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Bob Meyer’s Folk Companion – 03 June

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Bob Meyer's Folk Companion

Good things are going on in the world of folk music – and when I say folk I speak of a broad church!

First, I’d better tell you who I am. I’m Bob Meyer – a guitar playing folk/blues singer songwriter signed to an old punk independent record label (Malicious Damage).  I also host Bob’s Folk Show on Radio Wey and I play the best folk, Americana, roots, blues, and acoustic music around. I have some of the best underground folk acts coming in and playing live.  Here are two of the best acts that I can recommend you go and see live or buy their albums:

Trent Miller

www.trent-miller.com

A dark brooding singer songwriter with a Byronic passion for hanging, drugs, and strong drink. His first album, Cerberus was the best album I have had sent in to my show so far.  His new disc, Welcome to Inferno Valley is due out in June – and is just as good, it’s growing on me more and more. He has played live on my show twice and will be back very soon.  His live performances can take your mind to crazy places.

Josienne Clarke

www.josienneclarke.co.uk

Josienne is a quintessential female folk singer/songwriter. She sings of love lost, and though some may think, ‘oh, that old chestnut’ – just wait until you hear her unique levels of feeling and passion; they will melt the coldest heart. Her voice is outstanding and she is truly one of the best female singers in the UK at the moment. Josienne has also been on my show and to sit five feet away from her when she sings blows my mind every time. (She will be live on my show again on 14 June).

Josienne is accompanied on various stringed instruments by Ben Walker who is one of the finest guitar players I have ever seen. So go and see them live or buy Josienne’s  great album One Light Is Gone.

Bob’s Folk Show Tuesday 9pm www.radiowey.co.uk

www.facebook.com/bobsfolkshow

PHOTO CREDIT: ANNABEL VERE

Folky Bob

Bob is EYEPLUG’s folk expert, he hosts ‘Bob’s Folk Show’ on Radio Wey, every Tuesday from 9-11pm – there you can catch everything from pre-war blues, to roots and acoustic singer songwriters and he also has many great live acts booked for upcoming sets. If you think your music will suit his show please send your cd's to; Bob Meyer, Radio Wey Studio, St Peters, Chertsey, KT16 OPZ, or send an email!

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Folk Tags:, , ,
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Bob Meyer’s Folk Companion –12 June

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Bob Meyer's Folk Companion

George Frakes

George Frakes has the best hair of anyone in the folk world! But don’t let his dandified, foppish ways fool you into thinking that he is all style and no substance. For, under his beautifully coiffured head there lies the brain of a rather fine songwriter who can sing and play the guitar with such style and emotion that even the most drunken punter in any folk club will stop what they are doing and watch him. He truly is a one off. His music drifts around you like a Dickensian smog, mysterious and, at times, very dark indeed.

George’s EP, Ghost of the Girl, is out now on iTunes and it finds him at a great point in his musical development. He will be playing live on my show on 2 August.

www.reverbnation.com/georgefrakes

The Cedars

 

I have been watching The Cedars for a few years now and they just get better and better. Their down-home bluegrass music is as true as anything you would have heard coming from the porch of mountain dwelling during the 1930s. They also possess an absolute gem in front woman Chattel Hill, whose Scottish brogue suits the music down to a tee – and the rest of the band are pretty hot too. They are one hell of a hard working band that plays all over the country, wooing audiences as they go, and now have a very large following. Their album, Little Copper Still, is due for release this year, I have had promo copy for some time and I don’t remember ever seeing or hearing another bluegrass country band in the UK that can come close to matching them. Buy their album when it comes out, but most of all go and see them live – you will not be disappointed.   

Their debut single ‘The Colour’ is out now and you can download it from iTunes.

www.thecedarsonline.com

Bob’s Folk Show, Tuesdays 9pm www.radiowey.co.uk

www.facebook.com/bobsfolkshow

Photos by: www.annabelverephotography.com

Folky Bob

Bob is EYEPLUG’s folk expert, he hosts ‘Bob’s Folk Show’ on Radio Wey, every Tuesday from 9-11pm – there you can catch everything from pre-war blues, to roots and acoustic singer songwriters and he also has many great live acts booked for upcoming sets. If you think your music will suit his show please send your cd's to; Bob Meyer, Radio Wey Studio, St Peters, Chertsey, KT16 OPZ, or send an email!

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Folk Music Tags:, , ,
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Bob Meyer’s Folk Companion – 25 June

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Bob Meyer's Folk Companion

Pete Greenwood

I first met Pete about five years ago at the Half Moon pub in Hearn Hill, South London –Where we were both on the same bill. As usual, we had a lot of time to kill before the gig got started, so I sat with Pete and bored him with my life story. I soon found out that Pete was far more interesting then I am!

Pete was born and bred in Leeds and moved down to London in 2002 and started doing a degree course in music at Goldsmiths University. Shortly after, he was stopped in his tracks by an offer to tour the world with the band Mojave 3 – which he accepted, later going on to tour Europe with Starsailor and the UK with Loose State .

Pete’s musical craftsmanship rolls on to this day – He plays guitar in the See See who are getting a big following and a lot of critical acclaim – I plan to go and see then very soon. But it’s Pete solo work that really moves me, from the moment I saw him at the Half Moon

I thought this guy has something very special going on. He has great stage presence and oozes charisma, his songs are infused with a unique type of complex simplicity and are much more heart warming and valid than many of the more well known modern singer/songwriters we have foist upon us.

Pete Greenwood's debut album - Sirens

Sirens was Pete’s first album and I’m not ashamed to say I’m a bit in love with it, I find new elements in it every time I listen, and I have been playing it a lot. Sirens is on a par with any of the truly great albums by the likes of Nick Drake or John Martin. Pete’s guitar skills are right up there with the best of them too, and he also plays a wide range of instruments – more than you can shake a drum stick at!   

But it’s his vocals and lyrics that gets straight to my soul, with his unassuming Yorkshire tones that glide though you like an arrow straight to your heart and mind – this is music with deep meanings that are well worth tying to fathom out, although so far I have not been wholly successful.

I know that there is a new album in the pipeline and I’m now poised like an old dog waiting at the front door for his master to come home. I’m sure it will be as good as Sirens, as Pete is always advancing his music to greater heights, as I saw when he was on my radio show – Where he just blew my mind with his talent. I’m very glad to say he will be back on my show on 8th November.

The Spanish artist and philosopher Marta Bravo once said of Pete Greenwood, ‘The word of a Yorkshireman is worth half a cashew nut. Not much else.’ She may be wrong on that one!

Pete Greenwood on MySpace

Pete’s Label – Heavenly Recordings

Bob’s Folk Show Tuesday 9pm www.radiowey.co.uk

www.facebook.com/bobsfolkshow

photos by Paul Kelly

Folky Bob

Bob is EYEPLUG’s folk expert, he hosts ‘Bob’s Folk Show’ on Radio Wey, every Tuesday from 9-11pm – there you can catch everything from pre-war blues, to roots and acoustic singer songwriters and he also has many great live acts booked for upcoming sets. If you think your music will suit his show please send your cd's to; Bob Meyer, Radio Wey Studio, St Peters, Chertsey, KT16 OPZ, or send an email!

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Folk Music Tags:, , ,
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Bob Meyer’s Folk Companion – 4 July

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Bob Meyer's Folk Companion

Juniper Leaf

 

I love it when an album gets stuck in my head like an ear worm burrowing it’s self into my every waking moment – sometimes they even get into my dreams. Juniper Leaf’s album Broom, Briars, Torches from the Fire has done this to me in a big way – I can’t stop playing it and singing it! Rupert Brown’s voice is so unique but so familiar, I feel as if  it takes me back to somewhere, but I can’t remember where and maybe I never will. Musically, Juniper Leaf will take you from traditional British folk to folk rock/surf, if you know what I mean! Sometimes this can be very scary – like being stuck on a fairground ride with the music hurting your spinning ears, but in a macabre way you know you want to hear more and more. The tracks that I love the most are ‘Witch’s Book’, ‘Bushes and Briars’, and the outstanding ‘Lighthouse’.

Broom, Briars, Torches from the Fire is available on Singaround Records

Juniper Leaf on MySpace

Check out the album HERE

Nina Walsh

I’m so glad that Nina Walsh has a track on her album Bright Lights and Filthy Nights called ‘Industrial Folk’, because that’s a great way of describing some of the tracks on the new disc. Nina has managed to create a very warm modern folk record that reminds me of nothing else. I’m sure a lot of old folk fans would be up in arms over Nina’s use of electric sounds in her folk soundscapes, but this is the modern world and some folkies need to move on. In years to come, musicians like Nina will be recognised as having recorded and performed during a great moment in the world of folk music.

This is a beautifully crafted album, with so many elements that you can miss them even on the ninth or nineteenth listen. Don’t get me wrong however, as there are plenty of traditional instruments being used here – and even a pedal bin! Buy this record and you will soon fall for Nina Walsh’s sounds. The standout tracks include ‘Bright Lights and Filthy Nights’, ‘Industrial Folk’, and ‘Goodnight My Sweet’ – a track that demands to be played until its very end as it runs on into some more great sounds.

Bright Lights and Filthy Nights is available on Malicious Damage Records

Nina Walsh’s official website

Mark Harrison

 

Mark Harrison has some fine friends playing with him on his toe-tapping, head-swaying debut album, Watching The Parade. If you fancy tapping your toes, swaying your head and tuning in to some great acoustic blues that aren’t trying to be something they’re not, then this album is for you. Mark has a sweet voice and his guitar playing is as fine as anyone who came out of the Delta in the 1920’s.

There are so many blues players around singing like Otto Man from The Simpsons that it’s such a relief to hear a fresh British blues man who’s simply being himself, and that’s what makes this such a lovely record, along with the sheer musical talent of Mark and his band. His songs pull you into a space that’s hard to define, but wherever it is, it’s a real and true place that Mark has spent plenty of time in. If you like cowboy hats and strats blues don’t buy this album, but if you like honesty you will love it. The disc’s outstanding tracks include ‘Easy Does It Now’, ‘5000 Days’, and ‘Primrose Hill Street Blues’.

Mark Harrison on MySpace

Check out Watching The Parade HERE

Bob’s Folk Show, Tuesdays 9pm www.radiowey.co.uk

www.facebook.com/bobsfolkshow

Folky Bob

Bob is EYEPLUG’s folk expert, he hosts ‘Bob’s Folk Show’ on Radio Wey, every Tuesday from 9-11pm – there you can catch everything from pre-war blues, to roots and acoustic singer songwriters and he also has many great live acts booked for upcoming sets. If you think your music will suit his show please send your cd's to; Bob Meyer, Radio Wey Studio, St Peters, Chertsey, KT16 OPZ, or send an email!

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Blues Folk Music Tags:, , , ,
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Bob Meyer interviews Josienne Clarke

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Bob Meyer's Folk Companion

Anyone who tunes in to my radio show will know my favourite modern female folk singer/songwriter is Josienne Clarke. Josienne has already been on my show three times and will be on again later in the year.

I recently went to the pub with her for a chat, a beer and an apple juice (hers, not mine) – and I have to say, it’s always a pleasure to be in her company – she is good folk.

I hear you have recorded a new trad albumWhen is it coming out?

Like almost all projects, we undertake slightly later than we originally hoped – however, it should be out and purchasable in August. It’s called The Seas Are Deep and it is an eight-track album of exclusively traditional folk songs. When we released our Album One Light Is Gone, in September 2010 a few people were disappointed that we didn’t include any traditional songs on it as we are known for playing them live. When we started work on OLIG we had 21 original songs and that was eventually cut to 14 – we just didn’t have room for the trads. Also, though we love traditional folk songs, we didn’t want to be categorized as purely folk artists. We write music and very often it happens to be consistent with the folk idiom, but we do not limit ourselves to that alone. We are ‘a little bit country’, you know!

Tell me a bit about your singing – Did you sing as a child? When did you realize you could sing, and what was the first song you remember singing?

My family all sing in one form or another – though my mother claims to be tone-deaf, she is still a committed participant in a sing-along. My earliest memory of singing was aged three with my sister (two-and-three-quarter years older) she would learn songs at school and come home and teach them to me. The first one, I believe, was a song called ‘Cauliflower’s Fluffy’, which was a song about vegetables. My father played guitar and sang at home from as early as I can remember – though not professionally. It was a very regular activity in our house for our dad to set up in the kitchen with his guitar and my sister and I would sing along. Singing just the tune at first, and as we got older the harmonizing would become more elaborate, it was a typical Saturday afternoon in our house for years. Aged 12 I went to secondary school and joined all the choirs. Luckily, it was a standard comprehensive school and had no audition process and though I was two years too young I was even allowed to join the chamber choir. All of my break times, evenings and weekends were spent in the music block, singing.

Where did you meet you partner in rhyme (Ben Walker)?

Ben was in an indie band when I met him – A friend of mine was mixing tracks for their EP and Ben mentioned that he was looking for some more acoustic projects. On seeing him wrap his tendrils round my friend Martin’s acoustic I was certain I wanted him for my project. That was about three years ago, and since then neither of us have questioned the compatibility of our skills. Ben is not only a fantastic guitarist he also has a real skill for arrangement. All the string writing on One Light Is Gone is Ben’s work, and most of the arrangement on The Seas Are Deep is down to him.

Josienne Clarke - 'One Light Is Gone'

Your album, One Light Is Gone, is a great record – What was the inspiration behind it?

Well, the album took us the best part of a year to produce; the producer Ben Lloyd was on tour with Frank Turner and would only be available for a week at a time before going off on tour again. This actually turned out to be a great blessing as each recording session we would do three or four songs at most and then have a month or so to listen over and make changes to them. I feel this process added to the overall unity and cohesion of the album. We wanted an album that represented what Ben and I sound like live, and I feel that that was achieved really well in the end. The album is largely melancholy in atmosphere and that is what Ben and I do best – but with a bit of love and hope thrown in for good measure.

What have been your best and worst gigs?

Two gigs spring to mind as our best: Last October we went down to Cornwall to play a gig supporting All The Fires at The Poly, in Falmouth. It is a great venue – a good size with great sound and All The Fires are a brilliant band to do support for. The other would be supporting Ric Sanders (of Fairport Convention) at The Green Note in Camden .Obviously, it’s always a great honour to play with someone of Ric’s musical caliber, but added to that, he was a really nice and funny guy, too. 

In terms of worst gigs we have been fairly lucky and most are a joy and a pleasure. However, we did have one horrific gig at Proud Gallery in Camden. When we arrived, there was no one to run the PA, and we basically had to do our own sound Ben was trying to play the guitar and EQ at the same time. Added to that, there was a full band playing in the room next door and the noise from the drum-kit could be heard quite loudly in our room, we could barely hear what we were playing, but that may have been a blessing!

What music do you listen to, and who inspires you?

The music I listen to is very folk and country based, on my regular playlist are (of course) Fairport Convention, Joan Baez, Gillian Welch, Nick Drake, Kings Of Convenience, Pete Greenwood and Beirut, to name but a few. In songwriting terms, the people who have influenced me the most might not be the most obvious. Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac’s song ‘Man of The World’ was one of the first songs to really move me – I must have been less than ten when I first heard it. The lyrics are honest and sad in the same way I later found Nick Drake’s music to be. Another early songwriting influence was Don Maclean’s ‘Empty Chairs’ for the same reasons. I think this early exposure to the heady pleasure of melancholy has had a massive effect on how I later came to approach songwriting.

What are your plans for your musical life?

My first response to this question was, ‘Pah … There’s no point making plans in this fickle bloody business, it’ll chew you up and spit you out other side before you have a chance to consult your plans.’ But in all seriousness I don’t really know what lies ahead for us. We will continue to write, we already have enough for a second album (though no plans to release one just yet) and plenty of gigs planned for the coming year. We will be going to France, Germany and The Netherlands at some stage and we are currently organizing a mini-tour of the UK. We will write until we are asked to stop writing, go where people want to hear us and carry on singing till we run out of air in our lungs.

Josienne Clarke’s Web Site

Folky Bob

Bob is EYEPLUG’s folk expert, he hosts ‘Bob’s Folk Show’ on Radio Wey, every Tuesday from 9-11pm – there you can catch everything from pre-war blues, to roots and acoustic singer songwriters and he also has many great live acts booked for upcoming sets. If you think your music will suit his show please send your cd's to; Bob Meyer, Radio Wey Studio, St Peters, Chertsey, KT16 OPZ, or send an email!

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Eyeplugs Features Front page Interviews Tags:, , , , ,
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