Bellowhead reveal video for new single ‘Roll The Woodpile Down’

Bellowhead Broadside Fresh from their victory as winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Album, 11-piece folk super-group Bellowhead reveal their new video for their already incredibly successful single, Roll The Woodpile Down. It’s no secret that Bellowhead are one of the best live bands around (as their 5 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Live Band will attest) and this brand new video showcases the band in their element – live at a sell-out show in Glasgow.

Roll The Woodpile Down is the second single to be taken from the band’s new, Top 20, album Broadside. Vocalist, and arranger, Jon Boden explains a little more about the track:

This is a song I’ve known for ages – I think I first heard it sung in the pub in Durham where I used to hang out. I came up with the basic idea backstage in Birkenhead on the tour before last – I was a bit bored so started doing a bit of fiddle singing in the dressing room. It’s often just a little thing that’s gives you a door into an arrangement – with Woodpile it was adding an extra beat to the ‘Georgia Line’ so that you can get more vocal impact out of it. From there it was just a case of finding a second melody line to set against the song tune (this ended up being a simple oboe riff) and then putting it all together with the band. It’s been working really well live, particular since all the airplay on Radio 2 – people really know the chorus now!


Paul Johnson interviewed Jon Boden at the Broadside Album Launch back in October. If you missed it, you can click on the player below and have a listen…

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Paul Johnson interviews Jon Boden from Bellowhead at the Broadside Album Launch…

On the 17th of October, Paul Johnson caught up with Jon Boden (from Bellowhead) at the Broadside album launch party in the aptly named “Water Rats” hostelry in old London town. The interview took place just outside the toilet… We can a-shore you that its all “above board” if you get our drift.  Unfortunately however, like the transcript of the interview, our old sea-dog, Paul “Johno” Johnson appears to be sinking at the very end leaving poor old Jon Bowden desperate to bail and the folkmaster with a long weight for the interview hence the posting delay (due to a lame excuse on Johno’s part). Anyway, brace yourself ship-mates and be prepared to have your bumpkin and boomkin hosted by our very own folking frigate’s petard  One last point, Johno suggests purchasing the CD or downloading it from every vendor under the sun but fails to mention that you can simply get from the folking store via the amazon link below…

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Paul Johnson interviews GARRY BLAKELEY’S during THE WHEEL OF THE YEAR’ tour

LIVE SHOW DELIGHTS ON ONE WET AND WINDY NIGHT IN RYE IN SUSSEX!

If Garry Blakeley ever had to bullet point and compile a CV it would probably read something like this:

Garry BlakeleyAmazingly brilliant fiddle player, Marketing Director, PR Manager, Record Producer, Recording Studio Manager, Singer song writer, Tour Manager, Web Site Designer, long standing associate member of ‘Feast of Fiddles’, and Band of Two.

This is because Gary Blakeley and his close friends and family are masters of their ever growing and highly successful ‘Cottage Industry’!! not to mention a great family man with his son Ed firmly rooted in this successful set up as the hugely talented bass and key board player, who Garry affectionately calls the musical director. Then of course there is the brilliant Rose Blakeley writing excellent well crafted and clever lyrics and a book!! This really is a recipe for success as the recent tour of Garry’s latest album ‘The Wheel Of The Year’ has proved with ticket sales rocketing and venues selling out!

I was however, lucky enough to get hold of a ticket for the last gig in a current run of Garry Bakeley  and his brilliant bands ‘Wheel Of the Year’ show. (More shows are planned for next year)

On a wild wet windy night in Rye I ventured to The Rye Community Centre to be given a warm welcome by Garry and Rose Blakeley, where  before they took to the stage I managed to talk to him and Jane Downes who narrates poems and archived news items spanning years both on the stage and on the album which adds a dramatic and intriguing twist, both the live show and the album drawing you in to a fascinating living tradition folk tales and hearsays interspersed with modern snippets of information – clever – really clever – and most enjoyable! The show was excellent musically uplifting and powerful laced with humour a brilliantly tight band to boot!

Here’s what they had to say…….

For more details check out the following web links www.thewheeloftheyear.moonfruit.com or http://www.garryblakeley.co.uk/

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Paul Johnsons folking interview with Ioscaid from Cropredy 2012

Ioscaid is group of young lads from counties Down, Armagh, and Derry who came together in late 2009 as a band to enter the Siansa Gael Linn competition.

Brothers Dermot and Fintan Mulholland entered Siansa the previous year in a group with Niall McCrickard and Declan Magee called Coimriú who came third that year. The following year, the 4 lads joined with Niall Murphy & Ciaran Hanna and entered Siansa under the name of ‘Ioscaid’. After the various rounds of the competition, the group were selected as one of the 8 finalists to compete in the National Concert Hall in the Grand Final of the competition. In April 2010 they made history by winning the competition and bring the trophy to Ulster!

In October 2011 they hit the UK scene after entering and winning the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards which earned them a slot at Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2012 which is where our folking “Ow R U” stalwart interviewer,  Paul Johnson caught up with em backstage for a chat…

AS WINTER SETS IN BIG TIME – WE TAKE A WARM LOOK BACK TO WHEN IOSCAID  – THE BBC YOUNG FOLK AWARD WINNERS SET, MESMORIZED THE CROPREDY 2012 CROWED BACK IN THAT WONDERFUL AUGUST SUMMER SUNSHINE THAT NOW SEEMS SO LONG AGO!

But they needed a lesson on the Matty Groves story first…

As well as having the best Cropredy weather for years, in 2012 and winning countless medals at the Olympics – as we basked in the glorious sunshine smiling with a pint Wadworth’s Horizon beer in a sunny Cropredy contented way –  I had the pleasure of catching up with BBC young folk award winners Ioscaid  (pronounced ‘Iss – Kidge’) for a chat about their success so far, but not before noticing several posters around the Cropredy site displaying Fairports Olympics results as follows

Lord Darnold  – Fencing – Gold

Servant – Swimming – Gold

Maty Groves – Fencing – Did not finish!

Hiring Fair Maid – Breast Stroke Gold

So seeing that the three members of Ioscaid I was about to interview reading these posters looking totally puzzled they asked me what these were all about!!!

The interview could not start until I had recited all lyrics of Matty Groves with full explanations to these lovely young lads bless em !!!! Now they know, and I can take credit for a tiny piece of these lads musical education!! Paul Johnson

Click on the player below to listen to the interview….

Artist’s website: https://www.facebook.com/Ioscaid
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Cropredy 2012 Interview with Dave Pegg at this years Fairport’s Cropredy Convention…

Glorious weather and a great musical line-up ensured success for Fairport’s Cropredy Convention this year as music fans enjoyed themselves at the three-day Oxfordshire festival.

The organisers have now announced the dates of next year’s event. Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2013 will be staged on Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August.

Although the continuing recession hit many outdoor events in 2012,  Cropredy’s ticket sales remained bouyant. And despite exceptionally wet weather recently, the 175-acre farmland site at Cropredy remained in perfect condition with no sign of the mud and flooding that caused problems and cancellations at festivals earlier this summer.

Folkings very own, Paul Johnson caught up with Dave Pegg backstage. Click the play button below to listen.

Big thanks to Dai Jeffries for the use of the photos.

“Attendance at Cropredy has held up very well given the current economic climate,” says Simon Nicol, Fairport founder-member and festival co-organiser. “Advance ticket sales were surprisingly strong and the sunshine boosted numbers over the weekend. Everything ran smoothly, the audience had a fine time, and the weather was about as good as it gets. ”

Festival Director Gareth Williams agrees: “The festival was a great success again. Were it not for the very wet weeks immediately before we opened we might have sold out. But even though there were a few tickets left at the end of the day, we are very pleased with sales this year. More importantly, though, we’re delighted our festival-goers enjoyed such a great weekend.”

This year’s festival saw Fairport Convention celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary as a band with onstage appearances from many former members, among them Richard Thompson, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, Maart Allcock, and Jerry Donahue. Offspring of Fairport alumni also performed at the festival including Blair Dunlop (Ashley Hutchings’ son), Kami Thompson (Richard and Linda Thompson’s daughter) and Kristina Donahue (Jerry Donahue’s daughter).

As in previous years, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention was filmed for Sky Arts HD as part of the television channel’s festival season. The programme, due to be screened on Sky Arts 1 at 9pm on Friday 31 August 2012 and repeated 2pm on Saturday 1 September, will be fronted by celebrated music broadcaster Bob Harris OBE. “I love Cropredy,” says Mr Harris, “and I’ve been coming for years with my family. The selection of bands and great weather helped to make this year really special.”

BBC Radio Oxford attended all three days of Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. The station’s coverage culminated in a six-hour festival special on Saturday which included a live broadcast of the entire Fairport Convention set.

As most of you are fully aware by now, Fairport are celebrating their forty-fifth anniversary all this year. By Popular Request was released as a result of that and is precisely “what it says on the tin” – an album of 13 songs, voted for by the fans and rerecorded by the current line-up of Fairport Convention. The album was produced by John Gale.

Here is the track listing:

01 WALK AWHILE 4:22
02 CRAZY MAN MICHAEL 4:41
03 THE HIRING FAIR 5:42
04 THE HEXHAMSHIRE LASS 2:30
05 RED AND GOLD 6:42
06 SIR PATRICK SPENS 3:34
07 GENESIS HALL 3:29
08 FAREWELL FAREWELL 3:01
09 ROSIE 4:16
10 MATTY GROVES 5:06
11 FOTHERINGAY 3:24
12 JEWEL IN THE CROWN 3:32
13 MEET ON THE LEDGE 4:23

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Dai Jefffries full photo collection from the festival is available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daijeffries/sets/72157631034934710/

Paul Johnson interviews PJ Wright – (Harvey!) at Cropredy 2011

The incomparable Mr. Paul Johnson’s interview with PJ Wright at Cropredy 2011. Paul talks to PJ about: Dylan Project, PJ and Peggy tour news, the weather, the “Thomas the Rhymer” camper and the general Cropredy vibe.

Click on the player or the link below to listen to the interview.

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For more information on all things PJ go to http://www.hedgeofsound.com/