The 2019 Folking Awards

Welcome to the 2019 Folking Awards and thank you again to everyone who participated last year. The nominations, in eight categories, come from our ever-expanding team of writers and were collated into shape by the Folkmeister and the Editor over a pint or two, which also involved, a few arm-wrestles and a spot of beer-mat aerobics, in a convenient local watering hole.

There are five nominees in each category, all of whom have impressed our writers during 2018.

As we said last year, all are winners in our eyes, as are quite a few who didn’t make the short list. However, it’s not just about what we think, so once more, it’s down to you, our ever-growing readership, to make the final call.

To vote, choose and then ‘click on’ one of the five nominees in each of the category voting boxes below.

*The Public Vote for each category will close at 9.00pm on Sunday 31st March (GMT+1).


Soloist Of The Year

Keith James
Reg Meuross
Rachel Newton
John Smith
Andy White


Best Duo

Gilmore & Roberts
Daria Kulesh and Jonny Dyer
Ninebarrow
Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
Winter Wilson


Best Band

The Men They Couldn’t Hang
Merry Hell
Skipinnish
Trials Of Cato
The Young’Uns


Best Live Act

The Men They Couldn’t Hang
Grace Petrie
The Salts
Martin Stephenson & The Daintees
Andy White


Best Album

A Problem Of Our Kind – Gilmore & Roberts
The Well Worn Path – Seth Lakeman
The Joy Of Living – Jackie Oates
Queer As Folk – Grace Petrie
Hide And Hair – Trials Of Cato


Best Musician

Martin Harley
Aidan O’Rourke
Marina Osman
John Smith
Richard Thompson


Rising Star

Burning Salt
Robert Lane
Kitty MacFarlane
Smith & Brewer
Vision Thing


Best International Artist(s)

3hattrio
Tyler Childers
Mary Gauthier
Kíla
Larkin Poe


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The Trials Of Cato announce spring tour dates

The Trials Of Cato

The Trials Of Cato, a band that arrived fully formed and functioning from Beirut in the winter of 2016, have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, whilst living in Lebanon they spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country’s biggest venues.

They moved back to the UK and have since been performing tirelessly up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailing them as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.” Their musical development in the run up to their debut album proper has been swift and sure, winning much praise for Hide And Hair and receiving repeated national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.

Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, The Trials Of Cato live show “invariably stuns audience wherever they play.” Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own club shows, The Trials Of Cato have the wind behind them.

Artists’ website: https://thetrialsofcato.com/

Live at Chester Folk Festival:

Tour Dates

5th April – Pound Arts, Corsham, Wiltshire
http://www.poundarts.org.uk/pound/EventDetails.aspx?artid=10929

6th April – Village Folk Club, Chellaston, Derby
http://www.villagefolk.org/trialsofcato

10th April – Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham
https://www.wegottickets.com/event/458145

12th April – Ty Pawb, Wrexham
https://www.facebook.com/events/2191887324383455/

14th April – Acapela Studio, Cardiff
https://www.acapela.co.uk/events/trials-of-cato/

18th April – Topic Folk Club, Bradford
http://www.nawaller.com/topicfc/

27th April – Ty Siamas, Dolgellau
https://tysiamas.cymru/en/digwyddiadau/trials-of-cato-support/

THE TRIALS OF CATO – Hide And Hair (own label)

Hide And HairThe eponymous debut EP by The Trials Of Cato came out of nowhere and smacked everyone between the eyes. Live, they are full of energy and their first full-length album,  Hide And Hair, maintains their energy levels but also showcases just what great writers they are as well.  For anyone needing an introduction, The Trials Of Cato are William Addison on bouzouki, accordion, percussion and lead vocals; Robin Jones on mandolin, tenor banjo and lead vocals and Tomas Williams playing guitar and bass. Set out like that you’d suspect that they are Irish but actually they are part Welsh and part English and got together in Beirut – but that’s another story.

Hide And Hair opens with ‘Difyrrwch’, a jolly set of three traditional tunes to set your toes tapping. Then they smack you between the eyes again. ‘Gloria’, one of five original songs in the set, is a masterpiece. It’s a song of realisation, I suppose, a song of coming of age and coming out. Quite where it came from, I couldn’t say, but the story is wrapped up in such wonderful words. ‘Haf’ is in Welsh and I really can’t tell you what it’s about but that doesn’t matter and then we’re into another instrumental set, ‘Kadisha/Nightride To Armagh’, led by Robin’s banjo.

‘Gawain’ is the story of Arthur’s man and his battle with the Green Knight given a modern feel but then politics creeps in. First comes ‘Tom Paine’s Bones’, the signature song for anyone on the side of right and justice followed by ‘These Are The Things’, a stinging attack on neo-liberalism which deserves to be up there with the great anti-capitalist anthems. To follow that with ‘My Love’s In Germany’ shows a deep understanding of the relevance of traditional song in today’s climate.

The Trials Of Cato don’t over-complicate what they do. The only guest musician is Stefan Hegerat who plays an appropriately martial snare drum on ‘My Love’s In Germany’. William and Robin have strong voices in the lead roles and the way they interchange lead instrumental lines is a delight. And they are really nice chaps, too.

Dai Jeffries

Please support us and order via our UK or US Storefront 


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link for the UK Store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/


Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD
Physical link to the US Storehttps://folking.com/folking-us-storefront/


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.

Artists’ website: https://thetrialsofcato.com/

‘Gloria’ – live: