krauss and Omar Hakim.  Douglas performed mainly bluegrass and American style instrumental tunes, and also some original material by movie score composer and bassist Viktor Krauss (brother of Allison Krauss) plus one of the most acclaimed drummers Omar Hakim  - and alongside Douglas's brilliant and expressive guitar they provided a creative and dynamic rhythm section. 
I first heard Jerry Douglas on YouTube, playing with Union Station who were backing beautiful bluegrass singer Allison Krauss. His playing was of a high quality, accomplished and melodic. Later I saw Douglas at the collaborations of the TransAtlantic sessions at Celtic 2008 - where he is the musical director for the Americans, alongside Ali Bain with the Scottish musicians on the left of the stage. In 2009 I attended Douglas's Old Fruitmarket gig where he had a full band with him - and we were treated to a fun night of charged upbeat tunes.  While Douglas normally plays a brown Dobro resonator guitar, he also played a white dobro electric guitar which had a higher register and resonance.  Well worth hearing Douglas play.

GIGS in Glasgow February 2011

Here are a few gigs highlights.

8th - Bright Eyes - Oran Mor
15th - Adele - ABC
19th - Dubliners - Concert Hall
28th - Ray Lamontagne - Concert Hall

'Steele The Show' Tribute concert to Davy Steele @ Old Fruitmarket Celtic Connections 20th Jan 2011

Davy Steele:  "Passion for life and Laughter"
Davy's friends gathered for the tenth anniversary of his tragic early death - not simply to honour him but to relive his spirit through his songs. Davy Steele was a member of several bands including Drinker's Drouth, Ceolbeg, and Battlefield.  He started out writing mostly rocking soul songs, then work songs - and later Scottish folk songs and intimate love ballads.  He died from a brain tumour at the age of 51 - and to celebrate his work his wife Patsy Sedon invited several Scottish artists to record some of Davy's best loved songs for a CD entitled - 'Steele The Show'.

In between each performance the artists told stories of Davy. It was abundantly clear from these and from their performance of his songs, the great affection they felt for him - and
the man that emerged was one with a big heart and a huge grin.  It's hard to explain the joy of this concert -  it was at once about Steele's warm and generous heart, but mostly about his warm and generous songs.  I hope my photos express the sincere feelings of the different performances of his songs.

The Performers. The show was hosted by Ian McCalman and Phil Cunningham. Performances were by Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Andy M Stewart, Sally Barker, Kath Stewart, Siobhan Miller - backed by a band that featured Andy Throburn, Donald Hay, Mary Macmaster, Karen Tweed, Eilidh Shaw and Mairearad Green.

Davy's Songs.
Karine Polwart -  'Scotland Yet'
Dick Gauaghan - 'The Ballad of Jimmy Steele'
Kath Stewart - 'Friends'
Andy M. Stewart - 'Here's A Health of the Seuter'
Patsy Sedon - 'Rose of Summerlea'
Siobhan Miller - 'Eye of A Child'
Dick Gaughan - 'The Last Trip Home'
Patsy Sedon ( and the Steelettos!) - 'Sliding'
Siobhan Miller - 'Chasing Shadows'
Sally Barker - 'Quietly Song You To Sleep'
Jamie Steele - 'Just One More Chorus'

The heartfelt moments of the concert were - Jamie Steele's singing 'Just One More Chorus;'   Sally Barker singing 'Quietly Song You To Sleep', and Patsy Sedon - 'Rose of Summerlea.'
There were the fun dancing songs also and one sung by Patsy Sedon and the Steelettos! called 'Sliding.'
Poignant traditional songs from Dick Gaughan - 'The Ballad of Jimmy Steele' and 'The Last Trip Home.'   And for the last 2 songs, Davey's friends and family were invited on to the stage, and his widow Patsy Seddon was given a bouquet from her son Jamie.
There were some great characters at this concert. After the concert I spoke with Alex Reid ( lead singer of Battlefield band) who spoke of Davy's time with the band. Alan now has a duo called Robran Sante.  He said that one of Davy's biggest ambitions was to tour the world with a band - a dream he realised when he became the front man for the Battlefield band in the 90s.  A moving and heart-warming concert.  

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

'The Burns Unit' Celtic Connections Old Fruitmarket 2011

'The Burns Unit' first debuted at Celtic 2009. I took photos at this gig - and was immediately struck by the diverse colourful nature of the young talents of this Scottish and Canadian eight-piece line-up. From well renowned folk singer songwriter Karine Polwart to Emma Pollock of Delgados fame; to Fife's King Creosote and guitarist AKA pilot to pianist Kim Edgar; to exuberant Canadian Michael Johnston and rapper MC Soom T; and to producer and drummer Mattie Foulds.  I had previously seen Karine perform her emotional acoustic folk songs at several gigs - and to see her pounding those drums ( I assume to initiate her into the rockier rhythms of the band) appeared a big change in direction! 

At first glance it appears a disparate while accomplished group with little in common except their love of music and Celtic roots. However they have brought together a unique blending of influences to produce challenging and interesting songs, and they appear to enjoy their musical collaborationsDuring their set the mood altered from mainly folk/rock to the dancing Caribbean-tinged rhythms of singer MC Soom T very catchy numbers. 
The Old Fruitmarket is full of old-world charms and the perfect venue for this kind of line-up and they appeared more relaxed together. The stand out performances were from singer songwriters Emma Pollock and King Creosote - along with strong vocal harmoniesKarine performed some of her touching and sincere acoustic guitar songs.

Monday, 17 January 2011

'Broken Records' Celtic Connections 2011

Broken Records Review - Old Fruitmarket 16th Jan 2011

Broken Records are a six-piece indie folk band from Edinburgh Scotland. The band are signed to 4AD and released their debut album, Until the Earth Begins to Part in 2009.  Their second album Let Me Come Home was released in October 2010. They played a well-received set at T in the Park's T Break stage in 2007.  The band attended SxSW Festival in Austin, Texas in 2010 and their music was featured in the TV dramas "Skins" and "Lost". They have supported The National on part of their European 'High Violet' LP tour.  In May the band completed their second album, Let Me Come Home in October, 2010 with producer Tony Doogan (Mogwai, Delgados, Belle & Sebastian)
They played at the Old Fruitmarket 16th January 2011 as part of 'Celtic Connections 2011', and as support for the Burns Unit ( an 8-piece Canadian and Scottish folk/rock band formed over a song writing week in a cottage up north for Burnsong).
Broken Records displayed a tight accomplished unit and blasted through their set. Not many bands command the stage - and Jamie, along with his brother, often appear lost in their rocky yet Celtic-tinged sounds as Rory's violin adds at times an eerie haunting air. Their music moves from intimate piano ( the Promise) to charged violin and drums rhythms (new single A darkness Rises Up). Jamie finished their set with the song 'Nearly Home' with simply his vocal alongside synth keys. Their songs are mystic, exploring many wide-open and spacious emotional themes.
The band were originally formed by brothers Jamie (Lead Vocals) and Rory (fiddle, accordion) Sutherland.  I have heard this band before - and noticed then their musicianship alongside memorable songs and energetic playing, and that Jamie used his vocals as a finely tuned instrument.  They have now shed the cello and worked on arrangements and their second album sounds so much more together and balanced.  I heard this band at several venues and the best was in the reverential setting of the Queens Hall Edinburgh - where they blasted through a set of strong songs in the packed converted church that left me enthralled and exhilarated. 
Aching and troubling yet uplifting sounds.  They tour America and Europe in 2011.  
Set List 
1. Leaving Song
2. Modern Worksong
3. Motorcyclce Boy
4. Wolves
5. A Darkness Rises Up
6. A Promise
7. You Know
8. Nearly Home

Monday, 10 January 2011

Viking Galaxy Nice n Sleazy's Glasgow 11th Dec 2010

This is  a young band having fun with it all. Behind the scenes you sense that thought and care has gone into their music. The band say they are fans of Bach, Earth Wind and Fire, and metal band Mastodon and that they draw from classical, folk and metal for their music - which all makes me think genre matters not at all. 

Viking Galaxy Set list. The Shaft of Agony, The Hall of the Slain, Space Chariots, Galactic Plunder, The Sickle of Hate. 
Band members - Liam Hill (vocals) Matthew Brown (keys), Ross Keightley (bass), Mike Parkins (guitar) and  Andrew Scott (drums).  
The band appeared on stage in their helmets and wigs. Liam is a strikingly tall, engrossing and entertaining front man and he was cool in a leather waistcoat and fur top. They have been writing and rehearsing for several years and it was clear the boys were high about their first gig.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Clare Maguire

I took these images of Clare when she supported Hurts Oran Mor. She appeared in a dramatic scarlet red feathered outfit, with her rock band for one of her very first live shows. She certainly wooed the crowd with her theatrical performance and power vocals - and there are big things expected from Clare in 2011. The gig was started with the lovely local Glasgow girl Kelsey Hunter on guitar.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

MUSIC 2010

Music 2010 has taken some exciting new turns - subtle electronic to retro yet contemporary folk. The genres are blurring more and more and I see this as a positive.

The biggest band of 2010 was Arcade Fire who earned their place at the top end of stadium rock, and their sound reminds me of 70s rock tunes. Their gig Glasgow Barrowlands was one of the top live gigs of all time. 2010 was a year of many great gigs and albums - both large and small scale. Here are some of my thoughts on my own personal views on the biggest sounds of 2010. It is all hard to define now with the complexity of the media - is it about the ticket sales, the album sales, the downloads or the youtube hits...

My favourite new albums anyway, which I hope also represents a slice of the variety of sounds out there. *The biggest Albums - 'Suburbia' by Arcade Fire (indie rock); 'High Violet' The National (indie rock); 'Total Life Forever' the Foals ; ' The XX' won the Mercury with their album 'Crystallized' (Romy has an unforgettable vocal and look - new wave rock); 'I Speak Because I Can' Laura Marling (folk alternative); 'Hill of Thieves' Cara Dillon (folk, released 2009).

Diana Krall - Love Letters : Live in Paris