New Routes – Folk Roots

Sunday, 21 May 2017, 10:48 | Category : Reviews
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Review by Jason Barnard

Those that know me are aware of the backed up pile of review requests at Strange Brew HQ, but despite this I occasionally highlight artists that are well worth seeking out.

There are two folk influenced releases I’d therefore like to mention

  • a gorgeous single from Renée Forrester and;
  • stirring live album from Tom Moriarty

Two years ago Renee released the self titled album “The Moon Band” with her former partner Nicholas Tomlinson. A superb record, its acid-folk sound and ethereal nature made it one of the highlights of the year. Now solo and residing on Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada, her new single ‘Galaxy Girl’ b/w ‘How to Say Goodbye’ shows her striking solo talent.

Both tracks draw comparisons with Lesley Duncan and Donovan and showcase that we’re in for something special with her forthcoming album.

British singer-songwriter, Tom Moriarty, is clearly the music industry’s big secret. Despite two albums under his belt and a host of critical plaudits (including David Crosby) his profile doesn’t quite match his prodigious talent.  His third album ‘The Shore’ is a solo acoustic live album, recorded in the tiny wood-vaulted chapel of a small hilltop village in France where Tom now makes his home.

With a sound recalling Ray Lamontagne and John Martyn his songwriting more than stands up to peers past and present. The record is consistently strong from the passionate ‘Love You Till I Die’, and reflective ‘Our Time Again’ to album closer ‘Us Against The World’. This final track embody’s the spirit of the album with Tom highlighting ‘That one’s the most important to me. It’s actually not a song, it’s a hymn. A hymn for our planet. For our future.’ Amen to that.

Barry Ryan

Monday, 17 April 2017, 20:57 | Category : Leeds, Podcasts
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In a rare podcast interview singer Barry Ryan talks to Jason Barnard about his greatest hits and rarities.

barry ryan

  1. Paul and Barry Ryan – Don’t Bring Me Your Heartaches (Single A-side, Decca, 1965)
  2. Paul and Barry Ryan – I Love How You Love Me (Single A-side, Decca, 1966)
  3. Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out Of Sight (Single A-side, Decca, 1967)
  4. Paul and Barry Ryan – Madrigal (Single B-side to Pictures of Today, Decca, 1968)
  5. Barry Ryan – Eloise (Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan, MGM, 1969)
  6. Barry Ryan with The Majority – Love Is Love (Single A-side, MGM, 1969)
  7. Barry Ryan – Why Do You Cry My Love? (Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan, MGM, 1969)
  8. Barry Ryan ‎– My Mama (Barry Ryan Sings Paul Ryan, MGM, 1969)
  9. Barry Ryan – The Hunt (Single A-side, Polydor, 1969)
  10. Barry Ryan – Magical Spiel (Single A-side, Polydor, 1970)
  11. Barry Ryan with The Paul Ryan Orchestra – Kitsch (Single A-side, Polydor, 1970)
  12. Barry Ryan – I Think You Know My Name (Sanctus, Sanctus Hallelujah, Polydor, 1972)
  13. Barry Ryan – Who Put The Lights Out (Barry Ryan 3, Polydor, 1970)
  14. Barry Ryan – Brother (Single A-side, Private Stock, 1977)
  15. Barry Ryan – Break The Circle (demo – unreleased)

Listen to the lushest inventive pop music of the 1960s and 70s in this landmark podcast show.

The Greek Theatre – Broken Theatre

Saturday, 8 April 2017, 20:38 | Category : Reviews
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Four years ago I was stunned by an unknown Swedish band delivering the album of the year – Lost Out At Sea. An LP chocked full of blissed out Surfs Up Americana I was intrigued where the group would go next. Broken Circle is the answer.

It retains all what was best from their predecessor but expands the palette into mid-70s Floyd, Deserter’s Songs Mercury Rev whilst steering back into the wreck of the Arthur Lee.

It’s a collection of nine tracks whose sound is hauntingly familiar but greater than the sum of its parts. The audiophile production is gorgeous, the harmonies heavenly and instrumentation played to perfection.

It would not do the tracks justice to describe them, just go out and buy the album. It just may be your album of the year too.

Vinyl is available direct from Sugarbush Records with digital through Bandcamp.

Bruce Sudano Interview

Thursday, 6 April 2017, 19:46 | Category : Interview
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As a songwriter Bruce Sudano has helped craft huge hits for Tommy James and The Shondells, Michael and Jermaine Jackson, Dolly Parton and late wife Donna Summer. However over the past decade he’s found his voice as a solo artist with 2017 seeing the release of new album ‘21st Century World’.

Jason Barnard speaks to Bruce about the past, present and future:

Simon Nicol – Fairport Convention

Tuesday, 28 March 2017, 20:08 | Category : Podcasts
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Fairport Convention’s founder member Simon Nicol talks about Fairport’s new album 50:50@50 and classic tracks from the band’s 50 year catalogue.

Simon Nicol - Fairport Convention

  1. Eleanor’s Dream (50:50@50, Matty Grooves, 2017)
  2. Lord Marlborough (live) (50:50@50, Matty Grooves, 2017)
  3. Meet On The Ledge (Single A-side, Island, 1968)
  4. Who Knows Where The Times Goes (BBC Radio 1 Session, 4 February 1969) (Fairport Unconventional, Free Reed, 2002)
  5. Matty Groves (Liege and Lief, Island, 1969)
  6. Walk Awhile (Full House, Island, 1970)
  7. Wizard of the Worldly Game (Angel Delight, Island, 1971)
  8. Breakfast in Mayfair (Babbacombe Lee, Island, 1971)
  9. Ye Mariners All (Tipplers Tales, Vertigo, 1978)
  10. The Hiring Fair (Live Cropedy Festival, 1989) (Fairport Unconventional, Free Reed, 2002)
  11. The Naked Highwayman (Jewel in the Crown, Woodworm Records, 1995)
  12. Mercy Bay (Festival Bell, Matty Grooves, 2011)
  13. Fotheringay (By Popular Request, Matty Grooves, 2012)
  14. Summer By The Cherwell (50@50, Matty Grooves, 2017)
  15. End of a Holiday (What We Did on Our Holidays, Island, 1969)

Catch Fairport on their current 50th Anniversary Tour, the Acoustic Festival of Britain and of course Cropedy. More information is available at

Stephen Emmer – Interview

Friday, 17 March 2017, 20:21 | Category : Interview
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By Jason Barnard

Three years ago, Dutch composer/ arranger and musician, Stephen Emmer released his groundbreaking album International Blue. Celebrating the art of the pop crooner with artists as diverse as Glenn Gregory, Julian Lennon, Tony Visconti and Midge Ure it achieved critical acclaim, and led to Glenn and Tony teaming up for Holy Holy.Stephen Emmer

For Stephen’s new long player, Home Ground, he is joined by soul singers such as Chaka Khan, Patti Austin and the late Leon Ware to combine classic soul with a cotemporary edge. Jason Barnard speaks to Stephen after hearing an early preview of this socially conscious album: