Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
After the lacklustre Unfortunate Cup of Tea, the next album was going to be a watershed for Horslips. In the end, they returned broadly to the formula that had brought them so much acclaim for The Tain and produced a concept album based on Irish mythology and full of great songs based on Irish traditional tunes. And it works just as well as The Tain, having brought them enormous critical acclaim. If anything, they show their amazing musicianship off even more, with Charles O’Connor’s fiddle and mandolin swopping riffs with Johnny Fean’s scything lead guitar and Jim Lockhart’s flute,whistle, pipes and keyboards.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. The Queen in Waiting is Aretha Franklin's 2002 compilation album featuring popular tracks "God Bless the Child", "Skylark", "Only the Lonely" and "Try a Little Tenderness". The album includes Aretha's last Columbia recordings produced by Bob Johnston, noted for his work during this period with Bob Dylan; and songs that Columbia "sweetened" with new musicians after Aretha left the label.
The debut album by the Chieftains, recorded when they were still a semi-professional outfit, is more restrained than their subsequent efforts. The opening number introduces each of the bandmembers, Paddy Moloney and Sean Potts on pipes, followed by Michael Tubridy on flute and David Fallon on bodhran, Martin Fay on the fiddle, and then Tubridy on the concertina. The group would later acquire what can only be called a more soulful approach, but the playing here was a revelation at the time, if only for its stripped-down authenticity.
Soriana is ‘our Syria’. Our country that we left behind, forced out either by a search or by circumstances. We head out thinking that we carry no baggage, completely unaware of the biggest gift our country has bestowed upon us. That gift is the gift of musical knowledge. It remains with me throughout many journeys, it soothes wounds and inspires creation, provides warmth and a platform of stability, images, aromas, tastes that water the mouth and inspire new creations still. This music is my gift to our Syria – Soriana.
On A Queen of Hearts, French-American vocalist Rosemary Standley, better known as the singer for the band Moriarty, turns her vocal talents to the cabaret era. In 2013, she performed in the musical A Queen of Hearts directed by Juliette Deschamps at the Theatre de la Bastille. Afterward, she and pianist Sylvain Griotto took the show on the road. Here, she slips into the skin of a star and evokes memories of Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.