Mary Gauthier – Rifles and Rosary Beads

Mary Gauthier - Rifles and Rosary Beads

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Mary Gauthier will release her most important work to date with Rifles & Rosary Beads on January 26th, 2018 via Proper Records. Co-written with U.S. veterans and their families, the eleven deeply personal songs on this album reveal the untold stories, and powerful struggles that these veterans and their spouses deal with abroad and after returning home.

Each year it is estimated that over 7400 current and former members of the United States Armed Services take their own lives. While these songs were written with US Veterans, Soldiers in the UK are dealing with the exact same problems. The songs featured on Rifles & Rosary Beads were all co-written as part of Songwriting With Soldiers, a non-profit programme that facilitates retreats bringing professional songwriters together with wounded veterans and active duty military. Participants have shared that the experience of songwriting was life-changing for them, some even said life-saving.

No stranger to pain or demons herself, Gauthier has used songwriting to work through addiction and childhood abandonment as an orphan. This is the first album where she has focused solely on experiences other than her own. The songs on Rifles & Rosary Beads tackle a variety of viewpoints. “The War After The War” deals with the strain put on a relationship while living with someone who has returned from serving, while “Iraq” depicts the helpless horror of a female military mechanic being dehumanized and sexually harassed by fellow soldiers. The gorgeous album highlight “Bullet Holes In The Sky” is a bittersweet reflection on the mixed emotions of being a veteran.

Mary Gauthier is helping veterans share experiences that only they can understand, in a way that we as listeners can relate to. This process not only has the power to touch others but also to help soldiers take a step towards healing, while at the same time creating beautiful art.

Mary Gauthier has received countless critical accolades over the last decade and a half for her seven studio albums and captivating live performances. Her previous album Trouble & Love was praised by the press, including glowing coverage from outlets including Mojo, Uncut, Financial Times, Sun, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, NPR Music, Huffington Post, American Songwriter and many more.

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 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.

Artist Web Link: http://www.marygauthier.com/

First names unveiled for Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2018

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has revealed the first acts in its 2018 line up as tickets go on sale for next year’s event.

American singer songwriter Gretchen Peters, Irish super group Usher’s Island, festival favourites Show of Hands and former Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden with his band The Remnant Kings will join Steeleye Span, Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Big Band, BBC Folk Award winner Daoirí Farrell and Scottish folk rockers Skerryvore at the festival next August.

Chinese flautist Guo Yue and Japanese drummer Joji Hirota will reunite for the festival with the London Taiko Drummers and one of the hit groups of the 2017 festival – Canadian band The Fitzgeralds – have been invited back due to popular demand.

Other performers already signed up include Welsh indie roots band Rusty Shackle, The Rails, State Of The Union – the duo of Boo Hewerdine and Brooks Williams, O’Hooley & Tidow, Megson, Blowzabella, Banter, Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, The Rogues Shanty Chorus, Emma Morton & The Graces, Midnight Skyracer, FOS Brothers, Inlay, and Foreign Affairs.

Dance bands will be Blowzabella, Bedlam, Committee Band, Vertical Expression, Kirkophany and Out of Hand.

The festival will take place at the West Mid Showground from August 24 to 27 with more artists to be revealed in 2018.

Director Sandra Surtees said: “The line up is shaping up to be as eclectic as ever with something for everyone. We pride ourselves on catering for a wide range of musical tastes from traditional folk music to more contemporary performers with some world music bringing a global element to the festival.

“There will be bands from all four corners of the UK, showcasing some of the best acts in today’s folk and acoustic scene, with some of the North American flavour for which the festival is renowned.

“We will be adding more great acts to our 2018 line up and will revealing more early next year.”

The festival is now one of the leading folk events in the UK with more than 7,000 people heading to Shrewsbury and has a reputation for its relaxed and friendly environment.

Sandra added: “Our committee works year round to plan and programme the festival, supported by an incredible army of 500 plus volunteers which creates the festival village each August.

“Shrewsbury has a reputation for its unique atmosphere and the majority of our visitors come back time and time again.”

The festival has four main music stages, a dance tent featuring ceilidhs, workshops and dance shows, children and youth festivals, more than 100 workshops, a craft fair, food village, real ale, prosecco and cocktail bars and on-site camping.

There are also fringe events at local pubs with dance displays across the town and a parade through the streets.

Weekend and day tickets are now on sale and can be booked at www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk/booktickets/.

Lincoln Alive announces its festival line-up

Lincoln Alive

Before we know it summer will be upon us, and by popular demand, so will this festival……

Solid Entertainments is delighted to announce that the festival will be returning to the county and taking place at Lincoln Alive on Saturday 14th July 2018

Following the great success of last years festival, the line-up had to be “equally…….if not more impressive” and with Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle headlining, special guest Julie Felix and four other very different striking acts; this will most definitely be a musical experience not to miss!

Born in London on Christmas day 1943 Jacqui McShee grew up listening to music played on her parents gramophone – from Fats Waller, Ella Fitzgerald and big bands through to popular classics.  Jacqui showed little interest in music though until she heard Miles Davis and John Coltrane at CND friends, becoming the most important thing for her – it quite literally changed her life.  On CND marches she would lead the singing with her sister Pam and did many gigs locally in South East London for charities such as War On Want and Oxfam.

Jacqui’s beautiful crystal-clear vocals set the standard for female British folk and the band was legendary on the folk-rock scene with virtuoso guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox.  The original Pentangle expanded the frontiers of Folk in the 1960s and ’70s and since then, Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle has progressed and expanded the original concept and continues to make ground-breaking music.

In 1964 Julie Felix arrived in England after leaving California and became the first solo folk artist to be signed to a major British record company when she signed with Decca.  In 1966 Julie became the resident singer on the amazingly popular TV programme The Frost Report, and quickly became a household name.  She went on to appear in her own TV series on BBC1 and BBC2 and recorded hit singles on Mickey Most’s RAK label.

In October 2013, Julie was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla.

The full line-up comprises

  • Jacqui McShee’s Pentangle – features saxophonist Gary Foote, bassist & guitarist Alan Thompson, drummer & percussionist Gerry Conway and Spencer Cozens on keyboards!
  • Julie Felix – with over 50 years in the music world, Julie will be celebrating her 80th birthday in 2018 with a special concert at the Charing Cross Theatre in London!
  • Blair Dunlop – in a short four year career is astounding alone but what sets Blair apart from his peers is the lyrical and musical maturity with which he writes!
  • Galley Beggar – with a sound that incorporates all manner of unexpected elements while always celebrating the mischievous spirit of folk music across the centuries!
  • Said The Maiden – three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in Hertfordshire!
  • The Beaubowbelles – combining the swing, wit and class of a vintage vocal harmony group with the depth, heart and energy of a contemporary English folk band!

No need to worry about searching for food and drinks on the day either, there will be a range of alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages, real ales available and a varied menu that should meet everyone’s taste!

Early Bird Tickets are only £23.00 and to book, please call 01472 349 222 or go online at http://www.lincolnfolkfestival.co.uk/tickets.html

Daisy Chapman releases third solo album

Daisy Chapman
Photograph by Ula Blocksage

Good Luck Songs is wonderful new collection of powerful and poignant songs from Bristol-based singer-songwriter Daisy Chapman…

Daisy’s powerful vocals have been used by the likes of John Parish, for his film work, as well as a handful of TV session work. Her piano style and versatility was noticed by UK prog rockers Crippled Black Phoenix (Mascot Records), and since 2009 on and off Daisy has travelled as pianist/BV with the band on tours covering every corner of Europe as well as a short trip to China. Daisy was also chosen as vocalist on their cover of AC/DC’s ‘Let Me Put My Love Into You’ which was used in Classic Rock Magazine’s cover CD – a stark departure from her wistful singing style, proving her adaptability in musical genres.

Daisy has supported well known artists such as Howe Gelb, Karima Francis and Jenn Bostic as well as booked her own tours in the US and Poland, not to mention label tours across Germany, twice a year since 2008. Three studio albums followed suit, one of which (The Green Eyed, 2009) won an Independent Music Award which then secured her slots at Britain’s leading festivals Glastonbury, Wychwood and 2000 Trees.

Good Luck Songs is Daisy Chapman’s third full-length studio album and her second to be released in the UK on Folkwit Records. BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson on making her last album his Album Of The Week described Chapman as:

“a songwriter who has the gift of writing perceptive songs and setting them to sumptuous arrangements.”

Dai Jeffries from folking.com suggested that:

“to provide a comparison by which to judge Daisy I want to say Sandy Denny – she’s there in the piano, the songwriting style and the voice.”

High praise indeed and one of many plaudits earned by her second album Shameless Winter.

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 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.

Artist’s website: http://www.daisychapman.com/

‘Good Luck Song’ – official video:

Ange Hardy’s new album is on general release this month

Ange Hardy

Bring Back Home is the sixth studio album from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated singer, songwriter and independent recording artist Ange Hardy. The last year has seen Ange Hardy performing live on both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Three and touring as a headline artist at venues including The Sage Gateshead and The Regal Theatre.

Her last album (Findings) hit Number 1 in the Amazon Folk Music charts, scored a 5-star review from R2 Magazine, and found itself in the fRoots Critics Poll end of year list.

Ange Hardy has come a long way from the 14 year-old who ran away from a children’s home in Somerset and discovered music and songwriting as a counsellor and lifeline whilst living homeless on the streets of Ireland. Rather than relaxing with the success of her 2016 album, she’s followed it up with this – her fifth consecutive 14-track album in the last five years.

The songs on this album (twelve written by Ange this year, and two traditional) range from epic full band productions (‘Sisters Three’) to stripped back vocal tracks (‘Once I Was A Rose’). There are insightful songs about Asperger’s and ADHD (A Girl Like Her) and political songs written in response to a recent item on the Jeremy Vine show (‘What May You Do for the JAM?’). There are songs that feel like they belong in an English country garden (‘Summer’s Day / Little Wilscombe’) alongside songs that feel like they’re set in the cinematic landscape of Tim Burton (‘Little Benny Sing Well’). There are guitar and percussion driven songs that will make you tap your feet and hum along (‘Husband John’) nestled against delicate harp songs (‘Waters Of Tyne’).

The closing song (‘What It Is’) demonstrates the diversity of Ange’s musical styling and the blurred lines between acoustic, folk, singer-songwriter and pop, delivering a genre-defying message of hope that cuts to the thematic heart of Bring Back Home: “Let it be what it is for the grieving is more than the time that you have, and coming is more for the leaving… it is more to have love than to have. Whatever may be make it welcome, whatever may go let it pass… for time it is precious and seldom will your time be well spent on the past”.

 “There’s frankly so much to admire, but the main thing is it sounds beautiful!” – BBC Radio 2

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 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.

Artist’s website: www.angehardy.com

‘What May You Do For The JAM?’ – official video:

Ross Ainslie announces a remarkable third album

Ross Ainslie

Ross Ainslie is one of Scotland’s finest traditional musicians and composers, playing pipes, whistles and cittern. He is renowned for his highly acclaimed solo material, and as a skilled performer and prolific collaborator who performs regularly with bands Treacherous Orchestra (of which he is a founding member), Salsa Celtica, Dougie Maclean, Ali Hutton, Charlie Mckerron, Jarlath Henderson and India Alba.

This third album from Ross brings together a lot of his influences over the years playing in such bands as Salsa Celtica and India Alba. Ross has always been a fan of Mike Oldfield’s album Tubular Bells and this album is based on the same idea and designed to be listened to like a journey. The album plays continuously from start to finish and as a bonus extra for pre-release copies you will receive the album in one track (digital format) the way it should be.

Sanctuary is a term Ross likes to use when describing what music is for him, coming up to five years sober!! Ross has been through some big changes and found ways of coping with certain situations without alcohol.

“I’ve found that I’m spending a lot of time on my own these days, being a travelling musician a lot of the social time is centred around drinking so I found it hard to be around so I would retreat to my room a lot, at first it took some time to get used to my own company but as the years have gone on I’ve found it to be a very productive and creative space, if I’m having a particularly bad day music is always the thing that will pick me up so that’s why this album is called Sanctuary”.

‘Inner Sanctuary’ is a track heavily influenced by his travels to India, it features a debut performance on Bansuri from Ross. The musicians on this album were selected very carefully and are all very comfortable in many genres, this track shows Greg Lawson playing with an Indian style.

‘Home In Another Dimension’ features one of Ross’s favourite musicians in the world, the one and only Zakir Hussain on tabla and also British/Indian Sarod maestro Soumik Datta. This track demonstrates a different style in writing for Ross with a definite Eastern flavour. ‘Let The Wild Ones Roam’ is a straight ahead rocking set of reels with the guys in their natural habitat. Damien O’Kane adds some amazing banjo to this track.

All the music on the album is composed by Ross apart from ‘Surroundings’ which was composed by Ross and Jamie Maclean.

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 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.

Artist’s website: http://rossainslie.com/holding/

Here’s the album sampler: