Friday Folk Fix: With Sam Johnson and Tommy Ashby

It’s still quite overcast and dreary around the city of London, I’m sitting at my desk, still in my socks and haven’t even ventured outside yet. I’m in a folk-y mood and luckily enough, two great UK-Based Folk tunes have been released this morning. The first comes from Scottish singer/songwriter Tommy Ashby and the second from the ever impressive Oswestry native Sam Johnson.

Tommy Ashby / Blood Wolf Moon

Tommy Ashby is another one of these musical geniuses who have rightly decided to go solo. Earlier today, I featured Stormzy and Jordan Rakei’s session trumpet player Jackson Mathod‘s first solo single. Now, it’s Tommy Ashby’s turn, the talented Scot has previously traveled the length and breadth of the Europe supporting Ed Sheeran (playing with Jamie Lawson on the Divided tour). His music is soft and subtle and has that Dustin Tebbutt styled chill to it.

His new single Blood Wolf Moon has everything you’d ever need in a relaxing, languid folk track. A glistening falsetto lead, enchanting harmonies and soft meandering percussion. Ashby’s stock is definitely on the rise at the minute – last year he was the main support on Luke Sital-Singh‘s UK tour. He is steadily picking up the fan-base his talent deserves. I think if we count this year as a write off, 2021 is going to be a big year for Tommy Ashby on the live circuit. His version of Edwyn CollinsA Girl Like You is sensational! Having Edwyn tweet a Sound Sniffer article last year is still my biggest personal achievement on this site. Ashby did the Orange Juice frontman’s classic hit justice with a whistling and eerie rendition.

Sam Johnson / The Kids are Alright

Oswestry singer/songwriter Sam Johnson returns with another superbly Sam Johnson styled released. This talented chap has a vocal style that stands out for miles on it’s own. His distinct tone is something quite special and it’s only a matter of time before he has the breakthrough hit. I previously thought ‘Lost In The Mail’ would be the track to catapult his career, that was a belter. He has had some brilliant releases since too like the infectiously beautiful World Gone Mad. The term, ‘once heard never forgotten‘, is a phrase banded around the music industry by press teams. I think Johnson is one of only a few voices that truly fit that cliche.

I actually got stuck on a loop listening to World Gone Mad, whist writing this piece – that tune is outstanding. However, I am here to write about his new single ‘The Kids are Alright‘ which surfaced this morning. The new one is a chirpy tune instrumentally that lyrically shares quite a poignant message. An uplifting folk ballad on the whole that actually has quite a depth to it: it contains a super lyric in the mid-section. Johnson touches upon the elite classes in society and how they are ‘rendered royal by their blood and the turf that their grandfather bought them’.

About ‘The Sound Sniffer’

The Sound Sniffer is a music blog which is still only a baby – Founded and run by Kevin Coakley in early 2019. He is a music writer and ghostwriter. ‘The Sound Sniffer’ also runs gigs and showcases in London since Oct 2019. The showcases are picked from artists we find in our submissions inbox.

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