Yvonne Lyon announces new album with Stewart and Carol Henderson

Yvonne Lyon

Vesper Sky is a stunning and unique collection of songs and poems, written and performed by Stewart Henderson, Yvonne Lyon and Carol Henderson.

Singer/songwriter Yvonne Lyon has been significantly influenced by Stewart Henderson’s poems and songs over many years. This new collaboration has allowed her the opportunity to develop her own craft with material co-written with Stewart and also to respond to various poems with improvised piano accompaniment. Having supported Eddi Reader, performed with Beth Nielsen Chapman and co-written with Boo Hewerdine, Yvonne continues to establish herself as an artist of considerable significance.

Stewart Henderson is a poet, broadcaster and songwriter. Radio critic of The Sunday Times, Gillian Reynolds says that Stewart ‘understands the packed power of words, the importance of their use and measure’, whilst Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2 has praised Stewart’s ‘lyrical intelligence’. Vesper Sky also features poems from his new poetry collection for adults, ‘A Poet’s Notebook…with new poems, obviously’, published by Lion Hudson.

Carol Henderson is a storyteller, broadcaster and practicing iconographer with a varied and distinguished background in publishing, theatre and film. She has performed at such venues as The Royal Albert Hall, London; The University of Toronto; Stanford University, California and The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, New York. Carol’s extensive radio work includes drama readings on various BBC Radio 4 historical documentaries.

The 20 track playlist with its wide-ranging, contemporary topics and tempos is an engrossing and plaintive ‘journal of our times’. Among the additional guest musicians is legendary slide guitarist and premier session player Bryn Haworth, a long term friend of the Hendersons.

“just stunning music” Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

“the consistently high quality of songwriting invariably shines through… she’s a gem” Fatea

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.

Artists’ websites: www.yvonnelyonmusic.com   www.stewart-henderson.com

Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen announce new album

Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen

As with their previous three albums, Canadian-American Roots-Folk duo Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen ponder contemporary subject matter with vintage sensibility in their fourth release, Driving By Candlelight. Featuring diverse guitar styles, dynamic and emotionally expressive violin and viola arrangements, and vocal chemistry reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel, these 13 original songs cover the range of Roots based genres, from Folk-Rock, Ragtime, and Bluegrass, to Celtic, Latin, and Pop. With some songs written as far back as 1993 while others as recently as 2018, Dan and Laurel share a unique fusion of backgrounds, perspectives, and influences, gained over the 25 years plus they have each spent as musicians, writers, and recording artists. Rounding out a number of tracks are the grooves of Stan Poplin, upright bass master who’s performed with the likes of Dave Brubeck and Muddy Waters, as well as Santa Cruz, California’s most in-demand session player, Jimmy Norris, on drums and percussion, and finally, Winnipeg’s celebrated banjo player, Tim Osmond on ‘The Seeds That You Won’t Sow ‘. Frechette’s multi-instrumental capabilities also present a number of cameo appearances, ranging from harmonica and ukulele to autoharp and resonator lap slide guitar.

As a metaphor for trying to find one’s way through uncertain times and the need to harness faith to carry one through, Driving By Candlelight, a lyric from ‘American Refugee’, is a theme which weaves throughout the album. From the tender duet ‘To Keep You Company’, to the tribal rhythms and lush string arrangements of ‘Crow Flies High’, the epic soundscapes of ‘Back From Heaven’, and the prophetic undertones of folk-rock anthem ‘New York City Sundance’, written just weeks before 9/11, Dan and Laurel showcase a maturity in both their emotional capacity as musicians and their songwriting process, exploring universal lyrical and musical worlds to bring audiences together.

Even their “lighter fare” showcase deeper subject matter and tasteful arrangements not to be overlooked, such as ‘The Seeds that You Won’t Sow’, a bluegrass genre “update” about device addiction, ‘Jester’, with its “Folk Scare” grooves and fictitious protagonist, urging us to remember our innocence and find joy in simplicity, the New Orleans vintage jazz inspired ‘Ragtime Baby’, and the instrumental ‘Druid’ set, moving seamlessly between contemplative and mystical themes, to driving, asymmetric rhythms, and finally, a nod to the buoyancy and joy of Canadian fiddle music.

Meeting in 2012 via a chance YouTube sighting and fueled by a once in a lifetime musical chemistry and friendship, Dan and Laurel are “prodigious players with songwriting that sets them apart”. The duo has toured North America extensively, logging 150 dates a year since 2013 and playing everything from Home Routes house concert tours of Canada, to the Listening Room Festival in Florida, the definitive Winnipeg Folk Festival, and opening up for the Wailin’ Jennys. In 2017 they made their European debut, with concerts in Ireland, Denmark, the UK, France, and Germany. However, hard work and dedication are only one facet of Dan and Laurel’s partnership. Dividing their time between California’s Santa Cruz Mountains and Winnipeg when not on the road, it’s obvious to anyone who observes these two that their harmony extends well beyond their music.

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.

Artists’ website: www.danandlaurel.ca

‘Mandolino Waltz’ – live:

Breabach announce new album and tour dates

Photograph by Stuart Curnow

Frenzy of the Meeting is the latest release from multi award-winning Scottish folk band Breabach. Continuing to build on the ideas and experimentation from their 2016 album Astar, this new work is explorative and creative. The new release also sees the band take exciting steps towards developing a more expansive sonic landscape.

Tracked live by the band over a week in June 2018, their aim was to capture the raw essence of the live energy and musical dynamic they have become so well-known for. More studio time followed, with a focus on experimentation and sonic production, with the final result being their most adventurous album to date.

Produced in collaboration with Eamon Doorley (Julie Fowlis, Danu) and engineered by Iain Hutchison, Frenzy of the Meeting also features stunning original artwork by Somhairle Macdonald.

Alongside traditional songs and contemporary tunes there are original compositions from each band member with the material largely themed on todays frenzied experience of global politics, media and the natural world as well as focusing on the positive fevered hive of innovation, creativity and pioneering music within the Glasgow music scene, to where the band belong.

The theme is further reflected in the hectic 2 years of global touring post release of Astar. In that time the band have picked up ‘Best Folk Band’ and ‘Best Album’ at the MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards as well as nominations for ‘Best Group’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and ‘European Album of the Year’ in the Songlines Music Awards.

As with Breabach’s first two albums, the title is taken from an ancient Piobaireachd that features on the album. Acknowledging and respecting the origins of both the music they play and the roots of the band whilst embracing the future with new ideas, energy and belief is a key attribute of the band and another theme that is strongly conveyed through this new release.

Frenzy of the Meeting will premiere live on Breabach’s upcoming UK tour this November.

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.

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

Live at Celtic Connections 2017:

Tour dates

01 November St Mary’s Music Hall London
02 November Nailsea Folk Club Nailsea
03 November Stoller Hall Manchester
05 November Cambridge Junction Cambridge
06 November Turner Sims Concert Hall Southampton
17 November Eden Court Inverness
22 November Eastgate Theatre Peebles
23 November The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh
24 November The Lemon Tree Aberdeen
25 November Beacon Arts Centre Greenock
28 November Universal Hall Findhorn
29 November Sgoil Lionacleit Theatre Benbecula
30 November An Lanntair Stornoway
01 December The Ceilidh Place Ullapool

Ewan Macintyre Band announce new album

Ewan Mcintyre Band

In promotion of Ewan’s forthcoming album Road Junkie, Ewan and the band will be doing a series of tours throughout November in Scotland, England, Wales, Denmark, Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

Based between Quebec and Scotland, Ewan Macintyre has been described as a “Standout Scottish Vocalist” (Neon Filler), “Like Robert Johnson returned from the crossroads…A welcome moment in the future of traditional Scottish music” (Mumble Music), and “A scat pitched perfectly between James Brown and Tom Waits” (The Skinny).

Taking inspiration from two years of intensive touring, this boundary-breaking, genre-shifting album reflects a rare ability to pen classic songs in a range of styles. Road Junkie draws influence from Ewan’s work with award-winning bluegrass band Southern Tenant Folk Union (Late Late Show, Loose Ends, UK Americana Artist of the Year 2011), in theatre (In Her Shadows, directed by Cora Bisset), Scottish and Irish traditional music (including Gaelic song), pop, rock and soul (Ruby & the Emeralds). Continuing on from his 2015 release You Probably Look Better Naked Anyway, Ewan’s debut LP, Road Junkie is an 11 track roots music monster. Complete with dynamic string arrangements and wide, glossy guitar sounds underpinning Ewan’s warm, dulcet vocals and poignant lyrical content.

Road Junkie deals with questions of identity and purpose, with a pinch of a Hunter S. Thompson – esque spirit of adventure. Written and developed over three cross-Canada tours and gigs across Europe between 2016 and 2018, the album was remotely recorded between two continents in two languages and mixed and mastered in Montreal by Patrick Steele. Recording artists include: Ewan Macintyre: vocals, guitar, slide, harmonica, bass, percussion, mandolin, Karine Bouchard: violoncelle, Tim S Savard: violon, Robin Beech: concertina, Tyler Lieb: lead guitar (Sparkly Eyes & Red Ribbon), Dom Hardy: drums (Scotland), Max Savage: drums (Quebec) and Pat Steel: slide.

Live the band features Moray fiddle player Peter Menzies, Quebec cellist Karine Bouchard (Trifantasy, Rachel Beck) and upright bassist Jenny Hill (Songs of Separation BBC 2 folk awards winner 2017) with Ewan on vocals, guitar and mandolin.

Artist’s website: https://ewanmacintyre.bandcamp.com/album/road-junkie

‘Wine & Whisky’ – live:

Stevie Dunne releases live album

Stevie Dunne

Stevie Dunne is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest banjo players. Hailing from the small fishing port of Clogherhead in County Louth, Stevie now resides just outside Belfast where he has been a pivotal member of the traditional music scene for over 20 years. He began playing guitar at the age of 12, and was given his first banjo at the age of 13, when his late uncle John Dunne a fiddle and accordion player, heard him picking tunes on his guitar. Stevie instantly fell in love with the banjo and set about learning tunes and developing his style and technique. It has been said that Stevie’s banjo playing is energetic, yet subtle and with a distinct regard for the tradition. Having developed a strong following nationally and internationally, he receives numerous requests from around the world to teach and tour. A recent prerecord for TG4’s FleadhTV from the pier at Clogherhead received such widespread appraise that Stevie was invited to perform on the live show at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda.

Stevie has released two studio albums to critical acclaim – About Time in 2010 and Banjo in 2012. His first album won him a prestigious Irish Music Award in America. This latest offering is his first live album and he adds “I have been playing in The Crosskeys Inn for years. It wouldn’t be my local, however each time I have played in the bar the acoustic resonance and atmosphere has always been fantastic. I think this is partly due to the rich heritage that the bar has. It’s the oldest thatched pub in Ireland and has always been steeped in a rich tapestry of traditional music, song and dance. I have hosted many sessions there over the years, particularly as part of the Gig ‘n the Bann Festival”.

Recorded on the 8th April 2018, this record portrays Stevie’s ability to weave and meander around the tunes with the lightest of touches, when called for. Coupled with raw energy and magnetism, he produces a refreshing and invigorating sound. He is joined by some of Ireland’s finest accompanists – Brian McGrath on Piano, Gerdy Thompson on guitar, Cyril O’Donoghue on bouzouki and John Joe Kelly on bodhrán.

Stevie adds “The funny thing about this album is that we never played a note together until the night before the recording. I sent the lads the tunes and the night before Gerdy, Brian and John Joe came around to my house and we ran through the sets. It was clear that we immediately locked horns with the rhythms and chord progressions. Cyril came up the morning of the recording and fell straight into line with the rest of us and hence Live At The Crosskeys Inn was born. I think this is what makes the album work. We were all relaxed going in, we ran all tracks of the album once and then hit record! I think this album captures the warmth and atmospheric presence of the bar. It’s also quite open and on some tracks you can hear my 5 and 7-yearold sons having fun in the background soaking up the vibe of the day. I wanted my family and friends to be included on the album and my mother can be heard at the end of a number of sets particularly enjoying the music”

Artist’s website: https://steviedunne.bandcamp.com/releases

Stevie Dunne plays two reels:

The Urban Folk Quartet announce autumn tour dates

The Urban Folk Quartet

The Urban Folk Quartet, one of the most exciting and vibrant bands on the UK acoustic/ roots scene, are heading back out on the road for their annual autumn tour.

Founded in 2009, The UFQ are a ‘folk group’ like no other. Across six albums (three studio; three live), they’ve developed a unique global sound that – though still rooted in both traditional songs  and Celtic dance forms – has grown to embrace Eastern European flourishes, Middle Eastern melodies, and rhythms associated with Afrobeat, north India and Cuba. American bluegrass, funk and the occasional stray EDM reference are also audible as tunes, jigs, reels and songs spiral outwards into tightly rehearsed and improvised directions.

Highly accomplished musicians, Joe Broughton (fiddle, mandolin, guitar), Paloma Trigás (fiddle), Tom Chapman (percussion) and Dan Walsh (banjo, guitar) have – collectively and as individuals – played with such established names as Joss Stone, The Albion Band, Sharon Shannon, Altan, Carlos Nuñez, Bellowhead, Fairport Convention, The Levellers, Seth Lakeman, The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, and more.

Heading out after a summer of festivals and European dates, expect to hear a mix of revitalised and subtly changing old favourites alongside rapidly evolving new tracks. Entering a bold new phase epitomised by trust, confidence and experimentation, it’s fair to say that – even if set-lists seem identical – they never play the same show twice!

“It’s always enjoyable seeing how the new stuff goes down, how it interacts with the pieces around it and just generally taking it beyond the rehearsal room,” says Tom, one of the UK’s most accomplished and best known cajón players. “We’re not afraid to swap things around night-by-night and give it a go. It’s a great feeling when you have a solid set list down and you feel like you know everything inside out, but this phase of experimentation [we’re currently in] is equally as exciting, and I hope audiences get a sense of that.”

Artists’ website and more details: www.theufq.com

‘The Whiplash Reel’ – live:

Tour Dates

Friday 19 October 2018
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 6BS
Tel: 01993 703385
7.30pm      £12 / £14
Tickets: www.wegottickets.com/event/426941

Sunday 28 October 2018
Hitchin Folk Club, The Sun Inn, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1AF
Tel: 01462 812391
7.30pm      £12/ £14
With support from Kelly Oliver

Friday 2 November 2018
Eastside Jazz Club, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, 200 Jennens Road, Birmingham B4 7XR
Tel: 0121 331 5909
8pm      £15 (£8)

Sunday 4 November 2018
Town Hall Maldon, Market Hill, Maldon, Essex CM9 4PZ
Tel: 01621 856503

Saturday 10 November 2018
Herman Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 1LF
Tel: 01691662196
8pm      £5-£15

Saturday 17 November 2018
Old Bakery Studios, Blewetts Wharf, Malpas Road, Truro, Cornwall TR1 1QH
Tel: 01872 278804
7.30pm      £12/ £15

Sunday 18 November 2018
Kingskerswell Parish Church, Church End Road, Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 5LD
7pm      £15.40

Thursday 22 November 2018
Foxlowe Arts Centre, Market Place, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 6AD
Tel: 01538 385 260
8pm (for 8.30pm start)      £12

Friday 23 November 2018
Memorial Hall, Arkengarthdale Road, Reeth, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL11 6QT
Tel: 01748884759
8pm      £13/ £15

Saturday 1 December 2018
Hailsham Pavilion, George St, Hailsham, East Sussex BN27 1AE
Tel: 01323 841414
7.30pm      £19.50

Saturday 15 December 2018
Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2LT
Tel: 01785 619080
7.30pm      £16