Les Barker – live dates for 2017

Les Barker

Les Barker writes strange poems and comes originally from Manchester, but he’s now Welsh. He was an accountant before he became a professional idiot. A well known style icon Les always cuts a dash in the world of fashion where he is much respected as a leading exponent of the cardigan.

On the poetry front and in spite of the poetry police his most famous works include The Shipping Forecast, Jason and the Arguments, Cosmo the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower, Captain Indecisive, Spot of the Antarctic, An Infinite Number of Occasional Tables, Cardi and Bloke, Up the Creek Without a Poodle, Have You Any News of the Iceberg, The Lemmings Reunion, The Missing Persian’s File and The Lost Elephants of Denbigh especially Dr Rowan Williams version. Listeners to BBC Radio4 will be familiar with the work of Les Barker through his recent appearances on Wondermentalist Cabaret and Word of Mouth    

Artists’ website: www.mrsackroyd.com

‘The Shipping Forecast’ read by Brian Perkins:

July 2017

Saturday 22. Music on the Marr Village Green, Castle Carrock, Cumbria CA8 9LU
See website for tickets and times

Wednesday 26. Banbury Folk Club Banbury Cross Inn, 7 Butchers Row, Banbury, Oxon OX16 5JH
Tel. 01295 709881 Tickets £10.00 — From 8:00 p.m.

August 2017

Thursday 3. Wickham Festival Blind Lane, Wickham, Hampshire PO17 5HD
See website for tickets and times

Saturday 19. White Horse Folk Festival, Grove Rugby Club, Recreation Lane, Grove, Wantage, Oxon  OX12 0AA
See website for tickets and times.

Thursday 24/Friday 25. Whitby Folk Week Whitby, North Yorkshire YO8 9YP
See website for tickets and times

September 2017

Thursday 7. Darlington Folk Club, The Copper Beech Pub, Neasham Road, Darlington DL1 4DH
Tel: 01325 462951 Tickets £10.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 9. Bromyard Festival Broadbridge House, Bromyard, Herefordshire HR7 4NT
See website for tickets and details

Tuesday 12. Cutty Wren Folk Club Redcar Borough Park Bowling Club, 1 Thwaites Lane, Redcar, Nth Yorkshire TS10 2FD

November 2017

Saturday 18. Uppertown Social Centre Cullumbell Lane, Uppertown, Ashover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S45 0JF
Tel: 01246 590502 Tickets £12.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.

Monday 20. White Horse Folk Club, The Conservative Club, Wylies Rd, Beverley, E. Yorks HU17 7AP

December 2017

Monday 4.  Warwick Folk Club Warwick Arms Hotel, High St, Warwick  CV34 4AT

John Wort Hannam announces July tour dates

John Wort Hannam

John Wort Hannam is a Canadian singer songwriter from Fort Macleod, Alberta.

Born in the Channel Islands and raised in Alberta, John earned a degree in Native American Studies and taught on a reserve for five years. Since leaving his teaching post for music in 2002 he’s been nominated for a Juno, three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards – winning Contemporary Album of the Year in 2010.

John is well known for his story telling through music. Themes which are central to his music include life in Western Canada, and the human experience as seen through the eyes of simple working folk.

He has performed at music festivals in Canada, the United States, Great Britain and Australia and he appeared at the 2006 Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C.

In addition to singing, John plays guitar, tenor guitar and harmonica.

It’s a long, hard road – figuratively and literally – from being a school teacher on a southern Alberta First Nation’s reserve to a Juno-nominated roots music career with performances at The Kennedy Centre, The Smithsonian, and Trafalgar Square, but he wouldn’t trade the journey for the world.

Born in St Helier on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands and raised in Southern Alberta, John earned degrees in Native American Studies and Native Education and taught Grade Nine on reserve for five years. He decided he wanted to pursue a career in music after hearing Loudon Wainwright III in 1997.

Now a prize-winning songwriter and performer touring internationally, John Wort Hannam is known for his unique take on the simple day-to-day dramas of common folk through songs that map the landscapes of both the human heart and the vast landscape of Canada.

With a keen eye for the quirky and lyrics that create stories behind the songs, this born storyteller shares the personal and the profound.

Thriving on live performance, John Wort Hannam is truly happy when he is on the road playing and connecting personally with an audience.

Since leaving his teaching job, he’s released five albums, performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, and written official song for the 2011 Alberta Winter Games.

He won the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award in 2007. He’s been nominated for three Western Canadian Music Awards, a North American Folk Alliance Award, and three Canadian Folk Music Awards – winning the Contemporary Album of the Year in 2010. He also earned a 2010 Juno nod for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year Solo, and he has won the Grand Prize in the Calgary Folk Festival Song Competition on three separate occasions.

“People are starting to sit up and notice this singer-songwriter in his appearances from Montreal to Australia.” — Edmonton Folk Festival

Artist’s website: www.johnworthannam.com

‘Requiem For A Small Town’ – live:

Tour Dates – July 2017 

Tuesday 11. The Hoy at Anchor Folk Club The Royal British Legion, 7/9 Northview Drive, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 9NG

Tel. 01702 715111 Tickets £7.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday 12. Biddulph Up In Arms 171 Congleton Rd, Biddulph, Stoke-on-Trent ST8 6QJ
Tel. 01782 523277 Tickets £10/12 – Doors 7:30 p.m.

Thursday 13. The Running Horse 16 Alfreton Road, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG7 3NG
Tel. 07770 226 926 Doors 7:30 p.m.

Friday 14. Kalamazoo Klub The Kings Head, 2 Crouch Hill, London N8 8AA
Tel. 0208 340 1028 Tickets £10 – Doors 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 15. House Concert – Lichfield, Staffordshire, W Midlands Connelly Concerts – Tickets via davidaconnolly@tiscali.co.uk

Sunday 16. Chapel Arts Centre Lower Borough Walls, Bath, Somerset BA1 1QR
Tel. 01225 461700 Tickets £10.00 — Doors 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday 18. Leith Folk Club Victoria Park House Hotel, 221 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, Scotland EH6 4NN
Tel. 07833 135399 Tickets £ 8.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.

Friday 21. The Victory Hall  (A828) Benderloch, Oban, Scotland PA37 1RZ
Tel. 01631 720498 Tickets £12.00 — Doors 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 22. Transclyde Music Craigmore Bowling  Club, Grosvenor Rd, Rothesay, Isle of Bute, Scotland PA20 9LE
Tel. 01700 502287 Tickets £10.00 — Doors 7:15 p.m.

LE VENT DU NORD live at South Hill Park, Bracknell

Le Vent Du Nord
Photograph by Dai jeffries

Smoke swirled over the darkened stage as four shadowy figures took their places. The sound began with the drone of a hurdy-gurdy, joined by fiddle, jew’s harp and voice and lastly bouzouki. Finally the lights came up to reveal Le Vent Du Nord in all their splendour. It was an uncharacteristically sombre opening to an evening that was full of laughs.

I usually come home from a gig with a fairly accurate set-list and other notes about who did what. No chance here. The band only introduced a few of their pieces and then usually in rapid French. I fell back on plan B and tried to blag a set-list from keyboardist Nicolas Boulerice but they don’t use one. He did offer to write one up for me, though, and that’s not an offer you get every day. They did tell us that most of the material would come from their most recent album, Têtu, as did ‘Confédération’, the first song they announced by name, having a dig at Anglophone Canadians in the process.

In fact, the announcements in the first half took the form of a debate, which apparently the band had, about whether Têtu should have a terminal “s”. Everyone had to have a say in turn and the running joke got funnier and funnier. I did figure out the unaccompanied ‘La March Des Iroquois’ and ‘Petit Rêve IX’, an almost orchestral piece which begins with a lovely guitar solo played by its composer, fiddler Olivier Demers and they closed the first set with an oldie, ‘Lanlaire’.

Several things stuck in the mind after the gig. The first is the interplay of the four voices. They can stack up harmonies, pick up lines from each other and occasionally sing over each other. The second is that they do the same with melodies, passing a tune from fiddle to melodeon, to hurdy-gurdy and even jew’s harp. Finally comes the energy and fun they bring to their music. Quebecois music is, to say the least, lively and they throw everything they have into it. I was surprised that Demers, who is responsible for most of the foot percussion, was still standing at the end.

The second set opened with ‘Le Cœur De Ma Mère’ and the time just flew past. There was a bizarre moment when Demers played us a country song in French – from his iPhone – before the band sang an unaccompanied and rather more stately version. ‘Forillon’ is one of their more serious songs and they did it full justice. This isn’t a history lesson but you should look up the story. Nico introduced a song with a long, involved story about a song he found in his attic in a hand-written manuscript, learned it and performed it in France only to be told that it was a famous Parisian song that may have derived from mediaeval English. It seems that his “manuscript” was probably copied down from the radio! It was a love song but Nico neglected to name it.

Le Vent Du Nord
Photograph by Dai Jeffries

After a wild instrumental finish, they encored with the traditional ‘Vive L’Amour’ and another unaccompanied and unannounced song – perhaps I should have taken Nico up on his offer. Their performance richly deserved the standing ovation and the cheers they received. Do try to hear them while they are on tour here.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: https://leventdunord.com/en/

We’re spoiling you now – four live songs from Le Vent Du Nord:

Remaining tour dates

Monday 28 August. Shrewsbury Folk Festival West Midlands Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 2PF
Tel: 01743 892 800 See website for tickets and times.

Texan singer-songwriter Sam Baker announces new album and UK tour

Sam Baker

Central Texas singer-songwriter Sam Baker releases his long-awaited fifth album, Land Of Doubt, on June 21, 2017.

The recording represents a deepening of the approach Baker has pursued since his 2004 debut album Mercy – lyrics pared down to their essence set against the spare backdrop of folk-rock instruments used in a chamber-music way.

But there are a few new twists as well. Working in Nashville for the first time with producer Neilson Hubbard, Baker uses the ‘50s-jazz trumpet playing of Don Mitchell and the sustained guitar textures of Will Kimbrough (producer/guitarist for Rodney Crowell and Todd Snider) to frame the lyrics with a kind of chamber-music folk-rock and to break up the ten vocal numbers with five cinematic-sounding instrumental interludes. Baker himself switches from acoustic to electric guitar for this project.

When Baker first emerged 13 years ago, the chief story was how he had survived a 1986 terrorist bombing in Cuzco, Peru, to reinvent himself as a first-rank singer-songwriter. Five albums later, however, the main story now is his continuing growth as a songwriter – broadening his range and deepening his impact. He continues to perform widely in North America and Europe.

He has also evolved as a painter, and he will enjoy his first major one-man show in Santa Fe in September.

Rolling Stone called his last album, say grace, one of the 10 best country albums of 2013.

Lone Star Music declared that “Baker might be the most captivating songwriter in America.”

Mojo magazine’s Sylvie Simmons argued that Baker’s songs “are simple on the surface, poetry underneath – hence the Townes Van Zandt comparisons…. Even the songs that don’t quote old gospel standards sound like you’ve always known them.”

Washington Post music critic Geoffrey Himes adds: “Baker uses minimalist verse as well as anyone working today. On his fifth album, Land Of Doubt, he further hones that strategy. Whether he is singing about relationships gone wrong, relationships gone right, Vietnam veterans, strung-out single mothers, an awkward wedding or the drought-ravaged Southwest landscape, he employs only a few of the words that would normally be used. With all the distractions carved away, we listeners get to the heart of the matter more quickly and more surely than we would otherwise.”

Artist’s website: www.sambakermusic.com

‘Pony’ – official video:


Tuesday 27      Leicester          The Musician
Wednesday 28 London            What’s Cookin’,
Leytonstone Ex-Servicemens Club
Thursday 29     Bristol              The Tunnels

German-Celtic band Cara – first UK tour dates


Born fourteen years ago of Germany’s longstanding love affair with Celtic music, Cara’s line-up features four of that country’s finest traditional musicians, together with Scottish singer-songwriter and pianist Kim Edgar, delivering an innovative blend of old and new material with traditional and folk-pop stylings, fronted by twin lead vocals.

Now considered to be one of the most sought after bands within Germany and across mainland Europe, Cara are pleased to be heading to England to promote their fifth studio album, Yet We Sing, where they continue to perform predominantly self-written material, with an international line-up and reputation.

The German-Scottish quintet released Yet We Sing in 2016, with extensive touring in Germany, and a Scottish tour taking in Celtic Connections (Glasgow), Eden Court, Inverness, Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall and Edinburgh’s Queens Hall.

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 Cara – Yet We Sing 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.


Artists’ website: https://www.cara-music.com/index.php/en/

Tour Dates

  • Wednesday 21st June 2017 (quintet) SOUTHAMPTON

Chapel Sessions, St. Edward‘s Church, Grange Road, Netley SO31 5FF
7.30 pm, Tickets £14.50, Box Ofce: 07702 980 677

  • Thursday 22nd June 2017 (quintet) BURY

The Met, Market Street, Bury, Greater Manchester BL9 0BW
8 pm, Tickets £15, Box Office: 0161 761 2216

  • Friday 23rd June 2017 (quintet) CANTERBURY

Gulbenkian, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NB
7.30 pm (with Emily Watts) Tickets £15 / Students £10, Box Office: 01227 769 075

  • Saturday 24th June 2017 (quartet) CAMBRIDGE

St. Andrew’s Church, Station Rd, Swavesey, Cambridge CB24 4QJ
7.30 pm, Tickets £12 adults / £6 children, Box Office: 01954 230 019

  • Sunday 25th June 2017 (quartet) MILTON KEYNES

The Stables, Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, Milton Keynes MK17 8LU
8 pm, Tickets £17.50, Box Office: 01908 280 800

  • Monday 26th June 2017 (quartet) OXFORDSHIRE

Nettlebed Village Club, High Street, Nettlebed, nr Henley on Thames RG9 5DD
8 pm, Tickets £14.00 advance / £15 door, Box Office: 01628 636 620 (10 am – 9 pm)

The Cara sound is shaped and defned by the two charismatic singers and songwriters, Gudrun Walther (Germany) and Kim Edgar (Scotland). Yet We Sing deals with the “hard stuff’ – love, death, religion, war and hope – drawing the listener near. The album also captures the live energy that has earned Cara their enthusiastic fanbase and their reputation within the folk scene. Energising, emotive and engaging, Cara aim to connect directly with the listener.

Winners of two Irish Music Awards, “Best New Irish Artist” 2010 and “Top Group” 2011, Cara have toured the United States seven times, playing the main stages at Milwaukee Irish Fest 2009, Kansas, City Irish Festival 2009 and 2010, and Dublin Irish Fest 2014.

The band also enjoy performing in Ireland: in October 2014 they were invited to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the famous Cork Folk Festival alongside such luminaries as Mozaik, Dick Gaughan, and We Banjo 3. They tour on a regular basis in Scotland, England, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Germany.

‘Yet We Sing’ – official video:

Annie Keating – new download single and UK tour

Annie Keating

Annie Keating announces release of new digital-only single ‘Trouble’ to coincide with her first UK tour since 2013. Trick Star, Annie’s seventh and most accomplished album to date, was released to wide acclaim in 2016.

Talent spotted by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris, Annie has recorded two sessions for his prestigious BBC Radio 2 show and has performed at numerous leading international festivals, including Take Root, the Brooklyn Americana Festival, Glasgow Americana Festival, The Brooklyn Indie Music Fest and NXNE.  Her current album, Trick Star received wide acclaim in the UK and beyond. Bob Harris called it, “A wonderful record. Heartfelt and real”, while Folk Radio UK described the album as “disarmingly engaging.” R2 magazine regards Keating as, “a budding Americana Star”, and Acoustic magazine insists that, “Keating will enchant anyone but a deaf shoe-gazer.” Her previous album Make Believing was championed by The Telegraph as a “best country music album” pick of 2015 when they wrote that “Keating is building the reputation her talent deserves.”

Keating has played on the bill with John Hiatt, Bon Iver, Chastity Brown and other greats. This is her third UK tour – trio format this time – accompanied by London own brilliant bassist Scott Warman and Brooklyn’s finest Steve Mayone on guitar and mandolin who regularly tours with the likes of Kate Taylor, Bow Thayer and Kris Delmhorst.

The summer tour includes three shows at this year’s Maverick Festival and double bills with Danni Nicholls, Ags Connolly, Gallery 47, Danielle Cawdell, Porchlight Smoker, Dan Webster and The Boy Who Kicked Pigs.

Artist’s website: http://www.anniekeating.com/

‘Trouble’ – official video:

Remaining Tour Dates


Tuesday 27      Birmingham      Kitchen Garden Café
w/ Danielle Cawdell & Dan Whitehouse

Wednesday 28  Bedford           Pavilion, Bedford Park
w/ Danni Nicholls

Thursday 29     East Grinstead  The Dorset Arms

Friday 30         Worth Matravers, Dorset   The Square & Compass


Saturday 1        Easton, Suffolk   Maverick Festival 2017

Sunday 2          Easton, Suffolk    Maverick Festival 2017

Monday 3        Brighton   The Greys   w/ Porchlight Smoker

Friday 7           London   Green Note, Camden
w/ The Boy Who Kicked Pigs

Saturday 8        Ardleigh, nr. Colchester   Little Rabbit Barn

Sunday 9          Stroud    The Prince Albert

with Steve Mayone on guitar and mandolin and Scott Warman on bass