- 28 May 13
Your correspondent can’t get enough of the latest release from folkies I See Hawks In LA...
Over the last couple of weeks, in fact pretty much since I got my greedy, pudgy little fists on it, the new I See Hawks In LA record Mystery Drug has been on near constant rotation in my CD player. Every time my little Ford Ka rumbles into action, that glorious disc whirrs to life. I can’t bring myself to press eject.
Even the songs that shouldn’t work seem to have seeped into some happy place in my psyche. The bits I was certain I was going to like haven’t, for once, let me down. When I got Richie Lawrence’s Water last year I was almost as smitten.
His piano and accordion-playing exude a very human warmth. On Mystery Drug he sticks entirely to the accordion. The versatile Mr. Lawrence is also known in the US as one third of the Loose Acoustic Trio, and on his upcoming visit to these shores he’ll be performing two-handed with his partner Katie Thomas. If you’re on the East Coast and want to catch them your opportunities are limited to a Dublin gig in the International Bar on June 17 where, unbelievably, you’ll have to part with the grand sum of zero euro to see one of the most talented musicians in alt. country and an appearance at the Candlelight Sessions in the Sky & The Ground, Wexford the following evening. He then goes on to play De Barra’s, Clonakilty (19); Mullarkey’s, Clifden (21); Skelly’s, Ballymahon (22) and Kenny’s, Lahainch (25). Go see him. You won’t be sorry.
The banner on Woody Pines’ website proclaims: ‘Viper Jazz – Ragtime – Country Blues’. No stranger in the US – he’s on his fourth album – his music is held in the same esteem as artists like Pokey Lafarge and Old Crow Medicine Show. Woody trawls though American folk’s back-pages, from Guthrie to Dylan and from Leadbelly to Preservation Hall, blowing the dust off but leaving a little of the vintage crackle. Claiming to have played in 49 states by the age of 19, he belts out songs about fast cars and even faster women with a big ladle full of authentic twang.
Settling in Eugene, Oregon he founded the Kitchen Syncopators with Gill Landry. They relocated to New Orleans, releasing three records before Landry joined Old Crow Medicine Show. Landry can’t keep away though and showed up to guest on You Gotta Roll, the five track mini-album which proceeded latest offering Rabbit Motel. Although this new record has more of a modern country feel to it with electric guitar making an appearance, his live shows still hanker back to its dancehall roots. This, then, is what you might expect if you venture down to the Seamus Ennis Centre in Naul on May 25.
After a fallow year last year, the 15th Open House Festival takes place in Belfast from June 19 – 23. Tickets at a fiver for all concerts are available now from the festival’s website. There’s a decent line-up of Simone Felice, Lúnasa, Luka Bloom, Little Bear, Jesca Hoop, Hillfolk Noir and Dervish founding member Shane McAleer, as well as hillbilly act The BackYard Devils and emerging US singer, Bhi Bhiman. There’s also a full programme of Irish traditional pub sessions and even a couple of completely free concerts.