NEW from This Is The Kit: “This is What You Did”

Taken from This Is The Kit’s new album ‘Off Off On’ out October 23rd, pre-order here: https://thisisthekit.ffm.to/offoffon

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New song and album from the legendary Shirley Collins

As recently announced, Shirley Collins will release her second album for Domino on July 24th. Entitled Heart’s Ease, it is an enthralling new LP from a woman who is widely acknowledged as England’s greatest female folk singer. Collins is pleased to share the second song from the record, “Sweet Greens and Blues”.

One of the album’s non-traditional tracks, the lyrics for “Sweet Greens and Blues” were written by Shirley’s first husband Austin John Marshall,

a graphic artist and poet who produced several of her albums and had the inspired idea of getting Shirley to work with blues/jazz/world music guitarist Davy Graham on the extraordinary album Folk Roots, New Routes in 1964. The song found its way onto Heart’s Ease after Collins “came across a tape among the hundreds I have got – and there was me singing it in the Sixties, with Davy Graham playing guitar”. This charmingly quirky song about Collins and Marshall’s life at the time had never been recorded before and Shirley wanted to record it for her children. The album version of “Sweet Greens and Blues” features Nathan Salsburg (curator of the Alan Lomax Archive at the Association for Cultural Equity in the US) on guitar.

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BBC Folk Music Programme Changes Criticised

Open letter to BBC asks for confirmation of the broadcaster’s commitment to folk music.

Following the cancellation of various folk music radio shows across the BBC in England, CEO of English Folk Expo, Tom Besford, has written an open letter, asking for clarity on the media organisation’s commitment to folk music. 

Addressed to James Purnell, BBC’s Director of Radio and Education, the letter calls for the BBC’s support of folk, roots and acoustic music through music programming. During the pandemic, various folk music shows have been cancelled, including BBC Radio Sheffield’s New Traditions with Greg Russell, BBC Radio Shropshire’s Genevieve Tudor’s Sunday Folk, Johnny Coppin on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s The Folk ShowKent Folk on BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Thursday Night Folk, and The Durbervilles on BBC Radio Leeds, among others. 

Additionally, The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2, England’s main folk music show on the BBC, was changed from 7pm to 9pm before the pandemic, and since then it has been temporarily changed to a now pre-recorded show airing at 11pm. 

The letter from Besford reads: 

Folk music relies on the support of the subsidised BBC. Musicians need the air play not just for profile, not just to keep audiences engaged with specialist music, but for the financial return from music licensing. Many also fear that once we come through this crisis back towards normality, there is a risk that much of this valued and loved content may never return. 

English Folk Expo calls on the BBC to play their part in supporting specialist music, reinstate the axed shows, return the main national show to a more prominent time slot and make announcements on the annual Folk Awards (or equivalent replacement). It is during a crisis such as this that the licence fee payers expect the BBC to provide cultural leadership, not remove support from an industry already brought to its knees.

To read the full letter, visit https://www.englishfolkexpo.com/folk-on-the-bbc-an-open-letter/

Source: BBC Folk Music Programme Changes Criticised

Read more about British Folk Music on THE HOBBLEDEHOY


The Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020

The Cambridge Folk Festival at Home 2020 will be a celebration of all things Cambridge that you can enjoy from your garden or living room.

It’s the next best thing to the popular annual Folk Festival event, which was sadly cancelled because of the pandemic.

Taking place over the festival weekend, 30 July-2 August, it will feature exclusive video content from artists, talks and workshops, Cambridge-curated playlists, and plenty of ways to join in on social media.

BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy will lead a virtual choir workshop on Saturday 11 July, teaching you to sing The Parting Glass in three-part harmony. You’ll then have the opportunity to make a video of yourself singing and be included in the Virtual Choir, which will debut over the Festival weekend! Find more details about how you can participate HERE.

A highlight of the weekend will be the Songlines Interview, featuring Songlines Magazine editor Jo Frost in conversation with Fatoumata Diawara, which will be available to watch on Facebook.

Further talks and workshops will include a talk about environmentalism from folk singer Sam Lee, a storytelling workshop with Alex Ultradish, a movement workshop created by The Sisters of Elva Hill choreographer Debbie Norris, yoga sessions for you to join, and more.