Jackie Oates: new album and tour dates

Jackie Oates
Photograph courtesy of The Oxford Times

We are proud to announce the release of the seventh studio album, The Joy Of Living, by Jackie Oates. It’s a record that covers an intensely personal period of her life, in which she celebrated the birth of her daughter Rosie and bid an emotional and loving farewell to her beloved father.

The Joy Of Living features songs made famous by folk greats including Ewan McColl, Lal Waterson and Davey Steele, as well as carefully picked songs from contemporary artists such as John Lennon and Darwin Deez – all interpreted in Jackie’s inimitable style.

Recorded at home in Jackie’s kitchen (with baby Rosie in attendance) she collaborated with fellow Imagined Village alumni and producer Simon Richmond to create this intimate, touching and uplifting collection. The album also features performances by friends from the world of folk including Mike Cosgrave, Barney Morse Brown, John Parker and Jack Rutter.

Born and raised on folk music, Jackie Oates started her career as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in 2003. Since then she has been nominated for twelve BBC Folk awards; at the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards she scooped Best Newcomer and Best Traditional Track on the same night.

Jackie will be performing at festivals throughout the summer and is on tour in November 2018 and February 2019

Album pre-order: https://www.eccrecords.co.uk/product/the-joy-of-living-pre-order/

‘The Joy Of Living’ – live:

2018 Tour Dates

30th June 2018: Folk On The Quay, Poole

7th July 2018: Kimpton Folk Festival

23rd July 2018: Chichester Folk Song Club

7th August 2018: Sidmouth Folk Week

12th August 2018: Dartmoor Folk Festival

25th August 2018: Oxford Storytelling Festival

15th November 2018: Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham

16th November 2018: Pound Arts Centre, Fordham

17th November 2018: Tuppenny Barn, Emsworth

21st November 2018: The Greystones, Sheffield

24th November 2018: Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth

The Ballads Of Child Migration on tour

Child Migration

With award-winning folk artists:

John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick,

Boo Hewerdine, O’Hooley & Tidow,

Chris While, Julie Matthews,

John Doyle, Jez Lowe,

Andy Seward and Andy Cutting

Narrated by Barbara Dickson

In November 2018, a collective of brilliant and respected musicians and singers are taking to the road to tell the moving story of Britain’s forced child migrants.

The concert, presented as a series of songs, narration, slides, audio and film clips, premiered at last year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, where it was described as “without doubt the most memorable concert of the festival.”

The songs in this concert were recently heard as part of a major BBC Radio 2 dramatisation of Michael Morpurgo’s book Alone On A Wide Wide Sea, which deals with the same subject. The radio drama, including the music, starred Toby Jones and Jason Donovan and reached an estimated audience of 6 million listeners.

“One of the pre-eminent song collections of recent times, poignantly re-telling one of the most important stories to have emerged from these islands” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

Forced child migration is a little known and dark part of the history of Britain. More than 100,000 children from Britain were sent overseas (to places including Australia and Canada) with the promise of finding a better life. Some did find the happy lives they longed for; many others found only hardship, abuse and loneliness.

The Ballads Of Child Migration is a tribute to those children, some of whom were sent abroad as recently as 1970.

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.

After each concert there will be a short Q&A session where members of the audience can ask questions of the performers and other experts about child migration.

* * *

This tour is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and is produced by 7digital – the digital music and radio services company that also produced the BBC Radio version of Alone On A Wide Wide Sea.

Tour Dates – November 2018

Monday 12th – Folk In The Barn, Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Tuesday 13th – Saint James Church, Clerkenwell, London

Wednesday 14th – Corn Exchange, Cambridge

Thursday 15th – The Albert Hall, Nottingham

Friday 16th – Floral Hall, Southport

Tickets available from www.ticketline.co.uk / 0844 888 9991

For Gulbenkian – www.thegulbenkian.co.uk / 01227 831 493

Scottish trio Dowally announces second album and tour dates


Described as “something very special” “truly great music-making” and “great stuff” by BBC Radio Scotland, Scottish folk trio Dowally release their hotly-anticipated second album, Somewhere on 20 June 2018, followed by a week long tour of major UK cities.

Dowally is the meeting point of three musicians from very different worlds. Rachel Walker plays fiddle in the Scottish folk tradition, Phil Alexander is a performer and scholar of Klezmer music, and Daniel Abrahams guitarist rooted in Edinburgh’s jazz scene.

Somewhere was recorded live at the famous Castlesound Studio in Pencaitland, home to many great Scottish artists over the past 50 years including Karine Polwart, Lau and Blue Nile.

Why Somewhere? It was driving past the signpost to the tiny highland hamlet of Dowally, somewhere on the A9, that inspired their name back in 2015. But on a more profound level, the album’s tracks could be imagined as thrilling folk music from a made-up land, perhaps a lost island somewhere between Orkney and the Baltic coast.

Dowally’s first album was a spontaneous moment in the studio, an invitation from engineer and cellist Graham Coe. The new release is a much more considered project, with finely honed compositions and arrangements which express a unique identity within Scotland’s blossoming folk scene.

Somewhere features eight original compositions, and two choice covers. For any band, arranging a Beatles song is almost a rite of passage, and in Dowally’s hands, ‘And I Love Her’ takes a dark turn, swelling to a powerful ending, with Phil’s accordion improvising a minor reel. ‘Fluorescent Banshee’ blends Arctic Monkeys’ ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’ with the tradition Scottish fiddle tune ‘The Banshee’ – an unexpected and surprisingly joyful take on a modern classic.

The album features a number of exceptional guests. Ciaran Ryan of Dallahan lends his nimble fingers on tenor banjo and fiddle, Graham Coe rejoins the party with his fierce rhythmic cello, and finally the group is joined by Dominic Blaikie, a singer of rare soulfulness.

Dowally are:

Rachel Walker – Fiddle, Low Whistle, Vocals
Daniel Abrahams – Guitar, Double Bass, Vocals
Phil Alexander – Accordion, Piano

Artists’ website: www.dowally.com

‘Sunday Brunch’ – live:

Tour Dates

23 June LEEDS  LS6 Cafe
24 June  OXFORD  Tandem Festival
25 June  NOTTINGHAM The Jamcafe
26 June  SHEFFIELD  Greystones
27 June  GLASGOW  Glad Cafe
28 June  EDINBURGH  Scottish Storytelling Centre

Lucy Ward announces new album and tour dates

Lucy Ward

Pretty Warnings is the captivating fourth studio album from Lucy Ward. Rich with tradition and exquisitely penned original songs, this album weaves its way effortlessly through matters of love, darkness, longing and joy. It confirms what we already knew – that Ward’s unique ability to inhabit the very heart of a song is bewitching, beguiling and beautiful.

Ward is a story teller at heart, concerned with expressing truth and the human condition. She can paint a picture with her words and this album is an expressive collection of true stories and evocative imagery.

As well as innovative arrangements of traditional songs such as the ballad ‘Bill Norrie’, Ward has delved into the tradition to come up with beautiful retellings of traditional forms. ‘The Cruel Mother’ is re-spun in her song Mari Fach (meaning Sweet Mari), the true story of a young welsh woman pregnant, unmarried and afraid. The archetypal rover becomes Ward’s yearning ‘Silver Morning’, a taste of her inimitable nu-folk originality. She has also addressed the recurring theme of the night visitor with the insistent ‘Cold Caller’.

Pretty Warnings has a sublime quality; an enchanting warmth that runs through it. It feels as though Ward’s song writing has evolved with a richness born from her experience and time away from the studio; songs like ‘Sunshine Child’ and ‘The Sweetest Flowers’ being prime examples of her exquisite skill in their quiet and involving beauty.

Produced by Stu Hanna & Stephen MacLachlan

Behind the scenes:

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.

A closer look at the songs

Silver Morning – L. Ward

A plaintive piano opens the album and sets a mood of wistful melancholy. The purity of Ward’s voice portrays the longing of the rover destine always to roam.

The sky turned into a fishermen’s boat/stole the clouds and left me alone’

Cold Caller – L. Ward

A night visitor song, drawing on the drama and changeability of the weather. What starts of as a sweet love song becomes claustrophobic as the darkness creeps in.

Hateful is the sun/her hurtful chiding eyes/she watched me come undone/I wait for the night’

Sunshine Child – L. Ward

A beautiful expression of pure unfettered love. The song conjures up echoes of surrendering to the inevitable lure of unconditional love.

I heard you singing our song/I knew you would come’

Bill Norrie – Trad Arr. Ward

Ward first heard this song supporting Martin Carthy in 2013, and was utterly captivated by this Child Ballad that tells the story of mistaken identity and murder.

He’s run home and home there down into his hall/Tossed Billy’s head to her, crying “Lady catch the ball”’

Maria Martin – Trad Arr. Ward

Found in the Davenport Song Collection ‘Down Yorkshire Lanes’, this brutal true story tells the tale of of William Corder who swung from the gallows for killing Maria Martin, the daughter of a mole catcher. The bluesy treatment of this gruesome tale showcases the power of Ward’s band and the full range of her sultry voice.

I went home to fetch my gun, my pickaxe and my spade’

Fair & Tender Ladies – Trad Arr. Ward

Learned from the raw and passionate singing of Peter Bellamy… The dark, deep richness of ward’s voice coupled with haunting close harmonies provided by Anna Esslemont and Helga Ragnarsdottir give the song a spell binding quality and a sense of captivating other worldliness.

But loves grows colder/As girls they grow older’

Mari Fach – Words L. Ward, Tune Traditional

Mari Fach meaning Sweet Mari in welsh was initially penned for EFDSS & TRAC’s project Beyond The Marches. In this reworking of The Cruel Mother, Ward has used the traditional form to beautiful effect, telling the true story of young Mari with a striking conciseness that cuts through the years, bringing this centuries old tragedy to life. To do justice to Mari and her baby’s sad fate (the time old tale of a young serving girl, pregnant by a lord, afraid, alone and out of options) Ward’s approach is one of sadness, and of challenging the way women are often portrayed in traditional song. The warmth of Sam Pegg’s electric bass provides a beautiful back drop for this plaintive tale.

The babe like a bird all covered in feathers/All alone and aloney-o’

Lazy Day – L. Ward

This song captures the sunny laziness of a slow day, and the joys of living in the moment. A fresh and blissful summer anthem.

Lazy day you always seem to start the same/Bursting with intentions that never find their way’

The Sweetest Flowers – L. Ward

Part lullaby and part love song, less is often more and this beautiful song is perhaps the pinnacle of this mantra, with Ward’s subtle concertina accompaniment and just a few well chosen hints of piano the pure joy of her lyrics shine out. The words feel as though they are an effortless stream of consciousness, charming and loving; they are truly born of Ward’s deepening maturity as a song writer.

It’s a fabric made from you and me/And light cascades from every seam’

Artist’s website: www.lucywardsings.com

Tour Dates

June 1st – Acoustic Festival Of Great Britain, Uttoxeter

June 3rd – Walthamstow Folk Club, London

June 9th – Quay Arts Centre, Isle Of Wight

June 10th – Barking Folk Festival, London

June 14th – The Globe, Glossop

June 15th – The Guildhall, Leicester (full band)

June 24th – The Cube, Malvern

June 26th – The Kitchen Garden Café, Birmingham

June 28th – Black Swan Folk Club, York

June 29th – Roots@94, Hull

June 30th – Ellal Village Hall, Lancaster

October 5th – Derby Folk Festival, Derby

October 6th – Dunton Folk, Biggleswade

October 19th – Downend Folk Club, Bristol



Cowboy Junkies release new album and announce winter tour dates

Cowboy Junkies

Cowboy Junkies will release All That Reckoning, the band’s first new recording since The Wilderness (2012) on July 13, 2018 via Proper Records.

Whether commenting on the fragile state of the world or on personal relationships, this new collection of songs encourages the listener to take notice. It also may be the most powerful album Cowboy Junkies have yet recorded.

Their now classic album, The Trinity Session celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. On its release in 1988, it was like a whisper that cut through the noise and Cowboy Junkies proved that there was an audience waiting for something quiet, beautiful and reflective, selling more than a million copies. For over 30 years, Cowboy Junkies have remained true to their unique vision, creating a critically acclaimed body of work that has endeared them to an audience unwavering in its loyalty.

In addition to The Trinity Session, albums like Pale Sun, Crescent Moon (1993), Lay It Down (1996) and more recently, Open (2001), and At The End Of Paths Taken (2007) chronicle a creative journey reflecting the independent road the band has elected to travel.

“It’s a deeper and a more complete record than we’ve ever done before. We’ve always tried to make records that are relevant to who we are as people. … These songs are about reckoning on a personal level and reckoning on a social level.” – Michael Timmins

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.

Artists’ website: http://www.cowboyjunkies.com/

‘All That Reckoning (Part 1)’ – official video:

Cowboy Junkies will make a very welcome return to the UK for live dates in November.

November 9 Glasgow, Mitchell Theatre
November 10 Manchester, RNCM
November 11 London, The Bridge

Hò-rò announce new album and tour dates


Hex is the much-anticipated new album from Scottish outfit Hò-rò.  Winners in the ‘Up and Coming Artist of the Year’ category at 2017’s MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, the young band from the Scottish Highlands & Islands are releasing their second album Hex on Friday 25th May.

Two years on from the release of their first album, Hò-rò were eager to get back into the studio to record this new material. Their second album showcases a new sound from the band – over the past year their live show has grown from the original four-piece into a six-piece and with this has come a development in their sound. With the artwork and title portraying a hexagon theme, the band have chosen this to illustrate the six different musical approaches they took when making the album.

Each of the six members (Calum MacPhail, Lucy Doogan, Sean Cousins, Crisdean MacDonald, Paul Martin and DC Macmillan) bring their own musical background and style to the live performance and this has been reflected in the album – a very unique sound that draws inspiration from each individual’s musical taste and background.  Hò-rò’s line-up features bagpipes, border pipes, accordion, fiddle and whistles juxtaposing with guitar, keyboards, drums and bodhran. This diverse instrumental mix is complemented by Gaelic and Scottish song.

Hò-rò’s guitarist Sean Cousins had this to say about the new album:

“We’re so delighted Hex is ready to go out into the world! When our live show grew into a 6-piece performance last year we were blown away by the magnitude of the sound and we really wanted to get that sound recorded as soon as possible. We’re really happy with the end result, I think with everyone’s own musical styles influencing the material we’ve managed to produce something that’s not really been heard on the Scottish trad music scene before.”

The music and songs recorded are a mixture of self-penned tunes and arrangements alongside a number written by friends of the band. One tune in-particular is a special addition to the album- ‘Muinntir mo Ghráidh’ was a tune that was found by lead singer Lucy in her granny’s attic when she was cleaning it out after her granny had passed away. The song was written by one of Lucy’s ancestors Alasdair Rankin and had been forgotten about until her discovery.

Lucy says:

“I found it when we were clearing out my granny and grandpa’s house after my granny had died. It’s a photocopy of a handwritten manuscript belong to Duncan MacIntyre from Ballachulish and on the front he has written ‘Òrain – Alasdair MacRaing’ (Songs – Alasdair MacRaing) and inside he has written out the words and melodies for about 10 songs written by Alasdair. Alasdair MacRaing, also known as Sandy Rankin or by his nickname Fred ‘Gosh,’ was my great granny’s cousin and he was a tailor – my great auntie can remember being taken to his house by her mother when she was a little girl to get her new winter coat. It’s really lovely to be able to record this and let people hear it.”

Hex will be officially released on 25th May on CD, Spotify and iTunes. Hò-rò will be taking the new album on tour in June and July this year – please see the dates below.

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.

Artists’ website:  http://www.musichoro.com

‘Loch Levin’ – live:

Tour Dates

Drygate Brewery, Glasgow 15th June

Killin music Festival 16th June

The Think Tank, Newcastle 19th June

Surya, London 20th June

Portland Arms, Cambridge 21st June

Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast 23rd June

Whelans, Dublin 24th June

Railway Social Club, Fort William 6th July

Dervaig Village Hall, Isle of Mull 7th July

Tiree Music Festival 13th July