The Folking Winners – Public Vote 2016

First of all, a big thank you to the thousands who voted in our inaugural Folkies awards. Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to the runners-up, although all our nominees are winners to the team who enjoyed their music, either live or on record, over the last year and placed them on the short list. Here are the folking public vote winners and now, may I have the first envelope please…

Soloist Of The Year – Steve Knightley

The Folking Winners - Steve Knightley

Best Duo – Show Of Hands

The Folking Winners - Show Of Hands
Photograph by Dai Jeffries

Best Band – Blackbeard’s Tea Party

Best Live Act – Blackbeard’s Tea Party

The Folking Winners - Blackbeard's Tea Party

Best Album – Disco At The Tavern – The Demon Barbers

The Folking Winners - Disco At The Tavern

Best Musician – Peter Knight

The Folking Winners - Peter Knight

Rising Star – Will Varley

The Folking Winners - Will Varley

Best International Artist – Gretchen Peters

The Folking Winners - Gretchen Peters
Photograph by Gina Binkley

If you would like to order a copy of an album (in CD or Vinyl) of any of the artists featured here, download an album or track or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then type what you are looking for in the search bar above to be taken to that relevant page via our associated partner Amazon’s website.

Disco At The Tavern – review

Disco At The Tavern - review

Modesty forbids us from naming the member of the Folking team who penned this 5* review. The Demon Barbers XL were only narrowly beaten into second place in the Best Band category, too.

I’ve heard some bloody good records this year and here’s another one. There is a show behind Disco At The Tavern toured by the XL version of the band but here is the slimline six-piece group. Of course, when you have a DJ, a beatboxer, clog dancers and The Wilson Family as guests, that isn’t strictly relevant. The Demon Barbers’ theatricality comes through in the music alone.

The mix is as before: mostly traditional with some original tunes and a handful of “classic” written songs. It’s what the band does with it all that matters. The opening track is ‘Prince Of Cabourg’s Hornpipe’, deceptively conventional for a minute before crashing into a rocking version of ‘The Wild Goose Shanty’ and that’s the pattern. Tunes are woven through songs; lines are turned into choruses but never is the song subservient to the accompaniment. Actually, no. ‘Swimming Song’ is really an excuse for a good time with ‘Love & Opportunity’. There is a quieter patch in the middle with ‘Sir Lionel & The Boar’ and ‘Two Brothers’ but it quickly picks up speed again.

This really is a mind-blowing album with so much good stuff. It has to be an award-winner this time next year.

He was right.

Artists’ website:

Welcome To The Folkies

With Oscar fever rising to a climax it’s time to say “Welcome To The Folkies” – the 2016 Folking Awards. We’ve sifted through the albums and performances of 2015 – always a long and difficult task punctuated by bouts of thumb-wrestling to settle disputes. Adopting the pattern followed by everyone else, here, in no order of precedence, are our nominations. With the exception of one category we have restricted our choices to British acts.

All nominations are 2016 Folking Awards winners.

Welcome To The Folkies

Soloist Of The Year

Steve Tilston
Sam Carter
Kathryn Roberts
Steve Knightley
Ange Hardy

Best Duo

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
India Electric Co.
Show Of Hands
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

Best Band

Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
False Lights
Merry Hell

Best Live Act

The Demon Barbers XL
Blackbeard’s Tea Party
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
CC Smugglers

Best Album

Layers Of Ages – Peter Knight’s Gigspanner
Head Heart Hand – Megan Henwood
The Girl I Left Behind Me – India Electric Co.
It’s Not Your Gold Shall Me Entice – Elle Osborne
Disco At The Tavern – The Demon Barbers

Best Musician

Dan Walsh
Peter Knight
P.J. Wright
Chris Leslie
Kris Drever

Folking’s Rising Star

Will Varley
Sam Kelly
Wes Finch
India Electric Co.
Chris Cleverley

Best International Artist

Gretchen Peters
Tom Russell
Gandalf Murphy And The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams
Justin Townes Earle
Los Lobos

To give the awards a further edge, we opened the vote to our visitors and run a public poll in all of the 8 categories (as listed above).

The Public Vote closed Sunday 28 February at 20.00 hours and “The Folking Winners” have now been announced here at:

If you would like to consider ordering a copy of an album for any of our award winners (in CD or Vinyl), download an album or track or just listen to snippets of selected songs (track previews are usually on the download page) then type what you are looking for in the search bar above.

Buying through Amazon on helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us

The Demon Barbers – new album and tour

Disco At The tavern

‘Maverick English Folk’, The Demon Barbers, who celebrate their 15th anniversary this year, have teamed up with Grammy & Emmy Award winning producers for their upcoming new album ‘Disco At The Tavern’

Donal Hodgson and Kipper who are best known for their work with Sting, were introduced to the band by The Wilson Family following their recent involvement in Sting’s latest project, The Last Ship

Both Donal & Kipper have impressive CVs: As Sting’s current recording engineer, Donal is at the top of his game (his Emmy was awarded in 2011 for Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for his work on A&E’s Private Sessions, Sting at Red Rocks) he has also engineered and mixed recordings for many high profile bands such as Primal Scream, The Police and Tina Turner.

Kipper’s musical career took off in the 90s with his own band, One Nation,  and he soon became in demand both as a musician and producer; teaming up with Gary Newman in 1992 and being awarded a Grammy as producer of Sting’s hit album Brand New Day in 1999. He has recently been invited to take on the role of Artistic Director for Leadbelly Fest at The Albert Hall later this year featuring, among others, Van Morrison and Jools Holland.

Since winning ‘Best Live Act’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2009 The Demon Barbers have focussed on their Folk & Hip Hop Dance Extravaganza The Lock In. Following a number of successful UK tours, including high profile shows at Glastonbury Festival and 5 star reviews at Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, they headed back to the rehearsal studios to begin work on the new album.

‘The album is titled Disco At The Tavern and we’ve tried to capture all the energy and excitement of our live shows’ said Damien. ‘Dance is a huge part of our lives and our identity, both Folk & Hip Hop, and it’s important for us to get this across on the album. We’re really excited to be working with such experienced producers. It’s been 5 years since our last album and we’re keen to show the world how much our music has evolved!’

Disco At The Tavern will be released on 17th April at Leeds Carriageworks Theatre as part of a UK tour of venues and festivals of their new show ‘The Demon Barbers XL’ featuring dancers from The Lock In along with special guests Matt Crum on Keys/Saxophone and Ali Mac on percussion.

Promo video for the  Disco At The Tavern album and the XL show featuring ‘Ranzo’ and ‘May Song’: