The Black Feathers – new single and tour dates

Black Feathers

Hailing from the Gloucestershire countryside, award winning Americana duo, The Black Feathers announce the release of a new single ‘Holy Water’, the first to be taken from their eagerly awaited second album, due for release in the spring of 2018; the band will also embark on a tour across the UK through September.

The ability to write songs that sound both ancient and modern is a rare thing; weaving in traditional influences so thoroughly that they become the very fabric of fresh creations. The Black Feathers, Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler, are two such talents. Americana, folk and acoustic sensibilities coexist comfortably in their musical world, with Hughes’ guitar work buoying the kind of gorgeously seamless vocal harmonies often heard only in family bands.

New single, ‘Holy Water’, is probably the duo’s most personal and revealing song to date; written following a deeply powerful performance in the chapel of a rehab facility for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts in Nashville TN during their recent US tour – the extraordinary experience being made all the more poignant as it fell on the same day as Ray celebrated six years of sobriety.

The music industry has a long and difficult history with addiction. What starts out as an exciting and liberating experience – creative, even – can all too easily become an obsession, leading to a downward spiral of self-destructive behaviour and isolation. And whilst some, like Ray, are lucky enough to realise that they’re falling, others simply don’t see the ground coming, and then struggle to come to terms with what has happened.

“Many turn to God or religion at such times, but not everyone has that choice,” Ray explains. “Holy Water tries to highlight the fact that you don’t need to be religious to be ‘saved’”.

‘Holy Water’ follows an incredible year for the band; their debut album Soaked To The Bone met with critical acclaim, breaking into the Top 10 iTunes Country chart and the Official UK Americana Chart. Lead single ‘Down By The River’ received an exclusive first play on BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris show; and the band headed on tour throughout the UK & US winning over audiences from The Bedford in Balham to the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

Artists’ website: www.theblackfeathers.com

‘Holy Water’ – official video:

Tour Dates

Wednesday 13th September
The Running Horse, Nottingham
www.wegottickets.com/event/412131

Thursday 14th September
Stroud Subscription Rooms
www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk

Friday 15th September
Cafe #9, Sheffield
www.wegottickets.com/event/408092

Saturday 16th September
Town Hall Live, Kirton In Lindsey
http://kirtoninlindseytownhall.co.uk

Sunday 17th September
Castle Hotel, Manchester
http://thecastlehotel.info

Saturday 23rd September
The Sound Lounge, London
www.thesoundlounge.org.uk

Thursday 28th September
Acoustic Couch, Bracknell
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/408637

Saturday 30th September
The Bear Club, Luton
www.the-bear.club

Friday 13th October
The Friends Meeting House, Oxford
www.wegottickets.com/event/412382

Saturday 21st October
The Railway, Winchester
www.railwayinn.pub

GreenMatthews present a Christmas Folk Opera

GreenMatthews

GreenMatthews bring you a brand-new retelling of the best-loved Yuletide adventure of them all – Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. First published in 1843, the story is credited with reinventing and reinvigorating the British Christmas and has been loved and retold by every generation since. Using new lyrics and traditional English folk tunes, GreenMatthews (with special guest Jude Rees of Pilgrims’ Way) use a bewitching blend of voices and instruments to create a musical retelling of this seasonal favourite.

The first half of the show presents a blend of Victorian carols and midwinter folk songs which paint a vivid and colourful picture of the festive season in Dickens’ time. The second half is an hour-long “folk opera” of his most iconic novella – the tale of how flinty-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes several ghostly visitations over the course of a cold and bitter Christmas Eve and awakes the following morning transformed into the epitome of the Christmas spirit – warm-hearted, generous and loving. This heart-warming tale is presented entirely in narrative song, using brand new lyrics set to traditional English folk and carol melodies.

The show is the latest in a long line of similar “folk operas” which fuse traditional song and storytelling such as Peter Bellamy’s The Transports, Fairport Convention’s Babbacombe Lee and of course Ewan McColl’s classic Radio Ballads.

Composer Chris Green says “A Christmas Carol is one of those rare works of literature that has been completely assimilated into the popular consciousness. It’s a tale that has been retold and reinvented by each new generation for the last 170 years, much like a classic folk song – so it seemed a natural progression to retell it using traditional melodies with new words.”

A Christmas Carol: A Folk Opera is the perfect show for anyone looking to recapture the simple Yuletide delights of fellowship, laughter and good cheer.

Artists’ website: www.greenmatthews.co.uk

25th November – KENDAL
30th November – CROYDON
1st December – WILLOUGHBY
2nd December – TENBURY WELLS
3rd December – SOUTHAMPTON
5th December – ENFIELD
7th December – CHESTER
8th December – SHREWSBURY
9th December – NOTTINGHAM
10th December – COVENTRY
11th December – TAUNTON
12th December – EXETER
13th December – SOUTH SHIELDS
14th December – BURNLEY
15th December – SETTLE
18th December – NEWBURY
19th December – WORCESTER
20th December – CRANLEIGH
21st December – BURTON-on-TRENT

The Urban Folk Quartet announce their autumn tour

Urban Folk Quartet

Following the success of their Live III album tour, The Urban Folk Quartet head back out on the road for a series of shows that will see the band travel from the South of Devon to the Scottish Borders.

The 2016-2017 Live III tour was The UFQ’s longest and most successful to date, seeing the quartet perform to larger audiences across the UK, Scandinavia and Europe. Highlights included the launch their third live collection, the aforementioned Live III, at Kings Place, London, and co-headlining the Imagined Isle festival at Birmingham’s historic Town Hall – their biggest hometown appearance.

In between, the fiery foursome found themselves on a Normandy beach during Armistice Day, attempted to spread the notion of ceilidh/ rave dancing to the Swiss and the French, and played at a micro-brewery in Somerset. Elsewhere, a trip to a leading Danish music festival, where they shared the bill with massive Danish electro rockers Carpark North, US AOR outfit Toto, Scottish legends Runrig, and ’70s Euro disco icons Boney M, concluded with them sleeping in a warehouse after an accommodation mishap. But that’s what happens when you play huge festivals!

Formed in 2009 in the West Midlands, The UFQ have continued to forge a reputation as one of the UK’s most consistently stunning live acts, and boast four highly accomplished musicians: BBC Folk Award nominated banjo player (and occasional UFQ vocalist) Dan Walsh; Galician fiddle player Paloma Trigás, who’s worked with the likes of The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon, Altan, and Carlos Nuñez, Spain’s biggest folk star; percussionist Tom Chapman, widely considered to be the UK’s most accomplished and innovative cajón player; and fiddler, guitarist, mandolin player and producer/ arranger Joe Broughton (The Albion Band, Fairport Convention etc).

In their eight year career, the band have released three studio albums and three live albums, the latter of which aim to showcase the energy audiences witness at their dazzling live performances.

A new, yet to be titled, studio album will be released in 2018, in the run-up to The UFQ’s tenth anniversary celebrations.

“This autumn tour will find The UFQ at their most spontaneous,” says Joe. “It’s the first time in the band’s history that we’ll be gigging and not promoting a specific album. That gives us the freedom to play whatever we like – not just focus on promoting the latest record. So expect to hear some exciting new variations of recent tracks as well as a few new tunes which we’ll be road-testing for that next studio album.”

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 The Urban Folk Quartet 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:  www.theufq.com

‘Boat Up The River’ – live in rehearsal:

Tour Dates

Thursday 19 October 2017
The Stables, Stockwell Lane, Wavendon, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK17 8LU
£15, 8pm
stables.org

Thursday 2 November 2017
Unit 23, Ford Road, Totnes, Devon TQ9 5LE
£10, 8.30pm
www.unit23live.co.uk

Friday 10 November 2017
Atkinson Centre, Lord Street, Southport, Sefton PR8 1DB
7.30pm, £13/ £15
www.theatkinson.co.uk

Wednesday 15 November 2017
The Hippodrome, Harbour Road, Eyemouth, Scottish Borders TD14 5GS
8pm, £12/ £14
eyemouthhippodrome.org

Thursday 16 November 2017
The Cumberland Arms, James Place Street, Ouseburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE6 1LD
8pm, £10
www.thecumberlandarms.co.uk
www.theufq.com/gigs

Saturday 18 November 2017
The Goose Nest, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, Warwickshire CV4 7AL
7.45pm, £15.50
www.warwickartscentre.co.uk

Wednesday 22 November 2017
The Old Queen’s Head, 44 Essex Road, London N1 8LN
8pm, £10
www.greennote.co.uk

Thursday 23 November 2017
Foxlowe Arts Centre, Market Place, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 6AD
8.30pm, £10
foxloweartscentre.org.uk
www.theufq.com/gigs

Friday 24 November 2017
Artrix, Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 1GN
8pm, £14 (£12)
www.artrix.co.uk

Saturday 25 November 2017
Stop. Cafe Bar, Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, The Music Hall, The Square, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 1LH
8pm, £14
www.theufq.com/gigs
www.rhythmandroots.co.uk

Friday 8 December 2017
MET Studio, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2LT
8pm, £15.50
www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk

Richard Thompson announces Acoustic Rarities

Richard Thompson
Photograph courtesy of Mojo magazine

Following the release of Acoustic Classics Vol. II to great reviews in August, Richard Thompson will release Acoustic Rarities (Beeswing via Proper Distribution) on October 6, just ahead of his UK tour that month. Acoustic Rarities is new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in the Thompson catalogue, some previously existing only as cover versions.

Richard Thompson was recently named by Rolling Stone as one of the Top 20 Guitarists of All Time and is one of the world’s most critically acclaimed and prolific songwriters. He has received multiple awards, including Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards and the US and UK Americana Music Association Awards, as well as Mojo’s Les Paul Award and an Ivor Novello Award for song writing. Thompson was appointed OBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List. Robert Plant, REM, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt and many others have recorded his songs.

In addition to releasing Acoustic Classics Vol. II in August, Richard played a glorious Cropredy Festival, celebrating the 50th anniversary of ground-breaking group Fairport Convention, which he co-founded as a teenager in the ‘60s. A hugely popular live performer, Richard looks forward to hitting the road in October for his solo shows.

Tracklisting

1.What If (unreleased)
2.They Tore The Hippodrome Down (unreleased)
3.Seven Brothers (covered by Blair Dunlop)
4.Rainbow Over The Hill (covered by the Albion Band)
5.Never Again (released in 1975 on Richard & Linda Thompson album Hokey Pokey)
6.I Must Have A March (unreleased)
7.I’ll Take All My Sorrows To The Sea (from the orchestral song suite Interviews With Ghosts)
8.Poor Ditching Boy (released in 1972 on Richard Thompson album Henry The Human Fly)
9.Alexander Graham Bell (unreleased)
10.Sloth (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
11.Push And Shove (unreleased)
12.End Of The Rainbow (released in 1974 on Richard & Linda Thompson album I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight)
13.Poor Will And The Jolly Hangman (released in 1970 on Fairport Convention album Full House)
14.She Played Right Into My Hands (unreleased)

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 Richard Thompson – Acoustic Rarities 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]

As close as we’ll get to a representative video: ‘Sloth’ – live with Dave Swarbrick:

Tour Dates

Wednesday 11 October Brighton Dome
Thursday 12 October Guildford G-Live
Friday 13 October Poole Lighthouse
Saturday 14 October Bristol Colston Hall
Sunday 15 October Cardiff Wales Millennium Centre
Tuesday 17 October Edinburgh Usher Hall
Wednesday 18 October Gateshead Sage
Thursday 19 October Salford Lowry  SOLD OUT
Saturday 21 October Saffron Walden Saffron Hall
Sunday 22 October Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Monday 23 October London Cadogan Hall *EXTRA DATE*
Wednesday 25 October Sheffield City Hall
Thursday 26 October Leicester de Mondaytfort Hall
Friday 27 October Basingstoke Anvil
Saturday 28 October Norwich Theatre Royal
Monday 30 October London Bridge Theatre  SOLD OUT

Artist’s website: http://www.richardthompson-music.com/

The Shee bid farewell to Continuum with autumn 2017 tour

Continuum
Photograph by Louise Bichan

Described as ‘a sophisticated, unexpectedly emotional set’ (The Guardian), The Shee’s most recent album, Continuum, has captivated both critics and audiences alike since it was launched at Celtic Connections in January 2016.

And this autumn, after rave reviews, two high profile tours and summer festivals, the six-piece is ready to wave it a fond farewell, with four celebratory gigs in October 2017:

9 October 2017: Nettlebed Village Club
nettlebedfolkclub.co.uk

10 October 2017: Pitville Pump Room, Cheltenham 
cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/the-shee-186555

11 October 2017: MAC, Birmingham 
macbirmingham.co.uk/event/the-shee-continuum

12 October 2017: ARC, Stockton Arts Centre, Stockton-on-Tees
arconline.co.uk/whats-on/music/the-shee

The Shee is:

Lillias Kinsman-Blake: flute, graphics and visuals
Shona Mooney: fiddle
Rachel Newton: harp, vocals
Olivia Ross: fiddle, vocals
Laura-Beth Salter: mandolin, vocals
Amy Thatcher: accordion, clog dancer

If you haven’t got yourself a copy of the album yet, then click on the THE SHEE – Continuum 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.

Continuum was conceived in order to celebrate The Shee’s tenth anniversary. Each member of the band commissioned a British folk musician hero to write an original piece specifically with the band in mind. The musicians chosen were: Andy Cutting, Brian Finnegan, Karine Polwart, Martin Simpson, Kathryn Tickell and Chris Wood, and the pieces given their world premiere at Celtic Connections 2016.

ANNA COOGAN OCTOBER UK TOUR DATES

US singer-songwriter and former fisheries biologist, Anna Coogan, is excited to announce her return to the UK this October, following the release of her well received new record ‘The Lonely Cry of Space & Time’ in April. The live dates include a show at London’s Sound Lounge on Thursday October 19th.

The album, a virtual two-person effort which features Willie B (Brian Wilson) on drums and Moog bass, combines Coogan’s three-octave soprano vocals, electric guitar soundscapes and pointed social commentary into a fierce cohesive piece which combines the personal and the political, in a musical hybrid of rock, country, pop and classical opera into a unique whole. Her new direction was born from her series of performances in her adopted hometown of Ithaca, NY, in which Anna and Willie B created live musical accompaniments for vintage silent films.

Influenced by her classical opera training and her father’s protest albums by Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan, The Lonely Cry Of Space & Time is a stylistic breakthrough for Anna. Call it operatic rock, a genre previously explored by the likes of Kate Bush, Jane Siberry, LeneLovich, Yoko Ono and Freddie Mercury, among others; there have been many attempts at rock opera in the past, but The Lonely Cry of Space & Time is something different.

A distinct stylistic change from her previous solo work (The Nocturnal Among Us, 2010; The Wasted Ocean, 2012; and Birth of the Stars, 2014); Coogan explains her shift from the acoustic Americana of her past to the jangly, electronic buzz of the new album could be described as her “Judas moment.” As a guitarist, think of her rubbery, pneumatic, wah-wah sound like a combination of PJ Harvey, Courtney Barnett and her personal favourites, Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot.

A true independent, Anna releases her own albums and books her own tours, which have taken her all over the world, including international festivals like the Blue Ball in Lucerne, Switzerland, Maverick in Suffolk, UK, as well as the Glasgow Americana Festival and Celtic Connections in Scotland. She has also played extensively in Germany and the Netherlands, and toured as a member of the Johnny Dowd Band.

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 ANNA COOGAN 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]

ANNA COOGAN OCTOBER UK TOUR

Wednesday 18th October
Loves Cafe, Weston-Super-Mare
www.lovesweston.co.uk

Thursday 19th October
The Sound Lounge, London
www.thesoundlounge.org.uk

Friday 20th October
Edgemoor Hotel, Bovey Tracey
www.southdevonmusic.co.uk

Saturday 21st October
The Band Room, Farndale
www.thebandroom.co.uk

Sunday 22nd October
Tape Community Arts Center, Colwyn Bay
www.tapemusicandfilm.co.uk

Artist Web Link: www.annacoogan.com