Various Artists(Friends Of Folkstock)Various Artists(Friends Of Folkstock)
Album: The F Spot
Label: Folkstock
Tracks: 5

Folkstock Records are fast getting a reputation for the quality of their compilation cds. What's really nice is that they are built around themes, the predecessor to this cut, "Passing The Baton" featured the foundation's patron, Dave Swarbrick, sharing his internationally renowned fiddle playing with a number of rising bands, whilst "The F Spot" pulls together acts that were involved in the run up to last year's Folkstock Festival.

"The F Spot" kicks off with a track that sees Zoe Wren step up to the microphone and really deliver. "Pandora's Box" immediately identifies her as an artist that I want to hear more from. Well the song is delicate, it also has a real strength to it, one that sets a high standard for the following artists and one that has a haunting and hypnotic quality to it.

Luke Jackson is an artist that needs no introduction, not a bad achievement for a lad that has yet to turn twenty and already has two highly respected albums behind him. "Mary May" is a slice of social history turned into a five minute song. Jackson conjures up great images in his songs and this one feels like a black and white, art-house short and as with all the recordings on this release, it's an original track.

Minnie Birch is another artist that is really starting to spread her wings and come into her own. Her folk oriented songs are rich with pop sensibilities that in years gone by would have seen her gaining late night slots on shows like "Whistle Test" and whilst those opportunities to perform may have gone, songs like "Castles" show that the talent is still out there.

"Butterfly" comes from the pen and vocal chords of Roxanne de Bastion whose debut album last year was incredibly well received across the blogosphere and internet radio. It would seem that the time Roxanne has spent supporting "The Real Thing" has honed her skills with "Butterfly" catching both the mood of the subject and the nature of the insect that inspired it.

Both Marina Florance and Ben Smith have solo releases behind them, but I believe that this is the first time they've put out a song together, having previously performed live. "Getting Away" is a highly emotive song, one that brings a lump to the throat and moisture to your eyes as it takes you through the destruction of a relationship and the need to escape the clutter, to find the important things.

"The F Spot" runs quality all the way through it and is definitely worth checking out as there is so much to discover and react to. It's a great EP full of songs, thoughtfully produced by young producer, Lauren Deakin Davies

Neil King