Kate Rusby releases New Album ‘20’ to Mark 20 Years of Music Making


The Barnsley nightingale Kate Rusby has released a new album to celebrate 20 years of making music. Entitled ‘20’ the album features new recordings of Kate’s favourite songs from throughout her illustrious career. Continue reading Kate Rusby releases New Album ‘20’ to Mark 20 Years of Music Making

Butlins’ 2011 Great British Folk Festival – Review by Peterborough & South Lincs Folk Diary…

You have to admit that, when you take the money into account, Butlins’ 2011 Great British Folk Festival was good value. We enjoyed Bob Fox, Steve Tilston, P. J. Wright, Dave PeggAnthony John Clarke, Chumbawamba, Jane Taylor, Seth Lakeman & Richard Digance particularly, and probably Ralph McTell had we not been elsewhere. You can’t see everything, and switching venues may mean no seat at the 2nd one, big though the venues were. We thought that Matthews Southern Comfort, with his constant harping on about his hit in 1970 (we’d never heard of him) was a pain and that Steve Gibbons (apparently drunk or stoned, forgetting words) was a disgrace. Several rock bands bands had no apparent connection to folk (one had a bloke play a mandolin on one number – does that count?).  Continue reading Butlins’ 2011 Great British Folk Festival – Review by Peterborough & South Lincs Folk Diary…

BOB FOX – Dorking Folk Club, Dorking (08.06.11)

The nice thing about arriving at Dorking Folk Club is that you are automatically made welcome by host and organiser Neil McRitchie and the friendly regulars. The new setting (a slightly smaller room due to the old one becoming too expensive) suits the club and the convivial surroundings lend well to the more intimate ‘acoustic’ setting. Starting with a floorspot from Terry (I’m afraid I didn’t catch his second name) who crooned his way…very well too…and much appreciated by the audience… Continue reading BOB FOX – Dorking Folk Club, Dorking (08.06.11)

BILLY MITCHELL & BOB FOX – Back On City Road (Own Label)

What is it about Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox that makes you wish everyone in the world were a Geordie? On the strength of this striking album it’s the feeling of camaraderie that is inherent in each song and the obvious good-humour that runs like a seam of ‘black diamonds’ throughout the recording. Starting with “The Shoemakker” (surely a spelling mistook) followed by “The Pitman And The Blackin’” from their region of God’s own country it establishes the duo’s credentials for the traditional personality inherent from their North-East up bringing. In keeping with the locality, the inclusion of Mark Knopfler’s far from cheesy “Sailing To Philadelphia” and the anthemic “Why Aye Man” (the theme from Auf Widersen Pet) are prime examples of being proud enough to wear your heritage firmly on your sleeve. As part of their established sound Billy more often than not utilises his trusty Guild 12-string guitar adding a resonant ringing depth in much the same way Celtic bands use Bouzouki. It’s a glorious sound enhanced by the mandolin and guitar interplay on the only tune set “Off To Kefalonia/Spanish Misfortune” complete with minor key ending so reminiscent of a performance by the much missed Jack The Lad. Personally speaking my CD collection would be incomplete without the performances of these two guys and a damn sight less colourful. For those of us that have had the pleasure of listening to Bob and Bill over the years this album will prove a must purchase item. Here’s to the next one! Contact http://www.billymitchell.co.uk or www.bobfoxmusic.com PETE FYFE

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Three Score & Ten (Topic Records)

What makes a good CD box-set great? When it comes as beautifully packaged as this 70th Anniversary Topic Records collection. The wow factor comes from the moment you first open the book that includes seven…yes, seven…CDs highlighting arguably the best British folk record label ever. Although I was aware of the label for some years previously (put off mainly by the cheap look of the album sleeves) I was first properly introduced to the company when I visited the Free Reed record shop in Camden in 1977. At the time I was (and still am) heavily into Celtic music but on talking to Doug who was running the shop at the time it was suggested I should try some of the Topic catalogue. Of course I wasn’t disappointed and eagerly clutching June Tabor’s “Airs & Graces”, Martin Carthy’s “Crown Of Horn” and Dick Gaughan’s “Coppers & Brass” headed home with a grin as broad as the proverbial Cheshire cat. I also remember thinking that English music was at last now as well represented as the Celtic based American record label Green Linnet. The record sleeves by this time were far better represented by Tony Engle’s excellent photography superseding the bland two colour efforts originally utilised by the company and certainly provided a far classier look that heralded the albums enclosed. The history of Topic Records is well documented by Tony Engle and David Suff in the 108 page book that accompanies the CDs from it’s humble beginnings representing the Workers’ Music Association to it’s current status as the longest surviving independent record label in the world and who would blame them for blowing their own trumpet at such an achievement? A sense of nostalgia will wash over those of you of a certain age as you cast an eye over the list of who’s who of the British tradition and Revival with 144 tracks providing but a snippet of the many albums that the company has produced over the years. Artists the calibre of Ewan MacColl, A L Lloyd, Pete Seeger and longest serving associates The Watersons to more recent recruits including Eliza Carthy, Tim Van Eyken, Martin Simpson and Bob Fox have all graced the label with their sparkling performances and, as the saying goes, it makes you proud to be British! www.topicrecords.co.uk PETE FYFE

Bob Fox – Dreams Never Leave You

Bob Fox Dreams Never Leave YouBob Fox’s latest album “Dreams Never Leave You” is like an old friend. “The Road to the North” welcomes you in and leads very nicely into “The White Cockade”. The album is very well constructed and every track seems to fit well with the next, like Ewan MacColl’s “Champion at Keeping them Rolling” which features some marvelous flute playing by Norman Holmes. The two songs that follow are about the river Tyne in Newcastle, UK: the first, a love song, and the second, Jimmy Nail’s “Big River”. Bob also covers Jez Lowe’s touching tale “Greek Lightning”, about a dream that lets you down which features some inspired fiddle playing by Ric Sanders. Another highlight is Ralph McTell’s “From Claire to Here”, a simply beautiful version. Bob offers some great tips on the fairer sex in “Take Her in Your Arms” and the last track “The Galway Shawl” completes this collection of carefully chosen tracks. The Folkmaster – 17-May-2001 Continue reading Bob Fox – Dreams Never Leave You