Rupert Hine – Surface Tension is available for pre-order
As the 72nd birthday of late musician Rupert Hine approaches, Esoteric Recordings (part of Cherry Red Records) announces the release of a compilation of the artist’s recordings. The 3CD Box Set, entitled Surface Tension, features recordings from the songwriter and producer’s solo albums between 1981 and 1983. Surface Tension – The Recordings 1981-1983 celebrates the creativity and originality of Rupert’s solo work of the early 1980s. The box set is a newly remastered 3CD CLAMSHELL BOXED SET. It is set for released on October 28, 2022.
Stephen W Tayler engineered all of the original recordings and co-produced them with Rupert Hine. The acclaimed engineer has now brilliantly remastered this compilation from the original master tapes. Rupert Hine all composed the tracks. The musician wrote the albums with the late poet, graphic artist and lyricist Jeannette Obstoj (aka Jeannette-Thérèse Obstoj). Jeannette Obstoj is known among her many talents to have been the regular lyrics partner of Rupert Hine for all his solo compositions between 1981 abnd 1983.
The albums also features guest appearances. This includes legendary English singer-songwriter, record producer and Genesis drummer Phil Collins on drums. British rock sideman and guitarist Phil Palmer also appears. English singer-songwriter and record producer Robert Palmer and British singer Marianne Faithfull lends their vocals each on one song in one album. There is also James West-Oram, a member of London rock band The Fixx. Canadian drummer and songwriter Steve Negus from rock bands Saga and GNP also plays the drums on one of the albums.
Disc One: Immunity
The noted producer co-wrote acclaimed and strikingly original ‘Immunity’ (1981) with the late poet, graphic artist and lyricist Jeannette Obstoj. Guest performers on the album included Phil Collins and Marianne Faithfull appears on the song “Misplaced Love”. the album has influenced a host of celebrated musicians to this day.
I Hang On To My Vertigo
I Think A Man Will Hang Soon
Make A Wish
10. Scratching At Success 11. Introduction To The Menace
DISC TWO: Waving Not Drowning
The 1982 album ‘Waving Not Drowning’ was another fine work and was particularly popular in Scandinavia and once again featured Phil Collins.
The Curious Kind
The Set Up
Innocents In Paradise
One Man’s Poison
10. Kwok’s Quease
DISC THREE: The Wildest Wish To Fly
The Wildest Wish To Fly (1983) was a hit album in Sweden. It featured a small host of guest appearances. Phil Palmer and James West-Oram of The Fixx play the guitar. Robert Palmer is on vocals on the track “Living in Sin”.
Living in Sin
No Yellow Heart
The Saturation of the Video Rat
Firefly in the Night
A Golden Age
The Victim of Wanderlust
The Most Dangerous of Men
The Wildest Wish to Fly
10. Blue Flame (Melt the Ice) 11. An Eagle’s Teaching 12. Picture Phone (remix) 13. No Yellow Heart (later version)
To think of Ralph McTell live @ Words & Music Festival
The Words & Music Festival team have done it again. Via their newly-formed Nantwich Roots Festival, they have brought in another legend, filled in the seats against the variants tide and programmed a delicious set at the Nantwich Civic Hall. Ralph McTell is the headliner, supported by Liverpool-based musician Anna Corcoran.
I am lucky enough to have been invited. Ralph McTell is a treat for me. The grounded and humble artist serves unpretentious Folk for the most heart-warming feel. My soul had been starving for food unspoiled by artificial sweeteners and my belief I’d find it on the musician’s set was vindicated. The artist took us on a trip of soul food, great friendship, musicianship and insight into the origin of his songs.
Producer and festival co-organiser Nigel Stonier introduces the evening and announces what was indeed going to be a great night.
I’m sitting next to a little girl and her father. Later I find out that her name is Abigail. She was at one point Ralph McTell’s youngest fan, at 4 years old. She was certainly the youngest at the concert on this day. She has met our act before. In fact, she was in a related BBC programme testifying of that. And she will later go and say hi again, backstage. She will come back having realised that my name was on the Words & Music Festival shirt she was wearing. I think she blushed, how lovely. That made me smile. I love her name, Abigail. I will then take a photo with her, but not as a performing artist giving her that gift. She is the music sensitive artist who wants to learn the guitar and is already appreciating the art. This photo is for me when she becomes a star as I know she will. And I will show it to her to remind her we once had this wonderful experience. Of course, I am not going to post it here! She’s underaged! But for the moment, we are going to watch Ralph McTell live!
Supporting act Anna Corcoran starts off the night with a collection of well-received originals and covers. Her versatile piano playing accompanied her lovely vocals to support a varied set including 2016 album’s pieces Adelphi and All That’s Pretty. The Americana Music Awards UK 2021 instrumentalist of the year has played with the likes of Laura Marling and showcases her talent during her opening set. You can find more of what she does at her Facebook page, Anna Corcoran on Facebook.
After the break, the hearts are served a mix of song explanation in the form of inspirational narration (clearly never meant as much more than contextualisation) and nourishing songs that they had been yearning for.
First love – The first song is that of the boy who invented himself a persona to attract the opposite sex. It is a story seldom told but so often experience by all genders. At this point, this is my favourite song of the set (and my known favourite songs has not even made it yet).
The story of Harlem’s Reverend Bill unveils one of McTell’s musical heroes, inspirational blues and a sweet example of literal blind faith. The Black Blues artists who have fed McTell’s musical muse would be proud that he has developed a style of his own, that his audience relates to.
Capehorn – A 1928 film subtext inspires the next, strumming song. McTell continues to delight with his blend of simple pleasures and uncomplicated waves underpinned by lessons of a life well-observed and simply lived. The lyrical punchline asserts that to love your life, you have to flirt with death.
The next song requires a change of guitar. The artist entertains us with his humble and funny (in the simplest way) narration. “Nigel,” (the organiser) he tells us, “has trouble playing this song.” So maybe the trick is to sit like Ralph to avoid the guitar constantly escaping your grasp. Nigel later tells me that the song is called Nettle Wine. As McTell plays, I’m reminded of the typical Folk arrangements that the likes of Georges Brassens also add to their arrangements. This time, I hesitate to say this is my favourite song so far because I have already been proven wrong three times during the same set.
Michael in the Garden is a ’70s song. It tells the story of a boy institutionalised because people did not understand his way of saying things. McTell remembers parents coming to him and saying “you’re talking about my boy.” Then the word autism came about I guess. I think that’s what I like about this man. He doesn’t wait for acceptance to see, to sing the obvious injustice, what a boy may have endured wrongly for misunderstanding and difference.
Talking about guitars had McTell start reminiscing about the late Scottish Folk musician Herbert Jansch (Bert) who changed the way British acoustic guitar players played. Thalis led him to transition to a song Bert Jansch arranged, Blackwaterside(I’ve also seen it written as Blackwater Side and Black Waterside hmm…) which he then covered for us.
Another change of guitar leads the songwriter back to the one he’s had since he was 19. He tells us of his friendship with Bert, a man with whom he’s had lots of adventures all over Netherlands, USA, Spain, etc. He cannot but think of his friend every time he plays the guitar for the time they shared and the tips and tricks they exchanged for best playing their favourite instrument. The nostalgia particularly hit as he changes his strings every night.
I really, really don’t want to say that Gammel Danskis my favourite so far. The lyricism is on point, cinematographic and all at once lifting and grounding. The chord progression is beautiful. All that seems to invade my head are the last words “And the rain turned back to snow”.
I was right not to say that Gammel Dansk was my favourite even as only the first few chords of the next song had resounded. One of the musicians who changed his life, this is the 2nd time he plays this, rolling guitar player with a wonderful voice and a beautiful smile – Ralph wrote this just the other day – a little Americana “Mississippi John”
Mr McTell then serves a beautiful, beautiful lullaby “When they were young“. The song was repetitively requested and its air reminds us why. For a moment, I am taken to the most peaceful place within myself. There is love, nostalgia and melancholy. I know for sure there is no point trying to pick a favourite now.
The next song is The Girl On The Jersey Ferry. Ralph Mctell blends melancholy and passion in the piece. The idea germinated from a scene in the movie Citizen Kane. This boy saw this girl on the Jersey Ferry and knew instantly that he was going to spend the rest of his life with her. But she left never and never came back.
Ralph McTell now gets up again to play the rest of his set. I’m thinking how appropriate it is that Abigail was falling asleep (it is late after all) as the guitarist starts performing The Girl From the Hiring Fair. I find the lyrics a little sensual, nothing scandalous (especially considering what pop has been serving us) but still. I loved the lyrics though, gosh, what penmanship!
There is no Ralph McTell live set complete without the song. The Streets of London is dedicated to Jeff (Jeff Pownell, I later find out). I am entranced. The public is one. The main man sings and asks us to join and no voice is louder than another. We sing as one, as a rehearsed choir and it sounds like magic. Nantwich has a beautiful unanimous voice with a beautiful rendition that all at once thanks and celebrate the man.
We get to another one of his heroes. This time it is for American Blues influencer, composer, masterful guitar player and singer Robert Johnson for whom he wrote a song. He reminds us here again of the debt he feels he owes these Black Blues icons. The song’s title is simply The Ghost Of Robert Johnson.
When McTell says “thank you”, my heart sinks. Where has the time gone? Why is it already finished. But the singer-songwriter keeps on giving and before we know it, there is another song. It is the song From Clare To Here. I feel better already. But I know the end is near and at least now I can prepare myself mentally. And the ballad is calming so I am more than grateful.
For his encore, Ralph McTell goes to another kind of hero. The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan is the 1963 second album by the Folk musician. The album, McTell tells us, changed the way people made songs, bringing a new wind in music (I wonder if the pun was intended). Suze Rotolo shares the album cover with the legend and later writes a book A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties about her time with Bob Dylan and other artists. What they create on the cover (shot on West 4th Street And Jones) though sums up the feeling that goes throughout the album, two people free to make music. The song West 4th Street And Jones is an homage to the inspiration the cover, the Folk legend that is Bob Dylan and the book inspired. It is probably why he picks up the harmonica (to complement the guitar), an instrument that has a tendency to feature on Dylan’s songs.
The audience is sated. The smile have not left their faces as they realise the set has reached its most natural end. It is hard to deny what a great evening we have just spent.
Savarre has certainly pleased fans with the release of the 2020 song, “Unbeautiful.” Anyone who enjoys rock soundscapes will enjoy hearing this track. The electric guitar complements lead vocalist Shannon Denise Evans’ vocals rather nicely throughout the entire song. For example, both start fairly softly and grow in volume as the song continues. While not the only part of the instrumental, listeners will find their ears gravitating toward the electric guitar, given how prominent it becomes in volume. By the end of the song, it gets loud enough that “Unbeautiful” practically becomes a duet between the vocals and the guitar. This is certainly a good thing, as it is unimaginable to think of “Unbeautiful” being as good without either one of them.
Shannon’s emotive vocal delivery adds to the overall forlorn but robust aura that the song brings about. After hearing tons of rock songs that are out there, “Unbeautiful” is a breath of fresh air. Shannon certainly conveys the sentiments of the song perfectly, bringing her raw energy all throughout. Her unfiltered vocal performance is charismatic and will definitely capture the attention of music listeners across the globe.
Savarre’s “Unbeautiful” can be heard on all streaming platforms, including Spotify. Savarre is also on Instagram and can be followed @savarreofficial.
On the first date of her UK Tour, Annie Keating transported the audience to Brooklyn, New York & Bristol County, Massachusetts simultaneously on her magical time machine! What a Special night that was and the audience will remember it for sure in spite of the facts that the band only met for the first time 2 days prior and that it was Annie’s first gig to a Live Audience since 2019!
Annie’s joy to be performing live again was clearly evident. The appreciative & engaging audience so contagiously picked up on it. Annie has a natural talent to connect with audiences and her wonderful songs with amazing backstories were enjoyed by everyone. The band, needless to say, rose to the occasion also & everyone contributed their parts so incredibly well, clearly enjoying performing so well.
Annie’s music requires great lead guitar contribution which Teddy Krumple had developed in Annie’s own band and this was achieved really well by guitarist for this tour, Joe Coombs. Joe had some great fills & also great slide and rhythm work and even helped Annie on occasion with capo position selection. The brilliant rhythm section consisted of Scott Warman on bass and Jamie Dawson on drums. The highlight for Jamie was on the track, ‘On The Loose’ before which Annie suggested we watch the drummer and she was right and also well supported by Joe on bass.
We were treated to 18 marvellous heartfelt songs of immense variety and quality which all have meaning & performed to the highest level. The backdrop to the Bristol County Tides songs was obviously the lock-down and Annie communicates the deep meaning behind each song. I feel we can all empathise and identify with that as it affected us all. One of the songs she performed, ‘Nobody Knows’ holds that message so clearly and before she performed at the release livestream with no audience last year she introduced the song so well as follows:-
‘So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about uncertainty, change. I think one thing we probably all had in common was it sort of changed our lives in whatever way. For me a lot changed but for everybody it’s just like how do you deal with this massive amount of change and uncertainty and one thing that’s been comforting me in these times is the idea that it’s all changed. That’s growth & it’s like you don’t get to live your life without it constantly being changed and there’s this quote that I read the other day that made me feel good about that journey. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about uncertainty and change’. – ‘Suffering is resisting the route of uncertainty but no matter what the circumstance, uncertainty is all we have.’ ‘I think there’s growth in there somewhere.’ She turned to her guitarist Teddy Krumple and he said ‘Life is a jazz solo.’
Annie has had her music played by Bob Harris since 2008 and the last time was about a month ago when he played her latest single ‘Feels Like Home’ which was part of the set-list on the night & is a wonderful song. He has played her music many times & on one occasion in 2011 she played two songs live, namely ‘Victoria Station’ and ‘First of November’ and was described as follows, ‘New York’s famous Village Voice described Annie Keating as ” a wise mix of Lucinda Williams songwriting, Gillian Welch guitar and a vocal of her own – a cross between Willie Nelson and John Prine”. The Boston-born New York-based musician and activist play live for Bob Harris. Such a fine body of work to explore with many great albums and I feel she is developing new ideas and connections all the time, Her album ‘Bristol County Tides’ is a real gift of creativity, emotional connection and expression of challenges felt by the lock-down. A heartfelt collection of beautiful songs communicated through her music and her live performance takes everything to a new level. She really needs to be congratulated and I can’t recommend enough for people to attend whatever gigs they can on this tour. Her music is so exciting and vibrant and full of enjoyment and celebration now that she can take her music live to the UK and beyond!
Rocky Rose is a film composer and professor turned songwriter and performer, unleashing her alter ego!
Born in Chardon Ohio, she moved to Boston for Berklee College of Music and went on to get her Masters of Music from the Royal College of Music in London, backpacking, traveling, and soaking in cultures the entire journey.
She composes for orchestra, tops the nerd charts working in tech for software companies, infuses her songwriting with her love of arrangement and orchestration, and even does crazy special effects makeup! Her love of all things creative even sparked her to start her own RockyRoseArt shop on Etsy!
Rocky now resides and thrives in sunny Los Angeles, California. 1 In Music emet the multi-instrumentalist.
1 In Music: What is unique about you and your music?
Rocky Rose [RR]: It’s edgy, it’s fun, it’s simple yet sophisticated. I love writing very visual lyrics and nailing an all-round vibe for each song. Everything I write is a bit different – I’m a chameleon of sorts – stay tuned for an extra special “out of this world” song and music video coming in 2022!
1 In Music: What or who shaped your music and who supports you?
RR: I wanted to know and see the world – and as soon as I learned my first instrument (piano) I was off and running with it, with massive support from my family.
Music can take you places mentally, sonically, emotionally – but as a musician, it can physically take you to the most beautiful places in the world to play.
I love touring! I continue to play for many artists across the globe, and I’m always finding new inspiration for my own music.
1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?
RR: As a gemini with ADHD motivation, I get bored easily. Music is the one thing that satisfies my soul and urge to create – and I’m always spinning out something new. Music is that one thing I just can’t live without!
1 In Music: When you say music, what type do you actually listen to?
RR: Honestly? Classical to jazz to rock to EDM to orchestral to ALWAYS finding new playlists on Spotify! You name it, I’ll stalk it and admire it 😉 Music transcends time, dimensions, and genre, so I’m always open to a new listen – no matter where it’s from!
1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?
RR:Ariel Bellvalaire – killer electric guitarist rocker who hangs upside down while ripping solos! Get it girl! I also designed her website for her on the music platform I work for – Rhythmic Rebellion!
1 In Music: How do you prepare for your performances?
RR: Meditation and then a solid 15 minutes of handstands and cartwheels!
1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?
RockyRoseArt on Etsy
Special Effects makeup for movies and music videos (and Halloween, duh!)
BAKING! My grandmother owned a bakery for years!
DANCING! Ecstatic LA is amazing – if you know, you know.
1 In Music: Success to you is…?
RR: Success is impacting someone else’s life with your music. Music is subjective of course, but it’s about finding that crowd that your creative outputs resonate with.
Success is pushing past all the denials, the critiques, the opinions – and truly finding who YOU are as an artist. After all, we’re all our own worst critics 😉
1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?
RR: In the words of Geena Davis from her Institute on Gender in Media –
“If she can SEE it, she can BE it”.
I feel like I was always told you had to pick one thing to be successful at. You’re a female musician? Then you’re just a singer.
I’ve spent my whole life proving that you can be ALL of the things – and be known for your success at them all.
1 In Music: Let’s talk about your current single Let’s Ride… plus of course all involved!
RR: “Get in my car and let’s riiiiiide baby!” First of all, Mad props to my multi-talented husband Mike Clairmont, for playing guitar and bass on this single, mixing it and always being my number one fan! I blend indie synth pop with live percussion reggae vibes and lofi loops in this east-coast-meets-SoCal debut of my new single, “Let’s Ride”!
Music and lyrics by Allison Piccioni
Guitar and bass by Mike Clairmont
Live drums and percussion by MB Gordy
Co-produced by Allison Piccioni and Mike Clairmont
Mixed by Mike Clairmont
Mastered by Nando Costa
Music video by Three Masters Media
Huge thanks to the über talented Julo Oyanadel and Lizz Tindle!
Sunglasses by Blenders Eyewear. Use code rockyrosemusic for a discount on their rad lenses!