Future Folk
Friendly Faces Different Spaces
The Slow Music Movement Record Label

An Intriguing Mix That Helps Push The Boundaries of Folk Music.

Folk music has about as many definitions as it does sub-genres and folks involved.
One thing nearly all types of Folk music has in common though, is that it brings people together. Whether to experience it as a listener or as a performer.
Future Folk began as a collaboration of people spread across the globe with the intent of attempting to help push the centuries old tradition of Folk Music into new sonic territories.
Compilation albums can often be scattered in concept, and barely held together in mode; but this one feels neatly tied together from start to finish; a charming thread of musical silver running throughout, weaving it all together.
This could be a modern Folk supergroup, so intertwined are the disparate parts.
A few highlights: The duo of Alula Down – Kate Gathercole and Mark Waters, updates the ancient story of Orpheus and Eurydice with ethereal voice alongside feedback from a mobile phone along with guitar, bass, and percussion in the opening track “Sir Orfeo.”
Bróna McVittie’s “A Pity Beyond All Telling” fuses electric harp and synthesizer, with a mantra-like evocation that touches the soul, making it both haunting AND soothing.
Me Lost Me performs an improvised a Capella song, “Nightingale,” adding touches of digital effects which give the vocals a disconnected quality, adding an unearthly touch to an already beautiful performance.
Listen carefully to “This Is A Robbery,” by Pete Thompson and you will discover it is more than just the guitar loops and lo-fi samples that make up its musical bed.
The disparate vocals seethe, the tension builds, it’s a song about a snapshot in time, a moment that will change life forever for everyone involved.
Several of the tunes here are ambient, droning, a mixture of old instruments and twenty-first century digital manipulations; some work well ….. others?
Less so.
Yet, all are intriguing.
I’m not entirely convinced they’ve yet pushed Folk into entirely new places, but it’s a healthy attempt.
That said; I’m looking forward to hearing more from all of the artists contained on this magical album.

Artists: Jeffrey Silverstein, Andrew Tuttle, Avocet, Bróna McVittie, Ben McElroy, Alula Down, Me Lost Me, El Conejo, Black Brunswicker, Scott William Urquhart, Geir Sundstøl, The Howard Hughes Suite, Tracy Chow, Pete Thompson

The Slow Music Movement is an evolving organism with an ambitious evolutionary plan. It was launched in 2017 as a radio show & daily music recommendation service with a focus on largely laid back, quality music, from independent artists & labels that we’ve dug a bit deeper to discover. We then share that music across the social media landscape.

Every Bit Helps
We donate a percentage of all label /streaming revenue to Client Earth to help mitigate our environmental impact & try and make a difference.

Released 15th April 2021
Review by the Legendary Roy Peak.



Lauren Housley
Girl From The North
Lovebird Recordings

A Dusty Springfield for the 21st Century?

A long time coming, but worth the wait.
2021 has seen Lauren Housley not only become a Mum, but she’s also managed to squeeze in recording her next album.
The field of Americana, with which Lauren has mostly been associated is a wide one, and on this release, she reaches out to the edges of that genre and many places beyond and in between too. This musical magpie-ery is far from fragmented though; as this album sees Lauren formulating a mature body of Country-Soul drenched Americana loveliness.
“Bless His Soul” starts things off with pedal steel and twangy reverb-drenched guitar in reflective mode – perhaps an unusual comparison to make, but it is reminiscent of Sheridan Smith’s extremely underrated “A Northern Soul” album of a couple of years back, in both tone and musical style.
The catchily and jangily “Guaranteed Sunshine,” accelerates the album and is everything its title suggests – it’s a West Coast top-down driving anthem that Stevie Nicks would be proud of.
“What’s Troubling You Child” – straight outta South Yorkshire – is deep South of the States Southern Soul; and not for the last time here, the Dusty Springfield influences can be heard here; muted brass and soulful rhythm guitar give it that “Dusty in Memphis” feel, set off by Lauren’s very own gloriously rich voice.
“Sing To Me” which follows, starts with delicate Spanish flavoured guitar and is a song which evokes warm nights and tender romanticism – with Lauren’s vocal delivery being beautifully pitched on this – other singers might have been tempted to a degree of emotional exaggeration, but this is firmly on the side of sincerity and S.O.U.L.
“Breakdown” is of a similar tempo and is a tender homage to coming through the other side of life’s difficulties.
“Two Lovers Lost In Space” takes a trippier approach musically; and fans of the spacy style of Erin Rae (i.e. me) will love it.
There’s a cornucopia of melody on this album, but for me, the one that screams “HIT!!” is “This Ain’t The Life” – a 60’s stop-start beat, layered vocals and a BIG chorus that will work equally well in a club, a large concert hall or just in front of the mirror with a hairbrush – mix them all up and it’s a sonic delight.
“Why Are We Making It So Hard” then takes a turn towards late night reflection , wrapped up in rhetoric and girl group melody. Things stay deep and soulful on “Stay Awake to Dream” – Memphis soaked guitar and keys with washes of pedal steel, provide terrific backing to yet another classy – and classic – vocal.
The album ends on a more up-tempo note with “We’re Not Backing Down” is a Fleetwood Mac/Tom Petty union, via the American Sound Studio.
It’s absolutely amazing that this album was largely recorded in a Rotherham basement studio – it has the genuine feel of the American South throughout; from the musicians who know this sound and Lauren – who puts a very considerable vocal cherry on top of it all.
There is absolutely no reason at all why this album shouldn’t sell millions, quite honestly – forget limiting labels – it’s a timeless, classic album that puts forward Lauren Housley as a Dusty Springfield for the 21st century.

Review by Nick Barber
Released 23rd April 2021



RMHQ Music Hour Ep:16

RMHQ Episode 16
April 16th 2021

Four months in and our aim is still and always will be to bring you the best in new Roots Music and mix in some similar music from across the ages that you may have forgot about.
This week, after Bill Kirchen gets the show on the road with an alternate theme song; it’s all a bit rocky and noisy at the beginning, with a bundle of new songs from Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Vanessa Peters, Hitman Blues Band, Janet Simpson and Wily Bo and ED Brayshaw.
This week’s Gateway Record comes from local hero Paul Handyside and provides something of a surprise for me (and him too!).
I’ve slid in one of my favourite ever songs courtesy Chris Difford; and we close out with two songs for people everywhere who may have ‘one or two things going on’ that they can’t talk about.
The new songs carry on via Scotland’s Anton & The Colts, and we close out with yet another Alternate Theme song for the show, from Sturgill Simpson.

Bill Kirchen#16 PodcastToo Much Fun
Rev’d Peyton#16 PodcastRattle Can
Hitman Blues Band#16 PodcastAngel In the Shadows (remix)
Vanessa Peters#16 PodcastThe Weight of This
Wily Bo and ED Brayshaw#16 PodcastSINGLE Wild Dogs
Anton and the Colts#16 PodcastSINGLE where art thou April?
Janet Simpson#16 PodcastI’m Wrong
Chris Difford#16 PodcastFat as a Fiddle
Paul Handyside#16 PodcastGoodnight Lover
Bob Dylan#16 PodcastTears of Rage
Leigh Thomas#16 PodcastBeautiful Pain
Gretchen Peters#16 PodcastDancing With The Beast
Sturgill Simpson#16 PodcastLiving the Dream

Alex Roberts LIVE AT THE VIC INN (Colchester)

Alex Roberts
Live at the Victoria Inn, Colchester (Feb 2020)

Exciting, Intriguing and Very Intimate Contemporay Folk Music.

I’m not sure why; perhaps it’s an age thing, or a rare side effect from the AstraZeneca anti-Covid jab; but I’m being drawn to Folk Music at the moment.
Mercifully not the ‘finger in the ear’ type about fair maidens and flagons of ale; but rather some really exciting and innovative music by the likes of Alex Roberts.
This is his ninth album and because I don’t move in the same circles, I’d never heard of him before he sent me a very polite e-mail a few weeks back about this release; but I’ve had a couple of days when this is all I’ve played at home.
For a Live Album recorded in a pub; the sound quality is exceptional; adding a warm texture to Robert’s well rounded and expressive voice, but oddly making his acoustic guitar playing sound as sharp as a cutthroat razor; right from the opening track Wandering Aengus.
I don’t want to put off my regular readers when I tell you that this is a re-working of a WB Yeats poem; fear not …… this is actually a darkly beautiful tale; accompanied by bouzouki playing so intricate, I swear at least two strings must have become entwined by the end.
Yes; of course this is Folk Music; but the universal kind that you ‘get’ where Alex Roberts is coming from when you hear his plaintive rendering of Leadbelly’s In The Pines …….. woah…… woah and thrice woah; while this is stark and brooding; you can not only hear a pin drop in the room; but I guess the audience were afraid to breathe out for fear of spoiling the hypnotic mood coming from the small stage.
If you’re still not convinced; Roberts’ almost reinvents Richard Thompson’s Modern Classic; Vincent Black Lightning, slowing it down to a snail’s pace which allows each word and note to hover above you before fading into the ether.
Strangely with those two songs here it’s actually Alex’s own songs that are why this is album is worth taking a punt on.
Love Too Strong is exactly what you would hope a song of that title would suggest; only better; and the oddly titled Petrichor is just as quietly stunning even if you weren’t to know that it is a love song to the singer’s wife.
Personally I love the way Robert’s generally doesn’t start singing straight away on his songs; allowing his dexterity on the guitar enough room to guide you towards the words like a flickering candle; nowhere better than the biting Carry Me and The Pyramid too.
Even though this is a Live Album, most of the extraneous bits have been edited out; leaving the music to have the frisson of a live setting; but no boring whooping and wailing to get in the way of future plays.
Now; selecting a Favourite Song has been difficult; as so much here is well worthy of your valuable time; yet easy as who among us doesn’t like a song about a Peregrine Falcon?
Seriously I was smitten with Hacking Back to The Wild the first time I heard it; not realising what the subject matter was. But; the more I’ve heard it it, the more this particularly moving song has stayed with me.
It’s songs like this one which leave me standing in awe at the skill and imagination that musicians have and use to paint pictures with words and music alone, in a way I can’t even dream about, especially when they are as delicate as the instrumental, Durdle Door.
For the uninitiated like myself Alex Roberts comes from the school of Folk musicians that spawned John Martyn, Richard Thompson, Bert Jansch and arguably; the young Tom Waits and that’s not too much of a stretch; trust me.

Released April 20th 2021



Jason McNiff
Dust of Yesterday
Tombola Records

A Singer-Songwriter Deluxe That Transcends Simple Genrefication

I was rather smitten by Jason McNiff’s last release, Joy & Independence in 2018; and a lot has happened in his life in the intervening years, most notably his leaving of London and settling in windswept and interesting Hastings on the South Coast.
While that last release was stark and basic in construction; here McNiff has upped the ante right from opening song For The First Time, which sets the tone quite beautifully, with the singer’s silky voice and dextrous finger-picked guitar styling complimented by (producer) Roger Askew, Beth Porter and Basia Bartz who add not just musical accompaniment; but a touch of class too, albeit in the shadows.
Sometimes I find myself having to think carefully about the words I use (not that you would notice!) as some can be taken ‘the wrong way’; and here I want to use ‘charming’ to describe the overall feeling that Jason’s songs leave on me; but I don’t want you to think for a second that they are ‘twee’ in any shape or form.
Far from it; the title track Dust of Yesterday and Wherever I Choose too; are beautifully constructed and eloquent modern Folk Songs; but have a sharp Americana ‘edge’ to the words and the way McNiff plays with imagery; yet they still sound quite ‘lovely’ ….. which is quite a trick to pull off.
Many years ago, when he first moved to London it coincided with Bert Jansch’s final weekly residency at the 12 Bar Club; and McNiff was at first entranced watching the Master Craftsman at work, then the two became friends ……. and Jansch’s legacy lives on through McNiff and the Folk Cognoscenti will be thrilled to hear the guitar playing on songs like Mary Jane and A Load Along; but the younger man’s vocal styling owes a lot more to the likes of Mark Knopfler, Paul Simon and Jackson Browne; and it’s no stretch to think his songwriting is in a similar vein too.
While intrinsically set in the world of English Folk Music; Jason McNiff’s song construction has more than a whiff of Americana in it too as Try For The Sky and the tragically beautiful If You Could See Me Now prove every time I hear them.
If you accidentally caught him at a Songwriter’s night somewhere you’d be left puzzled whether he was an American trying to sound English; or vice versa; and that’s meant as a compliment as he will fit in both well on both sides of the Atlantic.
As I say many times; this is an old fashioned long playing record and will be best served by you sitting comfortably and letting the music seep in; but there are two very notable songs that deserve special mention and therefore tie for the accolade of RMHQ Favourite Song.
Damaged Woman is both claustrophobic and fascinating; is it a story? A poem? A fantasy? Each of us will draw our own conclusion and; again …. that’s quite a trick to pull off.
Then; there is Tom; a gentle tale that weaves in between being a love story for a long lost friend; and perhaps even something of a ghost story ……. quintessentially English in style; but will tug on heartstrings all around the world.
There’s much to like about this album; and Jason McNiff himself; not least the richness to his voice, which makes these songs quite timeless yet contemporary at the same time and especially the way the guitar interludes within the songs; allow the stories to breathe and develop; allowing the listen to really envelope themselves with the music.
. Although I’ve said Jason McNiff is probably most at home on the Folk Circuit; don’t pigeon-hole him; judging by this album he is a Singer-Songwriter Deluxe that transcends simple genrefication; try him ….. you’ll like him.

Released April 16th 2021


Mary Karlzen SHINE

Mary Karlzen
Y&T Records

Back To Where It All Started For an Alternative to Traditional Country Music.

Both Mary Karlzen and her label Y&T Records are new to me; but a cursory glance at both of their bios shows they’ve been around a long time; and our paths should have crossed before now.
The interesting part of the relationship is that Mary was one of Miami labels’ Y&T’s first signings in the 1990’s (alongside The Mavericks!) and after Major League success on Atlantic and Dualtone; Mary has returned to home base for this; and hopefully future releases.
I was still looking at the quaint cover as the first song spooled out of the office speakers; and for some reason the two don’t match. I was expecting something akin to a Folk Songstress; but what we get is a good ole Friday Night Honky Tonker ……. with scorching electric guitar and pedal-steel, while Tennessee Three bass n drums align themselves to a velvety, worldly wise set of female vocals purring out a smashing toe-tapper of a heartbreaker on Slowly Disappear.
I knew that I was in for the long haul after four exquisite minutes!
The mood and pace drops quite dramatically on Track #2; One Step Away From Home, but the class still comes across in every purred word and strummed note.
After four ‘listens’ this is one of those rare albums that will sound just as good on your home stereo as they will in the car on a hot n dusty road trip.
Erring on the side of more Traditional Country Music; Try To Find, You Still Belong To Me and Something That I Missed still manage to sound as edgy and Alt. as many of today’s young ladies in their check shirts, tight Levi’s and cowboy boots can only dream of releasing.
On the other hand; and to my ears Mary excels when she slows things down and goes into introspective singer-songwriter mode; with I’ll Be There and the title track Shine having the ability to not just break your heart, but to melt the shattered parts too.
While this is most certainly a ‘Country Album’ in spirit and in deed; Mary Karlzen isn’t afraid to take risks with her songs; which is where The Burgeoning Road and Left Alone come into play; stopping you dead in your tracks, making you listen to the words more carefully than you might have originally intended ….. but, trust me ….. it’s well worth it.
From start to finish SHINE has been a joy and a surprise in equal measures; and selecting an individual Favourite Track has been a difficult choice; although I’ve now narrowed it down to two rather special songs; the Twangtastic and feisty Try To Find, which conjures up memories of me first discovering Bloodshot singers Lydia Loveless and Sarah Shook.
The other is just as raucous and erudite; Dumb Game is the type of song that you will only hear fleetingly on the car radio and then miss the name of the singer; then haunting you until it comes on again a week or mare later and you ssshh everyone so you can hear the singers name; then when you do ……. it’s off to the Record Shop to buy the album; without stopping at Go or collecting $200!!
Although it’s only April and I already have a dozen or so titles in my Top 20 albums of 2021 file; I’m damned sure SHINE by Mary Karlzen will feature in there somewhere come Christmas …… what a find (after all these years).

Released April 9th 2021


Ltd Edition – first 500 CD’s signed by Mary and include an Art Card too.

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:14

If you’re listening ‘live’ it’s Good Friday – if not, it isn’t!
A belting show this week with more loud R&B than normal …. but that’s the mood I’m in; plus two EXCLUSIVE FIRST PLAYS, singer-songwriter Steve Grozier’s new single AND a first play for a track from the forthcoming Danny and The Champions of The World Live Album, Los Campeones which comes out at the end of April.
The Gateway Record this week comes from Scottish singer Roseanne Reid and it’s a surprise on two level; it’s a lot rockier and grittier than I’d have expected plus it’s our first ‘doubler’ ….. keep listening to hear what it is.

Until next week; thanks for listening.

EASTER Good Friday#14 Podcast
Hitman Blues Band#14 PodcastNot My Circus Not My Monkey
Dr Feelgood#14 PodcastNo more milk and alcohol
Bottle Rockets#14 PodcastBuilding Chryslers
Danny and the Champs#14 PodcastNever in the Moment (live) EXCLUSIVE
LindisfarneLocal#14 PodcastMeet me on the corner
Brigitte DeMeyer#14 PodcastAlready In
Steve Grozier#14 PodcastPower in the Light
Lucinda Williams#14 PodcastPineola
Jarrod Dickenson#14 PodcastYour Heart
Roseanne ReidGateway#14 PodcastYou underestimate me
Steve EarleGateway#14 PodcastJohnny Come Lately
Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa#14 PodcastSittin on top of the world
New Moon Jelly Roll Rockers#14 PodcastMessin with the kid (ft Jim Dickinson)
Rev’d Peyton#14 PodcastNothin’s easy but you and me

RMHQ Music Hour Ep:13

RMHQ Music Hour
Episode 13
March 26th 2021

It’s all coming along nicely, but it doesn’r get any easier cramming 2 hours of music into 1 hour of radio! This week we’ve got a dodgy balance of old and new songs that will intrigue. fascinate and make you buy some music.
The Gateway Record comes from Canadian Singer-Songwriter Terra Spencer who has selected a fellow countryman; and coincidentally ‘Friend of the Rocking Magpie’ ….. Stephen Fearing.

Thanks for listening; stay safe, wear a mask and thanks for listening.


BDM Music

A Limpid Honesty and Beauty in Her Prose That Shines Through Every Song

Brigitte DeMeyer has been making music for over 20 years. Originally based in California, she moved to Nashville and succeeded in developing not just a career in music but in forging some very strong and tight friendships.
However, a family situation has meant that she needed to re-locate back to San Francisco and break away from Music City.
But through the wonders of modern technology, her conducive friendships somehow became stronger and tighter, continuing to function effectively, despite the distance.

Seeker will be her 8th. album since “Another Thousand Miles” debuted in 2001.
Having previously toured and worked with The Wood Brothers it was a no-brainer to not just involve them but co-write all but one of the songs with their multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix, who also took on the additional production duties.
Of course Oliver and Chris Wood join Mr. Rix on some of the tracks and Brigitte’s best friend and Godmother to her son; sister Alfreda McCrary can be heard on the backing vocals.

All the Blue” kicks off the proceedings with Jano Rix on his special shuitar, plus guests JP Ruggieri on pedal steel & acoustic guitars and Viktor Krauss on upright bass.
Brigitte takes both the lead and background vocals and tells the tale of a hardworking cowboy friend, with a haunting chorus of “but when the night comes, that’s when your soul hums, a poorboy looking at that rich mans run”.
Alfreda McCrary provides the backing vocals to the slinky “Cat Man Do” whilst Jano contributes more shuitar plus sublime piano and organ.

Just the 2 main protagonists feature on the bluesy protestations of “Calamity Gone”, whilst they are again joined by Ruggieri on serene acoustic guitar for the love song ‘Already In” touchingly dedicated to Brigitte’s husband, including the lyrics
We could be anywhere or nowhere,
I could be alone,
But if you’re there on the square
I call it home,
You’ll never know how to,
no need to convince,
but a heart that wants you,
you’re already in”.
Viktor Krauss returns on the jazzy “Ain’t No Mister” with further superb keys from Rix.

Poignantly dedicated to DeMeyers’ son, without being anyway near piteous, “Roots and Wings and Bones” is all about mothers who sacrifice everything for the well-being of filials.

The ambrosial title track “Seeker” was written when she had returned to California reflecting on missing all her buddies, some 2,000 miles to the East.

It was so difficult trying to select a favourite track. Nevertheless, in a close second place on this glorious new release that undoubtedly straddles so many genres whilst never falling into any is “Louisiana” apparently DeMeyers favourite US City (and mine too btw).
Amazingly, she and I also agree on our overall favourite song, “Salt of the Earth” which is all about trust and connectivity, featuring the full contingent of The Wood Brothers plus Kris Donegan on electric guitar and once again Alfreda, just one of a choir of backing vocalists.

In summary, I thought very highly of her previous release “Mockingbird Soul” with long-term collaborator and another seriously multi-talented musician in Will Kimbrough. However, Seeker elevates Brigitte DeMeyer into the upper echelons of my all-time favourite female lyricists and singers.
There is a limpid honesty and beauty in her prose that shines through the ever indelible, magical music of Jano Rix; and means I need to revisit not just her earlier work but that of The Wood Brothers, as well.

Review by Jack Kidd (Broadcaster Extraordinaire) – “Messin’ with the Kidd” on lionheartradio.com

Released on 26th. March 2021


Son of The Velvet Rat SOLITARY COMPANY

Son of The Velvet Rat
Solitary Company
Fluff & Gravy Records

Grizzled, Aching and Enigmaticly Poetic Folk Rock

To be perfectly honest I didn’t review The Son of The Velvet Rat’s previous albums DORADO and MONKEY YEARS #2, simply on the basis of the band/duo’s name ……. I regularly do the same if I don’t like an album’s artwork.
Childish? Perhaps.
But in my defence I think of the albums I receive as if I’m in a record shop flicking through the racks looking for something new and ‘interesting’ ….. okay, I may miss out on some gems, but it’s pretty much held me well over the years; and I doubt anyone has gone bankrupt because I didn’t write about their music.
So; as SOTVR haven’t changed their moniker so why am I writing a review? Well; I now have three copies of SOLITARY COMPANY from three very different sources in Europe and the USA …… someone out there wants me to hear them!!
So; not knowing what to expect, I pressed ‘play’ …… hmmm; interesting …… opening track Alicia is very, very interesting. The song’s construction errs on the side of Alt. Folk but with complex and fascinating instrumentation; and that’s before Georg Altziebler makes an appearance with a world weary and wheezy vocal; akin to Nick Cave or (check out our recent review) Harry Dean Stanton on a song of lost love and the despair it creates.
The titular Solitary Company follows and the mood Geog, wife Heike and a multitude of musicians creates is almost claustrophobic and certainly cinematic; of the Noir persuasion methinks.
As we flit in and out of the couple’s songs they get darker and ever more eloquent; touching on Leonard Cohen and Scott Walker territory at times; none more so than the windswept Remember Me and 11 & 9 (which I need to play again through headphones as I’m sure it will unravel like a roll of glittery wool if I do).
I’m pleased to say that SOTVR’s exemplary musicianship means that there is actual light and shade as the moods vary quite dramatically as the album progresses; Beautiful Disarray virtually ‘rocks’ in a mid-period Cohen manner; and Ferris Wheel is as near a toe-tapper as they will probably ever get; but still has the capacity to sound a little bit scary around the edges.
For my Favourite track I’m unable to choose between the Western tinged Remember Me and Stardust too, with its punchy drumming and rumbling guitars, and the other coming from the polar opposite end of the spectrum; The Waterlily and the Dragonfly which most certainly comes from the Leonard Cohen book of enigmatic Poetic Folk Rock music; and it just has to be sung in a grizzled, aching and dare I say it? Sexy tone like Georg Altziebler makes sound so natural.
It now appears that the three people who sent me copies of SOLITARY COMPANY know my musical taste better than I do myself; and this Austrian couple who now live on the edges of Joshua Tree are firm favourites at RMHQ.
Thank you all …… and most of all; thank you Georg and Heike.

Released March 19th 2021