Issue 18 4/2001

FolkWorld News

FolkWorld's Reader Top 10 - some surprises
FolkWorld. In the last issue, FolkWorld published the editors' CD Top 10, at the same time asking its readers to vote their favourite three CDs of the year 2000. To the surprise of FolkWorld, the best three CDs in the Readers' Top 10 are the same three voted by the editors as the best three:
Mercedes Peon, Jaune Toujours
and Spaccanapoli. Those three seem to be undoubtedly the best three Europena Folk CDs of 2000!
To find out about the full Readers' Top 10 click here! Thanks to the big number of readers who joined the vote!


Festival time
Europe. 2001 seems to become another exciting festival summer in Europe. FolkWorld has picked out a number of highlights in a special European Festival feature. Additionally, you will find a bunch more festival recommendations just here, in the news section!


Sad News
Scotland. The following news item is a complete mail from Robin Morton:

Davy Steele; photo by The Mollis It is with great sadness that we are writing this email for the great loss of Davy Steele. This is what we have to say at this difficult time for Davy's family and for Battlefield Band.

DAVY STEELE - 10th December 1948 - 11th April 2001

It is with the deepest sorrow that Battlefield Band and all of the management team at Temple Records and Folklore Productions in the USA regret the passing of Davy Steele. Davy was for all too short a time part of the Band, but the music he made with us, and the great body of music he made before joining the Band, as well as the many friends and admirers he made on the road, is a testament to how much he could have contributed to not only our music, but to Scottish music in general. All our thoughts are with Patsy, Jamie and his wider family.

This past year has been a time of growing sadness among all Davy's friends and family. The Band would like to thank all the people who have shared their feelings with us and we will now have to come to terms with the loss in our own individual ways. As a Band we have always felt a responsibility to respect the privacy of Davy and his family, but we do know that the "Davy Talk" page on the Internet (http://www.mcclellanweb.com/davytalk/) hosted by Scott & Debbie McClellan has been a source of great comfort to them all.

Please give them your support at this time of loss, and for anyone who would like to express their sorrow in a more tangible form, Patsy has told us she would be happy if you directed donations to:
Marie Curie Cancer Care, 29 Albany Street, Edinburgh EH1 3QH, Scotland
An organisation who do much to help families at these difficult times.

We could go on and on listing Davy's achievements, but perhaps the chorus of one of Davy's own songs, and we know one of his favourites, "The Last Trip Home" says enough.

"So steady boys walk on, oor work is nearly done
No more we'll till or plough the fields, the horses' day is gone
An' this will be oor last trip home, so steady boys walk on"

Alan Reid; John McCusker; Mike Katz; Karine Polwart; Rob van Sante & Robin Morton


We will remember Davy Steele as a fine man, good friend and excellent musician and singer!
Christian & Michael Moll, editors of FolkWorld.


Highland Music Homeless
Balnain House, photo: www.balnain.com Scotland. Recently featured in FolkWorld, now dead and gone. Is it bad news for FolkWorld reporting? Beware of our correspondents, folks! "Due to the permanent crippling debt which has hung around this project since its inception, Balnain House closed its doors on the 31st December 2000. The Cultural Centre, the Information Centre, the Education Centre and the Performance Centre are lost. Our only hope is for some private benefactor to financially support the traditional music project. Is there anyone out there who can help! The directors and staff here would be eternally grateful and you would know that your money had gone to sustain and protect this centre which celebrates the dynamic and rich culture of the Highlands of Scotland." Now, the demise of the "Home of Highland Music" is not "the biggest Highland disaster since Culloden", but a sad loss anyway. The ArtWork magazine comments: "Physically it's a rather attractive cuboid Georgian building sat right in the centre of Inverness [...] Internally it's about as suitable for its designated role as a centre for Highland Music as a sponge is for playing table tennis (viz: you can do it, but only if you try really hard.) The building is a bourach of tiny rooms set around a central stair case. It has no double glazing, which make it a nightmare to heat, no disabled access, which makes it a nightmare to sell to funders, and no proper auditorium which makes it inappropriate for its supposed primary purpose to be a display case for Highland music. There is a shop, which makes money, and a pokey little cafeteria which goes like a train and is constantly filled with folk musicians [...] Every year around 10.000 tourists visit what is one of the only wet weather attractions in Inverness. Each week over 200 young musicians attend 15 different classes in everything from clarsach to Gaelic singing. There are seven full time staff and eight part timers. Over 50 concerts a year, countless jamming sessions and acres of good crack. Dozens of kids have gone on from these classes and concerts to colleges of music throughout the land in short this whole wonderful shambles has revolutionised Highland Music, and is to be closed, largely because of a budget shortfall last year of a miserable 45k [...] Last week Caroline Hewitt its charismatic Director defined the reality of arts funding in Scotland when she told me: 'If the Arts Council only gave us what they give the opera for sequins we would be fine.'" In the meantime a group of local enthusiasts have set up Trust Music to "explore ways of maintaining and enhancing the vital live music and educational elements under threat." The king is dead, long live the king!


The Drums are Calling
Ireland. Let's start with a joke: "Fellow walks into a pub in Belfast with a plastic bag under his arms. The bartender asks 'What's that?' 'Six pounds of semtex', he answers. 'Thanks be to Jaysus; I thought it was a bodhran!'" Or: "There was the fiddle player who, while visiting the local pub, was asked for a dollar to help pay for the funeral of a local bodhran player. 'Here's two dollars;' he says 'bury another.'" Yes, bodhran drummers are certainly the most hated species amongst traditional musicians (guitar players come next I suppose). But help is on the way. "Craiceann" is the first summer school exclusively for bodhrans, to be happen 2-6 July on Inis Oirr in the Aran Islands. Classes are held by world leading players Tommy Hayes, Mel Mercier, Ringo McDonagh, Jim Higgins, Frank Torpey, Helen Mc Loughlin, and Robbie Walsh. There also will be recitals, lectures and, of course, sessions. Advice is given: "Lock up your goats!" And let it be history: "When someone tells a guitarist joke, people laugh. When someone tells a bodhranist joke, people nod in solemn agreement."


Frankfurt; photo by Marcus Metz Gaelfest 2001
Germany. From 11 -13 may in Frankfurt takes place the second edition of Gaelfest - the biggest Irish music summer school weekend in Germany; organized by Deutsch-Irische Gesellschaft Rhein-Main (DIGRM) / Rhine-Main German-Irish Association. There is a concert, a ceili and many workshops: set & step dance, music (fiddle, flute, tinwhistle, guitar, bodhran), singing and Irish-Gaelic language. http://www.digrm.de


They Love Music Mightly
Northern Ireland. A joint initiative between the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Co. Down, and the Irish Traditional Music Archive, Dublin, presents contemporary recordings of Irish traditional music. The exhibition "They Love Music Mightly" features specially commissioned audio recordings and photographs of thirteen of the leading exponents of Irish traditional music and song. The performers featured are Ronan Browne (uilleann pipes), John Carty (banjo), Paul Dooley (harp), Patricia Flynn (singer), Gary Hastings (flute), Mary McNamara (concertina), Treasa Ni Laifeartaigh (singer), Breandan O Beaglaoich (accordion), Eamonn O Broithe (singer), Micheal O Suilleabhain (piano), Paul O'Shaughnessy (fiddle), Sean Potts (whistle), and Rosie Stewart (singer). The travelling exhibition will be hosted in the first instance in the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum until November 2001.


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FolkWoods Festival in Eindhoven
Transsilvanians; photo by The Mollis The Netherlands. Last summer took place the first edition of a brilliant new festival in Eindoven - excellent setting, great music and lots of atmosphere. The second edition takes place 10-11-12 august 2001 - come and join one of the finest parties this summer! Booked bands include:Ireland: Lunasa, Ronnie Drew & Mike Hanrahan; England: Head Mix Collective, the Netherlands: Bots, Within Temptation, Gerard van Maasakkers, Celtic Wizard Dance Trance; Belgium Kadril, Fluxus, Jan de Wilde, Germany: The Transsylvanians (photo), Helmut Eisel & JEM; USA: Lenahan, Mike West & Myshkin; Finland: Gjallarhorn; Denmark: Fenja Menja; Russia: Troitsa; France: Claude Bourbon. Sounds very interesting! More information: http://www.folkwoods.com


International Children Folk Arts Festival
Ukraine. The former republic of the USSR Ukraine has been an independent state for nearly 10 years now, and since 5 years it is hosting the International Children's Folk Arts Festival called "Zoloty Leleka" (The Golden Crane). The festival is a non-profit cultural organisation aiming to encourage and preserve the national and international traditions in folk arts among children. Every May the Festival is held in Nikolayev (Southern Ukraine). Nikolayev Folk Arts School, one of the few of this kind, became one of the founders and organisers of this Festival. One of the main aims of the Festival is to set up the basis for free personal contacts between children from all over the world. The Festival has the following nominations: painting, drawing, decorative folk arts, amateur theatre, choreography and folk music. The age criteria for the competitors are: 6-10,10-14,14-18.
The festival is still looking for further sponsors to keep the festival going; at the same time the organisers invite any children to take part in the festival. Further infos from Kolesnick Oleg, Co-ordinator of the Festival.


Malinky; photo by The Mollis 7. Internationales Folkfestival Gutenbrun
Austria. The popular Austrian folk festival takes place from 13 to 15 July 2001, with a great selection of music: Paul Kelly Band (IRE) Malinky (Scotland, photo) Dereelium (Germany) Fred Morisson (Scotland) Patsy Watchorn and Maurice Lennon (IRE) Titla (Italy) Ceide (IRE) Wrigley Sisters (Scotland).
More infos on the website.
Photo: Malinky, photo by The Mollis


Bulgarian folk centre
Bulgaria. The Center for Traditional Bulgarian Arts and Crafts Vedafolk, set up in conjunction with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in Sofia, is happy to provide any information regarding Bulgarian folklore and folk life. Vedafolk organize summer (and winter) workshops in different spots of Bulgaria in a wide variety of educational courses (from music and dance to theoretical folklore and language courses). The general aim for these events is to become a place where people of different cultures meet to share an experience of Bulgarian folk culture. This year's summer workshop takes place in the 13th C village of Arbanassi.
Infos at www.vedafolk.com.


Gipsies in Holland
Holland. Tilburg is not only host to one of the best winter folk festivals, the Tilburg International Folk Festival, but also to one of the important Gipsy Festivals of Europe. This year, it is the fifth edition of the International Gipsy Festival Tilburg, taking place on the 4th of June in Concertzaal Tilburg and Muzentuin Tilburg. With project Ida Kelarova, Romano Rat & Chaja (Czech), Fanfare Kanturovi (Macedonia), Urs Karpatz (France), Pedro Joya (Portugal) and more. Full programme at www.gipsyfestival.nl


Big double anniversary and record company fusion in Scotland
Ian, Andrew and Brenda in front of the Greentrax Scotland. Two of the undoubtedly best folk music record companies of Scotland, reputed for highest musical quality, celebrate this year their 15th birthday, Culburnie Records and Greentrax Recordings. And after these 15 years, Culburnie has decided to join the Greentrax realms. Alasdair Fraser, the world-renowned Scottish fiddler and founder of Culburnie Records, has invited Greentrax Recordings to take on all operations formerly undertaken by Culburnie UK (via the hands of Iain Fraser).
Since the 1st of February, Greentrax takes care of the Culburnie catalogue worldwide, with the exception of North America and Australasia. The label name Culburnie Records remains, being now under the Greentrax Recordings Limited banner. Already some months ago the links between the two record companies were strengthened when Brenda McCulloch moved from Culburnie Records into the promotion section of Greentrax.
If quality joins quality, the outcome can only be high quality. So all the best to these two birthday kids!
Photo: Ian & Andrew Green, Brenda Mc Culloch of Greentrax Recordings, photo Peter Grant


50 years School of Scottish Studies
Scotland. 2001 marks the 50th Anniversary of The School of Scottish Studies and in association with the School, Greentrax will release a 'Scottish Tradition Series' compilation album which will include tracks from the many 'Scottish Tradition' albums re-released and released to date by Greentrax, plus tracks from previous LPs, released in 1960 by the School but now deleted. The 17 tracks will include such notables as the great Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins, Jimmy McBeath, Hector MacAndrew, Joan MacKenzie and William Matheson, featuring Scots and Gaelic song and music in many styles and includes an example of storytelling.


Scottish Folk Directory becomes more international
Scotland. The Scottish Folk Directory, published by the Scottish Folk Arts Group based in Edinburgh, has been published already for over 30 years, and on-line for three years. Now it is moved towards becoming an even more comprehensive ressource, featuring also international content. The objective is to provide a contact and event information service for all who are involved in Scottish folk music and folk arts within Scotland. So, if you are: 1. a performer living in Scotland, 2. a performer who is based outside Scotland but who tours in Scotland or, 3. an event taking place in Scotland or, 4. a business or service based in Scotland or, 5. a business which is outside the country but does business in Scotland, then you should be in the Directory. Look in to www.scottishfolkdirectory.com and click on "Free entry".


Blazin' in Beauly
Aidan O'Rourke in Session; photo by The Mollis Scotland. Up to now, Blazin Fiddles are known just as a special band project, combining the best of Scotland's fiddlers. Now in autumn the first Blazin Fiddles Music School will be happening, Blazin in Beauly. Located in the heart of the Highlands - Beauly (15 miles west of Inverness), from Monday 15th to Friday19th October 2001, it will be a week of classes, sessions, ceilidhs, dances and craic held . It is a project that will be led by all the members of Blazin Fiddles {Allan Henderson, Aidan O'Rourke, Bruce MacGregor, Catriona MacDonald, Duncan Chisholm, Iain MacFarlane - all on fiddle, with Andy Thorburn (piano) and Marc Clement (guitar)} plus a few very special guests. For the fiddlers there will be classes held for all levels with extra sessions in the late afternoon on harmonisation, composition, expression, accompanying song, and group work. There will also be classes in guitar and piano throughout the week. In the evenings, the historic town of Beauly will reverberate to the sounds of marches, jigs, strathspeys and reels, as concerts, ceilidhs and sessions kick into action. If you want some great music, meet fellow musicians and music lovers, and have a laugh at the same time - then don't miss BLAZIN' IN BEAULY. See www.blazin-fiddles.co.uk
Photo: Aidan O'Rourke in session, photo by The Mollis


Irish and Swedish music cafe
Sweden. A new folk music cafe has been started in Lund, Sweden. It's called Spelhala and is at Lilla Tvargatan 2 in central Lund. Spelhala is usually open (one of ) the first Fridays of each months, like the 6th of April & the 4th of May. There is ecological food and drink to be had at low prices (well at least for the Swedish level low!!), a large room for dancing, and two smaller rooms for sessions, talking etc. The music so far has been Irish and Swedish, with a small Irish session going in one of the rooms and dancing to Swedish traditional music in the large room. Spelhala is open from 7.30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The cafe is open for all kinds of traditional music, so bring your instruments or just come to listen or dance.


Spring festival in Girvan
Scotland. The 27th girvan traditional folk festival takes place in Girvan, Ayrshire, between 4-6 may 2001. If you are about to pass a spring break up in Scotland, check out http://welcome.to/girvan


Two great world music festivals back this year
Angelique Kidjo; photo by The Mollis Germany. Good news from Northrhine-Westphalia, as two high quality world music festivals are this year back on, after having had a break.
Kemnade International is one of the definitely best world music festivals in Germany, taking place at the romantic setting of the Wasserburg Kemnade in the charming valley of the river Ruhr, in the southern parts of the city Bochum. Between 22. and 24. June 2001, Kemnade International not only offers a high quality selection of folk and world music bands and dance presentations from all over the world, but also a unique international atmosphere. This is a festival of both the high percentage of foreigners living in that region and German music lovers; and besides good music, you will also get good international food and wine. Highly recommended! Probably you will find more infos at the Bochum website.
Maybe 20 kilometers south of Bochum, in Wuppertal, the Talklang Festival is back as well. While Kemnade International offers a very relaxed atmosphere, at Talklang the music is more in the focus of attention. Yet it offers many great bands again; at the weekend between 17. and 19. August 2001. More infos at www.talklang.de
Photo: Angelique Kidjo on Talklang 1997


Irish music courses near Prague
Czech Republic. For the first time, Irish music workshops will be held near Prague, from 29.6-1.7.2001. There will be courses for fiddle (taught by Sabine Pichler), Flute/Whistle (Fiona Butler from Ireland), Guitar DADGAD/Bouzouki (Klaus Feketics). The whole workshop weekend will have a rather cheap all-inclusive price. It is organised by a fiddler from Prague, Jan Ráb, who can give more infos.


Snapshot - Fun Photo Competition; photo by The Mollis Snapshot - the Fun Photo Competition
Who is hiding behind the accordion?
Tell us the name, and WIN 3 CDS at once (of your choice out of a selection of six folk music (promotional) CDs)!!!!
Answers until 28/06/2001 to FolkWorld.
Click here to read the conditions of FolkWorld competitions.


In the German news you can find as additional news:


To the (older) FolkWorld News of Nr. 17
To the (newer) FolkWorld News of Nr. 19

To the content of FolkWorld online magazine Nr. 18

© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 4/2001

All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission.


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