Oasis and the Smiths are just a few Manchester bands to help establish the city as a home for great music.
With such heritage, it’s no wonder that PRS for Music turned to the city to showcase the power of the song. The collecting society’s new campaign sees five fast emerging, local songwriters spending the next month travelling around the city and writing songs about businesses which support songwriters through buying a PRS for Music licence. Click here for the full story.
We’ve been quizzing the songwriters about their involvement in the project and to find out more about their music. Baxter Rhodes is the first artist in a series of profiles, a new songwriter to be gaining kudos via well received mini-albums Safe and Sound and Endeavour as well as live sessions for local radio…
Independent Music News
"I was first introduced to Baxter Rhodes while watching SofaSessions; a live acoustic set recorded in the front room of a suspected victim armed with biscuits and tea/coffee. Like any acoustic performance recorded over a computer screen, the quality should have hampered my spirit and diverted my attention to more important cat videos on YouTube. Instead, I watched Bill Orrick, Baxter Rhodes and Jamie Brewer perform acoustic gems. I was so inspired that I decided to review Baxter Rhodes new EP ‘Endeavour’ and promote it on the Independent Music News website. I hope you enjoy the music and respect the views of Daniel Thomas, he can ramble on.
‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ is introduced with vintage undertones; it’s the start of a romantic acquittance. Baxter’s voice compliments his guitar glimpses and allows the listener to concentrate on the words, rather than the sound. I think this track has the potential to accompany special moments in an individual’s voyage. With all the bumps and wild rides tangled in the world, Baxter allows us to switch off and appreciate quiet moments.
‘White Lies’ has to be one of Baxter Rhodes favourite creative ventures. The countryside background chimes idealise Rhodes voice, that promotes an emotional connection with the listener. I was sitting quietly in the bedroom of a small flat, listening to ‘White Lies’ and I shed a single tear. What a wonderful experience, which I’m not afraid to share.
‘With Me’ is similar to ‘White Lies’ and is a delightful as marmalade on toast, while ‘Goodbye Mary-Lou’ has the potential to be one of the best acoustic, folk tracks I’ve quite pleasantly enjoyed in 2012.
‘Sanctuary’ suggests a painful end to a wonderful experience, instead Baxter’s succulent sounds tempt the listener to discover more. I’m already looking through his Bandcamp page and scouring through numerous amount of videos to eradicate a pleasure. This EP is wonderful and ends on the bandwagon towards success ventures.
THANK-YOU, BAXTER RHODES.
Rating = 4/5
- Daniel Thomas, Independent Music News
Review: Baxter Rhodes - Safe and Sound [EP]
Self Released | "Six songs of clean acoustic guitar and far reaching vocal harmonies that have the power to make you stop and really listen"
Read more here.
Review: Baxter Rhodes - Endeavour [EP]
The ethos of the hard-working musician is back. Baxter Rhodes is a folk troubadour from East Lancashire with a work ethic that matches his music. Is this a sign of the next generation of musicians; the vocal, the passionate, the attitude of encouraging others to support independent music?
His latest EP is called ‘Endeavour’, recorded mainly in the East Lancashire industrial town of Colne. Rhodes doesn’t necessarily base himself around this area. He’s a musician that floats between both Preston and Manchester. Rhodes performed the busking day hosted by yours truly in St Ann’s Square and is also known as a member of the Red Rose Roadshow, the musicians that have given us Sofa Sessions, a unique initiative allowing anyone to connect with new independent music online.
The EP itself is much more creative and complex than a simple folk album. Baxter Rhodes’ opening track ‘Love’s Old Sweet Song’ uses lyrics that were written around 1884 by G Clifton Bingham in an Irish folk song. By using this, Baxter Rhodes shows productivity and initiative by translating his creativity into a recorded format. The production values intelligently create that antiquated sound of Irish folk roots music, creating a luscious and full sound that compliments the strength of his voice.
The EP itself moves from the delicacies and subtle moments on tracks such as ‘With Me’, to more emotional and riff based melodies on track four and five, ‘Goodbye Mary Lou’ and ‘Sanctuary’.
I love Baxter Rhodes as a live performer, but listening to him as a recording artist allows me to hear his music in a different light. Rhodes is a performer with the intelligence to know how not to over-do an album with too many complexities. I don’t know how he does it, but his music sounds like it should be accompanying the scenery of East Lancashire. His music is delicious in terms of presenting purity, but there are dark elements that give him much more depth as an artist and musician.
A promising EP from one of the North-West’s hard working musicians.
I first heard Baxter Rhodes in a tiny tea room in Burnley, Lancashire. (Remember Artisan?) He's one of those musicians that evokes silence in the audience as soon as he starts playing his beautiful, melodic songs. Since then, I have been a regular lurker of his BANDCAMP where I retreat for some of his wonderfully chilled out folk on a regular basis.
I am a seasonal music listener...for example, I reserve bands like Interpol for Autumn and I only ever listen to Cat Power in spring, but James fits the bill all year round for me. I could wallow, pitifully, down the Autumnal streets of Liverpool (my hometown) or prance around on grass in Summer and I'd love his songs just as much as I did in the previous months.
SoundBytes: 2012 - The Sound Of Lancashire: North West UK
Following a series of successful events and a showcase at Berlin Music Week (2011), SoundBytes - the Creative Lancashire music initiative, with support from Arts Council England and a number of private sector partners, have released a promotional CD of original music from new and emerging artists and labels from the Lancashire region.
The CD will be distributed free and used for promotional purposes at recognised and international music trade symposiums such as MIDEM, SXSW, Liverpool Sound City and The Great Escape. This is a first for the region
Over forty bands, labels and artists submitted one or more tracks for consideration and the standard was extremely high.
The bands and tracks were chosen by a panel of recognised industry leaders who were extremely impressed by the range and depth of talent in the region, which was also reflected in the feedback from our judges.
"The quality is fantastic. Every track is worthy of inclusion …really impressed by Lancashire's creative output" Rebecca Boulton (Manager, New Order)
Full Track List:
01 HARP AND A MONKEY - KATY AND THE TWINKLY BAND 11 BILL ORRICK – OBLIVIOUS
02 ALEX JOHNSON - FINDING FACES 12 IPNOPTIK - PARAGON (Pt.1)
03 ANDY OLIVER – SCAR 13 BONEY BLACK - LIVE YOUR DREAMS
04 ANNA CORCORAN - TIED UP WITH A RIBBON 14 MARY HD - SONG FOR MY QUEEN
05 BAXTER RHODES - GOODBYE MARY LOU 15 TROUBADOUR - BY THE RIVER
06 JESTA - SCULLY SAID 16 WHITE SWALLOW - RAIN
07 PHIL BAILEY - AUTUMN FALLS 17 THE COUSTICS - ONE WAY STREET
08 SARA CREENEY - WE CAN TRY 18 SARAJEVO – RAY GUNN
09 JOSH SEMANS - FROM HERE 19 STACIA MAE - IN MY LIFETIME
10 MEANDERSUNG - SILENCE OF AN ORCHESTRA
All the tracks plus other shortlisted entries will also be heard via the Creative Lancashire website (www.creativelancashire.org)
The first copies of the CD will be distributed at the UKTI British Music Stand at the MIDEM Conference in France (28-31st January 2012), and again at SXSW Texas USA (13-18th March 2012), where a number of Lancashire based music businesses will also be performing, exhibiting or in attendance.