Lisa O’Neill Receives Four Nominations at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

Lisa O’Neil

Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, Brìghde Chaimbeul, Ye Vagabonds and Kitty McFarlane also nominated; Dervish to receive Lifetime Achievement Award. Listen to our playlist of all 2019 nominees.

Irish folk singer Lisa O’Neill has been nominated for four awards: Folk Singer of the Year, Best Traditional Track (‘Factory Girl’ with Radie Peat), Best Original Track (‘Blackbird’), and Best Album for Heard a Long Gone Song. The album was released last October on the River Lea label and also received a nomination in the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards.

Radie Peet

Welsh harper Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita have received two nominations (Best Album and Best Duo/Group), and Keita has also received a third as Musician of the Year. Finch and Keita’s duet album Soar has already won ‘Best Fusion’ album in the Songlines Music Awards and the fRoots Critics Album of the Year for 2018. The other nominees in Best Album are Flook’s Ancora and Hide and Hair by The Trials Of Cato. Voting for Best Album is open to the public in the UK.

Along with Finch and Keita, the groups Stick in the Wheel, The Breath and The Rheingans Sisters also received a nomination in the Best Duo/Group category. The other nominees for Best Musician of the Year are Jenn Butterworth, Mohsen Amini and Sam Sweeney.

Emerging artists and songs
Scots piper Brìghde Chaimbeul, who released The Reeling last year, produced by Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke, has received a nomination in the Horizon award (for emerging artists), along with Kinnaris Quintet, Kitty Macfarlane (who features on the Topic 80th anniversary album), and The Trials Of Cato, who won Best Emerging Artist/Band at the first Wales Folk Awards in April.

Ye Vagabonds (below), who received two nominations in the RTÉ Folk Awards last year, have been nominated for Best Traditional Track with ‘The Foggy Dew’ from their new album The Hare’s Lament. ‘Ffoles Llantrisant’ by VRï (which won the equivalent Welsh Folk Award with the same song) and ‘The Reedcutter’s Daughter’ by Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith have also been nominated, along with O’Neill and Peat.

Singers and musicians
The nominees for Folk Singer of the Year are Ríoghnach Connolly from Armagh, Olivia Chaney who has released two albums on the Nonesuch label, Gwilym Bowen Rhys (also Best Solo Artist at the Welsh Folk Awards) and O’Neill.

Kris Drever from Lau has been nominated in the Best Original Track section for ‘Scapa Flow 1919’, about the scuttling of a German fleet in the Orkney Islands after World War I. Also nominated are ‘I Burn But I Am Not Consumed’ by Karine Polwart from her album Law of Motion, ‘O-U-T Spells Out’ by Kathryn Tickell and The Darkening (‘An ironic look at borders, walls, barriers, Brexit…’), and O’Neill’s ‘Blackbird’.

It has also been announced that Dervish will received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony. Commenting on the honour, the band’s accordionist Shane Mitchell said: ‘We are thrilled and so delighted to be receiving this very special honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, particularly as this is the 30th anniversary of the band.’ The group will perform on the night.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards take place at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 16 October as part of the Manchester Folk Festival. See the full list of nominees and listen to our playlist of all artists below. For more information, visit


Source: Lisa O’Neill Receives Four Nominations at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards | The Journal of Music: News, Reviews & Opinion | Music Jobs & Opportunities


Stellar Line-Up for Richard Thompson 70th Birthday Show 

Special guest performers announced for Richard Thompson’s 70th Birthday bash at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

An incredible array of special guest performers has been announced for Richard Thompson’s 70th birthday celebration show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 30th 2019. This once in a lifetime concert will see eminent fellow musicians, friends and family grace the stage to mark the milestone birthday of this iconic and much-respected artist.

Joining Richard Thompson on an exceptional night will be: Alistair Anderson, Ashley Hutchings, Bob Mould, Christine Collister, Danny Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Dave Pegg, David Gilmour, Derek Smalls (formerly of the band formally known as Spinal Tap), Eliza Carthy, Hugh Cornwell, Jack Thompson, James Walbourne, Judith Owen, Kami Thompson, Kate Rusby, Linda Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Maddy Prior, Marc Ellington, Martin Carthy, Olivia Chaney, Simon Nicol, Teddy Thompson and Zara Phillips.

The show sold out swiftly when it was announced in April.

Richard Thompson’s enduring musical influence and accomplishments are unparalleled.  Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 1960s, he and his bandmates invented a distinctive strain of British folk-rock.  He left the group by the age of 21, followed by a decade long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist.  Thompson’s genre defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar along with engaging energy and onstage wit continue to earn him new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive virtuosos and writers in folk-rock history.  Powered by evocative songcraft, jaw-dropping guitar playing, and indefinable spirit, this venerable icon holds a coveted spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and counts  Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Americana Music Association in Nashville and the UK Americana Music Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Folk Awards, a prestigious Ivor Novello Award and, of course, an OBE, among his many accolades.

A wide range of musicians have recorded Thompson’s songs including David Gilmour, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Jones, David Byrne, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and many more.  His massive body of work includes many Grammy-nominated albums as well as numerous soundtracks, including Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.  Thompson’s latest album 13 Rivers (Proper Records) was released to widespread acclaim last September and appeared on many 2018 ‘best of the year’ lists. His accompanying tour was met with glowing reviews, including The Observer, in its Artist of the Week spread, who concluded, “Half a century after his first gig with Fairport Convention, folk-rocker Richard Thompson – trademark Stratocaster and beret intact – is as cool, energetic and contemporary as ever.”

Source: Stellar Line-Up for Richard Thompson 70th Birthday Show | Folk Radio UK

Olivia Chaney: Shelter

Listening Post 199.

There’s magic in Olivia Chaney’s second solo album, the how of it defying explanation but the where instructive: An 18th-century cottage on the North Yorkshire moors, no electricity, plumbing or running water; a refuge from urban noise and distraction; solitude, where she confronts the uncreative demons, wrestling with them until her inner chorus of angels emerges. Notwithstanding the sharp sense of place in her writing retreat and her songs, Chaney’s Shelter blurs time. Though her work bears folk, jazz and classical signs, she forges her own path with a voice and vision that mute the notion of genre. Her power relies not on push but on magnetism; with the slightest tonal rise or fall she adds emotional depth to scenes—a country church; walking amid Roman ruins; a girl waiting for mother to pick her up at school; father singing old ballads. Though elsewhere she enriches the soundscape with harmonium or dobro, the title track is a minimalist ode—voice and guitar—to the creative process and the austere field of catharsis and battle that yielded eight of the album’s 10 tracks.

(video 1). A Tree Grows in Brooklyn pays homage to the novel set in early 20th-century New York, and doubles as a metaphor for music blossoming in a crumbling house Continue reading

Review: The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life after Romeo and Juliet

The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life after Romeo and Juliet by Olivia Hussey book review.

Review written by Edith G. Tolchin.

Olivia Hussey became an international celebrity at the young age of 17 when she landed the role of Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet. She was perhaps the most famous teenager in the world in 1968.

Born in Argentina but raised in Wimbledon, England, Ms. Hussey was totally unprepared for the shooting stardom that would accompany that one “little” role.

She does an amazing, and amusing job of sharing her experiences with, and recollections of, filming that now famous Shakespeare piece.

Hussey says, “While it brought me fame—for whatever that’s worth—and glamour, it also thrust me into a spotlight that, while intoxicating, was at times too bright and too revealing.” After all, she had limited experience when she began filming at 16.

That singular role led her to meet numerous famous people such as the Queen of England (where she peed herself from fear), Bridget Bardot, and Liza Minelli. There was a famous poet in Moscow, and she shared a cab ride and a kiss with Paul McCartney before he married Linda Eastman.

She met her first husband, Dean “Dino” Paul Martin (of Hollywood royalty) in London, while both were still in their teens. She was reluctant at first, but “the elevator doors opened and out poured American sunshine.”

On a movie set with Robert Mitchum, he was known to host dinner parties where everyone complimented his excellent cooking skills, though not everyone knew he cooked with hashish.

On that same movie set, she had an abusive relationship with troubled actor Christopher Jones, who later visited her in Hollywood, and beat and raped her. Her residence at the time was the same house where Sharon Tate was killed by the Manson family, though Olivia moved in five weeks afterward. It was her agent’s home.

Hussey eventually got engaged to Dino Martin when she heard rumors he might marry Candice Bergen. Dino’s father, Dean Martin “was like watching a movie and knowing it would become one of your favorites.”

She had her first son, Alexander, with Dino, but they shortly divorced when Olivia was 23. She took to a meditation group to help her cope with the split. This led her to her guru, the Swami Muktananda, who would hold a vital, almost cosmic relationship with her until he passed in 1982.

Olivia met her second husband, Akira Fuse, when she was working in Japan. He was a famous singer and they married in 1980. Hussey had her second son, Max, in 1983. Living between Japan and Hollywood took its toll on their relationship and although they remained friends, they divorced a few years later.

Dino, with whom she still had a close relationship because of son Alex, was killed while flying an Air National Guard airplane in 1987.

The two years between 1987 and 1989 were traumatic for Olivia who had to deal with the divorce from second husband, Akira Fuse, the death of Dino Martin—her first husband, and the death of her mother in England as a result of emphysema.

She met her third husband, David Eisley—this time a Harley-riding, leather-clad rocker—in the late eighties at Jerry’s Famous Deli in L.A. “This man could not have been more different from the men I was used to.”

Yet something clicked and they are together still, having been through feast and famine, including being swindled out of millions by managers she trusted.

Her third child, India Joy, was born in 1993 but Olivia was forced to return to work a month later because all her money was gone. They were forced to downsize several times, casting aside the Hollywood glitz for life in the valley and a growing menagerie of animals including horses, potbelly pigs.

A much-desired role as Mother Teresa in 2003 somewhat helped Hussey back on her feet. But she felt ill during the shoot in Sri Lanka and just attributed it to be the weather and poor environment.

“For five, maybe more, years it grew—ignored, undiagnosed, and unchecked.” She was finally diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2008 and subsequently had surgery. While combining conventional medicine with holistic medicine, Olivia has been in remission for ten years now.

Her husband, David, and actress daughter, India Eisley, have helped Olivia get back on her feet.

A final scene in the book shows Juliet (Olivia) reunited with her Romeo, the actor Leonard Whiting almost 50 years later in London during a happy visit with his family, while India was shooting a movie there.

With a seemingly magical mysticism about all aspects Hussey’s life, this book will be a draw for both old and young hippies alike.

Love, loss, deaths, births, travel, coping with agoraphobia and fighting cancer—these all sound like a soap opera but this is the life that Olivia Hussey, now in her late sixties, has led.

The Girl on the Balcony: Olivia Hussey Finds Life After Romeo and Juliet is a must for international movie buffs with an interest in films of the latter half of the 20th century. Be prepared for a colorful tour around the world, as well as lessons learned, in words and pictures.

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