CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

CD Choice: Cara Dillon – Upon a Winter’s Night

(Charcoal Records) Sometimes I wonder whether the really good Christmas albums – a rarity at any time – may have become so elusive that it is hardly worth trying to find them. Their pitfalls are many and well-known: cheesy remakes of American ‘50s crooners; reject songs buffed up with bells and seasonal lyrics; artists abandoning […]

CD Choice: Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

CD Choice:  Foy Vance – The Wild Swan

(Gingerbread Man Records) Keen to avoid fame, but respected by the cognoscenti in the music industry, Vance enjoys a career that works on his terms. That means a lot of live performances, but only a few albums over the last decade – which makes this one as special as it sounds. Vance doesn’t share his […]

CD Choice: Philippa Hanna – Speed of Light

 (Resound Media) I confess that I was not expecting much from this disc, given Hanna’s early work, which always struck me as bland and forgettable. But on this album, she has matured tremendously and there is much to enjoy. The biggest factor is probably recording in Nashville and co-writing each of the songs (except for […]

CD Choice: Dion – New York is my Home

CD Choice: Dion – New York is my Home

(Instant) There are very few singers who has been around so long as Dion Dimucci and been so critically revered, even well into his ‘70s. Tom Waits is a bit younger, but the nearest I can get. Yet again, Dion has come up with something impressive – and more rounded than his recent blues-only releases. […]

CD Choice: The Best of Eddi Reader

CD Choice: The Best of Eddi Reader

(Reveal Records) Eddi Reader MBE is probably still best known as the voice of Fairground Attraction, so you would expect their ever-popular “Perfect” to be on here. But I had forgotten that they also had success with “Find my Love” – a simple acoustic gem that seems to reflect hints of music from around the […]

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