Knight & Spiers UK Tour March 2018

Knight & Spiers

In the summer of 2016, the organisers of FolkEast Festival had the grand idea of pairing Peter Knight (ex-Steeleye Span) and John Spiers (ex-Bellowhead) for a special ‘one off’ concert at that year’s festival.

In the event, it ended up being a genuine festival highlight, with no space to be found in the Marquee and people standing five deep in pouring rain. For a few minutes at the close of their performance, with a standing ovation and roars for more, it didn’t seem as though the audience was going to let them go….it was a genuinely spine tingling occasion. As the MC commented, it was one of those occasions when people could say “I was there”.

It came as no real surprise that the one-off special led to a more permanent arrangement, and with a studio album in the pipeline, Knight and Spiers undertake their first UK tour in March 2018.


26 Warwick Arts Centre
Special Double Bill with The Gigspanner Big Band (featuring Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin)


01 London: Cecil Sharp House

02 Alfriston: The Old Chapel

03 Ashford: Revelation St Mary’s

04 Hitchin: Folk Club @ The Sun Hotel

05 Colchester: Arts Centre

06 Cambridge: The Junction

08 Worcester: Huntingdon Hall

09 Leicester: Guildhall

10 Halesworth: The Cut, In Conjunction With FolkEast Festival

11 Lincoln: Performing Arts Centre

12 Sheffield: Greystones

14 Hexham: The Queen’s Hall

15 Leyland/Preston: Fox Lane Sports and Social Club

16 Settle: Victoria Hall

17 Liverpool: The Music Room, Liverpool Philharmonic

18 Bishop’s Castle: The Town Hall

19 Nettlebed Folk Club

21 Fareham: Ashcroft Arts Centre

22 Basingstoke: The Forge at the Anvil

23 Corsham: The Pound Arts Centre

24 Calstock: Arts Centre

25 Topsham: Matthews Hall

27 Bridgwater: Arts Centre

Live at FolkEast:


Canadian folk double header tour


A transatlantic co-headline UK tour from two of the biggest names from the culture-rich maritime province of Canada.

The Ennis Sisters have grown up and gone through a number of phases and musical explorations together. Their latest album, Stages, is a return to their roots – singing contemporary folk songs with a traditional Irish Newfoundland twist. The trio are excited to be heading to the UK in February and March 2018 with fellow award winning Canadian Dave Gunning. With this double bill you can expect an entertaining evening of the best of East Coast Canadian Folk.

With multiple accolades – a Juno Award, SOCAN Award, multiple East Coast Music Awards, and Music Newfoundland and Labrador Awards, The Ennis Sisters – Maureen, Teresa and Karen Ennis – are world renowned, celebrated songbirds.

Dave Gunning’s recording career is now approaching full two decades in length (his debut album, Lost Tracks, came out in 1996). Along with richly deserved peer respect, he has also earned a shelf full of music industry awards. That tally now stands at eight East Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category.

His impressive songwriting skill has also been internationally recognised, with earlier tunes scoring victories and high placing in some major international songwriting competitions.

“Truly, what makes Gunning so remarkable as an entertainer is his rare gift to be able to befriend the audience as a whole from the stage throughout the course of the concert. And, indeed, you do feel as though he’s as good of a friend as any after a night of songs, stories and lighthearted laughs.” The Guardian

Artists’ website:

Tour Dates


22 SHOREHAM BY SEA Ropetackle Arts Centre

23 FAREHAM Ashcroft Arts Centre

24 NEW MILTON Forest Arts Centre


26 SETTLE Victoria Hall

27 YORK National Centre for Early Music

28 BIRMINGHAM Mac Arts Centre


1 BURY The Met

2 LONDON King’s Place

Sarah McQuaid announces new album and tour dates

Sarah McQuaid

Produced by legendary singer-songwriter and guitar sage Michael Chapman, If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous is the fifth solo album by UK-based singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid.

Musings on mortality dominate this recording, but it’s by no means all gloom: ‘Break Me Down’ is possibly the cheeriest song ever written about decomposition, while ‘One Sparrow Down’ (backed not by Sarah’s trademark DADGAD-tuned guitar but rather by a battery of unorthodox percussion instruments including wine bottle and oven grill) takes a similarly upbeat approach to the death of a bird hell-bent on attacking its own reflection, unseen by the predatory cat calmly watching from her perch on the windowsill. In the liner notes for the album, Sarah thanks her cat Nightshine for contributing guest vocals to the track, and apologises to her for the implicit metaphor.

A cover of Jeff Wayne’s melancholy ‘Forever Autumn’ leads into an arrangement for voice and guitar of ‘Dies Irae’, the medieval chant whose melody is echoed not only in Wayne’s intro to his classic War Of The Worlds number but also in countless film soundtrack themes (The Exorcist, The Shining and Citizen Kane, to name a few). Here as elsewhere on the album, McQuaid’s guitar shines on an equal basis with her velvet-textured voice. Indeed, two of the tracks are purely instrumental: ‘New Beginnings’, written as a wedding march for former pop star Zoë Pollock of ‘Sunshine On A Rainy Day’ fame (with whom Sarah recorded the album Crow Coyote Buffalo under the band name Mama), and ‘The Day Of Wrath, That Day’, whose title is a literal translation of the first line in ‘Dies Irae’.

The propulsive, apocalyptic title track was inspired by a warning McQuaid heard herself giving her son as he excavated an enormous hole in their back garden. There’s an obvious allusion to fracking (‘Splitting cracks in the rock to free the power inside’), but the song’s thematic scope extends well beyond that: ‘Sometimes the way to fix a problem is to turn the pressure off’ is a maxim that could apply to virtually any aspect of life.

On four of the tracks, including lead single ‘The Tug Of The Moon’, McQuaid plays an electric guitar belonging to Chapman, which he’s since given her on long-term loan. ‘The precision and sophistication of the writing and playing blows me away. I am so glad to be involved,’ he writes in his introduction to the album booklet. Since meeting Sarah when both artists played the Village Pump Festival in 2014, Chapman has become a staunch friend and supporter, even performing as her opening act at a local concert he and his wife arranged for her. Sarah became a regular visitor to the Chapmans’ farmhouse in Cumbria, and during one visit he made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: ‘We were having a chat and a glass of wine, and he said ‘Why don’t you let me produce your next album?’,’ Sarah recalls. ‘I’m glad he said it, because I’d never have dared ask otherwise!’

Another new addition is piano, which McQuaid plays to beautiful effect on ‘The Silence Above Us’ as well as on ‘Slow Decay’ and ‘Forever Autumn’. Guest musicians include Chapman on archtop electric guitar, Roger Luxton on drums and percussion, Samuel Hollis on upright and electric bass, Richard Evans on trumpet, Georgia Ellery on violin and Joe Pritchard on cello.

If We Dig Any Deeper It Could Get Dangerous was made possible thanks to financial support from Arts Council England Grants For The Arts, using public money from the Government and the National Lottery, and from Cultivator, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund, Arts Council England and Cornwall Council. The album will be launched with a concert at the Acorn Arts Centre in Sarah’s adopted home town of Penzance on Thursday, 25 January, following which she’ll be touring it extensively in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and the USA.

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 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.

Artist’s website:

‘The Tug Of The Moon’ – official video:

Tour Dates

January 2018

Thursday 25. The Acorn, Parade Street, Penzance, Cornwall TR18 4BU

Friday 26. Limelight Theatre Queens Park Arts Centre, Queens Park, Aylesbury, Bucks HP21 7RT

Sunday 28. Folk In The Barn  The Black Robin, Covet Lane, Kingston, nr Canterbury, Kent CT4 6HS

Monday 29. Colchester Folk Club Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1NF

Tuesday 30. The Roses Sunday Street, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 5NX

Wednesday 31. Pavilions The Den Crescent, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8BG

February 2018

Friday 2. The Poly 24 Church Street, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3EG

Sat 3. The Millpool Centre  The Millpool, West Looe, Cornwall PL13 2AF

Sunday 4. The Square and Compass  Worth Matravers, Swanage, Dorset BH19 3LF

Monday 5. Terrace Cred @ The Greys 105 Southover Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 9UA

Thursday 8. The Brindley Arts Centre High Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1BG

Friday 9. The Sheep Dip Sessions Sheep Dip Lane, Princethorpe, Rugby, Warwickshire CV23 9SP

Saturday 10. Ustinov Studio Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, Somerset BA1 1ET

Sunday 11. The Wharf Canal Road, Tavistock, Devon PL19 8AT

Dan Walsh Trio announce spring tour dates

Dan Walsh Trio
Photograph by Kate Gallow

After a mammoth solo world tour promoting the release of the critically acclaimed Verging On The Perpendicular album, BBC Folk Award nominee Dan Walsh’s annual UK tour offers an exciting change for 2018 seeing the launch of the all-new Dan Walsh Trio. This exciting new outfit sees him team up with award winning fiddler Ciaran Algar and long-time collaborator Nic Zuppardi on mandolin. Although a few favourites from Dan’s previous highly praised albums will be in the set, the gigs are mostly to be shaped around brand new and innovative material. At the heart of the trio’s sound is British, Irish and American folk music delivered with a healthy dose of funky grooves. Add to all that poignant songs, astonishing musical departures and lively humour and the result is sure to be a truly memorable live show featuring three of the most in demand musicians on the folk scene today.

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 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.

Dan Walsh Trio UK Tour Dates

20 April COVENTRY Big Comfy Bookshop 07396 029448

04 May DERBYSHIRE North Wingfield Resource Centre 01246 856451

08 May STAFFORD Gatehouse Theatre
01785 619080

11 May KINGSWINFORD Woodman Folk Club 01384 560462

12 May PEAK DISTRICT Alstonefield Village Hall 01335310121

15 May DARTFORD Dartford Folk Club 01322 277218

16 May LONDON Slaughtered Lamb 020 7253 1516

17 May WINCHESTER Hyde Tavern 01962 862592

18 May BURTON ON TRENT Burton Folk Club

19 May GUILDFORD Trinity Folk Festival (12pm)

19 May STAFFORDSHIRE Chebsey Parish Hall (Solo) 01785 760660

20 May OXFORD Holywell Music Rooms ​07464 252847

22 May NEWCASTLE The Cumberland Arms 0191 265 725

23 May SHEFFIELD The Greystones

24 May BISHOPS CASTLE Sparc Theatre 01588 630321

25 May OSWESTRY Willow Gallery 01691 657575

29 May LEICESTER The Musician 07775 896681

20 June PRESTON Willows Folk Club 01253 640959

Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton are back for a series of intimate gigs during February 2018

Dempsey Broughton

2017 saw Dempsey Broughton return to the fray with a series of exciting live appearances to accompany the release of their acclaimed album, Off By Heart. The collection’s nine tracks ranged from outlandish and inventive instrumentals, to traditional and original songs. With “a slightly political twist” running throughout, the collection earned a raft of four and five-star reviews.

Since forming in 1999, the duo have toured extensively, performing across over 20 countries and releasing three albums – Every Other Word (1999), Freehand (2004), and last year’s Off By Heart. Combining emotive songs, unrivalled musicianship, and a spectacular high energy show, Dempsey (guitar, vocals) and Broughton (fiddle, mandolin) never fail to create a spellbinding atmosphere.

At the top of their game, the list of acts they’ve played with includes such names as Whippersnapper, Pentangle, Mary Black, Joss Stone, Dando Shaft, The Urban Folk Quartet, Fairport Convention, The Albion Band, Dave Swarbrick, and even soul singer Percy Sledge! Yet Kevin and Joe continue to value their unique musical partnership, rooted in ‘folk music’ yet drawing on influences from the four corners of the world.

“With the album and the sell-out gigs, last year was our most successful to date so we can’t wait to get back out again,” enthuses Joe. “We’re really looking forward to playing songs from our previous releases as well as a few new tunes which we’ve been working on.”

Referring to the lengthy gap between Freehand and Off By Heart, Joe jokes:

“The new songs are sounding great, they really continue the themes and ideas from Off By Heart, and after the 13 year gap between albums, we hope it won’t be that long ‘til the next one!”

“We’ve spent the last few months exchanging ideas, so new songs are coming together – instrumentals, traditional songs and original songs,” interjects Kevin. “We spend a lot of time working on arrangements and always enjoy our time together, both of us – from the gigs to our annual guitar/ fiddle Summer School – so who knows? Maybe we’ll find the time to do some more recording this coming year … or the year after. We’ll see …”

Artists’ website: 

Demspey Broughton live:

Tour Dates

Friday 16 February 2018
The Hinckley ACT, 7 Watling Close, Hinckley, Leicestershire LE10 3EZ
With support from Brian Phillips
£11 (£10 Members)     8pm     Tel: 01455 631 609 

Saturday 17 February 2019
The Sunny Sailor, 1 Fullbridge, Maldon, Essex CM9 4LE
£15 (+£1.50 booking fee)     7.30pm
Tickets: Maldon TIC 01621 856503 or via

Thursday 22 February 2018
The Kitchen Garden Café, 17 York Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7SA
£12     8pm (Doors 7.30pm)     Tel: 0121 443 4725
Tickets via

Friday 23 February 2018
Bristol Folk House, 40a Park Street, Bristol BS1 5JG
£10.50 advance; £12.50 door     7.30pm 

Saturday 24 February 2018
Stanley Halls, 12 South Norwood Hill, London SE25 6AB     £15    8pm (doors 7.30pm)


Zoe Mulford announces new album and tour dates

Zoe Mulford

Small Brown Birds is the eagerly awaited new album release from Zoe Mulford, an album that looks for joy in the midst of hard times. The songs touch on wintry themes with compassion, honesty, and sometimes wit, tracing a journey from sadness to hope and from winter to spring. The musical arrangements range from gentle and lush to infectiously danceable.

News just in is that Joan Baez will be covering one of Zoe’s songs, ‘The President Sang Amazing Grace’, on her upcoming album and concert tour and spoke about Zoe in an interview with Variety magazine, to quote Joan from the article re the new album “I’ve done something from Antony & The Johnsons, two from Tom Waits – ‘Last Leaf’ and ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ – Josh Ritter, one from an unknown, Zoe Mulford, brilliant. Twelve songs and they’re done.”

The new album showcases Zoe Mulford’s clear voice, sprightly clawhammer banjo, and resonant guitar. An American songwriter now living in the north of England, Zoe charms audiences with story-driven songwriting and an unlabored vocal style sometimes compared to that of Joan Baez. Tracks on the album include her take on the Red Clay Ramblers’ soaring sea shanty, ‘The Queen of Skye’. Zoe’s own ‘February Thunder’ dovetails gracefully with the traditional American tune ‘Frosty Morning’. The banjo also crosses the Atlantic for a solo rendition of Paul McCartney’s acoustic tour de force, ‘Blackbird’ and in the tradition of broadsheet ballads; Zoe pulls stories from current headlines. ‘The President Sang Amazing Grace’ tells the story of the 2015 AME church shooting in Charleston and President Obama’s eulogy for those slain.

The heart of the project is a new collaboration with English fiddler and mandolinist Tom Kitching. Tom is a high-energy player in the style of Dave Swarbrick. Folk broadcaster Mike Harding describes him as “one of the best English fiddlers ever, he takes English folk music by the scruff of the neck and sends it off laughing and dancing and having a good time.”

The core band on the album also features English percussionist Sam McEvoy and Philadelphia’s Ken Pendergast on upright bass. Guest musicians include Pat Wictor on harmony vocals, Bob Beach on harmonica, and Michael G. Ronstadt on cello.

Small Brown Birds is Zoe’s fifth release. She draws expertly on the traditional music of both Appalachia and the British Isles and while stealing a few pages from the American Songbook to create music that feels both comfortably lived-in and sparklingly fresh. Zoe has had work published in Sing Out! Magazine and has had songs covered by many other artists, including Rhiannon Giddens (with Gaelwynd) and John Roberts & Tony Barrand.

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 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.

Artist’s website:

‘The President Sang Amazing Grace’ – live:

To support the release of Small Brown Birds, Zoe along with Tom Kitching will be touring throughout 2018; confirmed dates so far are:

Wednesday 17 January – Nottingham – Carrington Triangle Folk Club

Thursday 18th January – Bradford – Topic Folk Club

Friday 19 January – Northwich – Northwich Folk Club

Wednesday 24 January – Kirkham, Lancs – Willows Folk Club

Friday 26 January – Guildford – Music Institute Folk Club

Saturday 27 January – Combe Martin – Shammick Acoustic

Sunday 28 January – Reading – Readifolk

Thursday 12 April – Lymm – Lymm Folk Club

Friday 20 April – Bodmin – Bodmin Folk Club

Monday 23 April – Warwick- Warwick Folk Club

Monday 30 April – Stockport – Midway Folk Club

Friday 4 May – Todmorden – Todmorden Folk Festival

“As well as her fine voice and songwriting skills, what makes Zoe standout is her claw-hammer banjo technique…” Fatea