Back by popular demand! Lo-fi post-folk with three-part close harmony singing blending traditional and original material, acoustic sounds and electronic noise.
The Nightjar perform lo-fi post-folk, playing songs for the end of time. Originally conceived as a close-harmony vocal trio, a collaboration with South London producer Kams brought them to the attention of Boiler Room’s Joe Muggs. The ensuing Boiler Room debut went viral, and brought their 2015 ‘The Nightjar’ EP plaudits from nearly 70,000 underground music fans, as well as the accolade of airplay on Radio 3’s Late Junction.
A successful crowd-funding campaign convinced them of the existence of an audience for their dream-like, ethereal songs of hope, loss and disaster and, in the autumn of 2015, The Nightjar relocated to a farmhouse in rural Portugal to begin their first full-length offering. ‘Objects’ was released in March 2017 on Pear O’ Legs Records.
2016 tours of France, Germany and the UK saw audiences brought to a stand-still by the raw intensity of their performance, bringing them a reputation as a must-see live band. Drawing influence from the lo-fi wooze of Grouper, the stark and poignant balladry of Diane Cluck and the deft compositions of Colleen, The Nightjar use close-harmonies, tight-interlocking guitars, deep bass and an intense lead vocal to paint fragile, haunting landscapes.
The Nightjar is Jez Anderson, Mo Kirby, Sarah Ricketts, and Pete Thomas.
“Gorgeous” – The Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
“Mesmerising in live performance” – fRoots Magazine
Ear Trumpet Music & The Colston Hall Proudly Present: Tom Hickox.
Tom Hickox is a singer-songwriter from North London, born in 1981. He released his debut album, War, Peace & Diplomacy, in 2014 via Fierce Panda, following which led to comparisons of Hickox’s music to that of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Scott Walker and Randy Newman. The Daily Telegraph commended the “depth and intensity” of his voice and music calling him “a true original” and described him as “the most powerful and original lyrical songwriter this country has produced in years”. The Sunday Times described Hickox’s music “as if from a different planet, and certainly from a different age”. Fuse magazine wrote positively of his “outrageously daring lyrics” and the “deathly beauty” of his arrangements. On March 31st 2017, Family Tree/Warner Chappell released Tom Hickox’s second album, Monsters In The Deep.
This ground-breaking, genre-shaking San Francisco group screw up every tradition of the sound America gave to the world and remoulded it.
When Bob Harris played tracks Front Country’s memorable debut album, Sake of The Sound on BBC Radio 2, he told listeners they were “currently the biggest band on the bluegrass scene in America”…and he was right.
Coming out of the California Bay area’s red-hot roots music scene, the band first made serious waves with rarely-accomplished double “best act” competition wins at both the Telluride and Rockygrass music festivals – possibly the most prestigious get-togethers for the genre in the USA.
They’ve been praised for their ability to choose songs to cover (and arrange) that suit them perfectly; they’ve been praised for their sensational individual instrumental performances, for the top quality of their vocal harmonies and the high standard of the self-penned material. In other words, they make music that is distinctly their own; when musicians play and sing this well together, it only serves to magnify the power achieved.
Right at the core are the stunning pairing of Melody Walker and Jacob Groopman, already well-established as a considerable force on the circuit. Their high level of accomplishment is matched by sidekicks Adam Roszkiewicz (mandolin), Leif Karlstrom (violin) and Zach Sharp (bass).
When Sake of The Sound got it’s European release late in 2014, it went from nowhere straight to the Number 11 position on the influential Euro Americana Chart and some of the top music writers in the UK gave it four and five-star ratings. Maverick magazine contributor Paul Kerr enjoyed its “pop sensibility of Fleetwood Mac while retaining a woody, organic feel,” while R2 reviewer David Innes said: “Front Country have put down a strong marker for album of the year.” Writing at Folking.com, Dai Jeffries called the band “exceptional.”
Stunning singer, fiddle player and harpist, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Musician of the Year 2017 and Scottish Traditional Music Awards Instrumentalist of the Year 2016.
Singer and harpist Rachel Newton specialises in interpreting traditional folk songs in both English and Scottish Gaelic as well as writing and performing her own instrumental pieces. Rachel performs solo, with her trio featuring Lauren MacColl on fiddle and Mattie Foulds on percussion and with a full band when they’re joined by Michael Owers on trombone and Sarah Hayes on keys.
A skilled collaborator, Rachel is a founder member of the successful UK folk bands The Shee and The Furrow Collective. She also plays fiddle and viola and works across a range of performance platforms including theatre and storytelling.
Rachel released her mighty new album ‘Here’s My Heart Come Take it’ in April 2016.
‘Haunting vocals and elegant harp’ The Guardian
‘Harp and strings blur the border between worlds’ The Financial Times
‘Rachel Newton is well equipped to take centre stage in her own right and this second solo album is a beauty…fascinating stuff’
(5 * Playlist Selection) – fRoots Magazine
Top of the World Editor’s Pick – Songlines Magazine
Potent songs, silky double-bass, fiery fiddling and smoking harmonicas. An album launch event for their latest live release; D’rect From The Shire.
Jez Hellard is a singer of potent songs, fine guitarist and simply stunning harmonica player. His band, The Djukella Orchestra, play traditional and contemporary folk music, from jigs, reels and ballads to tango, rhumba and even reggae. Featuring one of the most captivating double-bassists you’re likely to see and some of the finest instrumentalists on the UK folk scene, their blend of virtuoso musicianship, witty political comment and a deep repertoire of powerful songs never fails to turn heads. Since hitting the road full time in 2005, Jez has played well over a thousand gigs; from the Glastonbury Festival to the North Country Fair, New York to Taipei, Istanbul to the Iberian Peninsular, gaining fans far and wide.
“Ridiculously enjoyable… an unequivocal thumbs up.” Folk Radio UK
“Beautifully crafted and stunningly delivered… a staggering jigsaw of musical invention and a sonorous voice that drags you into every song.” Folking.com
Folk music from Europe, America and beyond; combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship and some damn great tunes.
Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow are a Bristol based duo playing acoustic, folk and roots music.
Best known as the virtuoso guitar and fiddle players from the band Sheelanagig, they draw on their many influences to created unique arrangements of traditional music, as well as their own compositions. The live show is a musical journey through Europe, America and beyond; combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship.
Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow’s debut album The Fox explores the relationship between fiddle, guitar and voice, using the fertile ground of the traditional music of the British Isles as its starting point. The product of decades of musical experience, the track listing combines self penned tunes and folk tales, all intricately arranged and heartfelt.
“Fleet fingered and ingeniously arranged. …..deserve to be thought of as up there with the best of them” – Songlines
“such dexterity, energy and passion…..mightily impressive” – R2 Magazine
“The pair demonstrate an eclectic approach that lifts them head and shoulders above the rest” – Acoustic Magazine
“Never a dull moment, with imagination firing throughout and an abundance of creative energy” – Living Tradition
Highly acclaimed multi-instrumentalist folk duo who play traditional and original storytelling music of the British Isles.
Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith are one of the finest duos to have emerged onto the British folk and acoustic scene in recent years. Their combination of outstanding vocal work, sensitive instrumentation, and a powerful social conscience has brought them widespread critical acclaim.
“To be a great folk singer, you have to be a great storyteller, as Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are clearly aware. The duo are both fine singers and multi-instrumentalists.” (The Guardian)
The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with stunning musical arrangements and vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances and a common thread of political struggle, resistance, and justice.
Their critically acclaimed second album ‘Night Hours’ was released in December 2016 on Fellside Recordings. Described as ‘exhilaratingly diverse and full of impeccably crafted songs’, it has cemented the duo’s reputation as two of the most exciting musicians and social commentators on the scene.
“Making common cause between antique songs and present circumstances is one of the grails of modern folk, one this young duo pull off impressively…Rousing stuff.” (The Guardian)
‘Everyone at fRoots is certainly pretty excited about Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, and for good reason. Their honest and arresting songs manage to speak with tender nostalgia whilst civilly calling for change. When you listen, prepare to feel the heat of empathy and the kindling of resistance.’ (fRoots)
*Please note this is a late show starting at 10pm and will be one long set finishing around 11.15pm*
Using just their incredible voices, Pete Truin, Jamie Doe and Sam Brookes explore ballads, shanties and seafaring songs that tell tales of whaling ships, lost loves and hardship at sea.
The Ballina Whalers (pronounced Bal-en-a) are Pete Truin, Jamie Doe and Sam Brookes – three musical barnacles clinging to the creaking hull of a musical tradition stretching back over hundreds of years. Using just their voices they explore ballads, shanties and seafaring songs that tell tales of whaling ships, lost loves, roaring storms and hardship out at sea.
Fast becoming one of the most sort after shanty bands around, known as much for their heart rending three part harmonies as their lusty approach to singing shanties, the last few years have been extremely busy for the boys, seeing them playing folk clubs, harbour sides, beaches, boat sheds and festivals up and down the country. Particular highlights include being invited to perform in Holland at the International Sea Shanty Festival in Appingedam and the Naar Zee, Naar Zee Festival in Leiden where they met and exchanged songs with legendary shanty men, Stormalong John, Andy Kenna from Liverpool and Les Souillés de Fond de Cale from Brittany.
“Definitely love at first hearing for me”
– Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3 Late Junction
“Stunning voices that blend so beautifully, a real knock out”
The Fantasy Orchestra is a community project led by Jesse D Vernon, based in Bristol and also in Paris. The Orchestra (motto: ‘more is more’) brings together 40+ musicians, professional and amateur, to create a kaleidoscopic symphonic brigade.
Their eclectic repertoire covers film soundtracks (Morricone, Barry, RD Burman), rock and pop favourites (Hendrix, Beatles, Bowie), and some more obscure treasures. Think psychedelic loveliness, rousing choral noise, and some choice costumes.
A multi-instrumental acoustic trio based in Bristol, UK, featuring members of Spiro, Get The Blessing and Scottish Dance Theatre. As intricate as a team of watchmakers, as spare as a mountain stream, the music encompasses both a cinematic sweep and an intimate delicacy, in which “the aroma of muddy leaves and old nettles is almost tangible” (The Observer).
Their eponymous debut album was chosen by Cerys Matthews as one of her Top Five Modern Folk Albums; second album Holts And Hovers was fRoots Editor’s Choice Album of 2013, one of The Observer’s “Hidden Gems Of 2013”, and one of Acoustic Guitarist magazine’s 20 Essential Folk Albums.
These include works by Cornish-based feature-film director Brett Harvey, BAFTA-winning animator Emma Lazenby in collaboration with shadow-puppeteer Eleanor Glover, installation artists Kathy Hinde and Reuben Knutson, TV director Mark Taylor with Paul Hill & Duncan Fraser, cinematographer Adam Laity, acclaimed visual artist John Minton (who’s worked with Portishead and Get The Blessing, amongst many others), Finnish-based dance-filmmaker John Collingswood, award-winning scriptwriter and filmmaker Ollie Cullen, and ‘architectural’ animator Peter Northcott.
Expect the unexpected at every turn: star turns from landscapes in Dartmoor, Cornwall, North Wales, Bavaria, Finland, Norway and beyond; cutting-edge animations of epic and intimate proportions; joyous shadow-puppetry; even alfresco contemporary dance.
Come and catch an intimate semi-acoustic multimedia performance in The Wardrobe Theatre!
Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow-musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Hull has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. Weighted Mind is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull’s career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. With instrumentation comprised largely of mandolin, bass, and vocals, this is genre-transcending music at its best, with production by Béla Fleck and special harmony vocal guests Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens adding to the luster. Hull speaks eloquently, in her challenging and sensitive originals, her heartfelt vocals, and once again breaks new ground on the mandolin. Béla Fleck special guests on banjo on two tracks and duo partner, Ethan Jodziewicz, not only anchors the record on bass, but introduces us to a major new instrumental voice.
“I think she’s endless. I don’t see any boundaries. Talent like hers is so rare, and I don’t think it stops. It’s round.”
“She plays the mandolin with a degree of refined elegance and freedom that few have achieved.”
Well-known for his work with Cahalen Morrison, Tim O’Brien, Jayme Stone and more, the Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist oozes understated talent. We recently witnessed both Martin Simpson and Richard Hawley utterly floored by his skill. Truly a sublime musician!
Eli’s recent debut solo album, The Both, sees him taking the lead, on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.
The album focuses on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. They couldn’t have differed more, but together they shared a family. In this spirit, the theme of the album is duality: the first half showcases carefully built arrangements of six American folk songs, the second revisits these as instrumental passages, revealing new sides to the other.
Kentucky-based singer-songwriter Joan Shelley followed her debut album ‘Electric Ursa’ (2014) with ‘Over and Even’ (2015), which was named album of the year at NPR Music and in the Los Angeles Times. Rolling Stone gave it 4 stars and called it “a masterfully turned set of folk reflections.” Shelley made the record with guitarist Nathan Salsburg, recording the bulk of the tracks over just two days. She has since spent timing touring the US and Europe, and will be releasing an album in 2017.
Joan Shelley’s new album ‘Over And Even’ was written in the back of an abandoned beauty parlour on the island of Thessaloniki, a collection of smart, beautiful songs full of poetry, history, mystery and nature. She lands on a note like a laser beam on a diamond. People say her voice reminds them of Sandy Denny. It’s more than the vocal range; it’s a quiet power that draws you in.
Nuala Honan, a soulful artist, writer of fiercely fragile songs, player of deftly-wrought guitar and passionate singer of extraordinary charm and style. She has that uncanny ability to write new songs that sound like they have been written before, somehow conjuring the sense that the lyrics have been worn smooth by the passage of time. Bringing a fresh and captivating intimacy with the warming breath of a bubbling country heart and some traditional fireside honesty. The charming Nuala herself sure knows how to command an audience – all frothy hair, winsome smile, quick with a joke and a voice that would smack you round the ear when you least expected it.
There are at least 4 bands you might have seen Nuala Honan singing with around town, and plenty of Bristol events employ her skills, she even has a radio show on BCfm! But since the final chapter of Live in the Lion’s Den, an undiluted, uninterrupted, pure in it’s original form ‘Nuala Honan’ show has been a rare thing, soon to be rarer still in 2017, for this dazzling performer is taking a sabbatical to reconnect with her song-craft.
Nuala is putting together a special show with band members Kit Hawes, Ear Trumpet’s own John Blakeley and their Sheelanagig counter-part Jon Short, for a night of her own beautiful songs.
InMiriam “Ellie Rose Rusbridge is a rare and totally individual talent… Her music straddles folk, pop and classical and cannot be easily pigeonholed into any genre. In a favourite song of mine, ‘Hejira Again’, she responds to Joni Mitchell’s 1976 album and reveals a humility and awareness of the rich heritage of female singer-songwriters into which she has stepped.” – Sam Lee
A heavenly voice couched in spellbinding country & western ballads, with a devastating emotional delivery: Holly Macve is a fantastic addition to the Bella Union family, and her album Golden Eagle is one of the most remarkably assured debuts of this or any other year, especially given she’s though only 21 years old.
Despite her youth, Golden Eagle reveals she’s experienced enough strife to last a lifetime: parental splits, heartbreak, early career pitfalls…. Born in Galway in western Ireland, Macve and her sister were whisked away “in the night” by her mother from their errant father, to live with her grandparents in Yorkshire. Once in their own house, near the town of Holmfirth, Holly quickly responded to music: “My Grandad was a classical composer, and my mum sang, and she said I was singing before I was talking,” she recalls. Her mo-ther’s record collection – lots of old blues and Bob Dylan – shaped Holly’s impressionable mind, before she herself discovered the likes of Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash and Gillian Welch.
The Damien O’Kane Trio:
Damien O’Kane is a Northern Irish musician of many talents. Teamed up with master guitarist Steven Byrnes (Treacherous Orchestra/Kate Rusby) and Steven Iveson’s (Damien O’Kane Band) sublime and exhilarating electric guitar playing, this is a trio that take traditional Irish music and song and, in the words of the The Telegraph, turn it into ‘Folk-Pop that is Irish music for the 21st Century.’
O’Kane is a singer. A very good one, too, with a relaxed, assured, hypnotic vocal style that exudes a natural warmth and empathy with the colourful characters who occupy his songs. Added to his accomplished banjo and guitar skills, he is an artist of rich imagination and fearless vision.
Steeped in music, Damien grew up in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, with a deep respect and understanding of the folk tradition, yet which also forged a healthy appetite to explore its broadest borders and test its boundaries. All of which has culminated in his 2015 solo album ‘Areas Of High Traffic’ which, apart from proving he scrubs up well for a cover photo, takes some of the greatest songs in the folk canon – ‘The Blacksmith’, ‘The Banks Of The Bann’, ‘I Am A Youth’ and ‘The Green Fields Of America’ included – and reinvents them in refreshingly original ways.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 nominee for Best Album
“As magnificent a re-imagining of traditional folk as you are likely to hear.”
★★★★★ Sunday Express
“Could well become a crossover commercial success.”
A former electrician, who decided to change profession after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell is being described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years, and has delivered the album to prove them right.
After a promising debut album, The First Turn, back in 2009; Daoirí spent several years studying traditional music and performance at The University of Limerick. It was here that Fintan Vallely introduced him to the singing of the late Liam Weldon, an encounter that was to prove formative to his sound and his approach to folk song.
“Daoirí is one of the most important traditional singers to emerge in the last decade.”
“I’ve been listening to Daoirí’s emerging sounds since first hearing him at the Góilin Singers Club in Dublin when he was a young lad….always a treat to hear him sing.”
“Daoirí is a bit of a force of nature really. A rootsy one-man-band storyteller with great humour and presence and moments of heartfelt sensitivity.”
Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Folk Show
What attracts people to English folk music is never just one thing. There is the tradition – a taking and passing on of the people’s music. And there’s an otherness – the way a singer uniquely inhabits a song while echoes of its past remain. These are haunted tunes. That delicate balance between then and now, respect and reinvention, tradition and otherness has made Jackie Oates a name synonymous with the thrillingly rude health of English folk music in the 21st century.
A folk festival child, Jackie had the luxury of growing up surrounded by the music she plays. That unfair advantage meant she started her career as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. She went on to win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Horizon prize in 2009, and take home a statue for Best Traditional Track on the same night.
Jackie began recording as a member of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset (now known as The Unthanks). Her plaintive viola and voice helped define the dark Northumbrian sound that won them Mojo Magazine’s Folk Album Of The Year in 2005. As a solo artist Jackie Oates has surprised and beguiled critics and fans with each album; never repeating an idea or sticking to the safety of a formula. Yet at all times being unmistakably her.
“Over the course of her solo albums and side projects Jackie Oates has been in possession of one of the most gorgeous and lyrical singing voices. There is a faraway quality to it, as well as a melancholy and a note of surrender in the sweetness and warmth.”
“Velvet voiced treasure of the British folk music scene.”
Hands of the Heron is a fledgling folk collective who emerged from Bristol’s twisting streets during the strange autumn of 2016. Drawing influence from diverse musical sources such as Fleet Foxes, Joni Mitchell, This Is The Kit and Gustav Holst, their songcraft is inquisitive and intuitive, capturing moments of high emotion and distilling them into vivid, memorable melodies.
Sometimes there’s a couple of musicians, sometimes there’s six or seven. Together, they weave tales of love, loss and regeneration featuring mandolin and harmony vocals amid a changing cast of (mostly) string instruments.
Bethany Roberts is responsible for most of the songwriting, but she likes it best when other people join in. They are due to record their debut album in spring 2017.
Fara brings together four emerging musicians at the forefront of today’s young Scottish folk scene, Jennifer Austin, Kristan Harvey, Jeana Leslie and Catriona Price’s three fiddles and a piano, to produce a fiery sound rooted strongly in their upbringing among the music of Orkney.
Having been friends since early childhood, the girls grew up under the musical guidance of Douglas Montgomery (The Chair, Saltfishforty) with the three East Mainlanders of the band in fiddle group Hadhirgaan at Kirkwall Grammar School, and Kristan, a West Mainlander, in Jenny Keldie’s Shoramere at Stromness Academy. The four girls then went on to study south, and hold degrees from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Strathclyde University, The Royal Northern College of Music and The Royal Academy of Music. They have all since established themselves in the Scottish music scene winning prizes along the way which include the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, The Deutsche Bank Award in Performance and Composition, and the Danny Kyle Award.
The idea for the band came after several appearances as “The Chairettes”, The Chair’s backing band. At one gig, the girls were put on stage to play a couple of sets on their own, and Bob Gibbon, The Chair’s Accordionist and Orkney Folk Festival director, suggested they form a new band. To the Chair’s disappointment they decided to loose the name, and Fara was born.
With vibrant arrangements full of rich harmonies, energetic fiddle playing and driving piano, Fara’s show is sure to be an exciting one. With a mixture of self-penned and traditional Orkney tunes as well as stunning vocals, the girls’ combined musical experiences and friendships produce an exciting and individual sound.
“For me Fara were THE highlight of the 2014 Orkney Folk Festival. I saw every one of their gigs and they were exceptional. Their on stage banter and musicianship held every audience spellbound. I was thrilled to see them again at this year’s Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and there is an EP too. Sickeningly talented and mad as brushes. A potent combination. A real delight for any festival.”
“These girls will go far. They sing and play like they mean it.”
Douglas Montgomery, Saltfishforty, The Chair
Johns & Nowak
Camilla Johns & Andy Nowak met at a bluegrass festival. They are an English acoustic duo that like to have fun with American music; weaving together mandolin and guitar and singing songs of heartache and longing.
Their music is sometimes joyful, sometimes wistful; steeped in the American tradition and all that comes with it – from fiddle tunes to folk songs, from driving instrumentals and gentle ballads; some traditional, some self-penned.
Accomplished instrumentalists, they are a brand new duo that hail from a background of glitzy London folk bands, the Bristol jazz and UK acoustic music scene, with debut album of the year nominations and tuition from some of America’s greatest acoustic musicians.
Winners of the 2015 Spiral Earth Award for Best Debut, Cardboard Fox are an exciting new four piece with a fast growing fan base. This May the band followed up on the success of their EP by releasing their first full album, ‘Out of Mind’.
All four musicians have their roots in bluegrass music but their collective influences reach much further and this shows in their music. Formed in late 2013 in Bath, England, the band features the sibling harmonies of Charlotte and Laura Carrivick (the Carrivick Sisters) on guitar/vocals and fiddle/vocals respectively, the extraordinary talents of young mandolin player Joe Tozer and the driving and technically demanding double bass playing and harmony vocals of John Breese. With a focus on original songs with a strong pop sensibility and energetic live shows, this is a group of musicians who are very, very excited about what this line up can create and that’s what makes this acoustic quartet so special.
“An array of carefully crafted textures; often built on rich harmonic foundations… full of freshness and light.”
“Love this terrific new EP from Cardboard Fox… whole thing is ace!”
Jacobs & Drinkwater
Devon based duo Jacob & Drinkwater have been called ‘stand out new Folk’ by BBC6 Music and ‘inventive and thrilling’ by R2 Magazine. Their November indie release ‘The Burning Low EP’ has garnered airplay and glowing reviews from such quarters as Radio 2’s Folk Show, BBC 6’s Tom Robinson, Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing, BBC Bristol, FRUK, Fatea, Spiral Earth, Louder Than War and ‘Whispering’ Bob TV.
Singer- songwriter Tobias ben Jacob first received wider acclaim as part of The Roots Union with BBC Folk Award winners Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin including playing live at Maida Vale Studios and recording in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few years out from music he returned with the 2014 release ’The St Sidwells Session’ and a run of summer festivals including Glastonbury and Larmer Tree.
His honest and original songwriting weaves in themes of love, memory, adversity and hope; ranging from the nostalgic images of a Northern childhood ‘in the shadow of a burnt out mill’ (Two Wanderers In 1980’s Clothes) to the trials and adventures of 21st Century life ‘Oh let me breathe, let me fly, let me live a polyphonic life’ (A Polyphonic Life.)
Lukas Drinkwater is rightly referred to as ‘one of busiest musicians in the UK.’ In demand as a performer and session player in the worlds of folk and jazz he has featured on many acclaimed albums. Currently touring with Ange Hardy, he has also worked with 3 Daft Monkeys, Jim Causley, Lack of Afro, Lucy Ward, Tankus The Henge, Sam Kelly, The Little Unsaid and more.
The duo’s dynamic and emotionally charged live show with all its energy, musical chemistry and spontaneity has drawn comparisons with the virtuosic pairing of John Martyn and Danny Thompson. Jacob’s sweeping vocals never fail to captivate, delivering many a spine-tingling moment; the fluidity and precision of his finger-picking underpinned by Drinkwater’s nimbly rhythmic double bass; at times sweetly soaring, haunting, percussive and driving, the layers of depth a perfect counterfoil. The added compliment of stirring vocal harmonies nicely rounds off the mix.
“Definitely one to watch out for.”
Late Junction, BBC Radio 3
“A fresh and uplifting sound.”
Folk Radio UK
“Stand out new Folk… superb.. excellent.”
Chris Hawkins, BBC Radio 6
“Uplifting rootsy acoustic music of the finest quality.”
With roots in the Great Lakes State of Michigan, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys have been on the road almost non-stop all over the USA – coast-to-coast and north-to-south – since issuing their 2012 record, Release Your Shrouds.
That album showcased the band’s instrumental ingenuity, Lindsay Lou’s stunning vocal range…and self-penned material that makes them special. It was the Here Between EP that finally got them the level of attention they deserved in Europe with a huge amount of radio exposure and supportive words from reviewers. Listen to the title track, or the gorgeously-presented cover of May Erlewine’s The River Jordan, and you will hear why many are saying this young lady has the panache to establish herself as a household name.
It’s been said there is something for everyone in the live performances – real passionate affairs that stir the blood and exhilarate – from bluesy works of wonder to blistering bluegrass beauty. The band certainly has a fresh approach to the American roots genres which are explored and confidently conquered.
The EP served as a valuable snapshot of their own distinctive and ever-evolving sound and also acted as a guide to what’s to come when the next full album arrives.
When it went into circulation around the UK, reaction was instantaneous. “Fantastic” declared Marie Crichton as she played them on her BBC show, “intoxicating” was how Folkwords summed them up, while Beat Surrender praised their “great vocals and tight-knit playing.”
We caught them in action at the Folk Alliance International in Kansas City back in February, 2014, when they created so much excitement that we were thrilled at the prospect of introducing the group to audiences on this side of the Atlantic.
While Lindsay Lou and husband Joshua Rilko are a perfect meant-to-be pairing, entertaining dobro maestro Mark Lavengood is a supercharged sidekick and bassman PJ George, as well as being the band’s powerfully-impressive anchor, serves up honey-sweet vocal harmonies.
They are all great friends both on and off the stage.
“She has rising talent written all over her.”
From Johnson City Tennessee, Amythyst Kiah describes herself as a Southern Gothic, alt-country blues singer-songwriter. Her influences span decades and diverse styles: combining rhythm and blues and old-time covers alongside startling originals with an angular contemporary twist, she bestrides both spheres with complete authenticity and authority. Channelled through her massively expressive voice, this richly layered repertoire confirms Amythyst’s emergence as a hugely distinctive new artist.
“She has rising talent written all over her. A 29-year-old with a striking shock of hair and a huskily expressive voice which modulates between strength and tenderness, Kiah strides comfortably across jazz, blues and even country styles.” The Scotsman
“Amythyst Kiah is going to be famous…the best way to experience her music is in person. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that Amythyst Kiah will remind you what it is to love live music.”
Dila V & The Oddbeats
Fronted by Dila Vardar’s bewitching vocals, The Odd Beats unfailingly deliver an exhilarating, exuberant and intercontinental sonic journey. Their Bosporus-straddling blend of Turkish folk, psychedelic flair and irresistible Balkan dance beats comes with sinuous hints of Greek Rebetiko amongst other tasty world music flavours. theoddbeats.com
As a singer-songwriter Phil King has the whole trinity: a beautiful, soulful singing voice; deft skills at playing the guitar and the capacity to write elegantly worded and powerful songs. His new album The Wreckage released earlier this year has already caught excellent media attention with Radio 2’s Bob Harris describing him as “Absolutely Brilliant” and a “Song Weaver”. With years of touring under his belt Phil is embarking on a string of solo shows to promote his new live album in March/April 2017. Please do get in touch if you are interested. phil-king.net
Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow
Best known as the virtuoso guitar and fiddle players from the band Sheelanagig, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow draw on their many influences to created unique arrangements of traditional music, as well as their own compositions. The live show is a musical journey through Europe, America and beyond, combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship. kithawesandaaroncatlow.com
Best know as Me and My Friends frontman Nick Rasle produces a reflective, soulful blend of acoustic music featuring a uniquely rich and tender vocal style. Nods to Billie Holiday, Jeff Buckley and Ali Farka Toure create an arresting, intertwining texture unlike any other, with some highly imaginative re-workings of old tunes intermingling with his own distinctive original compositions. soundcloud.com/nickrasle
Hands of The Heron:
Solo outing of Hands of The Heron (alias of fantastic folk songwriter Bethany Roberts) who weaves tales of love, loss and regeneration by drawing together musical snapshots featuring poetry, mandolin and harmony vocals amid a changing cast of (mostly) string instruments. http://soundcloud.com/handsoftheheron