Tag Archive: Gareth Dylan Smith


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.




Introducing…Yazmyn Hendrix

Yazmyn Hendrix, Dublin Castle, 29th March 2013

Yazmyn Hendrix

Yazmyn Hendrix

The Dublin Castle, Camden, Friday night. I arrive late but am relieved to find that a band is still sound-checking. They eventually clear the stage and allow Yazmyn Hendrix a 30-second line-check while the house lights dim, impatiently announcing the start of Yazmyn’s set while she’s still plugging in gear. Into first song ‘Birth’, and the ticket guys continue to shout unnecessarily to anyone coming through the door (for people charging the public to listen to music, they seem strangely oblivious to the subtle sounds emerging from the speakers directly behind them). Venue staff keep slamming the door behind the sound desk in the tiny venue as though they, too, have forgotten they’re meant to be curating a music experience for their customers. Before the song is done a bartender noisily raises the motorized cover to the venue bar, and a group who’ve come early for the next act gather and talk as though they were standing next to road works.

I manage to focus my ears on Yazmyn, who, amidst the din, creates an oasis. She stands alone on the crowded stage, singing breathily in a microphone, weaving a sonic spell that spreads by the middle of second song ‘Whole Heart’ to everyone in the room. I look around and find we’re ALL silently watching Yazmyn, who is so completely immersed in the moment that she’s barely performing – she doesn’t need to. She’s making her music in the now – carving something from nothing and making time stand still five minutes at a time. She sings of love and yearning with sincerity and passion. She sets up onstinati with her voice and a shaker, laying down octave-ized bass lines, vocal percussion and full harmonies using a collection of pedals. She has a wonderful way of singing around the beat – lazily and groovily in time with herself. There’s a gorgeous organic feel to this process, as the technology allows Yazmyn to fill the listeners’ consciousness.

With her pedals and multiple mics, her faded black jeans and t-shirt bearing pictures of cassette tapes, Yazmyn’s tech-savvy, contemporary-retro cool recalls Imogen Heap, while her voice combines the sounds of Joss Stone, Sinead O’Connor and Alison Krauss. Her set is short, and in a breath she is into the last song with its cry for freedom, ‘I just wanna be me’. The rapt silence and the calls for ‘more’ tell me the audience wants this for Yazmyn too.

What a wonderful start to the weekend.

Visit Yazmyn Hendrix at

https://www.facebook.com/YazmynHendrixOfficial
https://soundcloud.com/yazmynhendrix/be-me

Find Gareth Dylan Smith at
www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.




Introducing…Natasha North

Natasha North is a rising star of the UK’s singer/song-writer scene, working hard to carve a niche all of her own with a striking bunch of songs and a sound that whispers to you irresistibly and draws you in close. I first caught Natasha playing the opening set of a night dedicated mostly to bigger, louder acts at Camden’s Dublin Castle in July 2012. Instead of simply making people talk louder in irritation – as is all too frequently the fate of fragile, heartfelt songs delivered in public – her music elicited from the small crowd a reverent silence as we stopped still to listen. Her stage set artfully incorporates real-time looped violin, harmony vocals, and guitars. I’ve since been back to catch her warm, mesmeric show a few times.

Natasha also plays saxes, piano and accordion, which sneak their way into her recordings. Her current EP Walking on Water (from 2012) is a beautiful and tender collection that asks politely but insistently for you to sit up and pay attention. Natasha describes herself as ‘empathetic’ – a quality that is certainly evident in her songs, which discuss challenging subject matter such as dementia (“An Unfamiliar Face”), fear, uncertainty (“Unknown Answers”), and domestic violence (“Sticks and Stones”). Her lyrics make the listener feel uncomfortable, while her voice and instrumental arrangements help to soothe the troubled soul.

Natasha North is not to be mistaken for a folk singer, positioning herself firmly as a singer/song-writer. Currently her sound is in a similar vein to Laura Veirs or Dar Williams, with influences ranging from Ben Howard and Matt Corby to Billy Joel, Ray Lamontagne and Damien Rice. Future gigs (look out from May 2013!) and Natasha’s next EP (currently in production) will feature the band that she has hand-picked from London’s pool of able, gifted musos. I look forward to an enhanced sound, with – at the heart of it – the voice of an intelligent, pensive young woman striving to find, and inviting us to explore, the ‘Unknown Answers’.

Visit Natasha at http://www.natashanorth.com

http://www.youtube.com/natashanorth

http://www.facebook.com/natashanorthmusic

Find Gareth Dylan Smith at
www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.



Introducing… Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson is as charming and easy-going when we meet for lunch as her stage act would have you wish for. In fact, it seems that the person and the persona share an easy and relaxed confidence in just being Lauren. What you see is what you get – which is why I’m so pleased to be here.

Lauren Johnson is not (yet) a big name, but she is fast becoming an integral part of London’s diverse music scene. She just returned to the city following six months touring as a singer and dancer with Michael Jackson tribute show Jackson Live In Concert. Back in Town, Lauren keeps busy in a residency at Camden’s Blues Kitchen with Miss Hoodoo and the Delta Boys, alongside regular gigs with function bands. However, it is in her burgeoning role as an indispensible vocalist for established and developing artists that Miss Johnson is most rapidly making her name, writing and performing. Lauren’s soulful vocals were heard at major festivals throughout last summer, backing rising European star Saint Saviour. Other current collaborators include Andy Cato (Groove Armada), folktronica band Crystal Fighters, and politically vocal lefties Captain Ska who feature Lauren in the feisty and compassionate video for their song “U.S Healthcare Explained”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljjKUIB9DH4

Lauren’s versatility as a singer and passion for her craft keep her busy as a solo artist as well. Often compared stylistically to Etta James and Nina Simone (with, I would add, healthy doses of Christina and Rihanna in to the mix), Lauren’s palette runs the gamut of well-crafted, contemporary soulful vocal styles, with a twinkle in her eye and a warmth in her voice making the material she sings all her own. She is currently re-vamping her live set with a clutch of new songs emerging from precious time spent alone in the studio with her piano, ukulele and Logic.

Catch Lauren’s solo act live in London from June 2013 – she and her band put on a class act, featuring one of the funkiest drummers currently on the scene, Pete Pentreath. Expect to hear big things from Lauren. In the meantime, check out her recent live performace of Honey Trap and a couple of others here:

Little Red Riding Hood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItAIHA_AIMw

I would rather go blind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBMR-pJnEyg

Visit Lauren at http://www.youtube.com/user/laurenjohnsonuk and

https://soundcloud.com/laurenjohnsonuk

www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.




Gillian Glover

Gillian Glover

“Catalina” is cut from Gillian Glover’s forthcoming album Still Life with Music, the follow-up to her acclaimed 2007 debut Red Handed. Side-stepping the blues-inflected rock of that first record, Gillian and her band achieve a subtly eclectic sound fusing influences from the Mediterranean, South America and West Africa to create a uniquely mature record that is by turns buoyant and bewitchingly introspective. This music is warm and welcoming, enveloping you with its glow. “Sigh, sigh, Catalina”, Gillian sings in the opening line of a song invoking rivers and sea, painting a scene that audibly breathes, ebbing and flowing at the behest of the moon. In the video Gillian sings with alacrity in English and Spanish to a lady of exceptional beauty, her voice wafting mellifluously through the streets of Shoreditch and a Berkshire meadow where she glides, carefree. A highlight of “Catalina” is Sim Jones’s empathic violin solo, taking us on a Balkan-Gypsy ride that simply thrills, while the simmering rhythm section sustains the acoustic Bossa-Mozambique at a smilingly good, just-right tempo.

This song typifies much of Gillian Glover’s oeuvre to date. Like some of the finest recorded moments of Lucinda Williams (“World Without Tears”) or Alison Krauss (“Dimming of the Day”), it is both introspective and selfless, embodying an irresistible generosity. Others songs on Still Life with Music are studies in space, such as the delicately heart-wrenching “When It’s Over” in which Gillian ponders love lost as if in a movie. Anyone familiar with her live shows – thus far confined to the European continent – or the more tender moments (“Go”, “Singing You to Sleep”) from Red Handed, will know the depth and intimacy of the sound that Gillian and her band conjur. On “Catalina” they are carefree, confident and alluring:

www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


Gareth Dylan Smith aka Dr. Drums

Gareth Dylan Smith

Gareth Dylan Smith IS Dr. Drums, and in addition to his own blogging, he’s agreed to join us on the HorizonVU Music Blog and SHOP. Drawing from his teaching, and most definitely, his experience as a heavy duty rocker and drummer of the band “The Eruptors” http://www.eruptors.com/ Gareth is going to bring us great VUs and reVUs in keeping with HorizonVU Music’s focus on women in rock, alternative and folk.



Rachael Travers is a folk singer from London, England. There are plenty of these, and they seem to be especially prevalent at the moment, following the collective decision of mainstream media to focus their gaze for a season on ‘nu-folk’. However, against a backdrop of Marlings, Mumfords and Staves, what sets Travers apart in this nebulous UK ‘scene’ is her voice – a uniquely beguiling instrument in which she combines the purity of Alison Krauss, the playful agility of Dolly Parton and a heart-wrenching emotional palette approaching the depth of Jeff Buckley. With lyrics that are direct and suggest a youthful naiveté, Travers visits some deeply personal spaces in her music; her songs are strength and tenderness, conversation and introspection, confidence and uncertainty. She reels in her listeners, addressing all of the songs to ‘you’, with memorable original melodies She tends to perform either alone with her guitar, or accompanied by a band that includes banjo, mandolin, double bass, drums, and harmony vocals reminiscent of Emmy-Lou Harris with Gram Parsons. I attended a performance in the spring of this year where Travers showcased new material at a songwriters’ circle in North West London. The songs were disarmingly honest, her performance powerful, and the entire audience wrapt, spellbound.

With live shows being rare (a delicacy not to be missed) and often announced at short notice, a selection of Travers’ music is available on her 2011 Ivy Road EP. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, Travers disrobes emotionally on this touchingly intimate clutch of songs that take the listener on a journey through an undulating landscape of love. On the opening track, ‘Forgive Me’, she sings of love unattainable, and leaves us ‘clenching on to the night, with nowhere else to go’. She declares frustration at God, whom she later rejects completely in the final song when she sings ‘I don’t believe in God no more, I’m sorry to say’. The title track is a soothing, beautiful and impassioned reminder to a companion about a path taking him or her to where ‘you’re loving again’. ‘All I ask’ sees Travers at her breathiest and most needy, and also her most defiant, in a song of unrequited love in which she ultimately confesses in the poignant final line that ‘all my world would fall apart, if you weren’t in my heart’. On ‘You are the One’ she is upbeat and feisty, angry over more unrequited love. She dismisses her would-be suitor, admitting nonetheless that ‘I dream of your hand for me to hold’. It is on this cut that she sounds most like Dolly Parton, showcasing a Nashville finesse that few of her contemporaries pull off with such alacrity. The final song, ‘No More’, features Travers’ voice at its most intimate. A slow crescendo, this might be the cream of the crop. It is a plea for autonomy and some space of her own; her pure, crystal voice soars high into the distance, away from her suffocating, controlling lover.

Travers tells listeners that ‘all I ask is for your love’. You can start by accessing most of the songs from Ivy Road here: http://soundcloud.com/rachaeltravers, where Rachael Travers sings of her heart.

www.Garethdylansmith.com
www.YouTube.com/garethdylansmith
http://independent.academia.edu/GarethDylanSmith


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