Diego Davidenko and John Howard & The Night Mail

Diego Davidenko

Diego Davidenko “It Isn’t Home”

I don’t focus on folk too often, but Diego Davidenko is a special case. Inspired early on by the simple, nostalgic tunes of The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel his earnest and heartfelt songs weave through the gamut of human emotions and experiences. Using a minimal production “I and You” is a Paul Simon styled guitar gem, with a touch of romance and his tribute to inspiration Elliott Smith in “Elliott” is a biographical tale with overlapping dual vocals.

Each song has a delicate romantic touch, like the comforting “Rest Your Head On Me” or the shy flirting of “Look My Way.” Diego’s childhood in Argentina comes through with the rhythms on “Your Body” and “The Preacher Say.” The sharp composition on “Where the Sky Is Infinite” is my favorite tune with its rising chorus. Overall, this is a perfect coffee house soundtrack, give it a listen with that spiced pumpkin latte. Music like this will make it taste better.


John Howard

John Howard & The Night Mail “John Howard & The Night Mail “

John Howard is a true forgotten hero of British pop, making a comeback. His 1975 album Kid In a Big World was comparable to Elton John at the time. But after the debut, fell into obscurity until 2004 when his tracks were re-issued to a more receptive public. Today, Howard is joined by Robert Rotifer on guitar, Andy Lewis on bass and mellotron, and Ian Button on drums for his first album with a full band.

Howard’s grandeur and classic pop rock sensibilities are intact and he can still impress on “Before” telling a story with chords and brilliant orchestration. “Intact and Smiling” has a steady groove and the solid “In The Light Of Fires Burning” is a dreamy trip through 1960’s pop history, referencing Gerry Goffin and the Beatles. “Control Freak” is another fave here, a little Bowie glam styled boogie. “Safety In Numbers” has those soaring melodies that Howard is known for. It may take a few spins, but you’ll be a fan — this is a highly recommended comeback, that had me looking into Howard’s back catalog.