‘Santa Fe’ is the first track on Black Heart Drifters new album ‘Under a Western Sky’.
The Black Heart Drifters were formed in the summer of 2021. Band HQ is in Lydney, Gloucestershire but its members live across South East Wales and the West Country. The band plays a heady, eclectic, filthy, brooding mix of Country, Western, Goth Rock, and Rockabilly, with a UK rock edge. They sing songs about hard drinking, hard fighting, womanising, gambling, gun-slinging troublemakers, trying to have a good time and stay one step ahead of the hangman’s noose.
Whilst this is not a psychobilly album it ought to appeal to fans of that genre as well as many beyond. It is currently only available for streaming via the usual platforms.
The album kicks off with the supremely impressive ‘Santa Fe’. That begins with a wonderfully simple, yet really effective riff on the slide guitar before the bass drum kicks in. Then a chuffing guitar joins the fray making a tremendously effective soundscape to which you can also add very deft use of the Hammond organ. The vocals are quite superb. The guitar work is excellent and, at one point, the guitar harmonises like a heavy metal band, but it works. This is a band that is happy to do whatever works for the song and they are to be commended for this.
The Chris White Experience released a 2023 remix of ‘Say Anything’ on 27th October.
The Chris White Experience is a project from Chris White, bass player of The Zombies, who were inducted into the Rock ’N’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2019. It is a series of albums containing unreleased and rare recordings from Chris’ archive of materials. The current release is Volume Six, which covers his work as a producer during the 70s to the current day. It includes unreleased gems from: The Zombies, Argent, Marti Caine, and others.
‘Say Anything’ is a song that was produced by Chris White for JJ White’s acoustic album, ‘Featherhead’, in 2007. This version of the song is the 2023 Remix, bringing the track up to date with a fuller production.
For more information, go to: thechriswhiteexperience.com.
On 31st October, Stirred by Life released ‘No Longer Alone’.
After Stirred to Life’s début single ‘Fallen’ (which we heard in June, Week 103) was well received, and received many fabulous reviews as well as airplay on several radio stations, she is now thrilled to announce the release of her next single, ‘No Longer Alone’ on 31st October.
Stirred by Life is an independent music creator based in Lancashire. She says, “I hope you’re well and enjoying a nurturing, supportive and fulfilling social network. Unfortunately not everyone does, which inspired me to write my next song.”
‘No Longer Alone’ is an Indie-Pop song about hope and reconnection after social isolation. More than 3 million people in the UK experience chronic loneliness, which has been evidenced to increase mental and physical health issues. ‘No Longer Alone’ encourages us to open our hearts to friendship and love. Plus being being bold and reaching out to others.
This will be the second track on a concept EP intended to take us on an emotional journey from despair and hope (‘Fallen’), through starting to trust in life again (‘No Longer Alone’), to celebrating newly found love and beyond.
Steve Steinman released ‘Heaven’s Gate’ on November 1st.
Renowned recording artist, show producer, and visionary entrepreneur Steve Steinman continues to captivate audiences worldwide. With his electrifying performances, he’s making waves in the music industry and beyond. As a multifaceted talent, Steinman has proven his mettle not just as a recording artist but also as a show producer and astute entrepreneur. He has left an indelible mark on the entertainment landscape. Now he has released his brand new album, ‘Heaven’s Gate’, which dropped on 1st November 2023.
As well as the fantastic first single ‘Heaven’s Going to Just Have To Wait’, the album includes the No.1 song ‘Everything They Said Was True’ (which we heard in Week 46, May 2022), that was given to Steve by the legendary John Parr.
Michael Armstrong released ‘The End of the World’ on 2nd November.
‘End of the World’ is the second single from Michael Armstrong’s album ‘Gender Neutral Vol 1’. The album is a collection of Michael’s interpretations of classic hits most associated with female artists. We’ve previously heard the first single, ‘True Blue’ (Week 111, August 2023).
‘Beyond Words’, by Ch’Lu, was released on 3rd November.
About ‘Beyond Words’, Ch’Lu says, “I self-produced this evocative & comforting 3D sonic journey in response to the recent, devastating shooting of my cousins, Shlomi and Shahar, taken too soon in the midst of the current hate and violence in our world. Self-produced in my home studio, the proceeds will go to the three surviving children.
The title of this track also refers to my own personal journey the last months, going from sudden vocal loss to rehabilitation, exploring the simplicity of vowel sounds and returning to my classical guitar roots.
All profits from the track will be donated to a Go Fund Me set up to provide a home and future for orphaned Rotem, Shir and Shaked Mathias.”
‘Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn’ is by Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog.
‘Dyddiau Du, Dyddiau Gwyn’ is from Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog new album, ‘Yn Fyw! Galeri Caernarfon’ which dropped on 3rd November.
Cowbois Rhos Botwnnog are a Welsh alternative country/folk/rock band consisting of three brothers Iwan, Aled and Dafydd Hughes and accompanying musicians. They experiment with country, folk and rock music. Most of their lyrics are in Welsh. They have performed live regularly since forming, having toured extensively in Wales and beyond, including England, Scotland, Ireland, Argentina, Finland and Vietnam. They have played at festivals such as Green Man Festival, Wakestock, No Direction Home, Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru and Focus Wales.
‘Lazy Walks’ is from Paul Baird’s new album ‘Peaceful Mind Level 5’.
‘Peaceful Mind Level 5’ has been home recorded on 4-track cassette and an old computer and dropped on 3rd November. All 19 songs are by Paul Baird. He also supplies the voice, electric & acoustic guitars, bass guitar, piano, synth, stylophone, trumpet, acoustic drums, cajón, percussion, drum machine, field recordings, engineering, mixing & mastering. He does get some help from Emma Ng, who is the vocal duet on ‘Sunflower’.
Paul Baird is on Bandcamp.
‘Out of Season’ is the title track from Daniel Land’s new album.
Daniel Land’s first album, ‘Love Songs for the Chemical Generation’ is now widely considered to be a classic of the shoegaze genre. That might be set to change with the release of Daniel’s new album, ‘Out of Season’. It is his third as a solo artist, and fifth overall, and undoubtedly his most ambitious record to date.
‘Out of Season’ is a series of reflections on history, memory, and post-Brexit Britain. It was inspired by Daniel’s return to the landscapes of his youth – the rugged, underpopulated west coast of Somerset, where he has spent increasing amounts of time since beginning the album in 2019. ‘Out of Season’ was written and partly recorded there, in a static caravan overlooking the coast, during the period when the UK was tearing itself apart over its relationship to Europe.
Daniel says, “I didn’t set out to write about Brexit. I have a kind of horror of political music. But I couldn’t escape the atmosphere of the time – this strange, distorted version of ‘Englishness’ in the national psyche. I’ve always been interested in memory and nostalgia; Brexit illustrates the dangers of taking seductive, possibly false memories at face value.”
Songs like ‘White Chalk’, ‘Island of Ghosts’, and the album’s title track, represent a series of attempts to reclaim an older, more peculiar idea of England. Am idea which, Daniel says has been “Lost in the nationalist mythmaking of the past decades”.
The McKenzie FIX released ‘The Beginning of the End’ on November 3rd.
Ewan McKenzie’s musical journey began in the late 1990s. With early demos championed by A&R mogul Peter Whitehead and appearing on industry unsigned compilations he attracted interest from major record label Arista.
Prior to The McKenzie FIX, Ewan was lead singer with the Edinburgh band Emporium.
Following a critically acclaimed début album ‘Pandora’s Box’, The McKenzie FIX release new single ‘The Beginning of the End’. It dropped via Platform Records, on November 3rd 2023. The song has a melodic introduction that’s instantly gripping. A few seconds later, the track truly takes off, hitting the listener with a dreamy soundscape that’s cinematic and atmospheric.
‘The Long and Lonesome Letting Go’ is the title track from Jim Lauderdale & Po’ Ramblin’ Boys’ new album.
Whether as co-writer, bandleader, master of ceremonies or musical ambassador for musical styles or states, Jim Lauderdale has been one of Americana music’s all-time great collaborators. But his new album with the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys stands as one of the best collaborative works. The album, ‘The Long and Lonesome Letting Go’, dropped on 3rd November.
Jim co-wrote all 12 songs on the album. Half of them with Po’ Ramblin’ Boys guitarist Josh Rinkel, and they’re all classic old-school bluegrass with excellent ensemble arrangements. Jim and Josh worked on their co-writes in a number of sessions, starting with ‘I’m Only So Good’. Like most of Jim’s co-writes, it grew organically out of a conversation.
“We got together and got to talking, and Josh mentioned a situation that was tempting him. And he said, ‘I’m only so good at being good.’ It kind of wrote itself from there, and that set the course for us to co-write six of these songs.”
Other co-writers include Becky Buller, Joe Newberry, Jimmy Ritchey plus Logan Ledger and Alex Leach. Also of note is the song that kicks off the album, the title track. It was co-written with Bob Minner, and features Jim trading verses with Bluegrass Hall of Famer Del McCoury. It’s the first time they’ve ever recorded together.
Jim comments, “I felt like that song ought to kick off the record, and somebody in Po’ Ramblin’ Boys said, ‘You know, Del would sound great on this. Of course! So we reached out and luckily he was available. It didn’t feel right to just have him on the chorus, so he and I switch off a few lines in the verses. I’d never gotten to record with Del before, so that was a real treat.”
Jim Lauderdale has a website at jimlauderdalemusic.com.
A recording of the show is available on MixCloud.
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