Fellside Recordings announce their final history triple-CD set

Fellside Recordings

After 42 years of the business and with the release of over 600 albums managing directors Paul and Linda Adams are now wanting to take life a bit easier, move into semi-retirement and transfer some of the work. It is important to stress that the business is not closing nor is it being sold. It will continue in a much more low key way. In celebration, 29th June 2018 will see the release of Destination, an album consisting mainly of tracks specially recorded by artists who have been associated with the label (plus some archive material). Artists include Jez Lowe, Pete Morton, Brian Peters, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Sara Grey, Spiers & Boden, James Findlay, Spats Langham & Jeff Barnhart, Bobby Eaglesham, Diz Disley, Steve Turner, Rick Kemp, Elbow Jane, Chris Barber, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Bob Fox, Aldridge & Goldsmith…and a host more. It’s a jam packed triple album and a worthy addition to anyone’s collection.

The profile and achievements of Fellside Recordings is remarkable when you realise Paul and Linda have run the company virtually single-handed since its inception in 1976. There has been occasional non-fulltime help from a number of students over the years, but the only other help has come from the designer, Mary Blood (“Fellside’s ram’s-horn logo is a design classic. An essential element of the iconography of Albion” Stirrings magazine). The Fellside label is the second biggest independent specialist Folk music label in England and the Lake label is the biggest label for its genre of Jazz in the UK. This is an outstanding achievement for just two people – is there another UK specialist label that has achieved anything similar? Between them the labels have won: twelve Awards for Excellence from the Music Retailers Association; five British Jazz Awards (4 for albums, one for ‘Services To British Jazz’); 1 Scottish New Music Award. Paul was given an Honorary Award from the University of Cumbria for services to the Music Industry and Education (Paul: “There aren’t many awards for record producers or recording engineers so I don’t expect anything. This came out of nowhere and was a very touching and special surprise”).

Fellside has launched the careers of leading performers such as Jez Lowe, Brian Peters, Steve Turner, Bram Taylor, John Wright, Sara Grey, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Spiers & Boden, Gren Bartley, Tom Kitching, Elbow Jane, James Findlay, The Hut People, Ewan McLennan, Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith and Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar. Fellside has also revived the recording careers of Swan Arcade, Frankie Armstrong, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Bob Fox, Pete Morton as well as launching the solo career of ex-Spinner Hughie Jones. Projects have included albums from both Penguin books of English Folk Songs, Song Links and Child Ballads amongst others.

The label also has had an extensive reissue programme of recordings by Peter Bellamy and leading Folk Music revival founding father, A. L. Lloyd. The vast majority of the albums were recorded by Paul. Apart from a handful, all the CDs on both labels were mastered by Paul who trained in CD mastering in 1992.

Lake has had a more reissue bias and has produced acclaimed series such as The Great Revival Series, The Record Supervision Series and the highly regarded Potted History Of British Traditional Jazz (which inspired the Trad Jazz Britannia programme on BBC4) and its accompanying At A Tangent volumes. There has been an extensive reissue programme of the recordings by British Jazz legends Chris Barber, Ken Colyer, Alex Welsh, Acker Bilk, Humphrey Lyttelton. Recordings were made of working bands such as Phil Mason’s New Orleans All-Stars, Sonny Morris & The Delta Jazz Band, The Charleston Chasers, The Fryer-Barnhart International All Star Jazz Band, The Savannah Jazz Band, Spats Langham’s Hot Combination and Hot Fingers groups, The Jake Leg Jug Band, Jeff Barnhart & John Hallam; involvement in this led to 20 years of Paul’s own Lake Records Jazz Band and an interest in vintage recording techniques led to the Vintage Recording Project series.

Fellside Recordings acquired the rights to the Traditional Sound Recordings, Brewhouse Music labels plus parts of the 77 Records/Folklore labels. Work in in progress to get as much material as possible available for download. Smallfolk was created for a CD of the music from the children’s TV programme Bagpuss; the Midge Bitten label was created as an Indie/Rock label for the band Hayabusa. Fellsongs Publishing is the publishing side of Fellside and associated labels.

What about the future? For a start there are still some albums to do and new ones will appear, but not with the frequency they have been. Fellside will not be taking on any new artists and existing artists may well drift away to other labels. Fellside may undertake the occasional project. Two triple albums have appeared charting the history of Fellside, Landmarks (FECD203) and The Journey Continues (FECD272) and now a third, Destination (FECD282), is to be released on 29th June. This new one, also a triple for the price of one, is both a reflection and a celebration marking the end of an era.

Label website: http://www.fellside.com/

Son Of William – EP launch event

Son Of William

Though their name would suggest otherwise, the link between Hayley and Ben Williams is nothing but musical. Son Of William is a collaboration between Hayley and Ben which seems to have been lifted straight from a film script. Having forged individually hugely successful solo careers, they found themselves as tutors to each other – Hayley guiding Ben through singing lessons; Ben teaching Hayley guitar. The common ground they found is where Son Of William find themselves today, already one of the hottest live acts in their resident Manchester – with the almost Chris Montez lounge of Ben’s vocals wrapped around Hayley’s Stevie Nicks-like shimmer, delivering an experience which rivals Civil Wars and Iron And Wine.

Ben Williams’ previous musical life saw him wielding his guitar, sharing stages with the likes of Simply Red and Chic, whilst also receiving plaudits from Grammy Award-winning producer (Coldplay) Ken Nelson and go-to drummer, Steve White (The Who; Paul Weller). Hayley has forged her own path to success, achieving platinum sales in both Sweden and Norway. Their chance meeting when exchanging their respective musical skills swiftly lead to writing together and the formation of Son Of William, giving them the opportunity to develop their passion for folk music, using sparse instrumentation and the Simon and Garfunkel-esque symbiosis of their harmonies to bring an authentic but entirely modern approach to the genre.

Son of William will be launching their EP, Colour Of Love, at Manchester’s The Whiskey Jar on the 27th June, entirely appropriately given their reputation on the city’s acoustic scene. Like Civil Wars before them, Son Of William have taken the age-old tenets of the art of song-writing and stripped it bare, leaving nothing but the beauty of the music to shine through and enchant audiences.

Artists’ website: https://www.facebook.com/SonofWilliamMusic/

‘Dear Old Acquaintance’ – official video:

Serious Child announce debut album

Serious Child

Empty Nest is the affecting and impressive debut album from Serious Child, a talented trio fronted by singer/songwriter and guitarist Alan Young with Carla March on vocals and Steve Welch on bass. On Empty Nest they are joined by a range of folk and rock musicians, including Boo Hewerdine (the album’s producer) and Bible bandmate Neill MacColl, John McCusker and three members of The Changing Room (Tanya Brittain, Jamie Francis and Evan Carson).

The acclaimed, Ivor Novello Award nominated, English singer-songwriter and producer, Boo Hewerdine played a crucial role in bringing about the creation of Empty Nest. A talented vocalist, Alan Young had never written a song prior to his fiftieth birthday, when his wife bought him a place on a five day workshop in the Scottish Highlands. Following a second workshop, Boo, who recognised his significant skills as a songwriter, persuaded an initially reluctant Alan to record an album that he would produce.

The result is Empty Nest, an album whose theme is formed around a quote from Samuel Beckett’s one act play, Krapp’s Last Tape. The words were printed below a photo of a magnificently craggy Beckett in his 70s, in a shabby office where Alan was a research student. The photo and the quote stayed with him over the years and are to be found in the songs, the album cover and the forthcoming videos.

Most of the songs are stories about transitions between different stages of life and the fire that keeps burning as we move through them. ‘Kind Man’s Bluff’ is about a mother facing up to her child leaving home and ‘Paul The Bag’ is about an ageing gangster who is compelled to prove to strangers that he’s not too old.

Serious Child will be holding a launch event for Empty Nest at Cecil Sharp House in London on Wednesday 20 June. The formal release date for the album will be Friday 22 June. The band will be performing at various festivals over the summer and will be on tour in the autumn in the UK (dates to be announced).

Empty Nest is released by TCR Music, an independent folk label based in Cornwall, which has launched the careers of Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, The Changing Room and Kitty Macfarlane.

Artists’ website: http://seriouschild.com/

‘Time Keeps Rolling’ – live:

Ben Sures releases landmark concert album

Ben Sures

In 2016 Ben Sures received a grant from The Canada Council, Canada’s most significant granting body to Arts and Culture. The grant was to have his songs arranged for horns and strings and presented in concert. The songs were arranged by Edmonton trombonist Audrey Ochoa, who also assembled a horn section made up of trombone, two trumpets, bari, alto and tenor saxophone. In addition to the horns Canadian Folk Music award winners The Bombadils (Luke Fraser mandolin and Sarah Frank violin and vocals) long time backup singer Stephanie Suchy and Art of Time Ensemble and Jayme Stone upright bassist Joe Phillips also performed. The concert was a huge success, a packed house with many people turned away at the door. Sures felt it might be a good idea to record the concert as it was a once in a lifetime event and engaged long time Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris producer and engineer Miles Wilkinson who described Sures’ performance as a text book on how to put on a great show, referring to his performance and stage banter. The concert and subsequent album is titled Poema Poematis which simply means ‘version’ in Latin. This album features new versions of Sures’ most popular songs including The John Lennon Songwriting contest folk category winner ‘Any Precious Girl’.

Ben Sures would be best described as a wiz of a guitar player who tells great stories in song. Having a natural stage presence, he connects with his audience in a very laid back way; it’s a bit of ‘taking the audience to Ben land for a vacation’. Songs about everything from imaginary Rayguns to sandwiches prepared for him by his father when he was a young boy. A Ben Sures concert includes humour, storytelling, sing a long and great guitar playing. Sures is immersed in the history of roots music so you feel the old traditions informing this contemporary songwriter’s music.

Ben is a winner of numerous songwriting contests including the John Lennon and the International Songwriting Contest. He has traveled far and wide across Canada performing at Festivals, small clubs, fairs, town squares and living rooms. He has also toured the UK on three previous occasions and performed in Beirut, Lebanon. He is well known for his work on CBC Radio as part of The Irrelevant Show as well as the many interviews and broadcasts on Canada Live, The Round Up, Morningside, Madly Off In All Directions, The Vinyl Café and more.

Artist’s website: www.bensures.com

‘The Yardbird Suite’ – live:

Gate To Southwell Festival starts tomorrow

Southwell Festival

Over four thousand visitors are set to visit Southwell over the long, hopefully hot, weekend of the 12th Gate To Southwell Festival (June 7th to 10th).  With international-quality headline artists, great family and children’s entertainment, traditional dancing and ceilidhs, fine food beer and cider tents and a craft fair, the East Midlands’ premier acoustic roots and country music event should bring a welcome summer economic boost to the beautiful Nottinghamshire market town and its locality.

Rated as “an excellent festival” by R&R magazine and “a little gem” by Spiral Earth, the party starts on Thursday (June 7th) with a special Blues Legends Night featuring Britain’s top R&B band Nine Below Zero and one of the original surviving bluesmen, The Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band from Louisiana, USA.  They’ll be supported by Canadian hillbillies Ol’ Savannah, San Franciscan rock & roller Joshua Cook, young British folk blues guitarist Sunjay, Derbyshire’s Rogue Embers and many other acts.

Friday night’s headliners are Geordie folk rock royalty Lindisfarne, of ‘Meet Me On The Corner’, ‘Fog On The Tyne’ and ‘Run For Home’ fame.  Also on the bill there’s highly-acclaimed Scottish performer Blue Rose Code, the megafolk of Birmingham’s Destroyers, the Celtic-dance-meets-jazz-funk of Dallahan, traditional American singer-storyteller Jeff Warner and much more.

Saturday (9th) sees the first visit to Southwell by the great Nashville singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters.  Having written for everyone from Neil Diamond and Etta James to Bryan Adams and Shania Twain, her new album Dancing With The Beast has just gone straight to the top of the UK Country Music charts.  A powerful and emotional performer, Gretchen’s supported by returning Southwell favourites such as BBC award-winning folkies The Young’Uns, Danish roots stars  Habadekuk and acclaimed duo Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar plus 2017 BBC Group Of The Year The Furrow Collective, celebrated Canadian fiddling and dancing family The Fitzgeralds and Hurricane Katrina-survivors Truckstop Honeymoon, bringing their blend of punk, bluegrass, jazz and soul all the way from New Orleans.

Closing the festival on Sunday night (10th) there’s one of Ireland’s best voices, Cara Dillon, with some special guests.  Also on Sunday’s bill there’s Devon guitarist and singer-songwriter John Smith, recent BBC Folk Singer Of The Year Kris Drever, former Fairport and Fotheringay singer Vikki Clayton and many more fine artists such as the Luke Jackson Trio, Mongoose and The Outside Track.

Festival director Mike Kirrage said: “in my opinion this year is the best line-up we’ve ever had.  People are realising it is not just a folk music festival, it goes much further than that.”

With over fifty artists on five stages across four days, Gate To Southwell 2018 looks set to be the best yet.  There’ll be the traditional colourful procession of twenty UK morris dance sides through Southwell, from 1100 on the morning of Saturday 9th, followed by pub sessions and family entertainment at the festival site.  Entertainers include lovable juggler and stuntman Dan The Hat, rock & rollers Johnny & The Raindrops, the storytelling of Mark Fraser and the interactive comedy songs of Keith Donnelly.  Plus Jan’s Van, Toddlebops, White Post Farm animals, crafts and musical workshops.

Only fifteen minutes by car or bus from the A1 near Newark, and with excellent rail connections from both Nottingham and Newark to Fiskerton and Rolleston stations (short walks to the festival), there’ll also be subsidised buses from the centre of town to the site beside Southwell Racecourse.

For full details of all artists, daily events and tickets please visit www.gtsf.uk  Great value Teaser Tickets, for a taste of the festival, are available from Burleys in Southwell and The Final Whistle and Hearty Goodfellow pubs.

The Ballads Of Child Migration on tour

Child Migration

With award-winning folk artists:

John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick,

Boo Hewerdine, O’Hooley & Tidow,

Chris While, Julie Matthews,

John Doyle, Jez Lowe,

Andy Seward and Andy Cutting

Narrated by Barbara Dickson

In November 2018, a collective of brilliant and respected musicians and singers are taking to the road to tell the moving story of Britain’s forced child migrants.

The concert, presented as a series of songs, narration, slides, audio and film clips, premiered at last year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, where it was described as “without doubt the most memorable concert of the festival.”

The songs in this concert were recently heard as part of a major BBC Radio 2 dramatisation of Michael Morpurgo’s book Alone On A Wide Wide Sea, which deals with the same subject. The radio drama, including the music, starred Toby Jones and Jason Donovan and reached an estimated audience of 6 million listeners.

“One of the pre-eminent song collections of recent times, poignantly re-telling one of the most important stories to have emerged from these islands” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

Forced child migration is a little known and dark part of the history of Britain. More than 100,000 children from Britain were sent overseas (to places including Australia and Canada) with the promise of finding a better life. Some did find the happy lives they longed for; many others found only hardship, abuse and loneliness.

The Ballads Of Child Migration is a tribute to those children, some of whom were sent abroad as recently as 1970.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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.

After each concert there will be a short Q&A session where members of the audience can ask questions of the performers and other experts about child migration.

* * *

This tour is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and is produced by 7digital – the digital music and radio services company that also produced the BBC Radio version of Alone On A Wide Wide Sea.

Tour Dates – November 2018

Monday 12th – Folk In The Barn, Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Tuesday 13th – Saint James Church, Clerkenwell, London

Wednesday 14th – Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Thursday 15th – The Albert Hall, Nottingham

Friday 16th – Floral Hall, Southport

Tickets available from www.ticketline.co.uk / 0844 888 9991

For Gulbenkian – www.thegulbenkian.co.uk / 01227 831 493