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[ . . . ]
With a new album in the wings, the world-renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter hits the road for a 19-date trek with support from Joan Shelley.
World renowned guitarist and singer-songwriter Richard Thompson has announced an extensive UK tour, the 13 Rivers Tour, for October and November 2018. Tickets for all the shows go on sale at 10am on Friday, 18 May and support at all gigs come from Joan Shelley.
During a busy 2017, Thompson released two volumes of acoustic recordings: Acoustic Classics Vol. II featuring acoustic renderings of classic songs from the Richard Thompson catalogue and Acoustic Rarities featuring new recordings of some of the more obscure songs in his repertoire. He also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Fairport Convention, the ground-breaking band he co-founded as a teenager in the ‘60s, with a performance at its annual Cropredy Festival last August.
Jamie McDougall presents Burns Night with the Rachel Newton Trio and Talisk Trio.
Spend Burn’s Night with Jamie MacDougall in the company of two award-winning groups, live from the CCA Glasgow. BBC Radio 2 Musician of the Year singer and harpist Rachel Newton performs with her trio that includes Lauren MacColl on fiddle and Mattie Foulds on percussion. The night culminates in a dynamic set of tunes from Talisk Trio with concertina player Mohsen Amini – Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2016, fiddle player Hayley Keenan and guitarist Graeme Armstrong. A Burn’s Night without poetry from the Bard himself would be a sair fecht, so readings and musings on the night come from BBC Scotland’s poet in residence Stuart Paterson.