Issue 20 12/2001

FolkWorld News


FolkWorld's Readers Top 10 of the year 2001 - Cast your vote and win one of 7 CD packages!
FolkWorld is asking all its readers and visitors to give their own vote on what have been your favourite three CDs of the year 2001. It does not take much time, and you even will have the chance to win CDs: We give away two packages of 3 CDs that you can choose from a selection of 5; as well as five packages of 2 CDs, featuring the latest Profolk Sampler 2002 (reviewed in this issue) plus one earlier Profolk Sampler - plenty of interesting German folk and world music acts.

Please cast your vote, and help us to compile the official European FolkWorld CD Top Ten - Readers' Choice. Cast your vote until the 10 Janaury 2002. The FolkWorld Readers' Top 10 will be published just a few days later, along with the FolkWorld Editors' Top 10. We will inform all of our subscribed Readers of the publication date.

Vote completed!

Derek Moffat of the McCalmans died
Derek Moffat, Photo by Ian McCalmanScotland. All at FolkWorld magazine were shocked and sad hearing of the death the great singer and wonderful person Derek Moffat. Ian McCalman reminds of his musical partner and friend in this obituary, originally published in The Scotsman.

Derek Moffat, singer and founding member of the McCalmans
Born: 29 June, 1947, in Dundee
Died: 21 October, 2001, in Edinburgh, aged 54

An obituary by Ian McCalman

Derek Moffat had one of the most natural singing voices in the British folk scene and his powerful delivery of Scottish traditional songs was the trademark of The McCalmans, with whom he performed for exactly 37 years. He was known as the quiet member of the group, but at party and pub sessions his deafening interpretations of songs from "South Pacific" and "Oklahoma" surfaced many times where song text accuracy was an absent friend.

Although born in Dundee, he spent almost all his early years in Dysart. He attended Kirkcaldy High School and when he was still a lad he performed at the wonderful Elbow Rooms folk club. It was there, some years later, that we met his sister, Sandra, and their wonderful parents, Cubby and Jimmy.

I met Derek on 6 October, 1964, at the Edinburgh School of Architecture. He was seated to my left and Hamish Bayne was on my right. We started talking about music on that first day and decided to meet for a "musical evening" at my parents' house. Such is fate! Two weeks later we had our first gig, and it was obvious to Hamish and myself that we were on to a good thing with Derek's voice. Hamish was no mean instrumentalist and I could handle a song or two, but the quality was certainly from Derek.

He was also a good painter and the one most likely to succeed in architecture, but his studies got in the way of the music and of course there was no choice - so architecture was bid a fond farewell.

"The Macs" toured the world and Derek enjoyed every second of it. Folk music was his lifeblood and though no traditional session was safe from his Beatles and Buddy Holly interpretations, he had other reasons for liking the job. He was a prolific reader and very knowledgeable about natural history, so whether we were touring in Central American jungles, Australian outback or Arctic wastes, he was in his element. "The biggest frog in the world has yet to be discovered" was one of his pronouncements, which quietened an officers' mess in a Belize rainforest. We were very proud of him.

Derek Moffat, photo by Ian McCalmanDerek had his favourite songs over the years, among them "Smuggler", "Seagull Cry", "I Have Seen the Highlands", "The Bells of the Town", "Yellow on the Broom", "Up Wi the Carls O' Dysart" and my personal favourite, "Kirsteen". I could add any song from the Mills Brothers' repertoire that we murdered and now, of course, I have a particular affection for the only song that Derek wrote, "The Back of the Aisler", which was a lovely piece about his childhood in Dysart, composed two years ago.

Derek liked to "party"! Some of his post-gig antics were legendary and I received a lovely e-mail from Mike Harding when he heard the sad news with some of his memories of Derek on tour - but I'm afraid I can't find any that would suit a Scotsman obituary. Having said that, I should stress that he was the consummate professional when it came to performances and touring. So many people read Derek wrong because of his extrovert side, but it is impossible for anyone to survive as a lead singer in a hard-working band for 37 years without a totally professional outlook, with which Derek was undoubtedly blessed. Derek was also blessed with his first marriage earlier this year when, unaware of his illness, he married Karen Bek-Pedersen, his partner of some six years. I had never seen him so happy.

I've had 37 years looking across at Derek singing his heart out and I've enjoyed it more than I can say. He phoned me an hour after he was given the dreadful news of his cancer and told me three things that I will never forget. The first was the news of his illness. The second was his insistence that we would have to start looking for someone else to join the group. The third thing he said was (and I'll miss out the adjective): "Well, I've had a great life."

Derek was "his own man" and had no self-pity when faced with his illness. He didn't "act brave", he was brave, maintaining a wonderful dignity during his last days. We will all miss him greatly.


© Text & photos Ian McCalman (fist published in The Scotsman, 24th October 2001)

FROG - better service with extensive folk session and festival listing,
FolkWorld's FROG - the Folk & Roots Online Guide has extended its services by adding what is probably the best international folk session listing in the internet as well as an extensive Europeanfolk festival calendar (beware though that some of the dates are from recent years!). These listings are put together by FolkWorld's contributor Tom Keller, who manages from now on also all external links in FROG.

With this change, FROG's design and navigation have also been changed. A huge number of new links have been added to FROG. It might have happened that some of the link requests got lost due to the changes in management; if so, just send them again in.
FROG also features an alphabetical-geographical index to all features and CD reviews that ever appeared in FolkWorld - these listings have remained up to now unchanged..

We hope that FROG will now be able to provide even better services, and stay more up to date than it used to be. Please help to make this ressource even more complete! Also, please note that there is the possibility to place an advertising banner in FROG.
Visit FROG at, and contact Tom Keller and FROG at

Susane Seivane, photo by The Mollis 3rd Tilburg International Folk Festival 2002 - Main Sponsor of FolkWorld
The Netherlands. With its third edition, the Tilburg International Folk Festival 2002 will live up to its reputation as one of Europe's newest, yet also one of Europe's greatest folk festivals. The new edition takes place between 23rd and 27th January 2002 in Tilburg in the Netherlands. This year's theme country is France, and theme instrument is the accordeon. The programme is as always magnificent, featuring some of the best talent around in Europe.

This year's prgramme (all concerts in the popcentrum 013; tickets cost 18,18 EURO each):

Flook!, photo by The MollisWednesday 23.1. (20.30): Jo Lemaire - Edith Piaf programma (Belgium); Les Primitifs du futur (France) featuring Robert Crumb & Fay Lovsky
Thursday 24.1. (20.30): Dropkick Murphys (USA) with support of Tiger Army (USA), Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards (USA)
Thursday 24.1. (20.30): Extra Concert in Theater De Vorst feat. Pierre Bastiën (Fr), 't Molenkot' Festivalproject (Be / NL) (Tickets 9,09 EURO)

Friday 25.1. (19.30): French Evening with Catherine Delasalle & Une Anche Passe (B/F), Bratsch (F), Jan-Màri Carlotti (F), Renaud Garcia Fons & Jean Louis Matinier (F)

Lais, photo by the MollisSaturday 26.1. (18.00): Celtic Connections with Ialma (Belgium/Galicia), Susane Seivane (Galicia), Kila (Ireland), Flook (England/Ireland). Afterwards Celtic Afterswing with DJ Wizzard and DJ Simon Emmerson.

Sunday 27.1. (14.00): New Folk Adventure with Lais (Belgium), Real-Ones (Norway), Régis Gizavo, The Mighty Jackals (Nl), Ogham & Friends (Ned), Troissoeur & Trio Viool & Guests (Belgium), Besh O Drom (Hungary), Debout sur le Zinc (France) and others.

Definitely worth a visit! For further information, check out their website at Contact address for the festival is: International Folk Festival, Telefoonstraat 16, 5038 DM Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tel: (0031) 013 - 580 14 24 / 580 14 11; Fax: 013 - 580 14 25; e-mail:

And as the Tilburg International Folk Festival has by now quite a reputation, book early to avoid disappointment!!!

Photos: All by The Mollis. Susane Seivane, Flook!, Lais.

Battlefield Band - who becomes the new singer?
Scotland. The Battlefield Band, Scotland's biggest folk music export, will face another line-up change to start the new year. Karine Polwart leaves the Battlefield Band in December 2001 after an "exciting and enjoyable" 18 month involvement so that she can concentrate on her own band Malinky as well as other projects.
Karine joined the Batties after Davy Steele had to stop touring with them due to illness; Davy died this April. Only this summer the Battlefield Band had another line-up change, when long-time member John McCusker was replaced by fiddler Alasdair White. FolkWorld has yet no information who the new singer of the Battlefield Band will be. Maybe worth to check out the Battlefield Band homepage from time to time.

Leo joins Malinky
Scotland/Ireland. The fabulous young Irish accordionist Leo McCann has joined the acclaimed Scottish song band Malinky, one of the most exciting new bands that has come out of Scotland for ages. Malinky also welcome their new fiddler, Jon Bews, a former member of Burach, to add to their original members Steve Byrne vocals/bouzouki/guitar, Mark Dunlop bodhran/whistles/flute and Karine Polwart vocals/guitar. As Malinky say "The new five-piece Malinky maintain an acoustic approach to traditional and original songs and tunes but their subtlety, power and live presence are greatly enhanced."
The band debut their new material as one of the featured artists on the annual Scottish Folk Festival Tour of Germany in January/February. Other artists involved on the tour are Burach, Ceolas and Jim Malcolm. The new five piece Malinky record their second album for Greentrax in spring, due for release on 1st July 2002.

Photo: Malinky's Karine Polwart, photo by The Mollis

Centre for Political Song
Scotland. Does folk music still has something to say? I wonder sometimes. Anyway, when Janey Buchan, former MEP and wife of the late folk revivalist Norman Buchan, donated hundreds of political song items, ranging from old 45s, tapes and CDs, to lyric sheets and song collections, to the Glasgow Caledonian University Library, she laid the core for the Centre for Political Song. The Centre is committed to collect and preserve all items of political song. Its website will allow access to a fully searchable database of materials held. "It is early days for the Centre, and we still do not know how to define the political song! What we are sure of is that the Centre, in its collecting and research activities, will range across the political spectrum from far right to far left; material (real and virtual) will be gathered as appropriate from bothy ballad to punk rock; from political party rally to street demonstration; from the pantomime, the folk club, and the opera."
Walkin' T:-)M



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Contact address: E-mail:; Jürgen Feuß, Postfach 110142-FW, 28081 Bremen / GERMANY. Phone: +49 421 7 49 10, FAX: +49 421 70 0051

Award for Máire Ni Chathasaigh
Ireland/England. It was announced in Dublin on October 2 that Máire Ni Chathasaigh is the recipient of the TG4 National Traditional Music Award for Musician of the Year 2001 (the highest possible honour for a traditional Irish musician). The citation says: "For the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp & for the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers". The previous three recipients of this award were Matt Malloy, Tommy Peoples and Mary Bergin, so she's in good company. Congratulations to her!
Máire's latest album with guitarist Chris Newman was published this April, and is reviewed in this issue.

Photo: Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman, photo by The Mollis

The Lights Went Out in Smithfield
Ireland. A year ago I visited the Balnain House, Home of Highland Music, in Inverness. Some months later it closed its doors. Then I told a friend of mine, he should make it to the Ceol Irish Traditional Music Centre in Dublin. He did. Now it's closed as well and the outfit is to be sold off. What's wrong with me? Or what's the reason that traditional music obviously doesn't work in the context of a museum or exhibition, even in the audio-visual way.
Walkin' T:-)M is puzzled.

Russian Spring
Russia. A new folk festival is taking place next April, to welcome the spring in the city of St. Petersburg. The festival features plenty of bands from Russia and CIS countries, along to international artists from Europe and beyond. The festival includes concerts of reputed bands, dance performance and other cultural events. Taking place April 25-28 of 2002, this is without doubt an exciting chance to explore Eastern European music, as well as a beautiful city.
Russian Spring Festival is still interested in the participation of folk bands, offering to pay the expenses for accomodation, food etc. Also, festival organiser Alexander Ivanov is generally intereested to get in touch with folk groups wishing to establish exchanges with Russian groups. A definitely interesting venture, and a wonderful opportuniy to strengthen the cultural links between Russia and the rest of Europe. Contact Alexander at
Infos about the festival at

FolkWorld's 4th birthday
FolkWorld. On the 1st November 2001, FolkWorld became 4. To celebrate, the geographical and organisational core of the FolkWorld team met up to discuss improvements on FolkWorld. One of the results of this meeting is the new design of the first page of this issue. More improvements to follow.

Irish Music Magazine Awards 2001 @ The Olympia Theatre Dublin, 13/12/2001
Paul Brady, photo by Sean LaffeyIreland. From Seán Laffey, editor of Irish Music Magazine, contributor of FolkWorld. Judging by last years' standard we are in for a superb night of music and craic as we roll up our sleeves and prepare for another IMMA night on the town. These are our reader's awards, each artist, each recipient has been voted for by a reader of Irish Music Magazine, and that's some of the best informed opinions in the world, and unlike the regular critics, it's the people who buy the CDs, purchase concert tickets and queue at the Festival Turnstiles who are the final arbiters of who makes it up the steps to meet Máiread on the big night.
Many people ask how the awards work; the answer is pretty simple; we draw up a short list of the significant suspects around the end of July. We take advice on the short list from our worldwide freelance correspondents and a number of selected Folk and Trad media personnel. The criteria we ask them to work to are straightforward; consider artists and institutions that are making a positive contribution to Irish music both at home and abroad. Once we have the short list we let it loose on the general public. Every reader of the magazine is entitled to vote and we also work in conjunction with HMV music stores across Ireland who make available voting papers in all their outlets.
Dervish - Award winnersThis year we collected over a thousand entries from the festival goers at Milwaukee's Irish Fest to add an American dimension to our sorting office.
Many of the winners will perform for our audience on the night of the awards, expect some great music form Davy Spillane & Kevin Glackin, Mary Black, Paul Brady, Sean Keane, Máire Brennan, Altan, Jimmy McCarthy, Slide and Dervish.

Finally, to try and answer that famous Paul Brady question, just what is Irish Music? Well it ain't rock and roll and it ain't all necessarily diddly-eye either, but it is grounded in years of traditional music on the one hand and on the other it reflects a certain Irish sensibility about the here and now. If you are lucky enough to be with us on the 13th of December, you'll witness the whole spectrum, you lucky people! Welcome to the Olympia, let's party! Seán Laffey.

Photos: Award winners Paul Brady (photo by Sean Laffey) and Dervish

Celtic Myst in Holland
The Netherlands. Plenty of celtic female voices will be found at the Celtic Myst (Myst for mist? Or for Mystic?) Festival. Featuring Maire Breathnach, Francis Black, Mary Coughlan, Geraldine MacGowan and Anúna. On the Valentine 2002 (that's the 14th of February...), in the Vredenburg in Utrecht. Info:

Bodhran-Workshops in Germany and Austria
Rof Wagels with Dereelium, photo by The MollisGermany/Austria. Bodhràns seem to be becoming more popular on the continent, proved by two workshops in early spring.
From the 8th to 10th February 2002, the first ever Bodhrán Weekend in Germany takes place at the Proitzer Mühle in Wendland (between Hanover, Berlin and Hamburg). On offer will be courses for beginners, advanced beginners and advanced players. The teachers will be two German bodhrán players with a very good reputation: Guido Plüschke, playing bodhrán in the German Irish band Garifin, is the course leader. Rolf Wagels is one of the continents best bodhrán players. Along to the workshops, there will be a lecture on the history of the bodhrán and a concert of Germany's best Irish band, Dereelium. Information via, or contact Rolf Wagels at
Another bodhrán workshop will be held in Austria on the 1st and 2nd of March in Austria. Mel Mercier will be holding it during the Vienna International Percussion Festival. Info: Percussion Club Austria Tempelgasse 4/2, A-1020 Wien; Tel:+43/1/214 52 85 e-mail: homepage:

Photo: rolf Wagels in Dereelium; Photo by The Mollis

The end of the "foreigners tax"
Germany. The so-called "foreigners tax", often reported about in FolkWorld, and introduced several years ago in Germany, and charging for foreign artists much higher taxes than for Germany-based ones, will be finally changed. From 2003 onwards, there will be a tax allowance of 250 EURO per concert. All incomes between 251 and 500 EURO will be taxed at 10 %, between 501 and 1000 EURO at 15 %. All higher incomes will be taxed at 20 %.
Up to now, the tax rate for foreign artists lies at 25 %, no matter how little the income might be. The reform will make it especially for low earning artists such as folk musicians more interesting to return to tour in Germany. A long overdue change...

Plenty of Irish Music in Germany in March
Germany. Directly three festivals with three bands each are touring Germany in March. While Irish Spring offers quieter high quality Irish Music, the double tour of the St Patrick's Day Celebration has the focus on aparty with music.
Irish Spring is a new annual festival tour. After a highly successful first version in April 2001, the second edition is coming up next March and offers once again some of the best the more traditional Irish scene has to offer. Irish Spring 2002 presents The Bumblebees, Téada, Grainne Hambly, Mirella Murray & Tola Custy. It is on tour between 6th and 26th March 2002, organised by Music Contact in co-operation with the reputed Irish Music expert Axel Schuldes. Further Information at
Meanwhile, the 13th St.Patrick´s Day Celebration Festival, run by Petr Pandula's Magentic Music, has the subtitle "Irish paradise lost and found", and offers again two parallel tours Tour 1 features Broderick, Alistair Russell & Chris Parkinson and Celtic Rock of The Paperboys, while tour 2 features the German Irish Fun Folk band Mahones, then Inish and Celtic Rock by A.L.B. Both tours on tour between 8th and 23rd of March 2002. Information from

Imagine an Ireland?
Ireland. FolkWorld contributor and Irish Music editor Sean Laffey informs about his new non-commercial venture. This is what he says: "Have you got a PC (of course you have aren't you reading this on the web), do you have a grá for Ireland? Then why not order a set of Sean Laffey's original photographs? Seán has over 100 quality images of Ireland and Irish musicians available on a CD-R. These are on limited licence, you can't use them for publication or re-sale but you can use them on your PC for your own non-commercial products. The CD-R's cost 10 EURO each including postage, as Irish banks will not accept cheques in Euros from European banks (don't ask!!!), please send an International Money Order (available from most Post Offices) or a crisp Euro Tenner to: Sean Laffey, Castlelake Consultancy, Cashel Co., Tipperary, Ireland. Questions to

Snapshot - Results
Last issue's Snapshot showed this picture, with the question to which musician or band this amazing percussion set belongs to. There were not too many answer; and the most common answer was Swedish band Väsen. Well this is not the right answer (although André Ferrari of Väsen has also an impressive range of percussion instruments).
The right answer is another Swedish band, which is Groupa, and its Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset. All three correct answers came from Germany; one of them has received the pack of three CDs...

This issue there is no Snapshot competition, as FolkWorld focusses on its Readers Top 10 2001. PLEASE GIVEYOUR OPINION ON THE THREE BEST CDs OF 2001! You can win CDs.

In the German news you can find as additional news:

To the (older) FolkWorld News of Nr. 19
To the (newer) FolkWorld News of Nr. 21

To the content of FolkWorld online magazine Nr. 20

© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 12/2001

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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