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Danny George Wilson, April 2

Plus special guest KATY BENNETT

Danny George Wilson’s new solo album ‘Another Place’ has been acclaimed by press and fans alike. A departure for Wilson, the album presents a vibrant and diverse collection of startling, impressionistic songs created in collaboration with Sussex-based, studio wizard Hamish Benjamin. Wilson’s formidable credentials go back to seminal roots rock band Grand Drive, followed by six albums of consistently high calibre with Danny & The Champions of the World. His album with Bennett Wilson Poole (featuring Wilson along with Robin Bennett and Tony Poole) delighted Americana fans, adding further awards to those achieved with the Champs.

Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/533084

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Sarah McQuaid at Twyford St Mary’s Church, February 10, 2022

Sarah McQuaid performs in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary’s Church. The church was designed by the Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse (Natural History Museum, Manchester Town Hall), and is a Grade II* Listed Building. St Mary’s was dedicated in 1878 and the original Walker organ was recently rebuilt. St Mary’s has a ring of 8 bells and is set in a lovely and peaceful churchyard.

Sarah McQuaid: 
“One of the most instantly recognisable voices in current music … Shades of Joni Mitchell in a jam with Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Rey.” — Neil March, Trust The Doc

“She reached parts other singers fail to do … There is emotion, beauty, passion and musically great arrangements and fab playing. It’s a complete package. I loved the show and was very moved.” — Rob Bozas, Bozas International (Publisher, Peter Gabriel/Real World)“

Captivating, unorthodox songwriting … layered satin vocals … enthralling, harrowing arrangements … a gateway into a true innovator’s soul.” — PopMatters See less

Tickets: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/532019

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David Ramirez, 24 April 2022

Plus special guest KIRBY BROWN

We’re Not Going Anywhere: At a historical moment of immense political, social, and ecological uncertainty, those four simple words comprise both a promise and a protest, a comforting reassurance of inclusion as well as a hearty cry of defiance. It’s a statement that offers no small sense of hope, in that sense matching the music contained on the album. 

On these vividly imagined and passionately performed songs David Ramirez takes in the world from his unique perspective: “Being half white and half Mexican has made this current political climate especially interesting. So many cultures in this country are being viewed as un-American and it breaks my heart. My family have raised children here, created successful businesses here, and are proud to be a part of this country. Most of what I’ve seen as of late is misplaced fear. I wanted to write about that fear and how, instead of benefiting us, it sends us spiraling out control.”

The album that bears that title marks a departure for Ramirez, who builds on the rootsy sound of his early albums to create something new, something bold, something anchored in the here and now. Scouting out unexplored music territory, these songs bounce around energetically, toying with new ideas and experimenting with new sounds, as barbed-wire guitars and retro-futuristic synths grind against his anguished vocals and evocative lyrics. 

“We flipped script a little bit and went in with a pretty specific vision: lots of keyboards and some out-of-the-box guitar sounds. I took a lot of notes from the indie bands I’ve been listening to and from the bands I loved growing up in the ‘80s, like the Cars and Journey. Let’s just live in this spacy world for a while and see what comes out of it.”

What came out of it isn’t just Ramirez’s most adventurous album to date, but a record that captures the mood of the country in its music as well as in its lyrics. While he does tackle some new subjects, Ramirez grounds these songs in his own perspective, which means every song remains both human and humane, outraged and generous. There are some break-up songs on here, sober and self-castigating: first single “Watching from a Distance” thrums with iridescent synths and a tight backbeat that sounds like lines on the highway measuring the widening rift between lovers. “People Call Who They Wanna Talk To” is Ramirez at his catchiest, marrying a playful earworm hook to a somber realization about romantic irreconcilability: “Don’t blame it on the distance, don’t blame it on the booze… people call who they wanna talk to.” A simple line, but completely devastating.

“This is the first album I’ve had properly produced,” says Ramirez, who either produced or co-produced all of his previous efforts. For We’re Not Going Anywhere, he hired Sam Kassirer, who has helmed albums by Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Bhi Bhiman, and many other artists. “I needed to evolve and change things up a bit, which is why I chose Sam. He pushed me in a way I hadn’t been pushed before.” Kassirer challenged Ramirez to simultaneously simplify and complicate his songwriting, to find new ways to tell his stories. “He said, I want you to try to tell a story but use fewer words and more space. In other words, let’s not make a singer-songwriter record. Let’s make a band record. Once he said that, my mind just opened up in a way it never had before. It was fun to just be more straightforward lyrically. It left a lot of space for the music.”

In January 2017 Ramirez and his band decamped to the Great North Sound Society, an eighteenth-century farmhouse in rural Maine that serves as Kassirer’s studio. Especially in the winter, when the trees are bare and snow blankets the ground, the setting proved inspiring. “It’s very secluded, which was part of the appeal. We were able to get out of our touring headspace and stay completely involved with the record and what we were doing.” That allowed the band to concentrate on the music, to pursue ideas without distractions and misgivings, but it also removed them from the world during a momentous event. 

We’re Not Going Anywhere turns that distance into a big-picture perspective— engaged and informed, compassionately political but not necessarily partisan. “We’d take breaks during the day and watch the news and see all the rallies and marches and the disruption and the out-of-control feeling that was everywhere then—and, frankly, still is now. We were looking around and no one was around us. The closest house was a mile away, so it was just us. We were grateful just to retreat from that social tornado for a while and create something that we hoped would be very beautiful.” 

Looming over every song is the ghost of Ramirez’s great-grandmother, who inspired “Eliza Jane,” a deeply poignant and personal tune near the album’s conclusion. In gracefully plainspoken lyrics, Ramirez describes how she and her brothers left Oklahoma during the Great Depression, heading northwest to Oregon, where she played piano in a country band. “My mom was telling me this story and the song was writing itself. I wish I had known her, because I’m curious what drove her. I know what drives a lot of my musician friends, but I really want to ask a family member: Why did you do this? Was it just for fun? Was it a passion so deep-rooted that you couldn’t not do it?”

While he may describe the creative process as fun, Ramirez obviously has inherited a deep-rooted passion—one that will continue to drive him well into the future. “I’m not going to be so afraid to take risks in the future, like I have been in the past. I’ve been so stressed and concerned with every detail, but I learned to let that go. Let’s just have fun. Let’s get weird. I’ve never felt that way about my work. I still respect my older stuff, but I just didn’t want to be afraid anymore. That’s what I learned on this one.” 

Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/525308

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Grant-Lee Phillips, 29 January 2023

Grant-Lee Phillips’ latest album, Lightning, Show Us Your Stuff, is a turbulent and highly musical rumination that finds the veteran singer-songwriter addressing the strange fragility of life. His tenth solo release bears the markings of his prolific output, a melodic prowess and an ear for lyric in everyday conversation. 
The album offers a salve to a wounded world, struggling to regain equilibrium. This is Grant-Lee Phillips at his most reflective, wrestling with the most pertinent of questions. What we value, how we define security, our vulnerability – here Phillips takes stock of the deeper questions with intensity and humor.

Tickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/523920

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Elliott Brood at the Railway, March 29, 2022

From the mountains of Utah to the trenches of Vimy Ridge, Elliott BROOD’s songs have travelled the gore and glory of history in equal measure for nearly a decade. With the stomp and thrash of their early albums, Elliott BROOD carved their niche drawing from history and memory. As heavy and harrowing the past can be, for Elliott BROOD, it is also a generous companion, giving the gift of appreciation for times of peace and grace. 
With Keeper, Elliott BROOD’s seventh album, the trio deals with the past in more personal terms. The title, which speaks to loyalty and longevity, sets the tone for an album that explores the strength of conviction, and how that strength is tested, again and again, over time. Thoughts of worthiness and dedication, and their emotional flip sides, inform a collection that sees the band exploring those battlefields much closer to home. 
From the Polaris Music Prize short listed breakout album Mountain Meadows to the JUNO Award winning Days Into Years, the well-traveled trio of Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin have created a body of work that is at once meticulous and boisterous, substantial and entertaining.

https://www.wegottickets.com/event/516978

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Jerry Leger and the Situation, 4 May 2022, Railway

“One of the best Canadian songwriters….Time Out for Tomorrow is his masterpiece” -Rolling Stone
“…from the top drawer.” -UNCUT
“Jerry Leger has that spark that all the great songwriters have. He’s the real deal.” -Ron Sexsmith
“Great songs, great voice…right in my wheelhouse of music.” -Tommy Stinson (The Replacements, Bash & Pop)

Tickets: https://www.wegottickets.com/event/516977

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Loco-Motion

A full-colour, 32 page magazine detailing the history of the Railway Inn as it celebrates forty years of presenting live music. Available to pre-order now here: https://sc4m.co.uk/order-loco-motion/

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sc4m at Rhythmtree – July 9, 2022

Postponed until Saturday, July 9, 2022.

The line-up remains the same:

John Murry

The Little Unsaid

Maz O’connor

The Blood Choir

March

Tali Trow

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Railway 40 – a Double Show with the Felice Brothers on June 19, 2022

RESCHEDULED – SOLD OUT

These shows have been rescheduled for June 19, 2022. All tickets remain valid.

There will be two shows at the Railway Inn in Winchester: an afternoon show at 2pm and an evening one at 8pm. You can buy an afternoon or evening ticket for £20 or a double ticket for both shows for £35. The shows will not be identical. Tickets will go on sale on January 17 at 10 am.

Cut live to tape with very little overdubbing, the new Felice Brothers album Undress was recorded in the late summer of 2018 in Germantown, New York. Band members Ian Felice, James Felice, Will Lawrence (drums) and Jesske Hume (bass) teamed up with producer Jeremy Backofen to record their most personal and reflective album to date.

Undress follows the band’s 2016 album Life In The Dark, and finds the group in a very different place three years later. Between personnel changes, families growing and the political landscape, the result is a tighter, more-paired down release. “Every song is a story,” said James Felice. “On this album everything was a bit more thoughtful, including the arrangements, the sonic quality and the harmonies.”

“Many of the songs on the new album are motivated by a shift from private to public concerns,” says songwriter Ian Felice. “It isn’t hard to find worthwhile things to write about these days, there are a lot of storms blooming on the horizon and a lot of chaos that permeates our lives. The hard part is finding simple and direct ways to address them.”

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Banjo on my Knee out now!

It’s the perfect gift for anyone interested in music, travel and Americana. Available from Amazon, or any bookshop, or direct from me.

Part travelogue, part guide book, part music memoir but mainly observational nonsense – Banjo On My Knee shows you how to survive a three-week journey through the music of America’s South and avoid some of the pitfalls of US travel.