Category Archives: three blind wolves


By ‘Folkdates’ I wish I meant ‘dates in which folk music was discussed and/or heard’ (I’m looking at you, Charlie Fink doppelgänger in the corner), but in this context I mean updates. Folk updates. Get it? Thankfully, the winter season seems to bring out the best in acoustic music; I guess it’s natural for folkies to get in the Christmas spirit, but there’s plenty of non-seasonal folk popping up as well, like Three Blind Wolves‘ new single ‘Parade’ on Spinner. Anyway, onto the updates:

Anyone who’s ever met me has probably heard about Folkroom, the label/folk night that showcases an increasingly wide variety of artists from ye olde Londontown. I visited one of their nights at The Queen’s Head when I visited London last year, and co-founder Stephen Thomas even wrote me a guest post a while back. I’m a fan.

For the holiday season, Folkroom artist Lucy Cait has been running an advent calendar on her new website, From giveaways to gingerbread recipes to new songs, these treats are way better than the usual advent offering of stale chocolates. Lucy’s music is the gift that keeps on giving, and she seems to have quite a bit up her sleeves for 2013.

My past few Christmases have been accompanied by the excellent For Folk’s Sake It’s Christmas albums, and this year is no exception. The latest version features some of my favorite up-and-coming UK folksters: Ellen and the Escapades, Tom Williams, Gerard & the Watchmen, Feldspar, Admiral Fallow, Gibson Bull, Stylusboy, and more.

Feldspar doesn’t just cover one of my favorite Christmas songs on the FFS album (‘In the Bleak Midwinter’), they’ve also released a video for awesome original track ‘The Flat and Paper Sky’. Watch the video below, and catch them at my all-time favorite London pub, The Old Queen’s Head, on January 16th.

Props to the old lady getting inked in the church.

NEWS! Lots of it.

Check out ‘Mukraker’ by Conveyor–mark my words, you’ll be hearing a lot from them in 2012.

If I covered all the music news that I’ve found interesting over the past week, I’d be writing this post for three days straight. It’s been nutty. So here are some snippets.

King Charles releases Mississippi Isabel EP
At long last, I can listen to a version of ‘Ivory Road’ that wasn’t recorded in the back of a London taxicab (although I adore that one too). The king’s EP is available on iTunes and Amazon, and features:

1. Bam Bam
2. Love Lust
3. Ivory Road
4. Mississippi Isabel

Andrew Bird reveals Break It Yourself tracklist:
I’m stoked to see Andrew Bird and Laura Marling in April–and if that tour prospect isn’t juicy enough already, those tickets come with a digital download of the new album and two live EPs. Check those tour dates out here, and the tracklist for Break It Yourself is below.

01. Desperation Breeds…
02. Polynation
03. Danse Caribe
04. Give it Away
05. Eyeoneye
06. Lazy Projector
07. Near Death Experience Experience
08. Behind the Barn
09. Lusitania
10. Orpheo Looks Back
11. Sifters
12. Fatal Shore
13. Hole in the Ocean Floor
14. Belles

Three Blind Wolves release video for ‘Echo On the Night Train’
These guys need to be better known–they’re phenomenal. I’m happy just closing my eyes and listening to ‘Echo On the Night Train’, but a video (almost) always makes things better.

Slow Club announce US tour
I’m particularly excited about this one, because it means I finally get to catch this duo live when they hit SF’s Brick and Mortar in March.

14 – Washington, DC – DC9
15 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
16 – Brooklyn, NY – The Bell House
17 – Boston, MA – TT The Bears
18 – Montreal, QC – Casa Del Popolo
19 – Toronto, ON – Rivoli
21 – Pontiac, MI – The Pike Room
22 – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle

06 – Vancouver, BC – Media Club
07 – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
08 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
10 – San Francisco, CA – Brick & Mortar Music Hall
11 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
12 – San Diego, CA – Casbah

SXSW 2012 dates TBA

Laura Marling discusses her poem and website for The Beast here
Laura has posted a poem on; it’s inspired by the album and narrated by Gil from Old Crow Medicine Show. Read about her multimedia process and inspiration in the interview above.

Eugene McGuinness releases free download and trailer for ‘Thunderbolt’
Though we’re still waiting on a release date for Eugene McGuinness’s upcoming album, at least he’s given us another taste of the new material. You can grab the track here and watch the trailer below.

Summer Camp hits LA, NY, and DC on upcoming tour
I’m bummed that they’re not stopping in San Francisco, but you can catch Summer Camp at the following dates:

02/06 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
02/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Glasslands Gallery
02/09 – Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
02/13 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

And finally…. if you’ve been on Mars and haven’t caught the Coachella lineup yet, click here. Or, for heat-averse San Franciscans like me, check out the Bay Area’s Fauxchella dates.

News Bits and Bobs

New addiction: Andrew Davie’s new outfit Bear’s Den. Check out a live version of song “Pompeii” above.

I know I’m not great about updating this blog, but this is bad–even for me. Thankfully I have an excuse: I was in London! That’s right, London. The homeland. The mother ship. While I was reliving study abroad memories, seeing friends new and old, and hanging out at Borough Market, a lot of cool stuff happened in folk world. Here are just some of the news items I missed.

Communion artist Michael Kiwanuka toured with Adele earlier this year–no small feat! He’s now announced details of forthcoming EP Home Again, which is set to be released January 1st. It’s short and sweet, with just three tracks:

‘Home Again’ (click to hear his performance on Lauren Laverne’s BBC6 Music show)
‘Now I’m Seeing’
‘They Say I’m Doing Just Fine’

Three Blind Wolves have released a free acoustic EP, The Maybe Forest. It features an acoustic version of “Emily Rose” as well as a bunch of tracks I don’t know, and you can get it here. The band has also been in the US (not the West Coast, dammit), and their last date on that tour is tomorrow night at Star Bar in Atlanta.

The fabulous King Charles has released a video for the official recording of “Ivory Road”–and while I think I like the Black Cab Session a bit better, it’s pretty exciting that an LP is on the way.

    Mumford & Sons have two new tracks floating around–including one from the upcoming film adaptation of Wuthering Heights. That track is called “Enemy”, and you can listen below. The other track is “Ghosts That We Knew”, and was debuted in Philadelphia on 104.5 FM.
    And finally, I reviewed Florence and the Machine’s new album Ceremonials on The Owl Mag. Here’s a snippet:

    ‘For an artist like Florence Welch, the second album is tricky. Will it catapult her into the Top 40? Will she maintain even an ounce of indie cred, or be relegated to guilty pleasure playlists? As songs from Lungs continue to haunt movie trailers and car commercials, Florence and the Machine appears to be moving dangerously close to ubiquity. For me, then, sophomore effort Ceremonials begs the question: can I still own my girl crush?

    I realize that’s probably not the question running through your mind, but bear with me. With her crazy red hair, kooky style, and songs about stabbing girls’ eyes out, Flo is endearingly eccentric–a refreshing and indie-appropriate superstar. Though flanked by a self-professed Machine, she and debut album Lungs never felt like products of one. Ceremonials had a lot to live up to: it needed to bring the same quirky grandeur as its predecessor, or my admiration would end up in one of her boys’ coffins.’

    (Read More)

First Shepherd’s Bush, Then the World

Communion Takes Over Shepherd’s Bush for Bushstock 2011

All the way back in February I was heartbroken to be missing Communion’s Bushstock Festival. The new-folk launch pad/label/international(!) club night was set to put on their first Shepherd’s Bush takeover on May 7th, but it was postponed until this coming Saturday. And while I obviously still can’t go, those of you who can will find it worth the wait: the lineup looks pretty darn fantastic. The four venues (St. Stephen’s Church, Shepherd’s Bar, the Goldhawk, and Ginglik) all feature prominent up-and-comers, as well as some mainstays, in the new-folk world. I’ve previously typed my fingers off about performers like Peggy Sue and King Charles, and certainly the Mystery Jets needs no introduction. So here are some other Bushstock artists I’ve had my eye on for a while, and I would encourage you to check out. But remember, this is really just asmidgeon of the great acts lined up for the event–so take a gander at the schedule and give them all a listen.

I’ve already written about Elena Tonra, who performs as Daughter. Her Demos EP (which is still the glorious price of free) is a lovely thing, delicate and serene. With a beautifully pure tone, Elena’s voice is captivating and expressive. If the four recorded tracks on the EP already feel intimate, a live performance would be stunning indeed. She’s been all over BBC radio, just recorded a session for Daytrotter, was featured in Q Magazine, and likely won’t be underground for very long.

Goldheart Assembly
I was bummed to miss these guys at SXSW. The tight harmonies of Goldheart Assembly’s “King of Rome” will lodge themselves in your brain for weeks, especially as you find yourself yearning for summer sunbathing music. All of last year’s Wolves and Thieves is filled with these retro stylings, a West Coast vibe that alternates between mellow (the soft and gorgeous “Last Decade”, for example) and hyped up (the cheery “Under the Waterway” almost sounds like Fun.’s folkier cousin). It’s supposed to rain here in the Bay Area on Saturday, but London looks sunny and warm. Pull out your Ray Bans and let Goldheart Assembly put you in the mood.

Three Blind Wolves
There’s no other way to say it: I frigging adore Three Blind Wolves. The Glaswegians’ seven song debut, Sound of the Storm, came out on Communion at the end of March, and has been taking over my iPod ever since (it’s easily in my top five fave discoveries of the year so far).The lyrics are clever, melodies catchy, and presentation confident. Lead singer Ross Clark uses his voice like a true instrument, shifting registers and manipulating texture with control. They’ve been called a ‘countrified Modest Mouse’, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg.

Tom Williams and the Boat
First of all, check out the Station Session they did in July last year. It’s great. Tom Williams and the Boat are of that Frank Turner ilk, where singing morphs into shouting and words are squished together or strung out into conversational phrases. As Tom triumphantly shouts on new single “Concentrate” (check out this version, recorded in a bathroom), he’s a ‘modern man’–and the lyric-driven songs are nothing if not contemporary. The band’s dynamic rock-twinged style would provide a welcome burst of energy in the middle of Saturday afternoon.

Treetop Flyers
Treetop Flyers sound like they’ve been around for a while, by which I mean two things: a) they sound like the modern answer to bands like Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, and b) they sound like old pros, even though their debut EP was only released in 2009. They also just won Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition, which earns them a spot on the giant festival’s main stage. Check out their amazing Bandstand Busking session, as well as For Folk’s Sake’s interview with vocalist Reid Morrison.

Three Blind Wolves in a Laundromat

In keeping with our weird performance space theme, here’s a great session with Three Blind Wolves that also takes place in a laundromat. Because who doesn’t like some dryer-spinning ambient noise? 😉

And here’s a selection from Amsterdam Acoustics, made known to me by my Twitter pal @AnneDenissen. Check out this great version of Villagers’ “Becoming a Jackal”. I never realized Conor O’Brien looked so much like James McAvoy.