London Folk & Roots – line-up announced

London Folk



 DMP and Kilimanjaro introduce the very best in folk, roots, blues, Americana and world music from across the globe. Taking place over 21 days, London Folk & Roots will take over venues from the treasured and unique like The Union Chapel, St Pancras Old Church, Bush Hall or Shepherds Bush Empire, to the well-trodden and intimate spaces of The Borderline, The Slaughtered Lamb, Water Rats or Islington to name a few.

The festival aims to bring you the best in the acclaimed, accomplished, rawest, breaking and unearthed talent that the roots and folk scene has to offer. In its fourth year London Folk & Roots boasts names as diverse as Kitty Daisy & Lewis with their shear passion and sparkling analogue performances to the acclaimed organic offerings of Foy Vance and Gretchen Peters – the latter joining us straight out of Nashville’s hall of fame, to the mercury nominated Kathryn Williams and newest rising star Blair Dunlop.

Experience the embattled and empowering landscapes of Jonny Lang to the extraordinary creations of Wesley Stace, inhabiting that wondrous space between the musical and literary. West Africa meets American blues with Blick Bassy, straight from the Cameroon, demonstrating the freeform expressionistic experimentation this festival brings. While Alibhe Reddy reaches into the indie mainstream with a blend of raw indie folk offset by the acclaimed Secret Sisters, boasting fans from Elvis Costello to Elton John. Mark Eitzel brings his uniquely sardonic outlook, part celebration part despair as he teams up with recent collaborator Bernard Butler, while the craftsmanship and intensity of Sean Taylor and Mark O’Reilly head up the next generation of artists.

Brainchild of renowned promoter and tastemaker David Messer, London Folk and Roots Festival brings roots music to the forefront of London’s music scene: “It’s great to see artists getting the credit they deserve.” He cites Foy Vance as a luminary,

“who we have worked with for a number of years, selling out three Union Chapel shows, Rhiannon Giddens who is likely to sell-out the Shepherds Bush Empire and others doing the same.”

Alongside these established festival favourites, David explains one of the main aims of the festival is

“to give new artists a platform to be heard… I hope to see some of these headlining their own shows in the future.”

Festival website:

The Unthanks release new single and film, featuring previously unseen film of Nick Drake and family.

Taken from the critically acclaimed album, Diversions Vol. 4 – The Songs And Poems Of Molly Drake, The Unthanks release Do You Ever Remember? The accompanying film includes Super 8 footage of the Drake family, much of which has never been seen before, except live during the recent tour by The Unthanks of their Molly Drake project.

It is thought that the footage, which centres around Nick Drake’s christening at the age of three, was recorded by a professional, and not by husband and father Rodney Drake, who recorded the songs Molly wrote in the sitting room of their home, inspiring The Unthanks to produce some of their best interpretive work yet, alongside Gabrielle Drake, whose voice can be heard reciting the poetry of her mother towards the end of the single.

Final Molly Drake show:

The Unthanks have just announced what is to be their last Molly Drake show for the foreseeable future, in a grand Spiegeltent, in the grounds of the beautiful Piece Hall, Halifax, December 22nd.

Tickets are available HERE

If you would like to order a copy of the album (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 The Unthanks link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.


Marathon autumn program continues at Cecil Sharp House


Tilston and Lowe
Wednesday 8 November, 7.30pm
£14 | £10 under 26s

Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe, two of the UK acoustic/folk scene’s finest songwriters join forces for a concert filled with songs and music, chat and banter and intimate insights into their approach to their craft. Listen in as they rekindle the spontaneity of their late-night living-room song swaps.


An Evening with the Seeger MacColl Family
Thursday 16 November, 7.30pm
£18 | £10 under 26s

The Seeger MacColl family are one of folk music’s most loved dynasties. Singer, songwriter and feminist icon Peggy Seeger performs with Neill and Calum, her sons with Ewan MacColl.

Peggy long-awaited memoir, ‘First Time Ever’ will be published in October. To celebrate, Peggy, Neill and Calum will be touring a special related show in which she’ll mix extracts from the book with the songs that have meant the most to her over the years. Expect anecdotes from her long and remarkable career together with performances songs new and old.

The Stray Birds
Saturday 18 November, 7.30pm
£15 | £10 under 26s

The Stray Birds started as a duo of acoustic buskers when Maya de Vitry and Oliver Craven met with their instruments, their voices, and their songs. It didn’t take much convincing to get bassist Charlie Muench on board, and with the addition of a third unique and powerful voice, the group began to define its captivating sound. Since taking America by storm in 2013 they have gone on to win a huge fan base following appearances at big festivals around the world.

Trad Night – Thomas McCarthy
Wednesday 22 November, 7.30pm, £10

Thomas McCarthy is a man steeped in the tradition of Irish song, intoxicated by the music and passionate in his sensitivity towards them. He comes from a considerable dynasty of traditional singers, song-makers and musicians, and grew up surrounded by the singing of his late mother, her father and aunts and uncles. Having spent his life learning the songs of his family, in 2008 Thomas sang publicly for the first time at the folk club at Cecil Sharp House. By the following year, he had sung at the most prominent folk festivals and clubs in Ireland and England and had appeared on BBC radio.

Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys
Wednesday 29 November, 7.30pm
£14 | £10 under 26s

Sam is one of the most exciting young prospects in the folk scene, having gained a reputation for an incredibly high class and dynamic live show.

Coming from a family largely made up of Norfolk dairy farmers has left Sam with an unmatched experience of singing in front of hurtfully disinterested Friesians, and his meandering musical journey has ranged from reaching the final of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent as a teenager, to being selected for the first ever EFDSS Artist Development Scheme. Whether playing to 13 million people on prime-time television, or to 10 people in a tiny pub, Sam’s child-like fascination with music shines through.

Jess Morgan & Kitty Macfarlane
Wednesday 6 December, 7.30pm
£12 | £10 under 26s

Jess Morgan is a songwriter’s songwriter. Her performance is a tumbler of unfancied folk-roots music, with heart, passion and gusto.

Kitty Macfarlane’s songs are charged with a sense of place – more often than not her home county of Somerset – and her lyrics combine honest snapshots of everyday humanity with much bigger questions.

India Electric Co
Wednesday 13 December, 7.30pm
£12 | £10 under 26s

Sometimes folk, sometimes not. India Electric Company use traditional instruments in contemporary styles to explore diverse themes from Eastern Europe, Irish traditions and urban alienation to end up with something “quirky and glittery – a veritable musical magpie’s nest” (Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio 3).

Belshazzar’s Feast

Thursday 14 December, 7.30pm
£15 | £10 youth

On tour with a Christmas-themed show that mixes traditional folk music, seasonal material, added to their usual touch of classical and jazz, with a bit of pop and music hall, all topped off with lashings of wry humour.  Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Hoover The Dog) together wow audiences across the UK with their eclectic and eccentric mix of tunes and between songs chat that always sends audiences home with smiles on their faces.

Festive Gathering
Sunday 17 December, 7.30pm
£15 | £10 under 26s

Join for us our ever-popular, annual celebration of yuletide, with a chance to join in on the songs and merriment.

Cecil Sharp House Choir, led by Sally Davies, will perform joyful a cappella arrangements of traditional, seasonal songs, carols and wassails from the British Isles and beyond, sung in glorious harmony.  Folk dancers, singers and musicians will fill Kennedy Hall – the main space at Cecil Sharp House – with seasonal cheer.

For bookings go to:

Ron Pope announces new album, Work, and UK live dates

Ron Pope

This fall, Nashville-based independent artist Ron Pope will embark on an international headline tour making stops in New York, London, Chicago, Nashville, Washington D.C., Boston, Philadelphia and more. See below for a full tour itinerary. Pope’s latest studio album, Work, is due August 18th on his own Brooklyn Basement Records and follows last year’s critically acclaimed Ron Pope & The Nighthawks, of which Entertainment Weekly said:

Heavier, deeper, bigger, louder. The warm glow of the West, and a heavy meditation on classic sounds of the South seeps out.

Earlier this spring, Pope performed ‘Baby, I Love You’ at Carnegie Hall as part of The Music Of Aretha Franklin tribute show. His recorded cover of the song and accompanying in-studio video premiered on Glide in celebration of Franklin’s 75th birthday. Of the new cover, Glide proclaimed,

Taking on Aretha is a daunting task, but with Pope’s vivacious voice and the top notch players behind him, this rendition is blessed with is on unique wow factor while retaining its original lustre.

The new record’s lead single ‘Bad For Your Health’ premiered on Team Coco who call it “seriously addictive”. Most recently, Relix debuted the new album’s second single ‘Let’s Get Stoned.’

Work marks Pope’s seventh studio album. To date, he has surpassed one million monthly listeners on Spotify, sold out shows in more than 20 countries, sold over 2 million digital tracks, had over 200 million streams on Spotify, 630 million plays on Pandora and 150 million views on YouTube.

The album was recorded completely in analog at Welcome To 1979 in Nashville, TN where Pope and his fellow musicians locked themselves in the studio for one week until completion. Work was co-produced and recorded with Grammy award-winning engineer Ted Young, his third consecutive collaboration with Pope. The lead single, ‘Bad For Your Health’ was co-written by Pope and Jonathan Tyler.

Of the new recording, Pope says,

This album follows me from when I was thirteen and a teacher told my mother that I’d probably end up in prison; I started messing around writing songs that year. It’s been mostly uphill ever since.

Appearing on the album are Jay Collins on sax (Gregg Allman Band), Mike Riddleberger on drums (Bleachers), Andrew Pertes on bass (Savoir Adore), Kai Welch on keys/accordion (Abigail Washburn, Glen Campbell), Jeff Malinowski on guitar (Frances Cone), Alex Brumel on guitar/pedal steel and Charles Ray on flugelhorn/trumpet plus guest vocals on select tracks from Mary Richardson (The Banditos), Katie Schecter, Molly Parden and Vanessa McGowan.

Last summer saw the release of the feature-length documentary One Way Ticket by Kelly Teacher (No Cameras Allowed, Austin To Boston). The film follows Pope and his band on the road and during recording sessions for Ron Pope & The Nighthawks in Lake Blue Ridge, GA. In the film, Spotify’s D.A. Wallach notes, ‘Here’s a guy who’s figured out how to do this basically by himself and is really proving the power of streaming music.’

Pope’s music has been featured on NBC’s The Voice, CW’s Vampire Diaries, 90210, and multiple seasons of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, which sent two of his albums into the top 100 on iTunes simultaneously. Pope also guest starred as himself in Season 3 of the show Nashville.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (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 Ron Pope – Work link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.


Artist’s website:

‘Work’ – official video:

Forthcoming UK live dates

November 5,  London, UK – The Garage

November 6, Manchester, UK, – Academy 3