Arts and Entertainment Dai & The Ramblers, Duw Duw

Duw Duw, Just Peachy Records

Album of the week: Nick Lowe, 'Quality Street' (Proper)

Warmth and wit light up this festive box of delights 

Album review: Lindi Ortega, Tin Star, Last Gang

With the release of her 2011 album Little Red Boots, one particularly erudite reviewer (OK, it was me) referred to Ortega as “Canada’s best-kept country secret”. And not much has happened since to change that.

Music Review: Bright Phoebus

The parade of musicians onto the Barbican stage has Norma Waterson at its centre, and there's a chair centre-stage for her, set between daughter Eliza and niece Marry, and spread either side stand musical friends and family – Martin Carthy, Olly Knight and Neill MacColl on guitars, multi-instrumentalist Kate St John, brilliant husky-voiced young singer John Smith duetting with an assured Kami Thompson, and committed turns from Richard Hawley and Jarvis Cocker, stick-thin enough to really do "The Scarecrow", one of many strange and wonderful works to trip from the mind of Lal Waterson.

Album: Katmen, The Katmen Cometh (Decca)

Katmen are Slim Jim Phantom, the snare-beating Stray Cat, and Darrel Higham, who twangs a fat Gretsch behind his wife, Imelda May, plus bassist Al Gare.

Less is more with JJ Cale's accessible and unassuming music

The problem with Cale's tunes is they are such easy listening that you might think that is all they are

Album: Luke Haines, Rock and Roll Animals (Cherry Red)

After alternate English histories and wrestlers' inner monologues, the insanely prolific and prolifically insane Auteur turns to children's fables.

Album review: Grant Hart, The Argument (Domino)

Former Hüsker Dü drummer/songwriter Grant Hart exhibits huge ambition on The Argument, a double-album inspired by William Burroughs' planned sci-fi re-imagining of Milton's Paradise Lost.

Album review: David Lynch, The Big Dream (Sunday Best)

The familiar Lynchian tropes are evident throughout this second solo album from the auteur director. What's not here, though, is the craft and the sheer peculiarity that might make The Big Dream more listenable.

Album review: Rainer and Das Combo, Barefoot Rock with... Rainer and Das Combo (Fire)

Though his life was cut tragically short before he could reap the rewards of his pioneering work, Rainer Ptacek embodied all that was/is best about the Americana movement. Gently dedicated to his chosen instrument – the resophonic steel guitar – he drew from its history without being bound by it.

Smart moves: Romain Duris and Déborah François in 'Populaire'
King Creosote, That Might Well Be It, Darling (Domino)

Album review: King Creosote, That Might Well Be It, Darling (Domino)

Initially released in 2010 as a series of EPs only available at King Creosote live shows, That Might Well Be It, Darling is being given a limited release for Record Store Day. As such, it's more than welcome: it may well be Kenny Anderson's best album.

Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter

Album review: Adam Ant, Adam Ant Is the BlueBlack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter (BlueBlack Hussar)

It's appropriate that Adam Ant should feature his name in the title of this sprawling comeback album, as many of its 16 songs are plainly autobiographical, from the affectionate paeans to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, to the digs at psychiatry in “Shrink”.

Album review: Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Buddy and Jim (New West)

Buddy Miller is fast becoming a ubiquitous presence on quality Americana and, through work with the likes of Robert Plant and Richard Thompson, quality Albiona, too.

Trampled By Turtles, Hoxton Bar & Grill, London

Five blokes, mainly of full build, most with facial hair, including two fiercely hammering away at banjo and mandolin. With such an unfortunate name, this Minnesota-based bluegrass outfit need to be hot not only to distract us from the fact they are called (grit teeth) Trampled By Turtles, but also to obliterates any parallels with Mumford & Sons.

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