April Cruel the fourth album from JASON McNIFF will be released on September 12th. Recorded in North London’s vintage Bark Studio with famed engineer Brian O’ Shaughnessy, the album is an exemplary set of original songs infused with a distinctively rich English lyricism. Shanty ballads of Yorkshire love affairs, divorce and partisan soldiers depict a world where the past still shapes our future. In McNiff’s dexterous fingers, European folk is reborn with the vigor and enchantment of a songwriter who has arrived at his artistic destination.
“This is the record I’ve been waiting to make for nearly ten years. Five years in the making, I feel it’s the album I’ve been learning to make all along. It was made in the studio I’d always wanted to record in, with the musicians I’ve always wanted to work with.”
“I’ve tried to blend Americana and European flavours on April Cruel,” says Mr McNiff. “It’s the first time I’ve written about where I come from in Yorkshire, and collaborated with my friends from the Modena City Ramblers.“
A big influence on Jason has been the work of Italian songwriter and hero of the Left, Fabrizio De Andre. “Hearing his music made me want to go to Italy and seek out other musicians; translate some of his songs and learn Italian.” This lead eventually to meeting the Modena City Ramblers and forming the Narrow Men who perform a tribute to De Andre. “Massimo Ghiacci (bass player with MCR) told me of a project he was overseeing – a new record to commemorate one of the finest examples of British and Italian partisan cooperation in WW2 – Operation Tombola. Basically the SAS parachuted into occupied northern Italy, trained up a bunch of partisans and launched the most unbelievably daring raid on a Nazi HQ. ‘Tombola’ is the song I wrote for this and is also a British / Italian cooperative effort, with Fry Moneti from the Ramblers on mandolin.”
Next LONDON gig on Friday August 10th at the Kalamazoo club, Crouch End, N8 9AA www.kalamazooklub.co.uk
For more information please visit: www.jasonmcniff.com