David Francey (*17 November 1954, Ayrshire, Scotland). The Scottish-born folk singer-songwriter immigrated to Ontario, Canada with his family at age 12. After spending much of his life doing labour such as carpentry, he began a career in folk music, quickly making a name for himself on the folk festival circuit, where he continues to perform. David Francey's experiences in working-class life strongly influenced his 1999 debut, Torn Screen Door. Other musical themes include admiration of the natural beauty of the Canadian landscape, and traditional folk themes of love and loss. In 2004, David Francey won first prize of the Folk Category of the prestigious 9th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. In 2010, David Francey won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
Mick Moloney (*15 November 1944, Limerick, Ireland). Being an important figure on the Dublin folk-song revival in the 1960s, Michael "Mick" Moloney gained early fame as a member of Irish groups such as The Johnstons and The Emmet Spiceland. In 1973, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has since performed and recorded with a variety of artists, including Eugene O'Donnell, Séamus Egan and The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem. Mick also served as the artistic director for The Green Fields of America, an ensemble of Irish musicians, singers and dancers which toured across the United States on several occasions.
In 1992, Moloney received a Ph.D. in Folklore and Folklife from the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently Mick Moloney has taught ethnomusicology, folklore and Irish studies courses. For his work in public folklore he received a National Heritage Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999, and the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from the President of Ireland in 2013.
Mike Harding (*23 October 1944, Manchester, UK). The English singer, songwriter, comedian, author, poet, broadcaster and multi-instrumentalist is known as 'The Rochdale Cowboy' after one of his hit records. Mike Harding began performing as a folk singer in the 1960s, making his first recordings for the Topic label. He began telling jokes between songs, eventually extending them into longer humorous anecdotes which became the main focus of his act. As a stand-up comic he made several series for the BBC and appeared on numerous TV and radio programmes.
Since 2000 Harding has presented the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and from 1997 to 2012 he presented the weekly BBC Radio 2 flagship folk and roots programme, The Mike Harding Show. Reportedly Harding had left reluctantly, claiming that the BBC had "sold the folk world down the river". In 2013 he launched his own internet radio show.
Paddy Reilly (*18 October 1939, Dublin, Ireland). The Irish folk singer and guitarist Patrick 'Paddy' Reilly is one of Ireland's most famous balladeers and best known for his renditions of "The Fields of Athenry" and "The Town I Loved So Well". For years a solo performer, he joined The Dubliners in 1996 as a replacement for Ronnie Drew. He left the group after 9 years to move to New York in 2005 and was replaced by Patsy Watchorn. Paddy Reilly owned a number of bars in New York, and now lives in Naples, Florida.
Archie Fisher (*23 October 1939, Glasgow, Scotland). The Scottish folk singer and songwriter has released several solo albums since his first self-titled album in 1968. His live act included "All Around My Hat", later to become a hit for Steeleye Span. Starting in the mid-1970s, he performed with Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy. He also produced the Irish duo's first four albums.
Jim McCann (*26 October 1944, Ireland). The Irish entertainer James "Jim" McCann began to perform in folk clubs in Birmingham in 1964. Upon his return to Dublin he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965. In the following year the group had a hit with their recording of Dominic Behan’s “The Sea Around Us”, which reached number one in the Irish charts. The Ludlow Trio broke up in the following year, and McCann began a solo career. He subsequently performed alongside Luke Kelly in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1973, in the role of Peter. In 1974 Kelly asked McCann to join The Dubliners temporarily, to replace Ciaran Bourke during a period of illness. He became a permanent member soon after when Ronnie Drew left the group. McCann remained with The Dubliners until 1979.
In recent years McCann has continued to perform, tour, and record music as a solo artist. He rejoined the Dubliners in 2002 for their 40th anniversary album, but during the subsequent tour was diagnosed with throat cancer. Although treatment for the illness was successful, the damage to his voice has left him unable to sing.
Patsy Watchorn (*16 October 1944, Crumlin, Dublin, Ireland). The Irish folk singer first came to prominence around 1969 as the lead singer of The Quare Fellas, a Dublin-based ballad group. They evolved into the Dublin City Ramblers in the early 1970s and with Patsy as their lead singer they had hits with songs such as "The Rare Ould Times" and "The Ferryman", both written by Pete St. John. In 1995, Patsy Watchorn left the group and made a number of solo albums. He joined The Dubliners in 2005, taking Paddy Reilly's place.
When The Dubliners announced their retirement in 2012 after finishing their 50 Years Anniversary Tour, Patsy Watchorn decided to keep on touring with former band members Seán Cannon and Eamonn Campbell and banjo player Gerry O'Connor under the name of "The Dublin Legends". In 2014 he "decided to take a break from the music business for a while".
Anne Briggs (*29 September 1944, Toton, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, UK). Although English folk singer Anne Patricia Briggs travelled widely in the 1960s/1970s, appearing at folk clubs and venues in England and Ireland, she never achieved widespread public acknowledgment of her music. She was a highly influential figure though in the English folk music revival, being a source of songs and musical inspiration for others such as A.L. Lloyd and Jimmy Page, The Watersons and Eliza Carthy, June Tabor and Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson and Maddy Prior, Kate Rusby and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh.
In 1959, Anne Briggs had met Bert Jansch through Archie Fisher in Edinburgh, who had just begun to compose his own songs, and they had an instant rapport. In the mid 1960s she spent her summers in Ireland, singing in pub sessions and learning the solo sean-nós singing style, which she blended with elements of traditional English music. When Johnny Moynihan and Andy Irvine formed Sweeney's Men, Briggs joined them on tours and learned to play the bouzouki.
Dougie MacLean (*27 September 1954, Dunblane, Scotland). Hailed as "one of Scotland's premier singer-songwriters", Dougie MacLean's most famous pieces include "The Gael", which was adapted as the main theme to "The Last of the Mohicans" (1992), and "Caledonia" from his first album (1980). The latter has been covered by numerous singers and is sometimes called Scotland's unofficial national anthem.
To support himself in the 1970s, MacLean was a driver for Doc and Merle Watson during their tour around Europe. His career started in 1976 with a traditional band, The Tannahill Weavers. In the early 1980s, he was briefly part of Silly Wizard. Dougie's solo career started in 1981 and since then he has recorded numerous albums. In 2013, MacLean was awarded the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Lifetime Achievement for Contribution to Songwriting.
Davey Arthur (*24. September 1954, Donegal, Ireland). Donegal-born folk singer Davey Arthur moved to Scotland at the age of two. He started to play banjo, mandolin and guitar at the age of eight, and at 18 he returned to Ireland, where he started to compose his own music. He became world famous after he joined The Fureys, when they had their most successful hits. After leaving the Fureys in 1992, he went on to continue with his own solo career.
Eric Bogle (*23 September 1944, Peebles, Scotland). The Scottish-born folk singer-songwriter immigrated to Australia in 1969. His songs cover a wide range of subjects and themes, including comedic songs, satires, protest songs and serious songs about the human condition. Several of his most famous songs tell of the futility or loss of war. Prominent among these is "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda", telling of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) experience fighting in the Battle of Gallipoli. "The Green Fields of France" ("No Man's Land") is also World War I-themed, refering to the traditional Scottish song "Flowers of the Forest" being played over the grave of a World War I soldier.
In 1987, Eric Bogle was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for his work as a singer-songwriter. In 2001 the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) named his song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" as one of the Top 30 Australian songs of all time.
Leonard Cohen (*21 September 1934, Westmount, Montreal, Quebec, Canada). The singer-songwriter was born in an English-speaking area of Montreal, Quebec, into a middle-class Jewish family. As a teenager he formed a country group. He switched to playing a classical guitar after meeting a young Spanish flamenco player. Leonard Cohen published his first book of poetry in 1956. While living on the Greek island of Hydra throughout the 1960s, Cohen published novels which gained critical recognition but sold few copies. Disappointed with his lack of financial success as a writer and after his song "Suzanne" became a hit for Judy Collins, he pursued a career as a singer-songwriter. Cohen's first album in 1967 became a cult favorite in the US and, even more so, in Europe.
Recurring themes in Cohen's work include love, sex and religion. Having suffered from depression during much of his life, his works often included themes of depression, self-harm and suicide. His 1984 album "Various Positions" included the popular "Hallelujah", covered by almost 200 artists to date.
Norma Christine Waterson (*15 August 1939, Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, UK). Norma Waterson is best known as one of the original members of premier English traditional group The Watersons, featuring her siblings Mike and Lal Waterson and in later incarnations her husband Martin Carthy. In 2010, Norma Waterson released an album of collaborations with her daughter Eliza entitled "Gift". A BBC reviewer wrote: "The gift in question here, one gathers, is a handing of talent from generation to generation; Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy are, after all, the sublimely gifted mother and daughter who make up part of British folk’s great dynasty. There is a real sense of congregation and rootedness about this record as a whole. Long may the dynasty flourish."
John Renbourn (*8 August 1944, Marylebone, London, UK). The English guitarist studied classical guitar at school where he was introduced to Early Music. In the 1950s, Renbourn was greatly influenced by the Skiffle craze and he explored the work of Lead Belly, Josh White and Big Bill Broonzy. Around 1963, he teamed up with Bert Jansch, and together they developed an intricate duet style that became known as folk baroque. Renbourn also started playing with singer Jacqui McShee, together they went on to form the successful group Pentangle. John Renbourn still continues to record and tour.
Paddy Glackin (*5 August 1954, Clontarf, Dublin, Ireland). Paddy Glackin is considered one of the leading Irish fiddlers in the late 20th/early 21st centuries. His primary influence came from his family's roots in Donegal, most prominently John Doherty, the legendary travelling fiddler. Glackin was an original member of Bothy Band. When the group decided to become professional Paddy left and eventually became sports editor for RTÉ radio. He has released several recordings, ft. pipers Paddy Keenan and Robbie Hannon, his former Bothy Band colleagues Dónal Lunny and the late Mícheál Ó Domhnaill, and his brothers Kevin and Séamus. Although he is quite outspoken in his preference for a pure soloists approach he has also been involved in a number of recordings with avant-garde composers John Cage and Jolyon Jackson. Glackin continues to perform and he teaches annually at the Willie Clancy Summer School in Clare.
Ricky Skaggs (*18 July 1954, Cordell, Kentucky, USA). At age 6, country and bluegrass artist Ricky Skaggs played mandolin and sang on stage with Bill Monroe. At age 7, he appeared on TV playing with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. By 1970, he was invited to join Ralph Stanley's band, the Clinch Mountain Boys. Skaggs later joined The Country Gentlemen and Emmylou Harris's Hot Band. Into the 21st century Skaggs has embraced his bluegrass roots, as well as experimenting with new sounds. In 2011, Skaggs featured with the Irish Brock McGuire Band on their album "Green Grass Blue Grass," an exploration of the connection between traditional Irish Music and American Bluegrass and Appalachian music.
Jean Redpath (1937-2014). The Scottish folk singer died from cancer on 21 August 2014 at a hospice in Arizona. Jean Redpath was born in Edinburgh and it was there that she discovered the rich archives of the university's School of Scottish Studies. She learned about 400 songs, together with the oral folklore that went with them. In 1961 she went to the United States. In Greenwich Village, New York, she shared a flat with the young Bob Dylan. After a critically acclaimed appearance at Gerde's Folk City, her musical career was launched. Redpath recorded over 40 albums. In 1976 she started recording the songs of Robert Burns, orchestrated by the composer Serge Hovey. 7 out of 22 projected albums were published until Hovey's death in 1989. Redpath recorded a further four albums of Burns songs singing a cappella.
Scottish singer and songwriter Sheena Wellington described Jean Redpath as the "foremost ambassador for Scottish traditional song for more than 50 years". She said: "She researched and brought back lots of songs that had been lost in the midst of time, and just performed with such grace and such humour as well. She just had that gift. She would walk on stage and smile at the audience and that was it, they were won over."
Hugh Alan "Buddy" MacMaster (1924-2014). One of the most renowned artists in the tradition of Cape Breton fiddle music died at his home in Judique, Nova Scotia on August 20, 2014. Hugh Alan "Buddy" MacMaster was born into a Gaelic-speaking home. At an early age he began to play the fiddle. At age 14 he played his first professional gig at a square dance. After his retirement as a station agent and telegrapher for the Canadian National Railway in 1988, he went on to play full-time as a professional musician, gaining an international reputation.
In 2000, Buddy was awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to Canadian culture. His youngest sister, Betty Lou Beaton, is one of Cape Breton's finest pianists and married to well-known fiddler Kinnon Beaton. He is also the uncle of Natalie MacMaster, another popular Cape Breton fiddler.
Johnny Winter (1944-2014).
American blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter and his younger brother Edgar, both of whom were born
with albinism, began performing at an early age. Best known for his high-energy blues-rock albums and
live performances in the 1960/70s, Johnny Winter also produced three Grammy Award-winning albums for
blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. In 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list
of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". On 16 July 2014, two days after his performance at the
Cahors Blues Festival in France, he was found dead in his hotel room.
WOMEX 14 Awards
To bring WOMEX 14 to a close, the Artist Award, Label Award and Professional Excellence Award were presented to the WOMEX community at Auditorio Abanca in the old town of Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, 26 October in a ceremony featuring touching speeches and a breathtaking performance by this year's Artist Award winner - The Award recipients are:
WOMEX 14 Artist Award:
Internationally acclaimed fado singer Mariza (Portugal) received the WOMEX 14 Artist Award for bringing fado to new levels of international recognition while staying true to its tradition. At the award ceremony Mariza played WOMEX for the second time. When receiving the Award figurine Mariza remembered the first time performing at WOMEX as a showcase artist 2002 in Essen, Germany.:
"Showcasing WOMEX in 2002 was a really big step for my career but also a big help to show to the world what is Portuguese culture. Therefore I would love to share this award with all the Portuguese artists who always, always try to make music possible."
The award was presented by Lucy Duran, lecturer at SOAS University in London and radio presenter at BBC 3, who was on the WOMEX jury in 2002. Lucy Duran remembered how they selected Mariza immediately after hearing the first words of her singing on Fado Em Mim album: "That voice! Powerful, expressive, full, luxuriant, commanding, humorous. Each tone sung with perfect intonation."
WOMEX 14 Professional Excellence Award:
Mário Lúcio Sousa (Cabo Verde) received the Professional Excellence Award for his invaluable contributions to the arts and culture of Cabo Verde and increasing visibility of Cabo Verdean music on the world stage. Mário Lúcio Sousa is now the minister of culture of Cabo Verde and looks back on an impressive career as a musician and singer. The award was presented by Marta Dobosz of Cross Culture Festival.
In his acception speech at the ceremony in Santiago, Mario Lúcio Sousa addressed the WOMEX audience: "I want to share this award with you. When I received awards as a musician, I felt it was mine. But this is a collective prize. No community in the world is doing, what we, you and us, professionals of art are doing in this moment in the world: Making people come together exchanging, promoting dialogue and preserving diversity. So I call all the presidents of the republics, all prime ministers, all ministers on the planet to support the job we are doing. Because we are promoting peace."
WOMEX 14 Label Award:
The WOMEX 14 Label Award goes to Glitterbeat Records (Germany). With releases from Aziza Brahim, Tamikrest, Lobi Traoré, Noura Mint Seymali and Sonido Gallo Negro, Glitterbeat's artists are both culturally committed and resolutely contemporary. The award was received by label owners Chris Eckman and Peter Weber who thanked the broadcasters and the audience: "We receive this award in the name of our wonderful and beautiful artists. We feel extremely honoured that so many people take the time to listen to our records. The WOMEX group is a fantastic incubator, it is a fantastic place for us to get our wellspring of energy every year. Now we need to get out and build more and more bridges with the wider music community."
The award was presented by Johannes Theurer, radio broadcaster and
coordinator of the World Music Charts Europe based on Europe wide
airplay figures which are also the basis for the award winner
selection. Theurer took the opportunity to remind the community of
today's importance of records especially for broadcasters and for the
global music community in general.
Bellowhead Brew Again
Britain biggest traditional folk act Bellowhead have joined with prestigious Sussex independent brewers Harveys to produce a new real ale: Revival Ale. Their latest, critically acclaimed album, also titled Revival was released in June. The new beer completes an interesting circle for the band. Back in 2010, they were the first musical act to brew their own Ale, Hedonism, in conjunction with the Potbelly microbrewery. At that time the idea of the beer was a typically tongue-in-cheek response. Four short years later, during which the band watched in amazement as acts as diverse as Elbow, Madness and even Iron Maiden released their own beers, Bellowhead return to raise the stakes.
Not only will Revival Ale be available on tap throughout the Harveys own pub estate and their wider distribution, the band are also encouraging fans to get involved around their November tour - the band’s biggest yet. With a background firmly rooted in the traditional folk world, they are very aware of the importance of pub music sessions as a way of introducing and developing musicians. Many of the band first met in pub sessions themselves, years before Bellowhead became a reality.
Around their November tour, members of Bellowhead will be playing after-show sessions in local pubs with Revival Ale on tap! Band member Paul Sartin said ‘Pub sessions are the lifeblood of the English traditional scene, they are both a breeding ground for new talent and part of vibrant community culture. They are also a great way of encouraging landlords to lock you in!’
Harveys Sales & Marketing Manager Bob Trimm commented: ‘There is a long and established connection between beer and folk music and specifically with Harveys in the Sussex area. We’re delighted to be able to link up with Bellowhead to provide not just great beer, but a fantastic reason to go to pubs’.
Fairport Convention Winter Tour
Veteran folk-rock band Fairport Convention announces the dates and venues of their 2015 Winter Tour which starts at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury on 29 January and finishes at the Union Chapel, Islington, London on 1 March. All the Winter Tour concerts will feature songs and tunes from Fairport's brand new album Myths & Heroes which will be released to coincide with the tour, the first Fairport Convention studio album for four years. Each concert will open with a short guest performance by talented guitar-fiddle duo Kevin Dempsey and Rosie Carson.
15 January - 1 February 2015 Celtic Connections Festival, Glasgow, Scotland, UK ft. Fairport Convention, Adam Cohen, Kate Rusby, Karine Polwart, ... www.celticconnections.com 28 January - 1 February 2015 Temple Bar Trad, Dublin, Ireland ft. Donovan, Sweeney's Men, Beoga, Danu, Levellers, Cara Dillon, ... www.templebartrad.com 18 - 22 February 2015 The Gathering, Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney, Kerry, Ireland www.thegathering.ie 26 - 28 March 2015 Babel Med Music, Marseille, France www.babelmedmusic.com 6 - 10 May 2015 folkBALTICA, Flensburg & Sønderjylland-Schleswig, Germany/Denmark www.folkbaltica.de
2 - 5 July 2015 TFF Rudolstadt, Germany ft. Norway, Cister, Halling www.tff-rudolstadt.de 6 - 12 July 2015 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland www.kaustinen.net 10 - 12 July 2015 Priddy Folk Fayre, Somerset, UK www.priddyfolk.org 15 - 19 July 2015 Larmer Tree Music Festival, Wiltshire, UK www.larmertreefestival.co.uk 23 - 26 July 2015 Warwick Folk Festival, UK www.warwickfolkfestival.co.uk 30 Jul - 2 Aug 2015 Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge, UK www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk 7 - 16 August 2015 Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France www.festival-interceltique.com 27 - 30 August 2015 Purbeck Folk Festival, Dorset, UK www.purbeckfolk.co.uk 31 July - 7 August 2015 Sidmouth FolkWeek, Devon, UK www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk 27 - 30 August 2015 Tønder Festival, Denmark ft. Bellowhead, Mary Gauthier, Lynn Miles, The Wood Brothers, Allan Taylor, ... www.tf.dk
Last but not least (1): Madrid - Folk Music Sessions Going On in 2014/15
With the leadership of José-María CLIMENT and the concurrence of several other experienced musicians, folk sessions keep taking place in the town of Aravaca (Madrid, Spain). The latest event was on Saturday October 25th 2014 in the bar EL OTRO (centro comercial Rosa Luxemburgo Aravaca), and the session got together artists such as: Jaime Muñoz (Irish traverse flute, pipe & tabor, whistles), Javier Cacho (bombardes, sax), Rocio GL (accordion, guitar), Kevin Tilbury (concertina, bagpipes), Hector López Bernardo (clarinet, cajón flamenco), Juanma Sánchez (bassoon), ….
These gatherings have become the follow-up of the legendary sessions that started taking place in the 1990’s in the Irish pub ‘La Taberna de Elisa’ in Madrid’s old town. The plan now is to celebrate them every 2 or 3 months, same place, Saturday night, ...
José Climent will keep us informed through Facebook at:
MADRID : LAS SESIONES DE MUSICA FOLK CONTINÚAN EN 2014-2015
Con el liderazgo de José María CLIMENT y la concurrencia de varios músicos experimentados, las sesiones de folk siguen celebrándose en la villa de Aravaca (Madrid). El último de estos eventos tuvo lugar el Sábado 25 de Octubre de 2014 en el bar EL OTRO (centro comercial Rosa Luxemburgo Aravaca), y la sesión consiguió reunir a artistas como: Jaime Muñoz (flauta travesera, flauta de tres agujeros y tamboril, whistles), Javier Cacho (bombardas, saxo), Rocio GL (acordeón, guitarra), Kevin Tilbury (concertina, gaitas), Hector López Bernardo (clarinete, cajón flamenco), Juanma Sánchez (fagot), ….
Estos encuentros se han convertido en la continuación de las legendarias sesiones que comenzaron a tener lugar en los años 90 en el pub ‘La Taberna de Elisa’ en el casco viejo de Madrid. El plan ahora es el celebrar estos eventos cada 2 o 3 meses, en el mismo lugar, sábado por la noche, …
José Climent nos mantendrá informados por medio de Facebook :
Last but not least (2): Begin Again
»Just been to the cinema to see John Carney's Begin Again. I had seen his previous movie, Once, and had been moderately charmed by it. I saw the trailer for his new film below, and guessed that he was mining the same theme. Quite how shamelessly though, did not become apparent until I saw it, and realised that he should have called this movie Twice.
The problems with the movie are manifold...far too numerous to list. But the major flaw in the film is that fatally - for a film based on the work of a songwriter - her songs are so very bland and forgettable. And the “her” in question (British actress Keira Knightley), never really convinces as a Michelle Shocked type of performer.
But no film that uses Manhattan as a backdrop can ever be heavy on the eye, and this has some glorious locations. And a decent cast: Mark Ruffalo is a bit too good for the film, as is British actor James Corden.«
David "Dai" Woosnam (email@example.com)