The folking music store for album reviews and news

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Welcome to the folking.com music store for album reviews and news….

All the articles below contain direct banner links to the relevant Amazon web page for the featured product  (usually the CD or download for the press release or review).

Damien Dempsey announces new album and tour

Damien Dempsey’s debut album in 2000, They Don’t Teach This Shit In School, set him apart as a unique and important voice, championed from an early stage in his career by Sinéad O’Connor. The follow-up, Seize The Day, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, picking up many awards ...
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TRADARRR – Further Tales Of Love! Death! And Treachery! (Hedge Of Sound HOS25)

Between their first and second albums Mark Jolley left has Tradarrr to be replaced by Tim Harries (more serious folk-rock credentials) and Phil Bond has moved on with his place taken by singer, fiddler and pianist Gemma Shirley. Thus Further Tales Of Love! Death! And Treachery! sees a seven-piece band ...
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NIGEL STONIER – Love And Work (Shameless SHAME017)

Nigel Stonier is probably best known as a producer and a man who writes songs with and for other people so it came as a surprise to discover that Love And Work is his sixth solo album but not that it’s a work of great class. I suppose that you ...
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BOO HEWERDINE – Swimming in Mercury (REVEAL072CDX)

Boo Hewerdine’s new album Swimming In Mercury will be released on April 28th and the single ‘Satellite Town’ on April 21st. He has a pedigree which stretches back more than thirty years and is acclaimed as one of the UK’s best songwriters: ‘Patience Of Angels’ was nominated for an Ivor ...
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Madison Violet – new album and May tour

For those who don’t know Madison Violet, it all began in 1999 when Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac met over coffee and omelettes, in a Toronto restaurant called The Green Room. It was a chance meeting, 1900 km away from the small town where both Lisa and Brenley’s fathers were ...
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Tim Grimm and the Family Band – new album and tour

A Stranger In This Time ranges from Tim Grimm’s signature reverence for the people and the land where he grew up, to sharply crafted and damning indictments of the times in which we live; from deep, poetic ballads of bittersweet love to edgy, groove-driven social commentary. The opening track, ‘These ...
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Lianne Hall (one of the great English voices) releases new solo album

UK singer and songwriter Lianne Hall releases her fourth solo studio album on Market Square Records (UK) via Lowswing Records (Berlin).  Lianne is “one of the great English voices” according to the late great John Peel and The Caretaker proves this again with another astonishing twist in an experimental and ...
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BEAU –When Butterflies Scream (Cherry Red BEAUWBS1)

What with the likes of Steve Pledger and Will Varley the last couple of years have seen quite a resurgence in the protest song album on the UK’s contemporary folk/Americana circuit, but some have been doing this for years. I’ve written about Trevor Midgley aka Beau on these pages before ...
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EMILY MAE WINTERS – Siren Serenade (own label EMW 02)

Co-produced by Josienne Clarke’s musical other half, Ben Walker, and Laura Marling knob-twiddler Lauren Deakin-Davies, following on from her Foreign Waters EP (which Walker also produced and which earned her a Folking Awards Rising Star nomination), Siren Serenade is the debut album from Cambridge-based singer-songwriter, poetry enthusiast and sometime theatre ...
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ROVING CROWS – Bury Me Naked (own label RC008)

Based around Worcestershire and Gloucestershire they may be, but with fiddle player Caitlin Barrett and guitarist Paul O’Neil sharing vocals, Loz Shaw on bass, keys vocals guitars, clarinet and banjolina and Tim Downes-Hall on a variety of ethnic hand percussion, Roving Crows are very much of a Celtic folk rock ...
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CALAN – Solomon (Sain Records SCD2749)

I was a little nervous about reviewing the CD Solomon by the Welsh band Calan, released on 14th April. After all, it's been more decades than I care to think about since, as a student in North Wales, I picked up a few words of Cymraeg, and those few words ...
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MARK NEVIN – My Unfashionable Opinion (Raresongs Recordings MARKNCD005)

Some of you might be asking ‘What’s Mark Nevin got to do with folk music? Folk music should be traditional or nothing’. Others might say ‘No. Folk music should be expressing new ideas and challenging the establishment view’. And that, in microcosm, is the point of the title track of ...
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CHRISTY SCOTT – Amaranthine (Christy Scott Music CSMO1EP)

Amaranthine is a terrific five track EP released by Christy Scott. She has written all five of the songs and selected a well-respected group of musicians to support her. Christy has a great voice and had created a really enjoyable EP. However, I am having difficulty categorising it. Neither the ...
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BATTLEFIELD BAND – The Producer’s Choice (Temple COMD2108)

In late 2016 Battlefield Band was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall Of Fame which gave their long-time producer Robin Morton the excuse, if excuse were needed, to celebrate. Hence The Producer’s Choice, nineteen tracks featuring nineteen members of the band plus guest percussionists Donald Hay and Morton himself ...
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Indigo Girls join Cambridge bill

Twenty years after they began releasing records as the Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have politely declined the opportunity to slow down with age. With a legacy of releases and countless U.S. and international tours behind them, the Indigo Girls have forged their own way in the music ...
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THE FAR FLUNG COLLECTIVE – Far Flung Corners (Anna-Wendy Music FFC001)

Originally a schools-based music education project by the University of the Highlands and Islands in collaboration with Soundstorm Music Education Agency exploring the similarities and differences, past and present, between the cultural and physical landscapes of South West England and the Scottish Outer Hebrides, this evolved into Far Flung Corners, ...
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BEATRIX PLAYERS – Magnified (own label)

Lining up as Amanda Alvarez (cello), Jess Kennedy (piano, flute) and Amy Birks (vocals), Beatrix Players are an London-based Anglo-Spanish trio who, taking their name from from the Latin "viatrix" (meaning traveller, though Beatrix itself means she who makes happy), combine folk, jazz, classical and progressive. With influences that range ...
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NED ROBERTS – Outside My Mind (Aveline AVREC004)

He may be physically based in London, but Ned Roberts’ spiritual and musical home is clearly late 60s California, Outside My Mind, his second album, a relaxed collection of acoustic melancholic, love songs, the title of the opening track, ‘Drifting Down’, a fair summation of the mellow mood. Reminiscent at ...
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HARRI ENDERSBY – Homes/Lives (own label)

A rising new presence on the contemporary folk scene, Durham-born Harri Endersby has been putting herself about on the live circuit for the past four years, during which time she released her debut EP, Ivy Crown, to good reviews. Now here’s her debut album, Homes/Lives, an eleven track collection of ...
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Sound Of The Sirens announce debut album

There’s a certain transcendent magic that happens when two contrasting voices coalesce in perfect harmony – think The Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel or George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Imperceptibly, they can raise you from the temporal to the spiritual in the breath of a song, and set you floating ...
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HAV – Inver (Folkwit f0136)

As albums go Inver is a bit off the wall but you hope for that from the Folkwit label and I really like it. HAV are a multi-talented trio: Alex Ross, who is the band’s writer, Jonathan Bidgood, who plays a very special role, and Ian Paterson who plays bass ...
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CUNNING FOLK – Ritual Land, Uncommon Ground (Dharma)

George Nigel Hoyle is a man of many incarnations. He started out professional musical life as bassist with late 90s outfit Gay Dad, a band briefly hailed as the saviours of British rock, going on to join Crispin Hunt of The Longpigs (of Richard Hawley fame) in a short-lived new ...
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Colin Harper releases remastered and expanded album

Colin Harper, author of several books on music history, released his first national-level album in March 2016, Sunset Cavaliers – a homage to the musicians and musical eras chronicled in his books. A ‘treasure seeker’ as a music archaeologist, if Harper has a ‘buried treasure’ of his own prior to ...
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AMY DUNCAN – Antidote (Filly Records FILLY002)

This CD, Antidote by Amy Duncan, is not generally my type of music but I really like this recording. Regretfully, the cover is somewhat minimal and does not explain the songs or their reasoning. It does tell us that Amy Duncan wrote all of the songs but I have to ...
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TERENCE WINCH, MICHAEL WINCH, AND JESSE WINCH – This Day Too: Music from Irish America (Free Dirt Records CTM-CD-002)

The CD This Day Too: Music From Irish America is very much what it says on the tin. It's a collection of tunes and songs with a pronounced Irish accent, performed and in some cases written by musician and poet Terence Winch, his brother Jesse, and his son Michael, aided ...
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Nick Ellis – spring tour dates

Nick Ellis is a Liverpool-based singer and guitarist who released his debut album Daylight Ghosts via Liverpool label Mellowtone Records in November 2016. Ellis blends streetscape narrative-noir with a classic British acoustic approach. Using a blend of rhythmic attack and finger-quick lucidity, his sound has been described as “a conversation ...
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Shirley Collins talks to Dave Freak for Folking

"It’s been a sort of fairy story!" is how Shirley Collins describes her unexpected return to the spotlight with a studio album and live tour after 30 years of silence. The singer and song collector was at the forefront of the so-called folk revival, releasing a string of well-received and ...
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VARIOUS – From Here: English Folk Field Recordings (From Here Sitw005)

They may be newcomers to the scene, but Stick In The Wheel are certainly making their mark, not just with their own recordings and associated artifacts, but in their involvement with the folk world in general, and the traditional in particular. Band members Ian Carter and Nicola Kearey serve as ...
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QUILES & CLOUD – Shake Me Now (Compass)

Although conveniently filed under NewGrass, there’s more to San Francisco based duo Maria Quiles and Rory Cloud that bluegrass, Shake Me Now, their third album, produced by label founder Alison Brown, evidencing traces of jazz, classical, blues and folk. With Oscar Westesson on upright bass essentially making them a trio, ...
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Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors reveal new album

Souvenirs. Drew Holcomb has collected many of them. A road warrior for more than a decade, he's spent his adulthood onstage and on the road, traveling from place to place with a catalogue of vibrant, honest songs that explore the full range of American roots music. He turns a new ...
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BENJAMIN FOLKE THOMAS – Copenhagen (LOUVAIO L00005)

Benjamin Folke Thomas was born on a small island off the coast of Sweden, mainly populated by evangelical Christians, but his third album takes it's title from across the Øresund; Copenhagen. Combining his upbringing with musical influences ranging from Leadbelly to Cohen and Jackson Browne means his work tends, perhaps ...
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Ron Sexsmith announces new album

Three-time Juno award winner Ron Sexsmith has revealed details about his new album, The Last Rider. Ron’s thirteenth studio recording was co-produced at The Bathouse Studios in Kingston, Ontario by longtime drummer and collaborator Don Kerr and Sexsmith. The album is his first to include Ron’s touring band. Since making his major-label debut in 1995, Ron ...
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DAVE BURLAND AND THE AWKWARD SQUAD – Okkard (Fat Cat FATCD037)

Dave Burland may have recorded one of the definitive folk albums of the seventies but he’s always been a rocker at heart as anyone who has been in the same room as Shagpile will testify. Alongside him in The Awkward Squad are two members of that band, Dave Fisher and ...
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Ida Wenøe announces debut album

Danish Music Award nominee Ida Wenøe (pronounced EE-da ven-O) is excited to announce the UK release of her impressive debut solo album Time Of Ghosts on April 7th 2017 (Shellshock Distribution). Ida will be returning to the UK in April for a full UK tour, performing at Camden’s Green Note in ...
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MONSTER CEILIDH BAND – Mutation (Haystack Records HAYCD011)

There was a time when I would stand in front of a ceilidh band and when things were going well and you had a hall full of people who were into it it was the most fun you could have with your clothes on. When it comes to recording an ...
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Seafoam Green announces debut album, Topanga Mansion

The genesis of Seafoam Green followed a chance meeting with Rich Robinson during recording sessions in Nashville. Dave O’Grady was invited by Robinson to open his US and European tour dates and soon the pair began writing and recording in earnest, leading to their collaboration on the stunning debut album ...
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KING’S GAMBIT – From One To Another (own label)

If you take away the rock excesses of folk-rock you’re left with Northampton’s King’s Gambit – a band that rocks acoustically while still capable of musical delicacy. I don’t like to make comparisons but they have something of the style and drive of CC Smugglers. From One To Another is ...
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RODNEY CROWELL – Close Ties (New West Records 6354)

While I've long been aware of Rodney Crowell's talents as a songwriter, going back at least as far as Emmylou Harris's 1975 recording of 'Bluebird Wine', his songs have always reached me as interpreted by other A-listers. So I jumped at the chance to take a closer look at his ...
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Thea Gilmore announces new album and single

Thea Gilmore has announced the release of her new album The Counterweight, which will be released June 2nd through Cooking Vinyl. The first single to be taken from the album, the rallying anthem ‘Sounds Good To Me’, is out now. “I like to think of it as a bit of ...
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CHILLI WILLI AND THE RED HOT PEPPERS – Real Sharp (Last LMCD204)

Way back in 1972, Martin Stone and Philip Lithman, reunited as a duo following the former’s stint with blues acts Savoy Brown and Mighty Baby and the latter’s time with The Residents in San Francisco, signed to Revelation Records and recorded Kings Of The Robot Rhythm under their new name ...
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Amy Duncan announces her sixth solo album

Antidote is the adventurous 6th album by singer/songwriter Amy Duncan. There are elements of pop folk, with harp and sparse acoustic guitar in an open tuning. Saxophone, drums, bass and odd time signatures in places add a slight jazz feel, with warm synths, layered vocals and field recordings from the ...
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Aimee Mann heralds her new album with a single, ‘Goose Snow Cone’

The first album by Aimee Mann in five years, Mental Illness, will be released on March 31st via SuperEgo/Membran. The record follows 2012’s Charmer, which Rolling Stone proclaimed “shows off the more pop-oriented side to her usual acoustic tendencies.” With this follow-up, she returns to a more musically soft-spoken but still lyrically barbed ...
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Fay Hield talks to Folking about touring, banjos and working in the shed

Last year Fay Hield took her Hurricane Party on tour to promote her new album, Old Adam. They are on the road again soon so I had to ask if there was anything particularly significant about this tour. “I’m hoping to bring my banjo along, actually.” I had to ask! ...
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ATLANTIC UNION – Homeward (Blue Island Records BI201601)

Atlantic Union is a long-established acoustic trio from St. John's, Newfoundland. Their third CD Homeward features a new thematic approach as well as a change of personnel since their last album, 2004's The Whole Dance. With the departure of Andrew Lang and the arrival of Jane Ogilvie, Sally Goddard is ...
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Quiles & Cloud announce their debut album

When Maria Quiles (pronounced key-less) and Rory Cloud met in 2011, both were adrift. Maria had quit her job, given up her San Francisco apartment, and moved in with her uncle in order to pursue music full-time. Rory had left behind a stable schedule of gigs and music lessons in Southern California ...
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The Waifs announce 25th anniversary album

It has been 25 years since West Australian sisters Donna and Vikki Simpson (now Vikki Thorn) joined forces with Josh Cunningham to create one of Australia’s best-loved bands, The Waifs. To celebrate this significant landmark the Waifs have recorded a double album of twenty-five original songs, one for each year, all of them recorded in the kitchen ...
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Dave Burn announces his debut solo album

Dave Burn, former vocalist and guitarist of alt-country band ahab emerges to create his eagerly awaited debut solo album Arizona. By turns autobiographical, celebratory and reflective, Dave Burn’s songwriting hits a high on Arizona, an album that cements Dave as an artist in his own right. After a whirlwind few ...
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MICK RYAN & PAUL DOWNES – The Passing Hour (WildGoose WGS417CD)

This is an album by two veterans; one famous as a songwriter, the other well-known as a sidesman and both fine singers. Many of the songs on The Passing Hour are by Mick Ryan, the others have been collected on their extensive travels and together they make up what might ...
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Alasdair Roberts – new album and video

Alasdair Robert's high-spirited new album, Pangs, is in stores today - and in commemoration with this forthcoming moment of uplift, we share with one and all the newly-minted video for the title track. Throughout Pangs, Alasdair's leads a band on electric guitar, offering an evocation of the 60s and 70s folk-rockers of the British ...
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EMILY MAGUIRE – A Bit Of Blue (Shaktu Records, SHK2105)

Emily Maguire's latest album, A Bit Of Blue, pretty much defines the maxim that when you want people to really listen, speak quietly: make them lean in to hear properly. The first time it went on my CD player, I confess I was only half-listening. This is very much the ...
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Emily Maguire – new album and live dates

Emily Maguire, the beguiling British-born singer-songwriter whose remarkable personal journey fast-tracked her from the Australian bush to the Albert Hall, will release her first album in more than three years this Friday (February 24) – A Bit Of Blue. A sold out launch gig for A Bit Of Blue will ...
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THE HYDES – Green & Blue (Hyde Music Productions – HYDECD1)

This recently released debut album from Denver sibling duo – Joanna and Iain Hyde – who have mastered the art of Irish music, and entwined it with a dash of Americana and bluegrass, is a fabulous album! They have already won 2 accolades this year – Best New Group 2017 ...
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GARY INNES – Era (own label GH101)

Oh boy, do I like this CD? Yes, I do! Era is only the second ‘solo’ album released by Gary Innes who is part of the award-winning group, Mànran and it has such a variety of material that it grasps you from start to finish. All of the tunes and ...
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TOP FLOOR TAIVERS – A Delicate Game (TFT Records TFTR001)

The first thing I had to do was discover the meaning of taiver. Apparently it means a rag and, by extension, low or abject. Top Floor Taivers is a good name for a band but there is nothing abject or low about Claire Hastings, Gráinne Brady, Heather Downie and Tina ...
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Martha Tilston announces new album and single

Enchanting songstress Martha Tilston has announced details of her new album Nomad released via Squiggly Records on May 12th. Martha’s seventh album to date, Nomad will be preceded by the double A-side single ‘Nomad Blood’/‘Little Arrow’ on April 7 with UK live dates to follow. Nomad stands as Tilston’s most ...
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AMY WADGE AND LUKE JACKSON live at Cambridge Junction

Cambridge City Roots Festival, 7 February 2017 What comes across so strikingly from an evening with Amy Wadge and Luke Jackson is their natural rapport. Both are hugely talented songwriters, singers and musicians with a constant drive to create new music. They work effortlessly well together and although they like ...
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POLICE DOG HOGAN – Wild By The Side Of The Road

Formed in 2009 and currently an eight-piece, Wild By The Side Of The Road is Police Dog Hogan’s fourth album and firmly consolidates their growing reputation for infectiously punchy folk rock shaded with elements of country and bluegrass. Fronted by lyricist James Studholme and with banjo and mandolin provided by ...
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Dreadzone release new album and hit the road

Entering an impressive third decade, Dreadzone, one of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, release a brand new album Dread Times on February 17th 2017. Dread Times is the band’s eighth studio album and the third release on their own Dubwiser label ...
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CARREG LAFAR – Aur (Sain SCD2754)

Carreg Lafar are a five-piece band from Wales and Aur is their fourth album in a career that has spanned 20 years.  From the front cover picture, with its carefully arranged Victoriana it's clear that this is going to be an album of traditional music and a glance at the ...
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THE HUT PEOPLE – Routes (Fellside FECD280)

The Hut People are an English instrumental duo, Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond. Routes is their fourth studio album on the Fellside label. Both are experienced musicians with and the list of artists they have worked with would grace any music festival - it includes Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon ...
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