The Great British Folk Festival 2018

The Great British Folk Festival 2018

Hi-de-Hi! Hi-De-Ho! to all the team at The Great British Folk Festival 2018 at the Butlin’s Skegness resort.

Yep, its that time of the year again when “That Old Sweet Folk and Roll” comes to Skeggy and the “Blood, Sweat & Tears” of the Bultlin’s Live Music Weekend calendar, clashes with their other Electric Dreams weekend event in Bognor (where you can see Pat Sharp and join the Eighties music themed Pool Party). There is some brilliant banter already on the ‘Live Music Weekends’ facebook page suggesting that one individual would ‘rather watch paint dry’ than make the trip up North. Well, all we can say is your ‘folking loss Me Ol’ Mucker’ as I believe there is workshop on the Saturday morning up in Skeggy for that.

Look at that line-up above! Where else are you going to get that sort of a bill during 30 November to 2 December?

Anyway, you can probably tell that we are excited to the point of delirium so I’ll hand you over to folking.com’a answer to “Smashie” (I’m apparently Nicey), Mr Paul ‘How are Ya’ Johnson who is going to say a few words…

For tickets and more information visit GBFF 2018

Darren Beech

Here is Dai Jeffries excellent review from 2015 to get you in the mood.

THE GREAT BRITISH FOLK FESTIVAL, Skegness, 4th-7th December

ANNIE DRESSNER – Broken Into Pieces

Like Kurt Russell in ‘Escape from New York‘, Annie Dressner has legged it as well and made it over here to fair Albion even without the aid of an eye patch! Dressner been busy in Blighty, clocking up airplay on both BBC Radio Two and Six and earning herself festival appearances at Green Man and Cambridge to name just a few. Its no surprise then, that she now has a brand new spanking album, ‘Broken Into Pieces’ in the can and a huge heart and desire to share it with everyone.

Mates abound, with contributions from Polly Palusama and Che Bereford from Capercaille. Dressner’s husband Paul Goodwin also chips in on BV’s along with Dan Wilde and Jade Rhiannon Ward from the Willows. Matthew Caws from Nada Surf is also part of the project together with ‘Broken Into Pieces’ album producer Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore, Fairport Convention, Martha Wainwright, Waterboys and Abbie Ozard).

The album looks at the little fragile fragments of everyday life and its relationships. The melodies are folk/pop tinged, complemented by vocals pitched in a tone, slightly higher in a golden, “crisp Manhattan morning air”. It starts with ‘Fades Away’, which gently pulls the listener out of its opening hypnotic circular guitar and soft lullaby chrysalis, into a relationship butterfly of tinkering piano and meandering cello. ‘Don’t Go’, folk-pop-rocks it along with its little cheery whistling intro as it steams off into ‘sticky plaster’ patching up relationship territory, with one foot out the door whilst the head is jerked back around as its being persuaded to stay. ‘Heartbreaker’ has a great swinging pop-country homespun roll to it and looks back to what could have been. ‘This was how it was to be my love when you were my love‘, maybe all those gold flakes in the vodka bankrupted the poor fella!

‘Kentucky’, which you can watch in video below was the first track that jumped out and grabbed me. There is something very fragile about it, you feel like you are holding the heart of it and if you don’t hold on to it carefully enough, you may drop and smash it.

The more and more I listen to ‘Broken Into Pieces’, the more I find something new in it. Its a beautiful thing and its definitely a keeper.

Darren Beech

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

‘Kentucky’ – official video:

The album is available to order/download from the Bandcamp link below. ‘Fades Away’, ‘Kentucky’ and ‘Get Out’ are there to stream as well.

A DIFFERENT THREAD – On A Whim (own label)

On A Whim

Originally a duo comprising Staffordshire’s Robert Jackson and North Yorkshire classical cellist Isaac Collier, last year they were joined by North Carolina songwriter and fiddle player Alicia Best, she and Jackson now the mainstays, although she remains based in the States. Following on from the High Time EP, on which Best made her first fully-fledged appearance after being one of the backing musicians on the earlier Home From Home, On A Whim is their debut album, all save for two numbers being self-penned.

Musically, it straddles English folk and Americana influences, Jackson taking lead on the mid-tempo, brass brushed waltzing (and whistling) title track about a kind of indolent restlessness. Jackson still on lead, they cross shores for the friskily scampering bluegrassy banjo number ‘Hold Me Down’ with Best showing off her fiddle frills.

She steps up the microphone for her self-penned traditional sounding ‘Potter’s Field’, Collier’s mournful cello and Jackson’s acoustic guitar underpinning a number about a pauper’s burial, and remains there for equally American folk shaded but slightly the more uptempo strum of ‘Rosa Rosa’. That’s followed by the sole actual traditional number, the the much covered ‘The Prickly Bush’, here with Jackson’s voice upfront and Best harmonising, although this offers a strikingly different arrangement that leans to fingerpicked gypsy jazz and Balkan mazurka influences with Alan Best on accordion and Jackson playing harmonica.

The slow strummed march beat ‘Honey And Fire’ has the feel of early Dylan and the Band, jazzy flugel horn and brushed snare colouring the shared wearied delivery of the frayed relationship song ‘Chairs Instead’ which harks to vintage Laurel Canyon days, while ‘Carolina Song’ is a lovely melancholic rootsy slow waltz that shows Best’s slightly dusty Gillian Welch-like vocals to good advantage.

It’s back to a traditional folk flavoured fiddle blazing stomp for the playful ‘Farmer’s Mistress’, Jackson also on lead for the simple acoustic fingerpicking of ‘High Time’, a slightly faster and slightly lyrically different re-recording from the EP.

They end with Dobro and upright bass on the moodily bluesy ‘Charlotte’, the duo sharing verses on the album’s most electric number, and, backed by strings and a circular acoustic guitar pattern, Best singing the simpler folksy ‘Not Good With Words’. A hugely impressive debut; buy it on a whim, keep it as a treasure.

Mike Davies

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: www.adifferentthread.com

‘Hold Me Down’ – live/official video:

Folking.com Cropredy Interviews 2018

Paul Johnson introduces this years interviews…


Dave Pegg – Cropredy 2018

The Folking.com 2018 Dave Pegg Interview from Cropredy


Chris Leslie – Cropredy 2018

Chris Leslie with Martin Jenkins mandolin. Photo by Darren Beech

The Folking.com 2018 Chris Leslie Interview from Cropredy


Alan Prosser – Cropredy 2018

Derby Folk Festival

Paul Johnson and Darren Beech catch up with Alan at this years Cropredy Festival as the Oysters celebrate their 40th year.

Oysterband celebrate 40 years together


Sam Kelly – Cropredy 2018

Sam Kelly – Cropredy 2018. Photo by Darren Beech

SAM KELLY & THE LOST BOYS – Pretty Peggy (Navigator NAVIGATOR 102)


Merry Hell – Cropredy Fringe 2018

Merry Hell – Cropredy Fringe 2018. Photo by Darren Beech

The Folking.com 2018 Merry Hell Interview from Cropredy Fringe


Will Varley – Cropredy 2018

Will Varley

Will Varley talks to folking.com ahead of Autumn tour


Midnight Skyracer – Cropredy 2018

Midnight Skyracer at Cropredy 2018. Photo by Darren Beech

MIDNIGHT SKYRACER talk to Folking.com backstage at Cropredy 2018


MIDNIGHT SKYRACER talk to Folking.com backstage at Cropredy 2018

Midnight Skyracer at Cropredy 2018. Photo by Darren Beech

Paul Johnson and Darren Beech catch up with Midnight Skyracer backstage at this years Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. The interview took place on the Friday afternoon after their fantastic set earlier in the day.

The girls have been nominated for an IBMA award by the International Bluegrass Music Association which is not surprising, as they are all monster players. Congratulations from all of us at folking.com. We are all keeping everything crossed for you!

We would just like to point out (before you think we have gone completely folking mad in the interview) that potatoes and the bands love of them, did feature a fair bit during the bands banter between their songs in the set.

Click on the play button below to have a listen.

For those of you not in the know, Midnight Skyracer are a new, all-female Anglo-Irish bluegrass 5-piece band playing hard-driving traditional and original songs. Singer/mandolin player Leanne Thorose and virtuoso banjo player Tabitha Agnew are joined by sisters Charlotte (guitar) and Laura (fiddle/dobro) Carrivick (of The Carrivick Sisters fame) and bassist Eleanor Wilkie. Formed in early 2017, they were playing their first shows in May and June of that year, before landing a slot at the 2017 Cambridge Folk Festival and stealing the show with a storming, full-to-capacity set.  The Midnight Skyracer machine has led everyone a merry ‘Maris Pied Piper‘ dance since, right through ‘UK festival heartland‘. It gathers more and more followers with every new performance as it steamrollers over festivals, which so far have included; Priddy, Abbotsbury, Folk by the Oak, Underneath the Stars, Cropredy and Shrewsbury to name just a few.

Midnight Skyracer – BBC Radio Oxford Cropredy set. Photo by Darren Beech

Their latest album ‘Fire‘ contains 7 originals including songs by all 5 band members, plus some carefully chosen nods to some of their favourite influences. The album was mixed and mastered by Josh Clark of Kate Rusby’s ‘Life in a Paper Boat’ fame which gives it that ‘top draw’ production seal of approval.

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.midnightskyracer.com/

Back to Cropredy 2018 Interview Menu

The Folking.com 2018 Merry Hell Interview from Cropredy Fringe

Merry Hell

Paul Johnson and Darren Beech create Merry Hell as they attempt to break the world record for ‘how many folk-rock musicians you can fit round a table in a pub in Cropredy. Yes you guessed it, the interview took place in the Brasenose, as part of the Cropredy fringe on the first day of the festival.

In the interview, Merry Hell talk about their delight in winning Best Live Act and Best Group in this year’s folking awards and discuss the process behind their song writing and how the material is selected for each album.

Other subjects covered include; the new acoustic album, Dai Jeffries trip to Wigan to review the acoustic band gig and being piled with ‘Uncle Joe’s’ mint balls (read it here if you missed it).

Upcoming tour and festival dates are also covered, from the excellent Southdowns Folk Festival in Bognor Regis on the south coast to Mike Harding’s fab festival in Settle ‘Up North’. Note the additional Kentish f  that was specially added for Virginia free of charge!

Click on the play button below to have a listen.

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: www.merryhell.co.uk

Back to Cropredy 2018 Interview Menu