Rusty Shackle – WASH AWAY THESE NIGHTS

Rusty Shackle WASH AWAY THESE NIGHTSRusty Shackle formed in early 2010 and their infectious pulse, style and musical genre, whilst potently contemporary, is difficult to pigeon hole and has been described by Plugged In magazine as the “Bombay Badboy of Folk” a reference to the hottest Pot Noodle on the market (folkmaster – What’s your favourite Pot Noddle? was actually one of our interview questions back in 2000!)  .  This said, elements of folk, rock, bluegrass, Celtic rhythms and Delta blues are clearly discernible. Either way, feet tap to whatever the specific nuance.

Stunning, high-energy live performances and boundless enthusiasm make sure you’ll leave exhausted, with their tunes swimming around your head for days after. They are well on the way to ensuring they are everywhere this coming summer.

“…the perfectly named, violin-toting Welsh quintet Rusty Shackle created a proper hootenanny hoedown” The Independent

Rusty Shackle’s debut album WASH AWAY THESE NIGHTS has now hit the streets and has already reached number 22 in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart, the singles reaching as high as number 2 after its digital release. As Neil King from Fatea Showcases said, “Genre prostitution is a major feature of “Wash Away These Nights”, rock, pop, gospel, blues, rockabilly, skiffle, are all thrown into the melting pot to produce an album that celebrates the art of having a good time.”

The album thrives on musical diversity, whilst maintaining a cohesive sound to keep it all together. Inspired by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Seth Lakeman, Johnny Cash and traditional Celtic and bluegrass music the twelve original tracks on WASH AWAY THESE NIGHT are a joy to listen to, or indeed dance to. From the album opener 3AM, described as an ode to insomnia, to the final track Sunrise the listener will hear that all tracks are killer cuts, no fillers here.

Other standout tracks on the album include Cold Hearted Town, one of the first tracks the band ever composed, deals with being stuck in a sleepy town with nothing to do and nowhere to go, an anthem for the 21st century.  Factory is about working in a soul destroying workplace but on the other side of the coin Beating Heart of a Kingdom is a positive song about the choices we make in our lives and how it’s never too late to change. When it comes to the songwriting most of the lyrics were composed by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Liam Collins and guitarist James McKeon, the music was composed by the band as a whole who comprise Scott McKeon (fiddle, banjo and vocals), Baz Barwick (bass, mandola, vocals),Owen Emmanuel (drums and percussion) along with the above mentioned Liam and James.

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Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 give Lifetime Achievement Awards to…

Folk legends Don McLean and The Dubliners will both be given Lifetime Achievement Awards at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards 2012, to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 8th February.

Presenter Mike Harding announced the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards on the Radio 2 Folk Show on Wednesday 18 January (7-8pm).

Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2 and 6 Music said:

“Radio 2 is committed to featuring folk music as part of our specialist music output, so we’re delighted to be holding the Radio 2 Folk Awards in Salford this year, and that listeners will be able to also watch the ceremony. Both The Dubliners and Don McLean are much loved by the Radio 2 audience, and I’d like to congratulate them on their well-deserved awards.”

Mike Harding said:

On The Dubliners – ‘When The Dubliners virtually invented the Dublin pub music scene 50 years ago, they changed the face of Irish music forever. They were exciting and different, with a real whiff of danger about them. In Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew, they possessed two truly charismatic singers of a rare quality. Barney McKenna and John Sheahan, who remain with the group to this day, are indisputably world class musicians. Hugely influential and deeply loved at home and abroad, The Dubliners are responsible for countless definitive recordings and I’m delighted that Radio 2 is honouring their immense contribution to folk music.’

On Don McLean – ‘The truly great songwriters, who create works of such quality that they become standards across genres, are owed a debt of gratitude by the music world and I think it’s fantastic that we’re presenting Don McLean with this award.’

Don McLean is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits American Pie and Vincent (Starry Starry Night). Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.

Don McLean said:

“I thank the BBC for thinking of me and honouring me with this award. The UK audience has been among the most loyal for over 40 years and without them certainly I wouldn’t be considered for this honour, so I thank the BBC and I thank the British public”

The Dubliners changed the face of Irish traditional music when they formed in Dublin in 1962. Half a century later, they continue to be one of the best-loved and most recognisable of Ireland’s folk groups, responsible for definitive versions of Ireland’s greatest ballads – Whiskey In The Jar, The Wild Rover and The Rocky Road To Dublin. For a lot of people around the world, The Dubliners are Irish music, and Irish music is The Dubliners.

This is the 13th year of the awards, which were created to celebrate the UK’s folk scene, and the first year the Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast from the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. In addition to being broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, the awards will also be available for fans to watch live on BBC Red Button.

The awards, which are produced by production company Smooth Operations, will be hosted by BBC Radio 2 Folk presenter Mike Harding, alongside singer Julie Fowlis. Lifetime Achievement Award winners The Dubliners and Don McLean will be playing at the event. Other artists who will be performing on the night are Christy Moore, The Unthanks with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Tim Edey & Brendan Power and June Tabor & Oysterband.

One of the other prestigious awards of the night – the Roots Award, awarded in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Folk Music from a Grass Roots level upwards – will be presented to Malcolm Taylor OBE. Malcolm is the Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society. He’s receiving the Roots Award for his outstanding contribution for over 30 years of service.

Malcolm Taylor said:

“I am surprised and honoured to be receiving this award. The real star of the show is the Ralph Vaughan Williams Library itself. I am absolutely delighted to be accepting the award on behalf of the library and archive collections.”

Among this year’s nominees are June Tabor & Oysterband who have picked up four nominations for Best Group, Best Album for the album ‘Ragged Kingdom‘, Best Traditional Track, for ‘Bonny Bunch of Roses‘ and June Tabor has been nominated for Folk Singer of the Year. Sisters The Unthanks have also received four nominations for Best Group, Best Live Act, Best Album and Best Original Song. Other short-listed artists include Martin Simpson who has three nominations for Best Album, Best Traditional Track and Musician of the Year.

The Folk Awards ceremony will once again be combined with The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, which is given to the most promising young folk artist in the UK.

Simon Mayo will be bringing his Drivetime show live from The Lowry Theatre in Salford ahead of the Radio 2 Folk Awards. He’s joined by his very special guest Don McLean who will be performing live on the show ahead of the event. In an extended programme, Simon also showcases live music from some of the other nominees and brings a flavour of what the night has in store.

Listeners can watch the Radio 2 Folk Awards live by using the BBC interactive Red Button service and pressing the red button from any BBC TV or Radio Channel. Or by going online to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/

Highlights of The Radio 2 Folk Awards will remain on BBC Red Button and the BBC Radio 2 website for viewers to enjoy for seven days after the event.

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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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

Tales from the Barrel House – Seth Lakeman folking album review

Seth Lakeman’s hotly anticipated new album – Tales from the Barrel House has now arrived on the streets and it’s HOT!

All 10 tracks are Seth’s self penned and performed which include layers of his own vocals sandwiched together with various Seth style instrumental arrangements, including a hammer on an anvil and whatever else he could lay his hands on. Seth produced and mixed it too.

The setting of the studio was the cooperage Barrel House workshop in the beautiful surrounds of Morwellham Quay in West Devon which is quite near Seth’s home. He was born and brought up on the surrounds of Dartmoor which has inspired a lot of Lakeman repertoire like the hugely celebrated Kitty Jay from the album of the same name…

The Barrel House tracks are inspired from hard core copper miners most of which started mining from the age of Seven –  toiling for hours on end in the dusty hole for a pittance. More than Money is the first track of the album depicting this and it was recorded down the mine to give it an additional dramatic effect!

Blacksmith’s Prayer is a favourite of mine, axe on anvil for percussion –  ‘an epitaph to a blacksmith’s life and a disappearing craft.’

The Watchmakers Rhyme is a dedication to watchmaker George Routledge and in it Seth weaves the tale in with the mechanics of the song. Hard Road tells of factories/mines having to close and the subsequent hard  road of survival. Sender is about the letters between two lovers which bought a watery eye to this fair maiden!

On to the sea now and Salt from our Veins tells of life and livelihood. Brothers of Penryn has a steady beat we all know and expect from Seth and is about a prodigal son and greed of his family. Apple of His Eye is another tearjerker! Another of Seth’s foot stompers follows – Higher Walls, fast becoming another favourite of mine which is about workers in a chain gang and their sense of entrapment.

The album slips away quietly with the Artisan which is about a woodworker and his trade, reliving his life as he works. Reminds me of my late father and it shook me to the core as wasn’t prepared for the soulful and meaningful words pulling at the heart strings of my memories.

So in summary, an excellent album from Seth, interestingly released too late for this years Radio 2 Folk Awards so I’ll hazard a guess that it will clean up at the following 2013 event. A true work of art… with plenty of fiddle still in there too!

Jean Camp

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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Artist web link: http://www.sethlakeman.co.uk/

Seth Lakeman Announces New Album ‘Tales from the Barrel House’

Celebrated folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman has just released details of his forthcoming sixth album ‘Tales From The Barrel House’.

Nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 for his ‘Kitty Jay’ album, ‘Tales from the Barrel House’ see’s seth returning to his Devon roots.  Recorded at Morwellham Quay mining port on the north bank of the River Tamar, tracks were recorded in workshops located in the quay.  One track even saw Seth descend into a disused West Country copper mine. Recorded with just one sound field microphone, Seth not only wrote all the songs, but played every musical contribution himself, as well as producing and mixing the album.

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.

Artist web link: sethlakeman.co.uk

Graham Robins – THE SHIPPING NEWS

THE SHIPPING NEWS is the brand new album release on The Global Sessions Label by singer songwriter Graham Robins emphasising his love of soul, blues, country and Gospel music along with the occasional dip into Celtic and Folk; all delivered in his signature rich deep voice. The album takes the listener on a journey into the heart and soul of a singer songwriter who has composed a well crafted collection of songs that underpins an experience and love of roots music in all its many forms.

Stand out cuts include the stunning title track The Shipping News, where Graham’s vocal delivery teases every emotion, guaranteed to move the listener, the pedal steel led Now All Of The Heartache’s Gone, the soulful Snow Blindand emotionally charged Roll Back The Years, but special mention must be made of the stunning Drown In Your Eyes which really shows a songwriter at the top of his game. This is an album of twelve killer songs, no fillers here.

Graham Robins truly is an outstanding singer songwriter and live performer, with two previous albums under his belt, SPIRIT WITHIN and ROLL BACK THE YEARS but with THE SHIPPING NEWS he has taken his recorded output to another level. Graham’s soulful voice and unique guitar style knit together perfectly wrapped around lyrics gathered from a lifetime of experience. Whether performed live or on record, his delivery becomes a passionate embrace of his heartfelt songs, revealing great depth and sincerity.

The album was recorded at the Echo Studios in Buckingham and was produced by Graham himself. Graham, who plays electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica and supplies lead vocals, is joined by guest musicians Stuart Buckle on Dobro and guitar, Dave Baldwin on keyboards (Van Morrison, Chris Farlowe, James Hunter, Larry Garner, The Norman Beaker Band), John Devine who supplies Uillean pipes (Wild Willy Barratt, Sleeping Dogs), Olly Dowlen on upright bass (Don Mescal, writer for Ronan Keating), Mark Burr on drums, Rol Walker on percussion, Cliff Weston gives us pedal steel, Cliff Ward on violin and not forgetting Jade Rhiannon Ward on backing vocals.

Graham Robins has been performing live and recording music since the mid 1960’s and has played at The Edinburgh Festival, The North Devon Music Festival, The Castlebar International Blues Festival and The Westport Arts Festival. He has shared the stage with numerous artists including The Waterboys, Seth Lakeman, Glen Tilbrook, Georgie Fame and Chris Farlowe. He was a 2008 Indie Award Nominee and tours the U.K. and Ireland regularly either solo or with his band and also with virtuoso guitarist and former Van Morrison sideman Ronnie Johnson. At London’s Borderline as part of Shana Morrison’s 2007 UK tour they performed together on Van Morrison’s Sometimes We Cry to great acclaim.

With influences that are vast and eclectic that go way back to the days of tuning into Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline, listening to Stax, Motown and Atlantic Records and with a love of artists with cross border musical links, it comes as no surprise that THE SHIPPING NEWS is an album covering many musical genres.

Graham Robins is constantly playing live shows up and down the UK and to support the release of THE SHIPPING NEWS will be touring the UK over the winter of 2011/2012.

Release date – November 7th 2011 on the Global Sessions label…

“Magical rootsy stuff, gloriously uplifting and with atmosphere by the spadefull!”

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.