Windsor-based singer-songwriter Glen MacNeil‘s debut album “Where The Heart Remains” is very much a personal testament to love and life. Ten fine songs, written or co-written by Glen, that focus on life, love and personal relationships, and his Cape Breton roots – The Island Where The Heart Remains; it is very much in the tradition of great Canadian singer-songwriters like Gordon Lightfoot and Dave Gunning. Featuring some fabulous musicianship, and beautifully understated production from John Law (of The Laws), the album is a joy for the ears, and one that once you start listening, you need to stay with to the end.
Somerset, England based singer-songwriter Ange Hardy has just released “Esteesee” (2015, Story Records), a great new album of songs inspired by the life and work of English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) – the ‘Esteesee’ in the title (pronounced Ess-Tee-See), or as he preferred to refer to himself S.T.C. A follow up to the critically-acclaimed “The Lament of the Black Sheep” (2014, Story Records), Esteesee finds Ange Hardy stretching herself by taking on specific source material but coming up trumps with a stellar set of wonderfully arranged songs.
The protest song lives on. Land of Hope & Fury is a new album of protest songs born out of what the project organizers describe as crushing disappointment with the results of the May 2015 UK general election. This cathartic release, out now on Union Music Store features 16 great songs from UK musicians in various stages of their career, that focus on issues such as inequality and disenfranchisement that are as relevant to life in 2015 in Canada and the US as they are to life in the UK. The album, featuring a who’s who from the UK folk and roots scene… is very strong, and very thoughtfully sequenced. I really didn’t appreciate any lagging across the 16 tracks on offer.
Shane Jacob Philips releases his excellent new album, “Social Justice & Peace” with a show at The Cornerstone, Guelph on November 8 at 9 p.m. Social Justice and Peace features seven songs with a social conscience intended to provoke the listener to question the current direction we are moving in. As a committed social activist, Philips walks the talk, even if that means walking 102 km straight over 29 hours to deliver a message about water issues to the Ontario Minister of the Environment. Featuring Shane Philips trademark soulful vocals within laid-back folk-style arrangements that allow the lyrics to breath, it is not just a great album but also one where the lyrics deserve closer scrutiny. Music: Shane Jacob Philips, “Freedom” from “Social Justice & Peace” (2014, Self).