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 consider ordering a copy of an album for any of our award winners (in CD or Vinyl), download an album or track or just listen to snippets of selected songs (track previews are usually on the download page) then type what you are looking for in the search bar above.

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Reaching for a state of mind: Dan Whitehouse

Reaching for a state of mind Dan WhitehouseBirmingham based musician Dan Whitehouse’s second album “Reaching for a state of mind” covers a gamut of emotions in his self penned lyrics, on a journey through dark, deep places, questioning and challenging with a searing honesty. Together with compositional input from producer and keyboard player Michael Clarke, the eleven songs range from rocky to simple acoustic settings.

The album opens with “A dream that’s floating out to sea”, a quirky, catchy song driven by the idiosyncratic creative use of percussion by Duke Special’s Chip Bailey who also adds a distinctive flavour to many of the other album tracks. “A Light” and “Come to me” continue in a driving rock vein but “The River” changes the mood completely with its simple opening which builds to an anthemic chorus. Moody strings and atmospheric drumming give the dark “Chasing paper” a nightmarish feel whilst “Why don’t we dance” is stripped back to simple block chords.

The  track “Maybe I was born to run” with its Springsteen quotes, feature the steel guitar of  P.J.Wright and a backing choir in true Springsteen fashion, and draws the album to a more positive feel at the close. The final track “Home” is a lovely poetic tribute to Birmingham.

“Reaching for a state of mind” is a well crafted album with great musicianship in the band providing support for Whitehouse to express his songs with variety and clarity.  The emotive lyrics draw you in with their touching vulnerability and the imaginative musical settings provide excellent matches to the themes. The vibrancy of the opening track provides the highlight of the album with “The River” another strong contribution.

“Reaching for a state of mind” does exactly what it says on the tin and all credit to Dan Whitehouse for sharing his experiences in this album. Janet M Roe

Artist web link: www.dan-whitehouse.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/danwhitehousemusic

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?).

Queueing outside in the cold for 40 mins once to get a seat wasn’t fun. The choice of one ceilidh at least (there was an unused ballroom) would have been nice. You would have plenty to gripe about if you had been expecting a “conventional” folk festival, as there were no sessions, workshops, dancing of any kind or ‘meet the band’ events.

However, the four of us had a Gold 3 bedroomed apartment for 3 nights and nowt to pay to get in to all the concerts for a total, incl, insurancewe didn’t need, of £59 a head – a couple of nights in a Premier Inn without any concerts! We expected the beer & food to be pricey but were pleasantly surprised – and there was real ale and other non-musical attractions if ya liked.

The sound crews got booed twice that I heard – delays of 35/45 minutes between acts and artistes still gesticulating about their sound half way through the sets is amateur. Digance gave them some stick in an amusing way.

Pete Shaw – Peterborough & South Lincs Folk Diary www.peterboroughfolkdiary.org.uk