Eddi Reader tops list of artists set for Beverley Folk Festival 2017

Eddi Reader - Beverley Folk Festival 2017
Further names have been announced for Beverley Folk Festival 2017, including renowned Scottish singer Eddi Reader.
Starting as a busker and folk club performer, Eddi has led a remarkable carrier, with membership of Fairground Attraction bringing her into the limelight, with the single ‘Perfect’ and parent album First Of A Million Kisses both topping the British charts.  Over the years she has assimilated a wide range of musical styles, making them her own. In 2003 she released an album of the classic Songs Of Robert Burns which garnered international acclaim and was awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to singing.
Announcing this latest signing for 2017, chairman Matt Snowden said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Eddi Reader to Beverley. Every year we carry out surveys with festival revellers to find out what they liked about the event, what we could improve upon and who they would like to see perform at the festival in the future.  With this years feedback we kept seeing her name repeated where people were asked to suggest future bookings.  We are therefore proud to announce that ‘you asked – we listened’ and Eddi Reader will be one of our 2017 headliners.  We hope all those who asked for her will join us next year, and many more besides, to see this magnificent and naturally gifted singer perform on our main stage.”
But the latest festival sign-ups don’t stop there.  Alongside a whole host of previously announced names, such as folk legends Martin and Eliza Carthy, Henry Priestman, former Bellowhead front-man Jon Boden, False Lights and more, Beverley Folk Festival is also proud to announce the following exciting additions to the line-up:
Moore, Moss and Rutter are a trio of musicians who are reworking traditional native English tunes and songs into something far more contemporary. They aim to breathe life back into ancient material through complex arrangement, virtuosic musicianship, powerful aesthetic and an ear for detail. Individually the three are respected artists who have worked with some of the best in the business, but together they make music that is described by Songlines Magazine as ‘achingly beautiful’.
Dallahan are one of the fastest rising forces on the international folk circuit; heavily rooted in traditional Irish music, but with hugely diverse backgrounds and influences. They call on their mixed Irish, Scottish and Hungarian heritage to create a unique and seamless musical montage, drawing in influences from jazz, funk, pop and classical music.
Heidi Talbot has been described by the New York Times as having “a voice that is both awestruck and tender”.  The County Kildare singer / songwriter now resides in Scotland with her musical partner and husband John McCusker. She will be performing from her latest solo album ‘Here We Go, 1, 2, 3’, which traverses oceans and musical styles – from folk, through Americana, to classic pop, and back again.
Dan Walsh is one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dan Walsh is described as ‘the real deal’ (UNCUT). Nominated in 2016 for Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, his eclectic and innovative approach has led to many exciting collaborations alongside his solo work, with three critically acclaimed solo albums along the way.
Edwina Hayes is a Yorkshire based singer songwriter described by Nanci Griffith as “The Sweetest Voice in England”, with whom she has toured the UK by invitation three times. Her version of Randy Newman’s ‘Feels Like Home’ was featured in the major motion picture ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ earning her numerous new fans. With fans that include Michael Parkinson and Bob Harris, she has opened shows for many legends including Jools Holland, Van Morrison and Barbara Dickson.
Rachel Croft is a York-based musician and songwriter, who plays as one half of the Croft and Mullen jazz and soul band. Songwriting influences include Eva Cassidy, Joni Mitchell, Ray LaMontagne and Matt Corby to name a few, focusing on complex vocal melodies to a background of finger-picked acoustic guitar.
With a line-up of such talent already taking shape, festival organisers are urging audiences to buy their 2017 tickets now at a discounted price.
Mr Snowden explained: “We are currently running our Autumn Gold ticket deal, which means a full weekend ticket is available for £100 – at least £20 off the final price.  As with every year we aim to have not just world class music from outstanding professionals, but also many other artists, including new young voices and established folk clubs, alongside literature, poetry, film, dance and comedy.”
Festival organisers aim to have at least 100 artists performing at the Friday to Sunday event, totalling a collective 100-plus hours of entertainment across multiple stages. With this range available, they hope there will be something for everyone with a few surprises along the way.
Tickets for Beverley Folk Festival 2017 are currently on sale as part of a special Autumn Gold deal of £100 for a full weekend ticket via www.beverleyfestival.com.  Children aged under 12 get in free and individual day tickets will be released soon.  More names will be announced in the coming months as we get close to the festival.

Urban Folk Quartet – new album

Urban Folk Quartet Live III

Reflecting their reputation as a forceful and electric live act, The Urban Folk Quartet return with an extended tour and new live album.

As the title suggests, The Urban Folk Quartet: Live III is The UFQ’s third live album, and follows the previously released Live (2011) and Live II (2013).

Recorded in concert during their spring 2015/ 2016 tour – at venues in Chester (Alexander’s), Maldon (Town Hall), Stafford (Gatehouse Theatre), and Bristol (Folk House) – the nine tracks see the quartet revisiting material from 2014 studio album, The Escape, and road-testing new tunes.

A perfect showcase for the four-piece’s breath-taking musicianship, Live III embraces their full scope, from the full-on ‘Upward Spiral’, to quieter ‘Resiste’ and ‘The Language Barrier’.

New tracks (pencilled in for their 2018 studio album) underline the quartet’s quizzical restlessness and globe-spanning sense of adventure: inspired by a trip to India. ‘Whiplash Reel’ transports a classical Indian scale into a Celtic setting, while the grooving ‘Long Time Traveller’ presents a distinctly UFQ take on a song adapted from famed American 19th century tunebook, The Sacred Harp.

In the concert environment, tunes familiar from ‘The Escape’ (which featured in several prominent ‘best of 2015’ lists) take on a newfound power and direction, as The UFQ feed off the crowds’ enthusiasm and energy, extending and transforming their growing catalogue.

“The pieces are arranged to deliberately get the audience going, with improvised passages that respond to the audience’s reaction, the vibe,” explains fiddle-player Joe Broughton. “That’s the whole reason we like to do live albums. In ‘Control Zed’, Tom does a phenomenal percussion solo – it’s those special moments of interaction where we use the energy from the crowd …”

While other bands may use the live album format to fulfil contractual obligations or as a filler, the prolific UFQ see their in-concert releases as an integral part of their creative process – hence their plan to follow each studio album with a live counterpart (something which their growing international fan-base have now come to expect).

The UFQ’s sixth album over-all, Live III, however, takes a different approach to its predecessors, I and II.

“Our previous live albums have very much been presented as one night”, says percussionist Tom Chapman. “Even though Live II was recorded at two gigs, when you listen to it it’s easy to hear it as one gig. Live III is very definitely an album collected over months, with varied rooms and audiences giving the album its unique dynamic drive.”

The release arrives at a time of increased UFQ activity. 2016 saw the band perform a series of jaw-dropping sets at various UK and international festivals, including Green Man, Towersey, Cropready, Shrewsbury, Ringsted in Denmark, and Lakeland Festival, in Erlach, Switzerland. They were also personally invited by singer Joss Stone to appear at children’s charity Barnardo’s 150th anniversary concert at London’s The Roundhouse.

The Urban Folk Quartet have been dazzling audiences with their brand of ‘electrifying acoustic music’ since 2009. Galician fiddle player Paloma Trigás has shared stages and recorded with the likes of The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon and Altan, and toured the stadiums of the world with Spain’s biggest folk star, Carlos Nuñez. Long established on the folk scene as a fiery English fiddler and showman, Joe Broughton (Albion Band), is also an exceptional guitarist and mandolin player. Dan Walsh is regarded as one of the finest banjo players in the country, as well as being a gifted singer and guitarist, while percussionist Tom Chapman is widely considered to be the most accomplished and innovative cajón player the UK has to offer.

Artists’ website: http://www.theufq.com/

‘The Language Barrier’ live:

Welcome To The Folkies

With Oscar fever rising to a climax it’s time to say “Welcome To The Folkies” – the 2016 Folking Awards. We’ve sifted through the albums and performances of 2015 – always a long and difficult task punctuated by bouts of thumb-wrestling to settle disputes. Adopting the pattern followed by everyone else, here, in no order of precedence, are our nominations. With the exception of one category we have restricted our choices to British acts.

All nominations are 2016 Folking Awards winners.

Welcome To The Folkies

Soloist Of The Year

Steve Tilston
Sam Carter
Kathryn Roberts
Steve Knightley
Ange Hardy

Best Duo

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
India Electric Co.
Show Of Hands
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman
Clype

Best Band

Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Tradarrr
False Lights
Merry Hell

Best Live Act

The Demon Barbers XL
Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Tradarr
CC Smugglers

Best Album

Layers Of Ages – Peter Knight’s Gigspanner
Head Heart Hand – Megan Henwood
The Girl I Left Behind Me – India Electric Co.
It’s Not Your Gold Shall Me Entice – Elle Osborne
Disco At The Tavern – The Demon Barbers

Best Musician

Dan Walsh
Peter Knight
P.J. Wright
Chris Leslie
Kris Drever

Folking’s Rising Star

Will Varley
Sam Kelly
Wes Finch
India Electric Co.
Chris Cleverley

Best International Artist

Gretchen Peters
Tom Russell
Gandalf Murphy And The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams
Justin Townes Earle
Los Lobos

To give the awards a further edge, we opened the vote to our visitors and run a public poll in all of the 8 categories (as listed above).

The Public Vote closed Sunday 28 February at 20.00 hours and “The Folking Winners” have now been announced here at: http://folking.com/the-folking-winners/


If you would like to order a copy of an album (in CD or Vinyl) of any of the artists featured here, download an album or track or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then type what you are looking for in the search bar above to be taken to that relevant page via 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.

Dan Walsh: new album – Incidents & Accidents

Released March 16th on Rooksmere Records

Photograph by Sean Elliot
Photograph by Sean Elliot

 

Incidents & Accidents is the highly anticipated follow up to Dan Walsh’s critically acclaimed Same But Different album release. On the new album we get to hear Dan in a more stripped back format with just a few guest appearances from Patsy Reid (fiddle), Nic Zuppardi (mandolin), Mark Hutchinson (percussion/vocals) and Canadian singer Meaghan Blanchard. The album was also produced by Mark Hutchinson at his Rooksmere Studios, known for producing albums by Blair Dunlop, Fabian Holland and of course Walsh & Pound. There are seven songs and four instrumentals. The song lyrics are a major focus on this album but there is still plenty of Dan’s signature fast and furious banjo playing to keep the fans happy. Of the livelier songs ‘Time To Stay’ tells of Dan’s mixed emotions of moving back to his home town of Stafford after six years living in Newcastle upon Tyne along with the bluegrass inspired ‘Lost Rambler’, showing his love of the mountain music minor tunings. Of the slower songs, the contemplative ‘Dancing In The Wind’ and ‘The Song Always Stays’ are perfect examples, the former telling of a moving moment on a family holiday in Ireland and the latter relates to Dan and Nic Zuppardi’s experience of playing a gig to Scottish singer Glen Mason in a Surrey care home and rekindling his love of singing and performing in his twilight years. Dan originally started playing banjo due to his love of Scottish and Irish jigs and reels and the aptly named ‘The Tune Set’ contains four tunes from a slow air building right up to a fast and furious reel with names inspired from touring from the Isle of Barra to New Zealand. To complete the musical world tour, ‘Whiplash Reel’ displays Dan’s new found passion for Indian classical music.

Touted as one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dan Walsh is described as ‘The real deal’ in UNCUT magazine. To date he has released two critically acclaimed solo albums and has toured the world including visits to Canada, Norway, Germany, India and New Zealand and of course has played solo at venues and festivals across the UK. Having made his name with the duo Walsh and Pound and now a member of the award winning Urban Folk Quartet, as well as guest appearances on stage and on record with the Levellers and Seth Lakeman, this unique and eclectic musician continues to stun audiences across the world.

His eclectic and innovative approach has led to many exciting collaborations alongside his solo work and the UFQ, including tours with Northeast concertina legend Alistair Anderson and with sensational Indian sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan as well as Canadian country singer Meaghan Blanchard.

‘The real deal, a demon picker’UNCUT
‘Incredibly gifted, you must see him’ BBC RADIO 2
‘Eclectically inspired and consistently brilliant’fRoots

Artist’s website: http://www.danwalshbanjo.co.uk/

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 on the banner link 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.

‘Time To Stay’ from Incidents & Accidents:

SUNJAY – Sunjay (New Mountain Music)

SunjayBorn in Derby and now living in Stourbridge, Sunjay Brayne has apparently been playing guitar since he was four. Still only 20, this is his second studio album (there’s also a live one) and he’s a regular on the folk and acoustic circuit. Having caught one of his sets, I can testify to his accomplished playing and warm, singing style and can well understand the comparisons to a young Ralph McTell. Indeed, Brayne’s influences are very much rooted in the late 60s and early 70s folk scenes of the UK and America, something evident from the choice of covers that comprise the bulk of his album.

Here you’ll find faithful readings of James Taylor’s ‘Close Your Eyes’, Jim Croce’s uptempo blues swing ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim’, a fiddle, cello, banjo and mandolin arrangement ‘Going Down The Road’ by folk cult figure Mary McCaslin and Tom Rush classic ‘No Regrets’ (with some nicely understated fiddle from Katriona Gilmore) as well as the slightly more recent ‘Memphis In The Meantime’ by John Hiatt (though it could do with more grit) and Mark Knopfler’s ‘Sailing To Philadelphia’ with its cello contribution from Sarah Smout. He also offers his own arrangement of traditional blues rag ‘Drop Down Mama’, though, as with the a capella handclap and stomp reading of Buskin and Batteau’s ‘A Folk Singer Earns Every Dime’, his voice and delivery simply lack the experience and depth to give them real conviction.

The two remaining numbers are originals, the album opening with ‘London Road’, a song about homelessness written by producer, manager, label owner and erstwhile Bushbury Mountain Daredevils frontman, Eddy Morton, and featuring Dan Walsh on banjo while ‘Sittin’ On Top Of The World’ is a wistful self-penned acoustic end of relationship folk blues ballad. Accompanied by Gilmore, it’s a lovely number, beautifully delivered, that makes you wish there were more of his own songs rather than relying on familiar tunes that may earn gig rapport, but which don’t really work in his favour on disc in terms of reaching a wider market. Hopefully, next time round, there’ll be more of his own material and although he could perhaps do with a little more seasoning to his voice to add a little occasional edge, he’s an accomplished player with a relaxed engaging style and I look forward to seeing him develop.

Mike Davies

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 on the banner link 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.sunjay.tv

Sunjay sings John Martyn:

The Levellers release charity single for War Child

Brighton folk-rockers Levellers released a five track anti-war EP in May featuring a new recording, with special guests, of ‘The Recruiting Sergeant’. The original version, which is an anti-war song, features on their 10th studio album ‘Static on the Airwaves’ which was released to critical acclaim in 2012.

The new recording of ‘The Recruiting Sergeant’ features traditional English folk singers The Copper Family, plus Shona Kipling and Dan Walsh.

The EP also has 3 other anti-war Levellers tracks – ‘Another Man’s Cause’, ‘Not In My Name’ and ‘Barrel of The Gun’ plus the original album version of Recruiting Sergeant. All profits from the release of the War Child version of The Recruiting Sergeant will be donated to War Child, the charity for children affected by war and set up to protect children living in the world’s most dangerous war zones. Continue reading The Levellers release charity single for War Child