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Music Album reviews with Michal Boncza: May 22, 2023

New releases from Deux Furieuses, O’Hooley & Tidow, and Julio Montoro y Alama Latina 

Deux Furieuses 
Songs From Planet Earth
(Xtra Mile Recordings)


SCOTTISH vocalist and guitarist extraordinaire Ros Cairney and Greek/London drummer of excellence Vas Antoniadou are Deux Furieuses (Two Furies) — in-your-face feminist rebel soul mates, the duo wear unflinchingly left political hearts on their sleeves.

What astonishes from the very first notes is the verve and density of the sound they generate — far beyond what might be expected — with their impecable musicianship and distinct arrangements. 

They oscillate magnificently between the no-nonsense full blast of Bring Down the Government, Our Tribe or Our Day Will Come and the sorrowful Let Them Pass, a lament that “hits out at the government’s irresponsible care home failures,” and All We Need Is Sanctuary. 

Cairney’s deceptively delicate and melodious voice has a mesmerising, impassioned emotional range 

Eloquent and edifying songs for any and all barricades and ... the doubting Thomases and Thomasinas out there.



O’Hooley & Tidow
(NMCD 57)


WHEN Star’s ambassador at large, Maxine Peake, says: “I have just listened to your track, Beryl, with tears in my eyes! It’s beautiful and brilliant,” you’d be wise to take note.

Beryl may not be part of this ouvre but the praised musicianship and inimitable voices of the celebrated harmony duo from Huddersfield permeate gloriously every song.

“A defiant, robust, northern, poetical, political folk music for the times we live in,” was one apt critical response.

A point made in Woman in Space: “We’ve been choke chained and muted / Fitted with concrete shoes / Wings clipped and tethered / Assembled to be consumed ... Holding it in tension / Like Valentina Tereshkova / Refusal to surrender / Just like Rosa Parks.”

The clarinet (Jack McNeill) piano and violin (Anna Esslemont) dialogues are simply exquisite. 

Intimate, heartening and enlivening lyricism that gets deep under your skin and stays there for days. Masterful.


Julio Montoro y Alama Latina
Mama Africa
(Tumi Music)


CUBAN guitarist and vocalist Julio Montoro starting point is obviously simple: “Cuban music owns its soul to Africa” — he then proceeds with his own interpretation of this rich heritage.

Montaro’s arrangements successfully morph the original sounds — inherited from African slaves — without falling into a predictable pitfall of “world music.” If anything, its unifying provenance are the splendid, innovative soundscapes of Cuban jazz.

His worthy accomplices and guests include Senegalese Amadou Diagne, kora and vocals, William Roblejo, violin, Yosvany Betancourt “Pipi,” percussion, English singer Nolita Golding, Juan Kemell Barrera Toledo trumpet, Abel Hernandez saxophone and himself on acoustic guitar. 

Mi Gitana (My Gipsy Woman), Desde mi Ventana (From My Window), Tres Palabras (Three Words) or the vigorous Baila mi Mambo (Dance My Mambo) bewitch with its positivity and spellbinding riffs by each of these virtuoso musicians. A sheer joie de vivre.


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