Introducing… Tracey Browne

Everyone is Ordinary, an album invoking comparison to a host of singer-songwriters including…A British Joan Osborne perhaps, a 21st century Kirsty MacColl, a folkier Sarah McLachlan, a poppier Sheryl Crow…we invite you to judge for yourself…

Championed by Nigel Stonier and Thea Gilmore, Tracey has also garnered praise from Lavinia Blackwall (of Trembling Bells) and has supported O’Hooley & Tidow (finalists in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013). 

2013 has been a good year for Tracey so far and with such prominent supporters in the music world she is releasing her new single Kate Rusby on the day she plays Cambridge Folk Festival

The album was recorded in a 17th century church in Northenden, Greater Manchester. Tracey engineered AND performed, literally hitting the record button in the control room then dashing through to the studio area to perform her vocal overdubs. Album sound good as well so check out the amazon link below to listen to more track previews

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For more information go to www.teamtracey.co.uk

Keston Cobblers’ Club release new single ‘Beam’

The distinctive sound that makes Keston Cobblers’ Club so unique comes from a desire to create contemporary, catchy music fused with the wholesome grittiness of traditional folk. With a festival count growing by the minute, Bromley’s Keston Cobblers’ Club released their new single ‘Beam’ on May 13th.

Keston Cobblers’ Club formed in 2009 with sibling duo Matthew and Julia Lowe joining old Keston School friends Tom and Daniel to write and play music together. Over the years the band has shuffled around its members, climaxing with a Cobblers’ 60 piece fan orchestra recorded live last year.

After the release of their debut single ‘You-go’ (featured on the album), which gained national radio play and critical acclaim for its unique video, the band went on to release a five track limited edition physical EP ‘Welcome to the Club’ which sold out in under five months. They followed this release with a string of UK gigs including the main support for folk heavyweights Seth Lakeman, Liz Green and Finbar Furey during their sell out tours, and went on to play numerous UK festivals including Bestival, Wilderness, Cambridge Folk Festival, Larmer Tree and Wychwood.

The Levellers release charity single for War Child

Brighton folk-rockers Levellers released a five track anti-war EP in May featuring a new recording, with special guests, of ‘The Recruiting Sergeant’. The original version, which is an anti-war song, features on their 10th studio album ‘Static on the Airwaves’ which was released to critical acclaim in 2012.

The new recording of ‘The Recruiting Sergeant’ features traditional English folk singers The Copper Family, plus Shona Kipling and Dan Walsh.

The EP also has 3 other anti-war Levellers tracks – ‘Another Man’s Cause’, ‘Not In My Name’ and ‘Barrel of The Gun’ plus the original album version of Recruiting Sergeant. All profits from the release of the War Child version of The Recruiting Sergeant will be donated to War Child, the charity for children affected by war and set up to protect children living in the world’s most dangerous war zones.

Levellers celebrate 25 years in the ‘business’ in 2013 and are playing a number of dates in the UK and Europe in May and June plus other festival appearances in the Summer including the Isle of Wight festival, Cambridge Folk Festival and a headline slot at Dorset’s Camp Bestival.

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View all live dates at: http://www.levellers.co.uk/events

BULLY WEE BAND – The Madmen of Gotham & The Vintage Years 1975-1980 (Slaughterhouse Productions SLP009CD)

The saying “…born at the right time…” couldn’t be more appropriate in describing this more than welcome trip down memory lane. I remember first meeting members of the band when they turned up unannounced one night at the Cambridge Folk Festival (was it really 1975?) and provided their spell-bound audience with an impromptu set that left us all breathless thinking just how good they were. They also…just by chance…happened to have some freshly pressed vinyl and sold a batch of them including one to yours truly. In their short-lived five year career the band provided the ‘folk’ club scene with some of the most enjoyable Celtic based music and entertainment (at that time not a ‘dirty’ word) it was our pleasure to experience. Captured here is a good cross-section from each of the band’s four recordings showcasing the talents of Frank Simon’s flashy, jazz tinged guitar playing to Jim and John Yardley’s knowledge of traditional songs, Ian Cutler’s demon fiddle, Fergus Feely’s wit and pumping bouzouki and Colin Reece armed with his own self-penned traditional styled songs. “Trooper And The Maid”, “Trumpet Hornpipe”, “Open The Door Softly” and “Madmen Of Gotham”…they’re all here with the trademark Bully Wee sound and personally speaking not a duff track to be found anywhere. Expertly digitally re-mastered by Graham Semark, this is an opportunity for those old enough to remember the band’s glory days to reacquaint themselves with a group that would certainly give any of today’s young pretenders a run for their money.

PETE FYFE

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

Folking introduces Cocos Lovers, ‘Baron of the Trees’ video and the new album…

Operating well beyond the remit of alt-folk, the 7 piece husband and wife led band festival favorites are an incredibly distinctive musical force who channel North African and Eastern influences while still keeping true to their coastal Kent roots. Their second album ‘Elephant Lands’ offers an interesting progression from the band’s debut, blending their characteristic world music feel with sixties melodies, rock guitar riffs and sky high production values.

Since forming just four years ago, the band have toured to great acclaim all over the UK and Europe, sup- porting Mumford and Sons, Nuru Kane and the BFG, Fionn Regan, CW Stoneking, Jonny Flynn and Pete Roe along the way.

Performing to full capacity audiences at Green Man, Secret Garden Party, Glastonbury and Cambridge Folk Festival during the 2011 festival season, Cocos Lovers have been causing quite a stir in the music world, counting BRIT winner Laura Marling and BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey and Cerys Matthews among their fans.

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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. Can’t find what you are looking for? Search Amazon Store below.

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.

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Artist web link – www.the-unthanks.com

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.