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:

THE DOVETAIL TRIO – Bold Champions (GR! Records GRR009)

Bold ChampionsBold Champions is the second album by Jamie Roberts, Rosie Hood and Matt Quinn and there is an awful lot to like about it.

Firstly, either the song, its title or its story is, in almost every case, familiar. These are songs that have stood the test of time and still come up fresh for this century. Young audiences – young performers, even – may not have had the opportunity to hear Walter Pardon, Harry Brazil or Bob Copper in the flesh but here are their songs nicely polished up. Secondly, The Dovetail Trio understand the importance of live performance and approach the songs with relish and vigour which makes the album fine listening.

The set begins with sex in the shape of ‘The Light Dragoon’, unusual in that the woman is the seducer but, in line with the morality of the times, she is the one in trouble. The song is taken at a sprightly pace boding well for the rest of the album. All the songs are traditional with the exception of ‘Black Eyed Susan’, a poem by John Gay set to a tune by Richard Leveridge in the 18th century. At first you might expect it to be the familiar story of a young lady running away to sea to be with her true love but actually it’s a terribly polite leave-taking. Stately harmonies here contrast with the first track.

‘The Bold Keeper’ is a tale of swashbuckling heroics decorated with a touch of Dave Brubeck and concluding happily. What? ‘Death And The Lady’ is the record’s still point, once again showcasing their harmonies. ‘Bold Champions’, another stirring story, was collected by Alfred Williams, although there are lots of versions all over the country. Williams apparently believed it to be a true story. ‘Flower Of London’ and ‘The Wreck Of The Northfleet’ are both downbeat stories and there is an excellent variant of ‘Two Sisters’ followed by ‘The Old Churchyard’, a hymn from the Ozarks.

As a bonus we get a live performance of the sublimely ridiculous ‘Four & Twenty Fiddlers’, a song I scarcely hoped to hear again. Bold Champions is a record packed with variety and excellent performances.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: www.dovetailtrio.com

‘Bold Champions’ – live:

ROSIE HOOD – The Beautiful & The Actual (Rootbeat Records RBRCD36)

The Beautiful & The ActualRosie Hood’s debut solo album impresses on so many levels. Firstly, there’s her voice – a model of power and clarity; secondly there is the restraint of the accompaniments, even allowing for the presence of a string trio and Emma Smith’s mighty double bass and, finally, the template for the record. The Beautiful & The Actual is a quotation from Alfred Williams’ Folk Songs Of The Upper Thames and if you know anything about Williams you’ll know that he collected only words, never tunes, on the grounds that no-one would want to sing these songs again.

Many of Williams’ songs are unusual variants and I suspect that some of them, ‘Baker’s Oven’ for example, are unique. They provide a rich source of material for both singers and composers which is where Rosie comes in. She isn’t the first person to arrange Williams’ songs but probably the first to dedicate almost a whole album to him. She opens with ‘Lover’s Ghost’ matched with the tune of Packie Byrne’s version of ‘Holland Handkerchief’. This is an undeniably spooky tale made more so by its apparent simplicity. Having chilled your blood, Rosie injects some humour with a song of her own, ‘Furlong Of Flight’ concerning the unlikely story of an 11th century monk who constructed a pair of wings and flew down Malmesbury High Street before his crash landing.

‘William’s Sweetheart’ is a reworking of ‘William Taylor’ and ‘Lord Lovel’ borrows Peter Bellamy’s tune. ‘The Little Blind Girl’ is an unpublished text with a tune by Rosie who also wrote new melodies for variants of ‘The Red Herring’ and ‘The Cruel Mother’. Of the contemporary songs two, placed side by side, stand out. ‘Adrift, Adrift’ is Rosie’s song about refugees lost in the Mediterranean and John Archbold’s ‘The Hills Of Kandahar’ looks at the other end of the ongoing story, telling of a soldier killed by an IED in Afghanistan.

Supporting musicians include co-producer Tom A Wright, Ollie King, Jefferson Hamer and Emily Portman but Rosie’s voice dominates as it should with traditional music. The Beautiful & The Actual is high on my list of albums of the year.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website: www.rosiehood.co.uk

Rosie Hood and her band – ‘William’s Sweetheart’ live:

Your chance to back Rosie Hood

Rosie Hood’s debut solo album is coming soon; your chance to preorder with exclusive rewards

Rosie Hood 2

Nominated for the Horizon Award at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Rosie Hood has already appeared on RootBeat in the Dovetail Trio’s Wing of Evening. We’re delighted to be bringing you her solo debut as well, and for the next few days you have the chance to pre-order it with exclusive bonuses including limited edition artwork prints by Louise Bichan and Rosie herself, bonus tracks, gig tickets and even an exclusive house concert.

Rosie says: There will be old songs and new songs on this album, traditional and re-worked folk songs as well as those I’ve written. Songs of women and from their voices, songs and stories from where I grew up in Wiltshire, songs of struggle, love and death (it is a folk album after all…).

My as-yet-unnamed debut album is already under way with demos of 12 tracks recorded with producer Tom Wright, the photo shoot in the diary with Louise Bichan, and Elly Lucas on board to work on styling and design. Melodeon player Ollie King and guitarist Jefferson Hamer are confirmed guests with more brilliant musicians yet to be announced.

Follow this link to find out more: Back Rosie’s album now!

BBC Performing Arts Fellowship recipient announced

EFDSS_rosie_hood_bannerTraditional singer Rosie Hood has been awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fellowship to work with the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Under the scheme, EFDSS will work with Rosie during 2015 to develop her artistic skills and professional opportunities, offering her guidance in a number of areas.

Rosie, who performs solo and with The Dovetail Trio, will also have access to rehearsal and performance opportunities and be part of EFDSS’ showcasing programme both in the UK and abroad.

The fellowship is awarded by the BBC Performing Arts Fund, which has given a total of £32,000 to 32 arts organisations across the UK so they can host a bespoke placement opportunity as part of the scheme. Successful organisations were able to demonstrate that a Fellowship placement with them would offer significant professional development opportunities for a Fellow, that their placement would be realistic and achievable, and that the selection process they went through to identify the Fellow was fair and transparent.

It is the second time in three years that a folk musician has received a Fellowship – singer songwriter Maz O’Connor was the recipient of an award in 2013.

“EFDSS is very excited to be part of the BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowships and be working with Rosie over the next 12 months. She is a highly talented young artist at a stage in her career when this support can really help her to develop both her creative and business skills.” Katy Spicer, EFDSS Chief Executive

“I’m completely thrilled to have been awarded a Performing Arts Fund Fellowship with EFDSS. The combined knowledge, expertise and contacts of the society will be an invaluable resource to me over the coming year and I already feel more confident in my goals knowing that EFDSS believe in my ability to achieve them. The potential of what I might accomplish in this Fellowship is incredibly exciting and just a little bit daunting! I can’t wait to throw myself into it and develop musically, creatively and professionally in 2015.” Rosie Hood

The Dovetail Trio – ‘When I Was A young Maid’: