Lankum “Katie Cruel”

More Lankum on The Hobbledehoy

Katie Cruel is a traditional American folksong, likely of Scottish origin. As a traditional song, Katie Cruel has been recorded by many performers, but the best known recording of the song is by Karen Dalton on the album In My Own Time. The American version of the song is said to date to the Revolutionary War period. The song is Roud no. 1645.

The American lyrics appear to contain an oblique story of regret. As given in Eloise Hubbard Linscott’s The Folk Songs of Old New England. The opening verse of the song bears a strong resemblance to the Scottish song, Licht Bob’s Lassie, whose opening verses mirror the song in both notional content and form.

First when I cam’ tae the toon
They ca’d me young and bonnie
Noo they’ve changed my name
Ca’ me the licht bob’s honey

First when I cam’ tae the toon
They ca’d me young and sonsie
Noo they’ve changed my name
They ca’ me the licht bob’s lassie

Wikipedia

Lankum are a contemporary Irish folk music group from Dublin, consisting of brothers Ian and Daragh Lynch, Cormac MacDiarmada and Radie Peat. Their music has been characterised as “a younger, darker Pogues with more astonishing power”. Reviewing their third album The Livelong Day for The Guardian, Jude Rogers described it as “a folk album influenced by the ambient textures of Sunn O)) and Swans, plus the sonic intensity of Xylouris White and My Bloody Valentine”. In 2018 they were named Best Folk Group at the RTÉ Folk Music Awards, while Radie Peat was named Best Folk Singer.

“Nottamun Town”

Performed by Davy Graham and Shirley Collins

In Nottamun Town not a soul would look up,
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down,
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down,
To show me the way to fair Nottamun Town.Met the King and the Queen, and a company more
Come a-walking behind and a-riding before
Come a stark naked drummer a-beating the drum
With his hands on his bosom, come marching along.Sat down on a hard, hot cold frozen stone,
Ten thousand stood ’round me, yet I was alone
Took my hat in my hands for to keep my head warm,
Ten thousand got drownded that never was born.In Nottamun Town not a soul would look up,
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down,
Not a soul would look up, not a soul would look down,
To show me the way to fair Nottamun Town.

RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards shortlist announced

Lankum’s Radie Peat performs at the 2018 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards

The shortlist has been announced for the 2019 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, taking place in Vicar Street on October 24th.

This year’s nominees cover the entire Irish folk spectrum, with talents like Lisa O’Neill (nominated in four categories, including Best Folk Album and a pair of nominations for Best Original Folk Track), Junior Brother, Saint Sister and Ye Vagabonds nominated alongside veteran players like Dervish, Gerry O’Beirne, Cormac Begley and Martin Hayes. You can read the shortlist in full below.

Additionally, it has been announced that Irish folk legend Moya Brennan, the vocalist with Clannad, will achieve this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards 2019 – The Shortlist

Best Traditional Folk Track

Bacach Shíol Andaí -– Ye Vagabonds

The Factory Girl – Lisa O’Neill

The Foggy Dew – Ye Vagabonds

The Granemore Hare – Daoirí Farrell

Póirste Béil – Inni K

Best Original Folk Track

All Down the Day – Gerry O’Beirne

Áthas – The Gloaming

Blackbird – Lisa O’Neill

Down in the Glen – Karan Casey

The River Holds Its Breath – Colm Mac Con Iomaire

Rock The Machine – Lisa O’Neill

Best Emerging Folk Act

Anna Mieke

Alfi

Lemoncello

Junior Brother

Saint Sister

Best Folk Instrumentalist

Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh

Colm Mac Con Iomaire

Cormac Begley

Martin Hayes

Zoe Conway

Best Folk Singer

Daoiri Farrell

Iarla Ó’Lionáird

Lisa O’Neill

Radie Peat

Ríoghnach Connolly

Best Folk Album

A Lifetime of Happiness – Daoirí Farrell

Heard a Long Gone Song – Lisa O’Neill

The Hare’s Lament – Ye Vagabonds

The River Holds its Breath – Colm Mac Con Iomaire

Pull the Right Rope – Junior Brother

The Gloaming 3 – The Gloaming

Best Folk Group

Dervish

Flook

Saint Sister

The Gloaming

Ye Vagabonds

Source: RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards shortlist announced

How Folk Songs Should Be Sung

Folk singer Martin Carthy examines the rise and fall of Ewan MacColl’s Critics Group.

Immediately after the success of the BBC Radio Ballads, Ewan MacColl set about the Herculean task of trying to drag British folk music into mainstream culture. Frustrated by the dreary amateurishness of folk song performance, he decided to establish his own centre of excellence to professionalise the art. He called it “The Critics Group”. MacColl tutored select artists “to sing folk songs the way they should be sung” and to think about the origins of what they were singing. He introduced Stanislavski technique and Laban theory into folk performance and explored style, content and delivery. BBC producer Charles Parker recorded these sessions to aid group analysis. 40 years on, the tapes have come to light. For the first time, a clear sound picture can be constructed of this influential group in action. Former group members Peggy Seeger, Sandra Kerr, Frankie Armstrong, Richard Snell, Brian Pearson and Phil Colclough recount six frantic years of rehearsing, performing and criticising each other. They recall the powerful hold that Ewan MacColl exerted which was eventually to lead to the collapse of the group in acrimony and blame. Presenter Martin Carthy MBE, now an elder statesman of the British folk music scene, shared many of McColl’s ambitions but didn’t join the group himself. He listens to the recordings and assesses the legacy of MacColl’s controversial experiment. Producers: Genevieve Tudor and Chris Eldon Lee A Culture Wise Production for BBC Radio 4

Listen at: How Folk Songs Should Be Sung – BBC Sounds