Friday, 22 June 2018

"Rattle The Asylum Bars" reviewed by Caught In The Act...

Many thanks to Caught In The Act mag for including this excellent review of "Rattle The Asylum Bars" in their just-out 50th Birthday issue!

Greatly appreciated!






















"Rattle The Asylum Bars" in New Zealand...

Delighted to say the new "Rattle The Asylum Bars" album is now out in New Zealand in both mp3 and FLAC!

Go, kiwis!


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Recording an acoustic guitar - tricks of the trade...


Tricks of the trade #1 – The Guitar Shirt! 

No buttons, everything sewn. Silent in use – no button-clicking! – and most importantly, it protects fifty-year-old lacquer. 

Simples!


Friday, 25 May 2018

Let It Rock reviews "Rattle The Asylum Bars"...

Serious thanks to Dmitry Epstein at Let It Rock for this very generous review of "Rattle The Asylum Bars"!

Much appreciated, Dmitry!

***
BEAU – Rattle The Asylum Bars

Cherry Red 2018

12-string Quixote states there’s no rest for the wicked until the wrongs of this world are righted.

Another year, another album from Beau; another tear the singer-songwriter’s shedding for this mortal coil, another smile to encourage it to turn. He’s not an observer or a dreamer anymore, though, he’s where the action is, and such inclusiveness makes “Rattle The Asylum Bars” one of the veteran’s most compassionate, sympathetic works. Of course, the “carpe diem” principle would hardly describe the artist who walked away from it all to spend almost four decades out of spotlight, yet if the hymnal pace of “Road To Valhalla” and the righteous, if romantically scented, irony behind “People Like Me” – “join me outside, we’re in the marquee”: there’s a call for some fresh air here – show Trevor Midgley doesn’t seek glory per se, the process of reaching for the fruit of life may itself amount to his ultimate goal.

But death is always nearby, to create contrast with life, and their casualties fall by the wayside, whether it’s a radicalized youngster in “The Only Soldier To Turn Up For The War,” a stardust hypocrite Midgley sarcastically eulogizes in “The Angry Preacher,” or Rachel Whitear whose fate is woven into “The Rose” as a rhyme rather than reason. Still, rhyme and reason go hand in hand when an “s” is pronounced at the end of “Illinois” in “Bugs Moran” – the immaculately literate Trevor’s obligatory history trip – to stress the pointlessness of Prohibition as a means of reducing crime, and the freedom-of-speech cause of the title track can’t be lost on anyone.

The listener must relish the humor of a particular line in “The Apathy Party” because “The less that you shout, then the more you’ll be heard!” could actually be Beau’s approach to delivery of a song, not of a vote, but then he’s always been prone to taking risks. So “The Hawk” with its “take-off is optional, landing is not” refrain is uplifting and didactic at the same time as tragedy was removed from this Icarus tale. An exhilarating album with a twist – a logical follow-up to "When Butterflies Scream" – there’s a record to quietly rebel to.

***1/2


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

"Sleeping Town" gets an outing...

Just flagged up in my Googlewatch, this recent post by Manos Fatisis - "Sleeping Town", the B-side of "1917 Revolution" from 1969. 

Cheers Manos - flip sides don't often get much of a look in!



Thursday, 17 May 2018

A blast from the past...

Now here's a weird and unusual pic! 

Don't know what I was doing, but it's from 1982 and I'm playing a Cesar Pasquato Spanish guitar (which incidentally I still have).


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Harmonic Distortion reviews "Rattle The Asylum Bars"...

Lovely commentary and review of "Rattle The Asylum Bars" just published by Harmonic Distortion

Grateful thanks as always to Duncan Fletcher. 

***

Beau - Rattle The Asylum Bars 

HD's favourite folkie returns with more wry, satirical, protest, commentary and observation.

It's a standing joke among music journalists that there's always a folk revival going on. It's kind of a truth but looked at from another angle it means that folk music never actually goes away, an eternal touchstone and deep well of inspiration for each new generation of musicians. As a genre it occasionally provides the mainstream with crossover stars but for each of those there are countless other artists, often more unique and talented, mining away at the coalface of folk music and adhering to its core principles; giving voice to the marginalised, highlighting injustice, celebrating cooperation and community while also entertaining and actually having fun.

Which bring me to Beau, who is back with a brand new set of songs that does all those things and more. For those unfamiliar with Beau here's a little back story – Beau (AKA Trevor Midgley) was the first artist to record for John Peel's Dandelion label back in the late '60s. He's continued to write, record and play live ever since, amassing an impressive back catalogue of material. His is a stripped down sound, one voice, one Harmony 12-string acoustic guitar, which lets the lyrics take centre stage. 

On his new album Rattle The Asylum Bars, Beau shows he's as astute with those lyrics now as he was back on his 1969 debut. The subject matter ranges from historical lessons society has yet to learn, observations on modern foibles, calls for increased compassion and as you'd expect in these strange times, a little political commentary. As ever with Beau's work you come away feeling informed, entertained and aware that the world is more nuanced than “moral absolutists and polemicists” would have us believe. 


Monday, 14 May 2018

Beau on Brum Radio's "Alternative Roots" - fourth week in succession!

Grateful thanks yet again to Mike Davies for playing something from "Rattle The Asylum Bars" on Sunday's Alternative Roots show on Brum Radio. That's four weeks in succession! 

This time, it was "The Hedgerows Of England". Sadly, I didn't manage to catch the show live this week, but thanks to the miracle of Mixcloud, it's now up there for everyone to hear! 

Many thanks again, Mike - greatly appreciated!




Saturday, 12 May 2018

"Imagination" - memories...

On this great day of the Eurovision Song Contest, I’m always taken back to 1970 when my “Imagination” song had been vetoed as a potential UK entry by the powers-that-be. 

That was when Dana eventually won for Ireland with “All Kinds Of Everything”

I remember sitting there on the night in my black spandex, screaming at the telly, “IT SHOULD’VE BEEN ME!”…



Monday, 7 May 2018

Sunday, 6 May 2018

"Rattle The Asylum Bars" track on Brum Radio's Alternative Roots - third week in succession!

Many thanks yet again to Mike Davies for including a track from “Rattle The Asylum Bars” on his Alternative Roots show this lunchtime. Third week on the trot! 

This time, it was “The Only Soldier To Turn Up For The War”

If you missed it, do be sure to check out the programme in a day or so when it’s up on Mixcloud.


Friday, 4 May 2018

Israbox's comment on "Rattle The Asylum Bars"!

I say, steady on!

Very kind words about "Rattle The Asylum Bars" from the Israbox website!


***

“Rattle The Asylum Bars” is his ninth album release for the Cherry Red label.
Beau continues to mine dense thickets of erudite imagery set against his eternally chiming 12-string. Amongst the topics are; the tragic events a t Charlie Hebdo in 2015, modern-day radicalising, prohibition America, the shifting politics of lottery winners and more. It’s a record that will continue Beau’s ascent on the folk charts across the globe.


Monday, 30 April 2018

'Alternative Roots' with "Road To Valhalla" now on Mixcloud...

Mike Davies' superb 'Alternative Roots' show from last Sunday is now up on Mixcloud

Anyone wanting to check out "Road To Valhalla" (the opening song from "Rattle The Asylum Bars") - Mike plays it to close out the show! 

Obviously working on the principle, "leave the good people of Birmingham wanting more..."


Sunday, 29 April 2018

"Road To Valhalla" on "Alternative Roots"...

Thanks indeed to Mike Davies for playing "Road To Valhalla" from "Rattle The Asylum Bars" on Brum Radio's Alternative Roots show this morning.

Appreciated Mike!

Great show, BTW folks. If you missed it, it'll soon turn up on Mixcloud...


Tuesday, 24 April 2018

"Moral Clarity" on Dandelion Radio's Rocker show...

Just listening to Rocker's as always excellent show on Dandelion Radio, and what do I hear? "Moral Clarity" from the new "Rattle The Asylum Bars"

Cheers, Rocker!