Martyn Bennett's 'Grit' has been named as Folk Album of the Year in Scotland On Sunday newspaper:
'Made in the midst of his battle with cancer, Bennett uses his most trusted tools from the Scottish tradition to sample travellers and Gaelic singers, catapulting them into the modern world with thrilling beats and full-on techno. It is a collage of archive recordings from the Scots and Gaelic traditions integrated with Bennetts trademark contemporary dance beats. This collection is carried by monumental voices. The Roma provide the strongest, but listen to Liberation for a Gaelic psalm using the singing of Murdina and Effie Macdonald and the gravelly voice of Michael Marra reading Psalm 118 in English.'
World Music broadcaster, writer and general music guru Charlie Gillett has listed Sevara Nazarkhan's 'Yol Bolsin' in his top 10 albums of the year. Charlie has been a great supporter of the newly-discovered Sevara and she has featured on his show several times over the last year.
Formed in Liverpool in 1999 by vocalist Carl Brown, Sizer Barker, have had their first success with the independently released single 'Day By Day'. Critically acclaimed and loved by the press 'Day By Day' was a Radio 1 (UK) record of the week.
"..a strange and wonderful band...The only thing you can be sure about is that it sounds brilliant" (NME)
"After a year of processed pop, Sizer Barker's sound is a wonderful, idiosyncratic thing." (The Guardian).
Finally the band have finished recording their debute album which will be released on Real World Reocords in Spring 2004......watch this space.
"ESSENTIAL ECHOES 2003"
"The listeners had their say, now we have ours when the Echoes staff picks their 25 Essential Echoes CDs for 2003. These are the discs that made us want to get up and produce a radio show everyday, music that pushed our envelope and attained a certain pinnacle of perfection."
John Diliberto's critically acclaimed US radio programme Echoes (now on more than 150 stations) runs extraordinarly live ins-tudio sessions. Ranked at number one most popular session is the Afro Celts!
The Blind Boys of Alabama's first Christmas record in their 60-year history 'Go Tell It On the Mountain' has reached number 1 on the American Gospel Chart and has broken in to the Billboard Top 200.
Look out for the legendary band on 'The Tonight Show' on December 15, the Wayne Brady Show on the week of December 22 and 60 Minutes II on December 24 and a special Christmas Day performance with Aaron Neville on The Today Show.
Sevara's Real World release 'Yol Bolsin' is listed as one of the top ten albums of the year by Songlines Magazine and appears in the top 20 fRoots Critics' Poll for Albums Of The Year. 2003 has been an amazing year for this young rising star: "Her cool debut CD, Yol Bolsin, produced by Hector Zazou, features sensitive electonics plus wonderful musicianship from tanbur and rubab player Toir Kuziyev ...In action Sevara has an undeniable stag presence and a quirky send of fun." (Songlines)
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been nominated for a Grammy award for the third year running! Having been successful in winning the Best Traditional Soul Gospel album with their first two Real World releases we are delighted to hear that 'Go Tell It On The Mountain' has now been nominated.
The Blind Boys of Alabama will host an unforgettable Christmas celebration at New York City's Beacon Theater on 19 December. The show, the most star-studded stop on the group's 'Go Tell it on the Mountain' tour, will feature guest performances by Mavis Stalpes, John Medeski, Aaron Neville, Chrissie Hynde, Michael Franti of Spearhead, Charlie Musselwhite and Duke Robillard among others.
All of these artists also contributed to the new Go Tell it on the Mountain CD (Real World Records), the first Christmas album in the Blind Boys' more than 60-year history. The show will be taped for a 2004 TV special on the PBS network in the US.
Other TV performances confirmed for The Blind Boys include a Christmas Day performance on NBC's Today Show, a Christmas Eve feature on 60 Minutes 2, and additional appearances in December on The Tonight Show, Wayne Brady, Charlie Rose.