News Marshall moved to New York in 1981, where he had latterly painted murals

Austin John Marshall, record producer, folk-revival ideas man, lyricist and songwriter, performance poet and muralist, created, nurtured or acted as cultural midwife to many strands of art. His fingerprints are all over Shirley Collins & Davy Graham's folk roots, new routes, Shirley & Dolly Collins' magnum opus Anthems in Eden, Ultravox!'s pre-Midge Ure incarnation Tiger Lily and English songwriter Steve Ashley's groundbreaking Stroll On. He also contributed footage to Peter Neal's Jimi Hendrix film Rainbow Bridge (1972) and to the Incredible String Band's film Be Glad for the Song Has No Ending (1970).

Album: Alasdair Roberts & Friends, Too Long In This Condition (Navigator)

Alasdair Roberts is keen to emphasise the relevance of the traditional folk ballads featured in Too Long In This Condition: it comes with an explicatory musing on timelessness from Wittgenstein's Tractatus, and a sleevenote which refers to the passing-on of ballads as a "game of memoried tig come fluid form of existential relay", which just about nails it.

Album: Lee Konitz, New Quartet (Enja)

At an age when most of us would be happy if we could still get a spoon in our mouths, 82-year-old saxophonist Konitz took his young band into New York's Village Vanguard.

Album: Sam Amidon, I See the Sign (Bedroom Community)

You'll either get what Amidon does or you won't.

Album: Neil Cowley Trio, Radio Silence (Naim)

There's nothing wrong with this third album by the likeable NCT but all the principal ingredients – pianism in the grand manner, catchy hooks, minimal improvisation – were already present in the previous two, and it's hard to say they've really been improved upon.

X Factor twins John and Edward Grimes to perform Ghostbusters

Irish X Factor hopefuls John and Edward Grimes will be performing the Ghostbusters theme song on Saturday night, it can be revealed.

The Sketch: Applause for the hard-hitting Ballad of Squeaky George

The rain was tipping down over Manchester but inside the conference hall the sun still shone, fluffy clouds floated round the auditorium. See what happens when you cast aside cynicism? It brings spring to October, and the joy of perpetual day. Ah, the noble calling.

Album: Tom Bancroft, The Ballad of Linda and Crawford (Interrupto)

Beginning with the rat-tat-tat-tat of the irresistible "Toxic Beaming Happiness", which mixes music written for the US pianist Geri Allen with an homage to Britney Spears, drummer/ composer/bandleader Bancroft has created a powerful yet playful concept album about personal/marital breakdown.

The lost legends of American soft rock

As 1980s pop stars from Britain leap on to the crowded revivalist bandwagon, Ben Walsh wonders what happened to their US cousins

The word on... The Dead Weather, Horehound

"Perhaps Jack White's continued dominance over contemporary blues-rock is in fact the product of some deal with the devil – and if that means more bands as fully realized as the Dead Weather, let's hope that Beelzebub will consider a contract renewal." - pitchfork.com

Album: Maria Taylor, Lady Luck (Nettwerk)

It's probably just me but a certain type of US TV drama is increasingly spoiling my love of a certain type of US music. So you're watching, say, Grey's Anatomy, when there, in the background of the sad reflective scene, is an artist you thought of as your own: a Jason Molina or a Maria Taylor. Inevitable, I guess, and Taylor's polished pop fits the bill perfectly – all Carole King meets Lone Justice. And just in case Mr TV Dude's not listening, Michael Stipe pops up on the final track.

Album: Secret Machines, Secret Machines, (World's Fair)

One member down, Brandon Curtis's Secret Machines roll along in fairly familiar shoegaze-meets-prog style.

Album: Bonga, Bairro, (Lusafrica)

What makes this 65-year-old Angolan veteran's music so compelling is that he effortlessly mixes Brazilian samba with the melancholy yearnings of Cape Verdean morna.

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