Wolfstone with Duncan Chisholm , Lucy Ward , Andy Kershaw , Katy Rose Bennett , Landermason , ‘The Liberty to Choose’ with Lucy Ward, Jackie Oates, James Findlay and Brian Peters , The Urban Folk Quartet , Hadrian’s Union CD Launch Party , The Young Musicians Showcase
Wolfstone dragged Scottish music – sometimes kicking and screaming, but always quite loudly — into the world of rock. They were loud and proud and transferred Seattle’s grunge ethic from the Pacific Northwest to the Highlands, applying it to both traditional and their original music. It all began in 1989 when multi award winning fiddler Duncan Chishome put together a ceilidh band to play dances in the Highlands. With a blend of electric & acoustic guitars, fiddle, pipes & pulsating percussion, Wolfstone are now the world’s premier Celtic Fusion band. They are named after the “Wolfstone”, a Pictish stone originally sited at Ardross, Easter Ross, close to where the band initially recorded.
Since she won ‘Best Newcomer’ – in the 2012 Folk Awards, Lucy has taken the folk world by storm. Her winning stage presence, versatility and passionate delivery have made a big impact on audiences across the piece. Her eclectic repertoire includes modern folk songs and occasional pop covers, but she can turn in a powerful performance of a traditional song too.
“She was born with stage presence and played an amazing set. Her voice is like an angel’s and she’s hilarious too”. -Efestivals
The Elephant Sessions are an uplifting Scottish Neo-Trad quintet that combines traditional Scottish folk music with more modern genres. Drawing on influences from many different genres, The Elephant Sessions are renowned for their breathtaking live shows where they create a progressive blend of intricate tunes, engulfing guitars, monstrous bass and pounding drums. Elephant Sessions won Up and Coming Artist of the Year in the 2014 Scots Trad Music Awards and in 2016 were nominated as best live act.
James comes from a family of folk singers and his enthusiasm lies firmly within the English tradition. He is particularly passionate about songs from his home counties of Dorset, Somerset and Devon. He couples this with an extensive repertoire and love for song that shows through his knowledge and understanding of the material. The trio include Alfie Gidley and Jon Dyer.
“Bloody hell, what a voice! This was my first thought as he launched into his songs. He’s warmly charismatic with that sparkle of personality that draws a crowd along with him.” – Jon Boden
Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita Wales/Senegal
This project is a stunning shared musical journey between two world class virtuosos – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita. Seckou is both a member of the royal Keita dynasty from Mal, and a griot, a traditional West African praise singer. He has built a formidable reputation as “an inspired exponent of the kora”(The Guardian) and is “a brilliant live performer with stacks of charisma” (Lucy Duran, Radio BBC3). Harpist Catrin Finch is one of Wales’ leading international musical ambassadors, and one of the world’s finest players of this most Welsh of instruments. Her concert appearances with the world’s top orchestras span the globe, Catrin Finch is once again proving her radical and adventurous musical spirit with this wedding of Welsh and West African musical culture.
We welcome Sarah, and her trio back to MOM. Her music is a fusion of jazz, folk and blues knitted together by poetic, streetwise lyricism. The Guardian’s jazz critique John Fordham describes Gillespie as ‘(joining) Bob Dylan’s lyrical bite and languid delivery to the forthrightness of Joni Mitchell, with a little rap-like percussiveness thrown in, she is an original.” Sarah also writes political papers published on various news websites, paints, performs poetry and hosts song writing workshops.
The haunting sounds of Spanish bagpipes can now be heard at MOM with this Kendal based band playing traditional music from the province of Galicia in North-West Spain.
Bill Lloyd said “We are very lucky to have a skilled arranger as our pipe band master – Colin Blakey is very experienced in all kinds of traditional music, and has spent a lot of time transcribing the authentic ornamentation and percussion grooves, so the band sounds as close as possible to a genuine Spanish Gaita band. Colin has also arranged some traditional Northumbrian tunes for the pipes, so we can play some of our own folk music as well.”
“It is an exhilarating sound – lively and uplifting, and Galician pipe music has gorgeous harmonies which give it a sweet sound, similar to Scottish bagpipes, but with its own distinctive character. Galicia is a Celtic culture, and the tunes have similarities to Irish and Scottish music, but they also include syncopated dance tunes such as the Rumba, which are unknown in other Celtic music. The Gaita bagpipe was very popular in medieval times, but fell out of favour until the 1970s, when the folk music revival rediscovered the instrument and it became hugely popular, with hundreds of Gaita bands springing up all over Galicia.”
Steve Turner is known as a pioneer of highly sophisticated English concertina song accompaniments, stretching the boundaries of traditional forms, with one of the best voices in the business. He is a multi-instrumentalist, who also accompanies himself on the cittern, and also plays mandolin and banjo .After a thirteen year break, building up an internationally known stringed instrument business, he made a welcome return to performing in folk clubs and festivals in 2005. His 6th album “Rim of the Wheel” was released in spring 2012 and received rave reviews.
The Rochdale lad who became LeedsUniversity’s greatest impresario, BBC broadcaster, controversialist and foreign correspondent talks about his life. Recollections from times spent on the front lines of rock & roll and on the front lines of some of the world’s most extreme and dangerous countries.
A fascinating and often hilarious two hour audio-visual presentation from ‘the finest British broadcaster bar none… an amazing man’ -Stephen Fry.
Tom Moore, Archie Churchill-Moss and Jack Rutter hail from three distinct regions of the UK – they combine musical material, style and tradition from Norfolk, Somerset and Yorkshire respectively. Since 2009, Moore Moss Rutter have been playing as a trio, meticulously reworking English tunes and compositions into sets and songs which have been described as “intelligently crafted musical adventures”. Often praised for musical “maturity and sophistication”, it is their aim to carefully create soundscapes of mellow and precisely engineered beauty – as well as wild builds of tension and tempestuous climaxes. The trio have performed widely, at venues and events ranging from Glastonbury, to folk clubs and living rooms. Moore Moss Rutter are winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2011.
‘The Liberty to Choose’ is a celebration of the best in English traditional song. In this special performance, Jackie Oates, Lucy Ward, James Findlay and Brian Peters combine their talents to produce superb arrangements of rare gems and old favourites from the landmark collection, ‘The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs’, with fiddles, guitars, melodeon and concertina, and four great voices combining in harmony. Originally conceived by Brian for the 2013 CD of the same name (Fellside Records FECD257, also featuring Bella Hardy) ‘The Liberty to Choose’ proves that the old songs stand the test of time!
“Thoroughly satisfying, rich in not only inventive approaches but also some imaginative surprises… treating the songs with respect, but not deference.” The Living Tradition
The Urban Folk Quartet’s distinguishing features have much less to do with the traditional idea of genre. Yes, this is fiddle-led music that draws heavily from celtic dance forms and traditional song but from there on in it is unlike any folk band you have ever heard. Just as English country dance unassumingly met with big band jazz musicianship in the mid 20th century, The UFQ’s approach to the folk ethos is to embrace any and every influence that genuinely makes sense of their time and place and makes sense in their music. From funk grooves to middle-eastern melodies, afrobeat to north Indian rhythms.
“UFQ are impossibly Wonderful“ – fRoots
Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle) and Craig Irving (guitar) create a captivating, energetic and dynamic sound that, in little more than a year, has earned them multiple award wins and nationwide media and audience attention, as well as a nomination for Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the 2015 MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Most recently, Amini was crowned the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, adding to their collective trophy cabinet that far belies their years.
The musicianship is phenomenal, the enthusiasm infectious – Folk Radio UK
Music on the Marr’s patron, Roy Bailey is one of those remarkable musicians who by simply singing songs changes people’s lives and the world around them. Now in his 82nd year he has been singing other peoples songs and making them completely his own – usually containing a world changing message, embarrassing politicians and keeping the flame of socialism and internationalism burning bright in the darkest of times. He started playing skiffle 56 years ago in student bars; he has since appeared at The Royal Albert Hall and toured around the world. He is held by his fellow musicians as a great singer and trail blazer.
Roy had a new album ‘Live At Towersey Folk Festival 2015’, where he is also patron.” …he shows himself to be still well capable of drawing – and keeping in thrall – a massive audience in live performance”. David Kidman
Brian believes strongly in the power and relevance of the old songs, specializing particularly in the great ballads of the British Isles, riveting stories set in music: “Brian Peters plunges deep into the ancient songs, finds their power, mystery, evil, drollery and courage, and brings them to us fresh”, declared one American writer. His accompaniments on three instruments give a wide range of musical textures to his songs, and his live presentation, Songs of Trial & Triumph, focusing on ballads from the Child collection, has been well-received at many festivals. Though in performance he’s not a traditional diehard, including songs from unexpected sources, and never forgetting that folk music is meant to be accessible, and fun.
A former BBC Young Folk finalist, Katy has been writing strikingly original songs since she was 12, releasing three albums as KTB from 2002 – 2009. She took a break from performing while she trained as a music therapist but she returned in 2016 with her new album, ‘Songs of the River Rea’ – her most confident and personal yet.
“Eleven exquisitely crafted songs”- Three Chords and the Truth UK
Keith Donnelly has been our MC at Music on the Marr since the early days spreading mirth whoever he goes. He brings his own body weight in comedy gold to each and every set. In no particular order, Keith has been described as “a superbly original Stand-Up,” “a great singer-songwriter,” “a fine guitarist,” “a kids entertainer par excellence,” “a stunning storyteller,” and “the cleanest comic I’ve ever seen.” Never were truer words spoken, as you shall see for yourselves when he takes to the stage to delight, amuse and entertain. He has written substantial live Stand-Up routines and TV material for the likes of Phil Cool and Jasper Carrott, as well as having written for TV companies such as Celador (the ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ people) and Ragdoll (the ‘Tellytubbies’ people).
Never, ever, offensive – safe to bring your kids, your mother or your great-great-granny too!
Two of Scotland’s foremost musicians, Multi- instrumentalist, teacher, composer and vocalist Hamish Napier (Back of the Moon, Mans Ruin) and ”drenched in talent” fiddler Adam Sutherland (The Treacherous Orchestra, Session A9, Croft No5, Peatbog Fairies) come to Music on the Marr with the always exciting ‘Nae Plans’. Every show is strictly and deliberately unrehearsed, there is no set list; none knows what will happen next; It’s all off the cuff, capturing the duos’ raw creativity and demonstrating their outstanding musical intuition and sharp wit. Nae Plans have just released their second album ‘Nae Plans Vol. II Live’. Don’t miss this.
Legendary Congolese musician Kanda Bongo Man comes to Music on the Marr.
He is known for the structural changes he implemented to soukous music, the dance music of Zaire. The previous approach was to sing several verses and have one guitar solo at the end of the song. Kanda Bongo Man revolutionized soukous by encouraging guitar solos after every verse and even sometimes at the beginning of the song. His form of soukous gave birth to the kwassa kwassa dance rhythm where the hips move back and forth while the hands move to follow the hips.
“Kanda Bongo Man sure knows how to have fun. This is some of the most joyous music I’ve ever heard, heavy on both melody and rhythm.” Option Magazine
The Brothers Gillespie (James and Sam) have just released their debut album ‘Songs from the Outlands’. They grew up in a village in Northumberland on the edge of what was once the Roman Empire – now part of a wide area of borderland between the River Tyne and the firth of Forth, rich in tradition and song. Blending expressive guitar and fiddle work with rich vocal harmony, they play old and new music drawn from the roots and rising from the cultural streams that flow into that land.
“Well this is a rare treat… These are the kind of tunes that appear to have been constructed from bracken and wildflowers and are quietly superb. If you like proper folk music, then do seek them out.” The Crack Magazine
Marc Block has made many very well-received festival appearances in recent years and through his association with festival patron Roy Bailey he has become a regular at MOM. Currently performing solo, he is gaining a reputation as a fine songwriter and interpreter of traditional songs. His two albums: The Hawthorn Spring and more recently Bright and Breezy released last year, have both received critical acclaim. His interpretation of Don McLean’s song Vincent has become an instant classic.
“One of the most exciting singers I have heard in a long time” – Mike Harding
‘Landermason’ are a duo like no other! Multi instrumentalist Fiona Lander (vocals, piano, whistles, saxes, clarinet and recorder) and Paul Mason (guitars and vocals) have developed a unique sound which displays their undoubted talents. Often described as ‘refreshingly different, they combine both traditional and contemporary folk with jazz and other styles in their beautiful compositions and striking arrangements. Their live sound is impressive, full of variety and with plenty of audience interaction.
Hadrian’s Union are a five piece Contemporary Folk Indie band from the debateable lands of England and Scotland. They have been resident at MOM since 2010 and they were signed to Fellside Records in 2013.They now have a new line-up: Stew Simpson (Guitar/Vocals); BBC 2 Folk Award winners Brian Bell (Bass) and Robin Jowett (Melodeon and Keys) both associated with Whapweasel; BBC 2 Folk Awards semi-finalist Malcolm Bushby (Violin) previous bands include Folkestra and Tom McConville Band ; David Pratt (Drums) associated with Poison Whiskey Band, Man With Stick and Peg Powler. Influences include: Lindisfarne, Home Service, Stackridge, Bonzo Dog Dooh Dah Band.
They will be launching their new album at MOM this year.
Local resident Max did a show at MOM last year and received a standing ovation. Now he is back and he will be singing some of the songs from his new album ‘Northern Hills’.
Originally from North Yorkshire, Max was one of the founders of the thriving Skipton Folk Club and a member of the clubs resident band ‘Jigsaw’ who gigged all over Yorkshire and Lancashire. Soon after moving to Cumbria he retired from playing to spend more time with his new family but he is now performing again with a batch of new songs. He has lost nothing with the passage of time and he is as enthusiastic and tuneful as ever. Max can also be seen at the festival as a founder member of The D’Ukes ukulele band and in the pub singing (and drinking) in the sessions and enjoying the crack.
Bill Lloyd is a musical gem, well known as a live performer in Cumbria, the Borders and North, both as a soloist, and with The Wildwood Band and The Willy Ruby Band. His material is wide-ranging and includes the ‘high lonesome’ sound of Appalachian Mountain music, country rock and bluegrass, with contemporary and traditional English Irish and Scottish ballads, traditional European dance music, and his own songs; he has developed a personal and distinctive voice, all with strong lyrics and banjo accompaniment in the clawhammer and frailing styles. He is a well respected teacher of whistles, pipes and banjo. Look out for his workshops at MOM.