Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray
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It looks like US networks are to commission a third season of their own X Factor which is bad news for the UK bosses.

You see they cannot both have Simon Cowell and his presence certainly helps the success of the programme. As Gary Barlow considers whether another year is worth the hassle – he already has to juggle his solo tour dates to avoid weekends - he is fully aware that audience figures are in decline since the Cowell exit.

More strength then to Joan Armatrading who plays Edinburgh Usher Hall tonight (Thursday) as she helped promote new artists by inviting submissions from all over the country to support her on tour.

Local Talent (Hypertension), is a 3CD set of all these acts and available at all the shows, 56 in all and all songwriters and undiscovered.

For the Edinburgh show Mairi Campbell from Portobello opens. A renowned fiddle player and teacher she performs solo here from her 2011 album but has previous collaborations with her band The Cast who famously played for Sean Connery (and President Clinton) at the Lincoln Center Honors where Sarah Jessica parker heard them perform ‘Auld Lang Syne’ which subsequently featured in the movie version of Sex & The City.

Tim Burton’s Halloween movie seems to have eclipsed by the Bond fever but nonetheless the soundtrack album Frankenweenie Unleashed! (Walt Disney).

Karen O has written ‘Strange Lov’e especially for the movie but the listen again track is the haunting ‘Witchcraft’ from The Cure’s Robert Smith. The Flaming Lips, Plain White T’s and Winona Ryder have well chosen atmospheric tracks in support.

Caro Emerald has an album of vintage songs that influenced her on Drum Rolls & Vintage Breaks (Dramatico), adding her own ‘Dream A Little Dream. ‘ Gentle cha cha and Latino with an air of swing is the order and fine clear cuts bring back more glamorous fashionable times. Cool retro from Dean Martin, Eartha Kitt, Stan Kenton and the Andrews Sisters set the scene while the rarely heard Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) from Tex Williams is from a different era.