Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Willy Mason - 21st Century Boy

Chances are you've heard of this one before, but American acoustic talent Willy Mason is gearing up to release his second album here in the UK, with a tour soon to follow. Although doing nothing new, he has his own unique style and vocal quality which no other 22 year old on the scene can match.

For somebody so young his songs show a startling maturity and glorious ear for melody. You might have heard his "hit" before, a song called Oxygen off his first album entitled Where The Humans Eat.

The son of two US based folk singers, he's clearly been brought up steeped in the traditions of folk and parhaps less obviously americana insprired melody.

With new album If The Ocean Gets Rough due out in a fortnight, it seems as good a time as any to put up a few samples of his work for download in the hope that you'll like and purchase his new album...

I've chosen two live tracks from Glastonbury (Oxygen being his biggest hit, and Wild Dog Blues being my personal favourite track of his) plus a John Lennon cover, because it's rare and stuff. Also pretty damn tasty.

You can purchase the forthcoming Willy Mason album, If The Ocean Gets Rough from the following link:

Willy Mason - If The Ocean Gets Rough


Simon x

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Follow the links to download the tracks...

Willy Mason - Oxygen (Live @ Glastonbury 2005)
Willy Mason - Wild Dog Blues (Live @ Glastonbury 2005)
Willy Mason - Nobody Told Me (John Lennon Cover)

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Uncle Fritz - Field Reports

Buy Field Reports here..

Uncle Fritz then, a man with a breakfast-sized bowl of rage in one hand and a contract in his other, with the deeds to your soul written in blood. Armed with an acoustic guitar and infectious melodies, he pummels you with both fists until you submit to the wonders of ‘Field Reports’.
But with that, I’m barely scratching the outer skin of ten songs which make up the second set of recordings to surface from your favourite father’s brother, the first being debut ‘9 Songs’.

If you’re familiar with that debut you’ll know this isn’t your typical solo act, in many respects. This of course isn’t a bad thing and there’s enough flirting with influences from the obvious Folk heavyweights to prevent leaving you completely out in the cold looking in.

The term ‘Field Reports’ isn’t merely a title, this really feels like a collection of observations and scribblings and ideas that have been floating around wistfully inside a brain captivated. It confronts ‘cheery’ subjects such as days in the life of a vampirical creature, disdain of fellow Dundonians and feelings of disillusion but this is all pulled off extremely well. Conjuring up fantastic and honest lyrics is no mean feat and this is nowhere better displayed than in opener ‘Volcanic’, detailing a desperate conflict with anger. Other notable highlights of the record include the wonderfully spiteful ‘If I Had Shotgun’, which you’d hope was slightly tongue in cheek and the desolate closer ‘Little Fish’… which is a truly intimate ending to the journey and possibly the most heartfelt moment on the record.

Musically you confront complex and original guitar picking, layered with a multitude of atmospheric sounds, which not only mark a clear progression in songwriting but also help the album flow beautifully from song to song. There’s a familiarity as the time passes but with enough distinction to stop it blending into a mush of beige blandness. In fact, black is the correct shade to describe this as, a darkness seeps throughout which may be off putting to a casual listener. This grounding paves the way for his unique vocal style to shine through and wickedly lullaby you, for it would not be folly to put this record on after a stressful day or evening and let it’s meandering take hold, such is the ambient quality the songs possess.

Essentially what you have here is an extremely personal album, I doubt two listeners will feel exactly the same way about it and I’m sure many still may not connect with it but if you like to spend a little time with your records and set about this journey in the right frame of mind, you’ll surely be recanting another name on your list of singer-songwriters and recommendations. Now, if only our nation would embrace more sensational and challenging talent such as this. There’s a sense we wouldn’t be knee-deep in the latest fad.

‘Field Reports’ is available on CD through and available to download from your favourite online purveyor.

Now before you take eponymous purchasing steps here are some downloads to judge for yourself, taken both from this record and his debut.
As always, right click and save as..

Memory Man (Opener of Field Reports)
Divorcing September
Inner City Love
Ballad of The Lighthouse Keeper