Bob Harris Presents…Volume 2
There are two types of music, mainstream and non-mainstream.
We get mainstream to saturation point. Everything else has to sink or swim.
This album is a very small attempt to redress the balance and introduce you to some of the amazing artists operating just under the surface.
Thanks to everyone who made it possible.
Kimberley Rew - Simple Pleasures
Opening track from an album which features crème de la crème contributions from Dave Mattocks, Robyn Hitchcock and on this track Jim Kimberley (drums), Andy Metcalf (bass) and Glen Tilbrook (vocals).
Eliza Gilkyson - Beauty Way
Eliza is the daughter of folk singer Terry Gilkyson and this autobiographical song refers to family ties. I love this track, which is representative of an album full of perceptive and intelligent songs.
Neal Casal - Fell on Hard Times
I've been playing Neal on my shows for more than five years and feel that this album is his best so far. Like the others, it features wonderful, literate, melodic songs, recorded with the minimum of fuss, with tasteful, understated arrangements backing one of the most appealingly sincere voices you'll ever hear.
Ryan Adams - Oh My Sweet Carolina
I included Whiskeytown on 'Bob Harris Presents... Vol 1' and am a devoted fan of the song writing of front man Ryan Adams. Recorded in Nashville with Emmylou Harris on harmony vocals, this desperately beautiful track comes from Ryan's first solo album, which also features contributions from Kim Richey and Gillian Welch. Produced by Ethan Johns, son of the legendary Glyn.
Oh Susanna - Tangled and Wild
As with Ryan Adams, Canadian songwriter Suzie Ungerleider has a voice that pulls the heart strings. 'Johnstown' was her second CD following the release of a debut 7 track EP in 1996. Her latest album 'Sleepy Little Sailor' was released in Spring 2001 to coincide with a UK tour that won her rave reviews.
Stewboss - Fill Station
Powerful and cinematic, this track is special. Fronted by Greg Sarfaty, the band delivers Roots rock, Americana and tender, supple Country in a mix of true American music, occasionally comparable to Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. Stewboss should be up there with them.
Slaid Cleaves - Broke Down
With so many outstanding musicians resident in Austin, Texas, you've got to be good to survive and in this highly competitive atmosphere Slaid is achieving a formidable reputation. 'Cleaves songs ache with a desperate honesty mixed in the mundane beauty of everyday life' wrote the Austin Chronicle. 'Broke Down' follows his 1997 album 'No Angel Knows'.
Richard Shindell - You Stay Here
Mixed by Ben Wisch, co-producer of Marc Cohn's 'Walking In Memphis', this track is representative of a delicate and beautiful album, on which Lucy Kaplansky and Dar Williams, Richard's Partners in Cry Cry Cry, are prominent. A boundary-blurring mix of Folk, Country and Celtic influences fro ma contemporary singer songwriter of outstanding talent.
Thea Gilmore - Throwing In
When I first played Thea on my Radio 2 show I felt the full force of the Internet. E-mails arrived from across the UK, America, Australia and Europe, asking me to play her again. 'Throwing In' is from her debut album released in 1998, since when she's recorded 'The Lipstick Conspiracies' and a 6-track CD called 'As If', released in June 2001. And the requests keep coming.
Calexico - Tres Avisos
Calexico are Tucson, Arizona based duo Joey Burns and John Convertino. Calexico is a small town on the California-Mexico border. The music resonates with the atmosphere - a journey through south western America and south of the border, Tijuana and beyond. Spaghetti and western on a grand scale. Enjoy.
Laura Cantrell - Do You Ever Think Of Me
John Peel and I are both big fans of Laura Cantrell, who 'Rolling Stone' described as having 'the sweetest country voice in New York'. Born in Nashville, she combines performing and broadcasting, hosting a weekly East Coast radio show called 'Radio Thrift Shop', airing junk shop gems, vintage recordings and undiscovered fringe, classic and alternative country tapes, singles and 78's. Creative and intelligent, she has a voice to die for.
Jerry Joseph - Both Of You
Recorded at Pete Droge's Tree Farm studio, Vashon Island, Washington, there's something of Eric Clapton's 'Let It Grow' in this haunting track, laced with Droge's jingle-jangle guitar.
Carol Noonan - Devonside
A Richard Thompson song interpreted with an aching beauty, 'Self Titled' is the fourth release by an artist of great personal strength and integrity. You can always tell when somebody really means it. Carol does.
Idle Jets - Footprints In The Clouds
The Idle Jets were first introduced to me by Kevin Montgomery and I think this is a fabulous track. Guitar driven, Beatle inspired heaven. Maybe every suburban garage in America conceals a power pop band in mid-rehearsal.