Bill And The Belles – live at Barnoldswick

Bill And The BellesBarnoldswick Music & Arts Centre, Mon. 26th August (Bank Holiday)

Influenced by bluegrass, hillbilly, classic country and honky tonk, Bill And The Belles have an attractive “vintage” persona, putting their own spin on a golden era of music, specifically the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. They were nominated for four IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) awards in 2017 and are a wonderfully entertaining and charming live band.

Kris Truelsen (aka”Bill”) earned a Masters Degree in Appalachian Studies and continues to share his enthusiasm for traditional American music as a presenter and producer for Radio Bristol in Bristol, Tennessee, housed in the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Kris was nominated as IBMA Broadcaster of the Year for 2017 and 2018, and is a fabulous emcee and presenter as well a talented singer and musician.

Featuring lovely three part harmonies and exquisite musicianship on fiddle, banjo, guitar and double bass, Bill And The Belles also regularly play alongside America’s top country and roots music artists as the house band for the historic Radio Bristol showFarm and Fun Time. Guest artists have included Marty Stuart, Hot Rize, the Earls of Leicester and many more. Bill and the Belles bring to the stage an uplifting show unlike any other, full of engaging humour, high spirits, and all-around revelry!

Event website:

‘Never Get Along With You’ – official video:

Belinda Kempster and Fran Foote – album and live dates

Belinda Kempster and Fan Foote

From Here Records release On Clay Hill, Stick In The Wheel harmony singer Fran Foote’s debut album with her mother, Belinda Kempster.

Belinda began singing traditional songs in the 1960s:

“Our family has a history of farming and working on the land; these songs come from that way of life – at work and at play”.

She met her husband in a folk club, and Fran grew up immersed in the local folk scene, learning songs from her parents from a very young age. As mother and daughter, Fran and Belinda have sung together privately for years, but it’s only now we all have a chance to hear Ian Carter’s recordings of their unique interpretations of mostly Essex-collected traditional songs. Encouraged by band and label founders Nicola and Ian, they bring timeless renditions without frills or fuss to a repertoire that is rich and varied.

Many of their songs were learned from Fran’s great uncle and farm labourer Ernie Austin, who was recorded for Topic’s Voice Of The People release Flash Company in 1974. Austin lived and worked in the small village of Bentley, just outside Colchester, and sang songs related to his work and recreation. Stuff you’d sing down the pub.

‘Ernest Austin is now 83 years of age and he lives in a small village to the east of Colchester in Essex. He left school at 12 to work as a kitchen boy in a farmhouse, earning 3/6d in return for a 60-hour week. For most of his early life he worked on the land as a farm labourer until, with experience, he became an agricultural engineer, retiring at the age of 70.’ Flash Company, Topic Records sleevenotes

This collection of songs are made up of those taught to Belinda by Ernie and from private family recordings. Also included are personal favourites from Belinda’s repertoire: “we want our family’s music to be documented – this is the tradition of our family and singing these songs together feels like coming home”. Clay Hill Road is an area of Basildon that Belinda and Fran have always lived near.

Nicola Kearey and Ian Carter set up From Here Records to release their own Stick In The Wheel material. This has expanded into a label concerned with the transmission of English folk music and culture into the wider world, including the critically acclaimed and ongoing project English Folk Field Recordings, and now their harmony singer Fran Foote.

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Label website for pre-orders:

‘Dark Eyed Sailor’ – official video:

Live Dates:

Saturday 29 June Leigh Folk Festival

Tuesday 16 July Hoy at Anchor Folk Club

Wednesday 17 July Green Note, London ALBUM LAUNCH

Sunday 15 September Cressing Folk Festival

Saturday 28 September Cellar Upstairs, London

Flook release limited edition vinyl Ancora

Photograph by Naoki Fujioka

Ancora is released today in a Limited Edition of 500 Orange Vinyl. To celebrate its release, Flook are playing two special shows, Stapleford Granary near Cambridge, and the Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as part of St Albans Folk Festival and the Roman Theatre Festival on Saturday 29th June 2019.

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 

Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD

Physical link for the UK Store is:

Click banner above to order featured CD/ Vinyl/ Download/ Book/ DVD

Physical link to the US Store

Flook say that “We had a tough time choosing the winner of our Seahorse Competition, not least of all because the entries came flooding in by so many methods – Email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – and it was hard to keep track. But we managed, and we had great fun reading them all. After much deliberation, we would like to congratulate Andy Mitchell for his winning entry, which contained some interesting facts and a nice link back to us”. Andy says “I hope you enjoy these few facts and I don’t really mind if I don’t win. Just thanks a million for the music I’ve been listening to since that first night in the Stromness Hotel, Orkney in 1999.” Well, he did win, and a signed copy of Ancora on vinyl will be winging its way to him after the weekend. Well done, Andy! Here’s his winning entry:

“Seahorses belong to a genus of fish called Hippocampus. The best known and best studied fossils are from the Marecchia River formation, Italy, dating back about 3 million years ago. The Marecchia River enters the Adriatic at Rimini which is just 41km from Pesaro, where your artist, Germano Ovani was born. Also, the hippocampus is a part of the brain, so named because of its shape. It forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions and is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory. You couldn’t possibly do what you do without a highly developed hippocampus to feel the emotion of music and then remember all those notes!”

Over the summer you can hear Flook at festivals in Galicia and Germany, and at Sidmouth, Glasgow’s Piping Live, Purbeck and Bromyard in UK. Then they have a series of five Scottish dates in September, anchored around Ceol Cholasa on Colonsay, and a tour in Germany. Please come and say hi along the way!

Artists’ website:

Read Tony Birch’s review of Ancona here.

‘Rubik’ live:


Richard Thompson – 70th Birthday Bash

Richard Thompson

April 3rd 2019 – Today, as he turns 70, Richard Thompson OBE has announced a 70th birthday celebration show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 30th 2019. This once in a lifetime concert will feature some very special guests, who will be announced in the coming weeks.

‘Please join me as I celebrate my 70th birthday with an evening of music! The venue is the Royal Albert Hall, London, the date is 30th September, there will be many guests covering 50 years plus of music and a memorable evening guaranteed.’ – Richard Thompson

Tickets on general sale now:

Thompson’s latest album 13 Rivers (Proper Records) was released to widespread acclaim last September and appeared on many 2018 ‘best of the year’ lists. His accompanying tour was met with glowing reviews, including The Observer, in its Artist of the Week spread, who concluded, “Half a century after his first gig with Fairport Convention, folk-rocker Richard Thompson – trademark Stratocaster and beret intact – is as cool, energetic and contemporary as ever.”

Richard Thompson’s enduring musical influence and accomplishments are unparalleled.  Having co-founded the ground-breaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 1960s, he and his bandmates invented a distinctive strain of British folk rock.  He left the group by the age of 21, followed by a decade long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist.

Thompson has received an OBE, lifetime achievement awards from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the Americana Music Association and the prestigious Ivor Novello Award.  Rolling Stone named Thompson one of the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time and The Los Angeles Times called him the finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix.  His song ‘1952 Vincent Black Lightning’ was named one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Greatest Songs Since 1923.”

A wide range of musicians have recorded Thompson’s songs including Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Jones, David Byrne, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and many more.  His massive body of work includes many Grammy nominated albums as well as numerous soundtracks, including Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.

Thompson’s genre defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar along with engaging energy and onstage wit continue to earn him new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive virtuosos and writers in folk rock history.  Powered by evocative songcraft, jaw-dropping guitar playing, and indefinable spirit, this venerable icon holds a coveted spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and counts a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association in Nashville, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Folk Awards among his many accolades.

As well as celebrating Thompson’s milestone birthday, this unmissable show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 30th will be a fitting tribute to a truly exceptional artist.

Artist’s website:

‘Put It There Pal’ – live: