When it comes to music I have been fortunate to hear this year, then I will think of 2019 as the year of the ladies. Thanks to the wonderful Elfin Bow I have been introduced to some amazing singers from the UK scene I would never have found on my own from the other side of the world, and to the list, I now must add the name of Katie Ware, otherwise known as Little Sparrow. Amazingly this debut album is from 2014, which yet again shows how dire the music industry is when something as powerful and glorious isn’t well known. This is all about Katie, her voice and songs, mixing and changing the arrangements so while she may have a full band behind her, at others, it may just be acoustic guitar, violin and or cello, whatever is needed to make it work. Many of the songs don’t feature percussion, and it is all about that wonderful beautiful voice front and center.
This is a singer-songwriter as opposed to folk, acoustic music which is inspired by the likes of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell. Even the heavy use of pedal steel on “Struck Gold” doesn’t pull it into the country as the gently plucked guitar keeps it rooted, while the wonderful harmony and backing vocals throw all the focus onto the main. Some songs are upbeat, driving forward with a demand to grab your attention, pushing forward whereas others are far more languid, expecting you to come and discover on your own. There is a brightness and freshness within this which reminds me of a young Judy Dyble, as Katie has incredible control and a superb high range.
That this album and the name of Little Sparrow isn’t more widely known is nothing short of criminal as it is an absolute delight from beginning to end. If you enjoy this style of music then this is essential. I note it is also available on Bandcamp so why not search it out and give it a listen, this is an artist you need to support. Awesome.
About Steve Rothery: Steve Rothery is an English musician, Rothery is the founding member of Marillion in1979. Marillion, which is one of the most successful band to emerge from Britain’s 80s neo-progressive rock scene, having sold over 15 million albums. Steve’s melodic and atmospheric style has been an integral part of Marillion’s eighteen albums. Fuck Everyone and Run (F E A R) Marillion’s 18th studio album was released on September 23, 2016.
Rothery has recorded two albums as part of the duo with his side project The Wishing Tree. On Steve’s long awaited solo album, the music is brimming with his trademark guitar solos and melodic chordal work. It also sees a rockier side return to Steve’s playing. Rothery’s instrumental solo album “The Ghosts of Pripyat” was released in September 2014 and Live at the Band on the Wall (2015) with the Steve Rothery Band.
According to Guitar Player, Rothery “specializes in crafting lush sonic atmospheres with layered guitars and effects processing”. In 2001, Rothery was voted Yorkshire and Humberside’s best guitarist in a poll in Total Guitar magazine. He has been hailed by MusicPlayers.com as one of the great progressive rock guitarists, describing him as “never one to go for major flash, he always plays for the song and not his ego, but when he shines, he shines brightly”, and comparing him favourably with John Petrucci, David Gilmour and Alex Lifeson.
Marillion Studio Albums
Script for a Jester’s Tear (1983)
Misplaced Childhood (1985)
Clutching at Straws (1987)
Seasons End (1989)
Holidays in Eden (1991)
Afraid of Sunlight (1995)
This Strange Engine (1997)
Somewhere Else (2007)
Happiness Is the Road (2008)
Less Is More (2009)
Sounds That Can’t Be Made (2012)
Fuck Everyone and Run (F E A R) (2016)
Wishing Tree Albums
Carnival of Souls (1996)
Steve Rothery Solo Albums
Live in Plovdiv (December 2013)
Live in Rome (August 2014)
The Ghosts of Pripyat (September 2014)
Steve Rothery Band
Live at the Band on the Wall (2015)
Jadis – Jadis (1989, Production)
Arrakeen – Patchwork (1990, Guitar)
Rock Against Repatriation – “Sailing” (1990, Guitar)
Enchant – A Blueprint of the World (1994, Production, Guitar)
John Wesley – Under the Red and White Sky (1994, Guitar)
Arena – Crying for Help, The Cry (1994, Guitar)
Mr. So and So – The Overlap (1998, Production, Guitar)
John Wesley – The Emperor Falls (1999, Guitar)
Ian Mosley & Ben Castle – Postmankind (2001, Guitar)
The Reasoning – Awakening (2007, Guitar)
Gazpacho – Firebird (2005, Guitar)
Swallow the Sun – Servant of Sorrow (alternate version from the single New Moon) (2009, Guitar)
Edison’s Children – In The Last Waking Moments (2011, Guitar)
Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited II (2012, Guitar)
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