WILL POUND & EDDY JAY
On the road this autumn: Oct 31-Nov 3, 2017 Playing Sheffield-Liverpool-Croydon-Wigan An act to leave you breathless!
The fusing of awesome accordion player Eddy Jay with triple BBC Folk Awards ‘Musician of the Year’ nominee Will Pound (“one of the world’s greatest harmonica players”- Daily Telegraph) has produced one of the most dynamic duos you are likely to witness on the folk roots scene.
Their much acclaimed, fast-paced, feel-good debut CD Ignite was a completely eclectic affair mixing everything from Balkan to Swedish tunes to self-penned numbers about Richard III and 1940s ‘big band jazz’!
Trio Dhoore are a young and talented band of musical brothers from Flanders in Belgium. Their extensive repertoire of traditional Flemish tunes is punctuated by song and many of their own compositions. This mix all goes to provide their audiences with a soundscape where traditional and contemporary music, melancholy melodies and intuitive interplay merge to unique effect.
Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis are proven winners at the Ram Club, having played in a trio and as The Changing Room – two fabulous performances. Sam is a hugely talented and hard-working young musician with a memorable voice and Jamie one of the best banjo players you will ever see. This dynamic duo will set the party alight with their mix of old and new. Adding to the frivolities will be a table laden with festive fayre – plus a spectacular gallery of unusual raffle prizes. Huge fun guaranteed.
Friday December 15, 7.30pm (music begins at 8.30). At the Old Cranleighan Club, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0HB.
NB: This will be a ticketed event – details to follow – please see the website. All welcome.
Introducing ‘Foskett’s Folk Factory’ – Foskett’s Folk Factory is the brainchild of musician, awarded songwriter and veteran (multi genre) music producer Charley Foskett – www.foskettsfolkfactory.com is a new music and video production company – dedicated to providing creative services and a platform to promote acoustic, folk and roots based music.
After many decades in the music business as a successful record producer, arranger and touring session musician, Charley Foskett was forced to take time out – five years to be precise to battle two lots of bowel and rectal cancer – after a string of massive invasive surgeries and several body parts lighter he decided to return to music as a bit of a distraction – this wonderful distraction culminated into a rather exciting project indeed – here is his website introduction :-
Celebrated guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Classics Vol. II on his own Beeswing record label, distributed via Proper, on August 11. Richard will play Cropredy Festival in August, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Fairport Convention and tour the UK in October.
On the heels of the success of Acoustic Classics in 2014, Acoustic Classics Vol. II will feature acoustic renderings of classic songs from the Richard Thompson catalogue, some previously recorded by other singers, some previously available only in a band format. A second album Acoustic Rarities will be released later in the year featuring new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions.
1. She Twists The Knife Again – 2:49
2. The Ghost Of You Walks – 4:41
3. Genesis Hall – 3:30
4. Jet Plane In A Rocking Chair – 2:29
5. A Heart Needs A Home – 3:27
6. Pharaoh – 4:26
7. Gethsemane – 5:13
8. Devonside – 3:06
9. Meet On The Ledge – 3:06
10. Keep Your Distance – 3:35
11. Bathsheba Smiles – 3:33
12. Crazy Man Michael – 4:24
13. Guns Are The Tongues – 6:06
14. Why Must I Plead? – 4:09
A hugely popular live performer, Thompson will tour the UK in October 2017, including the very first concert at the newly-established London Bridge Theatre, which is now sold out and a second London show at Cadogan Hall.
Tour Dates are as follows:
Serious and UTA present: RICHARD THOMPSON Plus support Josienne Clarke + Ben Walker
Wed 11 October Brighton Dome
Thu 12 October Guildford G-Live
Fri 13 October Poole Lighthouse
Sat 14 October Bristol Colston Hall
Sun 15 October Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre
Tue 17 October Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wed 18 October Gateshead Sage
Thu 19 October Salford Lowry
Sat 21 October Saffron Walden Saffron Hall
Sun 22 October Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Mon 23 October London Cadogan Hall *EXTRA DATE on sale Friday
Wed 25 October Sheffield City Hall
Thu 26 October Leicester de Montfort Hall
Fri 27 October Basingstoke Anvil
Sat 28 October Norwich Theatre Royal
Mon 30 October London Bridge Theatre SOLD OUT
Ground-breaking group Fairport Convention, co-founded by Thompson as a teenager in the ‘60s, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and Richard will play Fairport’s annual Cropredy Festival, which takes place August 10-12, to mark the occasion.
Richard Thompson was recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time and is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received multiple awards, including Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards and the US and UK Americana Music Association Awards, as well as Mojo’s Les Paul Award and an Ivor Novello Award for song writing. Thompson was appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded his songs
This year’s Beverley Folk Festival was blessed with blazing sunshine that was matched by the blistering talent on display. The temperature really soared over the weekend offering the perfect environment for relaxing with a cold beer and listening to some superb music.
It’s been a few years since I last visited the Beverley Folk Festival. This year, with the event’s website proclaiming 2016’s event had 30% more music and events than ever before and this year’s press releases saying 2017 is going to be bigger and better than ever – I though now’s the time to pay the festival another visit.
Beverley is called a folk festival but with the very wide range of live music that was being performed and the variety of entertainment taking place, it’s now transcending the boundaries of folk music. While at the 2017 festival’s heart there was still a solid core of excellent folk music, singer/songwriters and memorable performances by some of the great ambassadors of the genre, the addition of an Americana afternoon, a steel band, poetry, choirs, brass bands and much more added refreshing diversity and expanded appeal.
One of the highlights, for me, was the incredible Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman on-stage in the Big Top. They finished their set with ‘Rusalka’ a truly ethereal song about a Russian mermaid. I first heard them perform the song at the Great British Folk Festival in Skegness. I loved it then and I found it just as haunting this time around.
Someone else that I was pleased to see on the festival bill was Dan Walsh. Nominated for best musician at the BBC Folk Awards, he just has to be the best banjo player in the UK. If you haven’t seen him play – put him on your ‘must see’ list.
The Beverly Folk Festival has a whole mess of live music stages including not just one but two big-tops plus the Atom marquee (the venue for the Moonbeam sessions), the 1690 bar, the Attraction Room, the Westwood Room, an outdoor stage and a further music stage in the food marquee. On top of this there were open mic sessions in the Touch Above Bar which also played host to number of folk clubs from the north of England. And, as if this wasn’t enough, there was even more live music, entertainment and dance popping up all over the site such as brass bands, jugglers, buskers and Morris dancers.
For the second year, Beverly Folk Festival was offering what they called the ‘Festival Village Taster Ticket’. This gave access to the craft marquee, the traders area, food court, some of the smaller venues plus a wealth of open air entertainment and pop-up concerts. At just three pounds, this is ridiculously good value. You can pay that for a cup of coffee in some places.
Early Bird tickets for Beverley 2018 are already on sale and can be had for just £80.
Teesside trio The Young’uns have always had the human touch. In the space of little more than a decade – and just three years after giving up their day jobs – they have become one of UK folk music’s hottest properties and best-loved acts.
Stockton Folk Club’s star graduates clinched the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Group’ title two years running (2015 and 2016) and last year saw them spreading the net, taking their unique act and instant audience rapport to Canada, America and Australia.
With their strong songs, spellbinding harmonies and rapid fire humour, they have achieved one of the trickiest balancing acts – an ability to truly ‘make them laugh and make them cry’, while cutting straight to the heart of some of our most topical issues.
On September 29 they will unveil their fourth studio album Strangers – playing their strongest suit to date. Bold, profound and resonant it showcases the growing talents of Sean Cooney, fast becoming one of folk’s finest songwriters.
Together with Michael Hughes and David Eagle, Cooney has come up with a collection of folk songs for our time, all sensitively arranged by the 30-something trio – looking back at wartime heroes here, offering a news report for the 21st century there, turning the spotlight on injustice and ultimately celebrating the indomitable human spirit.
Setting the scene with a cover of Maggie Holland’s A Place Called England (Best Song at 2000 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards) , the remaining songs on the 10-track album all come from the prolific pen of Cooney who manages to combine unflinching, sharply observed but compassionate, heartfelt lyrics.
With its ocean blue cover, Strangers looks at the stories of those that have crossed the seas to British shores and soldiers that have voyaged from here to the warfields of Europe. Paeans for the underdog have been inspired by the courage of Syrian refugees, have-a-go heroes and Gay Rights campaigners which sit seamlessly alongside narrative songs of First World War soldiers, Caribbean and Jewish immigrants, including the founder of one of our best known British High Street stores.
Not forgetting their native North East heroes, The Young’uns inspiration also comes from further afield – the banks of Spain’s River Ebro (Bob Cooney’s Miracle) and the Thalys train terrorist attack in France. (Carriage 12). There are constant changes of tempo and mood, from the jaunty sing-a-long Ghafoor’s Bus, celebrating their fellow Teessider who reached out to refugees across Europe to the slow, soaring beauty of Lapwings (as performed on BBC-tv’s Springwatch), inspired by a First World War diary entry from a soldier homesick for English fields and skies and the sublime, poetic Dark Water where they are backed by Aldeburgh Young Musicians and Radio 3’s Mary Ann Kennedy on harp.
Stand-out song Be The Man was inspired by the incredibly moving story of Matthew Ogston and his fiancé Nazim Mahmood – its poignancy elevated by ex Bellowhead musician Rachael McShane on cello and fiddle and Chumbawamba’s Jude Abbott on melancholic flugelhorn. Matthew reacted to Sean’s lyrics saying: “I do not have the right words to even begin to explain how your words have touched my soul and heart”.
Sean’s songs have reached some of the people who inspired them including Syrian refugee Hesham Modamani, now living in Germany and Paris-based American-Frenchman Mark Moogalian, injured in the Thalys train attack, who heard Carriage 12 and wrote to say: “Many thanks for this wonderful song – the only thing that has ever brought tears to my eyes regarding what happened that day.”
These are powerful songs prompted by remarkable stories – making for an ultimately upbeat album full of hope, echoing the lyric from Ghafoor’s Bus: “There’s a friendly face, a better place and a future for us all”
Striking a chord wherever they go, the emphatic Strangers marks a milestone chapter in The Young’uns brilliant story.
Recorded at The Chairworks in Castleford and Loft Studios in Newcastle, Strangers is produced by Neil Ferguson, released on Hereteu Records label and distributed by Proper Music.
Strangers will be showcased on an extensive UK tour (October 4-27) including a debut at London’s Union Chapel and dates at Sage Gateshead (Hall 1), Glasgow’s Oran Mor and The Sugar Club in Dublin – their first headline gig in Ireland. Support for most dates comes from The Hut People, with singer songwriter Greg Russell opening for the trio in Nottingham and Lincoln.
The Young’uns Strangers album tour – October 2017
4 LANCASTER Dukes Theatre
5 SHEFFIELD City Hall (Memorial Hall)
6 GLASGOW Oran Mor
7 SHREWSBURY Theatre Severn
8 OXFORD The North Wall Arts Centre
9 COLCHESTER Arts Centre
10 BURY ST EDMUNDS Apex
11 BRISTOL Colston Hall Lantern
12 LONDON Union Chapel
13 SHOREHAM-BY-SEA Ropetackle Arts Centre
14 LINCOLN Drill Hall
15 NOTTINGHAM Glee Club
17 BRECON Theatr Brechyneiog
18 SOUTHPORT Atkinson
19 LEEDS City Varieties
20 MANCHESTER Home – Folk Festival
21 BIRMINGHAM Mac
22 CANTERBURY Cathedral Lodge
24 DUBLIN The Sugar Club
27 GATESHEAD Sage 1
Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, the annual three-day festival staged by folkrock legends Fairport Convention, will celebrate the band’s golden anniversary with an on-stage reunion of the current line-up and virtually all the ex-members still living.
The band’s extended evening performance on Saturday 12 August will close the festival and feature a host of musical guests playing a repertoire selected from Fairport’s huge back catalogue – the best from half a century of music-making.
There will be two chances at Cropredy to see singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Richard Thompson. A co-founder of Fairport Convention, Richard will play a full set in his own right on Friday evening and will also join Fairport as a guest during their set.
Saturday will start with three performances from ‘early years’ former members of Fairport – Ashley Hutchings, Judy Dyble and Iain Matthews.
Ashley Hutchings, who founded Fairport Convention, will present Morris On, a spectacular interpretation of traditional music and dance. Judy Dyble, Fairport’s original female vocalist, will be performing with Band of Perfect Strangers, her regular musical collaborators. Iain Matthews, Fairport’s first male lead singer, will be joined by Andy Roberts and Mark Griffiths as Plainsong, a harmonic blend of English folk-rock and American alt-country.
Former drummer Dave Mattacks will play during Richard Thompson’s set on Friday as well as guesting with Fairport on Saturday. Maartin Allcock, a member of Fairport from 1985 until 1996, will also join Fairport on keyboards and guitar for several numbers.
Other former members who may put in an appearance include Tom Farnell, Bob Brady, and Roger Burridge.
Bass player Dave Pegg says: “Our Saturday night set this year will undoubtedly present the most Fairport members ever performing in the same show.”
Now in its thirty-seventh year, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention will take place on Thursday 10, Friday 11 and Saturday 12 August.
Fairport’s Current line-up is Simon Nicol (lead vocal, guitars), Dave Pegg (backing vocals, bass guitar), Ric Sanders (violin), Chris Leslie (lead vocal, fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin) and Gerry Conway (percussion and drums).
John Wort Hannam is a Canadian singer songwriter from Fort Macleod, Alberta.
Born in the Channel Islands and raised in Alberta, John earned a degree in Native American Studies and taught on a reserve for five years.
Since leaving his teaching post for music in 2002 he’s been nominated for a Juno, three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards – winning Contemporary Album of the Year in 2010.
John is well known for his story telling through music. Themes which are central to his music include life in Western Canada, and the human experience as seen through the eyes of simple working folk.
He has performed at music festivals in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Australia and he appeared at the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.
In addition to singing, John plays guitar, tenor guitar and harmonica.
FINDLAY NAPIER – his new album ‘Glasgow’ is due for release in September
As defined in the title of his remarkable 2015 solo debut VIP:Very Interesting Persons (No.2 in the Daily Telegraph’s top dozen folk albums that year), Scottish singer-songwriter (and sometime stand-up comic) Findlay Napier categorically commands musical VIP status.
Co-written and produced by revered UK songsmith Boo Hewerdine, VIP’s ten biographical tracks, invoking real-life sources from Hedy Lamarr to a cave-dwelling Scottish tramp, marked another career high for Napier, building on plaudits and awards for his previous line-ups Back of the Moon, Queen Anne’s Revenge and The Bar Room Mountaineers.
He now turns those same supreme songwriting and storytelling gifts, allied with magpie-minded imagination and truly magnificent vocals, to his adoptive home town, on VIP’s hotly anticipated follow-up, Glasgow.
Continuing his collaboration with Hewerdine, the new album combines freshly-penned originals with classics and rarities from Glasgow’s vast and colourful ballad canon, by authors as diverse as Hamish Imlach and The Blue Nile. Together, they form an extended musical love-letter to Scotland’s metropolis, celebrating 20 years since Napier first arrived as a student, swapping his idyllic Highland childhood home for the 14th floor of the city’s notorious (and since demolished) Red Road flats.
In 2016, too, Napier launched the Glasgow Songwriting Festival, a weekend of workshops and performances which completely sold out its inaugural outing, and returns in 2017: featured artists to date include Karine Polwart, Emma Pollock, the aforementioned Abbott and Stanley Odd MC Dave Hook. In between putting the finishing touches to Glasgow, Napier also toured in spring 2017 with acclaimed contemporary protest-song showcase Shake the Chains.__
Despite these ecumenical enthusiasms, Napier himself remains happy to identify as a folk singer – even if he does enjoy stretching the term’s already elastic parameters. It’s also a definition true to Napier’s earliest inspirations. He grew up in a musical family (brother Hamish is also a leading musician), and while early piano lessons proved a non-starter, singing was part and parcel of everyday life.
As with many of Scotland’s under-40 generation of folk-based artists, these nascent passions were brought fully to life by Napier’s involvement, from age 12, in the Highlands’ Fèis network of youth music festivals, whose tutors quickly spotted and encouraged his vocal talent, meanwhile steering him to learn guitar. A particular mentor was the great Highland singer-songwriter Jim Hunter, at whose urging Napier successfully applied for the new Scottish Music degree course at the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), moving to Glasgow to join its inaugural intake.
While his chosen running routes around Glasgow have further deepened his acquaintance with the city, directly inspiring several songs on the new album, another recent addition to Napier’s creative armoury is his burgeoning comedy career. A longtime fan of the funnyman’s art, he signed up for some beginners’ workshops a couple of years back, after reading Stewart Lee’s analytical account of his craft, How I Escaped My Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian. Dauntlessly taking the plunge into the local comedy circuit, Napier has since progressed rapidly from five-minute open slots to a gig at 2017’s Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
“Part of what blew my mind about the Stewart Lee book,” he explains, “was seeing the similarities about holding an audience, structuring a set, how you make people laugh – and realising the amount of thought he puts into these things. And they’re totally transferable skills: doing the comedy has been a massive help for me playing solo, a massive confidence-builder. Hopefully, it’s made my patter a bit funnier, too.”
In this context, as well as calling himself a folk singer, Napier simultaneously aspires to another, likewise timeless role: “I do love that old-fashioned, all-round idea of an ‘entertainer’ – I think it’s a brilliant thing,” he says. “But then that’s totally what the best folk singers are; they’ll have you in absolute hysterics, in between punching you in the gut – people like Loudon Wainwright, John Prine, Michael Marra: that’s the absolute pinnacle, as far as I’m concerned.”