Category Archives: guitar

Jade Helliwell

We have a real treat today, meet 25-year-old Jade Helliwell, a very talented singer / songwriter from Batley, West Yorkshire in England.

I’ll let her tell a little about herself:
Growing up listening to many styles of music, Jade always seemed to gravitate back to country music. She explains, “Like any young person I loved the latest chart music and I’ve been infatuated by my fair share of boy bands and girl power, but it was always country music that drove me to sing at the top of voice into my hairbrush microphones. First the old country greats like Patsy Cline and Dolly Parton, then later artists such as Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, Lady Antebellum and, of course, Taylor Swift”. Jade takes all of these great artists as influence, and uses them to shape her own style. But where they had the vibrant, music immersed streets of Nashville as a backdrop, Jade has the small working class towns of Yorkshire as hers. This was the influence behind her first EP release in 2012, Urban Life, Country Heart.

I first became aware of Jade Helliwell when my cousin, thanks Ian, put up a video on his FB page of a young lady who was on a night out in Leeds and she came across a street busker and asked if she could sing with him. The result was amazing. Everybody and their uncle has sung Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen, by now. But this was an eye-opening version, just look at the guy’s face, he was amazed. He has a good voice too, he is Dawid Osial, so maybe try to find some more of his music on YouTube. The whole thing has become something of a sensation, getting pieces in all the tabloids in the UK. Where they are saying people want them to go on Britain’s Got Talent, my one word of advice, Don’t. Meanwhile just kick back and enjoy the ride.
Hallelujah

Jade was on a night out in Leeds and she saw a busker, she goes over and asks if she can have a sing…

 

So let’s take a wander around the music catalog of Jade Helliwell, there’s some gems in here I can promise you.

Such a nice catch in her voice, this is Jade recording one of the songs from her most recent EP “Forget the night”. This is one young lady who could be going places. A really great song with an amazing singer.
Ask Me To Stay

Jade Helliwell has teamed up with producer Justin Johnson (Jroom3.co.uk) to deliver her new song ‘Ask Me To Stay’ taken from her new EP ‘Forget The Night’.
Recorded at 80 Hertz studio in Manchester and Parr Street Studios in Liverpool.
Recorded with some incredibly talented musicians from across the UK this is a studio video, giving an insight into the creation of the EP.

 

Here’s a truly poignant little song wherein Jade makes you feel every part of her broken heart. Truly beautiful and heartfelt.
For Someone Else

This is a music video shot by film maker Danny Lacey for Jade’s song ‘For someone else’ from her EP ‘Urban life, Country heart’

 

For something completely different here is Jade covering “I wish I was a punkrocker” by Sandi Thom live at Abbey Road. Just Jade and her guitar, such a spirited performance. This is from a few years back, but still the talent shines through.
I wish I was a punkrocker

Don’t worry Jade, you’re so much better than a punk rocker.

 

Gonna close with another original song, this is a Fiasco Presents production. Jade was @ Loom Studios, Leeds for this powerful performance. Some singer, some song, wow.
I Don’t Wanna Lose You

Audio – Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Adam Fiasco
Video – Filmed & Edited by Tim Fiasco
Voice Over by Guy Harris

 

OK, so I lied, again. Here’s one more from the Fiasco Presents session. This one’s a cover of a Sam Smith song, and I have to be honest I had my doubts on viewing this since I’m not a Sam Smith fan. But this is a great song and I think Jade does a better version of it. Her vibrato and the crack in her voice make this something else. Altogether totally worth the listen. I’m lovin’ her voice.
Stay With Me

Audio – Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Adam Fiasco
Video – Filmed & Edited by Tim Fiasco
Voice Over by Guy Harris

 

Souad Massi ~ سعاد ماسي

Souad Massi is a soulful singer-songwriter from Algeria who follows her own muse, she has received death threats in her native country but is now selling hundreds of thousands of records around the globe. She began her career performing in the Kabyle political rock band Atakor. But in 1999 she performed at the Femmes d’Algerie concert in Paris, which led to a recording contract with Island Records. And as the old saying goes, she never looked back.
Souad Massi sings in Classical Arabic, Algerian Arabic, French, occasionally in English, and in the Berber language, Kabyle, often employing more than one language in the same song. And I stumble on with just English.

So we have a little of her background, but why are you really here? For the music of course. So let’s go.
We start with a beautiful song and her voice is beyond amazing. It’s great to see her having fun with the music. I’ve gotta go find me some of her albums. A very definite touch of the Portuguese fado in this track, and I just love fado music.
Yemma

Concert acoustique à la Coupole

This time a bigger stage, but the music is still amazing.
Ya Kalbi – سعاد ماسي – يا قلبي

And the stages get bigger, this time with the full orchestra of Concerto dell’Epifania RAI 1. Still the best thing we hear from this stage is the warm beautiful voice of Souad Massi.
Kilyoum

Now this is truly dramatic. Souad Massi here with Eric Fernandez at the Festival Arabesques in 2013. Started with a terrific Flamenco dancer just to get the dramatic feel going. And then one of my favorite songs so far, even though I have no idea what it is called.

Arabesques Festival: First and unique festival in Europe dedicated to the Arabic Arts & Culture.
Since 2006, the association UNI’SONS organizes every year in May during a week in Montpellier, the encounters of Arabic Arts & Culture, composed of an eclectique artistic programming.
Arabesques represents an opportunity to explore the arab culture through music, theatre, tails, projections, dance, calligraphy… from its traditional artistic heritage to its contemporary creations.
Arabesques aims to offer a better image and knowledge of the Arab World sharing its cultural richness.
The ambition of the festival is to create a friendly space favoring encounters and human exchanges
From all generations and for diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, the audience of Arabesques testifies of a mutual respect and shared pleasures.

Finally today a short set from the wonderful folks at NPR Music in another great Tiny Desk Concert. So perfect, so poignant and such beautiful sounds. I could listen to her all day.

Set List:

“Raoui” (Storyteller)
“Ghir Enta” (No One but You)
“Amessa” (A Day Will Come)
“Le Bien et le mal” (The Good and the Evil)

 

Miccoli

Here’s a wonderful treat for you today a few tracks from a great sounding group from the UK.  Welcome Miccoli.
Miccoli, their name taken from the sibling trio’s surname, formed in 2010 after spending most of their childhood studying and making music. Growing up in Birmingham, England, they were brought up listening to Simon and Garfunkel, Don Mclean, The Police, Fleetwood Mac and the sounds of Motown, to name just a few of their diverse musical influences.
Twin brothers Adriano (vocal and acoustic/electric guitar) Alessandro (piano, vocal and acoustic guitar) and their younger sister Francesca (vocal, piano and harmonica) have toured extensively, giving the band the opportunity to explore their musical identity and fine tune their live set – a compelling blend of haunting, melodic and eclectic sounds, interlaced with breathtaking harmonies.
So, do we want to hear some music?  You betcha.
First up their awesome beautiful new single, Idle Stranger, a true gem from the opening chords.  The harmonies are gentle and sublime, the backing instrumentation is so good it’s surreal.  Chill inducing sounds all through this track.  Beautifully filmed in Venice, Italy this is a video to savour. This track has the promise to become a number one hit.
Idle Stranger

More photos from Venice

I do like to hear new bands cover other artists songs, and I always say if you are going to do it, pick a great song and do it well.  Miccoli more than do that, they take this Fleetwood Mac classic and totally own it.  They impart a very different feel into this beautiful track. I just love it.
Rhiannon

Here’s another great song, beautifully sung by Miccoli. Their harmonies as always sublime. This young group really deserve to go far if they keep producing awesome music like this.
All My Life

All My Life Video by Concepts Communications

One last cover, this is the Tracy Chapman classic re-imagined Miccoli style.  I remember when Tracy Chapman first released this song, we were all astounded by such a great song from a new young talent.  It blew up the charts.  And this version gives the same impression, a worthy do over for a classic song.
Fast Car

Finally today a bitter-sweet (too short) teaser for their forthcoming album to be released later this year.