Manns about town

Stephanie Manns
Stephanie Manns

John Murray on singer’s Celtic Connections and a second album

The BBC are giving big licks to Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow with several performances to be seen and heard from this great festival.

Already from the opening concert David Hayman and Rab Noakes are featured.

Playing Celtic Connections this week Glasgow singer songwriter Stephanie Manns now releases her second album Fool Like Me next month.

Produced partly by Graeme Duffin (Wet Wet Wet) the overall feel is one of originality.

Her self-taught guitar playing has given a different approach to songwriting, pure and unaffected by trends.

It makes her difficult to categorise but is often labelled under ‘Country’ while her appeal stretches much wider.

Broken Heart is a great pop song and Juliet a loving personal tribute.

Lullaby is gentle laidback American Country with understated slide guitar, Last Train Home is like those great Country Rock singles from the 1970s, such as Charlie Dore’s Pilot Of The Airwaves, and Sloe Gin is a supreme stripped back and bare vocal with just ukulele (and available as a free download).

Already she has supported Joan Armatrading and Midge Ure, and had airplay on BBC and local radio, while collecting praise from music magazines and all ahead of this new release.

Her style is compared to many but Stephanie will find her own audience as we anticipate more shows this year.

With a March 20 show at Edinburgh Queen’s Hall announced, The Unthanks expect this to be their biggest tour yet.

Before all that their new album, Mount The Air (RabbleRouser), becomes available.

Essentially made up of Northumberland sisters Becky and Rachel, they will be touring with 10-piece ensemble to replicate their mesmerising brand original jazz folk.