The Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions: Faustus

Faustus performing live for the Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2 featuring songs from their new album Broken Down Gentlemen.

These three tracks were recorded on the 13th of March 2013 and is now available to download and preview from the amazon link below. These recordings are part of the ‘Mark Radcliffe Folk Sessions’ series and folking will be featuring  more sessions shortly for your listening pleasure.

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…


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:

Marvin, Welch and Farrar – Second Opinion (Beat Goes On BGOCD714)

How do you carry the burden of being so well established because of another vehicle (in this case The Shadows) that anything else you try pales into insignificance…at least in the eyes of a majority of the general public? Such was the case of Marvin, Welch & Farrar. Well, part of it may have had to do with the fact that they turned from electric gods into acoustic weaklings but, for me at least that’s where a lot of their charm lay. OK, so the comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash are inevitable (MW&F even said so themselves) and to some lesser extent the band America but if you give it a chance, particularly in 2012 where ‘acoustic’ music is being heralded as the second coming there may hopefully be reawakened interest. Now, far be it for me to be critical but I’m not sure about the opening track “You’re Burning Bridges” which apparently met with approval from more knowledgeable scribes than me but the intonation on the nylon strung guitar is what might politely be described as being a bit dodgy. The second track “A Thousand Conversations” however is a different kettle of fish with its gently picked 12-string introduction and seductive string arrangement which wouldn’t sound out of place on a BBC Radio 2 show. Collectively Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and John Farrar could rock it out when they needed to as can be witnessed on “Throw Down A Line” and surely a contender alongside the likes of the Goo-Goo Dolls for a Hollywood soundtrack. I just knew when I got this album I was going to be in for a treat little realising just how much of a treat it really turned out to be…a bit like getting the purple wrapped chocolate in a box of Quality Street. If you’re into a slice of country-rock or just into great harmonies and guitar performances then may I humbly suggest you start here.


Maz Totterdell – Counting My Fingers from the album Sweep

Maz Totterdell’s remarkable debut Sweep depicts youthful talent at its most striking. Her sound, characterised by memorable melodies, folk musicianship and insightful poetic lyricism, has been likened to Vashti Bunyan, Thea Gilmore and Feist.

The teenage singer/songwriter’s debut single Counting My Fingers won 6 Music’s Rebel Playlist public vote following national radio plays on BBC Radio 2 (Sir Terry Wogan and Steve Lamacq) and 6 Music itself (Radcliffe & Maconie, Chris Hawkins, Shaun Keaveney and Steve Lamacq). It then went on to receive the highest score on Steve’s new releases review show, Roundtable.

Maz has been singing at open mic nights in her home county of Devon since she was 9, performed at London’s Hackney Empire in the final of UK Unsigned when she was 10, started teaching herself guitar and writing songs at the age of 11, and had played 8 of her own compositions at local venues and festivals by the time she turned 13 on Christmas Eve 2009.

2011 saw Maz play her first London shows, her ever changing set being selected from her catalogue of 40+ original songs, plus a different, one-performance-only cover version at each gig. Her solo girl-with-a guitar live performance is a thing of fragile, embryonic beauty. At her dates last year Maz managed to charm and entrance, silencing the usual in-gig chatter with her sensitive, intensely engaging performances.

Sweep combines confessional tales of complicated teen romance with cunning pop hooks and a confident sparkle. Maz’s songwriting and her pure, unaffected voice are not her only talents, as she ably arranged all of Sweep’s musical and vocal parts herself. This superior debut suggests a very bright future.

“Very bright and very promising…we’re looking forward to the album a LOT” – Steve Lamacq – BBC Radio 2

‘Charming’ – Sir Terry Wogan – BBC Radio 2


The lush string sounds courtesy of Glenn Louis Pettit’s keyboard on the opening song “Honeypie” is just right for that Sunday afternoon with Aled, Alan or Terry and indeed should be required listening for the Radio 2 generation. Nicely chilled, the track introduces the world to the vocal delights of Marie-Claire Berreen who, without the aid of a Brit School (I’m thinking Katie Melua and Adele) upbringing should be seen as a bonus. It must be difficult for anyone trying to make their way in the industry we’ve come to know as ‘music’ but with an eye for the ‘light entertainment’ market this should see Ms Berreen going places. I’m hoping that I’m speaking on behalf of most of us in that the ‘folk’ world have more or less (OK, in many cases reluctantly) accepted the generalised term ‘acoustic’ as common currency and in so doing have learnt to embrace the cross-fertilisation of jazz that this recording represents. The album has many gems including “One-Armed Bandit” and the lullaby-ish “Mr Monster” which are revealing insights into a lady who utilises music like a Catholic going to ‘confession’ or an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle Show. Accompanied by a tasteful backing ‘band’ including long-time collaborator and guitarist Steve Wattison, Pete Jennings-Bates (bass) and Dan Slade on drums the recording proceeds at a leisurely but not too laid-back pace. In my opinion the stigma of being labelled this or that should not have any bearing in this day and age and as an artist there should be no question of guilt or fear of recrimination from an audience who will hopefully prove to be open-minded. PETE FYFE

Adrian Duffy releases Storm Breaking

Singer-songwriter, Adrian Duffy, delivers super-crafted folk pop songs that combine simple yet infectious melodies with an intimacy and storytelling flavour fondly reminiscent of the early Eagles. These are the kinds of songs you think have been around forever, winning Adrian enthused critics and dedicated fans up and down the country.

As well as a great solo performer, these new songs bring together for the first time a family full of world class musicians all steeped in their west coast of Ireland heritage. Melvin Duffy on slide guitars (Robbie Williams, The Waterboys, Mojave 3), Chris Duffy on drums & percussion (Chima Anya, Tommy Ludgate), Ray & Leo Duffy on mandolin & fiddle (Tammy Wynette, Charlie Pride) weaved and intertwined with Adrian’s vocals and acoustic guitar to produce a stunning, rootsy sound that is refreshingly authentic and sincere.

As brothernature Adrian toured his songwriting around venues as varied as Birmingham Symphony Hall, Liverpool Philharmonic, Whelan’s, Ronnie Scott’s and CBGB’s. The debut album “Looking Down The Road” received glowing press and radio reviews as well as international, national and regional playlists and album of the week picks.

Single of The Week – BBC Radio Wales

Hotly tipped – Janice Long, BBC Radio 2

A staggering collection of acoustic belters – FHM

Super-crafted harmony-suffused acoustic country-pop songs – Hotpress 10/10

A sound comparable to Damien Rice and Neil Finn (Crowded House) – Music Week