Lisa Richards blends folk with jazz to form new album ‘A Light From The Other Side’

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A Light From The Other Side is the new album from Australian singer-songwriter, Lisa Richards, who has developed her very own brand of jazz infused folk, with a few hints of blues and roots music too.

Growing up in North Queensland, Australia, was difficult for Lisa; her Mother who was formerly a concert pianist, had moved there for her Father and thus Lisa’s childhood became a turbulent time. Alcohol and substance abuse were issues from a young age, but Lisa eventually fled her troubles to the city where she would pursue a career in music.

Check out ‘Frank Sinatra’ from the album here:

Lisa’s travels and experiences have woven a rich tapestry of musical styles into her own work, resulting in the artist she is today. As a result, her eclectic, yet endearing sound has seen her compared with the likes of Norah Jones, Leonard Cohen, Amy Winehouse and even Ella Fitzgerald.

Despite this, Lisa has been gifted with a voice like no one else’s that will immediately stop you in your tracks the first time you hear it; it’s truly like nothing else.

A Light From The Other Side is out now and was produced with the help of renowned singer-songwriter/producer, Greg J. Walker.

Links:

http://www.lisarichardsmusic.com

http://www.twitter.com/mymadmusic

https://soundcloud.com/lisarichardsmusic

http://www.facebook.com/lisarichardssongs

https://www.youtube.com/user/lisamrichards

Derek Ryan – Hold onto your Hat

Hold Onto Your Hat” featuring Sharon Shannon, will be on release from Sharpe Music or available to download via iTunes from the 16thMay 2014.  

 Here they are performing on The Late Late Show:

After the rip roaring success of Country soul, Derek’s previous album, with hits such as “100 Numbers”, “Raggle Taggle Gypsy” and “Wake Me Up”, it is very likely that repeat succes is around the corner.

Derek Ryan has had a enjoyed huge success over the lats three years, and is set to continue his good form with his promiising new collaboration. Sharon Shannon is a female solo artist who boasts a promising past portfolio on her own behalf. She has had contributions from artists/Bands such as Shane Macgowan from The Pogues fame to Imelda May, no to mention her Number 1 Hit with Steve Earle.

Don’t forget to watch out for news of Derek’s new album being released later this year on www.derekryanmusic.com.

Derek Ryan appears in the Olympia Theatre Dublin on Thursday 17thJuly where he will be joined by Sharon Shannon.

Sharon will also guest with Derek at an open air event at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on 31st May. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.ie and Armaghgaa.net.

Next weekend there will be a Derek Ryan Music Weekend taking place in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny when Derek will be joined by Declan Nerney and Gerry Guthrie with the Sunday afternoon dance being a family day, such is the interest amongst the youth for Derek’s brand of country.

Interview: Kelly Oliver

Kelly Oliver PRHaving only started gigging in May last year, folk singer-songwriter Kelly Oliver has made quite an impact. Within months of starting she found herself invited to open Folkstock Festival before, incredibly, bagging herself a spot at the prestigious Cambridge Folk Festival. It marks a mighty rise for someone who has been on the circuit for less than a year, and with single ‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ out March 17th, we took the chance to ask her a few questions.

 

Many of our readers won’t have heard of your music before, how would you describe your sound?

I would say it’s influenced by traditional folk music. Traditional Irish folk music definitely, but I do have country influences. I’m influenced a lot by Dolly Parton, and people like Kenny Rogers, singers like Alison Krauss and Cara Dillon. But I think the way I write songs is influenced a lot by Irish folk music, the traditional ways. Really I take influences from all sorts, so I’m not sure how I’d describe it but that’s probably the best way.

 

The upcoming single ‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ features BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year nominee Will Pound on Harmonica. How did that collaboration come about?

That was through Twitter! I followed him on Twitter – I was a fan of his a little bit before – and because I play harmonica I’d already had the song recorded [for EP ‘Far From Home – Ed]. But my manager just approached him to see if he wanted to do a collaboration, we sent him the song and he agreed. So it was quite quickly done actually, it was really good fun.

 

Your rise since starting out last year has been stratospheric – did you have any inkling you’d get the reaction you have when you started out?

Not at all. I went travelling basically, and once I went I decided while I was out there that I wanted to at least have a go at the music. I didn’t know anything, I never thought what could happen. At the beginning I just focussed on trying to do gigs, got myself a Facebook stage and started at the bottom really. Started with trying to promote myself online and approach people for gigs. I guess it’s the same way every musician starts, so I never thought I would even have the chance to record an EP let alone the things that have come from that so it was really shocking!

 

‘He Walked on the Side of the Sea’ was originally released, minus Will Pound, as part of your EP ‘Far From Home’, which has been a big part of your success so far. Do you have any plans for a follow up as yet?

Yeah, we do. There’s going to be an album that will be recorded and released this year. I have got some songs that I’m looking to put on there but then there might be some that I haven’t written yet, depending on finding the time to write and record.

 

Where is the best place to find your music online?

My website is www.kellyoliver.co.uk, and from there there’re links to my Facebook page, my Twitter and Soundcloud.

You can listen to ‘He Walked in the Side of the Sea’ here: https://soundcloud.com/kellyoliver/kelly-oliver-ft-will-pound-he

And it can also be found on Amazon and iTunes.

Ben Okafor is One to Watch

Ben Okafor is a unique musician who makes roots reggae music and bridges an artistic gap between Jamaican reggae, Afro-pop and UK folk. He has shared a stage with popular music giants like Cliff Richard, Van Morrison and Billy Bragg and has been touring and making new music since 1985.

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Perhaps the most pertinent thing about Ben’s music is his political focus and drive for social change. He was born in Enugu in eastern Nigeria with 7 siblings and his early life was defined by the Biafran civil war which erupted when he was 12. He enlisted in the Biafran military intelligence arm known as ‘the Boys Company’ without telling his parents, but luckily missed his mission rendezvous which failed with horrendous consequences. Nevertheless Ben witnessed the fighting, terror and violence first hand and has experienced being in the line of fire. This fraught background coloured some of his musical experiences in writing and in performance. Indeed, his music has such power in his native Nigeria that he has even been threatened not to play “Raise your Conscience” by a Nigerian military general and has had tanks at one of his gigs in Apartheid South Africa.

His music carries messages relating to these experiences and each one tells a fascinating story. It is for this reason that his music has received praise from the likes of Chris Rea, Bono and BBC Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo and he has played at Glastonbury Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival and the World Music Festival in Copenhagen. Due to his political background Ben has also had the privilege to play at high profile events to influential world leaders such as Archbishop Rowan Williams and Gordon Brown at the Lambeth Conference in 2008, at the ‘Make Poverty History’ Gleneagles Summit and at a Commonwealth leader’s summit with HM the Queen and Prince Philip. He is therefore used to gaining a great deal of attention through his music, he sees his art and art in general as a way of influencing people to do good in the world.  He currently runs a charity called ‘Amaka Beautiful Child’ (ABC) which is itself committed to ‘social and personal transformation through the arts’. It aims to use poetry, music, art, drama and dance (all interests of Ben’s) for the sake of social cohesion in order to bring communities together. Ben has been busy working on a number of projects such as the empowerment of young refugees, a campaign to make primary education free for all children globally (UN development goal for 2015), and the creation of a physical space for sociological artistic expression in his home town of Great Malvern.

Ben’s range of life experiences has provided him with some rich insight into the world around him. His albums like ‘Thing with War’ (2003) and ‘Child of Biafra’ (2007) investigate some of the effects of war and express Ben’s own experiences of conflict and violence. Whereas some of his other records such as ‘Nkiru’ (1989) and his most recent album, ‘Diverted Traffic’ (2009) delve more broadly into the human condition, self-identity, and the potential conflicts between artistic expression and a market centred music industry.

In early 2010, Ben’s youngest child was born which naturally took priority and caused him to take some time out from the industry. This didn’t stop him from continuing to write new music that will be recorded later this year for his new album.

Overall, there is no doubt that Ben Okafor is a fascinating musical talent with a rich personal history. Together these two facets of talent and wisdom make for quite a special listen.

http://www.benokafor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ben-Okafor/140357829311212?ref=sgm

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnzejsHMNnkLrL7kP2lRuXg?feature=watch

Malik & Pettite new gig dates

[Stream their EP here – https://soundcloud.com/malik-27]

Following the release of their debut 4- track self-titled EP, talented young upstarts Malik & Pettite have announced two London showcase gigs in the coming weeks. The first on November 20th at ‘The Bedford’ in South London, followed by December 6th at the legendary 100 Club in Soho.Image

The duo have only just released their first EP and are definitely on the rise. Their four track EP, ‘Malik & Pettite’, is a tight and fun little number.

‘Victoria’ is the stand out track for me with brilliant hints of a Housemartins sound that has otherwise disappeared from the mainstream.

Similarly ‘Only You’ and ‘No More Love’ have something of the late 80s / 90s guitar folk sound to them, maybe a touch of Billy Bragg in there as well. Check out the video for ‘No More Love’, set predominantly on an airplane wing! http://youtu.be/PgL8WY3IMBg

If you’re around the venues then I would recommend you give them a go, even if you’re not, get down there! I wouldn’t be surprised to see them following the paths set by Jake Bugg et al in the near future.

Malik & Pettite Debut EP Track List:

1.    No More Love

2.    Only You

3.    Victoria

4.    Rise Up