Laurel Canyon Music

For fans and musicians of Folk, Americana, Country, Blues, Singer-Songwriter, Rock, Roots & Acoustic and music from the Laurel Canyon late 60’s/early 70’s era.

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Hair and Hide - The Trials Of Cato (09/11/18)

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  • Artist: The Trials Of Cato

  • Release Date: 9th November 2018

  • Genre: Folk, Folk-Rock, Welsh Language Folk, Tradition Folk

  • Record Label: Water Records

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website:

  • Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)

One very fastest rising Folk trio are the excellent Welsh based Robin Jones (mandolin, tenor banjo, vocals), William Addison (irish bouzouki, vocals) and Tomos Williams (guitar, vocals) better known as The Trials Of Cato. The band was formed in Beirut in the winter of 2016 and the name is taken from their long-suffering landlord. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire the band used their time in Lebanon to hone their craft returning to produce their self titled debut EP at the Abbey Road Institute in London.

With a clear nod to the folk revivals of the 60’s and 70’s their excellent debut album is rooted in the folk traditions of Britain and Ireland but with a fresh contemporary twist. It was recorded in the spring of 2018 at Penylan Studios in mid-Wales. The album perfectly balances English and Welsh language traditional and original folk music with a fresh new twist. Their excellent instrumentals showcase their musicianship and arrangements.

The album was mixed by Donald Thompson in Toronto and mastered by john Davis of Metropolis Studios in London.

The album opens with Difyrwch their own arrangement of three traditional melodies (two Welsh and one English) Hen Ferchetan, Difyrrwch Gwyr y Gogledd and The Parson’s Farewell. ‘Kadisha’ takes it’s name from the spectacular valley in Northern Lebanon finds the band exploring and being inspired by a region peppered with monasteries and ancient buildings. The album is as much about characters as it is about places.

One of the album stand-outs is the catchy and uptempo ‘Gloria’. A very human story of an ordinary character trying to deal with extraordinary circumstances. In this case a beheading match with a supernatural character of the green knight. The slightly psychedelic and folk-rock Eastern influenced ‘Gawain’ draws into inspiration from the medieval tale of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight. Watch out for a great version of ‘Tom Paine’s Bones’. ‘My Love’s in Germany’ is a seventeenth tune of a widow’s lament for a a lost soldier love seguing into the vibrant bounce of a stomping drinking and dance tune ‘The Drinkers’.

The Trails of Cato are a fantastic trio going places very fast. Watch out for them either on the festival circuit this year or one of their many sell-out shows.

Highly recommended.

Order your copy below >>>

Port Saint Joe - Brothers Osborne (20/04/18)

  • Artist: Brothers Osborne

  • Release Date: 20th April, 2018

  • Genre: Country, Rock, Pop, Blues, Americana

  • Record Label: Spinefarm Records / EMI /Universal

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website:

Recorded in a Florida beach house in the town of Port St. Joe, away from the sometimes sterile environs of the studio, this is the Maryland brothers’ second full-length offering. Raw, honest and uniquely homemade, the record was mostly captured in a series of live takes, retaining the atmospheric background noises of wind, roaring water and the excited and ‘refreshed’ encouragement of visiting Nashville friends. This unconventional location proved a perfect complement to the Brothers’ music, which instinctively bends rules and genres…

A diverse collection, ‘Port Saint Joe’ touches on half-lit drinking songs, emotive ballads, southern slow jams and roots-y rave-ups. The result is a record that's both familiar and fresh, mixing classic country touchstones with amplified guitars and memorable hooks. In short, a 10-track collection for the modern age – forward-thinking and versatile, with songs that nod to the past whilst still pushing forward into new territory.

Says guitarist John Osborne: “Every show we’ve played, every song we’ve written and every mile we’ve ridden has led to the making of this record”.

Watch out for the lovely Lucie Silvas providing backing vocals on a couple of tracks. "A Couple Wrongs Makin' It Alright" and "A Little Bit Trouble".

The Tree - Lori McKenna (20/07/18)

  • Artist: Lori McKenna

  • Release Date: 20th July, 2018

  • Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Country, Folk

  • Record Label: Cn Records

  • Tracks: 11

  • Website:

Home and the people who make it have captivated Lori McKenna for years. Over the last three decades, as she became a wife and mother of five, she has also emerged as one of the most respected, prolific singer-songwriters in popular music. Her 2016 release The Bird and the Rifle netted three Grammy nominations, along with Americana Music Association nods––all firsts for McKenna as an artist. Then, she made history: In 2016, she became the first woman ever to win the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year two years in a row thanks to co-writing Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush” and penning Tim McGraw’s no. 1 “Humble and Kind” solo. Both songs also clinched back-to-back Grammy wins for Best Country Song. In 2017, she became the Academy of Country Music’s first female Songwriter of the Year. The Tree is her much-anticipated eleventh studio album. Produced by Dave Cobb, The Tree takes one of McKenna’s signature themes––family––and builds a tapestry of experiences she has lived and overheard, been told and dreamed up, to create a stunning ode to life’s defining relationships.

Dying Star - Ruston Kelly

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  • Artist: Ruston Kelly

  • Release date: 7th September, 2018

  • Genre: Americana, Folk, Singer-Songwriter

  • Record Label: Concord Records

  • Tracks: 14

  • Website:

  • Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)

When your wife has released one of the Grammy nominated albums of the year, it quite easy for you own debut release to be slightly overshadowed. But Ruston’s 'Dying Star’ is well worth exploring further. What really stands out for me is the cinematic storytelling and songwriting plus some great pedal steel arrangements

‘Dying Star’ is a very impressive debut from Ruston, a little-known Nashville singer-songwriter with a fine voice and a gift for pairing heavy lyrics with remarkably graceful melodies. The album is full of impressive high crafted songs. It is a lovely blend of Americana, Country and Folk.

The album has the recurring themes of love, loss, pain, substances, desperation, self-discovery and the hope for salvation. As Kacey Musgraves’ marriage to Ruston inspired the blissful cosmic country sound on ‘Golden Hour’, perhaps Ruston’s next album might explore more positive themes.

The album was co-produced by Kelly and Jarrad K (Kate Nash, Weezer) and recorded at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, TX. It includes 14 songs written/co-written by Ruston and features Ruston (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, xylophone, harmonica), Jarrad K (12-string guitar, background vocals, electric guitar, Rhodes), Tim Kelly (pedal steel), Ian Fitchuk (piano, organ, drums, percussion), Eli Beaird (bass) and Kyle Ryan (banjo) as well as background vocals from Jon Green, Natalie Hemby, Kacey Musgraves, Kate York, Abby Sevigny and Joy Williams. Of the album, Rushton comments, “A lot of my music is focused on suffering, or trying to understand the human condition through the lens of suffering…which probably sounds totally depressing, but it’s actually the flipside of that. Sometimes you’ve gotta go into that darkness—you need to get lost and then figure out for yourself how to find your way back. That’s the only way we can find pure joy, and really be thankful for the life we’ve been given.”

The album opens with the acoustic pop ‘Cover My Tracks’ followed by the lovely ‘Mockingbird’. I really like the acoustic guitar, pedal steel and harmonica interplay on this one. Classic Laurel Canyon fused with mid-tempo Country Rock, almost Neil Young meets Ryan Adams. Ruston shares, “I wrote ‘Mockingbird’ in a Dominican hotel, on the edge of a bed, at like six in the morning. I needed a release from a cyclical pattern of a doomed relationship. The kind that leaves you with less than what you went in with. It’s a story for everyone, the human condition, our connected plight in a mad world. Regardless of how it’s expressed, we all struggle through something with hope on the other side.”

The vocoder infused ‘Son of a Highway Daughter’ has echoes of Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek.” updated for the young Nashville generation. Rushton is a great storyteller and a perfect example is the reflective and sad ‘Paratrooper’s Battlecry’

The bluesy pop ‘Faceplant’ deals with the the subject substance abuse and it’s aftermath. “I’ve come too far to turn back now”. Continuing the same theme is ‘Blackout’ is a lovely mid-tempo fusion of strings, pretty harmonies and plenty of heartbreak and booze. Travelling and moving on are explored on ‘Big Brown Bus’, which sees Ruston leaving San Antonio in Texas and heading south to Mexico. I really like the song’s strong storytelling and pedal steel solo. Wonderful word play and story telling abound on ‘Mercury’ “A dying star with a junkyard heart”.

The tempo drops for the reflective and atmospheric ‘Anchors’ dealing with the end of a relationship. Lush and beautiful harmonies provided by by a female choir including Joy Williams (Civil Wars), Natalie Hemby and wife Kacey really enrich ‘Just For the Record’. ‘Trying To Let Her’ is another down tempo reflective love song about a man trying to figure out his live and relationships. ‘She is trying to love me and I’m trying to let her’.

One of my favourite songs on the album is the classy and classic ‘Jericho’. Again very reflective, personal and inward looking with a memorable hook, It finds Ruston channeling the dark minimalism of Bruce Springsteen's ‘Nebraska’ with a stark guitar-and-a-harmonica aesthetic. He uses the biblical city's ancient wall as a representation of his own isolation, but it's cut through with the harmonies of Natalie Hemby and ex-Civil Wars member Joy Williams, with whom Ruston co-wrote the tune. Together, they lift the song up, singing on the chorus, "I raised Jericho around me, but these walls are built to scale."

The title track ‘Dying Star’ drifts away on pedal steel accents and light percussion. The album closes with the rather short but perfectly formed ‘Brightly Burst Into The Air’.

The Horizon Just Laughed - Damien Jurado (04/05/18)

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  • Artist: Damien Jurado

  • Release Date: 4th May, 2018

  • Genre: Indie Folk, Singer-Songwriter

  • Record Label: Secretly Canadian

  • Tracks: 11

  • Website:

Damien Jurado presents his new album ‘The Horizon Just Laughed’. Like previous albums, The Horizon Just Laughed started with a dream - though that's where things change, as they often do. It is Damien Jurado's first self-produced album in a 20+ year career, more personal and more rooted than even his Maraqopa trilogy, as though after so much time on the road he's stumbled upon his home. The album feels like a beautiful collage - its narrative pieced together through letters and postcards, with each part contributing to its greater whole, and providing snapshots of ones journey to find a sense of place and connection to a changing world.

Glass Heart - Mel Parsons (30/11/18)

  • Artist: Mel Parsons

  • Release Date: 30th November, 2018

  • Genre:

  • Record Label: Cape Road Recordings

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website:

‘Glass Heart’ is a bold and beautifully crafted body of work, which sees Mel Parsons revealing a darker and fuller sound, while still retaining her trademark poignant storytelling.

The album was recorded in Los Angeles with legendary American producer Mitchell Froom (Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie, Crowded House, Missy Higgins, Randy Newman, Richard Thompson, Suzanne Vega) and an incredible cast of US-based musicians, including guitarist Adam Levy (Norah Jones), bass player Kaveh Rastegar (John Legend, Sia), drummer Ted Poor (Andrew Bird) and Froom on keyboards.

"I had been wanting to work with Mitchell for a few years, so when our schedules finally aligned things happened pretty quickly," says Mel. "Mitchell and I had first been in touch back about working together back in 2015, but I've admired his work for a long time - he has produced some of my favourite albums."

"You hear about how amazing these people are - and obviously by reputation you know that they're operating at a really high level - but it wasn't until we started working on the songs and got into the studio that I experienced Mitchell's quiet genius firsthand."

Mel Parsons is arguably one of New Zealand's most prolific touring acts, and is excited to be taking Glass Heart directly to her fans this December.

High Fences - James Edwyn and The Borrowed Band (06/10/17)

  • Artist: James Edwyn & The Borrowed Band

  • Release Date: 6th October, 2017

  • Genre: Americana, Rock

  • Record Label: Dead Records Collective

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website:

  • Review By: Gary Smith (LCM)

Glasgow based Scottish Americana & Folk-Rock band James Edwyn & The Borrowed Band are certainly making waves. After the excitement and critical acclaim surrounding their debut album ‘The Tower’ in 2014, their second album ‘High Fences’ released in October 2017 certainly lives up it’s promise. It’s released on the band’s own Dead Record Collective label and is currently winning them even more attention. The band feature James Edwyn, Emma Joyce, Scott Keenan, Ronnie Gilmour, Ross McLaughlin and Neil McDonald

They thrilled at this years AMA UK conference & showcase and also performed on the main stage of the FATEA’s 30th birthday bash in Bournemouth. They have been very busy this year with a UK tour and many other successful festival appearances.

‘High Fences' is a perfect showcase of the bands unique combination of the finest melody-driven songwriting along with their trademark attention to production and arrangement. The inclusion of pedal steel and horns adding an extra dimension.

There are echoes of The Band too in the interplay and rich grooves in ‘Get Back Up’. It is a album of wonderful contrast and texture including the guitar-driven alt-country of the opening track ‘Passing San Ysidro’ , the gentle flow and reflection of ‘Pushing Statues’ through to the soulful ‘Quoting Sagan’. Soul and heart is what this album has in abundance. There is even the lovely ‘Never In A While’ which strips everything down to just James Edwyn on acoustic guitar. It perfectly suits the intimate nature of the song.

With it’s gentle melodic pop sway, ‘Starlet’ is another particular highlight of mine, with Emma Joyce’s harmony vocals adding to the rich mix. The album closes on two slow waltzers with ‘Burning Man’ and Ronnie Gilmour’s guitar playing perfectly complementing James Edwyn’s soulful and heartfelt delivery in ‘Doubts’ bringing to mind CSNY and The Eagles.

Buy the album here >>>

Wild Angels Sweet Demons EP - Fiona Bevan (15/11/18)

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  • Artist: Fiona Bevan

  • Release Date: 15th November, 2018

  • Record Label: Venus Climbing Ltd

  • Tracks: 4

  • Website:

After spending a couple of years writing for other artists, the excellent singer-songwriter Fiona Bevan releases her brand new EP ‘Wild Angels Sweet Demons’. It's an EP of four songs of love, life, death, sex, imperfection, obsession and lush widescreen cinematic joy!

It was produced by Fiona’s longtime friend and Grammy-winning engineer Robin Baynton who has worked with Isaac Gracie, Mumford And Sons, Laura Marling, Coldplay, Florence, Arcade Fire. He also produced Fiona’s first EP 'Us And The Darkness'.

The new EP is available digitally and on vinyl today, with the CD available soon. All photos are polaroids taken by Chris Almeida

Evening Machines - Gregory Alan Isakov (04/10/18)

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  • Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov

  • Release Date: 4th October, 2018

  • Genre: Folk, Singer-Songwriter

  • Record Label: Dualtone Music

  • Tracks: 12

  • Website:

‘Evening Machines’ is the excellent new album from South African singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov.

Mumford and Sons - Delta (16/11/18)

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  • Artist: Mumford & Sons

  • Release Date: 16th November, 2018

  • Genre: Folk, Rock, Pop

  • Record Label: Island

  • Tracks: 14

  • Website:

Delta is the upcoming fourth studio album by British band Mumford & Sons. It is set to be released on 16 November 2018 through Gentlemen of the Road and Island Records.The album was recorded at The Church Studios in London with producer Paul Epworth..

The album is supported by the lead single, "Guiding Light", which was premiered on 20 September 2018 on BBC Radio 1. It will also be supported by a 60-date world tour to begin in November 2018

Motel Bouquet - Caitlin Canty (30/03/18)

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  • Artist: Caitlyn Canty

  • Release Date: 30th March, 2018

  • Genre: Folk, Blues, Americana, Singer-Songwriter

  • Record Label: Caitlin Canty / Tone Tree Music

  • Tracks: 10

  • Website:

Caitlin Canty is an US singer/songwriter whose music carves a line through folk, blues, and country ballads. Her voice was called “casually devastating” by the San Francisco Chronicle and NPR Music describes her songs as having a “haunting urgency.”

’Motel Bouquet’, Caitlin’s third album, features ten original songs that hold her darkly radiant voice firmly in the spotlight. Produced by Grammy-nominated Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers) and recorded live over three days in Nashville, the album boasts a band of some of finest musicians in roots music, including fiddler Stuart Duncan and vocalist Aoife O’Donovan. Rolling Stone hails Motel Bouquet as “dreamy and daring” with “poetic lyrics and haunting melodies.”

Snow - Angus and Julia Stone (15/09/17)

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  • Artist: Angus & Julia Stone

  • Release Date: 15th September, 2017

  • Genre: Alt-Folk, Folk, Acoustic

  • Record Label: Le Label

  • Tracks: 12

  • Website:

SNOW continues a process the siblings began at the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin on their self-titled album of 2014. "That was the first time that we actually started writing together, in the same room, and I guess we took a leaf from that chapter into this record. This time round though, every song on the record we wrote together" Angus says. The Sydney-born siblings produced and largely engineered it themselves, in Angus's cottage studio, Belafonte, in the Byron Bay hinterland. "It was quite magical because Angus and I have never spent that much time together, just the two of us," says Julia. "There's always at least an engineer or tour manager but the last phase of writing and recording was just eight weeks of him and me and the quiet of the land. It was a beautiful time."

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