Friday 3 December 2021

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

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REVIEWS

Hourglass – Murray McLauchlan.

Hourglass – Murray McLauchlan.

It’s been a while since I saw the name of Murray McLauchlan on a new album, his recordings don’t turn up too often on this side of the Atlantic, but when they do the results are inevitably worth hearing. In a way McLauchlan is a contemporary of Bruce Cockburn in that his writing falls well within the folk genre yet hints at so much more in the...

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Quantum Lyrics – The Story Song Scientists

Quantum Lyrics – The Story Song Scientists

Encounters at songwriting retreats can be very productive and the pairing of Findlay Napier and Megan Henwood at Snape Maltings resulted in 'The Story Song Scientists' EP. The latter being a collection of songs taking inspiration from the widest view of scientific...

Breaking Bach – Chris Newman.

Breaking Bach – Chris Newman.

With a decent pun for a title, Chris Newman flat picks his way through a selection of Bach’s sonatas. Newman’s guitar playing is of course exemplary in all kinds of genres but here he set the bar high so aiming for territory normally associated with John Williams or...

Let’s Get Happy Together – Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny.

Let’s Get Happy Together – Maria Muldaur with Tuba Skinny.

Maria Muldaur has always been happy to let her roots show and we’re not talking faded hair dye here. Linked with the New Orleans street collective Tuba Skinny, she’s got the balance about right, blues and jazz with jug band irreverence built in, it almost mirrors her...

NEWS

Spriguns Once More.

Spriguns Once More.

At long, long, long last one of the most underrated and brilliant English folk rock bands of the 1970s is starting to gain proper recognition for their efforts, half a decade since they began. Spriguns were from Cambridge and cut two stone cold classics. For Decca the stunning rock folk ' Time Will Pass,' all loud, echoing guitars, creepy bass...

Cara Dillon – Upon A Winter’s Night Christmas Tour

Cara Dillon – Upon A Winter’s Night Christmas Tour

Cara Dillon, possessed of one of the most celebrated folk voices to have come out of Ireland, will be touring her Christmas show “Upon A Winter’s Night” for a fifth year running this December (2021). The overwhelming success of previous tours cementing this magical...

OVER THE NEXT HILL!

OVER THE NEXT HILL!

There’s no keeping them down, time nor age wearies Fairport Convention. They promised at the first chance they’d be back on the road with their particular brand of English roots rock. 2022 brings their annual Winter tour which sees them and their van up hull, down...

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Concept Album Featuring all Current Members of Steeleye Span

Concept Album Featuring all Current Members of Steeleye Span

Steeleye Span guitarist Julian Littman is set to release the concept album Goblin Market Music  on December 1st, which will feature all of Steeleye Span as well as Jane Milligan, the daughter of the late comic genius Spike Milligan. The album is based on Christina...

Belshazzar’s Feast Mistletoe & Whine Christmas 2021

Belshazzar’s Feast Mistletoe & Whine Christmas 2021

With a new album out in time for their Christmas tour, the wickedly inventive and beloved folk duo are celebrating over 25 years together Looking back over their career, the CD album will certainly be one to treasure, featuring new music plus fresh arrangements and...

FEATURES

All Our Back Pages.

All Our Back Pages.

  Merry Hell. Lost Songs. The Brindley Theatre. Runcorn. Once they had another life entirely. Merry Hell, Wigan’s Chosen Few, were altogether different, they were a raucous, rough round the edges, cavorting troop of innocence, wonder and indie thinking, producing a free-wheeling melodious mix of alt rock and roots which were proudly...

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the lost words
Family Credit.

Family Credit.

Occasionally an album comes along which makes more of an impact than was realised at the time of release, somehow it’s more than the sum of its parts. Simply re-releasing it is not enough and it has to be reassessed because with hindsight its true importance is...

The Show Will Go On.

The Show Will Go On.

As the folk world slowly opens to a musical landscape constantly shifting and coming to terms with the limitations of a continuing pandemic, amidst festival cancellations galore, Simon Jones ventures to one of the few, brave survivors, Shrewsbury. “The weather’s been...

Greg Hancock – His Sure Fingers

Greg Hancock – His Sure Fingers

Comparisons with Al Stewart, John Martyn and a whole host of other acoustic troubadours along with a rave review for his latest recording, something's brewing in the far corners of Devon. Phil Thomas was dispatched to locate and question Greg Hancock.  I recently had...

Earworms For The Thinking Generation

Earworms For The Thinking Generation

With current circumstances you’d think that we’d be awash with decent social commentary and bands who’d want us all to think before we act. Merry Hell do great work but they could do with a hand. Enter Headsticks with C.O.W. the first album of 2021 to delve deeper in...

FESTIVALS

Celtic Connections Returns For 2022

Celtic Connections Returns For 2022

Celtic Connections, the UK’s premiere celebration of roots music, will return in full force for 2022 with an exciting and eclectic programme of events taking place in Glasgow from Thursday 20 January to Sunday 6 February 2022. Breathing life and soul into much-loved venues across the city, the 18-day programme of events spanning traditional folk,...

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Summer of Glamping Festivals Comes to a Spectacular Close in Cannich

Summer of Glamping Festivals Comes to a Spectacular Close in Cannich

A fun-filled summer of glamping festivals in Cannich came to a close in spectacular style this weekend as headliners Mànran and Scooty and the Skyhooks brought the curtain down on the series of ground-breaking events. Capers in Cannich made history earlier this year...

Triumphant Return for Reimagined FolkEast 2021

Triumphant Return for Reimagined FolkEast 2021

Back on track after a two-year wait, England’s most easterly folk festival, FOLKEAST, pulled off a spectacular and emotional reunion last weekend (August 20-22). The delayed ninth FolkEast returned to Suffolk’s glorious Constable-esque grounds of Elizabethan Glemham...

Merry Hell and Lady Nade to join the FolkEast Party!

Merry Hell and Lady Nade to join the FolkEast Party!

LAST CHANCE FOR WEEKEND & DAY TICKETS -Free admission for children aged 11 and under- Hugely popular North-West folk rockers Merry Hell have been announced as Sunday headliners at England’s most easterly folk festival, FOLKEAST (August 20-22). The 8-piece...

Full Programme for Piping Live! Unveiled

Full Programme for Piping Live! Unveiled

The full suite of programmed activity for Glasgow’s Piping Live! festival has been unveiled, with a number of exciting in-person shows confirmed to go ahead as part of the nine-day event.  The world’s biggest piping festival will take a hybrid approach for 2021,...

An Audience with Dawn French at Underneath the Stars

An Audience with Dawn French at Underneath the Stars

Underneath the Stars festival is delighted to reveal actor, author and comedian, Dawn French, will be taking part in the family-friendly music and arts festival at Cinderhill Farm, Barnsley (30 July – 1st August). Filling the popular afternoon slot previously held by...

Chris Wood Headlines the first Brighton and Hove Folk Festival

Chris Wood Headlines the first Brighton and Hove Folk Festival

Six time BBC Folk Award winner Chris Wood has been announced as the headliner for Brighton and Hove’s first folk festival. Established local promoters Folkroom have announced their full line-up for the festival, which takes place at The Brunswick in Hove on September...

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