First up is the latest from Tim Fox*, a long-time regular on the York music scene. Under the persona of Lone Kumiho, Tim steps away from his more familiar muscular blues and harmonica work to deliver a softer, pared-down vocal with an engaging banjo accompaniment.

For some unknown reason – apart from the fact that it’s a great sound – several radio stations in Canada have picked up on the sound which conjures images of a wistful backwoodsman taking a break, singing on a stoop waiting for whatever life may bring…

Well, that’s what it made us think of anyway. Time for UK radio to catch up.

And that name? Tim’s just playing with his surname – Kumiho is a legendary nine-tailed fox.

*Tim is not a real fox

Jesus Pizza

What’s your favourite music topping? Alternative punk? Garage? A bit of dreamy psych perhaps? All three, maybe… if so, then you might want to tuck in to a slice of Jesus Pizza.

The York trio have delivered (presumably piping hot on the back of a moped), a punchy 13-track album for download.

With only one track exceeding three minutes, and half the rest coming in under two minutes, they know how to get their message over with no messing about.

Our favourite two tracks are the lively Under The Influence, penned by lead guitarist and singer Si Micklethwaite – and a dreamier slower track, Fox Glove Yard, also written by Si.

Drums and percussion are the work of Nick Barker, and Joe Sellers, writer of four tracks, plays guitar and lap steel, and contributes distinctive vocal backing.

Produced by Sam Forrest, the album was recorded earlier this year at The Woolpack. Download the whole album for £3 here.

Holly Taymar and Chris Bilton

Thanks to Daniel Lucas (aka Boss Caine) for drawing our attention to Small Love, a beautiful track from his recent road-trip tour-mates, York’s Holly Taymar and Chris Bilton.

Three great gigs

Here are three gigs that have been highlights for me recently.

Nashville visitors Jeni & Billy – Jeni Hankins and Billy Kemp – charmed a packed Black Swan with their bluegrass, Appalachian mountain music story-songs.

Jeni’s voice is pitched somewhere between Dolly Parton and Kate McGarrigle, as they unveiled Picnic In The Sky, their first studio album in four years.

At the old Fibbers a few weeks ago, supporting the powerhouse one-man rock band Bob Log, was Thomas Truax. His trademark home-made instruments are the novelties that first catch the eye and the ear.

But what remains is a set of extraordinary songs that could be aural versions of cinematic out-takes from David Lynch or Tim Burton fantasies.

But then, when he’s snared you with his humour, he can dig down deep into some wild dystopian otherworld, and unearth tunes of disarming emotion and tenderness. A real one-off, compelling artist.

And the biggest recent gig-going thrill was the late discovery of New York anti-folk singer and comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis And The Jrams.

One previous encounter was his album of cover versions of Crass songs which didn’t quite work for me; but this show was a revelation. A powerful mixture of deeply personal, wildly political and just plain funny songs that captivated a Basement crowd.

The delivery lies somewhere between Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman and is at times utterly disarming.

The new album A Turn In The Dream-Song is a gem, and the rapid purchase of an entire back catalogue has now taken place, and my conversion is complete.

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