Friday 19 August 2022

IN THE ROOTS OF MUSIC

Newsletter SIGNUP

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FEATURES

Farewell Sandy.

Farewell Sandy.

William 'Sandy' Roberton was in many ways an unacknowledged pioneer, Simon Jones remembers and tips his hat to his legacy.  Never given full credit for his work in the dawning days of the new genre folk rock, Sandy Roberton was nevertheless, there right in the mix...

Making Progress.

Making Progress.

Harry Styles, Ed Sheeran....Adele? Making your audience think, " we're not afraid to twist the knife."  Simon Jones talks effective song writing with the good people of Milton Hide. Sunday night, just gone 8pm, over half way through my weekly two hours on the radio...

Time Span.

Time Span.

Technically 50 years old back in late 2019, celebrations had to be put on the back burner until that pesky Covid was largely dealt with. However with typical tenacity, Steeleye Span are once more out on the road, determined to party with their audience. Adjustments...

When Spriguns Come In.

When Spriguns Come In.

Four and a half decades on albums of Spriguns and Mandy Morton have become cult favourites and hot items amongst the rarest record collecting fraternity. Some see on line sparring rise to four figure sums. With such diverting activity the actual story of the band and...

Brighter Days Ahead?

Brighter Days Ahead?

The history of British musicians finding their own voice and reflecting their own back yard in a contemporary manner is a fraught one. Few have done it with any success, Ray Davies, Alan Hull, Richard Thompson, Bob Pegg, Billy Bragg, Squeeze, Runrig, The Tansads/Merry...

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...

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...

From Wandering Troubador to Scottish Laird

From Wandering Troubador to Scottish Laird

Born in Massechusetts in 1945, Marc Ellington lived an unusual life; to say he was a colourful character would not be an exaggeration. The early 1960s saw him as a fully paid up member of the American folk boom, singing with The Highwaymen in Oregon. By the middle of...

What do the four steps to lockdown lifting mean for gigs and festivals?

What do the four steps to lockdown lifting mean for gigs and festivals?

On the 22nd February the government announced its roadmap to lifting lockdown, with a potential complete lifting of restrictions for theatres, venues and large outside events by late June - so we seem to be on course to be enjoying gigs and festivals across the summer...

When You Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

When You Can’t See The Wood For The Trees

Mysterious and enigmatic the music of Trees has historically been hard to find and expensive, yet has become the stuff of legend. A new 50th Anniversary box set from Earth Records, creatively titled ‘Trees,’ collects everything worth hearing by this iconic band. Folk...

Shiny Things, The Magpie Arc bring back sunnier times

Shiny Things, The Magpie Arc bring back sunnier times

Just when you were thinking these strange times had wiped out all the decent things about music, along come a band to flip your wig. The Magpie Arc are exactly what’s needed to bring back sunnier days. Simon Jones checks out their fine feathers. “Alex is the biggest...

Robert Jon: Wreckless!

Robert Jon: Wreckless!

With a terrific new album ‘Last Light on the Highway’ ROBERT JON & THE WRECK have realised their potential and left rivals to the Southern Roots Rock crown in their slipstream. On the line from California ROBERT JON BURRISON talks to Lyndon Noon about his latest...

Rory Block Interview

Rory Block Interview

What did a young girl find in the blues which makes it a lifelong passion? The music was filled with intense passion and spoke directly to what was in my heart. Your guitar style is pretty unique how has that been shaped and changed over time? I started out with folk...

Kirsty Merryn Interview – One Bright Star

Kirsty Merryn Interview – One Bright Star

Kirsty Merryn arrives with a woozily gorgeous second album tucked under her arm, a steadily growing reputation for creating atmospheric and meaningful songs as well as totally refitting traditional material with contemporary relevance. She’s earning plaudits from...

Jonathan Kelly: 8th July 1948 –  May 2nd 2020

Jonathan Kelly: 8th July 1948 – May 2nd 2020

It’s 2008 and the clock’s ticking, Jonathan Kelly has been on stage for well over three and a half hours and he shows no sign of stopping. In the end just shy of four hours, with midnight close at hand he finally waves his acoustic guitar to acknowledge a full house...

Pete Mortons Top Protest Songs Of All Time!

Pete Mortons Top Protest Songs Of All Time!

Here troubadour/singer and commentator Pete Morton takes us through his list of the most effective ‘finger pointing songs’ as a certain Robert Zimmerman used to call material of social commentary. “Most of them are folk - the list could have been a hundred or more. I...

Interview with Pete Morton

Interview with Pete Morton

Always a restless spirit has claimed Pete Morton, his albums filled with songs of the here and now, the human condition as well as traditional refits and relevant covers. His own material has long been celebrated for inherent hope and honesty, yet his new collection...