This week’s Folk Show is probably the most eclectic we’ve run in this new series so far with music from across the British Isles and beyond. Included are tracks from our two most recent Featured Albums of the Month: Stu Larsen’s Resolute and Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer’s Not Dark Yet. They are rubbing shoulders with English Traditional & Contemporary folk music, Old-time and Bluegrass as well Scottish and Irish traditional (with a contemporary take) music and more. All except one, is either a new or forthcoming release.
Our Folk Show Playlist
John Reischman & The Jaybirds – Don’t You Hear The Lambs A-Crying
This is the seventh recording from John Reischman & The Jaybirds titled On that Other Green Shore. They learned this song from the Seeger Family’s iconic recording, American Folk Songs for Christmas (not that it sounds Christmassy – far too early for all that nonsense).
Dai and The Ramblers – Middle of the Night
Dai Price and his Ramblers hail from the London Roots scene and are especially adept at concocting a gorgeous fusion of Cajun, Blues and Folk. Middle of the Night is taken from their latest album Bon Bon (Peachy Records).
Fred Morrison – The Wildcat
The Wildcat is the only track in the show which isn’t a new release. This is taken from Fred’s 2009 Outlands album.
Wild Ponies – Sally Ann
Sally Ann is the opening track of the forthcoming album from Wild Ponies titled Galax which we have the pleasure of streaming in full this week here. “We made this record in the shed behind my grandfather’s farm. Nobody lives there anymore since my grandparents passed away, but you can still feel their spirits. It’s a special place. I learned my first three guitar chords there underneath the old Catawba tree. Rode horses, fished in the ponds and Chestnut Creek, wandered around in the woods there. It’s where Telisha and I were married, and where we go when we need to disappear for a while.”
Pólca 4 – Neilí ‘n Fuacht
Pólca 4 are Pádraig Ó Sé (vocals & accordion), Gary O’Brien (guitar), Jeremy Spencer (fiddle) Robbie Harris (bodhrán & percussion) and Guest musician – the legendary Australian musician Steve Cooney on bass guitar! This is is their version of the famous West Kerry song Neilí ‘n Fuacht, and also their new single.
Pons Aelius – Oh My Doughnuts
Taken from Pons Aelius’ debut album Captain Glen’s Comfort (out 8 September 2017). The Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based sextet won the coveted Danny Kyle Award in 2015. The band are:
Alasdair Paul – Guitar/Bouzouki
Bevan Morris – Double Bass
Callum Younger – Bodhrán
Jordan Aikin – Pipes/Whistle
Sam Partridge – Flute
Tom Kimber – Mandolin/Tenor Banjo
Stu Larsen – Chicago Song
From Stu Larsen’s new album Resolute – the ten songs float finely from the speakers, his voice an intimate postcard from abroad while the arrangements are nimble and sure footed, an attractive blend of confessional singer/songwriter and pop balladeer.
Blue Rose Code – Love Is…(featuring Julie Fowlis)
From Ross Wilson’s forthcoming new album on Navigator Records – The Water of Leith, an album which addresses themes of love, loss, travel, home and accepting the past and embracing the future. On ‘Love is…’ he is joined by Julie Fowlis.
Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer – Lungs
From another Featured Album of the Month – Not Dark Yet. Rather than collaborate on self-written material, Moorer and Lynne have come together to share the music that’s been the backdrop to their lives. In sharing with their audience the songs that each has held dear, they bring their music to new levels that an even wider audience can enjoy. Not Dark Yet was well worth the wait.
Colorama – So So Long
Last year we saw Welsh bands Colorama and Plu join forces for Bendith, an album which won the ‘Welsh Language Album Of The Year 2017’ at the National Eisteddfod recently. Some Things Just Take Time, the latest album from Welsh singer-songwriter, music producer and multi-instrumentalist Carwyn Ellis seems perfectly timed as he returns with an album “inspired by my deep admiration for American music; the kind of titles you’d see on the raw blues records of the Fat Possum label, along with a dollop of old country wisdom, but manifested as an acoustic-flavoured record.” Out on September 1st.
Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns – The Gathering Storm
The second album from Tim Jones – Blossom & Fruit (out September 25th), a made a very strong impression on first listen which secured a place instantly in our Folk Show. It features unique takes on material from the English tradition and spellbinding original songs. The Gathering Storm has seasonal elements but is a song about a love for a gypsy who is soon to leave him and travel on. The song title and theme remin me a little of the interwar drama by DH Lawrence – The Virgin and the Gypsy.
Basco – Patrick Spens
This version of the popular Child Ballad comes from Danish folk group Basco and their latest album Interesting Times. Although this is a ballad most of Basco’s material is nearly all original, as they say, “stealing shamelessly and frivolously from Nordic, English, Celtic and American idioms to create a kind of organic, soupy stew – full of vitamins and anti-oxidants.” Only this one is very healthy and good for you.
Leveret – Lola Flexen
Yes, English instrumental folk trio Leveret are back and we felt the urge to share another (listen to Episode 3 for more). Featuring Fiddler Sam Sweeney, Melodeon genius Andy Cutting and Concertina wizard Rob Harbron. Their new album Inventions (Rootbeat Records, September 15th, 2017) features original material which was recorded live at the renowned Realworld Studios. Andy wrote this tune as a Birthday present for ‘an amazing young Scottish musician and friend’…how coll is that? Those of you that love to play a tune will be pleased to hear that album features a tune book…plenty of time to learn a few before Sidmouth Folkweek comes around again.
The Breath – For You (Acoustic)
By coincidence, this new acoustic EP was also recorded at Realworld Studios. A collaboration between Ríoghnach Connolly and Stuart McCallum this is taken from their new Acoustic EP featuring acoustic takes from their debut album Carry Your Kin which was a Featured Album of the Month.
Anna Tivel – Illinois
This is taken from Portland, Oregon songwriter Anna Tivel’s forthcoming album ‘Small Believer’ coming out September 29th on Fluff & Gravy Records. The songs on Small Believer were written while Tivel was touring, but also in-between shifts at the odd waitressing job, or driving Meals on Wheels in her spare time. She has an extraordinarily keen eye for recasting the images she sees into song. To make Small Believer, Anna Tivel drew her close community of friends and collaborators in Portland, starting with Austin Nevins (Josh Ritter, Della Mae), who produced the album. Nevins shared a deep love for the kind of quiet stories Tivel loves to tell. Nevins brought together Portland collaborators to make the understated accompaniment that pervades the album: slow-driving fiddles, accordions, electric guitars moving beneath and supporting Tivel’s soft words.
Michael Chapman & Ehud Banai – Birdman
From EB=MC² (NaNa Disc – 17 August), the new album from British Folk Legend Michael Chapman and Ehud Banai, one of Israel’s most successful singer songwriters. This is a new arrangement to Banai’s “Birdman” which they sing in both Hebrew and in English.
Chapman fans will want to know that he is supporting Scott Hirsch on a number of dates including London’s Bush Hall on 8th September. This will find them together on a bill for the first time, two artists who share a musical cosmos but who’s orbits hadn’t yet collided. More here.