Surrender Hill RIVER OF TEARS
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
6h ago
Surrender Hill River Of Tears Blue Betty Records Timeless Americana/Alt. Country That Colours Outside the Lines of Both. I’d never heard of married couple Robin Dean and Afton Seekins Salmon aka Surrender Hill until this disc arrived a few weeks ago, so it was dutifully logged into the system and life went on. Cue a short car journey last week and I needed to find something to listen to for review purposes and couldn’t hit on anything that tickled my tastebuds until I clicked ‘play’ on the opening track River of Tears and what I heard via Robin Dean Salmon’s pained vocals and heartbreaking pr ..read more
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Fred Hostetler RAIN WALKING
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
4d ago
Fred Hostetler Rain Walking Mukthiland Records Defiantly Left Of Centre Bluesy Americana Hybrids To Be Cherished. When this album was released earlier in the year I was having e-mail issues and the original download never arrived (among others); so Fred waited until he was visiting the UK to post an actual CD, and here it is in all its glory. If I’m honest the album didn’t hit me the way I’d hoped the first couple of times I played it; but because Mrs Magpie scowled at me during one play, I knew it must have some merits if I gave it time! My theory was correct, and opening track Rain Walking ..read more
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Black Deer Festival 2024
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
5d ago
Black Deer Festival 2024 Eridge Park Kent Having attended the Black Deer Festival in the two years prior to 2024, I’d come to appreciate its well-curated bill and friendly atmosphere – apart from one wet afternoon in 2023 and a late night electric storm in 2022, the weather had been generally kind too. This year’s forecast wasn’t quite so optimistic, and the line-up (to my taste) didn’t seem to have quite so much strength in depth as previously, so I was a little apprehensive if truth be told, about spending the weekend under grey clouds in sodden clothes listening to music that I wasn’t too ..read more
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Matt Hillyer BRIGHT SKYLINE
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
6d ago
Matt Hillyer Bright Skyline State Fair Records Modern Twangfest That Channels the Days When Country and Rock ‘n’ Roll Where Kissing Cousins. Matt Hillyer has been the front man of Dallas-based, State Fair Records for 23 years and this, his new album, Bright Skyline which follows his 2021 solo album, Glorieta is only his third in ten years.  Combining keenly written story songs with music Texans love to dance to, a good balance is obtained throughout; lots of Twang from pedal steel and/or electric lead guitar, it ensures his songs are given the foundation they warrant. What Are You Doing ..read more
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Robert Vincent BARRIERS
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
1w ago
Robert Vincent Barriers Self Release/Townsend Music Intelligent, Raw, Articulate and Tragically Honest British Americana If we are working without Liverpudlian Robert Vincent’s three DIY releases during the ‘Covid years’ BARRIERS is only his fourth album in 11 years, and it’s fair to say that he operates on a ‘quality over quantity’ musical philosophy. The other thing about all four albums is that while they are undoubtedly Robert Vincent albums because of his incandescent and distinctive voice; each is completely different from its predecessor yet somehow they all link together like an intri ..read more
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Steve Dawson GHOSTS
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
1w ago
Steve Dawson Ghosts.   Pravda Records Beautiful, Understated Americana That Combines Laurel Canyon With Muscle Shoals Chicago based and San Diego, California-born singer-songwriter Steve Dawson formerly of Alt-Country band, Dolly Varden celebrates his sixth solo release here via his latest album, Ghosts. Recorded and mixed during the pandemic, the ten tracks were largely written between 2017 and 2023 and see Dawson enjoying a greater freedom than on his last record, At The Bottom Of A Canyon In The Branches Of A Tree (2021), where he pretty much played ‘all’ the instruments himself ..read more
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Alice Wallace HERE I AM
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
1w ago
Alice Wallace Here I Am Review Mule Kick Records Great Songs To Be Played Over and Over and Treasured Each and Every Time You Hear Them I first discovered Alice Wallace through our mutual friend, the fantastic guitarist, Andrew Sovine. I was immediately struck by her natural beauty, maple syrup sexy vocals, youthful charm and vulnerability. An exceptionally talented young woman who seemingly possessed the full spectrum of God given gifts as a natural born interpreter of song, reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt, which is no easy feat and I was immediately lured in and have been waiting for her to r ..read more
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Nichole Wagner PLASTIC FLOWERS
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
1w ago
Nichole Wagner Plastic Flowers Self Release Vividly Detailed Stories that Err on The Side of Southern Gothic and Americana Noir. It’s been a long few weeks at RMHQ, with some building work coinciding with Mrs Magpie being ill, meaning I’ve depended more than ever on the team picking up the baton review wise; and they’ve been outstanding bringing you some tip-top reviews of albums I may have missed. But now that things have levelled out, I’m back in the saddle … but I sat all day Sunday skimming through albums for release at the end of May/start of June that attracted my attention and I came b ..read more
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Toronzo Cannon SHUT UP AND PLAY
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
1w ago
Toronzo Cannon Shut Up and Play Alligator Records Mind-Bending Contemporary Blues That Channels Elmore, Muddy and All Three Kings. Nobody knows everyone in the Blues world so I can be excused for not knowing the immaculately monikered Chicago Bluesman, Toronzo Cannon even though my mate rolled his eyes when I mentioned his name, as he’s a bit of a star in certain circles. The fact that Gary insisted that Toronzo is a ‘star’ wasn’t a surprise anymore as I played opening track Can’t Fix The World a majestic mix of Classic Chicago Blues in the shape of any or all of the Kings but with 21st Centu ..read more
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Jason McNiff EVERYTHING’S A SONG
The Rocking Magpie
by rockingmagpie
2w ago
Jason McNiff Everything’s a Song Tombola Records An Articulate Singer-Songwriter That Transcends The Folk World With Grace, Quality and Passion. It’s a well known fact that I’m not particularly a fan of Folk Music in any of its formats. Still, occasionally I discover someone that transcends my prejudices and Jason McNiff is undoubtedly one such singer and songwriter. The first thing here to mention is the charcoal drawing on the CD cover, which caught my attention as it looks inspired by the ‘original’ Pitman Painter, *Norman Cornish who’s work I adore. Then of course, there’s the title, EVER ..read more
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