Rhiannon Giddens – Julie (Bluegrass/Blues Ballad On Slavery)

This lady is multi-talented. She can play. She can write. She can sing. It’s slightly more unusual to see a black person playing bluegrass. There’s no real reason why that should be the case other than that particular genre is descended from Irish and Scots music as carried there by colonials, and few of them […]

Joe Strummer – Redemption Song (Folk)

Although known for his lead part in the punk band, The Clash, Joe Strummer also carved out a career for himself in both collaborations and as a solo performer. In this one, he takes on the Bob Marley classic, Redemption Song, which is a favourite among drunken students across the globe. Apparently, everyone loves to […]

White Doves At Morning – Novel By James Lee Burke

White Doves At Morning by James Lee Burke Burke’s back, and what a return he makes! James Lee is at his very best in this scintillating chronicle of Louisiana before, during and after the US Civil War. It’s a story of family, friendship, love, loyalty, war and the horrors of a conflicted society rife with […]

Last Car To Elysian Fields

Last Car To Elysian Fields   by James Lee Burke This is number 13 in the Dave Robicheaux series, set in southern Louisiana. In this installment, the New Iberia detective is drawn into a decades-old case of a popular blues singer who vanished whilst serving time in Angola prison. As is to be expected, such investigations […]

The Reason You’re Alive

The Reason You’re Alive   by Matthew Quick This gem of a novel came out of nowhere and landed on my desk, and I’m glad. Vietnam War veteran, David Granger is 68 and has just had his twin removed from his brain, literally. Poor David was said to have absorbed his unfortunate sibling and no one […]

Orangeman Carson Must Follow General Lee Into Oblivion

There is a movement across the US to remove all statues of General Lee, the Confederate who fought to preserve slavery. One such monument has already been torn down in Durham, North Carolina. Understandably, General Lee is offensive to those in the black community. In the Occupied Six Counties (OSC) of Ireland, we have a […]

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad   by Colson Whitehead Cora is a slave. Her mother Mable is a slave. Her grandmother Ajarry is a slave who was, in the words of Bob Marley, stolen from Africa, brought to America. Yet Cora is strong like Ajarry. She has dreams like Mable. Cora intends to be free. Set in […]

The Island Of Doctor Moreau

The Island of Doctor Moreau   by H.G. Wells Here we have a true classic by a master observer of the human creature. I first became aware of this tale when I saw the movie in the late 1970’s, as a child. I enjoyed it, although so much time has passed since then that I […]