Sam Lee at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and singing with Nightingales

Sam Lee

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards returned on Wednesday 27th April 2016 and was held at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. The event featured live performances from ground-breaking folk singer and song collector, Sam Lee, as well as the singer/songwriter Joan Armatrading and Northumbrian folk act The Unthanks.

Since bursting onto the folk scene at the end of the 1990s, Sam Lee has blazed a dizzying trail as an outstanding singer and song collector but also as the driving force behind the eclectic, award-winning folk club, The Nest Collective, which has brought traditional music to younger audiences, to all kinds of new stages and venues.  In the past few years, Sam has taken his dynamic interpretation of ancient songs worldwide, to more than 20 countries. Awarded the prestigious 2011 Arts Foundation prize, nominated for the 2012 Mercury Award for his debut album, Ground Of Its Own, Lee’s most recent album is The Fade In Time which was released to critical acclaim in 2015.

If you would like to order a copy either of the albums (in CD or Vinyl), download them 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 helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.


As well as a varied career (which has included working as a part-time Burlesque dancer), London born and bred, Sam Lee, is an experienced naturalist. In marked contrast to the Royal Albert Hall performance, during the spring of 2015, saw Sam providing small audiences with a very special opportunity to join him and guest musicians in Sussex woodlands, to sing with Nightingales.

Sam Lee hosted a series of these outdoor feasts at a secret location in East Sussex at which music, stories and folklore celebrated one of Britain’s rarest birds – the nightingale.

The idea for the celebrations grew out of a sell-out event Sam ran in 2014 for the Brighton Festival and listener reactions to his award-nominated radio programme marking the 90th anniversary of the BBC’s first ever outside broadcast, featuring a nightingale and cello duet.

As yet we have not had any word from Sam if he plans to run this again in 2017 but details about the original event can be found via this link:

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards Announced

Folk Awards 2015BBC Radio 2 has announced the recipients of this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The two prestigious lifetime achievement accolades will be presented to legendary musicians Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Loudon Wainwright III at the ceremony which is being held at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 22 April. The Good Tradition Award, for an outstanding contribution to the upkeep of a musical tradition, is being presented posthumously to the late Meredydd Evans. Continue reading BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards Announced


The nominees for this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards have today been announced by Mark Radcliffe on The Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe (Wednesdays, 7pm-8pm).

The categories up for grabs are: Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Group, Best Album, Horizon Award, Musician of the Year, Best Original Song, Best Traditional Track and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

The winners will be announced at the Folk Awards ceremony on Wednesday 22 April at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. The ceremony will be hosted by Mark Radcliffe and singer Julie Fowlis and tickets are available now from

This will be the Awards’ 16th year as some of the biggest names in music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk scene.

The event will welcome a whole host of star guests and will see legendary performer Yusuf / Cat Stevens headlining. Also confirmed to perform live on the night are Grammy Award-winning artist Loudon Wainwright III, Welsh folk band 9Bach (who will be performing in Welsh) and English folk singer Kate Rusby. Other acts on the line-up will be announced at a later date.

The event will also feature the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, which recognises the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression. This year’s inductee will be the influential Ewan MacColl. The awards show will also include the presentation of Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards.

Drivetime presenter Simon Mayo will be broadcasting a special programme live from the Wales Millennium Centre (5pm-7.30pm) on the day of the awards. The interval will feature performances from the nominees for the Young Folk Award 2015.

Listeners will be able to watch highlights of the awards on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event and on Red Button. For more details head to

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from 7.30pm-10pm on Radio 2.

Those in the running include:

Folk Singer of the Year

Jez Lowe
Jez Lowe
  • Cara Dillon
  • Julie Fowlis
  • Nancy Kerr
  • Jez Lowe

Best Duo

O'Hooley & Tidow
O’Hooley & Tidow
  • Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • O’Hooley & Tidow
  • Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
  • Chris While & Julie Matthews

Best Group

Bellowhead. (Photograph by Hugo Morris)
Bellowhead. (Photograph by Hugo Morris)
  • Bellowhead
  • The Furrow Collective
  • The Gloaming
  • The Young ‘Uns

Best Album

Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour
Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour
  • Fair Warning – The Rails
  • Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour – Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • Sweet Visitor – Nancy Kerr
  • The Moral Of The Elephant – Martin & Eliza Carthy
  • Tincian – 9Bach

Horizon Award

Ange Hardy
  • Ange Hardy
  • Maz O’Connor
  • Stick In The Wheel
  • The Rails

Musician of the Year

Will Pound
Will Pound
  • Martin Green
  • Will Pound
  • Sam Sweeney
  • Kathryn Tickell

Best Original Song

  • Swim To The Star – Peggy Seeger/Calum MacColl (performed by Peggy Seeger)
  • The Necklace Of Wrens – Michael Hartnett (performed by The Gloaming)
  • The Pitmen Poets – Jez Lowe
  • The Spider And The Wolf – Paul Simmonds (performed by Naomi Bedford)

Best Traditional Track

Bones EP - Stick In The Wheel
Bones EP – Stick In The Wheel
  • Bedlam – Stick In The Wheel
  • Handsome Molly – The Furrow Collective
  • Manus Mo Rùin – Cruinn
  • Samhradh Samhradh – The Gloaming

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award

  • Cup O’Joe
  • Roseanne Reid
  • Talisk
  • Wildwood Kin

Making the announcement, Mark Radcliffe said:

“We’ve had another fantastic year in folk music, filled with excellent releases and exciting music from many well-loved and respected acts. But looking through the nominations, I’m particularly happy to see nods for acts that are almost completely unknown to mainstream audiences: The Gloaming, 9Bach, Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, Ange Hardy, Stick In The Wheel, Cruinn, The Furrow Collective… We know how superb these people are, so it’s wonderful to take this opportunity to shine a bright light on them. And we always say it, but do check out the nominees in our Young Folk Award – the sheer talent in that category is frightening.”


114-mark-radcliffeBBC Radio 2 Folk Show presenter, Mark Radcliffe, has announced that the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are to return on Wednesday 19 February 2014. Mark also announced that the awards will be returning to London and taking place at the Royal Albert Hall. Tickets for the event are available now from

The awards, which celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2014, will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene. Continue reading BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS 2014

How music helps BBC award-winning multi-instrumentalist TIM EDEY face his daily demons…..

Tim Edey 2013When Tim Edey walked away from Manchester’s The Lowry stage with the coveted BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year gong last year, few knew of the flip side of this upbeat, charismatic artist and the battle he faces with daily demons.

For despite being one of the most talented musicians on the planet and, according to BBC Radio 2 ‘s Mark Radcliffe, “the nicest man in folk” , Edey has had to overcome a life time of panic attacks, childhood bullying, a OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) diagnosis and a teenage mental breakdown. Continue reading How music helps BBC award-winning multi-instrumentalist TIM EDEY face his daily demons…..


Cam Stage FoxThe 49th Cambridge Folk Festival ended in rousing style on Sunday night in what organisers Cambridge City Council have hailed as a ‘bumper year’.

The Festival was a complete sell out (14,000 total attendees) and included performances from The Mavericks, KT Tunstall, Levellers, The Waterboys, Amadou and Mariam, Steeleye Span, Martin Simpson and Capercaillie plus a range of folk, americana, blues and world music performances across the Festival’s four stages.

Performance highlights included: Bellowhead joining Levellers on stage for a run through the “Levs” The Recruiting Sgt; KT Tunstall performing versions of The White Stripe’s Seven Nation Army performed on a kazoo and a stirring version of Don Henley’s Boys of Summer; the eccentric and electric Bombay Royale performing on stage with a large inflatable elephant; a hilarious kids concert from UK comedic-poet John Hegley; landmark sets from Hertfordshire sisters The Staves who graduated to Stage 1 on their third appearance at the Festival; singer/songwriter Lucy Rose who headlined Thursday’s Stage 2 and US sisters Larkin Poe who’s two sets wowed the Festival audience over the weekend.