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THE GROUND  by  Everett Young

Young’s natural gift for song-writing can now draw on nearly two decade’s experience as a musician and producer. He released his debut record ‘What If’ in 1997, under his middle name Hudson. The jazz-influenced LP won Young not only critical acclaim but an international fan-base.

While working on its follow-up, he found time to sit behind the mixing desk for Tallahassee’s Satori Bomb, Atlanta’s The Sight-Seers and the late Laura Pooley. “In the studio,” says Young, “I so often find myself trying to get artists to go beyond what’s current and get to the guts of their own sound.” He applied this ethos to his own work and ‘The Ground’ was the result – a stunning collection of effortless pop songs.

The story of ‘The Ground’, first released in 2002, underlines the wisdom of finding your own sound and not bowing to popular trends. Young’s album, despite many suitably ecstatic reviews, was largely overlooked in the same year his country fell in thrall to primetime television singing contests. The album’s sheer quality, however, has guaranteed it an ever-growing reputation over the last seven years.

Now that the long reign of manufactured pop is apparently drawing to a close, it seems Young’s moment has come. ‘The Ground’ has been rediscovered by university radio stations and coffee shops, catapulting his personal brand of hook-laden, intelligent yet defiantly commercial pop to a huge and enthusiastic new audience.

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LORDRYK by Lordryk

Contemporary Celtic folk but taken to another level achieved, largely, by dragging traditional instruments into the nineties. To that add beautiful lyrics and melodies and enhanced by the individuality of the bands members”.

Lordryk was formed by three brothers – Andy, Paul and Tim Ashton, formerly with the Cornish band Moondragon. So it should come as no surprise that Lordryk is the Cornish word for Moondragon.

Lordryk hit the road and became an instant success, touring in the UK and mainland Europe where they built up huge fan bases. Lordryk was asked back to the Loriant Celtic Festival four years in a row – unusual, even for a top act, to be asked back more than twice. Lordryk continued to headline at festivals and major venues and the occasional support. Notably Lordryk supported The Levellers during a tour of Holland.

Athene was welcomed into the band in the mid nineties playing fiddle and occasional backing vocals that further enhanced the sound.

In between tours they returned to their home, the late lamented Vroe Community on the Lizard in Cornwall where the in-house studio was used to record yet another album.

Sadly it all came to an end in 1999 but its members are still in the bizz. Andy  is a guitarist in a band  whilst busy writing and recording a solo album. Paul helps run a community in Holland that is both a nightclub and recording studio. Tim & Athene are two thirds of The Three Daft Monkeys and Rich joined them at a later date.

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OUT OF THE IS by The Is

The I produce a refreshing reggae rock sound with their album Out of the Is. They were one of the legendary bands that came out of Cornwall UK in the 1990s.

The album ‘Out of the Is’ is lyrically, a powerfully observed statement of the times and yet many of them seem relevant for today.

The band are currently recording new songs.

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DREAM by Moondragon

Proudly psychedelic pagan, progressive punk, space rock, reggae amalgam, with some really nice guitar work and folk influences. Classic material infused with a driving energy and mushroom power.

The Clectic Rock band Mondragon was formed at the end of the 80s by three brothers – Andy, Paul and Tim Ashton. The equally highly talented drummer Richard Austin was the drummer.

The quickly became Cornwall’s premier band and were soon travelling up-country to perform. The release of the ‘Dream’ album greatly enhanced their reputation and they began to support name bands.

In the early 90s Richard left the band. The search for a drummer of equal talent became prolonged. Thus songs appeared but proved to be  more folk based in nature.  The band Lordryk becamse the result of the shift in musical direction. Richard Mulryne was joined up as the new drummer and Moondragon were up and running once more.

Thereafter it was almost constant touring in the UK and mainland Europe where Moondragon built up huge fan bases.  The band consistently headlined at festivals and major venues + the occasional support.

Athene was welcomed into the band in the mid nineties playing fiddle and occasional backing vocals that further enhanced the sound.

In between tours they returned to their home, the late lamented Vroe Community on the Lizard in Cornwall where the in-house studio was used to record yet another album.

Sadly it all came to an end in 1999 but its members are still in the bizz. Andy  is a guitarist in a band  whilst busy writing and recording a solo album. Paul helps run a community in Holland that is both a nightclub and recording studio. Tim & Athene are two thirds of The Three Daft Monkeys and Rich formed the increasingly successful : Hitchcock Rules.


PAPER PLANES Volume 1: TOO MUCH TOO SOON by Kicklighter

In 1978 while school friends were listening to KISS, Kicklighter’s Everett Young’s favourites were film composers John Williams and John Barry. He played the theme to Superman The Movie by ear and performed it at his elementary school with accompaniment from his classmates.

At 48 years of age, the double album Paper Planes had become the culmination of what his 40s had been about, which involved struggle.

In 2009, Everett had finished a Ph.D. in political psychology but didn’t land the academic job and personal validation he had hoped for. This usurped academic career path has left him with some unresolved emotions.

Everett watched his new newborn children grow for seven years and found parenthood to be a heart-wrenching struggle. In darker moments Everett says: “I often feel trying to be a parent and a partner have brought to the surface the very worst parts of me, or at least the parts I find the hardest to love`’.

Therefore, aged 41, Everett focused on his guitar playing and practiced properly and most of the guitar on his recordings are his playing and the songs were written on guitar.

This album of songs is the expression of Everett’s last few years, haunted by a voice that tells him he came up short of where he supposed to be. Therefore, motivated by that convertible Mini Cooper, Everett still feels like the 9 year old kid who listening to Williams and Barry’s film music. The legacy he would like to leave is beautiful instrumental music for people to discover.

In March 2018, Everett found himself listening to his 22 new songs and realizing the experiences, emotions, watching his children grow, the guitar and piano compositions and practice had all been thrown in and the songs deserve to be heard.

In a review posted on his website is a review of his music project called Kicklighter’s album The Fascinating Thinking Machine contains this quote from Everett saying this goal was to “create an album that literally could have been recorded in 1985, 1989, maybe 1991, and could have been one of the great records of its time, but was lost to time and only just now re-discovered in a vault somewhere.”

Therefore, Paper Planes: volume 1 Too Much Too Soon is the soundtrack to a found footage film about the last few year’s of a man’s life, as a parent, a musician who was not going to become an academic but instead was going to fulfill his life purpose and leave a legacy of beautiful music with more to follow. The album’s title track Paper Planes will appear on Volume 2.


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THE FASCINATING THINKING MACHINE by Kicklighter

The Great Emu War Casualties are an alternative band based in Amsterdam, who have an international line up, comprising two surnames from music royalty: Jackson and Clapton.

It is Not Fun, it’s Not a Hat is one of 7 EPs recorded in lead vocals and guitarist Joe Jackson’s flat in Liverpool when he last visited the UK. Further releases are in the pipelines before an album.

Keyboardist Elliot Scullion also provides guitar and vocals and is also from the UK, playing alongside drummer Arthur Dherbermont from France and bassist Saskia Clapton is from Sydney Australia.

The four-piece took their band name from a 1932 military operation in Australia to manage the wildlife and a notice on a hat stand seen by Saskia Clapton when she was touring in Tokyo with her previous band quirkily inspired their EP name.

The Great Emu War Casualties have chosen the specialist album know how of Aardvark Records in Cornwall to distribute It is Not Fun, it’s Not a Hat and subsequent releases, which promise to be as eccentric and colourful as their song titles.

Their music is an atmospheric concerto of guitars and keyboards, which glide and gently flow through the songs, which celebrate the absurd and melancholic, such as “The Rip Off” which tells the story of someone struggling to adjust to the 21st Century. As with many successful songs, such as those by Fleetwood Mac, the other two tracks convey atmospheres that mark the end of relationships.

A recent review on music blog Penny Black Music in February 2018 has already declared that international band The Great Emu War Casualties are “Musically also they have real muscle.” Two more EPs will follow shortly, followed by an album.

A 2018 review of “It is Not Fun, it’s Not a Hat” by John Clarkson, here on Penny Black Music.

Plus a review on Manchester music blog Even The Stars, and others appearing since It Is Not Fun, It’s Not a Hat’s February release.

You can buy It is Not Fun, it’s Not a Hat on iTunes and Amazon as an EP or three singles.