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Archive for the ‘Forthcoming Gig Previews’ Category

On Friday March 16th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Rod Picott back to The Greystones as part of his latest European tour. Rod will be playing songs from brand new double album Out Past The Wires. Support comes from Boss Caine. Advance tickets priced at £10 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/418076 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the night will be £12. Doors open 8pm. This is show #1 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***ROD PICOTT***

Seventeen years ago Rod Picott dropped his tool belt, picked up an acoustic guitar and released his first album Tiger Tom Dixon’s Blues. The acclaimed debut put a nail in the coffin of his construction career and ignited his second career as a singer-songwriter. With his new album, Out Past The Wires, that second career reveals itself in full flame.

The sprawling twenty-two song Out Past The Wires ranges from whispery ballads to guitar driven rockers and hits every musical spot between. Like much of Picott’s catalog, many of the songs on Out Past The Wires center around the lives of working people and the losses, defeats and small victories that can come hard won in a calloused world. It is here in the ordinary where Picott finds the gold he mines so beautifully on songs such as “Take Home Pay” – one of four songs written with longtime friend and co-writer Slaid Cleaves.

 

“I’m on my way down to the pawnshop
A couple hundred is all I need
If I have to I’ll hit the blood bank
I’m bone dry but I can always bleed”

But there is also an air of defiance that runs through many of the songs this time around. On “Fire Inside” Picott growls.

“I got fire down inside
a heart darlin’ beating hard and wild
In the pouring rain
I will stand and testify
Cause I got a fire down inside.”

Picott’s eye for the revealing detail and sense of empathy has brought praise from music critics since his debut and those qualities, as well as a potent defiance is on full display across Out Past The Wires. Now 52 years old and nine albums into his music career Picott is more prolific than ever. The twenty-two songs were culled from a staggering number of seventy-eight. In the two years between Fortune and Out Past The Wires, Picott has also become a published poet (God In His Slippers – Mezcalita Press) written a screenplay and is releasing collection of short stories, also titled Out Past The Wires, that accompanies the release of the album. Many of the characters from the songs on the album find their stories expanded and even more finely detailed in the book.

For production duties Picott turned again to Neilson Hubbard (Kim Richey, Matthew Perryman Jones) who produced Picott’s most recent album Fortune.  The recording band consisted of Will Kimbrough/Electric Guitars (Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Rodney Crowell) Lex Price/Bass (K.D. Lang), Evan Hutchings/Drums (Brandi Carlisle) and Kris Donegan/Electric Guitars (Sara Evans). The band worked quickly in studio, relying on the instincts of world-class players and Hubbard’s steady hand to guide the ambitious project.

Out Past The Wires is the latest and one of the most potent pieces of work from Rod Picott since he left his hammer to rust and sharpened a new set of tools all those years ago. Picott will be touring throughout 2018 and 2019 in support of the album and book release.

http://rodpicott.com

 

***BOSS CAINE***

Boss Caine is the main musical vehicle of hard living, permanently gigging, story telling, troubadouring, award winning, UK singer songwriter, Daniel Lucas. He is often joined by any number of incredibly talented guest musicians.

Boss Caine released their debut album: ‘The Ship That Sailed’, on independent label Little Num Num Music, in 2010. The record contains a selection of tunes written by Lucas over the last few years; a time that saw him leave his home town for London, before returning to York and putting together the line-up of local musicians that would become Boss Caine. Years of hard living, hard drinking and love turned sour inform an album that at times visits some quite dark places, but is ultimately carried along by a healthy dose of Northern positivity and stoicism.

Follow up The Rhythm And The Rhyme brought further acclaim in 2012, and later in March brand new record Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love is finally released.

Stunning UK talent!!…Really Something!!” – Bob Harris BBC Radio 2

http://www.facebook.com/bosscaine

 

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On the afternoon of Saturday March 17th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes M&J Blues, Franc Cinelli and Andy P. Davison to The Greystones,  appearing “in the round” for a singer/songwriter show. Advance tickets priced at £5 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424856 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the day will be £6. Doors open 3pm. This is show #2 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***M&J BLUES***

M&J Blues are father and son Mark & Jeff Lyall. They’re regular performers at many Sheffield venues doing their bluesy country rock ‘n’ roll thing. They recorded and released live album In The Presence Of Friends in 2016 and continue to delight their ever growing army of fans.

http://www.facebook.com/groups/11483654339/

 

***FRANC CINELLI***

Bucking the trend with his free-wheeling alternative folk Franc Cinelli is the songwriters’ songwriter. From uptempo torch songs to blues laden road journals and lovestruck serenades to defiant, prison outlaw ballads; Franc has carved his own musical path. Like all good troubadours, he spent a lot of time touring by himself before making records. Not just the length and breadth of the UK (quite literally from Hastings to Stornoway) but throughout the East Coast of the USA, Texas & Tennessee, and in his native Italy.

http://www.franccinelli.com

 

***ANDY P. DAVISON***

When he’s not playing shows as part of The Black Thunder Revue, Andy flies solo with his trusty resonator guitar. The sound is rooted in Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll, but draws on many styles.

http://www.facebook.com/APDavison

 

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On Saturday March 17th, WagonWheel Presents… brings a fine double bill of bands to The Greystones in The Fargo Railroad Co. and The Lucky Strikes for show #3 of our WagonWheelWeekend. Plus there’s support from Franc Cinelli who opens the show. Advance tickets priced at £8 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424858 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the night will be £10. Doors open 8pm. Our WagonWheelWeekend is happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***THE FARGO RAILROAD CO.***

The Fargo Railroad Co. are a southern rock / Americana inspired 4 piece band from Sheffield, UK. Established in 2013 they have already gathered a loyal fan base and continue to add to their numbers playing shows throughout the UK. What is clear is that these boys enjoy being on stage and love playing the music they are producing.

They share a distinct and united love of music with a breadth of appreciation that is truly eclectic – all of this has come together to form their current sound, which has settled in the broad and deep ocean of Southern Rock. Looking at the mighty works of Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, ’38 Special etc, doffing a cap to the sweet 70’s sound of Cash, Young, Dylan whilst bringing in more contemporary vibes of Blackberry Smoke and Jason Isbell.

They released their debut album, live recording Sharing The Load, in early 2015 and had a busy summer of festival appearances. They rounded off 2015 with a sold out second birthday show and a live acoustic EP, before the end of 2016 saw them release their first full length studio album This One’s For You in front of another sell out crowd. 2017 saw them play both Maverick and SummerTyne festivals as well as a host of other dates around the country.

http://www.facebook.com/FargoRailroadCompany

 

***THE LUCKY STRIKES***

The Lucky Strikes formed in 2006 and have been described as “Blues/ Garage/ Americana, spaghetti-western, fiddle powered, howlin’, heavin’ rock and roll”, which they think fits pretty well. Following their self-titled debut album the band released a number of concept records, The Chronicles of Solomon Quick (2009), Gabriel Forgive my 22 Sins (2011) and The Exile and the Sea (2013), the latter a project to recount the folk stories and local legends of the Thames coast where they live. In addition to this the band has released a number of singles and handmade rarity compilations, as well as a limited edition book to accompany The Exile and the Sea. The Lucky Strikes maintain a busy touring schedule and have played as diverse places as the Southbank Centre in London to a boat in Bristol. Their music has featured on a variety of TV shows in both the USA and UK and in the summer of 2013 they worked with the Old Trunk Theatre Company to produce the multi-arts production, The Vagabond Diaries.

Like the Waterboys on trucker pills” – Q Magazine

http://www.theluckystrikes.co.uk

 

***FRANC CINELLI***

Bucking the trend with his free-wheeling alternative folk Franc Cinelli is the songwriters’ songwriter. From uptempo torch songs to blues laden road journals and lovestruck serenades to defiant, prison outlaw ballads; Franc has carved his own musical path. Like all good troubadours, he spent a lot of time touring by himself before making records. Not just the length and breadth of the UK (quite literally from Hastings to Stornoway) but throughout the East Coast of the USA, Texas & Tennessee, and in his native Italy.

http://www.franccinelli.com

 

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On the afternoon of Saturday March 17th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Jody Davies, Charlie Tophill and John Batchelor to The Greystones,  appearing “in the round” for a singer/songwriter show. Advance tickets priced at £5 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424857 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the day will be £6. Doors open 3pm. This is show #4 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***JODY DAVIES***

If being in three bands wasn’t enough, Jody Davies also airs a more stripped down set of songs in his rare performances of his solo material. With just his vintage Gibson J-45 (you may know her as Dolly), expect raw, heartfelt songs and to hear one or two of the stories behind them.

 

***CHARLIE TOPHILL***

Charlie Tophill was raised in the penny arcades of a stony-beached seaside town in Kent. It was in this salty backwater that she first began singing for shrapnel and playing guitar for pennies.

After following the bright lights to North Yorkshire, she performed and toured with several bands – The Smoking Years, The Sam Griffiths Band and Curtis Eller’s American Circus – before returning to her solo roots.

Now Charlie performs her quirky brand of indie-pop with charm and humour, strumming out cheerful pessimism on an acoustic guitar. Her songs vacillate between light-hearted observation and intense feeling; catchy melodies and lyrically erudite songs delivered with honesty and warmth.

http://www.charlietophill.com/

 

***JOHN BATCHELOR***

A northern boy pretending he’s from Tennessee, John Batchelor is as a singer of modernfolk songs born from experience. There are flushes of country and blues and he has a distinctive voice pitched somewhere between classic crooning and modern mournfulness.

For the last few years you’ll have been more likely to catch John playing alongside Mat Wale in alt-country band Big Convoy, or more recently with instrumental rock outfit The Hill People.

http://myspace.com/johnbatchelor

 

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On Sunday March 18th, WagonWheel Presents… welcomes Southern Tenant Folk Union back to The Greystones as part their ‘work in progress’ tour, road testing songs from forthcoming new album Willie Rough. You can also expect songs from across all seven previous albums, especially their self titled debut record which has recently had a 10th anniversary reissue. Support comes from Paul Handyside. Advance tickets priced at £12 are available from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/418077 and the venue (12-6pm), or entry on the night will be £14. Doors open 8pm. This is show #5 of our WagonWheelWeekend happening across March 16th, 17th and 18th. Full weekend tickets for all five shows (including this one) are also available priced at £35 from http://www.wegottickets.com/event/424859. For details of the full weekend line up see http://www.wagonwheelpresents.co.uk.

 

***SOUTHERN TENANT FOLK UNION***

Southern Tenant Folk Union are the Edinburgh based six-piece string band that over a series of albums have produced a thought provoking and arresting take on roots & folk music. Past winners of the ‘Americana Artist Of The Year’ award the band have taken their music onto BBC One TV’s prime political show ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ plus Irish TV’s world famous chat show ‘The Late Late Show’ as well as onto stages at prestigious festivals (Celtic Connections, Belfast Open House Festival, Orkney Folk Festival, Belladrum Festival, Electric Picnic & many more). They run their own record label and work completely independently releasing their own music.

Live reviews of their concert performances have picked up on their ‘tight delivery and soaring, gorgeous harmonies’ saying that ‘STFU are a must see live band combining a rich blend of musical talent with a high octane Appalachian style’ and they perform their own brand of ‘thrilling traditional musicianship’. Through extensive touring they have seen audiences grow year on year and now consistently sell-out concert venues all over the UK and Ireland. Artistically successful their albums have been reviewed and praised in The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Times and The Irish Times with their latest album awarded 4 stars in Q Magazine and described as containing ‘songs that embrace the traditional ambience of The Unthanks and the experimentation of Tunng’.

Started in 2006 by Belfast born and Liverpool/London raised musician Pat McGarvey, he has, through various different line-ups of the collective, driven ever increasingly forward in taking genre clichés and subverting them into more interesting shapes and patterns, attempting to create roots music that has depth both lyrically and musically. The name itself comes from a desire to find a union based name for the group and one that also suited the style of music. Unions thematically suiting a musical collective such as STFU (with small songwriters banding together) and also acting as intent for the band to counteract some of the media’s union bashing (and the excuses used to curtail worker’s rights in recent decades) by talking about the positive things unions have done for society. In trying to find a name they came upon and appropriated the ground breaking multi-racial tenant farmers collective from the new deal/dustbowl era the Southern Tenant Farmers Union.

The first two albums released when the band was based in London got them started on the Americana circuit in the UK and the success of the debut meant they had national distribution for the second. These albums both took a sometimes ‘straight bluegrass’ form (influenced mainly by The Stanley Brothers) as well as a nod towards Gene Clark, The Grateful Dead and Don Reno. A marked progression and the better distribution of the second cd saw them touring widely, being booked for a BBC Radio 2 session at Maida Vale (for the now sadly missed Mark Lamarr show ‘God’s Jukebox’) and establishing themselves in UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

With McGarvey moving to Edinburgh around the second album’s release the next year would see the original line-up all move on leading to McGarvey reforming the collective in Scotland and mostly working on songwriting by himself for the third album. Free to do what he liked McGarvey began to incorporate some other more unexpected yet appropriate lyrical ideas into the new material. Realising that even as folk music’s tales of human suffering, brutality, love, empowerment and death are usually set in the past they also serve as a warning for the future. That plus the reasoning that the sound of the future in any post technological society is more likely to be folk/acoustic based gave McGarvey the licence to experiment with more dark folk musical tones and ‘science fiction’ lyrics. Though not of course laser guns and silver jump suits, more descriptions & stories of a return to the hard agrarian, feudal landscape of just a few centuries ago in one possible future.

Recording the third album with a new line up in Nov 2009, including Adam Bulley on mandolin and Chris Purcell on guitar, went well despite the lead singer John Langan saying mid sessions he probably wouldn’t be able to tour (before going awol for several months forcing the band to recruit Ewan Macintyre to replace him). When ‘The New Farming Scene’ album was finally released on the band’s own label in June 2010 it received the best press of any album so far including a 4 star review in The Independent (and in an article criticising Mercury Music Prize 2010 the same reviewer, Andy Gill, named the album as one that should be considered for that award) and many other national reviews in The Sunday Times, Irish Times and Scotsman. The band appeared on live TV (The View on RTE 1) for the first time and also played the song ‘No Work Today’ on the legendary ‘Loose Ends’ show on BBC Radio 4. The year ended on a high with the band winning ‘Americana Artist Of The Year’ at the British Country Music Awards.

Touring with the new Scottish line-up the band began to play bigger venues and start to work collectively on the follow-up which came out in June 2011. ‘Pencaitland’ also got some great reviews (including first reviews in The Guardian and The Sun) though disappointed a few critics that had loved the previous album. Highlights included the John Carpenter influenced lead track ‘I Dream Of Burning Buildings’ (based on a synthesiser instrumental McGarvey had recorded in 1996) and the title track ‘Pencaitland’ – both songs making use of the bowed double bass on one of their records for the first time, a sound that continues to feature heavily live and in the studio. One track ‘The Rights & Interests Of The Laboring Man’, a song about union busting in early 20th century USA, was also donated to the Morning Star anniversary compilation cd “We’re All In This Together”.

So after deciding a more focused album might alleviate any of the perceived problems surrounding ‘Pencaitland’ another themed album like the third was proposed that would this time take ‘modern horror’ as the lyrical background and use some of the arpeggiated and almost atonal musical ideas from 70’s and 80’s cult soundtrack composers (such as the aforementioned John Carpenter as well as Fabio Frizzi, Goblin and Tangerine Dream) to set the scene for the subject matter. These series of notes actually fitted very well on the 5 String Banjo (when it was muted with a tea towel) and mimicked the sound of 1970’s sequencing keyboards like the Moog. Key to the sound too was Jed Milroy’s clarinet playing and Marty Camino’s expert and powerful double bass tone with plenty of the aforementioned bowing.

Modern horror was the overarching theme then that would give the songwriters something to start from but also allow complete freedom as it could include ideas as diverse as problems with capitalism to a personal horror of socially awkward situations or a fear of crime or of redundancy or a loss of self-confidence; anything that could be adapted into an interesting and, crucially, well written song or piece of music.

This began to be a hard sell to the collective and, despite some good songs emerging initially, tension began to develop as the themed nature of the album’s direction couldn’t be agreed upon. Personalities began to push and be pushed as songs that didn’t fit everyone’s own ideas were proposed. Compromise was eventually reached ahead of the recording session and though some members didn’t get the straight bluegrass album they wanted and others didn’t get the darker more extreme album they wanted the end result was an album that in its making became something else. Highlights included the Donald Ker poetic adaptation (by Carrie Thomas) ‘Days By The Seaside With Ice Cream’, the post-apocalyptic stomper ‘Chest Freezer’ (filmed for Balcony TV in Dublin) and the horror-arpeggiated ‘Crash’ inspired by the JG Ballard novel. Also coming to the fore was the song writing ability of Chris Purcell with three excellent songs full of atmosphere and beauty, namely the title track ‘Goodbye Sun’, ‘Relic Of A Reasonable Mind’ (with its daring use of eBow by Adam Bulley) and the co-write with McGarvey of ‘Conscience Falls’.

Released in January 2013 ‘Hello Cold Goodbye Sun’ was almost universally awarded 4 star reviews (in The Independent, Q Magazine, Scotland On Sunday, The Scotsman, Mail On Sunday & many more), became number one in the Americana UK Chart by March and appeared in The Herald’s Top 50 Scottish Albums of 2013 list. Amongst the sold out album release tour the band were asked to play at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow and to appear on live national TV twice. Firstly in Ireland for ‘The Late Late Show on RTE 1’ (the world’s longest running chat show) and later in the year on BBC One TV’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ where political song ‘Men In Robes’ was performed in front of Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

Since the release and the album tour, the band line-up had changed again and just as before as some people moved on then some new people joined each bringing different experience, interesting ideas and new influences to the collective. People like talented Scottish singer songwriter Rory Butler (winner of Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in 2012), fiddle player Dirk Ronneburg (from Cera Impala & The New Prohibition), mandolin player Danny Hart (from STFU label mates Blueflint) and, from Inverness, double bass player Craig Macfadyen. Work has started on the 6th album and it promises to take the disparate influences the band has, expand upon them, and progress the experiment ever further whilst always posing the question “what can we do with these acoustic instruments?”. The band continue to tour in the manner of Willie Nelson, that is with an exciting live show that engages the audience, talks & tells stories, discusses issues, is informal and also one that displays the fully eclectic and interesting music from across the band’s career to date. And like Willie they play the hits.

http://www.southerntenantfolkunion.com

 

***PAUL HANDYSIDE***

Paul Handyside is a folk and roots singer songwriter. His song writing style has been compared to artists as varied as Chris Difford, Billy Bragg, Robyn Hitchcock, Green Gartside, Elvis Costello, Jeff Buckley and Martin Carthy.

He began his musical career with eighties indie darlings Hurrah! The jangle pop band had album releases on Kitchenware and Arista Records from 1982 to 1991 and toured extensively worldwide. During the nineties he toured and recorded with friend and Kitchenware labelmate Martin Stephenson.

Handyside formed Bronze in 2001. Still embracing chiming, Rickenbacker driven pop, and increasingly alt country, they released two albums, The Statue in the Stone and A Common Prayer. His debut solo album Future’s Dream, a combination of pop, country and modern day hymns was released in 2007 to great reviews. The second album Wayward Son followed in 2013 and further developed his own brand of folk-tinged americana.

The latest album Tide, Timber & Grain was released in April 2016 with elements of traditional British folk and sixties protest songs emerging in Handyside’s now well established and diverse musical palette. This time the recordings were based around the trio of Paul on vocals, guitar and harmonium; producer Rob Tickell on weissenborn slide guitar, bass and guitar; Dave Porthouse (the original bass player from Hurrah!) on melodeon and double bass.

http://www.paulhandyside.com

 

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