The Rocking Magpie

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There’s been a whole lot of interest with the website for a while now, so I thought I should update the home page, to tell you a little bit about who we are.

Welcome to the Rocking Magpie – a box-room on the Internet for one man’s thoughts and musings on a variety of music, be it CD’s, Gigs, books and the occasional DVD – usually; but not exclusively based around all things Americana and Roots; because I love R&B, Ska, Reggae, Soul and all things Mod too.

After many years writing reviews for numerous magazines and websites, I had a major fall-out with two major magazine/websites over ‘payments’ (or lack of!) in late 2014 so I decided to break up the band and go solo; putting everything under one roof on my own website…….THE ROCKING MAGPIE.

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Me? I live in the North East of England; but receive music from around the world….most noticeably  the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and all corners of Europe (very little from the vibrant scene in my home region ; which is sad); and our readership reflects this, with followers in 81 countries across 4 continents who receive e-mail updates whenever reviews are posted; plus my data tell me that ‘occasional visitors’ from 111 countries have actually visited the site over the years!

My priority, will of course be bringing you reviews of soon to be released CD’s as soon as I get them. Plus there will be the occasional preview of albums, videos and gigs that interest me; but primarily you will read EXCLUSIVE reviews of Country, Americana, Folk, Blues, Ska, Punk and indeed all things Rock & Roll where the music has actually been listened tonot just the regurgitation of a Press Release like most other websites.

I’ve accidentally evolved a ‘house style’ which means that, just like in the olden days when we visited a record shop, I check out the artwork on the sleeve first and if it appeals I (‘ask to’) play the first track which is always the key to the palace of delights that will follow, which is why I still place major emphasis on that first song; regardless of the artist being a household name or someone self-releasing something they have recorded in their bedroom. That single track has to pique my interest….just like it did as a teenager when we would sit around making lists of the Greatest Top 10 opening tracks of all time.

Dig deep into the site; as the bonus is a myriad of my old reviews (400+), some dating back to 2010 which really are a snapshot in time – some I got bang on, others I raved about yet the album and artist still drifted into musical obscurity.

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Keep in touch; let me know what you think and what you want to read more of – and feel free to keep in touch or on Twitter @RockingMagpie

We do like feedback, so leave comments, re-post on Facebook or RT at will. This especially applies to PR’s and Record Companies who don’t appear to give a toss once the review is online!!

Press the like/follow button for irregular postings of reviews that you can read in the comfort of your own home…or workplace, or the train or the loo (or not as the case may be).

FAO Bands, singers and PR’s…….like all other writers and bloggers I put an inordinate amount of time into these reviews; so please, please, please promote them on your websites, social media and the telephone ……they do actually lead to SALES….I have written proof!!!!

Alan aka The Rocking Magpie



Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite NO MERCY IN THIS LAND

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Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite

Contemporary Blues With its Roots in the Southern Plantations of the 1920’s as well as 1950’s Chicago.

At RMHQ we listen to a lot of music, occasionally liking the same things but more often than not loudly disagreeing as to what is deemed ‘good’…….and I even have my own personal quality control system; especially with Blues Records.
It normally consists of Mrs Magpie rolling her eyes and leaving the room or suggesting I put my headphones on; or as is the case with this package her looking at the CD Player then me and sighing, “What the Hell is this?”
Always a sign of quality in my mind.
Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite are a Grammy Award winning duo that will never top the bill at Glastonbury, but more likely a club or hall with a capacity in the low hundreds; but everyone who is in that room is there on a musical pilgrimage and will hang on every single note; which probably isn’t true of Ed Sheeran or Toby Keith concerts is it?
For the uninitiated Musselwhite is a white boy, born in 1944 who learned his trade standing side by side with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and Mike Bloomfield while Harper (born 1969) is something of a renaissance man, fighting and winning the battle of being ‘The Next Big Thing’ and releasing a wide variety of albums over the last few years as well as being a famous Producer too; and the two were first introduced by John Lee Hooker.
Then there is the music.
There’s a Rock Gospel tinge to opening track When I Go which takes Urban Blues down a very dark road on the outskirts of a rundown industrial town and brings it back to life with electric shock therapy.
Man oh man……did that song send shivers down my spine from the get go?
Both men have lived such dangerous lives it’s a surprise that either or both have come out the other side; and that comes across not just in the deadly honest lyrics but the way both men deliver their parts; be it singing, playing guitar or in Musselwhite’s case blowing that magic harmonica.
When these guys sing a love song don’t expect a ‘moon in June’ couplet; Love and Trust will break your heart into a thousand pieces and Found The One is a tale of pain as much as it is romance while Nothing at All may appear gentle on the outside, this acidly emotional ballad will and should make grown men crumble and cry as women look on unsympathetically.
Hidden in the middle is wonderfully fragile Country Blues, Trust You To Dig My Grave which finds Harper trading licks on an acoustic guitar (with bottle neck) with Musselwhite wheezing into his harmonica as if it was made from solid gold and feathers.
There’s no denying that this amazing duo make very modern Blues Music but with its roots very firmly in the Cotton Fields of Georgia and Louisiana in the 1920’s and spreading to the tenements of Chicago or New York in the 50’s and 60’s as the troubles and strife that effect poor people sadly ain’t changed very much in 2018 have they?
Yet Harper and Musselwhite manage to make their sad, sad songs incredibly beautiful though, with When Love Is Not Enough taking my breath away whereas the title track No Mercy In This Land is spell binding and made me righteously angry to the pits of my stomach!
Many reviewers will pick that last song as the stand out track here; and they won’t be wrong, but I’m going for the punchy The Bottle Wins Again as my ‘favourite track’ because when you read the lyrics then hear Harper wailing them out of your speakers while Charlie blows the reeds from his harp as the band rip it up behind them; you just know that these characters have lived every word in this scarily honest song…..which is why I love the Blues, baby.
This isn’t party music and it’s destined to be played when I am all alone and probably drunk and feeling very sorry for myself and it will fit that mood just perfectly.

Released 30th March 2018

Mary Chapin Carpenter – SOMETIMES JUST THE SKY

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Mary Chapin Carpenter
Lambent Light Records/Thirty Tigers

A Bleakly Beautiful Re-Imagining of More Carefree Times.

If you were to ask either Mrs Magpie or myself we would very quickly telly you we were Mary Chapin Carpenter fans; and we are with a gig in Glasgow being in our mutual Top 10 of all time, and my wife even took her Mother to see Mary at Newcastle City Hall one evening when I was stuck in London; plus we own 10 of her previous 12 albums as well as Party Doll being a fixture in her car for nearly twenty years; yet……and this pains me……this album; like her last three has been ‘challenging’ to say the least.
The concept of another Mary Chapin Carpenter retrospective excited both of us; especially as it would be a re-imagining of a song from each of those 12 albums.
What could possibly go wrong?
On the one hand absolutely nothing; if you like Mary’s deep, dark and mystical last half dozen releases, but if (like me) you prefer her earlier feistier and up tempo work; quite a bit actually.
In it’s praise the Ethan John’s pin sharp production and orchestration is outstanding; giving Superman and Jericho an almost ethereal feel to them; and What Does It Mean To Travel becomes wistful and poetic with Mary virtually whispering her words to no one in particular; but perhaps herself.
Most of Ms Carpenter’s more commercial and famous songs aren’t here; and that seems deliberate, as the ones that are Heros And Heroines and The Moon and St Christopher for example are both now structured to become very sad and delicate as the singer looks back on happier times from afar; which they both probably always were but now Mary is a lot older than the woman who wrote these songs; but the sentiment in both is even more pertinent now than it was then.
Perhaps that’s why I found this album so difficult to ‘like’…….I want my Mary Chapin Carpenter to still be 27 ……and me too; but she isn’t and nor am I any more, which is why this song is even more beautiful than you will remember.
The title track Sometimes Just The Sky is the only new song here and the spark of which came from an interview with Patti Smith; and in it’s own way could be one of Mary’s finest songs of the last twenty years.
An all pervading mellow mood permeates throughout this album; but as I said earlier, none of us are getting any younger and now I finally ‘get it’ and can comfortably pick out two really special songs as RMHQ ‘Favourites’, the first is a long term favourite here and this version of This Shirt takes on a whole new meaning as the singer whispers new life into her words of love in a way I could never imagine; and will touch the hearts of many listeners who have lost a loved one in recent years rather than the relationship breakdowns that we all lived through many years ago.
The other is a song I barely remembered never mind recognised; even though Rhythm of the Blues comes from the first of the singers albums I ever bought COME ON, COME ON. This is interpretation so gut wrenching; I haven’t been able to go back to the original to do a ‘compare and contrast.’
I stand by my original feelings to some degree, as the mood here is quite bleak and never gets beyond a strolling pace; but yet again that’s what I do more of these days unlike when I was a frisky young man drinking and dancing to Passionate Kisses and Shut Up and Kiss Me at the wild parties of my youth; and those albums are still on the shelf for when I want to pretend I’m still a young man.
SOMETIMES JUST THE SKY is what is, a rather beautiful look back and re-imagining of better, more carefree times but with the benefit of hindsight……and rose coloured glasses.

Released March 30th 2018


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McKee Brothers

A Hot & Spicy Musical Gumbo of Southern Delights.

This album was released in late in 2017 when I was having my hiatus from reviewing following Mrs Magpie’s ‘big operation’ so has found itself moving further and further to the back of the ‘to do’ box; and even went into the Charity Box one day, but was given a last minute reprieve.
Why? You ask.
Well; even though the cover art is less than inspiring (it is!) the album came from a trusted source who included a personal note asking me to listen; which is sometimes a good sign.
But it has taken 4 months for me to follow that up and……YOWZA, YOWZA, YOWZA!
Opening track Pig Feet is intriguing; culling together some mighty fine Urban Blues with pinch of Southern Soul and a big splash of Swamp-Country in a musical Gumbo that sets the tone and mood just perfectly for what is to follow.
This really is a virtual Southern Gumbo of delights, with the hot and spicy I Feel Like Dynamite peppering the palette in readiness for the mellow and sultry Bayou Man and Runaway Love which both had me shuffling along in the kitchen one evening.
While there are six different lead vocalists listed here; each blends in perfectly well to the McKee Brothers sound but adding their own exciting dimension to their contribution; especially Larry McCray on the sexily funklicious Late at Night and Melissa Mei on the heartbreaker that is the album closer, Celebrate Me Home.
The title track Moon Over Montgomery is fascinating; not just because it swings like a Baptist Church on a Sunday morning but is actually a homage to Dr King’s 1965 Civil Rights March in that city.
More than ever before this is an album where choosing my ‘favourite track’ is nearly impossible. Do I go for the homage to buying a vinyl record, Flat, Back and Circular or perhaps You Know How I Lie featuring Jeff Robinson giving it his best ‘Smokey Robinson’ on a song about a low down, dirty cheatin’ son-of-a-B that she keeps taking back; or then again there is Kicks; a cool late night R&B croon from Bob Schultz.
But; and I will regret this tomorrow, today the RMHQ favourite track is…….Blues of the Month Club; which is not only a cool title but features some amazing guitar playing and Keyboards; and if one song was to sum up the Musical Gumbo that is Moon Over Montgomery, I think it’s this one; but each constituent track is a stand alone solid gold winner; and when heard one after the other it all combines to sound like the greatest ever Stax Revue backed by Little Feat or the Doobie Brothers.
I ran out of fingers and toes trying to count the musicians listed on the sleeve who took part in recording this record; but there are actually two McKee Brothers…..Denis and Ralph as well as Melissa Mei McKee who is a Soul Sister supreme judging by her vocal contributions!
As an Englishman who loves and fantasises daily about American music; Moon Over Montgomery ticks just about every box I have for a great night out; or in; as the case may be.
Released October 17th 2017

Kim Richey – EDGELAND

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Kim Richey
Yep Roc

Nashville Singer-Songwriter Delivers the Goods Faster Than UPS!

AHA! Kim Richey……Nashville singer-songwriter and yet after releasing 8 previous albums on some rather impressive labels, is sadly best known as a Grammy Award nominated songwriter; which is a damn shame as she can certainly carry a song herself.
EDGLEND opens with the punchy The Red Line, a red hot slice of contemporary Americana with a hefty side plate of Alt. Country that rocks……there ain’t nothing to dislike in this 4 strong minutes, with Ms. Richey’s observations of all around her as razor sharp as ever.
This is followed by Chase Wild Horses; a fabulous metaphor for those long lonely nights trying to find love in all the wrong places, with all of the wrong people. This is as Country a song as you will hear this decade; and I expect all of the Nashville Stars will be beating a path to Kim’s door asking politely if they can record it on their next Platinum Album….trust me.
Only two songs in and I’ve already fallen in love with the album; how often does that happen?
It’s easy to hear in songs like High Time and Black Trees why Kim Richey is a ‘go to songwriter’ but she has a wonderful voice herself; and can tell her stories as well as anyone else; so it beggars belief why she’s not held in the same high esteem as Mary Chapin Carpenter or Gretchen Peters who she is about to open for on a UK Tour.
There are some truly beautiful songs tucked away here with the heart-rending Your Dear John and Can’t Let You go both being good enough to be lead songs on anyone else’s album; but here they just pop up to catch you unawares and then make you listen intently as Kim delivers bombshell after musical bombshell.
I know this all sounds like I’m getting carried away, and perhaps I am but I defy you to listen to Not For Money Or Love and not come up for air as the fragile story filters around your room; and……that isn’t even the best song here!
No sirree Bob! And that title doesn’t even go to the duet with the unmistakeable voice of Chuck Prophet, Whistle on Occasion which transported me back to those Gram and Emmylou songs that first introduced me to Country Music. Yup, it really is that good.
No…..for me, the best song here is actually Pin a Rose. Why? After all these years I can get a bit jaded some days; but for a lyric lover like me Kim delivers the goods faster than UPS!
“You saw a light/I saw a freight train coming/I tried to tell you he was no damn good/you heard bells/I heard the hammer falling.” Seriously? Then add a tear-ass band and you have the perfect break up/told you so song.
This album has really re-invigorated me music wise; and I hope you feel the same way about it when you hear it too.

Released 30 March 2018


The Dead South – ILLUSION & DOUBT


The Dead South
Dead Duck Records

Cool Bluegrass and Classic North American Folk for People Who Hate Bluegrass and Classic North American Folk Music!

When I first received this album I accidentally read the accompanying Press Release before hearing the contents…….’A signature blend of Bluegrass and Classic Folk’ it read. Yikes……all I needed was something like ‘Prog Rock overtones’ too and it might have gone straight in the bin unheard!
So, with caution and plenty of scepticism I pressed ‘play’….oh dear…..that is a banjo if I’m not mistaken…..yes it is; but within 30 seconds a grizzled voice, a mandolin and a cello joins it and the mood is immediately cranked up to 11 as Boots gets the party started with gusto.
Oh dear; I can’t believe how easily I fell under the spell of these crazy Canadians The Deep South’s spell……but who won’t with dancetastic songs like Smootchin in the Ditch, One Armed Man and Deadman’s Chew too?
There are surprises around every corner; and good ones too. I expected The Good Lord to be some kind of God Fearing Gospel song……but, Hell No! These kids know how to coral ‘lovin, cheatin, drinkin and cussin’ songs in a way that left me smiling like a Cheshire Cat.
On a similar theme it took me a couple of plays to unravel Time For Crawlin’ but when I did it really tickled me and has a chorus that just begs to be sang along to……very loud.
If you’ve not heard of the Dead South before; think if ever Quentin Tarantino made a film about the Beverley Hillbillies he needn’t look any further than Hard Day, Miss Mary and the cinematic Massacre of El Kuroke for his soundtrack.
Then of course I am obliged to choose a Favourite Song’ and I can’t look further than the epic closing track Gunslinger’s Glory with it’s Waltz-like ending which epitomises everything good about ILLUSION & DOUBT. It’s a bit Bluegrass, a bit Old Timey Country, a bit quirky and the musicianship, harmonies and singing all combine perfectly on a sublime tale of the New Old West and coming in at just over 8 minutes but sounding like 3.
I’ve seen and heard plenty of groups like The Dead South over the years; but the majority come across as too ‘reverential’ and ‘earnest’ in their quest to sound like the originators but the Dead South sound like they not only appreciate the work of their forefathers and ‘genuinely know their stuff’ but they predominantly want to have fun, and share that fun with listeners all over the world.
Well, dear reader I’ve played it a few times now and, while it does contain plenty of Bluegrass and Classic Folk; there is oh so much more in the grooves here that is actually enjoyable and their professional Punky/Sloppy approach makes it Bluegrass and Classic North American Folk for people like me who hate Bluegrass and Classic North American Folk Music!

Released March 23rd 2018




Don McLean

A Fitting Epitaph From one of America’s Finest Singer-Songwriters

What do you expect from a legend like Don McLean’s 19th album? Some people won’t expect very much as the hits all came nearly half a century ago; and others like me, will be intrigued to hear what the All American Troubadour who penned both American Pie and Vincent, has to offer in 2018.
The title track Botanical Gardens opens proceedings and suddenly the dark world we inhabit suddenly seems a nice place after all. Apparently the idea for the song came from an actual walk in a park in Sydney, Australia then McLean realised that it was something of a metaphor for his own life (and many of us too) as he looks back fondly on a life well lived.
A marvelous blending of acoustic and electric guitars coupled with a delightful melody and a delightful story make for a single that is just perfect for daytime radio and/or the stereo in the RMHQ conservatory.
While nothing else matches the commercialism of that particular song there is plenty more here to please the ear (and the heart). With actual Hit Singles not being worth a jot any more; it’s been wonderful just sitting back and devouring songs like The King of Fools, the cinematic When July Comes and Waving Man just because they are what they are; well constructed, imaginative and heartfelt songs that will make your heart tingle as you think they are about someone you know; or it may even be you yourself.
Baring in mind McLean is of ‘a certain vintage’ I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find he can still Rock & Roll with the best of them. I’m not talking AC/DC Rock & Roll I’m talking more 1950’s Original Rock & Roll in the style of Buddy Holly, Ricky Nelson and even Eddie Cochran with The Lucky Guy, Ain’t She a Honey and of course Rock & Roll Your Baby which is a Toe-Tapper Deluxe.
Whichever way you look at this album, there’s no denying Don McLean is still a first-class storyteller with the ability to tug at the heart strings. Grief and Hope has a sting in the tail and the love songs You’ve Got Such Beautiful Eyes and A Total Eclipse of the Sun are both timeless and contemporary in equal measures, with both bringing a lump to this tired old throat the first night I played them (on headphones) as I looked across the room at Mrs. Magpie who was ignoring me as she watched TV.
The closing track Last Night When We Were Young finds McLean crooning another touching song about ‘looking back’ Sinatra style, as Tim Migliore beautifully plays a piano in the background as a string section flutter and flow behind them. Hence; and this is no surprise this song is easily the RMHQ favourite by a country mile.
I’m not sure Don McLean still sounds like the famous Don McLean of American Pie fame; but why will he… I said at the beginning, that was nearly half a century and if the rumours are true, this is his last ever studio album; it’s very fitting epitaph from one of America’s finest singer-songwriters.

Released 23rd March 2018
Don McLean: Official Website


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Matt McGinn
BinLid Records

Songs of Enlightenment For Days Like This.

I thought I had ‘my finger on the pulse’ of the current wave of singer-songwriters from Northern Ireland; but somehow Matt McGinn’s previous two albums have passed me by; but not so the likes of Bob Harris, Martin Chilton and RMHQ friends Malojian and Anthony Toner esq. who all rave about his work.

First of all the stark monotones of Matt McGinn walking through a forest on the album cover instantly caught my attention; and even though I didn’t have much time that first morning I slid the disc into the stereo and was astounded by the power of title track End Of The Common Man which opens the record. WOW….a big, big sound penetrated my ears as McGinn gives it his all on a Blue Collar epic that had and still has me clenching my fists as I listen to it; which is quite an achievement baring in mind how many songs try to get me to do this and fail miserably.
Baring in mind how I’ve just described that first track, the next one The Right Name follows in the same steps but sounds uncannily like Bob Seger’s Night Moves, but with added Belfast grit, edge and pedal-steel.
The ‘big sound’ that combines Folk-Rock, Blues and Celtic Soul pervades throughout the album with Out Sinner being a real 100mph foot-stomper that is sure to close the night when played live; but McGinn also has a sensitive Celtic Soul that comes through like a shroud of Irish linen on the fragile Marianne and haunting Medicine Joe with it’s wailing pedal-steel in the background and finger picked acoustic.
One thing I’ve noticed over the years about Northern Irish songwriters is how carefully they tread the political path; but McGinn shows very little restraint on the feisty Rocker…..Trump. Guess who that’s about? Yep; and while it’s not very subtle, it’s an absolute belter.
So, it’s ‘favourite song’ time…..not easy, not easy at all; but I will toss a coin between the Soulful and poetic album closer The End Of The Days and the spiky Celtic Rocker The Bells of the Angelus , with the coin probably coming down on the side of the latter with it’s crunchy guitars, Cyprus Avenue Big Band Revue and McGinn’s punchy voice winning the battle.
Even if I am late to the Matt McGinn party this album of Irish-American Bluesy Folk-Rock has definitely captured my heart and I doubt will ever be far from the office stereo in the next few months.

Released March 5th 2018



Laurence Jones – THE TRUTH

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Laurence Jones
Top Stop Music

Extraordinary Songs From Exciting Young British Blues Guitarist.

I’m not sure where to start with Laurence Jones as after winning ‘The Young Artist of the Year’ three years running between 2014 and 2016 he’s already a UK Blues Hall of Famer at the tender age of 25. Couple that with supporting just about every heavyweight touring Bluesman in the last 6 or 7 years; and giving them all a run for their money (standing ovations AND encores aren’t/weren’t uncommon) and you have a very special talent indeed.
Never one to hide his talent under a bushel this is Jones’ 5th album since 2012 and (SPOILER ALERT) could and should be the one that tips him over into the Big Leagues……trust me.
Oddly enough Jones doesn’t go for a big ole’ crashing eye catching opener on THE TRUTH, instead he goes for an intensely powerful pot-boiler with What Would You Do? Obviously the fretwork is sublime; but the big surprise for me is the way Jones uses his voice…….and what a Soulful voice he has; and the song itself ain’t too shabby either, as the singer takes a step back from the toils and troubles from Modern Life asking ‘what would you be instead?’ Clever, huh?
The surprises come thick and fast, with Keep Me Up at Night being the type of FM Soft Rocker the radio needs these days, and if that were to happen I can easily imagine hordes of young girls flocking to his gigs and swooning at the mere sight of the handsome young guitar slinger, much to the annoyance of the fat bearded blokes at the back of the hall!
Those (potentially) new fans will love the next two tracks too, Give Me Your Time which even has harmonies and a Guitar Riff Deluxe that sounds perfect for Air Guitarists like me; and the title track The Truth finds Jones examining his mellower sensitive side on a piano led Power Ballad that will bring a tear to a glass eye.
The problem I find with most modern ‘Blues Rock’ albums these days is that the songs usually get lost in an avalanche of guitar licks; not so here! A bit like the recent Joe Bonamassa albums Laurence Jones is first and foremost a songwriter that can sing and play a mean electric guitar……if that makes sense. His guitar playing on Can’t Go On Without You is truly excellent; but the way producer Gregory Elias has constructed the song around a tight rhythm section and Jones’ pleading voice on a gloriously bittersweet love song will take your breath away; as it did mine.
By far my favourite song here, is one of the slower ones and it has to be said, probably the saddest; but WOW……what an intelligent song Hold Me Close is.
Even more so than the rest of the albums; this particular song really shows the new found maturity (and vulnerability) in Laurence Jones’ writing and singing and if you were to hear it on late night radio you would find yourself just staring at the speakers as the words and the passionate way Jones delivers them smother your senses like a beautiful fog.
THE TRUTH is an impressive and very important ‘next step’ for Laurence Jones and has enough to satisfy his existing fan base; but there is also more than enough here to excite fans (and bookers) in the Home of the Blues……the US of A.

Released March 9th 2018


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Hayley McKay

One of the highlights of 2017 was discovering Darlington Lass Hayley McKay via her single BOTTOM OF MY HEART in May, so my heart skipped a beat yesterday when her latest single CHANCE TO CHANGE arrived at RMHQ especially with an attached note saying that there will be a bonafide full on Album in April too!
Yippee Whey Aye Ya Bugger!!!!!
I just hope you all like this young lady’s songs as much as we do here.

Feb 23rd: Stables 2, Milton Keynes
Mar 24th: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
March 31st: Stockton Calling Festival
Apr 6th: Zanzibar, Liverpool
Apr 14th: The Clutha, Glasgow
Apr 27th: The Forum, Darlington – SHOWCASE
Apr 29th: Victoria Hall, Settle
June 17th: Willowman Festival
Sep 1st: Lindisfarne Festival
Released March 16th 2018




Wily Bo Walker Band
Mescal Canyon Records.

A couple of years ago hardly a month went by without Scotland’s finest Bluesman Wily Bo Walker releasing something or other or at the very least playing gigs somewhere under a variety of guises and he never failed to impress, intrigue and make me want to sing and dance.
But he’s been suspiciously quiet over the last six months or so……until NOW!
On Saturday I received an e-mail from our very own recipient of the US Blues Hall of Fame ‘Master Blues Artist’ outlining not one, not two and not three but FOUR projects that he has on the go at the moment….starting with this fabulous song MOTEL BLUES which is the latest single from a ‘stripped down’ four piece Wily Bo Walker Band……Wily Bo (vocals), E D Brayshaw – Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Dobro and Mandolin; plus the ever present Clarky on Bull Fiddle and Ant on- Metronomic Cajon; which all twists his normal Blues based sound on it’s head and adds a very Rootsy, even Full On Americana ‘sound’ with a typical Wily Bo ‘Cinematic Noir’ soundscape to it.
The only fault that I can find with it, is that it comes in at under four minutes long……as when I’ve heard it played live the band can stretch it out quite a bit longer much to everyone’s delight it has to be said.

Me? I can’t tell you how excited I am waiting for a full album along these lines.

Released 23rd March 2018 via all the usual streaming/download sites.