March 9 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 4, 2013
You could say that Sara Watkins’ solo work was a lifetime in the making. The singer-songwriter and fiddle player spent nearly two decades as one-third of Nickel Creek, the Grammy Award-winning acoustic trio. This week she is back promoting her second solo album. Plus: Anda Union, Amelia Curran.
Norwich Arts Centre, February 4
Let it never be said that you can’t hear sounds from around the world in Norwich — even outer Mongolian! Anda Union, who play Norwich Arts Centre on Monday, describe themselves as music gatherers, digging deep into Mongol traditions and unearthing bygone music. As with all nomads the Mongols have an oral culture, passed on generation to generation in stories, music and songs, Anda Union sing their history. The main instrument, the morin huur or horse head fiddle, pays homage to their most revered animal, the horse. They combine different traditions and styles of Mongolian music and are determined to save their culture, re-engage young Mongols, and fight for their endangered sacred grasslands. Formed 11 years ago in 2000, the band have influenced a generation of young Mongolians in Inner Mongolia as traditional music flourishes in the capital. Band member Nars says: “Most of the members have been playing together since childhood. As adults, we studied professional vocals and instruments together. We are like a family.”
t Further listening: www.andaunion.com
SARA WATKINS TRIO
Norwich Arts Centre, February 7
You could say that Sara Watkins’ solo debut was a lifetime in the making. The 28-year-old singer-songwriter and fiddle player spent nearly two decades, all of her teenage and young adult life, as one-third of Nickel Creek, the Grammy Award-winning acoustic trio that used contemporary bluegrass as a starting point for its no-genre-barred sound.
With Nickel Creek on indefinite hiatus, she finally got to release her self-titled solo album, produced by former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. It featured an impressively wide range of backing players and old friends, including itinerant alt-country duo Gillian Welch and Dave Rawling and numerous fellow travellers from the bluegrass world.
Her solo material has an air of easy-going virtuosity, displaying her skill as a multi-instrumentalist, playing the guitar and ukulele as well as the fiddle.
Her second solo album, Sun Midnight Sun, released last year, featured vocals from Jackson Browne and Fiona Apple, and When It Pleases You, a song by Adele’s writing partner Dan Wilson.
It won critical praise for the artist’s willingness to go beyond the traditional bounds of folk and roots, pulling in everything from quirky indie pop to West Coast folk-rock to harmony-drenched Americana.
t Further listening: www.sarawatkins.com
Bicycle Shop, February 7
The Bicycle Shop continues its recent run of welcoming Canadian artists. Singer-songwriter Amelia Curran started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and eventually dropped out of university in order to busk on the streets of her native town of St John’s in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Now based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, her music has been described as being a bit like Leonard Cohen being channelled in a dusty saloon by Patsy Cline. Soulful, heartfelt and in a folk-blues vein, it features skilled instrumentation, though the cornerstone remains Amelia’s fabulous voice.
She released her first album Barricade in 2000 and since then she has released four more including Trip Down Little Road, Lullaby for Barflies, Hunter Hunter and War Brides.
The later saw her nominated for Female Artist of the Year and Folk Album of the Year, and after gaining an international release, has outsold all her previous albums. She was also the subject of an award-winning documentary entitled Move On.
She is touring in support of her latest album Spectators, which sees the Juno-winning artist widen her folk influences to include brass, strings, piano, and rumbling percussion.
t Further listening: www.ameliacurran.com
SOUNDS IN THE CITY
Jhest (hip hop) — Open
The Cleaving Heavages (risqué rock) — Brickmakers
Keno Kings (blues/soul) — Blueberry
Untold (rock) — King Edward VII
The Dude Coopers (bluegrass) — Silver Road Cottage
The Cream Horns (blues/funk) — Walnut Tree Shades
Bassjam: feat. Killamonjambo (dance/ska/hip hop) — Hideout
The Harvs (roots) — Brewery Tap
A13 Allstars (Americana and blues) — The Otter Drayton
Norwich Folk Club: feat. Poacher — Christ Church Centre
Lee Vasey (blues/jazz) — Ber Street Gates
Steve Pye — Moles Rest
Acoustic Charity Gig — B2
Thurston Moore + Michael Chapman (indie) — Arts Centre
Pure Passion + Black Diamond (pop/rock) — Brickmakers
Mastema (metal) — B2
Don’t Spook The Horses + The Offshore Rivers (Neil Young tribute) — Olives
Thin Ice (rock/indie) — The Woolpack
Hot Cold Ground (blues) — The Wild Man
Wicked Faith (rock) — King Edward VII
Dub Pistols (ska/hip hop) — Hideout
The DP3 (rock/pop) — Blueberry
Thin Ice (rock/indie) — The Woolpack
Eclipse (reggae/hip hop) — Hog In Armour
Honeydripper (blues/soul) — Old Catton Maids Head
Wypeout (50s/60s) — Wensum Social Club
A13 Allstars (Americana/blues) — Micawbers Tavern
Clive & The Wanderers (rock‘n’roll) — Arkwrights
Klezmerized (roots) — The Champion
Doozoot — Angel Gardens
Tony Cann — Heath House
Graham Johns — Kier Hardie Hall
Alan Ley — The Windmill
Bexxy’s Blues Jam — King Edward VII
Dumfoundus (pop/acoustic/3pm) — Brewery Tap
Lena Black & The Uptown Playboys (blues) — Wensum Valley Hotel
Lee Vasey Big Band (12pm) — Brickmakers
Lee Vasey Solo (5pm) — Silver Road Cottage
Anda Union (world) — Arts Centre
It’s Not OK + 3 more (pop-punk) — Blueberry
Jazz Jam: feat. Rich Buddie — Walnut Tree Shades
Jazz Jam: feat. Brendan Young + Lee Vasey + Ian Hireson + Mark Jolley (jazz) — Silver Road Cottage
Brickie Session (open mic) — Brickmakers
Orange Goblin + Admiral Sir Cloudsley Shovell (metal) — Waterfront Studio
Norwich School Senior Jazz Orchestra (big band swing) — Oaklands Hotel
New World Service (rock/pop) — Brickmakers
Phab Club: feat. Roger Dowe — Vauxhall Centre
Traditional Folk Night — Beehive
Jam Night — Rumsey Wells
Patrick Wolf (acoustic) — Arts Centre
Rose Marie (country/Irish/Americana) — Maddermarket Theatre
Lovely Promo: feat. Café Warriors + Robyn Comfort + Matchbox Heroes (swing/jazz) — Walnut Tree Shades
Grapevine: feat. Jack Harris + Cara Winter + Crumbs For Comfort (indie/acoustic) — Bedfords
Pure Acoustic (open mic) — Brickmakers
Traditional Irish — Gatehouse
Open Mic — Garden House
Sara Watkins Trio (folk/singer-songwriter) — Arts Centre
Amelia Curran (singer-songwriter) — Bicycle Shop
Dave Thomas & His Blues Band (blues) — Maddermarket Theatre
Voices + more (hardcore) — B2
Epic Acoustic: feat. Addison’s Uncle + Jake Morrell + Jack Poot (folk/acoustic) — Epic
Lovely Promo: feat. James Pearce + Freya Roy + Stewart Harrington + Matt Watson (folk/acoustic) — Ten Bells
Ghostriders Western Club: feat. Stubby (country) — TA Centre
Ramon Goose (blues) — Walnut Tree Shades
Honey Bee (blues) — Rumsey Wells
Bad Amplitude (rock) — Brickmakers
Crusin’ For A Bluesin’ (blues) — Rose Tavern
Open Mic — Lounge
Open Mic — Coach & Horses