2016 is proving to be another great year for music. There have been releases from long-standing favourite artists and lots of albums from new voices to me that I've been delighted to stumble upon thanks to kindly promoters or the artists themselves.
It's a long list, so here are some of them.
David Berkeley - Cardboard Boat
David is a singer songwriter based in Sante Fe and Carboard Boat is his sixth album release but the first to come onto my musical radar. It's a beautiful album which once you discover it I feel sure you'll really like.
Erin Rae and the Meanwhiles - Soon Enough
Erin grew up in Jackson, Tennessee and Soon Enough is her superb debut release accompanied by her band the Meanwhiles. Over here it is released on the ever excellent Clubhouse Records, another fine signing from Danny and Tristan Tipping who run the label. Erin is a new discovery for me, I'm so glad to have heard her music.
Monticello is difficult to resist from the album and the whole record is a joy from beginning to end.
Peter James Millson - The Red Cafe
Peter James Millson is a very talented photographer. He also just happens to be a fantastic singer songwriter who I first discovered when I was sent a copy of his debut album Sweet the love that meets return which is well worth adding to your collection if you haven't got a copy already.
Peter's prolific too, there's an album called True or False which will hopefully be out later in the year. In May he released The Red Cafe tracks from which have graced my Quiet Revolution playlist over recent months. It's a wonderful follow-up to Sweet the love from this Bridport-based singer songwriter and photographer. And in the spirit of full disclosure Peter has played on the show and has very kindly given me a dedication in the sleeve notes.
Show of Hands - The Long Way Home
A new release from my all-time favourite duo is something to look forward to and The Long Way Home doesn't disappoint. In some ways this album marks a move back to Steve Knightley and Phil Beer's earlier albums, their days as duo before they became a three-piece band with Miranda Sykes.
It took me a while to adjust back to the change but it didn't take long. Miranda plays on the album yet although Steve and Phil are very much to the fore. It works incredibly well. Check it out for yourself.
Vanessa Peters - The burden of unshakeable proof
I confess I'm a big fan of Vanessa's music. I loved her 2015 album with the Sentimentals and the new one comes pretty hot on the heels of that. She's based in Dallas, Texas and the new album was recorded in a newly built professional grade recording studio with 27 songs being written and demo-ed before deciding on the ones that would find their way onto the album. The songs are as good as ever and the cover art for this record is pretty impressive too.
The Black Feathers - Soaked to the bone
Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler are Gloucestershire based, married in 2012 and released a fine EP before Soaked to the bone, their debut album came out in February 2016. They make a great sound with influences of folk, americana and alt-country. They're excellent live too so if you get the chance to see them play take it.
I've played quite a few tracks from the album on the show and it won't be too long before I'm digging into it again.
Aoife O'Donovan - In the magic hour
I remember seeing Aoife O'Donovan play once, at the Stamford Arts Centre, when she was part of the contemporary bluegrass outfit Crooked Still. In the set was a cover of Bob Dylan's Oxford Town which was just superb. On her second solo record, the follow up to the lovely Fossils, if you buy the deluxe version with an extra EP Aoife offers her excellent version of Joni Mitchell's You turn me on, I'm a radio. The rest of the album is self-written and mighty fine it is too. I encourage you to discover the music of this Brooklyn-based artist for yourself.
Yorkston, Thorne and Khan - Everything sacred
I've long enjoyed the music of James Yorkston and this trio record in which he is joined by Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan is a very different. It's almost folk and world music combined. It works wonderfully well to these ears. On their website the trio describe it as "Scottish-Irish-Indian-English music". There are some originals combined with a great cover of the much missed Ivor Cutler's Little Black Buzzer. Have a listen and keep an open mind (and open ears) and I think you will find a great deal to like in this record.