Renegade – The new album from Dylan LeBlanc

Dylan LeBlanc - Renegade

Dylan LeBlanc has announced the release of his highly anticipated new album, Renegade, out on 7th June on ATO Records.

Produced by Grammy Award winning Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton), the album features ten new songs and LeBlanc’s longtime band, The Pollies. Of the album LeBlanc says, “I wanted to write the same type of songs that matched the atmosphere the band and I were bringing live. So, I started with ‘Renegade,’ which was fitting since I felt myself going in a new, more intense direction with this record. In the studio, I let go almost absolutely and let Dave Cobb do his work. It was a different experience for me—how focused Cobb was and how quickly we would get live takes down. Mostly in one or two takes. Never more than three. It left me spinning at how quickly it all came together. Over the course of ten days Renegade was complete and ready for mastering. And I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.”

Here is ‘Honor Among Thieves’ (Official Fame Studios Session version) from the new album.

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In celebration of the release, LeBlanc will embark on an extensive headline UK and European tour this summer, including shows at London’s Omeara, Paris’s Les Etoiles and Berlin’s Privatclub among others. See below for more info and a complete tour itinerary.

August 11—Venlo, NL—Zomerparkfeest
August 12—Hamburg, DE—Knust
August 16—Olso, NO—John Dee
August 17—Göteborg, SWE—Pustervik
August 20—Stockholm, SWE—Bryggarsalen
August 21—Copenhagen, DK—Vega
August 23—Oberhausen, DE—Zentrum Altenberg
August 24—Amsterdam, NL—Once In A Blue Moon
August 25—Charleville-Mézières, FR—Le Cabaret Vert
August 28—Paris, FR—Les Etoiles
August 29—Sint Niklaas, BE—Casino
August 30—Berlin, DE—Privatclub
August 31—Dresden, DE—Sound of Bronkow Festival
September 3—London, UK—Omeara
September 4—Leeds, UK—Brudenell Social Club
September 5—Manchester, UK—Night People
September 7—Enschede, NL—Tuckerville

Artist’s website: www.dylanleblanc.com

June Tabor and Oysterband on the road again

June Tabor and Oysterband

One of the most exciting collaborations in folk music, June Tabor and Oysterband, resumes this autumn for a major tour.  The 2019 ‘Fire and Fleet’ Tour will take in 15 dates across the UK this Autumn, including shows at the majestic Union Chapel, Islington, Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, and more.

With separate distinguished careers to pursue, their appearances together are necessarily rare, so this is a must-see opportunity to catch them live. The majesty and control of June’s voice combined with the passion of John Jones’ singing and the dynamic drive of Oysterband to illuminate dark traditional ballads and contemporary classics alike – witness their moving duet version of Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, widely regarded as the best-ever reinterpretation of that much-covered track. Songs from their seminal 1990 album ‘Freedom & Rain’ and their multi-award-winning 2011 follow-up ‘Ragged Kingdom’ will, of course, be featured, plus exciting new material.

Ian Telfer of Oysterband said, “We’re delighted to be touring once more with June –  a good friend, a great singer of course, and an extraordinary interpreter of songs. (And we have a few new ones for you!)”. June Tabor herself said, “Strong songs, energy, tension, and a fierce, almost tribal audience response – Oysterband at its finest….and I get to stand at the front. Yes!”.

Rolling Stone magazine described this pairing as, “A marriage made in heaven”, whilst Elvis Costello said, “If you can’t appreciate June Tabor, you should just stop listening to music”.  These live dates are indeed a rare chance for fans to check in with wonderful artists doing what they do best. Don’t miss them.

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‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ – official video:

UK TOUR DATES 2019

THU 24 OCTOBER — NORWICH OPEN
FRI 25 OCTOBER — BRISTOL ST GEORGE’S
SAT 26 OCTOBER — SALISBURY CITY HALL
SUN 27 OCTOBER — LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL
WED 30 OCTOBER — CARDIFF TRAMSHED
THU 31 OCTOBER — SOUTHPORT ATKINSON
FRI 01 NOVEMBER — LEEDS TOWN HALL
SAT 02 NOVEMBER — THE GATESHEAD SAGE
SUN 03 NOVEMBER — WARWICK ARTS CENTRE
FRI 08 NOVEMBER — MANCHESTER RNCM
SAT 09 NOVEMBER — CLITHEROE GRAND
TUE 12 NOVEMBER — CHELTENHAM TOWN HALL
WED 13 NOVEMBER — EXETER TOWN HALL
THU 14 NOVEMBER — ISLINGTON UNION CHAPEL
FRI 15 NOVEMBER — SEVENOAKS STAG THEATRE

Tickets for all dates are on sale now and available from https://botw.ticketline.co.uk/oysterband-and-june-tabor

Steeleye Span celebrate 50 years

Steeleye Span

Park Records are delighted to announce the release of EST’D 1969 from Steeleye Span on 24 June 2019 ahead of UK dates later in the year.  This is a new collection of songs, featuring contributions from all seven of the band members [with a guest appearance from Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull on ‘Old Matron’]. EST’D 1969 captures the ethos of the heritage and history of the band itself, but also the rich vein of tradition that they draw inspiration from, but remains fresh and contemporary. This is a celebration of 50 years but the band continues to look to the future.

‘Space Oddity’. ‘Suspicious Minds’. ‘Pinball Wizard’. ‘Whole Lotta Love’. ‘Come Together’ – 1969 could easily be said to be a vintage year for music, the end of a decade that changed the world and the introduction to one that would prove equally inspirational. It would also see the birth of a band that would start as an idea to electrify traditional music and would go on to become one of the most enduring stories in the folk world and beyond. Over the past fifty years, Steeleye Span have come to define the concept of English folk rock – taking it from the world of small clubs into the charts, concert halls and festivals around the globe.

The story of their career has included incredible moment after incredible moment – taking Latin carol ‘Gaudete’ onto Top Of The Pops, recording with David Bowie and Peter Sellers, showering their audiences with pound notes, scoring a top five hit with ‘All Around My Hat’, touring UK arenas with Status Quo, reuniting virtually all their members for a famous 25th anniversary show and entering their fifth decade as creatively inspired and active as ever – including the acclaimed Wintersmith album with Sir Terry Pratchett.

Featuring some of the most famous names in folk music from down the years (Martin Carthy, Tim Hart, Bob Johnson, John Kirkpatrick, Peter Knight, Ken Nicol, Liam Genockey), the band has perhaps been most identified with Maddy Prior – one of the most distinctive voices in British music. Helping found the band with her musical partner Tim Hart, she has steered Steeleye through their various incarnations, as well as a successful solo career and a number of regular collaborations with the likes of June Tabor and The Carnival Band. Steeped in the mythology and history of the British Isles – and beyond – her lyrics have retold some of the most notable stories in the tradition. Tales of love, tragedy, injustice, murder, revenge and redemption – all have come to personify the band’s musical sound, a marrying of folk tunes with the finest in rock instrumentation.

As they celebrate their milestone anniversary with EST’D 1969, Steeleye Span show no signs of slowing down. Releasing seven studio and four live albums since the turn of the century, their current seven piece line-up ranks as one of the strongest of their long history and features John Kirkpatrick’s son Benji amongst others. The band perform this summer at Glastonbury, Cornbury and Beautiful Days Festivals and will be touring the UK extensively in Winter 2019.

Artists’ website: http://steeleyespan.org.uk/

They’re still doing it. ‘All Around My Hat’ – live:

Live Dates

Friday 28th June           Glastonbury Festival   Glastonbury
Sunday 7th July            Cornbury Festival    Oxfordshire
Sunday 18th August      Beautiful Days Festival Devon
Thursday 14th November         Hedon  Zwolle (HOLLAND)
Friday 15th November Concertzaal      Tilburg (HOLLAND)
Saturday 16th November          Duiker  Hoofddorp (HOLLAND)
Sunday 17th November            Paard   Den Haag (HOLLAND)
Wednesday 11th December      The Haymarket Basingstoke

Elephant Sessions – new album and tour dates

Elephant Sessions

Elephant Sessions transcend boundaries and shake the very foundations of expectation.

Hailing from the Highlands of Scotland, Elephant Sessions are set to release their new album What Makes You on May 10th 2019.

Exploding onto the indie folk scene to unparalleled effect with their last album All We Have Is Now, the band have since appeared at some of the world’s most notable venues and festivals with audiences crowd surfing their way through the summer and marquee floors breaking under the weight of bouncing fans.

The Mercury nominated Alt-J, along with BBC Radio 6, found themselves converted to the band’s unique brand of indie folk. Reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine sat alongside folk magazine coverage. Radio features accompanied documentaries and highlights shows on television stations.

Charting in the French download charts and selling bucket loads across Europe, All We Have Is Now firmly established this band as completely unique.

What Makes You promises to build on this success and sees the front line of mandolin and fiddle pushing their limits further, matching the percussive rhythm of drums, bass and guitar, whilst fusing with electronic dance beats. This is traditional music turned on its head, a re-invention of expectation, a brand new sound. It’s exciting.

What Makes You is a musical progression of the journey the band have been on since the last album” said mandolin player Alasdair Taylor. “We feel like our sound has matured and we’re playing and writing the music that we really want to be playing. Writing and performing the music from this new album has been so much fun so far and we can’t wait to release it for everyone to hear.”

2018 saw awards in abundance. Opening the year as winners of Album of the Year at the BBC Scotland Trad Awards, they went on to be finalists as Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 awards. In May, Belhaven Brewery got together with the band to award the first ever Belhaven Bursary for innovation in music. The bursary amount matches the Mercury Music prize and was awarded in recognition of their unique and outstanding sound. It was accompanied by the bands own beer ‘Elephant Sessions Ale’, which was launched in May 2018.

In August, the band also found themselves shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year – an award covering every genre of music from indie, blues and rock to pop, folk and the individual sound that is Elephant Sessions.

Closing 2018 by picking up the coveted Live Band of the Year award (BBC Scots Trad Awards) the band, who met on the Newcastle University Folk Degree, are set to do no less with What Makes You. They have transformed traditional music and opened 2019 with performances across Europe. In April they head over to the US to play at the Belhaven Brew celebrations at Tartan Week in New York, before appearing at Bluesfest in Australia as part of the 30th anniversary line up. Making a debut at Merlefest in the US on the way back to the UK the band begin their album tour in May.

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Artists’ website: www.elephantsessions.com

‘What Makes You’ – official video:

Live Dates

2nd-5th May – Shetland Folk Festival
10th May – The Tunnels, Aberdeen
11th May – Liquid Room, Edinburgh
12th May – The Cluny, Newcastle
14th May – Night and Day, Manchester
15th May – Phoenix, Exeter
16th May – Exchange, Bristol
17th May – Borderline, London
18th May – The Junction, Cambridge
19th May – Bodega, Nottingham
24th May – Volunteer Hall, Galashiels
25th May – Liverpool Philharmonic, Liverpool
26th May – Knockengorrach World Ceilidh, Galloway
30th May – The Tolbooth, Stirling
31st May – Perth Theatre, Perth
1st June – The Gathering, Inverness
7th June – Oban Live
15th June – Killin Music Festival

Elles Bailey announces tour dates

Elles Bailey
Photograph by Alex Berger

Rising independent Blues and Americana fuelled star Elles Bailey continues to wind her way along the road that she really DOES call home, taking her storming second album, Road I Call Home on tour, into Elles’ native habitat: live performance! Elles is also sharing a new video for ‘Road I Call Home’ that’s being released to support the announcement of the extended tour.

Elles herself is delighted to announce further dates for her tour: “As a self-confessed ‘Rolling Stone’, I’m so stoked to announce my final headline tour of the U.K. for 2019. It’s already been a whirlwind of a year and this will be a great way to round off 2019 with a bang!”

Already undertaking her Road I Call Home tour, Elles has found her new material, both live and on the expertly-recorded album, has met with much praise from the critics and yet more love from her rapidly-growing army of fans and followers. The tour has seen sell-outs in her native Bristol, also in Bath, with further successful shows in London, Belfast, Glasgow, and Southampton.

If ever there was a fine example of the Do-It-Yourself nature of the modern music business, then Elles Bailey is it. From humble bootstrap beginnings, Elles has, by dint of hard work and sheer talent, has made a tremendous impact in short order, outgunning many more established and majorly supported artists in terms of chart positions, column inches and audience numbers.

She’s done this by taking time and effort to really understand the brave new world that is today’s musical landscape, by being brave, breaking rules, and just powering through obstacles and doing whatever it takes. Her work ethic, both on the road, at shows, and in front of her spreadsheets is nothing short of phenomenal.

Elles’ second album came out on the 8th March to rave reviews and charted in the UK Country Charts at Number 13, the UK Americana Charts at Number 24, and Number 1 on the Amazon Blues bestseller Chart!.

As well as her own international headline tours, Elles will also be opening as special guest of Mike Farris in the UK in June. She’s gaining fans and admirers on a phenomenal basis  and has also garnered support from Momentum Fund, Arts Council and (what was known as) the DTI Export scheme, to name but a few. There really is no stopping this Bristolian powerhouse!

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Artist’s website: www.ellesbailey.com

‘What’s The Matter With You’ – official video:

Tour Dates

May 10: Grimsby, Old Clee Social Club
May 11: Lincoln Blues Festival
May 23: Ropetackle Arts Centre special guest w/Jo Harman, Shoreham By Sea
May 24: Surbiton ExCellar
May 31: Hungerford, Arts for Hungerford
June 1: Bristol, Sodfest
June 2: Coolham Live
June 14: Torquay, Boogaloo Blues In Torquay
June 15: Canterbury,  Blues On The Farm,
June 17: Ashlington, White House (With Mike Farris)
June 18: Morecambe, Platform (With Mike Farris)
June 19: Bridgnorth, Theatre on the Steps (With Mike Farris)
June 21: Godalming, Wildfred Noyce Centre (With Mike Farris)
June 22: London, Nells Jazz and Blues (With Mike Farris)
July 19: Upton Blues Fest
July 20; Devizes, Saddleback Blues Fest
July 21: Ramblin’ Man Fair, Blues Stage
August 3: Mold, North Wales Blues and Soul Fest
August 16: Saint Savin, Gartempe Blues, France
August 23: Le Buis Blues Fest, France
August 24: Cottingham Folk Fest

Road I Call Home Autumn Tour

November 8: Bristol, Thekla
November 9: Oxford, Jericho Tavern
November 10: TBC
November 15: Sheffield, Greystones
November 16: Liverpool, Royal Philharmonic
November 17: Blackpool, Waterloo
November 22: Basildon New Crawdaddy Club
December 5: Nottingham, Bodega
December 6: Dudley, Lamp Tavern
December 14: Kirton In Lindsey, Town Hall Live

Read Mike Wistow’s review of Road  Call Home here:

ELLES BAILEY – Road I Call Home (Outlaw Music OLM19CD01)

Kate Rusby announces new album and tour dates

Kate Rusby

Pure Records presents Philosophers, Poets & Kings, the 17th studio album from award-winning folk singer Kate Rusby. Seamlessly blending old and new across twelve tracks of traditional folk, covers and self-penned songs, the inimitable contemporary folk songstress’s new solo album is a deeply personal collection which pays homage to her family and musical heritage, and home life in Yorkshire.

With Philosophers, Poets and Kings, Kate Rusby raises a toast to her parents. She recalls an upbringing filled with music; whether recording songs performed during wine-fuelled family singalongs or her formative years spent watching festival performances by famed musicians including Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick.

As you could tell from the unmistakable strains of Moog on 2016’s Life In a Paper Boat, Kate Rusby’s (kind of) gone electronic. No-one gave her the Bob Dylan treatment on tour and shouted “Judas” at the appearance of weird contemporary machinery, so adventures in synthesised sounds have made for a brave new world so far.

It’s not quite time yet to call in The Pet Shop Boys for a collab or reset your Rusby radar to Kiss FM, and Calvin Harris has not yet buzzed Barnsley, but 2019 sees Kate take the next steps in being increasingly less unplugged with Poets, Philosophers and Kings.

Hang on. Philosophers, Poets and Kings? What about this ‘brave new world’? Doesn’t that sound a bit historical and backwards-looking as an album title?

Yes…. And equally, no.

First and foremost, couldn’t we all do with a few philosophical voices offering genuinely complete and well-formed thoughts in 2019 as we struggle as a nation to reconcile ourselves with who we are and where we’re going? Equally if we struggle as individuals to achieve a mindful peace in the cacophonous whirligig of everyday life, oughtn’t philosophy to be welcome wisdom?

Secondly, surely poetry – the pursuit of beauty and truth – is even more necessary than it’s ever been? It was Aristotle who asserted, “It’s during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” So shines this album, as a good deed in a weary world.

Thirdly, and most importantly, isn’t the essence of really appealing modern folk a combination of careful homage to the past, but bringing age-old songs into the present with fearless innovation? That’s where you’re at with Philosophers, Poets and Kings: where the idea that you can only truly embrace the present if you have the past firmly in your bones rings entirely true.

Don’t get your glow-sticks and whistles out when you see the word ‘Remix’ next to track ten, but it is indicative of a novel approach in that the album carries two separate and distinct versions of the traditional track, ‘Jenny’. In Kate’s own words, “From the moment I started working on this song, I could hear two completely different ways that we could approach it… Turn this version up and get your dancing shoes on.”

As much as there’s the elevating presence of joy and much excuse for limbs to jig, there’s also the emotive, grounded sense of her South Yorkshire home that we’ve come to breathe in through our rarefied, Rusbified atmosphere over the years. ‘The Wanderer’ depicts a man from Kate’s village suffering from Alzheimer’s; ‘The Farmer’s Toast’ honours the family on whose land she hosts the Underneath The Stars Festival; ‘The Squire and the Parson’ comes from a local folk tale and carries a co-writing credit from Kate’s Dad, Steve.

Try to contemplate the final track, ‘Halt The Wagons’ without some increased action in your tear ducts. July 4th 2018 saw the 180th anniversary of the Huskar Pit disaster, where 26 children working in the mine lost their lives when a freak storm flooded the mine shaft. 15 boys and 11 girls aged 7-17years old, were drowned. They were found with arms around each other for comfort. Kate was asked to write a song to commemorate the disaster, and was joined by 26 members of The Barnsley Youth Choir, 15 boys and 11 girls, their ages 7-17. Together they went underground at The National Coal Mining Museum of England to film and record the children singing on the song: “They were brilliant. I wanted people to see and hear 26 children, to understand what a huge effect the terrible tragedy had on the small village of Silkstone (just up the road from me). Most of all I wanted to give a voice to those children and their mothers.”

The title track pays tribute to the inspiration for much poetry, philosophy and many a singalong: wine. With its mention of Diogenes, Democritus and Plato, associations with Monty Python’s ‘Philosophers’ Song’ are never far away. Conversely, there’s a cover of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Go Away’; never before has that song sounded so soberly plaintive.

Pour yourself a glass of something indulgent on May 17th and ‘Rusby-up’ your stereo. You’ll feel majestic.

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Philosophers, Poets and Kings is released on Friday 17 May. Kate Rusby is touring nationally from May – October 2019.

She headlines Underneath The Stars – the family-run independent arts and music festival held in Barnsley, South Yorkshire – from 2-4 August 2019.

Artist’s website:  www.katerusby.com

‘Jenny’ – live:

Tour dates

May

16 Stockport, The Plaza www.stockportplaza.co.uk

17 Derby Theatre www.derbytheatre.co.uk

19 Doncaster, Cast www.castindoncaster.com

23 Bradford, St George’s Hall www.bradford-theatres.co.uk

24 Peterborough, The Cresset www.cresset.co.uk

25 Bury St Edmond’s Festival (The Apex) www.buryfestival.co.uk

July

Sark Folk Festival, Sark www.sarkfolkfestival.com

August

2-4 Underneath the Stars Festival, Barnsley www.underthestarsfest.co.uk

17 Beautiful Days Festival, Devon www.beautifuldays.org

23/24 August, Tonder Festival, Denmark https://tf.dk/en

Shrewsbury Folk Festival, Shrewsbury www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk

October

09 Ulverston, Coronation Hall www.corohall.co.uk

10 Aberdeen Music Hall www.aberdeenperformingarts.com

11 Edinburgh, Assembly Rooms, www.assemblyroomsedinburgh.co.uk

19 Manchester Folk Festival www.manchesterfolkfestival.org.uk

20 October, Leicester Haymarket Theatre, Leicester. www.haytheatre.com