Rules for Jokers is the third CD from Thea Gilmore, a British singer/songwriter who is equally at home with delicate acoustic ballads and stinging, electric guitar-driven songs. Gilmore's lyrics are full of dense, poetic imagery and she delivers them with an urgency that wouldn't be out of place in a punk band. Even when she sings a melodically gentle song such as "Holding Your Hand" or "Take Me Home" with its suggestively swaying rhythm, her fierceness is never far from the surface. And when she lets loose and cranks up the volume on "Fever Beats" and "This Girl Is Taking Bets" the words flow from her with a bitter wit that recalls Elvis Costello in his younger, angrier days. Thea Gilmore wrote and recorded these songs when she was only 21 years old. If she sounds this good now, how much better will she be when she's had a chance to see more of the world? © Michael Simmons Amazon.co.uk © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rules-Jokers-Thea-Gilmore/dp/B0000658YW
Singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore is an ambitious lass on her third album, Rules for Jokers. She boldly moves beyond the rock edges of The Lipstick Conspiracies for a confident, folk-rock appeal and it works magnificently. Acoustic guitars are ablaze throughout, giving Rules for Jokers a tough stance without much aggression. Lyrically, Gilmore is a complete artist. Her depictions of deception, sex, religion, and politics are richly textured in balladry. The daring and lustful "This Girl Is Taking Bets" dances around rockabilly/country jigs while "St. Luke's Summer" creeps along with Gilmore's hollowed vocals. "Benzedrine" is Rules for Jokers' shiny pop song; cellos and chimes accent crashing percussion for a dazzling look into self-perception. For a woman who's barely out of her teens, Gilmore sings with a weathered conviction, and it's mind-blowing. Rules for Jokers reflects upon trials and tribulations one may face, but without vengeance and bitterness. Gilmore sharply shapes it into something tangible without relying on massive production to heighten the album's overall punch. © MacKenzie Wilson © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/release/rules-for-jokers-import-version-mr0001327473
How many people have heard of One Direction, Cheryl Cole, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, etc., etc.? How many people have listened to or even heard of Lucy Kaplansky, James McMurtry, Kyla Brox, or Thea Gilmore? The music business is a sick joke. Eric Ambleside on amazon.co.uk speaking about Thea’s “Recorded Delivery” album said, "Another outstanding and horribly underrated and overlooked artist. Tragic in the face of all of the third-rate tat out there that sells in such vast quantities". Uncut magazine hailed Thea as "the best British singer-songwriter of the last 10 years...and then some." Thea Gilmore is an unheralded but great English singer/songwriter who doesn't care about commercial, radio friendly songs. She has an irresistible voice, writes great lyrics, and is totally uncompromising with her music. She is certainly not recording for the money. If she was, then you might be able to find more reviews about this album. “Rules For Jokers” is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Thea's "Murphy's Heart" or "Avalanche" albums and promote brilliant contemporary folk rock and real music. Check out Thea’s “Loftmusic” album on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 106 Mb]
N.B: This is for you, Mike P. (My NYC “chumble”), for your collection of “dated” music! (lol)!
1 Appararition No. 12 2:43
2 Holding Your Hand 3:46
3 This Girl Is Taking Bets 3:33
4 Saviours And All 3:41
5 St Luke's Summer 3:47
6 The Things We Never Said 4:52
7 Seen It All Before 4:13
8 Benzedrine 3:01
9 Movie Kisses 3:24
10 Take Me Home 3:13
11 Keep Up 2:43
12 Saying Nothing 3:20
13 Inverigo 4:14
All tracks composed by Thea Gilmore
Thea Gilmore - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Kalimba, Cimbala, Mbira, Voice
Nigel Stonier - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Organ, Harmonica, Voice
Robbie McIntosh - Electric Guitars, Acoustic Slide Guitar, Voice
David Coulter - Tenor Banjo, Accordion, Saw, Q-chord, Slide Didgeridoo, Jaw Harp
Dave "Munch" Moore - Harpsichord
Oliver Kraus - Cello
Ian Thomas - Drums, Percussion: Griddle Pan on "St Luke's Summer"
Ewan Davies - Percussion, Blue Tube, Finger Cymbals, Voice: Organ on "Take Me Home"
Will Bartle - Cymbal, Voice on "St Luke's Summer"
Freyja Gilmore - Voice on "Benzedrine", "Take Me Home", & "Saying Nothing"
Sarah Jane Morris, Steve Menzies - Voice on "Keep Up"
Singer/songwriter Thea Gilmore was born to Irish parents in 1979. Luckily, her upbringing in the astute area of Oxford, England, allowed Gilmore to ignore the new wave reign of the 1980s and motivated her to seek out her parents' Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell albums. Later, she found comfort in the work of Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and the Replacements, naturally absorbing the intelligence behind each artist's work. Gilmore began writing poetry and short stories to amuse herself amidst her conventional surroundings, but she needed something more tangible. She left home at age 16 to go work in a recording studio. Gilmore also founded her own Shameless Records and released her debut album, Burning Dorothy, in 1998. The Lipstick Conspiracies and the As If EP followed two years later, and Gilmore's star power started to buzz. In the new millennium, Gilmore inked a deal with Compass in the U.S. and finally graced American shores with the 2002 release of Rules for Jokers. Gilmore's third album, 2003's Avalanche, was a much more daring effort for her, and the single "Juliet" earned Gilmore her first Top 40 hit in the U.K. A year later, Gilmore released a collection of cover songs entitled Loft Music. This self-release effort featured Gilmore's renditions of songs by the Buzzcocks, Paul Westerberg, Jimmy Cliff, and the Ramones. Songs from the Gutter (2005) gathered career-spanning cuts not previously available as well as other hidden treasures from Gilmore's catalog of unreleased material. In August 2006, Gilmore issued the emotionally charged Harpo's Ghost, her first set of original material since Avalanche. Gilmore returned with the ultra-polished Liejacker to mixed reviews in 2008, and became a parent. In typical idiosyncratic fashion, she recorded the seasonal holiday collection Strange Communion, issuing it in 2009 and, in lieu of a new studio offering, released the half-acoustic/half-electric live set Recorded Delivery in 2010. In 2011 Gilmore returned to recording with partner and co-producer Nigel Stonier and co-producer/engineer Mike Cave for her 11th studio offering, Murphy's Heart, recorded both in Liverpool and in Ventura, CA. The cast of 13 musicians for these sessions was her largest to date. © MacKenzie Wilson © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/thea-gilmore-mn0000491034
When American independent singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco sang "I could be the million that you never made," she could have very well been singing about Thea Gilmore, a British singer/songwriter who has made a virtue out of her autonomy. While major recording labels have offered her contracts, she is content to create and distribute her albums through Shameless in United Kingdom and Compass in the United States. "When they say, 'We'll give you a modest amount of money and you can choose who you work with and how you sound,'" she told Caroline Sullivan in the Guardian, "then I'll talk." The bottom line for Gilmore is more about making good music than financial success. "It gets made if you believe in what you're doing," she told Nick Hasted in the Independent, "it comes from somewhere inside you that not many other people can reach. Nobody can tell me how to get there. I have to do it on my own." Gilmore was born in 1979 in Oxford, the same region that produced British bands like Radiohead and Supergrass. Her father, a chiropractor, provided her with a sound musical background when he introduced her to Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and the Beatles. Later, she listened to Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and the Replacements, and generally avoided the bands that were popular with her peers. Gilmore, who began writing poetry at the age of 15 to cope with her parents' divorce, won awards for her writing. She left home at 16, hoping to turn her poetry into songs, and found a job working at the legendary Woodworm studio, where the folk-rock group Fairport Convention had recorded. There she met producer Nigel Stonier who listened to a tape of her early songs. "She had this quiet intensity about her, and striking intelligence," he told David Bowman in Salon. "I guess you kinda knew she was someone who'd be successful in whatever field she chose." Stonier agreed to produce her first EP. In 1999 at the age of 19, Gilmore released Burning Dorothy on Shameless Records. She consciously chose a low-key start to her musical career, hoping to avoid the quick rise and fall of many young singers at major recording labels. "I figured that there weren't many people having sustained careers in the music industry any more," she told Andy Coleman in the Birmingham Evening Mail. "I wanted a chance to develop my music at a pace that suited me, not to be bound by industry standards." In 2000 she released her sophomore effort, Lipstick Conspiracy. Gilmore's break came with her third album in 2001, Rules for Jokers. Unlike her earlier efforts, she utilized a full band to create a sound that ranged from folk to rock and everything in between. The acoustic guitar and lyrical barrage of "Apparition No. 12" reached back to the surrealism of 1960s Bob Dylan, while the brash "Benzedrine" combined the best of punk and new wave. "Pleasingly intelligent and forthright with her original lyrics and offering an interesting variety of musical sounds," wrote Jenny Ivor in Rambles, "this girl is mature before her time." The album received another boost when Gilmore signed with American label Compass. After Rules for Jokers, Gilmore went back to the studio to record a song for a Bob Dylan tribute album--and unintentionally recorded her fourth album. After finishing Dylan's "I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine" rather quickly, she remained behind while the band took a break at the local pub. Alone in the studio, she started writing and soon had enough material for several songs. "When the band came back," she told Bowman, "I asked them to play what I'd written. It was recorded in two days. We didn't intend it to come out until the point where it was sitting on the table in front of us and we said, 'What are we going to do with this?'" The seven compositions became Songs from the Gutter, released at the beginning of 2003. Later that same year Gilmore returned with Avalanche, an album appearing on many "best of" lists at the end of the year. "In a dingy pub on the other side of the pond," wrote Sarah Liss in Toronto's NOW Magazine, "Tom Waits is reborn as a 22-year-old woman with a voice steeped in red wine and regret and a gift for lyrical storytelling that'd make any writer feel like a pathetic hack." She was joined in the studio by electric guitarist Robbie McIntosh (from the Pretenders), cellist Oliver Kraus, and Stonier on keyboards, a band that created a vibrant underpinning to gentle ballads like "Juliet (Keep That in Mind)." "She's already proved herself one of Britain's most potent lyricists," wrote Colin Irwin in Mojo, "but with producer Nigel Stonier also turning in a match-winning performance, Avalanche nudges her into a new recording arena entirely." The release of the Avalanche single "Mainstream" caused a small controversy: Its cover art by Ian Brown mocked Mattel's Barbie doll. When the company threatened a lawsuit, the cover was withdrawn. Speaking about the uproar, Gilmore explained that she really wasn't sure what sparked Mattel's objection. "I'm pretty sure Mattel couldn't give a d**n what Barbie has come to represent as long as their end-of-year figures add up," she told Adam McKibbin on the Suite 101 website. Gilmore's gifts as a lyricist and prolific songwriter separate her from her peers and have made her something of an anomaly in the music business. At the age of 23 she has recorded five albums and found a modicum of success without relying on major label advertising and distribution. In 2004 she embarked on her first North American tour and began recording an album of covers, including a version Neil Young's "Old Laughing Lady." Her multiple styles and do-it-yourself mentality defy easy categorization, but she wouldn't have it any other way. "Some people write me off as some waily folky woman." she told Bowman. "Other people think I'm rock. In terms of an image, if you want to be cold and corporate about it, it's hard to decide who my target market is. There isn't one. There is no box that I can be put in." by & © Ronnie D. Lankford Jr © 2013 Net Industries - All Rights Reserved http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608004084/Thea-Gilmore.html