Taken from the forthcoming Stick in the Wheel compilation album FROM HERE Volume 2, our Song of the Day comes from Richard Dawson.
The ‘token’ jazz, folk and avant garde nominees for the UK’s most prestigious music prize are the ones who stand to gain the most from it – but they are being ignored
The question posed most often, and most crabbily, in the history of the Mercury prize is: what’s the point of the “token” acts on the shortlist? Jazz, folk and classical nominees are only ever there to make the judges of the UK’s most prestigious music award look clever; they certainly never win.Talk to the acts themselves, however, and a different story emerges. “I don’t care if we’re called a token jazz act if we sell 3,000 more records,” says Shabaka Hutchings, whose jazz group, Sons of Kemet, are among the favourites to win. “And it might be a coincidence, but I’ve noticed things happening since we were nominated this year.” Their gigs are selling out more consistently and the band are getting better stages at events. They’re getting support they don’t get from the Mobos, Hutchings argues, as he has before, and don’t start him on the Brits. “That side of the industry doesn’t care. But this is like a little stamp: you are given a level of validation that reverberates. And if it sells more albums or tickets, it helps subsidise our music and push our scene as far as it can go.”
Singer says his eye condition means he sees things differently – and, when you hear his music, what he’s saying makes sense
At a time of year when the music industry is fixated more than ever on commerce – generating buzz for its priority acts for the forthcoming year, shifting vast piles of box sets and mass market albums to Christmas gift buyers – there is something heartening about the slowly rising profile of Richard Dawson.
The […] Geordie singer-songwriter released his album Nothing Important last month, to a level of acclaim that would surely have seen it featuring on end-of-year lists all over the place had it come out a little earlier.
It is a far cry from the other male singer-songwriters who have featured in success stories this year, though – there’s nothing of Ben Howard or George Ezra or Hozier about Dawson.[ . . . ] Read more at: Richard Dawson: Geordie songwriter who found a voice in his local library
From Richard Dawson’s bellowed workers’ songs to Shirley Collins’ delicate folk, there’s a story told beyond ruddy-faced farmer stereotypes.
“…If things looking bleak now, they’ve always sounded psychedelic. As the acid-laced optimism of the late 60s slumped into the nuclear comedown of the early 70s, a string of artists sprung from the dark heart of rural Britain. Albums likeBasket of Light by Pentangle, The Incredible String Band’s Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, or First Utterance by Comus, hum with cosmic vibrations, and those vibrations reverberate to this very day. Listen carefully and you’ll hear them today in the newer music of acts like Bendith – a Welsh folk collab act – Richard Dawson, who roars over a detuned guitar like someone who’s just stood on an upwards-facing plug and octogenarian legend Shirley Collins…” | Read full story