Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around / I’m gonna keep on walking, talking, singing, hoping, praying, saying, voting, voting, voting / marching to the freedom land”, sang Rhiannon Giddens in the closing minutes of the 54th Cambridge Folk Festival, accompanied by a stage filled with her curated acts and an audience which heaved at the seams of the Club Tent. This chorale was not only conclusive testament to the sparkling success of Giddens’ role as Guest Curator for this year’s Festival, but also to the sure-footed stride forward this weekend was; for the Festival and for the future of folk music. Setting the pace for other festivals to follow suit, the line-up offered a 60:40 split of female:male acts, the Festival already excelling their pledge alongside the PRS Foundation’s goal of a 50:50 ratio in festival line-ups by 2022. Giddens’ own main stage set on the Saturday night, and the acts she curated – the legendary Peggy Seeger, Amythyst Kiah, Bristol’s own Yola Carter, Kaia Kater and Birds of Chicago – raised up to a whole new level the values of diversity and commonality between audience and artist; values which have been beating steadily at the heart of the Festival for years.
On stage 2, home of the up-and-comers and a safe bet for stumbling across your new favourite band, Norwich-based Morganway delivered an energetic and promising alt-country opener with stunning vocals. Over on the main stage New Zealander Marlon Williams, a contemporary hybrid of Roy Orbison and Jeff Buckley, crooned through a set of songs from his latest album Make Way For Love with such ease and distinction that even the moody layers of electric guitar couldn’t stop the audience from swooning[ . . . ]
Continue reading at FORFOLKSSAKE: Live | Cambridge Folk Festival 2018 | For Folk’s Sake
Earlier this month I received a press release containing the nominations for a well-established UK-based Independent Music Awards which claimed to span the full spectrum of genres. Disappointingly, although the list of names was impressive there was a distinct absence of folk music.Then, along came the Scottish Album of the Year Award Longlist…a completely different story…With previous Longlist titles featuring hip-hop, rock, alternative, traditional, folk, classical, dubstep, reggae, pop and jazz, The SAY Award accommodates Scottish music in all its influential, inspiring and idiosyncratic glory. From mainstream platinum sellers to self-released left-field outriders, The SAY Award illuminates Scotland’s music scene with the ambition, credibility and commitment it so richly deserves.
The longlist includes 20 albums of which nearly a quarter are by artists that were covered here on Folk Radio. A sign that folk music is not only thriving well in Scotland but that Scottish Music Industry Association which produces the award is actively supporting the scene – how it should be. It’s a shame other similar awards can’t follow suit and broaden their music coverage.
The SAY Award is now in its seventh year and is Scotland’s most popular and prestigious music prize. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 prize – provided by long-term Award partner Creative Scotland – with the nine runners-up each receiving £1,000.
Karine Polwart with Pippa Murphy — A Pocket of Wind Resistance (Hudson Records)
A previous Artist of the Month (Review | Interview). “A Pocket Of Wind Resistance isn’t so much a collection of songs, it’s theatre for the ears, but it surpasses radio drama. All the tension, the joy, the craft that’s part of the immersive experience of going to the theatre is achieved without the visual elements. Karine Polwart‘s music and poetry, with Pippa Murphy‘s exquisite settings, haven’t replicated the theatre production; it has brought Wind Resistance to a wider [ . . . ]
Continue at FRUK: SAY Award 2018 Shows Support for Folk Music | Folk Radio UK
Edinburgh twins Craig and Charlie Reid turned the pop world upside down with the release of The Proclaimers’ first album – This is the Story – in 1987.At a time when image was king, they burst onto the scene in glasses and scruffy jackets, belting out acoustic tunes in a broad Scottish accent.
A BBC Scotland documentary is looking back on their remarkable 30-year career. `This is the story of an enduring Scottish music phenomenon:
Proclaimer Craig Reid says the twins saw Dexy’s Midnight Runners in 1980, when they were 18.
He says: “They came on stage and it was not something we were expecting. It was like being hit by a truck. It was breathtaking how good they were and how unusual they were.”
The band’s charismatic frontman Kevin Rowland became a good friend of the twins.
He says: “They were very political. They were very vocal. You couldn’t win an argument with them, because there were two of them.”
Touring with The Housemartins
Kevin Rowland helped The Proclaimers make a demo which found its way to The Housemartins, another popular 80s band famous for being outside the pop [ . . . ]
Continue at BBC: This is the story of 30 years of The Proclaimers – BBC News
Karine Polwart tells Fiona Shepherd why putting together her Scottish Songbook was a joy – though she still worries about what she’s left out
There’s a lot of songs about rain.” Without wanting to give away too much about the contents of her Scottish Songbook show as part of the International Festival’s Light on the Shore season, Karine Polwart has hit upon one of the enduring themes, not just of her concert, but of Scottish pop music in general.
Why Does It Always Rain On Me, Only Happy When It Rains, Here Comes The Rain Again, Tinseltown in The Rain… each in their way speaks to certain Caledonian characteristics – melancholy, masochism, resignation, romanticism and a refusal to be ground down – as well as the not-so-subtle role that climate plays in our national psyche. Think how many band rehearsal hours would otherwise be lost to basking in the sunshine.
The distinct (or otherwise) nature of Scottish pop music is a subject addressed by the National Museum of Scotland’s summer exhibition, Rip It Up: The Story Of Scottish Pop, as well as accompanying BBC and Radio Scotland documentaries. And this year it is to be celebrated (again) by the International Festival [ . . . ]