The Rocking Magpie

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Welcome to the Rocking Magpie – a box-room on the Internet for my 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; but I love Ska, Soul and all things Mod too.

After years of writing reviews for numerous magazines and websites, in late 2014 I thought that the time was right to put everything under one roof on my own blog/website and decided to break up the band and go solo.

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Me? I live in the North East of England; but receive music from 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 74 countries across 4 continents who receive e-mail updates whenever reviews are posted; plus my data tell me we have ‘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 to…not 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 such emphasis on that song; regardless of the artist being a household name or someone self-releasing something they have recorded in their bedroom.

Dig deep into the site; as the bonus is 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.

Press the like/follow button for irregular postings of reviews that you can read 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 proof!!!!

Alan aka The Rocking Magpie



10 thoughts on “The Rocking Magpie

  1. Alan, just had an idea. As well as CD and Live gig reviews, why not create a section for your photographs, you can be quite a mean snapper.


  2. We absolutely love your blog and find almost all
    of your post’s to be exactly I’m looking
    for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write concerning here.
    Again, awesome site!


  3. Hi Alan – I noticed that you ‘liked’ Paul Kerr’s review of my CD What Did I Come Up Here For? on his Blabber’n’Smoke blog – if you’d like a copy for review, just let me know (postal address, please) and I’ll mail it out pronto.

    Really enjoying this site … right up my alley. – Andrew


  4. Alan, I’ve been looking for your full Summertime Americana weekend review on No Depression for the past few weeks, to no avail, so I thought I’d come looking for it on your Rocking Magpie site. Wow, well done marra, 3 x 11 hours of full on music must be knackering, so it was refreshing to read your take on this years festival.
    Due to my Father-in-Law passing away earlier that week, we were all in sombre moods (including my 85 year old Mother-in-Law), but on Saturday afternoon Chloe Chadwick, Ward Thomas and young Howling’ Wilf did the trick and brought smiles to our faces. Pauline & I had also been on the Friday night to see Emmylou & Rodney, which we agree with you was even better with their splendid band than when they just did the duo thing 2 years ago.
    After reading your full report I now have a few more albums to download and a few more artists to look out for when they are gigging up here in the North East. So, please don’t stop what you’re doing, reviewing gigs and albums, wherever you lay your hat, that’s my home (who said that?). Cheers jack…..


  5. I’m just trying to sign up for your website but it keeps claiming my email address is wrong and won’t let me create a password. How do I correct this?


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