Dan Ogus has been co-hosting Scattering The Roots with Shep Woolley since early 2011. Recently, when Shep retired, Dan decided to fly solo, and in folking.com’s opinion, has started the assent to take the show to new heights.
I want to present the kind of weekly programme that I’d enjoy listening to myself, showcasing music I’m enthusiastic and passionate about – folk, roots, blues, Americana, retro, unplugged, singer/songwriter with a nod and wink to other styles, along with occasional studio guests and interviews. With that in mind, on Scattering The Roots you’re just as likely to hear John Hiatt, Pink Floyd, Suzanne Vega, Nick Cave, Big Star and Robert Plant, for example, as well as other folkier music. Dan Ogus
We think it’s great music for a Sunday afternoon, so why not make a note to listen Sunday afternoons, 4-6 p.m, 93.7FM if you are in the Portsmouth area, or online below:
Lifetime Achievement Awards for Don McLean and The Dubliners
Four Awards for June Tabor & Oysterband
Good Tradition Awards for Ian Campbell and Bill Leader
Broadcast from The Lowry in Salford for the first time
The influential careers of singer-songwriter Don McLean and Irish folk legends The Dubliners were celebrated last night(Wednesday 8th February) at the 13th BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Presented by Radio 2 Folk Show host Mike Harding and singer Julie Fowlis, this was the first year the awards were held outside London. The event was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, online and on BBC Red Button from the Lowry in Salford.
Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music said:
“Folk music is enjoying a fantastic resurgence in popularity in the UK with a vibrant and varied scene. Tonight’s event proves once again how important it is for Radio 2 to schedule our annual Folk Awards as well as our weekly folk show, and I’d like to congratulate all of the winners.”
Broadcaster Paul Gambaccini presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Don McLean who commented:
“I thank the BBC for thinking of me and honouring me with this award. The UK audience has been among the most loyal for over 40 years and without them certainly I wouldn’t be considered for this honour, so I thank the BBC and I thank the British public”.
The Dubliners, who celebrate their 50th year of being together this year, had their achievements recognised when they received their Lifetime Achievement accolade from singer-songwriter Ralph McTell.
The night in part belonged to June Tabor and Oysterband who picked up four awards for each of the categories they were nominated in. Folk singer June was reunited with roots rebels Oysterband after 21 years and their much acclaimed reunion led them to receiving the prestigious Best Album Award for Ragged Kingdom, Best Traditional Track for Bonny Bunch of Roses and Best Group, while June was crowned Folk Singer of the Year.
The evening was also a successful one for Tim Edey who picked up two awards – Musician of the Year and with Brendan Power the gong for Best Duo.
For the first time the Best Original Song prize was given to two winners, with Bella Hardy’s The Herring Girl and Steve Tilston’s The Reckoning sharing the honours. 21 year-old Lucy Ward was a Young Folk Award Finalist in 2009 and now found herself picking up the Horizon Award, which recognises the achievements of newcomers, for her blend of modern and traditional folk.
The Home Service, whose Live 1986 album was released in 2011 following the discovery of a 25-year old tape, were named as Best Live Act. Special recognition went to Ian Campbell and Bill Leader who were honoured with the Good Tradition Award which pays tribute to those who keep traditional folk music alive. Malcolm Taylor OBE, Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society was recognised for his 30 years of service as the recipient of the Roots Award.
Ioscaid (pronounced iss-kidge), a six piece band from Northern Ireland picked up the accolade for Young Folk Award. The group, who are aged between 18 and 20, are made up of Dermot and Fintan Mulholland from Derry, Declan Magee and Niall McCrickard from Down, Niall Murphy from Armagh and Ciaran Hanna from Tyrone.
Celebrities who were on presenting duty on the night included singer-songwriter Ralph McTell, Billy Elliot playwright Lee Hall, Coronation Street’s Kate Ford (Tracy Barlow), comedians Ed Byrne and Jeremy Hardy and BBC broadcasters Stuart Maconie and Paul Gambaccini. Highlights of the Radio 2 Folk Awards will be available on the BBC Red Button for seven days after the award ceremony.
BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS 2012 – WINNERS
FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR
Tim Edey & Brendan Power
June Tabor & Oysterband
Ragged Kingdom – June Tabor & Oysterband
BEST ORIGINAL SONG (JOINT WINNERS)
The Herring Girl – Bella Hardy
The Reckoning – Steve Tilston
BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK
Bonny Bunch of Roses – June Tabor & Oysterband
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR
BEST LIVE ACT
The Home Service
BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
GOOD TRADITION AWARD
GOOD TRADITION AWARD
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Folk legends Don McLean and The Dubliners will both be given Lifetime Achievement Awards at BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards 2012, to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 on Wednesday 8th February.
Presenter Mike Harding announced the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Awards on the Radio 2 Folk Show on Wednesday 18 January (7-8pm).
Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2 and 6 Music said:
“Radio 2 is committed to featuring folk music as part of our specialist music output, so we’re delighted to be holding the Radio 2 Folk Awards in Salford this year, and that listeners will be able to also watch the ceremony. Both The Dubliners and Don McLean are much loved by the Radio 2 audience, and I’d like to congratulate them on their well-deserved awards.”
Mike Harding said:
On The Dubliners – ‘When The Dubliners virtually invented the Dublin pub music scene 50 years ago, they changed the face of Irish music forever. They were exciting and different, with a real whiff of danger about them. In Luke Kelly and Ronnie Drew, they possessed two truly charismatic singers of a rare quality. Barney McKenna and John Sheahan, who remain with the group to this day, are indisputably world class musicians. Hugely influential and deeply loved at home and abroad, The Dubliners are responsible for countless definitive recordings and I’m delighted that Radio 2 is honouring their immense contribution to folk music.’
On Don McLean – ‘The truly great songwriters, who create works of such quality that they become standards across genres, are owed a debt of gratitude by the music world and I think it’s fantastic that we’re presenting Don McLean with this award.’
Don McLean is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits American Pie and Vincent (Starry Starry Night). Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Don McLean said:
“I thank the BBC for thinking of me and honouring me with this award. The UK audience has been among the most loyal for over 40 years and without them certainly I wouldn’t be considered for this honour, so I thank the BBC and I thank the British public”
The Dubliners changed the face of Irish traditional music when they formed in Dublin in 1962. Half a century later, they continue to be one of the best-loved and most recognisable of Ireland’s folk groups, responsible for definitive versions of Ireland’s greatest ballads – Whiskey In The Jar, The Wild Rover and The Rocky Road To Dublin. For a lot of people around the world, The Dubliners are Irish music, and Irish music is The Dubliners.
This is the 13th year of the awards, which were created to celebrate the UK’s folk scene, and the first year the Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast from the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays. In addition to being broadcast live on BBC Radio 2, the awards will also be available for fans to watch live on BBC Red Button.
The awards, which are produced by production company Smooth Operations, will be hosted by BBC Radio 2 Folk presenter Mike Harding, alongside singer Julie Fowlis. Lifetime Achievement Award winners The Dubliners and Don McLean will be playing at the event. Other artists who will be performing on the night are Christy Moore, The Unthanks with the Brighouse and Rastrick Band, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Tim Edey & Brendan Power and June Tabor & Oysterband.
One of the other prestigious awards of the night – the Roots Award, awarded in recognition of an outstanding contribution to Folk Music from a Grass Roots level upwards – will be presented to Malcolm Taylor OBE. Malcolm is the Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society. He’s receiving the Roots Award for his outstanding contribution for over 30 years of service.
Malcolm Taylor said:
“I am surprised and honoured to be receiving this award. The real star of the show is the Ralph Vaughan Williams Library itself. I am absolutely delighted to be accepting the award on behalf of the library and archive collections.”
Among this year’s nominees are June Tabor & Oysterband who have picked up four nominations for Best Group, Best Album for the album ‘Ragged Kingdom‘, Best Traditional Track, for ‘Bonny Bunch of Roses‘ and June Tabor has been nominated for Folk Singer of the Year. Sisters The Unthanks have also received four nominations for Best Group, Best Live Act, Best Album and Best Original Song. Other short-listed artists include Martin Simpson who has three nominations for Best Album, Best Traditional Track and Musician of the Year.
The Folk Awards ceremony will once again be combined with The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, which is given to the most promising young folk artist in the UK.
Simon Mayo will be bringing his Drivetime show live from The Lowry Theatre in Salford ahead of the Radio 2 Folk Awards. He’s joined by his very special guest Don McLean who will be performing live on the show ahead of the event. In an extended programme, Simon also showcases live music from some of the other nominees and brings a flavour of what the night has in store.
Listeners can watch the Radio 2 Folk Awards live by using the BBC interactive Red Button service and pressing the red button from any BBC TV or Radio Channel. Or by going online to http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/
Highlights of The Radio 2 Folk Awards will remain on BBC Red Button and the BBC Radio 2 website for viewers to enjoy for seven days after the event.
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“For me it was a pinnacle in 40 years of broadcasting. I counted it a privilege and still do.” John Tams – music director
“The social documentary nature of the Radio Ballads and their attempt to honour those very experiences is precisely what folk song is all about.” Karine Polwart – musician
A brand new Radio Ballad entitled ‘The Ballad of the Miners’ Strike’ will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Tuesday 2nd March, marking the 25th anniversary of the end of that bitter year-long dispute. With specially commissioned new songs from John Tams, Julie Matthews, Ray Hearne and Jez Lowe and featuring musicians such as Andy Cutting, Barry Coope, Bob Fox and Andy Seward, its transmission has been highly anticipated.
To coincide with this, Delphonic Records are proud to announce the digital reissue of all six Radio Ballads (each one an hour long) that made up the 2006 series:
THE SONG OF STEEL : the decline of Sheffield and Rotherham steel industries
THE ENEMY THAT LIVES WITHIN : modern stories of people living with HIV/AIDS
THE HORN OF THE HUNTER : both sides of the story of hunting with hounds
SWINGS AND ROUNDABOUTS : the travelling people who run Britain’s fairgrounds
THIRTY YEARS OF CONFLICT : sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland
THE BALLAD OF THE BIG SHIPS : shipyards of Tyne & Wear and Clyde
A stunning and important documentation of modern British history and culture, the 2006 Radio Ballads were a year in the making, the process beginning when producer John Leonard, tape editor Annie Grundy and interviewers Vince Hunt and Sara Parker selected six issues that had dominated the half-century since the original groundbreaking Radio Ballads of Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker (father of Sara) and Peggy Seeger were broadcast on the BBC Home Service in the late 1950’s.
The original eight documentaries had been masterpieces of radio, weaving the voices of rarely heard communities with songs written from and about the recorded experiences of the interviewees. With a similar modus operandi for the 2006 Radio Ballads, Hunt and Parker began visiting steelworks, shipyards and fairgrounds, crossed the countryside with fox and hare hunters, talked to musicians who had been caught up in the Troubles and to people living with HIV/AIDS, and gathered location atmosphere and sound effects, eventually speaking to hundreds of people
These interviews were subsequently edited into themes, with layers of recollections and memories, which were then sifted by Leonard and arranged into groupings for songs to be written. Musical director John Tams assembled a team of professional musicians drawn mostly from the current folk scene (including Karine Polwart, Julie Matthews, Jez Lowe, Ray Hearne and Ian McMillan), and they gathered at his studio to work out parts and hone the songs while Leonard edited each new stage into the overall Ballad. As this Ballad series was commissioned as part of the BBC’s Voices project, the musicians used dialect, slang and shared experience to inform their songs. Long days and weeks of studio production resulted in the six-part series originally transmitted from February to April 2006.
“The original Radio Ballads are a crossroads in radio history as pioneering broadcasts that remain forever the benchmark for any documentary maker who has a care for working lives – culture – music. Fifty years on we made the 2006 Radio Ballads. I hope we honoured the originals but moreover those ‘life-tellers’ who gave us their stories. The series is theirs. I was just a part of their storytelling. I count my blessings that I was invited to their tables. These ballads remain for others to come after. But for me and I know for the writers, musicians, recordists and everyone involved they hold a special significance. For me it was a pinnacle in 40 years of broadcasting. I counted it a privilege and still do.” John Tams – music director
“I’m a huge fan of the original Radio Ballads recordings and the quality of songwriting and innovative broadcasting that they represent, so I felt very privileged to be involved in contributing to the 2006 series. It’s a considerable responsibility to draw upon other people’s experiences and stories in any kind of writing or creative work, without getting in the way of what people are perfectly able to say for themselves in their own words. To me, the social documentary nature of the Radio Ballads and their attempt to honour those very experiences is precisely what folk song is all about and why it remains a relevant, powerful and contemporary form of expression.” Karine Polwart – musician
“The Radio Ballads are a triumph of honesty. They take memory, music, atmosphere and imagination and create a special environment where emotions told true are amplified by the music and the personal experience is the absolute focus of attention. It was a dream come true for a reporter, tracking storytellers down through word of mouth and good old fashioned legwork. My instructions were simply to keep going until I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: once there all I had to do was get the treasure home. Sometimes I’d be in a chicken coop on top of a hill near Huddersfield; in a tiny village near Newry; in the middle of a council estate in Sheffield or in a Glasgow hotel, with a corridor-full of burly Scottish shipbuilders queuing up to tell me their stories. Gathering the interviews for the Radio Ballads was an unbelievable year, and I think we made a radio series that sounds like no other.”
Vince Hunt – interviewer
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Well, I must admit it’s taken me ages to get around to listening to the radio with any real conviction and to be honest the first time in probably 20 years since I heard any ‘folk’ music programme all the way through apart from the occasional Mike Harding Show. Imagine my surprise then when I found myself tuning into Richard Digance “Devonfolk” on the BBC’s iPlayer the other day. I know I don’t live in ..Devon.. but even with half the show dedicated to a live performance in the studio by a local singer-songwriter it was Digance’s approach to broadcasting with the emphasis on the word ‘broad’ that kept me listening to all two hours of the show. Instead of the tried and tested it was the sometimes-tenuous links that made it all fascinating listening. Anecdotes pepper Richard’s life and let’s face it he’s had a more eventful one than many of us ‘folk-o-philes’. Regaling us with stories of his first meeting in ..Glasgow.. with a certain Iain McGeachy and how they both wound up sharing digs together in ..Richmond.., ..Surrey.. before Iain found International fame as John Martyn (represented by playing “May You Never”). In fact Digance’s story reads like a who’s who of the ‘folk’ world like the time he performed at Paul Simon’s (yes, that Paul Simon!) folk club at the Red Lion in Barking before Simon returned to America to hit the big time. Rick Wakeman, Paul Brady, Eric Clapton and David Bowie who ran the Tree Tuns Folk Club in Beckenham, Kent all got a look in so I think you’ll agree that in the space of a couple of minutes Richard captures the listeners’ attention and he manages to hold it with ease…to me, the sign of a brilliant broadcaster. If you’ve got a computer do yourselves a favour and check out “Devonfolk” for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.