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It's been tricky to access all the shows in one place but at last, following some nudges from Clive (and a good few others), here's a wish come true.

This micro-site is the easiest place to listen to the entire SnC archive, all 429 shows.

Explore the back catalogue of shows using the Episodes button (top right). 

Full shownotes are published on the Suffolk 'n' Cool main site.

May 9, 2012

The halfway point in a frantically busy week. As you’ll hear I’ve been over to Southwold a couple of times since last week’s show and as soon as the red light goes off on SnC 322 I’m off to Brighton, on the south coast of England, for an intensive three days of music, panel sessions and great conversation with interesting people.

The Great Escape line-up is pretty extensive. Who should I try to see?


Some bits of Southwold are decidedly retro. Here's the pier building, something of a classic of its time.

Stomp - Cab 20 (Los Angeles,CA,USA)

Cab 20 is: Bert Hoover, Eric Contreras, and Jason Almanza

Bert Hoover - Guitar/Vocals

Cab 20's songwriter and frontman, Bert has the duty of not only writing most of the riffs and lyrics, but also representing the band on stage. With a playstyle that manages to be both technically skillfull as well as raw, He uses Sears Roebuck catalog guitars from the '60s to create the band's notoriously gritty sound. If Bert isn't playing music, chances are you can find him either buying more music to put in his extensive vinyl collection, or listening to live music at a concert or music festival.

Eric Contreras - Drums

Eric is the driving force behind all of of Cab 20's music. Playing a customized drumset that has iconically been a part of rock history for the past half century, he pushes the songs along with an aggressively booming rock n' roll pace while playing complex rhythms and elaborate fills that are typically heard in the bluesey/jazzier side of the musical spectrum. With a scorching sense of humor and a penchant for turning any event into a good time, Eric can always be found either laughing or making others laugh.

Jason Almanza - Bass/Keys/Vocals

A stoner rock aficionado and borderline metal-head, Jason takes huge musical influences from the desert rock scene. He uses his excessively large bass rig to round out the band's low end with a distorted thump. Citing both Geezer Butler and John Entwistle as bass icons, his influences are easily noticed in the '70s era equipment he uses and the musical flourishes he plays between riffs. When he's not playing bass, he spends most of his time simply relaxing, playing video games, or cooking up a storm.

I’ll Drown - Soley (Iceland)

It’s difficult to think of Iceland without thinking of superlative music. This remote North Atlantic nation has punched well above its weight over the last two decades. If anything, the island’s incessant soundtrack is growing ever more dynamic, as artists and bands, inspired by the continual international success of their peers, continue to create original, world class music.

Sóley is a passionate piano player and singer who you may know best as a member of indie-collective Seabear. But she has recently been emerging as a solo artist in her own write. In 2010 she released her solo-debut "Theater Island" - a pop record that sounded like a dream: sweet and weird all at the same time. Now she is about to release her full length album, We Sink, via Morr Music -- an album "full of rhythmic makeshift creatures and handclaps hidden in the undergrowth -- think cardigan-folk from the northern hemisphere, an ocean of stained glasses bopping up and down in the shared apartment’s dishwater, leeward in limbo."

Ghost Ship launch

There was a rather fun night last week at Southwold when Adnams launched Ghost Ship, their new addition to the range. As Andy Wood (Chief Executive at Adnams) pointed out pronunciation is everything. 

The Ghost Ship has been spotted a couple of times in the past year or two as a seasonal brew but due to huge demand it is now available all year round. One of the problems with their beers is that they are made out of real, natural products and the particular hop that’s essential to Ghost Ship is only available once a year. 

This year Fergus has bought lots of lovely fragrant hops which will keep the beer coming. 

Actually, I think he’s hedging his bets. As well as serving pints at the launch, they had Ghost Ship cocktails which were delicious. Real ale cocktails complete with pineapple slices. How does that work then. Oh, never mind. Take my word for it, it does work!

The live music featured former Artist of the Month selector Ruth Goldsmith blowing a mean sax in this romp through a tune which I am assured is called “The Rochdale Coconut Dance”.

There are some pictures (including incriminating evidence of me having a good time) and a chance to win a case of Ghost Ship at:

Take a look at this video of the brewery, as you’ll not have seen it before. It was quite spectacular on a cold drizzly night.

Très Impoli - Franco (Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo)

The first track from an album of original late 70s recordings which set a direction for the Kinshasa music scene. Described as “A dance machine of incomparable strength : The All-Powerful OK Jazz is conducted by Franco.

Re-released on Editions Populaires late last year you can download this track free and legal from the IODA site using this download link.

Franco Guitar HeroFranco, TPOK Jazz
"Très Impoli" (mp3)
from "Franco Guitar Hero"
(Editions Populaires)

Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Yellow Brick Man - Colin McGrath (Brooklyn, NY, USA)

Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Colin McGrath has a knack for penning tales of freewheeling characters with a natural tone that is both whimsical and heartbreaking. NPR Music has described him as an "Itinerant folk orchestrator,” who writes “songs that are steeped in storytelling, with characters and images drawn from old Americana.” Colin studied music at Oberlin College—he’s been commissioned to write chamber pieces for The Central Park Brass and The New York Philharmonic’s touring educational performances—but he’s received his real schooling studying the tragically poetic stories unfolding in junkshops and dive bars nationwide.

The album’s enigmatic music appropriately underscores Colin’s playfully cryptic lyrics. The Yellow Brick Man album loosely depicts the adventures of a freight-hopping, prison escapee who gets drunk and stranded on a desert island, has a transformational encounter with a Catholic saint who pulls him across a river before he finally finds (near) peace in the arms of a hard-headed woman.

Adnams Artist of the Month April 2012

Alex Hemen chose April’s artist of the month from Suffolk ’n’ Cool’s output during the month. 

A native of Romania, Alex has been in the UK for a few years but and finds some positive parallels between her roots in eastern Europe and her home in eastern England. 

Given her story, it is, perhaps, not surprising that this song should resonate so strongly with her. I too identified totally with the idea that getting to really know somewhere and even put down roots is good but at the same time you want to cast off and move on.

There will shortly be a longer version of the interveiw on the AOTM page for April 2012

Wanderlust - Kim Edwards (Cedar Hill, TX, USA)

Kim studied classical piano starting at age four and for a short while was a piano performance major in college. Her grounding in music theory, orchestration, and arrangement is clearly evident on Wanderlust. 

Kim credits moving from her snug Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania hometown for much of Wanderlust’s lyrical inspiration. "I moved across the country 3 times in the last 2 years: Pennsylvania to Texas to California and then to Texas again to record the album,” she details.

Kim is now taking Wanderlust stateside on her first tour. She will be playing coffeehouses and doing intimate living room performances as a duo, with her cello player. Don’t miss this charming and uplifting chamber-pop artist when she hits your local java spot.

I make no apology for playing this song again. Its simplicity gives it an almost hymn-like quality. Quite remarkable.

Down to the River - Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax's Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben's songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fuelled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it's the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion.

Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan's stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it's the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed. 

I’m pleased to say that Ben is playing The Great Escape Festival in Brighton later this week and I shall be there along with Pete “Codger” Cogle, Paul “The Grumbler” Snelling and (hopefully) Justin Wayne; fine music podcasters every one of them. The latest award winning member of the gang, Ro Cutler is keeping his movements secret since his win of the UK section of the European Podcast Awards for security reasons. I think he’s fed up with buying everyone drinks ;)