Out Now: Richard Thompson - Acoustic Classics

Whilst technically released last week during our newsletter dry spell, we couldn’t resist including Richard Thompson to complete our trio of guitar heroes.

Thompson has been in the business for over 40 years now, and instead of releasing a standard career-encompassing Greatest Hits collection, he has chosen to demonstrate the strength and longevity of his songwriting by re-recording his 15 most defining tracks on just a single acoustic guitar.

Think of this then as The Best Of Richard Thompson - Unplugged. And whilst his daughter Kami might currently be defining a new era of folk music with her group The Rails,Acoustic Classics shows that she has a long way to go to surpass the legacy of her old man!

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Eric Clapton & Friends - The Breeze

Our second ‘guitar hero’ release this week is possibly the most prestigious - not just because it’s the brainchild of the Eric Clapton, but because he’s made it with pretty much every other living guitar hero out there!

Following the success of his tribute album to delta blues legend Robert Johnson in 2004, The Breeze is the other half of Clapton’s musical homage to his two biggest influences - this time reimagining the work of J.J. Cale.

Featuring a selection of Cale covers, Clapton has worked with the likes of (take a deep breath…!): Mark Knopfler; John Mayer; Willie Nelson; Derek Trucks; Albert Lee; and many, many more. Even Tom Petty wasn’t satisfied with having just one major release this week, featuring on no less than three of the tracks. 

Blues guitar fan? You’ll love it. 
Not a blues guitar fan? After hearing this album, you will be.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Tom Petty - Hypnotic Eye

The long-awaited new album from Mr. P & The Heartbreakers is finally here on Monday…and it’s an absolute belter!

Hypnotic Eye is a real return to form for the group, seeing them take back hold of the riff-based rock ‘n’ roll of their heyday (indeed, the likes of Refugee or Running Down A Dream certainly wouldn’t sound out of place if they’d been included in this selection of songs). This LP has a real attitude!

Tom Petty has long embodied the very essence of basic-yet-somehow-unsurpassed songwriting - simple chord changes married with thought-provoking lyrics, chiming guitars and  pop sensibilities, all working together to create something far superior than the sum of its already proven, road-tested elements.

If you’re a hardcore Petty fan; a general rock & roll aficionado; or just a lover of good music in general…there’s something for you here. He really is back to his best.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Tomorrow: Riverside Festival @ Charlbury

Tomorrow is the beginning of the end for the Rapture festival season - but we’re going out with a bang!

We’re running the second stage at the (all free!) Riverside Festival in Charlbury tomorrow and Sunday (26/27th July). Now in its 19th year, the festival is still going from strength to strength, and we’ve got some great local acts lined up for you - Empty White CirclesDamn VandalsDes Barkus,After The ThoughtLittle Brother Eli, and many more. (Did we mention that it’s all free? We did, didn’t we…)

 
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24/7: Rapture Diary

On Saturday 12th, Joe headed along to the Irregular Folk Summer Session all-dayer. Based at The Perch - a lovely olde worlde pub, just a short jaunt across Port Meadow from the city - the event was staged in an enormous trinket-festooned Bedouin tent, with some of the county’s finest cider on tap (Joe may or may not have partaken a little too heavily in sampling all of them!)

Featuring some of Oxford’s finest folk musicians and groups, as well as plenty others from all over the country, highlights included the delicately skillful layering of guitar, vocals and cello from Duotone (aka. Barney Morse-Brown); a rousing performance of edgy tunes from Oxford’s own Salvation Bill; and a gorgeous closing set from Londoners The Irrepressibles. Definitely head along to an Irregular Folk show if you ever get the chance - they’re quickly building a reputation as one of Oxford’s top promoters!

As mentioned at the top of the newsletter, we were once again out in a field last weekend when we ran the merch stall at Truck Festival. In a similar style to Cornbury at the start of the month, our tent sold festival merch and artist CD/LPs, as well as hosting acoustic performances and signings throughout the weekend. Highlights of proceedings included appearances from Slow ClubDanny & The Champions Of The World, Stornoway and emerging local boys Balloon Ascents.

Elsewhere, there was the usual selection of fantastic Truck Festival acts - the Saloon stage was a staff favourite with many great Americana acts performing over the weekend, and Joe managed to worm his way to the front for party animal Andrew W.K - emerging  battered, bruised, and somewhat partied out an hour later!

 
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TOMORROW: Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston

The Wychwood Folk Club are putting on another great show tomorrow night (Saturday 21 June)  - Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston - at The Swan, Ascott-Under-Wychwood.

In the space of 2 short years, Sykes (best known for her work with folk stars Show Of Hands) & Rex Preston have emerged to become one of the most sought after duos on the English folk & roots scene. The striking combination of the flame headed double bass player & virtuoso mandolin player create music that Folk Roots say is: “A musical partnership made in heaven. Scintillating, sensitive and brilliant!

Miranda has an exquisite and spine-tingling voice, whilst Rex, with his exuberant and flamboyant playing style, has built a reputation as one of the finest mandolin players in the UK.

The show is 7:30pm - tickets available online HERE.

 
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Out Now: Alexis Taylor - Await Barbarians

As co-front-man with the ever popular Hot Chip, Alexis Taylor has always boasted the ability to smuggle seams of melancholy into the group’s electro-indie delicacies. Therefore it should come as no surprise that this, his second solo album, is a resolutely downbeat and gorgeously understated collection of songs. With Taylor’s trademark fragile falsetto leading the tracks, he sings his intimate confessionals of love and loss over a minimalist electronically formed soundscape; gently experimental and with a loose, improvised feel the album has a direct and emotional power. Anyone enthralled by Damon Albarn’s recent solo debut or with a penchant for soulful melancholia will find much to admire here.
As co-front-man with the ever popular Hot Chip, Alexis Taylor has always boasted the ability to smuggle seams of melancholy into the group’s electro-indie delicacies. Therefore it should come as no surprise that this, his second solo album, is a resolutely downbeat and gorgeously understated collection of songs. With Taylor’s trademark fragile falsetto leading the tracks, he sings his intimate confessionals of love and loss over a minimalist electronically formed soundscape; gently experimental and with a loose, improvised feel the album has a direct and emotional power. Anyone enthralled by Damon Albarn’s recent solo debut or with a penchant for soulful melancholia will find much to admire here.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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Out Now: Willie Nelson - Band Of Brothers

In a music industry largely dominated by young, up-and-coming talents, it’s safe to say that 81 year old country star Willie Nelson really has stood the test of time. And on new album Band Of Brothers - 18 years since his last drop of original material - he shows that he can still easily take on country’s youthful stars. And win. Spectacularly.

Staying true to the old-school country music ethics, and still armed with his trusty vintage classical guitar (it’s called Trigger…and beaten up to the point of near-disintegration!), Nelson recorded demos of his new songs and sent them to veteran country super-producer Buddy Canon, who fleshed them out with a live band.

The result is mindbogglingly good. Perfect songcraft, delicate-yet-rich production, and a sense that all of the musicians involved had an absolute blast cutting it in the studio. Even if the lyrics often suggest a mood quite different.

This is classic Willie Nelson. And by that, we mean it’s utterly brilliant.

Available to buy in-store now!

 
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