Listen to the latest mix in our new Singing from the Floor series which draws music inspired by the folk tradition.
Georgia Lewis – The Unfortunate Lass
From ‘The Bird that Sings Freedom‘. Out on 28 July via Rootbeat Records. Georgia Lewis is folk singer and accordionist from Wiltshire. She studied Professional Musicianship at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music, where she explored a broad range of musical styles, eventually meeting and touring with prog-rock band Maschine, appearing on their first album ‘Rubidium’ on InsideOut Music. During this time, inspired by singer Sheila Chandra, Georgia also travelled to India
to study singing at the Arambol Music Academy.
Fay Hield & The Hurricane Party – Raggle Taggle Gypsy
Raggle Taggle Gypsy featured on Fay;s album Old Adam. It’s a well-known traditional folk song that tells of a rich lady who forsakes her life of luxury to run off with Gypsy Davey.
Cormac Begley – Reels – The Yellow Tinker / Ril Mhor Bhaile An Chalaidh
This featured on award winning concertina player and innovator Cormac Begley’s self-titled debut album released back in April this year. It was also the first solo concertina album in traditional Irish music to feature bass, baritone, treble and piccolo concertinas. No prizes for guessing which one this was.
Ye Vagabonds – Barbara Ellen
Taken from Ye Vagabonds’ (Brían & Diarmuid Mac Gloinn) Rose & Briar EP. Brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn grew up playing music together around their hometown of Carlow, a small town in the south-east of Ireland. After moving to Dublin in 2012, they quickly became a staple of the live music and session scene in Ireland, playing their own original songs as well as folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America.
In 2014 they came to the attention of Arbutus Yarns’ music filmmaker Myles O Reilly, whose videos gained international attention for the brothers for the first time.
After a chance meeting at Electric Picnic in September 2015, the brothers performed onstage with Glen Hansard, who immediately invited them to open for him on his European tour the following October.
Jack Rutter – Hey John Barleycorn
From Jack Rutter’s forthcoming solo debut album Hills, due for release on 3 October (pre-order it here: https://jackruttermusic.com/shop). Known for his work with Moore Moss Rutter, Jack is a well-respected singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist playing in the British folk tradition. Of this song, he says: “A fine song about beer, learnt by osmosis (the brushed up on later) from the unstoppable force that is The Wilsons at some very late nights in the bar of the Resolution Hotel at Whitby Folk Week a few years ago.”
This new album made an instant impression from the very first listen, and it’s certainly one of the best traditional solo albums of the year in my book.
Hannah Rarity – Erin Go Bragh
In 2016 Hannah released her debut EP ‘Beginnings’ (from which this track is taken) with her own band, featuring some of Scotland’s most exciting young traditional instrumentalists, including Innes White, Sally Simpson and Conal McDonagh. Since her introduction to the Scottish folk scene a mere few years ago, Hannah Rarity’s spellbinding voice, warm, genuine stage manner and thoughtful interpretations of material both new and old have seen her perform in a number of varied and exciting locations whilst appearing alongside acts such as Phil Cunningham, Aly Bain and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Barbara Dickson, Eddi Reader and the renowned Irish-American traditional group ‘Cherish the Ladies’, with whom she regularly tours internationally.
Aidan Connolly – Reels: Paddy Cronin’s Own, As A Thoiseach, John Blessing’s
From ‘Be Off’, released earlier this year on the Clare-based label Raelach Records. Across sixteen tracks, this remarkably accomplished debut album from the young Dublin fiddle player features music from a wide range of sources and in a wide variety of arrangements, including many with close musical friends of Aidan’s.
Dempsey Broughton – Resurrection Jack
From Off By Heart, released in May this year. Two of folk music’s most in demand musicians have reunited to produce their fourth album as the most natural of all the duo’s that they have been involved in. Since forming the duo in 1999 singer and guitarist Kevin Dempsey and violin and mandolin man Joe Broughton have recorded four albums and toured the world
extensively playing in over 20 countries. Combining emotive songs, unrivalled instrumental capability and a spectacular entertaining, high energy show, they never fail to create a spellbinding atmosphere.
John Smith – Coming Home
From Headlong, the fifth album in a hard-working, under-the-radar career that has earned the Devon-born Smith a dedicated following and secured the respect and admiration of his peers. The late Renbourn called him “the future of folk music”, and Smith has opened shows for artists as diverse as Iron and Wine, John Martyn, Tinariwen and Gil Scott-Heron. He has also played on sessions for Joan Baez, Cara Dillon and Joe Henry among others, with Lianne La Havas and Lisa Hannigan both recruiting him to play lead guitar in their bands.
Lal & Mike Waterson – One Of Those Days (1971 Demo)
One Of Those Days was recorded in 1971 and is one of 12 demos featured on the forthcoming Deluxe re-issue of Lal & Mike Waterson’s folk-noir masterpiece Bright Phoebus which has long been recognised as one of British music’s legendary lost records.
Molly Evans – Woe Is Me
From Deep Time & Narrow Space. In this unique exploration of words and music, Cheshire born folk singer Molly Evans has adapted and recorded new settings of renowned Cheshire author Alan Garner’s collected tales, stories and poems into songs texturally and melodically inspired by the English folk song tradition. Garner was best known for his children’s fantasy novels, including The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, as well as his retellings of traditional British folk tales.
Rosie Hood – Adrift, Adrift
From The Beautiful & The Actual, the first full-length solo album from Wiltshire-based folk singer Rosie Hood who was a Horizon Award nominee at the Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2016. The video for this song recently premiered on Folk Radio UK here.She shared the following on the song: “I started writing this song in early 2015 when I read about the Ezadeen and Blue Sky M in the news – 2 large ships that had been abandoned in the Mediterranean Sea carrying hundreds of Syrians fleeing the civil war. Each person on board had paid around £4,000 to reach Europe on the ships that the crews then set to auto-pilot, risking them running aground, and abandoned them.
The song isn’t only about being physically adrift on the sea, but also of displaced people travelling between countries, drifting through the system, never having somewhere permanent.”
Landless – Farewell to Fiunary
From their self-titled EP, Landless are Lily Power, Meabh Meir, Ruth Clinton and Sinead Lynch. Formed in 2013 and based in Dublin and Belfast, they sing unaccompanied traditional songs in four-part harmony.
Calum Alex Macmillan – MoNighean Donn
From Till, out now on Vertical Records. The latest in a venerable family line of Gaelic singers and bards, Calum Alex Macmillan ranks squarely at the forefront of his culture’s contemporary renaissance. With his second solo album Till (a long- awaited successor to 2005’s highly-praised Taladh Nan Cuantan) the Isle of Lewis native and ex-Daimh vocalist resoundingly reaffirms that status, in material retracing his deepest traditional roots, while simultaneously embracing the present.
Till means ‘return’ in Gaelic, denoting the frequent visits back to his family home in Point, a tradition- rich peninsula off Lewis’s east coast, during which Macmillan – currently based in Inverness – gradually gathered songs and tunes for the album. His primary source was numerous kitchen-table sessions with his father, Harris Tweed weaver John ‘Seonaidh Beag’ Macmillan, himself a celebrated singer, and co- founder of pioneering Gaelic group The Lochies.
Ensemble Ériu – Seachrán Sí
From their 2013 self-titled album on Raelach Records, Ensemble Ériu are a septet led by Jack Talty and Neil O’Loghlen draw on a wealth of creative sources to perform arrangements of Irish traditional music rooted in the styles of West and North County Clare.
“One of the best Irish albums of 2013.” – Jim Carroll, The Irish Times
The Routes Quartet – Fenham
From Windrose, the debut album from The Routes Quartet featuring Rufus Huggan (cello), Emma Tomlinson (viola), Gràinne Brady and Tricia Mullan (fiddles). Read our review here.