The Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 Announced

At this years 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards, Lifetime Achievements went to the legendary “Peace Trained” musician Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Grammy Award-winning “double lifetime” artist Loudon Wainwright III.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner YUSUF / CAT STEVENS with David Gray who presented the awarded earlier that night at the Cardiff Millenium Centre. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner YUSUF / CAT STEVENS with David Gray who presented the awarded earlier that night at the Cardiff Millennium Centre. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
Tom Robinson presents BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement to LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
Tom Robinson presents BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement to LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner "Mr Moonshadow" Yusuf / Cat Stevens performing at the Cardiff Millennium Centre on the 22/04/15. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner “Mr Moonshadow” Yusuf / Cat Stevens performing at the Cardiff Millennium Centre on the 22/04/15. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III performing on the night. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Lifetime Achievement winner LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III performing on the night. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

Ewan MacColl was inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame exists to recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

Meredydd Evans is the 2015 recipient of The Good Tradition Award. The award is given to a person, group or organisation for their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and continuance/progression of traditional music over a number of years.

BEST DUO WINNERSJosienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Nominations:
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
O’Hooley & Tidow
Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
Chris While & Julie Matthews

Congratulations to BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Best Duo Winners Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
Congratulations to BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Best Duo Winners Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK WINNERSamhradh Samhradh – The Gloaming
Nominations:
Bedlam – Stick In The Wheel
Handsome Molly – The Furrow Collective
Manus Mo Rùin – Cruinn
Samhradh Samhradh – The Gloaming

Congratulations to Iarla Ó Lionáird & THE GLOAMING on winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 "Best Traditional Track" for their composition "Samhradh Samhradh".
Congratulations to Iarla Ó Lionáird & THE GLOAMING on winning the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 “Best Traditional Track” for their composition “Samhradh Samhradh”.

HORIZON AWARD WINNERSThe Rails
Nominations:
Ange Hardy
Maz O’Connor
Stick In The Wheel
The Rails

Charlie Dale presenting R2 Horizon Award to James Walbourne & Kami Thompson from THE RAILS. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
Charlie Dale presenting R2 Horizon Award to James Walbourne & Kami Thompson from THE RAILS. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG WINNERSSwim To The Star – Peggy Seeger/Calum MacColl (performed by Peggy Seeger)
Nominations:
Swim To The Star – Peggy Seeger/Calum MacColl (performed by Peggy Seeger)
The Necklace Of Wrens – Michael Hartnett (performed by The Gloaming)
The Pitmen Poets – Jez Lowe
The Spider And The Wolf – Paul Simmonds (performed by Naomi Bedford)

BBC RADIO 2 YOUNG FOLK AWARD WINNERSTalisk
Nominations:
Cup O’Joe
Roseanne Reid
Talisk
Wildwood Kin

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners TALISK with Nancy Kerr. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners TALISK with Nancy Kerr. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR WINNERSam Sweeney
Nominations:
Martin Green
Will Pound
Sam Sweeney
Kathryn Tickell

A huge folking well done to BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Musician Of The Year winner, SAM SWEENEY. The boy wonder has done good! Photo courtesy of the BBC.
A huge folking well done to BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Musician Of The Year winner, SAM SWEENEY. The boy wonder has done good! Photo courtesy of the BBC.

BEST ALBUM WINNERTincian by 9Bach
Nominations:
Fair Warning – The Rails
Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour – Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Sweet Visitor – Nancy Kerr
The Moral Of The Elephant – Martin & Eliza Carthy
Tincian – 9Bach

BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Best Album winners 9Bach performing with the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2015 Best Album winners 9Bach performing with the Penrhyn Male Voice Choir. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

BEST GROUP WINNERSThe Young ‘Uns
Nominations:
Bellowhead
The Furrow Collective
The Gloaming
The Young ‘Uns

THE YOUNG'UNS, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 - Best Group with Tim Dowling of The Guardian. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
THE YOUNG’UNS, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 – Best Group with Tim Dowling of The Guardian. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR WINNERNancy Kerr
Nominations:
Cara Dillon
Julie Fowlis
Nancy Kerr
Jez Lowe

Ruth "Nessa Jenkins" Jones parachutes in from Barry Island to present Folk Singer Of The Year award, to winner Nancy Kerr. Photo courtesy of the BBC.
Ruth “Nessa Jenkins” Jones parachutes in from Barry Island to present Folk Singer Of The Year award, to winner Nancy Kerr. Photo courtesy of the BBC.

Live footage of the night is available from http://bbc.in/1DgKsI9

It’s also on tonight from 7pm via http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02p7539/bbc-radio-2-folk-awards-2015-folk-awards-2015-highlights then highlights on in May.

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015 Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards Announced

Folk Awards 2015BBC Radio 2 has announced the recipients of this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement Awards.

The two prestigious lifetime achievement accolades will be presented to legendary musicians Yusuf / Cat Stevens and Loudon Wainwright III at the ceremony which is being held at the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff on 22 April. The Good Tradition Award, for an outstanding contribution to the upkeep of a musical tradition, is being presented posthumously to the late Meredydd Evans.

800px-Yusuf-2009Renowned singer Yusuf / Cat Stevens, who will also be performing at the awards, gained worldwide acclaim for works including ‘Wild World’, ‘Father And Son’ and ‘Morning Has Broken’, which remain staples of the folk genre. Following a conversion to the Islamic faith in 1977, Stevens retired from the music business to work with and support causes in education and humanitarian relief. Yusuf / Cat Stevens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2014, subsequently releasing the album, Tell ‘Em I’m Gone. Last year also saw Yusuf / Cat Stevens embark upon his acclaimed Peace Train – Late Again international tour, including his first US dates in 38 years.

Al Booth, Editor of Specialist Music, Radio 2 said:

‘To have a musical legend of the calibre of Yusuf performing at the Radio 2 Folk Awards is a testament to the high esteem in which the event is held. I know that everyone in the folk world is looking forward to what promises to be a very special night.’

Grammy Award winning Loudon Wainwright III will also be celebrating his Lifetime Achievement Award with a live performance at the event. He said:

“I’ll be happy and gratified, not to mention a bit smug, to receive my award in Cardiff next month. Yes it certainly has seemed like an entire lifetime has whizzed by since the mighty John Peel saturated the UK airwaves in 1969 with my first songs, spinning “School Days” and “The Movies Are a Mother to Me” late at night on BBC Radio.”

LW3Loudon Wainwright III had studied acting at Carnegie-Mellon University, but dropped out to partake in the ‘Summer of Love’ in San Francisco, and wrote his first song Edgar in 1968. He was soon signed to Atlantic Records and was lured by Clive Davis to Columbia Records, which released his first big hit ‘Dead Skunk’. His songs have since been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Cash, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, and his son Rufus Wainwright and daughter Martha Wainwright. An accomplished actor, he has appeared in films directed by Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, on TV in M.A.S.H. and Undeclared, and on Broadway in Pump Boys And Dinettes.

The 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards will also pay tribute to the late Dr Meredydd Evans, who passed away in February 2015 at the age of 95, with a Good Tradition Award. The Good Tradition Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to UK folk music. Meredydd’s wide-ranging contributions as a singer, historian, broadcaster and Welsh language campaigner made him a significant, respected and popular figure across Welsh culture. He recorded for the Sain label in Wales and made a classic album of Welsh songs for the American label Smithsonian Folkways during the 1950s. He was Head of Light Entertainment at BBC Wales, working both behind and in front of the camera and an important collector of Welsh traditional song. He will be posthumously honoured and there will be a special tribute performance to him by the 10 Mewn Bws, (10 in a Bus) a project that saw ten young Welsh musicians travel around Wales in an attempt to reinterpret and demystify traditional Welsh music.

The Folk Awards are hosted by Radio 2 Folk Show presenter Mark Radcliffe alongside Scottish Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis. Folk Singer Of The Year-nominated Julie will also perform on the night. Other performers are modern folk rock band The Rails who are nominated in the Best Album and Horizon Award category for the best emerging act and London based duo Josienne Clark and Ben Walker, singing from their nominated Best Album Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour. The pair has also been nominated in the Best Duo category. Welsh folk band 9Bach, who will sing in Welsh, and English folk singer Kate Rusby complete the live line up for the night.

Star guests who will be handing out some of the gongs on the night include 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, Gavin and Stacey and Stella actress Ruth Jones and singer songwriter Billy Bragg.

The evening will also see singer, songwriter, record producer, playwright, actor and political activist Ewan MacColl inducted into the Radio 2 Folk Award Hall of Fame. MacColl played a vital role in instigating the folk song revival in Britain and is perhaps best known for his much covered songs ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. Throughout his career MacColl produced around 300 songs and scores of albums and 2015 marks the centenary of his birth.

The Radio 2 Folk show has a weekly audience of 812,000 listeners and BBC Radio 2 has weekly reach of 15.3 million. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from 7.30pm-10pm on Radio 2 and will also be simulcast on BBC Radio Wales. From 10pm to 11pm, BBC Radio Wales will be broadcasting the official after show programme presented by Frank Hennessy.

Listeners will be able to watch highlights of the awards on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after the event and also at a later date on Red Button. For more details head to bbc.co.uk/radio2

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Fairport Convention Cropredy 2009 Festival Review

With the threat of hitting the big four O this year, it was time to try some new activities to try and prove to myself that I was still young and restless! Courtesy of “the one and only” ..Folkmaster.. (apologies Darren), I trotted along to Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival armed with cold weather gear (well, after 4½ years in ….Brisbane…., the ….UK…. is cold – and camping would be freezing!) and a very open mind – what had I got myself in to?

The day dawned fine and sunny as I arrived in Oxfordshire, the tent was erected with relatively little swearing and angst although it did take strategic and careful logistical planning to avoid the large lumps of cow dung! All sorted and unpacked and it was off to find out what all the fuss was about.

With no real prior knowledge of Fairport Convention (heresy, I hear!!) and my life obviously lacking, I was both enthusiastic and cautiously optimistic about the education that lay in store. Armed with vino, camping chair and souvenir programme, (note the priorities!), I set myself in amongst the other festival revellers eagerly awaiting the entertainment. We were not disappointed. What an array of talent, variety and sheer chutzpah! It was fantastic. There were acts for all – traditional folk; folk rock; folk punk (!) (or should that be punk folk?) and pop! It was three days of sheer delight!

Along with the music, there was the Cropredy atmosphere – an aura of comradeship, fun and don’t-care attitude prevailed. When they say that it is ….Britain….’s friendliest music festival, they weren’t kidding! Browsing around the many stalls, children’s entertainment and food vendors just added to the sense of ambience.

But back to the music and where to start. All the artists were excellent but my personal highlights included Richard Thompson and I was thrilled when he played Vincent Black Lightning 1952 as that was my introduction to his music; Dreadzone – energetic, crowd-pleasing and thumping good tunes!; Seth Lakeman – having danced to his set at Stokes Bay Festival, it was great to see him again and Cormac Byrne from Uiscedwr who joined him on Lady of the Sea; Nik Kershaw (my nostalgic return to the 80s and the heady days of youth.) Colvin Quarmby – with Gerry Colvin’s groovy hands – they deserved a set of their own!! And of course, the incomparable Fairport Convention who were joined by the lengendary Yusaf Islam aka Cat Stevens.

When Sunday morning came and it was time to dismantle the tent and begin the journey home, a sense of mild gloom came over me – my first Cropredy was over – never again would I be a Cropredy virgin but…. Although the first time is special, the next time I would be a veteran.. roll on Cropredy 2010!

Sarah Burch August 2009

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Festival website: http://www.fairportconvention.com