Email Artswrap on Twitter Artswrap on Facebook

Neil Spencer

Lándini review Aurelio makes an elegant return to his Garifuna roots

His role as cultural ambassador for Honduras's coastal Garifuna people led Aurelio Martinez to Senegal for 2011's superb fusion album, Laru Beya.

Swimmin' Time review Shovels & Rope deliver winning bluesy lo-fi

(Dualtone)This South Carolina husband-and-wife duo made ripples in the overcrowded Americana scene with 2012's debut, a set of rowdy originals with a Southern gothic tinge. Swimmin' Time follows on winningly, pitching drawling vocal harmonies against a bl

Long in the Tooth review Billy Joe Shaver shows how honky-tonk heroes grow old

(Lightning Rod)It's a good year for grizzled Texan outlaws. Following Willie Nelson's Band of Brothers comes this equally classy offering from a fellow veteran, its 10 tracks a songwriting showcase. Nelson rides shotgun on Hard to Be an Outlaw, where 75-y

The Red Album review tight harmonies with added heartbreak from Red Molly

(Self-released)This female trio have cut a niche as sunnyside Americana, setting immaculate vocal harmonies to well-chosen cover versions with an upbeat sensibility. As the sassy cover shot suggests, they are a more assertive, shadowed presence here, with

Elvis Has Left the Building review Dylan Jones in rattlingly readable form

Despite the millions of words devoted to Elvis Presley since his death, this account from the class of UK punk in 1977 offers new insights.

Sweet Visitor review Nancy Kerr veers from the outstanding to the drab

(Little Dish)Fiddler, singer and English folk stalwart Nancy Kerr delivers a solo debut of all original material, though you wouldn't know as much, so steeped are its songs in the tunes and diction of tradition. Kerr's poised vocals, spirited violin and e

Terms of My Surrender review John Hiatt's crackling back-porch blues

(New West)As the opener of his 26th album drifts past in a blur of cliches (howling winds, lonesome whistles, wheels turning), it seems that John Hiatt has finally run out of words. Not so. The seasoned songwriter soon locates his mojo for a downbeat set

Acoustic Classics review Richard Thompson gives a bravura performance

In which the English folk eminence reprises his formidable back catalogue armed only with an acoustic guitar.

That's It! review New Orleans institution Preservation Hall Jazz Band swing out in style

The current incarnation of this New Orleans institution, first established 50 years ago, takes an eclectic attitude to their heritage.

This Willowed Light review a perfect blend of youthfulness and gravitas from Maz O'Connor

Innovating while honouring tradition is the challenge for any young folkie, and on this second outing Maz O'Connor carries it off with disquieting ease.