Oysterband celebrate 40 years together

Oysterband

Oysterband was born in the summer of 1977 when the sound of punk rock rang loud from the radio, disaffection became the order of the day and riots filled the streets of Thatcherite Britain. There were many on the UK folkscene who felt the same urge for similar challenges and change in their own music and lives, and Oysterband’s hard-edged music and performances amply filled those needs. They brought passion, and not a little poetry to folk and roots music, but also a welcome power and energy.

Through the intervening four decades, they have remained at the cutting edge of the folk scene, exploring their songs and tunes in various line-ups that run the gamut from hard rock ambience to a more trad-angled acoustic trio. What they have retained throughout, however, is their own distinctive sound and approach to folk and roots music.

The multi-award-winning outfit is now entering its 40th year, as vital and creative as ever, with some of the finest songs in the modern folk canon to their name: ‘Put Out The Lights’; ‘When I’m Up (I Can’t Get Down)’; ‘Blood Wedding’; ‘Everywhere I Go’; ‘The Oxford Girl’; ‘Granite Years’; ‘Native Son’… plus many others from their vast back catalogue that will be featured in performance during a year of touring and festivals from summer 2017 into 2018. A unique and fiercely independent career celebrated.

On this tour, the band will play two sets each night, one featuring their highly-influential album Holy Bandits in its entirety, the second a selection of older gems from their vast back catalogue of songs such as ‘Hal-an-Tow’, ‘Love Vigilantes’, ‘20th Of April’, ‘Bells Of Rhymney’, ‘Bright Morning Star’ as well as some of the finest new songs in the modern folk repertoire.

Oysterband still play with a spirit of the punk ceilidh band of 1977, the one that roared through people’s lives all those years ago, but the growing depth and sensitivity of their songwriting, coupled with the strength of John Jones’ voice and their remarkable musicianship, have lifted the music into a richer, more acoustic era.

Their occasional collaboration with folk diva June Tabor has produced two cult-classic award-winning albums, Freedom & Rain and Ragged Kingdom. The latter and their hugely influential album Holy Bandits were voted nos. 4 and 5 among the Ten Best Albums of the last 30 years by the public in a poll by fRoots Magazine in 2016. The band is no stranger to TV – they have appeared on Later… With Jools Holland and the BBC Folk Awards shows – but there is no better way to sample the magic of what the band does best, than by catching them live on stage at one of their 2017 tour dates.

Full international dates and info:  https://www.oysterband40.com

Oysterband is

John Jones – voice, melodeon
Alan Prosser – guitars, voice
Ian Telfer – violin, voice
Al Scott – bass, mandolin, voice
Adrian Oxaal – cello, voice
and the newest member, formerly of Bellowhead, Pete Flood – drums, voice

The most recent video we can find – ‘This House Will Stand’:

UK Tour Dates

Skipinnish announce seventh album and tour dates

Skipinnish

In the world of lore and legend, the seventh wave was bigger and more powerful than all gone before.  This, the seventh album, from Skipinnish, epitomizes that theme perfectly.  With Norrie MacIver’s distinct vocal taking on the lead and with a few other transfers and additions, this is the band’s biggest and boldest production yet.  The changes in line-up mean three renewed Skipinnish classics joining five new self-penned songs, a tribute to Runrig, three rocketing tune sets and a haunting slow air.

The Seventh Wave comes as the band’s own wave of popularity continues its powerful rise. With four consecutive chart topping single releases and sell-out shows across the country, Skipinnish have rocketed to the top of the trad music scene and their ascent is accelerating.  Their latest single, ‘Alive’,  which is the first track on the album, hit Number 26 in the mainstream UK download charts, which for a traditional band is a mighty achievement. Only Runrig and Capercaillie having been higher.

It was said that water taken from the seventh wave had properties of healing and invigoration.  It is predicted that this music will have a similar effect on those who ride the waves of life listening to Skipinnish.

Fans are also scrabbling for tickets to their live shows, with most of their album launch tour, in May, sold out already.  The official release will be at the band’s 1000 seat Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, concert on Friday May 19th – tickets all disappeared for this gig, in December, just days after going on went on sale!!!!

Albums are available for pre-release order from the Skipinnish website and will be on sale at all other concerts throughout May.

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

‘Alive’ – official video:

TOUR DATES

4th May   The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

5th May    Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

18th May   Fochabers

19th May   Eden Court, Inverness

20th May   Strathy Village Hall, Strathy.

27th May   The Bearded Festival, Derby.

28th May   Biggar Rugby Club.

2nd June   Oban Live.

24th June   Strathpeffer

1st July   Arran Whisky Festival.

7th July   Moonbeams Festival, East Yorkshire.

14th July   Tiree Music Festival.

15th July   Tiree Music Festival.

27th August   Shewsbury Folk Festival

8th September   BOW Fest, Inverary.

Damien Dempsey announces new album and tour

Damien Dempsey

Damien Dempsey’s debut album in 2000, They Don’t Teach This Shit In School, set him apart as a unique and important voice, championed from an early stage in his career by Sinéad O’Connor. The follow-up, Seize The Day, marked the beginning of his relationship with producer John Reynolds, picking up many awards and leading to extensive international tours. Commercial and critical success continued with the release of the No. 1 album, Shots (2005), backed by Brian Eno, and To Hell Or Barbados (2007), which debuted at No.2 in the Irish charts.

An award-winning artist in his home country of Ireland – he has several prestigious Irish Meteor Awards to his name including Best Irish Male and Best Traditional Folk Award – and seventeen years into an astonishing career, Damien Dempsey releases his seventh studio album, Soulsun, possibly his most exciting work to date.

The record features a stellar cast of female guest vocalists, referred to in the sleeve notes as ‘the mighty Celtic Warrior High Queens’. Dido joins Damien on a tender love song, ‘Beside The Sea’ and fellow Dubliner, Imelda May, appears on ‘Big Big Love’, an anthemic mid-tempo rock love song, showing a bolder, more contemporary sound that Dempsey explores on the album. Finally, ‘Pretty Bird Tree’ features Dingle singer Pauline Scanlon, a regular collaborator over the years.

Soulsun was recorded with long-term producer and collaborator, John Reynolds in north London. Damien lived in the English capital for months, immersing himself in writing songs and soaking up inspiration from London’s rich tapestry of all human life.

‘This might sound strange but London is a real retreat for me” he explains. “I don’t know too many people in London, so I don’t go out raving or partying. When I go to the pub, it will usually be somewhere around Kilburn, sitting on my own with a notebook.”

The striking cover art was created by renowned Dublin graphic artist Maser, who Dempsey worked with on large-scale mural works and the title track is accompanied by a colourful and life-affirming video directed by legendary rock photographer Steve Gullick, who has shot iconic images of Nirvana, Beck and Nick Cave over the years.

Amidst all the plaudits Damien Demsey has won over the years, one of the most notable is contained in Morrissey’s Autobiography where he describes Dempsey performing at a session in Dublin’s Four Seasons Hotel : ‘Damien captivates and enchants with all the love of one blessed and unselfish’ Morrissey writes, ‘I see myself crying at his funeral, missing him already.’

‘I’m not sure exactly what I did to deserve such praise,’ Dempsey says. ‘I had absolutely no idea I was in it until the book was published, but it’s nice to be appreciated by such an incredible artist and writer who’s unquestionably an absolute genius …. When you think of something like that, it can really help if I’m getting a bad time off someone.”

Perseverance and not allowing oneself to be consumed by negativity are consistent themes of Dempsey’s songwriting. At the beginning of his career, he said that making music was about saving his own life ….. healing himself. These themes are even more pertinent in 2017

“There’s music for everything; getting up and dancing having a good time, music to think deeply to…you name it, absolutely everything under the sun. There’s music for all situations, but my music is about healing and hope”.

If you would like to order a copy of the one 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 Damien Dempsey – Soulsun link 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.

Artist’s website: http://damiendempsey.com

Tour Dates

May 27 La Belle Angele Edinburgh, United Kingdom

May 28 Philharmonic Liverpool, United Kingdom

May 30 Union Chapel London, United Kingdom

May 31 Irish Centre Leeds, United Kingdom

June 01 O2 Ritz Manchester, United Kingdom

June 08 Black Box Galway, Ireland

June 09 Mandela Hall Belfast, United Kingdom

July 21 Iveagh Gardens Dublin, Ireland

Madison Violet – new album and May tour

Madison Violet

For those who don’t know Madison Violet, it all began in 1999 when Brenley MacEachern and Lisa MacIsaac met over coffee and omelettes, in a Toronto restaurant called The Green Room. It was a chance meeting, 1900 km away from the small town where both Lisa and Brenley’s fathers were born. That was nearly eighteen years ago, and the pair have been writing and creating beautiful music together ever since.

When you hear them, the first thing you’ll notice is that their voices blend together, symbiotically, like family: Born to sing the same songs. And over the past decade, the pair have taken to genre-bending, moving effortlessly from folk to pop to electronic to Americana. In a word, they are musical chameleons.

Over their last two extensive tours of Europe, Madison Violet was overwhelmed by the incredibly warm reception that came from the fans, when they introduced their newer, bolder sound; one that came from their 2014 album Year Of The Horse. But Madison Violet knew that those songs had even more potential. And they felt an even bigger challenge would be to let the songs speak for themselves, recreating them in a more acoustic form. Their purest form.

And with that, came The Knight Sessions, which is both a reimagining of previously recorded songs and a creation of brand new songs, inspired by their deep-seeded love of the modern acoustic sound and the human experiences shaping their world today.

With that in mind, Brenley and Lisa decided to start their new adventure by visiting several pawn shops in Toronto, in a quest to find discarded items that they could use to make natural sounds in the studio. They sifted through an island of misfit toys and out of date electronics, and eventually found several instruments and percussive toys. From children’s wooden blocks to ukuleles with missing strings, one by one, Brenley and Lisa gave these gems a home, and started working on their new album. These unique items are what gave The Knight Sessions a more organic feel. The textures of the wood. The plucking of the old strings. The stories that were already in these ‘toys’, came out through the songs.

So, as the tour nears, Brenley and Lisa will be packing their suitcases a little lighter. They will not only be returning to the UK and Europe for dozens of shows, but they will be arriving in their most organic form. The way most Madison Violet fans discovered them. As a duo. No backing band. No big light show. No rock star after-show dance parties. This will enable Brenley and Lisa to showcase The Knight Sessions as it was meant to be heard. Raw but refined. Stripped down but still packing a punch. And it will also find them, as they were in 1999, ‘Back To The Roots’.

If you would like to order a copy of the one 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 Madison Violet link 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.

ORDER – [CD]

Artists’ website: https://www.madisonviolet.com/

May Tour Dates 

Tuesday 2         Barnoldswick Music & Arts Centre

Thursday 4    Omagh, N. Ireland    Strule Arts Centre

Sunday 7        Belfast   Black Box

Thursday 11       Kinross   Backstage at the Green Hotel

Friday 12        Glassel, nr. Banchory   Glassel Village Hall

Saturday 13       Glasgow    CCA

Tuesday 16       Sheffield    Greystones

Wednesday 17      Leicester     The Musician

Thursday 18       Birmingham    Kitchen Garden Café

Friday 19            London    Stanley Halls, South Norwood

Further dates will be announced shortly

Tim Grimm and the Family Band – new album and tour

Tim Grimm

A Stranger In This Time ranges from Tim Grimm’s signature reverence for the people and the land where he grew up, to sharply crafted and damning indictments of the times in which we live; from deep, poetic ballads of bittersweet love to edgy, groove-driven social commentary.

The opening track, ‘These Rollin’ Hills’ invites us in with love of Grimm’s home ground and a subtle foreboding about the upcoming winter, both actual and metaphorical. The songs ‘Gonna Be Great’ and ‘Black Snake’ give a nod to both Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan in their gritty production and social-political protest vibe; both full of stunning guitar riffs, electric and acoustic, as well as compelling bass and drum beats. There are songs of lush soundscape and potent images with the mesmerizing urgency of ‘Over The Waves’, and ‘Finding Home’, which evokes deep yearning. ‘Thirteen Years’ is pure, classic Tim Grimm; a song about the tree that fell on his grandfather’s farm and that many years later became the wood for the guitar on which he recorded the album. Continue reading Tim Grimm and the Family Band – new album and tour

Kate & Raphaël – debut album and tour dates

Kate & Raphael

Kate Young and Raphaël Decoster together form an exciting blend of original and folk-influenced music. The French accordion dialogs with the Scottish fiddle and Kate’s voice with an intimate spontaneity, which invites us to discover their hidden stories and landscapes.

They create melodies and songs through their interest for visual arts as well as traditional music, and this combination is the base of their fresh and poetical music.

Kate is also known for her work with Songs Of Separation (winners of ‘Album of The Year’ at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards), as well as Eliza Carthy MBE in – Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young, and her own band, Kate in the Kettle.

Raphaël is from Lille in the North of France and plays with French Bal-folk band, Zlabya and duo Peut-être Jeanne.

The duo will release their first album, les objets trouvés in June accompanying a UK tour.

Artist’s website: www.kateyoungmusic.com

June 2017 album launch tour dates

15 – Glasgow – Broompark Teaparty House Concert contact – info@kateyoungmusic.com for tickets ***

17 – Edinburgh  – (Album Launch) – St. Vincent’s Chapel * with support from Lizabett Russo  http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397352 info@kateyoungmusic.com ***

18 – Davington, Eskdalemuir – Davington Schoolhouse Concert (tickets on door)  contact Nick Jenkins 07773338797 https://www.facebook.com/davingtonschool

20 – London – Woodburner contact Theo Bard – info@woodburnermusic.co.uk

22 – Leicester – The Globe *plus daytime French Bal Tunes Workshop *** http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397636

23 – New Mills – Town Hall  http://www.wegottickets.com/JDS

24 – Dungworth – Royal Traditions *plus daytime French Bal Workshop
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/384384 http://www.soundpost.org.uk/royal-traditions/coming-up/

25 – Huddersfield – The Cow Shed  http://www.edibles.org.uk/youngdecoster

26 – Allendale – Burnlaw
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397567

27 – Newcastle – House Concert info@kateyoungmusic.com for info ***

28 – Pathhead – St. Mary’s Church ***  http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397568

29 – Cockenzie – Hecla Art Gallery  http://www.wegottickets.com/event/397569

***=refer to gigs for info