The Unthanks Brass Project

Following last year’s Songs of Robert Wyatt & Antony & Johnsons, The Unthanks are pleased to announce that the second release on the RabbleRouser label Diversions series will be: Diversions Vol. 2: The Unthanks With Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band. The planned release date is Monday 30th July with the album Launch happening at the Cambridge Folk Festival on Saturday 28th July. Prior to the retail release and launch, the album will be exclusively available at brass shows during June.

The album will chart last year’s collaboration with the National Champions of Great Britain, featuring music written and arranged by Unthanks pianist and producer Adrian McNally, including The Father’s Suite, written in celebration of Rachel Unthank and McNally’s first child.

The album will be released this summer and the project returns to the stage with shows including York Minster, Liverpool Philharmonic, Victoria Theatre Halifax, Grassington and Cambridge Folk Festivals, and No Direction Home – the new festival by the End of the Road team. The collaboration is a spectacular, with The Unthanks and ‘Briggus’ making up over 30 people on stage. As well as music written specifically for the project, McNally adapts folk song by Ewan MacColl, Tommy Armstrong and Dave Sudbury, the latter being the song King of Rome, as performed at the BBC Folk Awards below.

Music also comes from the existing repertoire of The Unthanks, including versions of Patience Kershaw, Felton Lonnin and Gan To The Kye, adapted for brass by conductor Sandy Smith from McNally’s original string arrangements.

Artist web link –

The Boat Project

Unthanks pianist, producer and arranger Adrian McNally is currently making an album featuring many different songwriters. Rachel Unthank’s husband has been invited to curate, produce and arrange a record of songwriters, each inspired to write a song based on stories from another project currently taking place called The Boat Project. More will be revealed about this in a future article. Amongst the songwriters there are Ivor Novello award winners, Mercury Prize nominees, poets, authors, and a legend or two from the folk and jazz worlds.