Check out the 15 artists to be featured on this month’s covermount CD: Acoustic Presents… Vol. 7
‘Northern Shore’ is the debut single from award-winning composer Sarah Class. After being taken under the wing of George Martin Music, Sarah recorded the majority of her debut album Unity with Grammy award-winning producer Jay Newland at Carriage House Studios in Connecticut. Despite her classical training, Sarah only learnt to sing and play guitar in 2007. Sarah said, “It was a huge step for me, but I want to reach out and connect directly as an artist and songwriter in my own right, so I had to do it.” Unity is released on 2 October on Glorious Technicolour Records.
Having cut her teeth in Toronto, Canadian indie darling Lesley Pike remains a popular and respected member of the city’s vibrant music scene, but has found herself embraced by major cities around the world. Forays to the UK, including invitations as Gibson’s featured performer at Robert Redford’s Sundance Film Festival two years in a row, led to the recording of her new album November in London with producer/guitarist James Bryan. Pike has shared the stage with Jason Mraz, Darius Rucker, Jon Allen, the Dunwells, Joan Osborne and many others.
A Thing Like That
Conor Coughlan is a 19-year-old British singer-songwriter who has spent the last year touring up and down the United States and Canada. He has opened for artists such as Justin Furstenfeld (of Blue October) and shared a stage with Jackson Browne. In spring 2015 Coughlan signed with the UK label Homewood Music Collective with worldwide distribution via Proper Records. His album Give It Up was recorded at t Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California and was produced by Jeffrey Wood. It’s due for release on 9 October 2015.
Jenn Grant is one of Canada’s most beloved singer-songwriters. She has charmed audiences at home and abroad with five celebrated albums of varying styles, which have jumped effortlessly between irresistible pop songs and intimate folk ballads. In the last few years, she has won multiple East Coast Music Awards and, most recently, earned nominations for two 2015 Juno Awards, including songwriter of the year for her new record Compostela.
Oh The Glamour
Music has led Alex Seel from Devon to London to Ireland and back to London again. Through his wanderings, Alex has picked up a songwriting style and finger-picking guitar technique reminiscent of the 70s contemporary folk troubadours. Alex promoted his album, Shifting Sands, in 2013 while supporting Graham Parker in Italy, and he continues to share his music around the UK and Ireland. His newest release is an EP entitled Other Paths.
The Dawn Before The Day
Whispers have been spreading far and wide around the new British folk scene about Chris Cleverley and his haunting tales of ghost women, lonesome clock towers, lovelorn mariners and hospital beds. Chris’ trademark sound is at times likened to the magnitude of an orchestra only to moments later pull audiences to the edge of their seats. From touring festivals to sharing the bill with heavyweights like Martin Simpson, Chris has created a buzzing anticipation for his forthcoming record, Apparitions, released October 2015.
Hugh Cornwell is one of the UK’s finest songwriting talents and accomplished live performers. The original guitarist, singer and main songwriter in the British rock band the Stranglers, he has enjoyed massive UK and European success with 10 hit albums and 21 top forty singles, etching himself into the UK and Europe’s musical psyche. As a solo artist he has worked with producers including Liam Watson, Tony Visconti and Steve Albini to create eight rapturously received studio albums, culminating in 2015’s anthology, The Fall And Rise Of Hugh Cornwell.
The past 12 months saw Ange Hardy nominated at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, win the FATEA Album of the Year and receive an array of five-star reviews for her album The Lament of The Black Sheep. To follow up on that success she’s now written, produced and released a 14-track album entitled Esteesee; based on the life and work of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Ange Hardy describes herself as “contemporary folk in a traditional style.” As well as singing she plays whistle, guitar and harp on her new album alongside 11 other world-class musicians.
Jacquelyn Hynes is a multi-instrumentalist and composer. She has supported Ireland’s leading musicians including Martin Hayes, Michael McGoldrick, Mary Coughlan and Lunasa, performed with Donal Lunny and for President Mary Macaleese. She was awarded the Katherine McGillivray “Get A Life Fund” for musicians which facilitated an MA in performance at The Irish World Academy, completed in 2010.
Sea Of Vanity
Grammy Award winner Martin Barre was the guitarist of Jethro Tull for 43 years, whose album sales have exceeded 60 million. As well as numerous Jethro Tull albums, Martin has worked with many other artists including Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Gary Moore, Jo Bonamassa and Chris Thompson. He’s shared a stage with legends including Hendrix, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.
His sixth solo album Back To Steel celebrates his 50th anniversary as a guitarist. It’s out on 18 September and brings together all his influences including early blues and classic rock.
What’s Here What’s Gone
One of the world’s best melodeon players and a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Luke Daniels new ‘coin operated’ show Revolve & Rotate combines his outstanding talents as a songwriter, guitarist and pianist with that of a 120 year old Polyphon machine. Luke’s signature style and elegant songwriting has graced stage and studio in the company of The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Chris Wood, Cara Dillon and as a member of the internationally renowned Riverdance Band.
Findlay Brown is a Yorkshire born, Brooklyn based singer-songwriter. A modern day troubadour, his music is melodic, gentle and intimate drawing on influences from the rural settings where he grew up. Findlay’s third solo album, Slow Light was written and recorded in New York, and follows his widely acclaimed albums, 2007’s extraordinary Separated By The Sea (“the most unlikely classic of the year” The Guardian), and 2010’s Bernard Butler produced Love Will Find You, which re-cast Brown as a modern day Roy Orbison.
Anglo-Irish alt-folk duo the Portraits, husband and wife Jeremy and Lorraine Millington from Bristol and Galway respectively, reached the iTunes chart in January with their charity single The Rest Of Time, championed by BBC local radio, Radio 2 and 6 Music and featuring the voices of 2,000 people recorded across the UK during 2014 all singing to save lives lost to blood cancers. This year has seen the Portraits playing at Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival. Their new album Lions and Butterflies is due for release in October.
Greg Hancock returned to the UK three years ago after many years overseas and quickly established himself on the acoustic scene as a performer and songwriter. His unique guitar style developed from attempting – and failing – to sound like Nic Jones, but perhaps his biggest influence on songwriting has been Joni Mitchell. His lyrics explore some of the quirkier aspects of the human condition through portraits and stories, accompanied by unexpected chords and song structures.
Emily Portman is a folk singer, banjo-player and songwriter hailed as ‘one of the new British folk scene’s most beguiling presences’ (Uncut). Emily is the winner of a BBC Radio Two Folk Award for best original song, and now she’s back with Coracle, a vivid tour de force of finely-crafted songs that spin together folk motifs with personal reflections on motherhood and bereavement. Coracle has already caught the attention of Jarvis Cocker, received rave reviews and propelled Emily onto the cover of ROOTS.