Nick Drake to be inducted into the Folk Awards Hall Of Fame

Photograph courtesy of Village Voice

This year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, held at Belfast Waterfront on 4 April, will see singer-songwriter Nick Drake inducted into the Folk Awards Hall of Fame.

Folk musician and producer Dónal Lunny will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Armagh Pipers Club will be presented with the Good Tradition Award.

One of folk music’s annual highlights, the event presented by Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis sees some of the biggest names celebrate the thriving folk scene of the UK and beyond. Dónal Lunny and the Armagh Pipers Club will join previously announced Cara Dillon, Paul Brady, Lankum and Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band to perform on stage at the prestigious event in Belfast.

Mike Edgar, Head of Entertainment and Events, BBC Northern Ireland, says: “We are so thrilled that the Radio 2 Folk Awards have chosen to come to Belfast. This part of the world boasts some of the finest musicians and singers on the planet, a fact that is being truly reflected in the line-up for this year’s event. So much talent in one room on one night – it’s sure to be a stunning evening and we look forward to sharing it with everyone on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Ulster and also BBC Four and BBC Northern Ireland.”

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame exists to celebrate significant people who have made a lasting impression on folk music, and have since passed away. In 2018, the year in which he would have turned 70, the inductee will be the singer and songwriter Nick Drake.

Drake’s music didn’t garner commercial success during his lifetime, but decades after his early death at the age of 26, his music would find a wide and reverent audience. Drake left relatively little music behind; only three full studio albums were recorded: Five Leaves Left (1969), Bryter Layter (1970) and Pink Moon (1972). Featuring sublime and original guitar work, intimate vocals and distinctive pastoral strings, those records became classics. Produced by Joe Boyd and John Wood, the music was heavy with meaning and mood and, ultimately, highly influential on singer-songwriters of all kinds.

Actor Gabrielle Drake, Nick’s elder sister, will be present at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and the evening will see a special performance of one of Nick Drake’s songs. Gabrielle is an actor of stage and screen and became well known in the 1970’s for her role in television series The Brothers and UFO, and later in Crossroads and Coronation Street.

On Nick being inducted into the Folk Awards Hall of Fame, Gabrielle says:

“I think Nick would have been quietly amazed, amused but above all, honoured. And, indeed, grateful. As I am on his behalf.”

During the evening, musician and producer Dónal Lunny will receive a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to folk music. He is widely regarded as being central to the renaissance of Irish music over the last three decades.

Born in Tullamore in the midlands of Ireland, Dónal grew up in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. He was founding member of several of Ireland’s important bands including Planxty, The Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Coolfin, and more recently, Mozaik, plus he has produced some of the most significant albums of the traditional music revival since the ’70s. An adept musician and player of the bouzouki, guitar and bodhrán, Dónal has also produced tracks for, and performed on albums with international stars such as Kate Bush, Elvis Costello, Mark Knopfler, Clannad, and Baaba Maal. He has written music for many films and theatre productions, and at present, performs with Andy Irvine, DoZoMo, Paddy Glackin, Atlantic Arc Orchestra, and Usher’s Island, and continues with composition, production and teaching.

The evening will also see the Armagh Pipers Club presented with the Good Tradition Award, to recognise their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and progression of traditional music over a number of years.

Founded in 1966 to promote and teach Irish traditional music, the Armagh Pipers Club is an educational charity. Although its original focus was the revival of Ireland’s elbow-driven uilleann bagpipes (pronounced ‘ill-un’), the club rapidly expanded into teaching many other traditional instruments. The club currently provides classes to over 200 students, children and adults, drawn from Armagh and seven neighbouring counties. Many Pipers Club students have gone on to successful professional careers in traditional music, and the contribution of the organisation to the folk scene in Ireland has been immense.

The club’s director, Brian Vallely, who with his wife Eithne founded the organisation, says:

“The Good Tradition Award has had many worthy recipients, ranging from Celtic Connections to Meredydd Evans, John McCusker, Steeleye Span, the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Transatlantic Sessions series and many others – so we are in exalted company. Over five decades, the hundreds of tutors and students who have been associated with the club have made a significant contribution to the survival and development of the traditional music of Ireland, as has the club’s ground-breaking series of tutor books since their first publication in 1972. The recognition of our work through this prestigious award will help the club to maintain its high profile nationally and indeed internationally.”

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition awards, prizes will be awarded in the following categories on the night: Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Group, Best Album, Horizon Award, Musician of the Year, Best Original Track, Best Traditional Track and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

The Radio 2 Folk Awards 2018 will welcome an array of guest presenters to present winners with their awards, including Finbar Furey, who is a multi-instrumental folk musician, best known for his band of brothers, The Fureys. Past guest presenters have included Sir David Attenborough, Sharleen Spiteri, Sir Ray Davies, Pauline Black, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Martin Freeman, Sandie Shaw and Sean Bean.

Tickets for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in Belfast are available from bbc.co.uk/radio2, and the event will be simulcast live from 7.30-9pm on BBC Radio 2 and Radio Ulster. After the show, selected highlights will be available to watch at bbc.co.uk/radio2, and a highlights programme will be broadcast on both BBC Four and BBC Northern Ireland the weekend after the event, and available on BBC iPlayer following that.

The Radio 2 Folk Awards are a 7digital Creative production for Radio 2 and produced by Kellie While and Jon Lewis.

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).

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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 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.

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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: http://thenestcollective.co.uk/shows/singing-with-nightingales-sam-lee/

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.

800px-Yusuf-2009Renowned singer Yusuf / Cat Stevens, who will also be performing at the awards, gained worldwide acclaim for works including ‘Wild World’, ‘Father And Son’ and ‘Morning Has Broken’, which remain staples of the folk genre. Following a conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977, Stevens retired from the music business to work with and support causes in education and humanitarian relief. Yusuf / Cat Stevens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2014, subsequently releasing the album, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone. Last year also saw Yusuf / Cat Stevens embark upon his acclaimed Peace Train – Late Again international tour, including his first US dates in 38 years.

Al Booth, Editor of Specialist Music, Radio 2 said:

‘To have a musical legend of the calibre of Yusuf performing at the Radio 2 Folk Awards is a testament to the high esteem in which the event is held. I know that everyone in the folk world is looking forward to what promises to be a very special night.’

Grammy Award winning Loudon Wainwright III will also be celebrating his Lifetime Achievement Award with a live performance at the event. He said:

“I’ll be happy and gratified, not to mention a bit smug, to receive my award in Cardiff next month. Yes it certainly has seemed like an entire lifetime has whizzed by since the mighty John Peel saturated the UK airwaves in 1969 with my first songs, spinning “School Days” and “The Movies Are a Mother to Me” late at night on BBC Radio.”

LW3Loudon Wainwright III had studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon University, but dropped out to partake in the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco, and wrote his first song Edgar in 1968. He was soon signed to Atlantic Records and was lured by Clive Davis to Columbia Records, which released his first big hit ‘Dead Skunk’. His songs have since been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and his son Rufus Wainwright and daughter Martha Wainwright. An accomplished actor, he has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, on TV in M.A.S.H. and Undeclared, and on Broadway in Pump Boys And Dinettes.

The 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards will also pay tribute to the late Dr Meredydd Evans, who passed away in February 2015 at the age of 95, with a Good Tradition Award. The Good Tradition Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to UK folk music. Meredydd’s wide-ranging contributions as a singer, historian, broadcaster and Welsh language campaigner made him a significant, respected and popular figure across Welsh culture. He recorded for the Sain label in Wales and made a classic album of Welsh songs for the American label Smithsonian Folkways during the 1950s. He was Head of Light Entertainment at BBC Wales, working both behind and in front of the camera and an important collector of Welsh traditional song. He will be posthumously honoured and there will be a special tribute performance to him by the 10 Mewn Bws, (10 in a Bus) a project that saw ten young Welsh musicians travel around Wales in an attempt to reinterpret and demystify traditional Welsh music.

The Folk Awards are hosted by Radio 2 Folk Show presenter Mark Radcliffe alongside Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. Folk Singer Of The Year-nominated Julie will also perform on the night. Other performers are modern folk rock band The Rails who are nominated in the Best Album and Horizon Award category for the best emerging act and London based duo Josienne Clark and Ben Walker, singing from their nominated Best Album Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour. The pair has also been nominated in the Best Duo category. Welsh folk band 9Bach, who will sing in Welsh, and English folk singer Kate Rusby complete the live line up for the night.

Star guests who will be handing out some of the gongs on the night include 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, Gavin and Stacey and Stella actress Ruth Jones and singer songwriter Billy Bragg.

The evening will also see singer, songwriter, record producer, playwright, actor and political activist Ewan MacColl inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Award Hall of Fame. MacColl played a vital role in instigating the folk song revival in Britain and is perhaps best known for his much covered songs ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Throughout his career MacColl produced around 300 songs and scores of albums and 2015 marks the centenary of his birth.

The Radio 2 Folk show has a weekly audience of 812,000 listeners and BBC Radio 2 has weekly reach of 15.3 million. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from 7.30pm-10pm on Radio 2 and will also be simulcast on BBC Radio Wales. From 10pm to 11pm, BBC Radio Wales will be broadcasting the official after show programme presented by Frank Hennessy.

Listeners will be able to watch highlights of the awards on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event and also at a later date on Red Button. For more details head to bbc.co.uk/radio2

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.

BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS NOMINEES 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 bbc.co.uk/radio2/folkawards.

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 bbc.co.uk/radio2

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

AH1
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.”

BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS 2014

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 bbc.co.uk/radio2/folkawards.

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.

The event will welcome a whole host of star guests, with Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega, Clannad and The Fisherman’s Friends confirmed to perform live on the night. Other acts on the line-up will be announced at a later date.

This year’s awards will see the addition of a new element – the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp – widely regarded as being a key figure in having helped lay the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.

Al Booth, Editor Specialist Music at Radio 2 said:

“As the country’s most prolific collector of folk music and dance, Cecil Sharp amassed a collection which includes songs and tunes that have been part of the fabric of English life for hundreds of years. Without his work the careers of Martin Carthy, Fairport Convention, Nic Jones and Kate Rusby might have been very different. It is fitting that he should be the first inductee into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame.”

Nominees for the Folk Award categories were announced by Mark Radcliffe in the Folk Show on Wednesday November 20. The categories include: 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 awards show will also include the presentation of Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards.

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: “Folk Music is an integral part of the BBC Radio 2 schedule. It is a much loved genre by our audience and we remain committed to bringing our listeners the widest possible range and choice of music. This year The Radio 2 Folk Awards reach an important milestone in their history. And what better way to celebrate their 15th anniversary than them taking place in the very special location that is the Royal Albert Hall. I’m sure it will be a night to remember.”

Mark Radcliffe, presenter of the Radio 2 Folk Show, said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Folk Awards again this year, particularly on the event’s 15th anniversary and in the very grand Royal Albert Hall. Folk music is in rude health, and we’re all relishing the chance to make a big fuss about the genre’s vibrancy, diversity and sheer quality.”

Drivetime presenter Simon Mayo will be broadcasting a special programme live from the Albert Hall (5pm). The interval will feature performances from the nominees for the Young Folk Award 2014.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 8pm, and in vision via the Red Button and online at bbc.co.uk/radio2, with video highlights to follow the next day. The audience can also follow the event and get involved via the Radio 2 website.

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.

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.

The 33- year-old Kent-born musician even thought his career was over when, after 9/11, he couldn’t step aboard a plane – having to give up the opportunity of a major American tour with Irish singer Mary Black – and the fear then escalated to trains, buses and cars.

Edey, whose brilliantly eclectic new solo album Sailing over the 7th string is released on Monday, October 14, is open about his challenges and says music is the “therapy” and positivity he needs to keep on track.

After enduring bullying at school, it all started soon after his 15th birthday when he suffered his first panic attack. “I was hyperventilating and it was all downhill from then on.”

He is aware many of his fears – which have included a phobia of lifts – are irrational and even laughable. “Some of the things that happen are just mad – on stage I started repeatedly counting the guitar plectrums because I was convinced they were going to fall into my drink and I would choke.”

“When I lived in Dingle in Ireland a lot of the roads were very bumpy. I would get an idea that I had hit someone and began retracing journeys. The worst thing is having to continually check things like whether you have turned off the tap. You just can’t stop….

A keen sailor, Tim says that on a boat there is no escape from your fears.  “Sailing a 28 foot boat alone, you are forced to confront each and every fear and thought and carry on.”

But Perth-based Tim is able to restore the balance by immersing himself in his music whether solo, session or in his duo with harmonica genius Brendan Power with whom he also won Best Duo at the 2012 Folk Awards. As one of the most in-demand musicians on the acoustic circuit he has played with many of the major players on the Celtic scene from The Chieftains to Christy Moore and Sharon Shannon and is soon to embark on an American tour with Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster.

Tim says: “There are different forms of OCD and it’s ridiculous because it’s all in your head. I have good days and bad days. I don’t think there’s anything to hide – there shouldn’t be a stigma about it-– a lot of people write to me about it who are in similar situations.”

Tim, whose partner is Perthshire singer Isobel Crowe with whom he has a baby daughter Ava, says: “It’s been a mad journey but I’m just thankful I’m able to play my music and keep things under control. OCD and anxiety often go hand in hand with creativity – the positive thing is my music. Music makes it right!”

Sailing over the 7th String – predominantly guitar music with a bit of box playing thrown in for good measure – is already being heard across the BBC airwaves and getting enthusiastic reviews.

It is released on the Gnatbite Records label on October 14 and is available at gigs and online at www.timedey.co.uk