September 27

The Secret Sisters – Saturn Return album review

first_imgCredit: New West RecordsOriginally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, The Secret Sisters – made up of real-life siblings Laura and Lydia Rogers – released their self-titled debut album back in 2010. Since then they’ve racked up critical acclaim for their gorgeous harmonies and won over fans on both sides of the Atlantic through appearances at events such as London Folk & Roots Festival. Now they’re back with their fourth record Saturn Return, the follow-up to 2017’s You Don’t Own Me Anymore, which has been produced by Brandi Carlile and Tim and Phil Hanseroth.The album opens with Silver, an ode to motherhood and the legacy of family. It starts with Laura and Lydia singing acapella, their voices blending together beautifully as always, before kicking into a 60s rock-influenced melody with a shuffling, driving rhythm on the chorus. I loved the earthy feel of the track and particularly the story of their family history in the second chorus, which paints a vivid picture of the line of strong women they come from, as well as the references to religious imagery on the bridge. It really shows off their strengths as vocalists and songwriters and sets the template for what’s to come on the rest of the record.That theme of family is one that crops up time and again during Saturn Return, whether that’s the heartfelt, piano-led Hold You Dear, with its soft lullaby-like feel and lush strings, or Fair, which reflects on a childhood friend who’s now ‘a mother who’s fighting to stay clean’ and the different life paths she and the narrator have taken. The latter song is packed full of vivid details which show the hardships of the central character’s life and the narrator’s hope things will get better for her, as well as the world she and the narrator grew up in, balanced by a nostalgic, folky melody. It’s got a really organic feel to it and for me is one of the highlights of the record.<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>A Saturn return, the astrological phenomenon the record is named after, is apparently a time for self-reflection and transformation, and that’s another strong narrative thread that runs through this album. The warm, soulful Late Bloomer was a great example of this, with its sharp chords and quietly joyful message that ‘it doesn’t matter when you bloom/it matters that you do’, and put me in mind of The Mamas & The Papas.Elsewhere, a pair of songs midway through the record reflect on the challenges of the musician’s life on the road. Tin Can Angel had a jaunty, rollicking barroom feel that combined bluesy guitars and rich vocals from Laura and Lydia with soaring vocals that at times almost pleaded for a sign to keep going. Meanwhile, Nowhere, Baby, with its introspective and self-doubting lyrics and the determination to stick with it despite all the hardships, mixed Carole King and gospel influences and saw the duo hit some big notes towards the end.Two of the standout tracks for me came early on the record. Cabin is a dark, atmospheric track about emerging from the ashes of a toxic relationship, with an ominous, menacing feel and a punchy guitar solo. It’s a very different energy from anything the band has done previously and something I’d love to see them explore more of in the future.The next track, Hand Over My Heart, couldn’t be more different with its girl group-style ‘oohs’ and 80s synthesisers, but it has a beautiful sweetness to it and I love the bright, optimistic feel of it as well as the honesty about entering into a new romance. Together they tell a great story and create a solid centrepiece to the album. I also really liked Water Witch, a folklore-inspired tale of a siren luring men to their fates. It really embraces female power, with its strong imagery of rebirth, and the gorgeous clarity of Laura and Lydia’s vocals stops it from being too dark and mournful.The album closes with Healer In The Sky, which for me brings the record full circle. It’s a simple yet moving guitar-led track, with a lush expansive feel and richness from the horns. The spiritual images and family ties echo back to Silver, as do the acapella vocals which bring the song to a close, and it reinforces the message of strength that’s been a thread throughout the record.Overall Saturn Return is a gorgeous record that’s made for wintry Sunday mornings turning into spring. It highlights Laura and Lydia’s harmonies beautifully, as well as their ability as songwriters, whilst the 60s and 70s influences give it a timeless feel. This is an album that’s going to sound utterly wonderful live and I can’t wait to hear it when they come over to the UK this summer.Track listing: 1. Silver 2. Late Bloomer 3. Cabin 4. Hand Over My Heart 5. Fair 6. Tin Can Angel 7. Nowhere, Baby 8. Hold You Dear 9. Water Witch 10. Healer In The Sky Record label: New West Records Release date: 28th February 2020See The Secret Sisters live on tour in the UK this June:Wednesday 10 June – The Apex, Bury St EdmundsThursday 11 June – The Met, BurySaturday 13 June – Sage, GatesheadSunday 14 June – Firth Court, SheffieldTuesday 16 June – Brudenell Social Club, LeedsWednesday 17 June – The Stables, Milton KeynesThursday 18 June – Union Chapel, LondonFriday 19 June – St George’s, BristolSunday 21 June – Black Deer Festival, Tunbridge Wellslast_img read more

September 24

Lutheran East Battle-Tested For Columbus: Interview with Head Coach Anthony Jones

first_img Matt Medley Back on Feb. 3, the Lutheran East Falcons, a small Division IV school, traveled to take on one of the Cleveland area’s powerhouses: St. Edward.The Falcons lost, 74-60, but their coach saw something that night.“We were going back-and-forth and it was a real close game and I’m like, ‘if this is how you compete against one of the best teams in the state, we can compete against anybody,” he said.The Falcons are now one of five Northeast Ohio teams headed to Columbus for the Final Four this weekend.Lutheran East represents Division IV and will play Delphos St. John’s in the semifinal Thursday at 5:15 pm.Delphos St. John’s (21-4) presents a different type of challenge than the teams Lutheran East is used to seeing, but when your schedule consists of teams like St. Ignatius, St. Edward, Garfield Heights, Youngstown Urusline, Maple Heights, Cleveland Heights, Glenville, East Tech, Canton McKinley, Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Warrensville Heights, one thing we know the Falcons will not be is scared.Six of those teams reached district finals.Four reached regional finals. Two of those teams are in Columbus (St. Edward and VASJ).There are Division I teams in the area who didn’t play as tough a schedule as Lutheran East this season and head coach Anthony Jones, who also serves as the athletic director, set out to give his team a challenging regular season road, so they’d be prepared for moments like this.“We made this schedule on purpose,” Jones said.“I was sitting down with my staff last year and a good buddy of mine is the coach over at Cornerstone Christian…”The Falcons lost the 2016 regional final to Cornerstone Christian, 83-63. Prior to the playoffs, CCA went 8-12 in the regular season, playing a rigorous schedule. Lutheran East went 15-5 in the regular season, with a schedule that was comparable to most Division IV schools, but only featured a handful of Division I teams. The results of the regional final spoke for themselves.“…At the end of last year, I felt like they were prepared based off of their schedule. Another good friend of mine is head coach Jeremy Holmes over at Cleveland Heights. I looked at his record and was like, ‘hey, you know, he’s got a lot of losses, but his team is battle-tested,’ and I looked at my schedule and we’re sitting there at 20-5, not playing great competition, and we finally came up against a team that had the experience. It kind of made me think maybe we need to beef it up a little bit.”Jones did just that, but even with a schedule that featured many of the area’s best teams, the Falcons held their own, losing by two points in each of their contests against VASJ, Canton McKinley and CCA, by three points to Youngstown Ursuline (which made a regional final), hanging with St. Edward and St. Ignatius, forcing overtime against Maple Heights, and putting up fights against Cleveland Heights and Garfield Heights.Lutheran East earned regular season wins over East Tech and Glenville (the two teams who played for the Senate League Championship), Warrensville Heights (which reached a Division III district final), Shaw, John Marshall, Collinwood, Whitney Young, John Adams, Euclid, Bedford, Orange, Western Reserve Academy, and cross-town rival Lutheran West.Even with that tough schedule, the Falcons finished the regular season 13-9.“I felt like people looked at our record and thought we underachieved, but if somebody was actually at the games, they would know we competed. I knew our team was talented enough to compete with anybody.”Once that regular season ended, although the names on the playoff schedule may not sound as familiar to basketball fans in the Cleveland-area, Lutheran East still saw some tough tests in the playoffs.In the district semifinal, the Falcons defeated Mogadore by eight points. Lutheran East went on to defeat Dalton in the district final, 44-31, playing a slower-tempo game than the Falcons were used to with their regular season style of play.The regional semifinal was a bit too close for comfort, but Lutheran East edged Malvern, 69-64, in OT. The regional final was every bit as intense, as the Falcons held off Warren JFK to win by three.“I knew we were going to be tested (in the Division IV playoffs). I knew it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. I saw Malvern last year and I was stunned by how good they were. People were telling me they were having a down season, but I just could not listen to it because I knew what my eyes told me and those dudes were freakin’ incredible,” the coach said.“I was nervous, but I knew it was coming.”The challenge coming Lutheran East’s way this weekend is a bit different than the teams the Falcons played in Northeast Ohio, but up to this point, the team has managed to adjust on the fly and is riding a six-game win-streak.“We play a different style than a lot of teams play and what I’ve noticed when we get to districts and regionals, the brand of basketball is slower and teams are packing the paint defensively,” he said.“It’s kind of a different style than what we’re used to seeing all year. That’s been the hardest adjustment for us, but the momentum we had at the end of the regular season, we felt like even with our regular season losses, we competed and those losses didn’t bring us down. It was all about making a run here for March 23 in Columbus.”Throughtout the tournament, Lutheran East’s depth has been on display, and it was no more evident than the regional final, in which Maurico Tate and Travis Sanders each scored 15 points, while the team’s leading scorer for the season, Jordan Burge scored 14.Tyler Powell, Keandre Graves and Daandre Bateman have also been key contributors all season and the Falcons have the benefit of not relying on one guy to do all of the lifting.However, when the team needs it most, Burge, a junior guard, has stepped up in crunch time.Burge scored seven points in the fourth quarter of the regional final and scored six of his game-high 27 points in overtime of the regional semifinal.“I call him a power guard,” his coach said.“He uses his body really well, he finishes well at the rim and he’s a handful for sure. We’ve had some games this year where we’ve struggled offensively, and he’s been the guy that’s sort of put us over the top.”While Burge has been the team’s leading scorer, Coach Jones praised one of his team’s senior leaders, Maurico Tate, calling him “the hardest-worker on the team.”“I tell everybody everyday, Maurico Tate is the kid I’m going to miss the most,” Jones said.“He’s always in the gym. He stays after practice. He’s the best defender on the team. You can’t replace a Rico Tate. I’m telling you. Whatever college lucks out and gets him, definitely lucked out for sure.”As far as Delphos St. John’s is concerned, Jones knows it’ll be a challenge, but is confident his team is up to the task.“I see a team that’s very disciplined and likes to slow the game down,” he said.“They don’t wow you from a scoring side, but they like to play inside-out, you can’t leave them alone on the three-point line, but also you have to be physical with the big guy they’ve got down there. We figure if we play with a style we’ve played all year, pressure them, speed them up, cause turnovers, we think we’ll walk out with a victory.”The Falcons take the court Thursday, March 23 at 5:15 pm. Be sure to follow @NEOSportsInside on Twitter for updates and the game will be streaming live on Spectrum Sports. Related Topicscenter_img Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games.last_img read more

December 21

Folkmoot’s Coming!

first_imgThe 2019 Folkmoot International Festival is an eleven-day event, July 18 – 28, based in Haywood County and held in mountain towns throughout Western North Carolina. The festival features folk dance troupes with live music from the Bahamas, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hungary, Nepal, Romania, and local Appalachian and Cherokee dancers and musicians. Known as North Carolina’s International Folk Festival for almost 40 years, Folkmoot has evolved into a year-round cultural organization with an annual summer festival that celebrates world culture through international folk dance performances, live music, parades, craft beer, food trucks and artisan vendors. In 2019, Folkmoot expanded its festival programming with several new events, including an Appalachian folkways gathering and community picnic, an international beer and food truck fair, a cultural sports event, a lantern parade and a late night variety show. The 2019 Festival includes activities and performances in the towns of Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, Canton, Cherokee, Hickory, Asheville, and Hendersonville.last_img read more

December 9

IT Peer Network to Launch Verified Expert Program

first_imgTitle of “IT Expert” on profile picture and avatarAdded editorial support (formatting, editing, proxy publishing, etc.)Social amplification (promoted on Intel IT Center social channels) Posts featured on the “Community Spotlight”Nomination for a monthly spot on the “Meet the Experts” section Not to mention, the envy of your peers and professional contacts.Unique to the Verified Expert Program is that it is open to all members.  While specific qualifications must be met, any IT Peer Network enthusiast can become a Verified Expert.  A transparent document detailing what it takes to earn this title will be published and released later in 2015.  Sneak peaks to some of the requirements for Verified Expert considerations: Be a memberHave a profile pictureInclude relevant information on profileBe an active bloggerWrite regularly about hot topicsFollow blogging best practices You may have heard the common phrase: “Content is King”.  If that’s true, credibility is the crown.  The IT Peer Network is set to launch the Verified Expert Program, which is an initiative designed to highlight and showcase experts within the community.  Identifying members who are true thought-leaders and influencers will give added recognition to expert participants.  Think Twitter’s Verified Users or LinkedIn’s Influencers.There is certainly something about having an official title that boosts credibility.  Upon LinkedIn’s campaign to assign the title of “influencer” to leaders of several industries, the company has seen significant popularity with the program.  Since launching a little over a year ago, there are now over 300 influencers, who receive an average of 30k views.According to a recent article published on LinkedIn by fellow influencer, Dharmesh Shah, the founder and CTO of HubSpot, there are significant advantages to the program. Shah explains that posts on his personal blog usually average “5,000-10,000 views” – and if a specific article is popular and shared across social media, “that number can spike to 50,000+ views.”  While these viewing metrics are nothing to scoff at, he goes on to describe the major jump he has seen with LinkedIn.  Under the title of “Influencer”, Shah has posted “30 posts” with an “average number of views of… 123,000” per post.  Thank you credibility.  How’s that for tipping your crown? Some of the perks that IT Peer Network will offer to verified experts include: center_img While best practices alone can promote blogger credibility the IT Peer Network aims to put the icing on the cake with official acknowledgment through the Verified Expert Program.  After all, what’s a king or queen without a crown?To learn more about the IT Peer Network Verified Expert Program, connect with us on Twitter for updates.  You can also check out the IT Peer Network regularly and be on the lookout for the official release of the transparent document in late January 2015.last_img read more

November 27

SEEIT recruitment for a post of Senior Research Fellow

first_imgSchool of Electrical Engineering & Information Technology under Punjab Agricultural University has announced recruitment for the post of Senior Research Fellow and has invited applications from eligible candidates. Vacancies: Senior Research Fellow: 01 postDiscipline: Agricultural EngineeringName of the Project:AICRP on Management of Salt affected Soils and use of saline water in agriculture in Bathinda, ICAR- 110 (PC- 2277)Eligibility Criteria:The applying candidates must have a degree of B.Tech. in Agricultural Engineering with M.Tech. in Soil & Water Engineering.Pay Scale:Rs 16,000 per month (fixed) + HRA at 20 per cent (for 1st and 2nd year) and Rs 18,000 per month (fixed) + HRA at 20 per cent (for 3rd year)Selection Procedure:The candidates would be selected on the basis of their performance in the Interview conducted by the organization and candidates need to carry all the required original documents for verification at the time of appearing for the interview. How to Apply:The candidates who are Interested and eligible for the above mentioned post need to send their applications, in a prescribed format as mentioned on the official website, along with a bank draft of Rs 200 drawn in favour of the Comptroller, PAU Ludhiana payable at Bathinda and attested copies of required testimonials to The Director, School of Electrical Engineering & Information Technology (SEEIT), Punjab Agricultural University, Bathinda’ by post such that it reaches the concerned authority on or before the last date for submission of application forms.Important Dates: The last date for application submission is January 03, 2015 and the interview would be conducted by the organization on January 9, 2015 from 11:00 hours at the below mentioned address:advertisementThe Office of the Director, School of Electrical Engineering & Information Technology (SEEIT), Punjab Agricultural University, Bathindalast_img read more