Scattering The Roots with Dan Ogus

Dan Ogus has been co-hosting Scattering The Roots with Shep Woolley since early 2011. Recently, when Shep retired, Dan decided to fly solo, and in folking.com’s opinion, has started the assent to take the show to new heights.

I want to present the kind of weekly programme that I’d enjoy listening to myself, showcasing music I’m enthusiastic and passionate about – folk, roots, blues, Americana, retro, unplugged, singer/songwriter with a nod and wink to other styles, along with occasional studio guests and interviews.  With that in mind, on Scattering The Roots you’re just as likely to hear John Hiatt, Pink Floyd, Suzanne Vega, Nick Cave, Big Star and Robert Plant, for example, as well as other folkier music. Dan Ogus Continue reading Scattering The Roots with Dan Ogus

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 Winners Announced

Lifetime Achievement Awards for Don McLean and The Dubliners

Four Awards for June Tabor & Oysterband

Good Tradition Awards for Ian Campbell and Bill Leader

Broadcast from The Lowry in Salford for the first time Continue reading BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 Winners Announced

Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 give Lifetime Achievement Awards to…

Folk legends Don McLean and The Dubliners will both be given Lifetime Achievement Awards at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards 2012, to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 8th February.

Presenter Mike Harding announced the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards on the Radio 2 Folk Show on Wednesday 18 January (7-8pm).

Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2 and 6 Music said: Continue reading Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 give Lifetime Achievement Awards to…

THE 2006 RADIO BALLADS : REISSUED

“For me it was a pinnacle in 40 years of broadcasting. I counted it a privilege and still do.” John Tams – music director

“The social documentary nature of the Radio Ballads and their attempt to honour those very experiences is precisely what folk song is all about.” Karine Polwart – musician

A brand new Radio Ballad entitled ‘The Ballad of the Miners’ Strike’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 2nd March, marking the 25th anniversary of the end of that bitter year-long dispute. With specially commissioned new songs from John Tams, Julie Matthews, Ray Hearne and Jez Lowe and featuring musicians such as Andy Cutting, Barry Coope, Bob Fox and Andy Seward, its transmission has been highly anticipated.

To coincide with this, Delphonic Records are proud to announce the digital reissue of all six Radio Ballads (each one an hour long) that made up the 2006 series:

THE SONG OF STEEL : the decline of Sheffield and Rotherham steel industries
THE ENEMY THAT LIVES WITHIN : modern stories of people living with HIV/AIDS
THE HORN OF THE HUNTER : both sides of the story of hunting with hounds
SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS : the travelling people who run Britain’s fairgrounds
THIRTY YEARS OF CONFLICT : sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland
THE BALLAD OF THE BIG SHIPS : shipyards of Tyne & Wear and Clyde

A stunning and important documentation of modern British history and culture, the 2006 Radio Ballads were a year in the making, the process beginning when producer John Leonard, tape editor Annie Grundy and interviewers Vince Hunt and Sara Parker selected six issues that had dominated the half-century since the original groundbreaking Radio Ballads of Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker (father of Sara) and Peggy Seeger were broadcast on the BBC Home Service in the late 1950’s.

The original eight documentaries had been masterpieces of radio, weaving the voices of rarely heard communities with songs written from and about the recorded experiences of the interviewees. With a similar modus operandi for the 2006 Radio Ballads, Hunt and Parker began visiting steelworks, shipyards and fairgrounds, crossed the countryside with fox and hare hunters, talked to musicians who had been caught up in the Troubles and to people living with HIV/AIDS, and gathered location atmosphere and sound effects, eventually speaking to hundreds of people

These interviews were subsequently edited into themes, with layers of recollections and memories, which were then sifted by Leonard and arranged into groupings for songs to be written. Musical director John Tams assembled a team of professional musicians drawn mostly from the current folk scene (including Karine Polwart, Julie Matthews, Jez Lowe, Ray Hearne and Ian McMillan), and they gathered at his studio to work out parts and hone the songs while Leonard edited each new stage into the overall Ballad. As this Ballad series was commissioned as part of the BBC’s Voices project, the musicians used dialect, slang and shared experience to inform their songs. Long days and weeks of studio production resulted in the six-part series originally transmitted from February to April 2006.

“The original Radio Ballads are a crossroads in radio history as pioneering broadcasts that remain forever the benchmark for any documentary maker who has a care for working lives – culture – music. Fifty years on we made the 2006 Radio Ballads. I hope we honoured the originals but moreover those ‘life-tellers’ who gave us their stories. The series is theirs. I was just a part of their storytelling. I count my blessings that I was invited to their tables. These ballads remain for others to come after. But for me and I know for the writers, musicians, recordists and everyone involved they hold a special significance. For me it was a pinnacle in 40 years of broadcasting. I counted it a privilege and still do.” John Tams – music director

“I’m a huge fan of the original Radio Ballads recordings and the quality of songwriting and innovative broadcasting that they represent, so I felt very privileged to be involved in contributing to the 2006 series. It’s a considerable responsibility to draw upon other people’s experiences and stories in any kind of writing or creative work, without getting in the way of what people are perfectly able to say for themselves in their own words. To me, the social documentary nature of the Radio Ballads and their attempt to honour those very experiences is precisely what folk song is all about and why it remains a relevant, powerful and contemporary form of expression.” Karine Polwart – musician

“The Radio Ballads are a triumph of honesty. They take memory, music, atmosphere and imagination and create a special environment where emotions told true are amplified by the music and the personal experience is the absolute focus of attention. It was a dream come true for a reporter, tracking storytellers down through word of mouth and good old fashioned legwork. My instructions were simply to keep going until I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: once there all I had to do was get the treasure home. Sometimes I’d be in a chicken coop on top of a hill near Huddersfield; in a tiny village near Newry; in the middle of a council estate in Sheffield or in a Glasgow hotel, with a corridor-full of burly Scottish shipbuilders queuing up to tell me their stories. Gathering the interviews for the Radio Ballads was an unbelievable year, and I think we made a radio series that sounds like no other.”

Vince Hunt – interviewer

If you would like to order a copy of the radio ballads, preview/ download them (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website.

THE SONG OF STEEL

THE ENEMY THAT LIVES WITHIN

THE HORN OF THE HUNTER

SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS

THIRTY YEARS OF CONFLICT

THE BALLAD OF THE BIG SHIPS

RICHARD DIGANCE – BBC Radio Devonfolk 14.02.10

Well, I must admit it’s taken me ages to get around to listening to the radio with any real conviction and to be honest the first time in probably 20 years since I heard any ‘folk’ music programme all the way through apart from the occasional Mike Harding Show. Imagine my surprise then when I found myself tuning into Richard Digance “Devonfolk” on the BBC’s iPlayer the other day. I know I don’t live in ..Devon.. but even with half the show dedicated to a live performance in the studio by a local singer-songwriter it was Digance’s approach to broadcasting with the emphasis on the word ‘broad’ that kept me listening to all two hours of the show. Instead of the tried and tested it was the sometimes-tenuous links that made it all fascinating listening. Anecdotes pepper Richard’s life and let’s face it he’s had a more eventful one than many of us ‘folk-o-philes’. Regaling us with stories of his first meeting in ..Glasgow.. with a certain Iain McGeachy and how they both wound up sharing digs together in ..Richmond.., ..Surrey.. before Iain found International fame as John Martyn (represented by playing “May You Never”). In fact Digance’s story reads like a who’s who of the ‘folk’ world like the time he performed at Paul Simon’s (yes, that Paul Simon!) folk club at the Red Lion in Barking before Simon returned to America to hit the big time. Rick Wakeman, Paul Brady, Eric Clapton and David Bowie who ran the Tree Tuns Folk Club in Beckenham, Kent all got a look in so I think you’ll agree that in the space of a couple of minutes Richard captures the listeners’ attention and he manages to hold it with ease…to me, the sign of a brilliant broadcaster. If you’ve got a computer do yourselves a favour and check out “Devonfolk” for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. PETE FYFE