Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wow - can't wait

I'm not at all the first to discover Beth Rowley and her music - not even the first among those I know, I think Maggi was justly trumpeting her before I said boo.

But, wow, wow - this is great stuff.

I downloaded her free single from iTunes sometime last autumn. I usually download the free singles because, well, they're free. They most often turn out to be rubbish things I would not listen to and would never buy. But this one: one listen sold me. Here was a moving, rich singer attending to a traditional song. It was a cover of the old blues style standard Nobody's Fault But Mine, also done (originally?) by Nina Simone. Nary a day has gone by since downloading Ms. Rowley's version that I haven't listened to it at least once, often more. She also sang it on BBC Radio4's Loose Ends, another memorable performance - I would link to one of her live performances on YouTube, but they don't do her justice. (But you must - must! - listen to this brief excerpt from her website, it will give you an idea of the whole. Just amazing...wait a minute while I go listen to the whole thing again...)

...so where was I? Oh, right. First, apologies to American friends, because apparently she is being released here in the UK first (she's big in the Bristol and London scenes, I guess); I don't know if there are plans for the US, Canada, or elsewhere yet, but let's hope. But then just today I heard her new single (not yet released, but the video is out) and it's also great. I went to download it from iTunes, along with other choice selections only to find it is all due out officially later this month: hence the title of the post, wow - can't wait (for the album). But in the meantime, you can enjoy the official video and the tune via YouTube: So Sublime.

The moral of the story, if there has to be one, is this: listen to Loose Ends with Clive Anderson on BBC Radio 4 early Saturday evenings, because they have amazing musical acts along with fascinating interviews and (usually) a comedian; Clive has also introduced me to another favourite band of mine, the Canadian group Great Lake Swimmers.



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