|The past month or so has seen an absolutely fantastic run of reviews of Proper distributed artists. We finish up this bumper run gracing the best specialist music magazines, tabloid and broadsheet papers with our 3rd review round-up.
Songlines gives Coffee Time by the Bedouin Jerry Can Band a well deserved honour by featuring a track on the cover-mounted CD, as well as a fantastic **** four star review.
“an infectious blend of clattering rhythms and rousing choruses, interspersed with more subtle melodies”
Sandtracks by Tiris is also featured on the CD.
“Tiris has it all: clear, soulful vocals, understated but perfectly placed piano parts, rasping stringed instruments and those throaty guitar lines which warble and speak, summing up the sound of the desert…Glorious”
Take One by the Hallelujah Chicken Run Band also gets a fine review
“The perfect introduction to this rather overlooked period in Zimbabwean music ****”
In other reviews:
Dennis Alcapone’s Forever Version Deluxe Edition gets a great review and five stars
“Already a classic in it’s original album format, Forever Version justifies its deluxe edition status with an improvement in sound quality and the addition of 6 bonus tracks” *****
Lost Love Found by Jim Causley
“Lost Love Found is a very good album indeed” ****
a track from Fanfara Tirana’s Albanian Wedding was also featured on the cover CD
“It’s certainly time that Albanian music got its share of the limelight, and Fanfara Tirana is surely the band to do it” ****
as is one from Last Orders self titled debut, which gets another great review this month
“The simple, straightforward and uncluttered style of musicianship is a joy to hear makes an emotional impact throughout the album” ****”
finally, Renegade by Sharon Shannon is given ****.
Over in Blues Matters, Rachelle Van Zanten gets a feature piece and interview.
Sugar Ray and the Bluetones’ My Life, My Friends, My Music was lauded
“There is plenty of energy, it’s joyous and rollicking and when you think about it that is what life, music and friends is all about. We all get down sometimes, but put this on and your cares will go.”
as was On The Jimmy Reed Highway by Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmie Vaughan
“They clearly had a good time making this record, as will anyone who listens to it”
There are also great reviews for:
Otis Grand’s Hipster Blues
“Like a carefully crafted cocktail or stirred Martini, this collection of covers and originals has a truly ‘swellegant’ taste and always goes down smooth”
Whatever Makes You Happy by Jeff Lang
“I recommend you get hold of a copy as soon as possible”
Michelle Shocked’s ToHeavenURide is an “excellent gospel infused album”
And last, but certainly not least James Blood Ulmer’s Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions
“James’ vocal and all the instrumentals on this album throughout are powerful, authentic and emotive”
Mojo featured some great reviews of recent releases:
Beth Nielsen Chapman gets **** for Prism
“The quality of songwriting is impressive, befitting a writer whose creations have been covered by the likes of Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and others.”
Orquestra Imperial’s Carneval So Ano Que Vem gets ****
“The best Brazilian album in years”
The Hallelujah Chicken Run Band’s Take One (1974-79) gets ****
Dennis Alcapone’s Forever Version Deluxe Edition gets another great review:
“This 1971 album finds him on Studio One’s finest rocksteady /ska rhythms with irresistible energy” ****
Mountain’s Climbing!/Nantucket Sleighride also gets ****
Dirt Farmer by Levon Helm
“A careworn thing of substance… breathing a lifetime’s grit into these fiddle and mandolin-enriched songs of the soil” ****
Q also gives it a good review:
“A small yet very real personal triumph” ***
Kim Richey’s Chinese Boxes also gets *** as does Stephen Simmons’ Something Betweens Us -
“…bears a resemblance to the wild young Steve Earle in both style and content without ever compromising his own voice” ***.
Issue #269 Now Dig This, the specialist Rock ‘n’ Roll magazine featured a 4-page interview with Dale Hawkins and cracking reviews of Janis and Elvis and Welcome To The Club.
Uncle Earl were featured in a great review in The Guardian. Read it here.
The Grauniad also gave great praise to Samba Jazz & Outras Bossas by Joyce and Tutty Moreno, giving it four stars ****.
as well as Glow by Wolfgang Muthspiel and Dhafer Youssef
“Glow certainly sounds like a set uplifted by a shared muse” ****
Which was also mentioned in The Metro
“An alluringly jazzy fusion… as the title suggests, there are moments of great radiance here”
"One of this year's most unlikely and exciting collaborations that can be heard on their excellent new album Glow"
Their gig at LSO St. Lukes this Saturday was also selected as a gig of the week!
And the Observer Music Monthly supplement
“Albums of this quality don’t come around that often” ****
Back to The Guardian, they’ve also given one of a long line of fantastic reviews for Levon Helm.
“His gently driving percussion work, so important for the Band's success, is still there, and his singing is helped by the impressive harmony work of his daughter Amy.”
Also in OMM
“As wonderful as it is unexpected, Dirt Farmer is a strong candidate for comeback of the year”
In fact, the latest Levon news from over the pond is that Dirt Farmer has climbed to the very top of the billboard charts- making him the number one selling album in America!!
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