James Yorkston is a genius! His whole career is a clear evidence of this statement. His new album with The Second Hand Orchestra was released Friday 22nd January on Domino Records. We totally loved it and wrote a few words about it (in Italian) here.
What He Says:
James writes “This beautiful album I made with The Second Hand Orchestra, a Swedish band ran by Karl-Jonas, a man I have known for a few years now. The Second Hand Orchestra hadn’t heard any of these songs before the sessions. I flew to Sweden and said my hellos, then we all sat round and set up our instruments. I would run through a song, once, perhaps twice, and simply encourage the musicians to react to what they were hearing. The engineer would press record and – voila – we’d have a song down. This here album is the result of eight such castings of the net. We all love it – it was a joy to make and is fresh, spontaneous, and full of life x”
Elizabeth Cronin – Shule Aroon
This is “The Queen of Irish Song”, as Séamus Ennis called her. Hers is a voice I return to time and time again and I have done from the moment I first heard her. It just clicked, you know? Like sometimes it does.
Lhasa de Sela – De Cara A La Pared
This is the only song of hers I know, really. It’s one of those perfect bits of music, that I fear if I look at her other work, I could only be disappointed. This is haunting, this music, and it is beautiful, and in the past I have sent it to many, many people.
Bezawork Asfaw – Tizita
Once, in Birmingham, my taxi driver discovered I was a musician, and insisted on playing me some Eritrean music, making sure I wrote down the name of the singer. I did, for the music was enchanting, and ever since then I have loved the voice of Bezawork Asfaw.
Original Harmony Ridge Creek Dippers – Run with the Ponies
I’d never heard Original Harmony Ridge Creekdrippers before The Wide, Wide River, but there were mentioned in a couple of reviews, so I looked them up. They have a free abandon that I greatly appreciate. I met one of them, Victoria Williams, years ago. We ended staying together in Wales for The GreenMan festival. The great Welsh folk singer Charlotte Greig had invited us both, and we were all squeezed into a tiny cottage for a few days.
Charlotte Greig – Night Visiting Song
And here’s Charlotte Greig herself. The first time I heard Charlotte’s music was in Ray’s Jazz shop, in Covent Garden, and I was smitten in an instant. She became a dear friend, she offered me a show early in my career and we kept in touch. Charlotte and John, her husband, became great friends, and that’s what we need in life.
Cesaria Evora – Apocalipse
Cesaria Evora, from Cape Verde. For I love her voice, her songs, her accompaniment. The production on her albums, with the collections of instruments, sneaking in and out of the songs. I once made the trip from Edinburgh to London, just to watch her concert, at the Barbican. I am sorry to say that the show was poor, but the journey was fun, for I stayed with my friend Rob on the way down and we had a most marvellous evening into morning, drinking a lager that was perfectly chilled. Cesaria also has a Live in Paris album, and that, like most of her work, is perfect.
JP Odera – Kiss Cha Moto Moto
This is JP Odera. I don’t know anything about him, other than this song and also, he was probably from Kenya. It’s a great pop song though, right?
Elizabeth Cotton – Ruben
And finally, Elizabeth Cotton. Everyone knows ‘Freight Train’, and rightly so, but I prefer this somewhat stranger piece of music I could pretend it was the playing I like, and it was certainly that that brought me in, of course, but the thing that keeps me coming back is the vocal. I believe that in an ideal world, a song like this would be the top of the charts, at least once.
“James Yorkston And The Second Hand Orchestra – The Wide, Wide River“ is out now on Domino Records. Look HERE for more information on James Yorkston.