A sampler featuring two tracks by each of the talented artists in the Sunshine Drenchy Records stable as a free download? Oh yes. All you have to do is visit our NoiseTrade page and offer up your email address for an occasional Sunshine Drenchy newsletter.
Off you go then…
Yes, Sunshine Drenchy artists, The Ditchflowers and Ricky Wilcox and the Moonsnakes will be at Skipper’s Smokehouse on January 29th. You’d be a silly-billy to miss it.
It’s tough out there, isn’t it? We have Italians getting their finely pressed, designer-label bloomers in a bundle over their ever-burgeoning debt crisis; frazzled American homeowners are seeing their home values plummet to garden shed levels, and governments in the Middle East appear about as tenuous as Lindsey Lohan’s grasp of probation laws.
Fear not though, dear folky-popsters, for all is safe and warm in the kindly bosom of the Sunshine Drenchy Records Empire. Ok, so Empire might be pushing it a bit (a lot) … largely penniless and mildly dysfunctional musical collective might be more accurate, but still. Yes, we may be struggling artists swimming against the tide, or even pissing in the wind, as they say, but never at the same time thank you very much. No, we simply soldier blindly on with smiles on our faces, striving to create little musical treasures of the sort that we might be proud to put our names to, regardless of how out-of-step they may be with the current musical tastes of Mr and Mrs Mainstream. Ok, forget the smiling bit… but we do try bloody hard, and we do appreciate and savour each little victory that come our way. Well, you have to, don’t you? It might be a brave and defiant artistic stance … or it might just be a little sad and delusional. Either way, here’s what’s been happening in Sunshine Drenchy land:
As we all know,The Ditchflowers have released Bird’s Eye, the follow-up to their acclaimed debut CD, Carried Away, and a little beauty it is too. Actually, it’s not a little beauty at all - it’s got 14 tracks on it for a start. It’s also got a deluxe gatefold sleeve adorned with stunning artwork and a lovely fold-up lyric sheet stuffed inside. Either way, it’s an audio and visual treat, and no power-pop home should be without one. Fortuitously, several tracks have been already been aired on Radio Winschoten over in the Netherlands (thank You, Johanna Bodde!) as well as on several NPR stations here in the US, and early reviews have been as positive as you might expect:
* “Bird’s Eye is another triumphant collection of sophisticated adult pop…a magnificent record.” Absolute Power Pop
* “At fourteen songs, ‘Bird’s Eye’ could have been at least four songs too many, as it turns out you’re left wanting more.” - Pennyblack Music
* “Melodically inventive, ethereal, full of wonder, “Bird’s Eye” feels like … flight.” - Creative Loafing
* “Buy it now, or your more knowledgeable and musically astute friends will all talk about you behind your back.” - Steve Robinson
But don’t take their word for it; listen for yourselves, here … http://theditchflowers.bandcamp.com/
After some delay, the new Steve Robinson EP, The Ride of Our Lives was finally finished, pressed, and would be stacked nicely on the shelves of record emporiums everywhere, but since bricks and mortar record shops seem to have gone the way of vaguely intelligent TV programming and polite political discourse, it’s being sold online, and of course, from the boot of his car. To listen to, read about and/or purchase this little nostalgic aural love note to the Old Country (sort of…) visit his virtual Bandcamp store here: http://steverobinson.bandcamp.com/.
Early reviews have been kind; Steven Ferra over at the Absolute Powerpop blog opined that “Robinson is a class act, and this EP was worth the wait.”, while Music To Eat blogger, Rob Caldwell included it in his Top 15 of 2011. Further, critic, Malcolm Carter included it (along with Anna O.’s brilliant Coming Home CD) in his end of the year Top 10 list. He also wrote a pearler of a review at Pennyblack Music (http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Review.aspx?id=8121), commenting: “As usual Robinson takes normal, everyday pleasures and fears, and sets them to outstanding melodies, leaving us to wonder why the hell he isn’t selling shed loads of albums.” Ha! Answers on a postcard please…
Looking forward, now that the latest Ditchflowers CD has seen the light of day and with Robinson’s EP finally done, Ed Woltil and Steve Robinson are back to working on their postponed collaborative effort. Tentatively called “Cycle”, it’s an exciting project for them and they hope to have it ready early in the new year. They didn’t say which new year, so don’t hold them to it, but they’re making steady progress. They’re also thrilled that legendary stickman, Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention, XTC, Paul McCartney, Elton John, to name a few…) has contributed drum tracks to a couple of the songs.
Speaking of Fairport Convention, founding member and guitar legend Richard Thompson (OBE, BBC Lifetime Achievement Award winner etc…), is bringing his blazing guitar and songwriting skills to the beautiful Tampa Theatre on Friday, Feb 3rd, 2012. Steve Robinson & Ed Woltil are opening the show. (Ticket info right here: http://www.tampatheatre.org/descriptions.php#richardthompson.) I’m sure most of you are familiar with the man hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 guitarists of all time, but for those who aren’t, you really should make the effort to come out to the Tampa Theatre show. You won’t be disappointed. Unless of course you’re a budding guitarist, in which case you’ll more than likely leave the show totally devastated and in the mood to smash your guitar.
Thanks to everyone who has already purchased Sunshine Drenchy music this year; it’s very much appreciated. Feel free to offer feedback, be it a pat on the back or a ruck in the trousers. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have sheds that need emptying…
Steve Robinson’s latest release is now officially available for purchase. He’s calling it "The Ride of Our Lives", which is convenient, since that is the title printed on the sleeve.
If you’d like a copy of your own, go to Steve’s Bandcamp store and order an actual compact disc, or an airy-fairy download in your choice of format.
Click your heels, and then click here: http://steverobinson.bandcamp.com/