Thursday, 31 March 2016




The big event in the folk calendar for this month is of course the BBC Radio2 Folk Awards, which this year is back at the Royal Albert Hall

The ceremony which will be presented by Mark Radcliffe is on April 27 with doors opening at 6.30pm and the event starting at 7.15pm. 
Performing on the night will be Mercury Nominated Sam Lee, veteran singer/songwriters Joan Armatrading, Norma Waterson, both of whom will be receiving lifetime achievement awards, highly acclaimed sisters Rachel and Becky who are The Unthanks, guitar legend Mark KnopflerThe John McCusker Band, husband and wife duo Kathryn Robert & Sean Lakeman and new Irish sensations Lynched.
The legendary Sandy Denny will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The entire ceremony will broadcast live on BBC Radio2 and can also be viewed live on the Radio2 website.

The full list of nominees are:
Folk singer of the year
Eliza CarthyRhiannon Giddens, Sam Lee and Emily Portman
Best duo
Gilmore & RobertsPhillip Henry & Hannah MartinKathryn Roberts & Sean LakemanMarry Waterson & David A. Jaycock
Best group
Leveret, Lynched, Stick In The WheelThe Young’uns
Best Album
Damien O’KaneAreas of High Traffic;  Lynched – Cold Old Fire ; The Unthanks – Mount The AirFalse Lights – Salvor; Show of HandsThe Long Way Home
Horizon Award
Rosie HoodSam Kelly, Lynched, The Rheingans Sisters
Musician of the year
Ross AinslieAndy CuttingRichard ThompsonDan Walsh
Best Original Track
The Rheingans Sisters – Mackerel; Marry Waterson & David A. Jaycock – Sing Me Into Your Tune; Rufus & Martha Wainwright – Sweet Thames, Flow Softly; Spiro – The Vapourer
Best traditional track
Sam Lee – Lovely Molly; Ghazalaw – Moliannwn; Stick In The Wheel – Seven Gypsies; The Furrow Collective – The Unquiet Grave
BBC Radio2 Young Folk Award
Causeway Trio, Brighde Chaimbeul, Jack CooksonBenammi Swift.

Best duo nominees Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman have a full schedule for April starting on the first at The Convent, Gloucester at 8pm. Tickets are £15 plus £1.75 booking fee and there is a minimum age of 14. The next night they play The Civic, Barnsley again at 8pm. Tickets are £14.50 plus £1.50 booking fee and they will be supported by the Bar Steward Sons of Val Doonican. On April 3 they move onto Victory Hall, Nr. Leeds and the show starts as above. Tickets are £12.50 and may incur a postage charge. Then on April 6 the duo go on to Ramsbottom Civic Hall, Manchester. Show time is the same. Tickets are £16 and support is from Kitty Macfarlane. The following night they play Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax and show time is as above. Tickets are £13 or £11 with concessions including the booking fee. They move onto Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor on April 8. Show time as above and tickets are £16.50 including booking fee. On April 9 they play The Hothouse, Morecambe. The show starts 7.30pm and tickets are available for the reduced rate of £10 (£7 concessions) in advance. On the night, tickets will cost £12 (£9 concessions).
Then on April 15 it's off to Oxford Folk Weekend, Oxford. Show starts 8pm and there are a wide range of ticket options available. Next on April 16 it's The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington. Show starts 8pm and tickets are from £11 to £14 and carry a 5% booking fee. The following night they play Exeter Phoenix, Exeter. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £13.50. Next on April 18 is Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester. Doors open 7.45pm and tickets are £12.50 or £10.50 with concessions. They head for the Midlands on April 20 to play the Artrix, Bromsgrove. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £15 plus £1.50 booking fee. Then on April 21 they are off to Opera House, Buxton. Show starts 8pm and tickets range from £7.50 to £15 depending upon status. The following night they are off to Arc, Stockton On Tees. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £12.50, the duo will be supported by Maz O'Connor. On April 23 they play the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool starting at 8pm and this time supported by Kitty Macfarlane. Tickets are £14. They end the month on a high playing The Royal Albert Hall, London for the Folk Awards.

Bella Hardy has a busy start to the month playing at the Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot on April 1. the show starts 8pm and tickets are £15 or £13.50 with concessions. Then she will be moving on to The Junction, Cambridge the following night. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £15 in advance. Those who hold memberships to the venue may be eligible for discounts. This is followed by a gig at Salisbury Arts Centre on April 3. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £15 or £13 with concessions members are £14 and £12. She then comes to The Convent in Stroud on April 6. Doors open 8pm and tickets are £22.50 in advance plus booking fee. Minimum age for entry is 14. The following night, April 7, she can be seen at The Greystones, Sheffield then on April 8. Show starts 8pm and tickets are £16. She then moves on to The Grand, Clitheroe. The show starts at 7.45pm and tickets are £14 in advance. This is followed by The Brunton, Musselburgh on April 9. Show starts 7.30pm and tickets are £16.50 or £14.50 with concessions. Tickets booked online will incur a booking fee.

Midlands outfit, The Urban Folk Quartet will be heading back to home turf at the MAC Birmingham on April 8 as part of their 2016 Spring Tour.
The line up will include Staffordshire banjo player Dan Walsh has been nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award 2016 for Best Musician. The band is taking part in the Joss Stone & Friends gig for children's charity Barnados at London's Roundhouse on May 15. The show starts 7pm and tickets start from £50 plus booking fees. The show at the MAC will be recorded for quartet's sixth album, provisionally titled Live III which is likely to be released towards the end of the year.
The concert at the MAC begins 8pm and tickets are £14 or £10 with concessions.  Tel: 0121 446 3232
They will also play Civic Arts Centre, Oswaldtwistle, 155 Union Road BB5 3HZ on April 2 with the show starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 and £8 plus booking fee. The will also play The Folk House40a Park Street BS1 5JGBristol on April 9. Tickets £12.50 on the door or £9.50 in advance. Then Maldon Town Hall, Market Hill, CM9 4PZ on April 15. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £17.50. The Moreton Millennium Community Centre then welcomes the band on April 16. Doors open 7pm and the show starts 7.30pm. Tickets are £12. Finally on April 21 you can see them at Alexander's, Rufus Court, Chester on April 21. Show starts 8pm  and tickets are £6 in advance or £8 on the door, there is also £26 ticket which includes a pre-Show Dinner.

Steve Tilston also has a busy April ahead when during his tour he will be teaming up with Jez Lowe in sunny Spain.
Unfortunately for those who want tickets to his show on Friday 1 at Bingham Folk Club is sold out.
On Sunday April 3 his special guest will be harmonica player Keith Warmington at Chapel Arts Centre,where the show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £12.
Then on April 12 he plays Green Man Folk & Acoustic Club, Green Man pub, Church Road, Long Itchington. Contact 01926 812208
Following this Tilston plays Folk in the Cellar, Unison Club, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln LN1 1EZ on April 23 where tickets are £9.50.
He is off to sunnier climes on April 26 and 27 where he plays Costa del Folk Festival, BH Hotel, Magaluf, Mallorca. The first one being solo and the second with Lowe. Prices and flights information are available from the festival website.
Then on April 29  he plays Wessex Acoustic, Royal British Legion, Church Lane, Blandford Forum DT11 7AD. The show starts at 7.45pm and tickets are £12 or £10 in advance but if booked through tickets are website are subject to a booking fee.
To finish the month on April 30 he will play South Pool Hall, South Pool, nr Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2RP with Warmington again being his special guest.

New band August Wells finished 2015 on a high note, supporting Glen Hansard at a sold out show at New York’s Beacon Theatre. August Wells are Dubliner Ken Griffin (ex-Rollerskate Skinny, Favourite Sons) and New York pianist John Rauchenberger. Their new single Here in the Wild, out in the UK on April 22nd on FIFA Records is a thoughtful, piano and string track. The band come to the UK in July for shows and are available for sessions.

Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou will be playing Kino Teatr, St Leonards on Sea on April 22. Show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £5.

Scottish singer Eddi Reader is well under way with her tour and on April 1 plays  Upper Mill Civic Hall, Saddleworth, Oldham at time of posting no ticket information was available from the venue website. The following night April 2 she plays Atkinson Arts Centre, Southport. The show starts 8pm and tickets are £22.50 plus a £1 booking fee, credit card payments over the counter will incur a 2% card fee. She comes to the West Midlands on April 3 playing The Glee Club, Birmingham. She will be supported by local singer songwriter Dan Whitehouse. Tickets are £22.50. Doors open 7pm, last entry is 7.40pm and the show starts 7.45pm. There is a minimum age 16 for the show. Reader then moves on the Maltings, Ely on April 5 but unfortunately if you don't already have your ticket the show is sold out. On April 7 she moves on to the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendall. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £22.50 in advance, £24.50 standard and £26.50 on the night. There is also a £1.50 booking fee.  Again she will be supported by Dan Whitehouse.

Some of the old guard of Planxty and The Bothy Band, including Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, are teaming up as Usher's Island to play the Róisín Dubh on April 7 at 7.30pm. Tickets are 20 euros.
Usher's Island are Irvine, Lunny, one of Ireland's leading trad fiddlers, Paddy Glackin, Mike McGoldrick of Lunasa and Capercaillie and Slas' John Doyle.
Tickets are available at, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.

Cecil Sharp House in London has a full programme of events and concerts for the month. The Sharp Folk Club is held throughout the month with dates on April 5, 12, 19, 26 and all starting at 8pm. Entrance is £3.50 or £3 if you are performing.
On Wednesday April 6 the venue plays host to a double header of young duo Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar and acclaimed singer/songwriter Luke Jackson. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are £12.
The venue welcomes Moore Moss Rutter, who are Tom Moore, Archie Churchill-Moss and Jack Rutter on April 13. Times and ticket prices are as above. Lucy Ward graces the venue on April 20 with the show starting at 7.30pm and tickets are £12. John McCusker brings his 25th Anniversary Tour to Cecil Sharp's on April 28 where the show starts at 7pm and tickets are £16.50. There are also a wide range of workshops and classes available for full details visit the venue's website.


New releases this month include The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc whose album Deliverance comes out on April 1 through NFB Records. NFB are Norwegian Olav Luksengard Mjelva, Scot Kevin Henderson and Swede Anders Hall. The album will be available from the band's website and through Proper Records. You can see them live at  Kingskerswell Parish Church, Newton Abbot on April 26; Heath Street Baptist Church, London on April 27; Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham on April 28; Denholm Church, Denholm, Scottish Borders on April 29 and Kilbarchan Arts Centre, Scotland on April 30.

Will Pound & Eddy Jay release their debut album Ignite on April 8. The album features some of the most incredible, intriguing and eclectic music from two masters of the harmonica and accordion. There will be two album launch events first as a live streamed gig from The Convent, Stroud on April 14 and then on April 18 they will do the London launch at The Green Note. You can also catch them at the Costa del Folk from April 24 to 25. The Big Session Festival, Buxton on April 30.

The Paul McKenna Band release Paths That Wind on April 8. You can catch them this month at The Davy Lamp Folk Club, Tyne & Wear on April 2.  Edinburgh Folk Club on April 13. Plockton High School on April 14.  Bishopton Folk Night, Bishopton Community Centre, Gledstane Rd, Bishopton, Renfrewshire, Scotland. PA7 5AU on April 22. Biggar Corn Exchange on April 29 and Girvan Folk Festival on April 30.

Scottish outfit Dallahan's second album Matter of Time is released on Dallahan Music on April 11. They can be seen at Eastgate Theatre, Peebles on April 1, The Folk Club at the Admiral's Bar, Glasgow on April 2, Aros Theatre, Isle of Skye on April 6, Arisaig Hotel, Arisaig on the 7th, Eigg Community Hall, Isle of Eigg on April 8, Inverie Hall, Knoydaft on April 9, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh on April 11. The following night they play The Fish Pond, Matlock, Bath, then on April 13  you can catch them at Clayhidon Parish Hall, Cullompton, Devon. On April 15 they Evershot Village Hall, West Dorset, this is followed by a gig at Black Dog Village Hall, Crediton, Devon on April 16. Then on April 17  the are at the EMN Hall, West Somerset, followed by a gig at The Green Note, London on April 19 and then Hatton Castle, Aberdeenshire on April 23.

Award-winning folk artist Claire Hastings releases her debut album Between River and Railway on April 29 through Highlander Music. Winner of the BBC Young Traditional Musician of the Year Award in 2015, Hastings recorded her first album in Glasgow and it was produced by Treacherous Orchestra's Ali Hutton.

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