Award Winning Underneath the Stars Festival announces first acts for 2020

Underneath The Stars

  • Paul Carrack (Friday), Kate Rusby (Saturday) and Suzanne Vega (Sunday) are the first names to the be announced for the seventh Underneath the Stars festival.
  • Run by the production team behind folk artist Kate Rusby, award-winning Underneath the Stars features music, performance arts, crafts and more for the whole family plus food, drink and shopping, sourced from independent vendors, brought together in the stunning rural setting of Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley.
  • Underneath the Stars won Small Festival of the Year and took home the prestigious Judge’s Award at the sought-after National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards 2019. The festival has also gained an Attitude is Everything Silver Charter Award.

The award-winning, independent family festival Underneath the Stars is set to return for its seventh year on Friday 31st July – Sunday 2nd August 2020, bringing live music, performance arts and delicious dishes from Yorkshire and beyond to its cosy corner of rural South Yorkshire.

Kicking off the star-studded line-up on Friday is Grammy nominated, singer songwriter Paul Carrack. Celebrating 20 years of phenomenal output as an independent artist, the Sheffield born artist has carved a niche for himself where blue-eyed soul and pop rock collide, promising a formidable live experience. His voice is instantly recognisable on numerous hits including ‘How Long’, Squeeze’s ‘Tempted’, Mike + The Mechanics ‘Living Years’ and ‘Over My Shoulder’.

To honour Yorkshire Day on Saturday 1st August, Barnsley’s own nightingale, Kate Rusby will take to the stage, performing traditional folk and stunning self-penned songs. Yorkshire born and bred, Kate is known for her wistfully pure singing voice, good humour and the down-to-earth warmth of her live performances. In recognition of her outstanding contributions to folk music, dance or song, Kate is the latest recipient of an English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) Gold Badge.

Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation and an iconic female artist, Suzanne Vega will appear on Sunday. Her work, including hits such as ‘Luka’, ‘Marlene on the Wall’ and ‘Tom’s Diner’, is as utterly distinct and poignant today as when she first made a name for herself. She is a masterful storyteller who observes the world with a clinically poetic eye.

Festival director Emma Holling says: “Building on our sell-out festival this year, we are delighted to announce our first names for Underneath the Stars 2020. To see the festival become an established event on the UK festival scene is just amazing – our recent awards and successes are testament to the hard work of all the team. We look forward to announcing more acts and other exciting plans soon!”

Alongside a musical line-up, festival-goers can expect captivating storytellers, circus pursuits, lively street-performers and a whole host of workshops to take part in. Last year saw everything from ukulele, swingdance and Tai Chi, to singing, songwriting and instrumentation workshops.

Underneath the Stars handpicks food traders and prioritises quality ingredients and value for money. In addition to boutique street food vendors, and hustling bar areas – promising fantastic flavours and worldly wines; the Makers Market showcasing local independent traders returns for 2020. Committed to fair and ethical trading and environmental sustainability, Artisan Makers promise unique, handmade products and stunning one-off pieces.

Continuing developments on reducing waste and plastic use, the team at Underneath the Stars have put new initiatives in place for 2020, from reviewing waste management systems and drinking vessels, to working closely with Zero Yorkshire, a zero-waste shop based in Huddersfield offering earth friendly alternatives to everyday items.

Underneath the Stars festival is a community interest venture with inclusivity and community at its heart. The team recently enjoyed a week of celebrations as they won Small Festival of the Year and took home the prestigious Judge’s Award at the National Outdoor Events Association’s (NOEA) Awards ceremony on Wednesday 27th November 2019.

They also gained an Attitude is Everything Silver Charter Award. AIE is a disability-led charity supporting non-profit and commercial organisations to make what they do more accessible and inclusive for Deaf and disabled people. Its Charter improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry.

Tickets are available from www.underthestarsfest.co.uk

 

Elliott Morris announces his second album

Elliott Morris

The Way Is Clear is the new album from singer/songwriter and guitarist Elliott Morris. It showcases Elliott’s expert percussive acoustic guitar playing, swooping and soulful electric solos, heartfelt lyrics and strong, honest vocals.

And he’s put together an all-star ensemble. Playing alongside are Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics, Eric Clapton) on Hammond organ, Paul’s son Jack Carrack on drums, Innes Watson (Treacherous Orchestra) and Mike Vass (PRS Scots Trad Composer of the Year, SAY Award Nominee) on fiddles/strings, Laura-Beth Salter (The Shee) on mandolin and vocals, Rosie Hood (Dovetail Trio) on vocals, Stu Hanna (Megson) on mandolin and guitar, David Milligan (Larry Carlton, Mark Knopfler, Karine Polwart) on piano, Simon Bates (Jamie Cullam, Elvis Costello) on tenor saxophone, Alan Thomson (The John Martyn Band) on fretless bass and Elliott’s brother Bevan Morris (Dallahan, Pons Aelius) on double and electric bass. The album also features two other members of Pons Aelius, Jordan Aikin on Great Highland bagpipes, whistle and Alasdair Paul on bouzouki.

Music blog WriteWyattUK proclaimed that Elliott Morris “redefines folk…with a little John Martyn influence delivered in Seth Lakeman style” and BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson described him as “absurdly talented”.

With hundreds of gigs behind him – and a coveted Danny Kyle Award from Celtic Connections – Elliott Morris has a formidable reputation as one of the hardest-working and most sought-after artists on the acoustic scene.

The singer-songwriter, featured in Acoustic magazine as “The Next Big Thing”, has a unique guitar style. Favouring open tunings, his extended techniques include percussive hits, string tapping, and occasionally slide.

Half English, half Scottish and raised in Wales and Lincolnshire, Elliott has continued this journey by honing his craft on the road. He has played all across the British Isles, from Orkney to Plymouth, Boston to Llangrannog, Belfast to Clonakilty. And further afield, he’s headlined shows in Germany, Holland, Ireland, Canada. Other key dates have included Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, as well as major events such as Cambridge Folk Festival, The Great British Folk Festival, Hop Farm, Towersey Festival, The London Acoustic Guitar Show and the Ullapool Guitar Festival.

He scooped a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, BBC Alba broadcast a duo performance with Dougie Maclean at Perthshire Amber and in 2019 Elliott is a Drake Yolanda Award grant recipient.

Elliott Morris twice toured the UK opening for Paul Carrack taking in over fifty major venues including a show at The London Palladium.

He has supported a seemingly endless list of other respected acts, among them Frank Turner, Andy McKee, Seth Lakeman, Lau, Big Country, The Levellers, Ed Sheeran, Cara Dillon and Eddi Reader.

But now Elliott moves centre stage, the spotlight focused on him. June 2019 sees him release his second album The Way Is Clear, with a launch show at Cecil Sharp House.

Artist’s website: http://www.elliottmorris.co.uk/

‘One More Day’ – official video:

ELLIOTT MORRIS – Lost & Found (Dominoes Club DCRCD001)

Lost & FoundAn Anglo-Scot, based in Yorkshire, the soft-voiced Elliott Morris plies a mix of folk and blues that highlight his percussive guitar slapping technique on a collection of originals, collaborations and a couple of traditional reworks. He eases listeners into his debut album, Lost And Found, with the pastoral ambience of ‘Lost’, a brief instrumental etched on acoustic and electric guitars that flows seamlessly into the soothingly sung ‘The End Of The World Blues’, introducing a line-up of backing musicians that include core rhythm section of bassist Bevan Morris and drummer Jack Carrack alongside the latter’s father, Paul, on Hammond, Laura-Beth Salter on mandolin, and fiddle players Innes Watson and Mike Vass, as well as showcasing a bluesy electric guitar solo.

Loosely based on the traditional ‘The Bent Sae Brown’, ‘Sixteen Long Miles’ picks up a shuffling traintime rhythm before suddenly shifting to a slide driven blues boogie reading of the traditional ‘I’m A Stranger’, the lyrics taken from ‘The Strands Of Magilligan’ and ‘The American Stranger’.

‘One More Day’ takes the mood down again for acoustic mid-tempo folksy-pop, the laid back atmosphere continuing through the dreamy summery haze of ‘Sirens’ with its slow waltz shanty melody feel subtly underpinned by Carrack’s Hammond.

The second half of the album title, another instrumental, the spectral progressive folk ‘Found’, with Jim Molyneux on grand piano and Elliott’s John Martyn-like guitar opens the second half of proceedings, leading into the bluesy tinged ‘Looking For Something That Isn’t There’ with its nagging title refrain and chugging bass. Accompanied by twin fiddles. Let It Out is another gently rippling acoustic number, Salter harmonising and subtly complementing on mandolin on a song about taking opportunities when they arise.

The album closes with the first of two co-writes, ‘All Comes Back’ a relaxed, slightly jazz-tinged airy love song co-penned by and featuring Lisbee Stainton on harmonies, while bassist Morris shares credits on ‘Friday Night’, a fast-slow uptempo celebration of good company and fine whisky, guitar and fiddle driving things along as he sings how “a wasted night is not a wasted night with friends.”

This may not prove the important breakthrough album to a winder audience, but it will certainly consolidate his current following and serve as a strong stepping stone to the next move forwards.

Mike Davies

Artist’s website: www.elliottmorris.co.uk

‘The End Of The World Blues’ – in the studio:

Elliott Morris announces debut album

Elliott Morris

Lost And Found is the debut album from singer/songwriter and guitarist Elliott Morris. Recorded at Caribou Studios, Scotland and produced by Mattie Foulds, the album is a melting pot of folk, rock, blues and country. Blending progressive, contemporary ingredients with still vibrant British folk and roots traditions, this is folk music for the 21st century.

The album showcases Elliott’s expert percussive acoustic guitar playing, swooping and soulful electric solos, heartfelt lyrics and strong, honest vocals.

And he’s put together an all-star ensemble. Playing alongside are Paul Carrack (Ace, Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics, Eric Clapton) on Hammond organ, Paul’s son Jack Carrack on drums, Innes Watson (Treacherous Orchestra) and Mike Vass (PRS Scots Trad Composer of the Year, SAY Award Nominee) on fiddles/strings, Laura-Beth Salter (The Shee) on mandolin and vocals, Lisbee Stainton (Seth Lakeman Band) on guitar and vocals, Jim Molyneux (4Square) on piano and Fender Rhodes, Alan Thomson (The John Martyn Band) on fretless bass and Elliott’s brother Bevan Morris (Dallahan, Pons Aelius) on double and electric bass.

Music blog WriteWyattUK proclaimed that Elliott Morris “redefines folk…with a little John Martyn influence delivered in Seth Lakeman style” and BBC 6Music’s Tom Robinson described him as “absurdly talented”.

Lost And Found is released both on CD and on iTunes worldwide on 16th June 2017. Elliott plays a special launch gig at Cecil Sharp House in London on 21st June, and at Café Portico in Lincoln on 30th June.

With hundreds of gigs behind him – and a coveted Danny Kyle Award from Celtic Connections 2013 – Elliott Morris has a formidable reputation as one of the hardest-working and most sought-after young artists on the acoustic scene.

The singer-songwriter, featured in Acoustic magazine as “The Next Big Thing”, taps the strings and beats the guitar’s body to create an intricate spectacle, together with an original and unique sound integral to his songs.

Half English, half Scottish and raised in Wales and Lincolnshire, Elliott is continuing this journey by means of his almost constant touring schedule. He plays across the British Isles, from Orkney to Plymouth, Boston to Llangrannog, Belfast to Clonakilty.

Elliott’s original compositions marry intricate guitar lines with heartfelt, honest vocals and clever wordplay, combining elements of folk, roots, jazz and country, all the time embracing the traditional and the contemporary.

Elliott has honed his craft on the road, regularly clocking up 120+ gigs a year. He has headlined in Germany, Holland, Ireland and Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London, as well as performing at major festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival, Hop Farm, Towersey Festival, The London Acoustic Guitar Show and the Ullapool Guitar Festival. He scooped a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and last year BBC Alba broadcast a duo performance with Dougie Maclean at Perthshire Amber.

Elliott Morris twice toured the UK opening for Paul Carrack (Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics, Ace, Eric Clapton), taking in over fifty major venues including a show at The London Palladium.

He has also supported a seemingly endless list of other respected acts, among them Frank Turner, Andy McKee, Seth Lakeman, Lau, Big Country, The Levellers, Ed Sheeran, Cara Dillon and Eddi Reader. But now Elliott moves centre stage, the spotlight focused on him.

Artist’s website: www.elliottmorris.co.uk

‘Sirens’ and Elliott’s tour video:

PAUL CARRACK – Good Feeling (Carrack-UK PCARCD21)

Paul Carrack - Good feelingAs Foghorn Leghorn might say…”How long, n-n-now I said how long has this been going on?” Well, about forty years according to his illustrious recording career and as Mr Carrack just happens to possess one of the most soulful voices we as a nation have come to embrace over that time it can be safely assumed he’s hardly put a foot wrong musically speaking. With a catalogue of some fourteen solo albums to his credit this unassuming Sheffield born singer songwriter has produced a CD studded with gems. Keeping the interest of your audience with soul tinged delights such as “I Can Hear Ray” to the bright and breezy, radio friendly “When My Little Girl Is Smiling” here’s an artist who certainly knows how to cast his net as wide as possible securing a good catch without pigeon-holing his music as some kind of elitist ‘art’. On “Make It Right” he is happy to share the stage with brothers Alex & Rolf Tinlin whose use of mandolin and guitar creates a disconcertingly chorded yet aesthetically pleasing ‘folk’ sound whilst the title track “Good Feelin’ About It” should attract any listeners who enjoy a bit of blues harmonica for good measure. It’s rare to find an artist happy to encompass as wide a demographic as possible safe in the knowledge that he has done so with aplomb and a longevity that many other performers could only dream of.

PETE FYFE

Artist’s website: www.paulcarrack.net