Rod Picott – OUT PAST THE WIRES

ROD PICOTT OutPastTheWires

Rod Picott
OUT PAST THE WIRES
Welding Rod Records

A Double Album Packed With Quality Heart Breaking Blue Collar Stories.

After a musical career spanning 17 years and 7 albums, it’s difficult to know where to start with singer-songwriter Rod Picott, as he’s been prolific in that time and always gives great value when seen live; plus at least three of his songs are among my favourites of all time; but sung by his best friend Slaid Cleaves.
Hey ho; that’s all in the past and this is his shiny new double album of 22 songs that just may have the capacity to make him leap above his peers in my Singer-Songwriter Top 10.
It came as no real surprise that Disc #1 opens with a delightfully curmudgeonly and clever love song, Be My Bonnie, where Rod sounds uncannily like Kristofferson but with Dylan on harmonica. This is actually a great place to start for new fans as you hear amazing lyrical craft from the opening lines…..”You’ll be my Bonnie/I’ll be your Clyde/We’ll marry our future/and together we’ll ride” through to my personal favourite “Show me your scars Babe/no need to hide/I got a few scars of my own/deep down inside”.
Don’t we all?
The pace suddenly picks up on the Alt. Country Rocker Better Than I Did; which follows and finds Picott snarling the bittersweet lyrics out and punctuating them with some really angry harmonica playing.
Alongside Slaid Cleaves Picott is best known for his ‘Blue Collar’ songs; and no one I’m aware of (inc. B Springsteen & N Young) these days capture that spirit better than these two; the next two songs also feature on Slaid’s last album with Picott making the heart breaking Take Home Pay into a mid-pace Country Rocker that will be perfect for any bar bands out there to cover; and on his Father/Son co-write with Cleaves, Primer Gray the tale of a mutual love of cars becomes a delightful back porch ballad; with a haunting pedal-steel in the background.
I’m normally no lover of double-albums; but here it gives Rod Picott the opportunity to glide seamlessly from trademark acoustic ballads like Holding On and Date of Grace through Soft-Rockers like A Better Man and Coal with practised ease.
Disc #2 treads exactly the same path; with the haunting first song Dead Reckoning yet again proving what a Master Storyteller the man from New Hampshire is.
I don’t own all of Rod’s 7 albums; but it comes as no surprise that in recent years he has turned his hand to writing a screenplay and a book of poems; and there will be a book of short stories fleshing out some of the characters in these songs; and I for one can’t wait to read more about ‘the Mother and Son’ in Store Bought and also the sad and lonely man, Picott sings about in the tragically beautiful Diamonds In The Dirt but Hard Luck Baby very much tells its own tragic Alt. Rocking story of a young woman who “was thirteen when she gave herself her first tattoo” and “When she was sixteen/pulled her braces off/looked like a magazine/But every little hurt/They all add up/Till you’re hard like a diamond.”
See; I told you he is Master Craftsman in songwriting, didn’t I?
After 21 songs that take you on a ragged and rocky emotional roller coaster Picott brings proceedings to a close with a song of hope in a terrible world; or at least that’s how I hear Little Things; perhaps you will hear something different; because that’s what makes Rod Picott one of our generation’s finest songwriters.
So; how the Hell am I supposed to select a Favourite Song when the overall standard is so damn high? Well; I’ve gone a bit left-field with my choice…..Straight Job; is an acoustic Country song worthy of Cash, Bruce or more likely Waylon with Rod inhabiting a musician that knows he has to turn his life around and get a Straight Job as his wife is ill and pregnant, which means he’s finally got to sell his Telecaster and take the proceeds down to the hardware store.
I probably could have thrown a dart at the track list to find my favourite; but this song and the way he sings it probably sums up Rod Picott as much as anything else here or on his previous albums.
I doubt Rod Picott is a millionaire or ever will be; but his songs and in particular the ones on this album will bring more pleasure to people who hear them than all the wealth in the world ever will; but by buying this Double-album you will help put food on his table; and make your own life a little better every time you hear it.

Released February 16th 2018
http://rodpicott.com/

 

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Ill River  – TALE TO TELL

carr t brown

Ill River
TALE TO TELL
Self-Release

Evocative and Romantic Americana From Europe’s Heartlands.

Choosing albums to review isn’t as easy as you’d imagine; as we genuinely get inundated with new music every week, so sometimes it’s a ‘big name’ that will get the site attention, others can be from acts I’ve reviewed before or perhaps it’s an album that has been recommended by a friend or another reviewer and occasionally it can just be ‘pot luck’ that something so minuscule it’s difficult to explain has caught my attention; such is the case with this album from Cary T Brown aka Ill River.
Cary got in touch following a review of Jeff Crosby’s last album and offered up his own latest release…..because a) The music was similar and b) there was a Magpie on the album artwork!
Well; lucky for him I’m a sucker for a Magpie…..and you too; because this album is well worth seeking out.
As always the opening track has to capture my attention; and the liquid guitar break that opens Smile For The Picture certainly did that; and when Cary’s warm and world weary voice entered the fray it quickly had me nodding my head and pursing my lips as a deep and poetic song unfolded before me.
‘Poetic’ as as good a way as any to describe Brown’s writing style; as his songs may not be as ‘literal’ as I normally prefer; but the way this song is constructed and others too (Janey and Little Strings too for that matter) are designed to make you think as you wallow in the language and tightly wrapped guitar fronted Alt./Indie Folk music before you.
American by birth but now based in France Brown’s ‘style’ probably owes more to a romantic vision of Americana than it would were he still to be dragging himself around the bars of his homeland; and this comes across delightfully well on On My Mind and Tie One On which are full of exquisite small town imagery and some mega-cool guitar licks too.
There’s not a bad song here; with every single one having something to capture the listener’s imagination but two are especially ‘magical’ and caught my attention every time I’ve played this record; with My Season which closes proceedings just being pipped by the spiky Alt. Country love song Lucky Guy for the title of ‘RMHQ Favourite Track’ by only the smallest of margins.
Presumably like me regular readers will never have heard of Cary T Brown or Ill River before this review; but fans of Jackson Browne, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, John Hiatt and the likes of Ray Wylie or Robert Earl Keen will love this album with all of their heart.

Released 28th February 2018
http://www.illriver.com/

Dean Owens – SOUTHERN WIND

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Dean Owens
SOUTHERN WIND
At The Helm Records

Americana Meets The Big Country Sound of Nova Scotia On Game-Changing Release.

Like many reviewers I’ve been sitting on this disc since before Christmas; giving it occasional outings in the car and on the RMHQ office stereo; getting my head around the nuances of the new songs and to some extent the ‘big production’ which isn’t what I expected at all.
With a box full of other CD’s to review I’d always planned to write my prose in the week before release; only to find the world and it’s dog have been uploading and it has to be said; national magazines have even been printing glowing reviews.
So; does the world need my thoughts? Probably not; but as a long term fan and supporter of young Mr Owens I may as well chuck in my twopenn’orth before he disappears off into the Ed Sheeran stratosphere.
Let’s start with album cover……YOWZA…..how cool is that artwork? If you were in a record shop and saw that in a rack you would just have to pick it up, wouldn’t you? The correct answer is YES.
Then when turning it over the song titles all look ‘interesting’ and in keeping with that iconic imagery on the other side.
So; does the music live up to the packaging?
It’s a personal quirk but I love songs that start with 1…2…3.4!; and Last Song which is actually the first song starts in such a manner; and it’s a big ole passionate Alt. Country Rocker with a Celtic heartbeat. Even the first time I played this CD I thought that Dean has finally ‘grown into his voice’ and I still feel that way about this particular song; he sounds like he trusts himself to ‘let go’ and that’s just what he does; and there’s some mighty fine guitar and piano too btw.
With a powerful song like that as an opener there’s always the danger that the artist has peaked too soon.
Oh no…..oh no, no, no.
The title track Southern Wind follows and can only be described as EPIC…..as it slowly builds from humble beginnings through an atmospheric chorus through to the thunderous ending; conjuring up memories of Bob Seger and even the Allman Brothers; but hey Dean Owen sounds like neither…..this is very much HIS SONG and one that is surely destined for legendary status on some soundtrack or other; or at the very least Top Gear’s next Father’s Day CD!
Even if Dean Owens only ever recorded those two songs he could die a proud man; but there’s even better to come….trust me…..there is.
The Scotsman’s Folk roots show through the Country facade on When The Whisky’s Not Enough; and on No Way Around It he gives us a crashing Swamp Rocker Deluxe with added Gospel singers in the background, plus  there’s even a jaunty calypso nod with the bittersweet Mother and immediately afterwards Dean manages to make the delightful ballad Famous Last Words take a swerve down a Jazzy street, but it fits in perfectly well as it prepares us for the maudlin and very Scottish Madeira Street with it’s dark edges and rainswept imagery.
Many times over the last few years I’ve said in public that much of the best Americana Music I hear comes from way outside the USA and I believe this album is just such a case; as my two favourite songs here are love songs to and about two of America’s finest sons; but written and sung with a passion that only thousands of miles can bring; as both characters are probably taken for granted in their homeland.
Whereas in Europe the memory of both Elvis and Muhammad Ali are still revered to this day.
Over a virtual Twangfest on Elvis Was My Brother Dean sings about a friend that “had no Father from the age of 10” so he used The King as a surrogate “brother” listening to and learning every single word on Forty Greatest Hits and using the songs as a template for life itself. A very clever song indeed.
Most reviewers will go for SOUTHERN WIND as the ‘best song’ on this album; but listen deeply to Owen’s words on Elvis Was My Brother and then follow it with the heart-shredding Louisville Lip, featuring some truly mournful trumpet (cornet?) in the background and you will hear a songwriter on the verge of greatness.
Dean Owens has been around the scene for a very long time; and with the Whisky Hearts trooped backwards and forwards the UK and Europe plying their trade to anyone that would listen; but that hard apprenticeship is about to finally pay off as SOUTHERN WIND has all the hallmarks of being a Game-changer for this proud son of Leith; and it’s fair to say he deserves every bit of success coming his way.

Released February 16th 2018
http://www.deanowens.com/

SINGLE OF THE DAY…..Sarah Shook – GOOD AS GOLD

sarah shook m

Sarah Shook
GOOD AS GOLD (Single)
Bloodshot

It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since Sarah Shook released her fabulous album SIDELONG in 2017; but she hasn’t sat around wallowing in the glory of her reviews; no sirree Bub; Sarah is releasing the follow up YEARS on 6th April; and has let us have an early copy of the video for her lead single GOOD AS GOLD.
We love it and we are pretty sure you will too.

http://www.disarmers.com/

Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst SOMETIMES JESSE JAMES

steven casper

Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst
SOMETIMES JESSE JAMES
Silent City Records/Hemifran

The Essence of Americana in Six Songs.

We absolutely loved Steven Casper and Cowboy Angst’s previous album SNAKES IN MY HEAD so got really excited when this new EP arrived through the letter box and …..woah….. (spoiler alert) it just might be even better!
The CD had been in the car for over a week when I slid it into the player on a cold, dark January evening as I left the depot…..and as soon as the crunchy Bo Diddleyesque riff that opens the first song Down came growling from the speakers I just knew all of my cares were about to be blown away; and I was right.
Down goes on to be the perfect ‘driving song’ with a toe-tapping beat and a chorus that had me singing my heart out along the Washington Highway* as the flickering lights cascaded through the wet windscreen.
Part Rock and Roll and part Alt. Country and 100% pure quality; what’s not to like?
Things slow down on the next song The Best Days Of Our Lives; not quite a ballad; more a sultry soft Country Rocker……think Tom Petty covering the Flying Burritos and you will get the mood; and what a mood the band create; especially those guitars and pedal-steel.
My Wrecking Ball finds Casper driving through the night in a clapped out car to see his lover (not unlike me that first night!). It’s a theme often portrayed in Rock n Roll but this has a Hill Country thread and is a lot darker than anything Bruce ever wrote; and I like it for those very reasons.
Ooohheee….They Call It Love is sultry joy from start to finish; not quite Gothic, but not too far away and the way Casper delivers his words over some sizzling guitars will make you wonder why he’s not headlining stadium tours.
The music takes a hefty left turn for the sixth and final track here; Mi Sueno, Mi Dolor; a gentle Tex-Mex instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Quentin Tarantino Spaghetti Western; or indeed a Mavericks album.
Then of course there is the RMHQ ‘Favourite Song’ accolade which goes to the sleazy yet beautiful Born To Lose Blues; a late night Southern Shuffle worthy of the Sir Douglas Quintet or (again) The Burritos.
SOMETIMES JESSE JAMES is over all too quickly at only six tracks; but there’s always the repeat button for a smart set of timeless Americana music that will still be played in thirty years time; which won’t be the case with your Ed Sheeran downloads.

Released February 9th 2018
https://caspermusic.com/home

*That’s the ‘original’ Washington in NE England btw.

Markus Rill – GETTING INTO TROUBLE

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Markus Rill
GETTING INTO TROUBLE
Blue Rose

Our Favourite German Shows Nashville How Country Ought To Sound.

Until Markus Rill crossed my path 5 years ago the only German music I was aware of were the Krautrock proggers of my youth like Can and Faust; then Kraftwerk some years later; none of which tickled my musical taste-buds.
Markus Rill on the other hand is now in my Top 10 artists of all time; producing some great Americana/Alt. Country/Country hybrid albums that sit on the ‘go to’ shelf for when the newer discs I receive don’t inspire me.
This Double album (Double album? Yikes?) is sub-titled 20 Years of Gunslinging and combines a whole album of new songs with a few re-workings of his older songs with some delicious cover versions and a few co-writes that didn’t make it previously; and the clever part is; you can’t tell what is old and what is new.
The album of brand new songs kicks off with the rye and even tongue in cheek, kick-ass In Theory; a songwriters song about ‘why do I bother’ until he remembers the excitement of playing his own songs in front of an appreciative audience……plenty of my friends know exactly where he’s coming from.
First and foremost Rill is a clever songwriter, sometimes writing from his own experiences and at other times inhabiting characters; both male and female to tell a story; and very few in 2018 do it half as well as he does.
One great example on Disc #1 is On The Sly; a raggedly beautiful acoustic song about a young girl who gets pregnant just before going to College and weighing up her options while being unable to tell a single soul about her dilemma.
Who else do you know can write a contemporary song about Henry VIII? Well Markus Rill did with For The Love of Anne Boleyn which kind of sounds like a Folk-Rocking history lesson; but also Country with its story. Well worth a listen.
For straight up ‘Country’ look no further than Vassar Played the Fiddle; about hearing Phil Vassar for the first time and ‘needing’ to do the same.
On any other record the brittle Not Like I Don’t Try would easily have been my ‘Favourite Song’ but here it barely makes the Top 3 on Side #1!
#2 is Jenny; an a-typical Markus Rill song about a woman in his life, perhaps real perhaps not; but a wonderful tale of a ‘green eyed stripper’ in New Orleans. Country Music don’t get no rawer than this kiddo.
The #1 title goes to Trouble With The Law; a dark and almost Gothic slice of Americana that could almost be a modern day Cowboy song and is probably as good a song as our German friend has ever written and sung.

Disc #2 is full of the re-workings and starts with the punchy Young Again; which has echoes of the Blasters and perhaps even the Waco Brothers at times; but Rills trademark grizzled and lived in voice makes it his and his alone.
As I said earlier; and possibly because they have been re-recorded nothing on this disc sounds dated by a day; even the covers Can’t Help Falling in Love and Gillian Welch’s One More Dollar; recorded as a fragile duet with RMHQ favourite Rachel Harrington are both delivered as if they had been written on the morning of the recording.
One of the biggest surprises here is the rip-roaring Rocker Killer on the Radio, an ode to hearing Jerry Lee Lewis while driving; but we all have similar feelings when hearing other singers at different times in our younger life.
As with Disc#1 there are three songs that all could make ‘favourite track’ status; with the beautiful Drifting In and Out of Sleep touching a very raw nerve with me these days; and the Blued-Soul of Girl On The A-Train being a gorgeous love song with a swinging brass section; and quite unlike anything I’ve heard from Rill before. Imagine Bruce Springsteen covering Southside Johnny, if you will.
My favourite track this time is a song that in my opinion only Markus Rill could write and deliver without sounding twee; and that’s the final song Angel on the Stairs. Straight from the heart and brittle at it’s core but swathed in strings; and very easy on the ear.
But there’s an outright winner; and a song that plenty of people on Music Row would give their left arm to write. Eye For an Eye is a contemporary Country song about having a bit of luck in your life that allows you to grow up and leave town and live a good life; but for a quirk of fate you could be your childhood best friend who turns up on National TV News as a murderer.
Not Quite Simple Twist of Fate; but a simple story that is so complicated most of us can thank our lucky stars we are the singer of the song and not the subject.
I’ve said many times over the years that there’s no such thing as a ‘Great Double Album’ and thankfully for me, the way Markus Rill has set this fantastic set of songs out I can still pretend I’m right; but here I can’t think of a single song that shouldn’t have made the cut.
Markus Rill? Europe’s best kept musical secret.

Released 26 January 2018

http://markusrill.blogspot.co.uk/

Abe Partridge – COTTON FIELDS & BLOOD FOR DAYS

abe partridge

Abe Partridge
COTTON FIELDS & BLOOD FOR DAYS
Skate Mountain Records

Southern Gothic Alt.Country-Folk Fights Punk at Midnight Behind a Dingy Bar.

Every now and again an album comes along that absolutely blows me away and I can’t wait to share it with you out there in Internetland…….and this album from Alabama singer-songwriter Abe Partridge is one such.
COTTON FIELDS & BLOOD FOR DAYS arrived a few weeks before Christmas when I knew I didn’t have much time for even listening to music never mind writing about it; but when I saw the intriguing song titles I listened a couple of times late at night when I was doing my ironing; and then more recently at the crack of dawn while driving to work; and the sense of loneliness those hours create is just perfect for diving in at the deep end with Partridges rough and ready and deeply personal songs.
It was the stark opening track Colors that initially caught my attention; with Partridge sounding like a prodigy of Townes, Guy and Rodney the way his lyrics poetically twist and turn via a grizzled and lived in voice over a jagged acoustic guitar and  a cello or violin.
It was only on the third time I listened to track #2 Ride Willie, Ride that I actually realised that it was a love song from a songwriter to Willie Nelson; and the actual title is Ride Willie Ride (Or Thoughts I Had While Contemplating Both the Metaphysical Nature of Willie Nelson and His Harassment By The Internal Revenue Service) and boy; is the world a better place for this song being in it!
Just as I thought I had a handle on where Partridge was coming from track #3 I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker turned everything upside down. Who among us can resist a dirty electric guitar intro followed by the opening lines “Put on my black steel toes/and my free jacket from Goodwill/Gonna get me some dark sunglasses just like Dylan used to wear/ gonna go to my barber and tell him/won’t you do me the wildest of hair’? That’s not even the best bit; but I will leave you intrigued enough to buy the album and hear it yourself.
Like the very best of his ilk Partridge is no ‘one trick pony’ as that last song proves; but it’s his haunting acoustic ballads about his home town Out of Alabama Blues and The Ghosts of Mobile that make him stand out from his contempories and peers; and not just because he sounds like every single word comes from the darkest recesses of his worn out heart.
Choosing a favourite here hasn’t been easy; even before I actually heard it I hoped Our Babies Will Never Grow Up To Be Astronauts would live up to the title; and it does with ease; and it was a similar gut wrenching feeling I had with Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down; and hearing him channel his inner RL Burnside had me slapping the steering wheel with delight when I heard it that first cold morning.
But; and it’s eventually become an easy choice; Prison Tattoos is even better than I’d ever dared hope for from reading the title on the sleeve. This could easily be a lost Townes Van Zandt or Jim White song remixed by Nick Cave as the layers of choppy electric guitars and piano are played without the aid of a safety net as Partridge’s grizzled and Demonic voice purr out a delightfully dark tale.
WOW…….I love my job on days I discover diamonds like Abe Partridge; and you are welcome to fall in love with him too; there’s plenty here for everyone.

Released January 26th 2018
https://www.abepartridge.com/home

Cambridge City Roots Festival 2018

Cambridge City Roots Festival 2018
Feb 22nd- March 6th 2018.

WAHAY! How exciting does this look to start 2018? The World Famous Cambridge Folk Festival now has an exciting little brother of a Festival to whet the musical appetite and it just gets better, more exciting and….dare I say it, more interesting every year.
Just some of what’s in store includes performances from BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris’s ‘Emerging Artist of the Year’ Wildwood Kin, RMHQ ‘Hero’ and BBC Radio 6 stalwart Mr. Tom Robinson and Cambridge Folk Festival summer headliner, Ward Thomas. Some of the UK’s finest folk musicians appear in the form of John McCusker, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, and Megson. Elsewhere there will be award-winning comedy from Rich Hall as he performs “Hoedown” – a withering dissection of Trump’s America which finishes as a celebration of Americana with stand-up, improvised ballads, and amazing musicianship (described as “Blissfully funny” by The Guardian) – as well as what promises to be a fascinating live interview, with charismatic Canvey Island rocker Wilko Johnson. Further headliners also include Gambian multi-instrumentalist Sona Jobarteh with Cameroonian blues and jazz artist Muntu Valdo.

RMHQ says “What’s not to like?”

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Beki Hemingway – WHINS & WEATHER

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Beki Hemingway
WHINS & WEATHER
Birdie Num Num/CD Baby

Emotional Country Songs For the Darkest Recesses of The Heart.

As regular readers know we receive albums from all corners of the globe here at RMHQ ranging from the likes of Robert Plant, Shania Twain, UB40 and Ringo Starr (clang– name drops galore!) through to the life blood of the site; artistes like husband and wife Randy and Beki Kerkman who hail from the US of A but currently reside in the Irish Countryside; plying their trade as ‘Beki Hemingway’ and don’t have the backing of a corporate PR Company or record label.
The charmingly kick-ass Two More Hills almost took my breath away that first night driving home through the cold rain at midnight*. Beki’s voice sounds like cut-glass as a maudlin Reed organ, mandolin and pedal steel weep behind her on a heart shredding love song.
Next up, My World Is Out There finds an almost breathless Beki pleading with her ex-lover in a way I’ve not heard for a long time; and memories of the early Faith Hill and Jo Dee Messina records sprang to mind, before they got lost in huge productions and orchestras that smother the emotions.
OK my mind wasn’t in the best space when I first heard this album; but as the weeks have gone by I’ve grown to love the stories and lyricism in Anyone But You, You Sing This Song and especially
Because; especially the way Beki somehow manages to sound both brittle and strong in equal measures……as only a woman can.
This isn’t YEE-HAW Country music by a long chalk; but is most definitely Country Music that treads a fine path between Alt. Nu and Classic and will find numerous fans in all three camps
While most of the songs here are in the traditional boy/girl break-up/make-up and even unrequited love song tradition; and very good they are too…..Beki and Randy through caution to the wind with the haunting Tourist (Auschwitz/Birkenau 2016). I doubt I’ve ever heard a song on this subject in all my long years; and for a Country Singer to tackle such a sensitive subject and come out the other side with an amazingly tender song is quite staggering and the couple are to be applauded for their combined bravery.
Then we come to my ‘favourite song’ on the album, Not Excused. Beki singing from the heart as Linda Good gently plays the piano in the background while Kenny Hutson occasionally compliments the pair with some scintillating Dobro playing. Is it Country Music? Possibly; but more in the vein of Linda Ronstadt or Bonnie Raitt at their saddest as Beki uses her voice like a third instrument hitting notes with consummate ease on a song that will break the hardest of hearts.
That’s about it; I believe I’ve stumbled on another ‘star in the making’ or at least a Singer and Songwriter that will never fail to deliver albums of the highest quality as and when finances dictate.

*Sadly this album arrived the week Mrs. Magpie was rushed into hospital and while it proved a wonderful soundtrack to my going to and from the hospital it has remained sitting on the front of my desk for weeks until now.

Released October 4th 2017
http://bekihemingway.com/

 

 

The Rocking Magpie’s Personal Favourite TOP 20 of 2017

rmhq 2017 rEADERS tOP 20

Rocking Magpie Favourite TOP 20 of 2017

It’s been another amazing and occasionally tearful year here at RMHQ during 2017; I had my own health issues at the beginning of the year and in late October Mrs Magpie was rushed to hospital for an emergency operation (you don’t need to know the details……but it was a very scary time for me) but during the year there was always MUSIC and some of the music I’ve listened to in 2017 has been staggeringly good (some quite poor and disappointing too!) but some of the discoveries I’ve shared will change your lives.

Strangely enough when checking the data we had 93 more visitors than 2016 but 117 less views! All of which still blows my mind after two short years of going solo due to musical and financial differences.

After reviewing 312 albums, singles and box-sets choosing Ten and only Ten favourite albums was nigh on impossible; so this year I’ve stretched the list to twenty…..but it could have been fifty.

My criteria for selecting this 20 was basically sitting down with a piece of paper, a pencil and three strong cups of coffee remembering albums that ‘touched’ me in some way. Some are from perennial favourites who continue to make new and interesting music, but a lot on this list are brand new artistes to me and took my breath away in some way.

20) Remedy Club – Lovers. Legends & Lost Causes
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/the-remedy-club-lovers-legends-lost-causes/
19) Heather Lynne Horton – Don’t Mess With Mrs Murphy
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/heather-lynne-horton-dont-mess-with-mrs-murphy/
18) Tift Merritt – Stitch of the World
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/tift-merritt-stitch-of-the-world/
17) Ray Wylie Hubbard – Tell The Devil
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/09/02/ray-wylie-hubbard-tell-the-devil/
16) Holy Moly & The Crackers – Salem
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/holy-moly-and-the-crackers-salem/
15) Slaid Cleaves – Ghosts on the Car Radio
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/slaid-cleaves-ghosts-on-the-car-radio/
14) Thornetta Davis – Honest Woman (released USA 2016 but UK in 2017!)
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/02/02/thornetta-davis-honest-woman/
13) Whitney Rose – Rule 62 (Mts Magpie’s #1)
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/whitney-rose-rule-62/
12) Martin Stephenson & the Daintees – Bayswater Rd
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/07/17/martin-stephenson-and-the-daintees-bayswater-road/
11) Otis Taylor – Fanticizing About Being Black
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/02/12/otis-taylor-fantacizing-about-being-black/
10) Strange Blue Dreams – Strange Blue Dreams
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/strange-blue-dreams-self-titled-cd/
09) Stephen Fearing – Every Soul’s a Sailor
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/stephen-fearing-every-souls-a-sailor/
08) Grainne Duffy – Where I Wanna Be
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/grainne-duffy-where-i-belong/
07) Hannah Johnson & The Brokenhearts – Shaken
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/hannah-johnson-shaken/
06) Jeremy Pinnell – Ties of Blood and Affection
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/jeremy-pinnell-ties-of-blood-and-affection/
05) Rob Vincent – I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/robert-vincent-ill-make-the-most-of-my-sins/
04) Angaleena Presley – Wrangled
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/angaleena-presley-wrangled/
03) Ian McNabb – Smile, Star, Strong
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/ian-mcnabb-star-smile-strong/
02) Sam Outlaw – Tenderheart
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/04/12/sam-outlaw-tenderheart/

01) Chuck Prophet – Bobby Fuller Died For Our Sins
https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/chuck-prophet-bobby-fuller-died-for-your-sins/

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