BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – the winners

Radio 2 Folk Awards

Leonard Cohen inducted into Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame
Dervish and Wizz Jones win Lifetime Achievement Awards

The winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2019 have been announced in a ceremony presented by Mark Radcliffe at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester as part of the Manchester Folk Festival. The ceremony was also broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

The full list of winners

The Horizon Award for best emerging act – presented by Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester
Brìghde Chaimbeul

Musician of the Year – presented by Blue Peter’s Lindsey Russell
Seckou Keita

Best Original Track – presented by comedian, writer and musician Rich Hall
I Burn But I Am Not Consumed’, written by Karine Polwart and Steven Polwart

Best Duo or Group – presented by Countryfile’s Ellie Harrison
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita

Best Traditional Track – presented by award winning author, Joanne Harris
The Foggy Dew’ by Ye Vagabonds

Life Achievement Awards were given to:
Wizz Jones – presented by singer and founding member of The Hollies, Allan Clarke
Dervish – presented by journalist and BBC Breakfast presenter, Steph McGovern

Best Album – presented by musician and songwriter Graham Gouldman, of 10cc
Hide And Hair by The Trials of Cato

Folk Singer of the Year – presented by actor and comedian, Miranda Richardson
Ríoghnach Connolly

Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame
Leonard Cohen

During the evening, contemporary folk musician and singer Maddie Morris, who is based in Leeds, was presented with the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. It was presented to her by folk duo and former winners of the award, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar.

The Radio 2 Young Folk Award is an educational talent contest, open to musicians from the UK aged 16-21, that exists to discover the next generation of folk and acoustic acts. Eight shortlisted acts performed at a public concert at the HOME venue in Manchester on Tuesday 15th October and from those acts, Maddie was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges. This year marks the 21st annual Young Folk Award.

Leonard Cohen was inducted to the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame, joining such past greats like Nick Drake, Sandy Denny, Woody Guthrie, Ewan MacColl and Cecil Sharp. Leonard (1934 –2016) was a Canadian singer best known for his seminal song, Hallelujah (1984) which has been covered by over 300 vocalists including John Cale, Jeff Buckley, k.d. Lang and Alexandra Burke.  He embarked on a world tour in 2008-2010, which saw him perform on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival (2008) and in 2018, he won a Grammy Award for best rock performance for You Want It Darker, joining the likes of David Bowie and Ray Charles who have also received awards posthumously. The BBC Two documentary Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love, which tells the beautiful yet tragic love story of Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

As a tribute, singer-songwriter Thea Gilmore performed Cohen’s 1984 song, ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’, during the ceremony at Bridgewater Hall this evening. Thea, who has just released her 16th studio album at 39 years old, has gathered a host of high-profile advocates from likes of Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez to Neil Gaiman. Her latest album, Small World Turning, is an entirely independent album that echoes the changing political and social landscape of 2019 Britain.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 said: “A huge congratulations to all of the winners at the Radio 2 Folk Awards tonight. I am delighted that at Radio 2, we can keep celebrating the very best of folk music every year, and we’re honoured to have witnessed such an array of sensational performances on stage this evening in Manchester.”

Lifetime Achievement Award winners Dervish, who performed at the ceremony this evening, have been bringing Irish traditional music to the world for 30 years, and have played at festivals across the globe – from Rock In Rio to Glastonbury. The band features some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, and is fronted by one of the country’s best known singers, Cathy Jordan.

Shane Mitchell from Dervish says: “We are thrilled and so delighted to be receiving this very special honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, particularly as this is the 30th anniversary of the band.”

Influential folk and blues guitarist Wizz Jones, also a winner of a Lifetime Achievement Award this year, is admired and emulated by some of folk and rock’s greatest players. On the 1960s club scene, he was an early influence on the likes of Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart. Bruce Springsteen is among the artists to have covered Wizz’s songs. At 80 years old, he still tours the country, regularly performing live with his son, Simeon Jones, and fellow guitarist Pete Berryman. Wizz also performed at the Radio 2 Folk Awards this evening.

Wizz Jones says: “I am so surprised to get this award so thanks a million to whoever suggested it!”

Opening the show was Manchester band Edward II, who fuse English and Jamaican influences. Young English voice Kitty Macfarlane joined the band on stage. There were also fantastic performances from Welsh-Senegalese duo Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, English folk singer-songwriter Kate Rusby and O’Hooley & Tidow, who performed their song Gentleman Jack, which featured in the BBC One TV show of the same name. Dervish were also joined on stage during their performance by Kate Rusby, for a version of Down By The Salley Gardens, which then exploded into thrilling Irish tunes.

Mark Radcliffe was also presented with a special Folk Award during the ceremony this evening by Ralph McTell, to celebrate his 40 years in radio. Mark started at Piccadilly Radio in 1979 as an assistant producer of drama and classical music, then in 1981 presented his first show, titled Transmission. In 1983 he become a producer at BBC Radio 1 and went on to present the Breakfast Show and Afternoon Show with Marc Riley, before joining Radio 2 in 2004 where, in 2007, he began co-hosting The Radcliffe & Maconie Show with Stuart. And in 2011 they joined the BBC Radio 6 Music family. Mark presents The Folk Show on Radio 2 on Wednesday evenings, 9pm-10pm.

The Radio 2 Folk Awards will be available to listen to for 30 days after the live broadcast on BBC Sounds. Plus, selected highlights can be heard the following week on BBC Radio 2’s The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe (Wednesday 23rd October, 9pm-10pm).

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are produced by 7digital.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2019/folk-awards-winners

 

BARB JUNGR- Hard Rain (Krystalyn Records KLCD1P)

CDHardRainsquare_110454I’m a sucker for covers albums particularly when Bob Dylan is involved. Some are good, some are dreadful but they all have something to recommend them. Add Leonard Cohen to the mix and I begin to salivate.

Barb Jungr has the ability to take a well-known song and make it her own. With early Dylan and, indeed, early Cohen it’s not difficult to move away from the original – a single acoustic guitar and a somewhat metronomic delivery is easy to soup up. It worked for The Byrds. Barb starts by completely ignoring the originals although later Cohen songs like ‘First We Take Manhattan’ and ‘1000 Kisses Deep’ suit her perfectly as they are. She imbues ‘Hard Rain’ with a bitterness that Dylan only hints at and takes the torrent of words that is ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ and, by enunciating each one clearly, makes perfect sense of the song.

The music is piano-led with mostly hand percussion. Add a flute (actually shakuhachi) and it’s west-coast hippy with a hint of jazz – ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, for example – add stand-up bass and it’s more late-50s beatnik in a smoky dive – that’s where ‘Everybody Knows’ comes from. All the arrangements are understated, though, the songs and the voice are the important ingredients but they always feel right for the song. This is knockout album.

Dai Jeffries

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

Barb Jungr – new album and making of video

CDHardRainsquare_110454The UK’s finest interpreter of song, Barb Jungr returns to the songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen with the release of Hard Rain. Oft referred to as “the politicised chansonnier” and cited as one of the world’s best performers of Dylan’s material, Barb turns to six of his most politically hard-hitting songs along with five of Leonard Cohen’s most impassioned songs of conscience. Barb’s selection for Hard Rain reflects her despair with the political times that we live in and she has deliberately chosen songs that resonate as strongly today as they did when they were originally written: Blowin’ In The Wind is now 51 years old and its sentiments are as relevant today as they ever were.

“The space in between has always been my default position. Between song and singer, lyric and music, arrangement and performance. So I am amazed to be so clear about this collection. I knew right from the start it was all the tougher songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen that I wanted to sing. I knew there was somehow a through thread to them – that the world they described and the actions they rejected and celebrated were of as much importance today as the day those songs were penned. There’s something in both writers that transcends the material itself, as though the words and music have powers beyond the paper and the groove, beyond the voice and the piano. So I’m entering a new decade with singing a clutch of special songs that have moved and shaken, caressed and struck me. I hope you’ll love the glorious music of both of these writers as much as I do….if that’s possible…. and let’s watch the dawn of the new day together.” (Barb Jungr)

Artist’s website: www.barbjungr.com

Watch the ‘Making Of’ video:

Tracklisting:

1. Blowin’ In The Wind  (Bob Dylan)
2. Everybody Knows  (Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson)
3. Who By Fire  (Leonard Cohen)
4. Hard Rain  (Bob Dylan)
5. First We Take Manhattan  (Leonard Cohen)
6. Masters Of War  (Bob Dylan)
7. It’s Alright Ma  (Bob Dylan)
8. 1000 Kisses Deep  (Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson)
9. Gotta Serve Somebody  (Bob Dylan)
10. Land Of Plenty  (Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson)
11. Chimes Of Freedom  (Bob Dylan)

The album comes complete with insightful liner notes by writer Liz Thomson, who as Elizabeth Thomson prepared “the director’s cut” of No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (2014). She was also the co-editor of The Dylan Companion. As a young journalist, her first ever interview was with Leonard Cohen.

All of the arrangements on the album are by Barb and her long-standing collaborator and accompanist, the pianist Simon Wallace, who also produced the album. In addition to Simon (piano, Hammond organ and synthesizers), Barb is also joined by Neville Malcom on bass (with Steve Watts providing bass on tracks 1,3,8 and 10); Gary Hammond (percussion); Clive Bell (Shakahachi) and  Richard Olatunde Baker on talking drum and additional percussion. Together with Barb, they inject new life and energy into each song.

Hard Rain will be released on Kristalyn Records on 24th March 2014. The album will be supported by an extensive run of live dates and will be launched with a special premiere performance of this Dylan/Cohen collection at London’s Purcell Room on Friday 14th February before going on tour throughout the UK.

Barb has recently completed another triumphant run of shows in the U.S.A. Over the past few years the British chanteuse has been wowing critics and audiences alike at home and abroad with her insightful, intelligent interpretations of well-loved songs combined with her powerful and often witty performance style. Barb Jungr is a British performer that we should truly cherish.

“…a fantastic English singer … I was just amazed by her voice….” Jeremy Irons – Desert Island Discs

“Possibly our best interpreter of Dylan’s songs” Billy Bragg

“Bob Dylan, jazz, northern soul, Nina Simone and continental Europe’s cabaret music perform a subtle dance in Jungr’s consciousness” The Guardian

Debut LP From Acclaimed Aussie Folk/Americana Band Buffalo Tales

Wes Carr Buffalo TalesWith a ragged, soaring voice recalling Bon Iver, coupled with the rambling spirit and storytelling of Woody Guthrie, Buffalo Tales’ Wes Carr has a keen ear for the past. On their debut LP Roadtrip Confessions, Buffalo Tales spin universal tales of hard-bitten love, travel, and the eternal search for happiness and salvation. At the age of 30, Carr sounds like an old soul on Roadtrip Confessions, a man who has walked through the fire and paid more than his share of dues, and emerged cleansed the other side. Buffalo Tales is a farewell to the past, and Roadtrip Confessions is a mission statement for the future: heartfelt, acoustic songs, with no gimmicks.

The space and openness of Roadside Confessions recall the landscape where Carr grew up: the bare scrub-land north of South Australia’s capital, Adelaide. “That’s where three of the songs were written: “Please,” “Waiting for You” and “Tricks to Magik” were all written when I was younger,” Carr explains. “That was my first explosion of songwriting. Mum gave me a John Lennon anthology box-set and I got inspired by all of his home recordings. It did something to my brain. I just went RAAA!”

Roadtrip Confessions was recorded simply, with a guitar, voice, and trusted friends old and new. “Making it was just me and my best mate Stu Hunter,” Carr recalls. “We just sat in his studio and went ‘This is what I want to say.’ Some of the songs are live and they’re all very easy to perform, because they’re the truth, really.” Adopting the “write what you know” motto, much of the album was written in the last year as Carr experienced one of life’s great changes. “Most of it was written when I knew my wife was pregnant,” he laughs. “That’s been the secret link; that this new being was coming and joining us forever, and I had no time to waste.”

He’s also put his own spin on two covers: the Leonard Cohen classic “Take This Waltz” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” which has been given the thumbs up on Twitter by its author (and fellow Adelaidean) Sia Furler. Buffalo Tales captures Carr at his most vulnerable and energized, and Roadside Confessions is a dually rollicking and delicate testament to the legacy of folk and storytelling, along with Carr’s musical and personal reinvention.

Eugene Twist – The Boy Who Had Everything

If it’s possible to emerge studied, grounded and with a Clint Eastwood snarl, from the eye of an intense musical storm, Glasgow’s Eugene Twist is your man. At 25, he maintains a fiercely individualistic sense of creativity in his songwriting, nurtured from an early exposure to artists as diverse as Leonard Cohen, Pixies and Buena Vista Social Club. As a longtime composer and multi-instrumentalist, Eugene has always explored intuitively on the path to finding his own voice. The result: an effortless pop sensibility, seasoned musicality and killer narrative are equally at home in an ethereal landscape as they are in his sophisticated ballads.

Eugene’s self-produced debut album ‘The Boy Who Had Everything’ is tailored to anyone seeking a new voice in songwriting: One that has not fallen contrived to the overwhelming stylistic pressures of contemporary song but rather holds its own torch high in the name of organic expression. As the title perhaps intends, it is a homage to the cultivations of a far-reaching artistic upbringing and vow to a constant sharpening of identity and craft.

EUGENE TWIST – THE BOY WHO HAD EVERYTHING – Out July 9th on Tough Act Records

“Unbelievably accomplished and inspired, definitely one of my tips for 2012”

Vic Galloway – BBC Radio Scotland

“An amazing journey to an era of musical idealism”

Mark Plati – Producer: David Bowie / The Cure

“You’re going to be hearing a lot more about him on our show”

Ricky Ross ‘Another Country’ – BBC Radio Scotland

Texan fiddler-singer-songwriter Amanda Shires released new album ‘Carrying Lightning’

Texan fiddler-singer-songwriter Amanda Shires announces her first headline tour of the UK & Ireland in April & May, including shows at this year’s prestigious Kilkenny Roots Festival, accompanied by Rod Picott on guitar and Todd Pertll on lap steel.

Widely regarded for her regular collaborations with Justin Townes Earle, Jason Isbell and Rod Picott, Amanda is taking a deserved turn in the spotlight, promoting her spellbinding new album Carrying Lightning – see below for full tour itinerary & album details.Amanda will also be recording sessions during the tour for Bob Harris’s BBC Radio 2 Sunday show and Barry Marshall-Everitt’s House Of Mercy during the tour.“Carrying Lightning builds on the evocative alt-country of 2009’s excellent West Cross Timbers, showcasing both the breathless immediacy of her singing voice and the plainspoken elegance of her songwriting voice. Full of Tom T. Hall’s wry humor and Leonard Cohen’s dark intimations, these are songs full of dark undercurrents and uncertain desires.” American Songwriter

Artist web link and tour dates: http://amandashiresmusic.com/