Showing posts from May, 2016

Francesca Blanchard - The Fire, Philadelphia, 4/11/2016, Plus Two Immensely Enjoyable Albums From This New Bilingual Recording Artist

Photo: Lindsey Mitchell She has been compared with early Joni Mitchell and Neil Young. Her many influences include Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Carla Bruni, and Francoise Hardy. That's a heady brew for any artist. But, I found myself thinking, a couple of songs into her set at The Fire, that there will come a day when we will look back at when we were able to see Francesca Blanchard at such a small and intimate venue. I've already had that same feeling watching Norah Jones and Melody Gardot at the start of their careers, and as far as Blanchard is concerned, I wouldn't try to guess where or when, but it will come one day soon. The Fire seemed like a random (but fortuitous) booking on a short American tour preparing for the European tour that she has just embarked upon. For this show she brought her band, bassist Matthew Kloss and drummer Charlie Smyrk, and accompanied herself on electric guitar. Both her voice and guitar sounded great, as she drew mostly from her lates

Jealous of the Birds - Parma Violets, Grunge-Folk Singer-Songwriter Naomi Hamilton Soars In Her Full Length Debut

Photo courtesy of Naomi Hamilton Parma Violets is the title of the debut full length recording by Jealous of the Birds, just released. Naomi Hamilton, a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and poet from Portadown, County Armagh in Northern Ireland records under the name Jealous of the Birds. Last year she racked up many positive notices for Capricorn, her six track EP of original compositions recorded in her bedroom. Drawing much attention was "Goji Berry Sunset", which also leads off Parma Violets, now given a proper studio recording. Heretofore I might have questioned the judgement of anyone who incorporated whistling into their music, but after a number of plays I must admit that I find the whistling in "Goji Berry Sunset" most charming and a nice way to draw you into the song. Before you know it, you are one on one or maybe I should say one on two with Hamilton's attractive voice duetting with herself. The effect focuses your attention on some ve