Daria Kulesh – Tales of Ingushetia

daria in ingushetia

Dai Jeffries talks to Daria Kulesh about her recent trip to Ingushetia, her grandmother’s ancestral homeland, the stories that form the basis of her new solo album, Long Lost Home, and the significance of February 23rd.

The photograph shows Daria in traditional Ingush costume.

The interview is presented in three segments for technical reasons – we both enjoyed talking too much!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Artist’s website: http://www.daria-kulesh.co.uk/

‘The Moon And The Pilot’ – official video:


Ralph Mctell 2016 Cropredy Interview

Ralph Mctell 2016 Cropredy Interview
Photo by Jean Camp.

This is the interview that I have always wanted to do with Ralph.

The conversation started earlier this year, when I was at the Radio 2 Folk Awards.

I had managed to catch Ralph for a moment at the after show party and became locked into a fascinating conversation about songwriting. You know the type, where everyone else in the room fades out of focus around you.

It was a really special night, as Sandy Denny was inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame and Rufus sang that version of ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes‘. I then noticed a third person come into focus as Ralph introduced me to Georgia, Sandy Denny’s daughter, which was the icing on the evenings cake for me.

The room was again busy with life, colour and movement and the sea of people in the bar shifted and I found myself in a different place to where I was before thinking, now that would have been a great conversation to have recorded…

So, when Paul Johnson and I caught up with Ralph at the St George’s Festival for Beckenham in June we hatched a plan to try and recreate the essence of that conversation backstage at Cropredy 2016.

Paul Johnson was also champing at the bit to speak Ralph again, as it had been ten years or so since he was last a guest on his Kent based radio show which some might remember as included a live version of ‘The Hiring Fair’.

So, here it is, the Ralph McTell 2016 Cropredy Interview from folking.com. Click on the play button below to start listening to it…

We’ll leave you with this memory from Saturday evening…

The Fairport Convention Interview from St George’s in Beckenham

Fairport at St George’s Festival for Beckenham 2016

It’s funny how some things turn out, when your path takes you somewhere that you were not expecting to go. It all started in the Kensington Village Hall (as Mr. Steve Knightley would call it) at that amazing Ralph McTell Albert Hall concert on the 12th May. I found myself sitting next to Ken Maliphant completely by chance. We got talking, and he told me about the St George’s Festival for Beckenham and mentioned that Fairport were playing on the 4th June and Ralph McTell on the 24th as part of it.

Now, Ken can spin many a “Tipplers Tale” and his story is very much interwoven with Fairport’s and the album of that name. Ken actually worked for the final record label the band was signed to at the end of the Seventies. In fact, as Dave Pegg mentioned last night, the Cropredy festival has a lot to thank Ken for as he was the main driving force behind organising the settlement figure when the label refused to fund another Fairport album. It was that settlement that financially built the first building blocks for the Cropredy festival we so love today.

After receiving the news on Friday about the sad loss of one my of my all time musical heroes Dave Swarbrick, this concert and the journey to it became a personal pilgrimage to celebrate the man and his music.

In my opinion, Swarb was the finest of English folk fiddlers and one of the most colourful characters that you will ever find on the English traditional and folk/rock music scene. He was a major facet to the gem that set me on my folk music journey all those years ago and a true inspiration to all of us at folking.com. Rest in Peace Swarb, you will be greatly missed. Keep those angels feet a dancing and that timeless twinkle of mischief in you eyes.

David Cyril Eric Swarbrick RIP
5th April 1941 – 3rd June 2016

Paul Johnson and I caught up with Gerry Conway, Chris Leslie and Ric Sanders before the concert last night and we recorded the interview below. Click on the play button to listen.

Interview reference links:

A truly wonderful tribute to Swarb from Maart

Darren Beech

Fotheringay announce June tour


Fotheringay are returning bright eyed and bushy tailed for another spectacular string of live dates in June 2016 that follow the release of their new 4-disc box set, Nothing More, The Collected Fotheringay, and Mick Houghton’s inimitable biography on Sandy Denny: I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn.

The musical achievements and professional experiences of the band combined is too long to list and spans 40+ years, in fact it would be hard to find folk who know more about folk! The line up is the original founding members Jerry Donahue on Guitar, Gerry Conway on Drums, Pat Donaldson on bass with very special guests PJ Wright filling Trevor Lucas shoes, Kathryn Roberts and Sally Barker respectfully filling the shoes of Sandy Denny.

We caught up with PJ Wright last year backstage at Cropredy 2015 after the TRADarrr set so thought this would be a good time to run that interview again. I can’t remember who was playing the main stage on the day but the set was very much part of the interview, so expect a lot of background noise. Click on the play button to listen.

If you would like to order a copy of Nothing More, The Collected Fotheringay (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

If you would like to order a copy of I’ve Always Kept A Unicorn then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Come back to your folk roots and let the Fotheringay’s demonstrate why this genre of music is still so truly loved.

For more information and the latest news, please visit www.fotheringay.com


Chris Leslie announces new album

Chris Leslie announces new album

Yes, it’s true.

Somehow between writing and performing with Fairport Convention, working on his side gig with St. Agnes Fountain and collaborating with other musicians, Chris Leslie has carved out enough time to write and record a new 12-track solo album that he hopes to release around the first of the year on his own Paws Records.

“I’m really pleased with it so far,” said Leslie of the album. “I play some of the brand new songs in my solo gigs. They have seated in nicely.”

The album, which has a working title of Turquoise Tales, after an instrumental track he wrote for this album, includes three songs that he recorded with Fairport and has rearranged

Think of the songs as something akin to a book series installment as literate Leslie continues to illustrate the rich history of his Oxfordshire homeland through song.

Such was the case a few weeks ago at the Wessex Acoustic Folks Club, Blandford, Dorset. Leslie played his song ‘The New Fiddle’, which features the story of 18th Century violinmaker Benjamin Banks of 1760s in Salisbury.

“To make the club night extra special, Salisbury resident Trevor Marks brought his Benjamin Banks violin to the club,” said Kathy Dunn, who attended the performance. “Chris played it while singing the song.”

The multi-instrumentalist also melded Native American-flavored tunes into his set list with several songs including ‘Geronimo’s Cadillac’ by Michael Martin Murphy.

Little wonder that Mark Pidgeon was jovial in announcing that Leslie agreed to become and patron of Wychwood Folk Club.

“Our club is yet to reach two years old so getting the word out to the local populace has been hard work,” said Pidgeon. “Having a patron, especially a really big name like Chris Leslie as our figurehead helps, to spread the word that we are a serious folk club and not a Singaround/Karaoke type of club that are springing up in pubs/bars everywhere in the U.K….We are serious about the music we put on and are trying to mix some of the top local artistes in with the more established names.”

If you want to see Leslie in a solo concert, hurry. He only has a few dates left until he begins touring with St. Agnes Fountain and others.

Nancy Dunham

As a nice addition to this fantastic article, we have also included the Interview that Darren Beech and Paul Johnson did with the lovely Chris Leslie backstage at Cropredy 2015. Click on the player below to start the interview.

Chris Leslie Crop Interview Photo 2015

Artist’s website: http://www.chrislesliemusic.co.uk/

The Steeleye Span 45th Anniversary folking Interview

Steeleye Span 45th Anniversary Tour at G-Live

With a career that has taken in an astounding six decades, Steeleye Span is not just a legendary name in British music but also a link to the classic days of rock and folk music. Contemporaries of the likes of Led Zeppelin and Fairport Convention, they have gone on to change the face of folk music forever, taking it from small clubs and festivals into the world of chart topping albums and international tours.

Part of that incredible story has been the individuals that have contributed to the band’s history. Steeleye Span has provided a home for a long list of some of the world’s finest musicians. The current line up of Maddy Prior, Rick Kemp, Liam Genockey, Julian Littman, Pete Zorn and Jessie May Smart along with older names such as Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Tim Harries, Bob Johnson and most recently Peter Knight have all woven their heraldry into the historical fabric of the folk-rock tapestry.

Paul Johnson and I recently caught up with current band members Maddy Prior, Julian Littman, Peter Zorn and  Jessie May Smart during the 45th Anniversary Tour at G-Live in Guildford to celebrate this 45 year landmark.  Click the play button below to listen to the interview.


The video below celebrates the bands most recent album Wintersmith which was recorded in collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett at the end of 2013. The album is based on Pratchett’s Wintersmith novel, which subject matter is completely appropriate for Steeleye, in its tales of ancient rituals and secret folk dances that perfectly complement their previous work whilst taking the band off again in a new and exciting prog-rock direction.

Darren Beech – folkmaster@folking.com

If you would like to order a copy of the Wintersmith, download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website.