FolkWorld #56 03/2015

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News & Gossip

Happy Birthday

"Hold On, We're Strummin"

David Grisman (*23 March 1945, Hackensack, New Jersey, USA). The American bluegrass/newgrass mandolinist and composer started his musical career in 1963 as a member of the Even Dozen Jug Band. His nickname "Dawg" was affectionately assigned by his close friend Jerry Garcia in 1973. Dawg Music is what he calls his mixture of bluegrass, folk, Old World Mediterranean string band music and Django Reinhardt/Stéphane Grappelli-influenced jazz as well as modern jazz fusion. David Grisman has released solo records and albums with his own groups, performed in collaborations with many other artists in different genres (Andy Statman, John Sebastian, Tony Rice) and had played in the psychedelic band Earth Opera with Peter Rowan.

Soïg Sibéril

"Tamm Ha Tamm"

Soïg Sibéril (*1 February 1955, Paris, France). An innovative guitarist, Soïg Sibéril is one of the pioneers of the implementation of the guitar as a complete instrument in traditional Breton music. He started playing guitar at the age of 18, inspired by blues and folk music (Bob Dylan). Soïg Sibéril moved to Britanny in the mid 1970s, picked up by the Breton wave that conquered Paris (Alan Stivell at the Olympia etc). At the fest-noz, he discovered traditional Breton music. In 1975, he also met the Irish guitarist Michael O'Donnell, who introduced him to open DADGAD tuning. Soïg would adapt these drone sounds to the Breton repertoire. Siberil has been a member of many great Breton bands including Kornog, Gwerz, Pennou Skoulm, Orion, and more recently the Celtic rock band Breizharock. He collaborated with artists such as Jamie McMenemy, Nolwenn Korbell and Evelyne Girardon.

Gilles Servat (*1 February 1945, Tarbes, France). The Breton singer grew up in southern France, born into a family whose roots lay in the Nantes region of Brittany. Servat's music was originally inspired by the works of Breton musicians Glenmor and Alan Stivell. The title song from his first album, "La blanche Hermine", the White Ermine being the national emblem of Brittany, became an anthem for Bretons. In 1998 though, he released the album "Touche pas à la Blanche Hermine" (Don't Touch The White Stoat) as a defiant stand against the French National Front who had used Servat's song during its meetings. In the 1990s Gilles Servat became part of the Héritage des Celtes led by Dan Ar Braz. He has also authored several novels inspired by Celtic myths and legends.

Ashley Hutchings

"A More Than Worthy Recipient"

Ashley Hutchings (*26 January 1945, Southgate, UK). The man often referred to as The Guv'nor' has worked tirelessly upholding and championing the English tradition. As a teenager the bass player, vocalist and songwriter became involved in the skiffle and blues movements. He met guitarist Simon Nicol in 1966, they rehearsed on the floor above Nicol's father's medical practice in a house called "Fairport" and lent its name to the group they formed together as Fairport Convention in 1967 with Richard Thompson. Hutchings played on the band's first four albums. The focus of the band changed with the introduction of fiddler Dave Swarbrick into the line up. This prompted Hutchings to carry out research in the English Folk Dance & Song Society Library at Cecil Sharp House which resulted in the pioneering classic "Liege and Lief" (1969), seen by many as the foundation of a distinctively English folk rock.

Unhappy with the direction of the band, as most members wanted to return to their older format, he left in 1969 to focus on more traditional projects. Steeleye Span was formed by putting together two established folk duos, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior with Terry and Gay Woods, the latter soon replaced by Martin Carthy and Peter Knight, recording electric versions of traditional songs. The push for a more commercial sound prompted Hutchings to leave the band. He had already gathered together the first incarnation of what has been the major outlet for his work, the Albion Country Band. With many bewildering line-up changes, they continued to record and tour regularly until 2002. He continues to tour in the Christmas season with the Albion Christmas Band.

Steve Earle

Steve Earle (*17 January 1955, Fort Monroe, Virginia, USA). The American rock, country and folk singer-songwriter is reported to have run away from home at age 14 to follow his hero and role model Townes Van Zandt around Texas. Steve Earle began his career as a songwriter in Nashville. His breakthrough was the 1986 album "Guitar Town", the title track became a Top Ten single. In 1989, "Copperhead Road" has been characterized as a quixotic project that mixed a lyrical folk tradition with hard rock and eclectic Irish influences such as The Pogues, who guested on the record.

In the mid 1990s he successfully battled his heroin addiction, and made a foray into bluegrass music in 1999 when he released the album "The Mountain" with the Del McCoury Band. In the early 2000s, "Jerusalem" expressed his anti-war and anti-death penalty politics. "The Revolution Starts Now" (2004) had been influenced by the Iraq war and George W. Bush and won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album. In 2009, his tribute album "Townes" earned him another Grammy award.

Dave Cousins

"We're Not Really a Folk Group"

Dave Cousins (*7 January 1945, Hounslow, Middlesex, UK). The English singer and songwriter has been the leader, singer and most active songwriter of The Strawbs since 1967. Dave Cousins (born David Joseph Hindson) was a founding member of the band originally known as the Strawberry Hill Boys, which started out as a bluegrass band, but eventually moved onto to other styles (folk, folk rock, progressive rock). Cousins has also followed a career in radio and has been instrumental in many successful franchise ventures involving local radio stations in the UK. He is touring North America and Europe with the Acoustic Strawbs several months every year.

"Can’t Get Enough"

Stephen Stills (*3 January 1945, USA). The American guitarist is best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield (spawning the hit single, the Stills-penned "For What It's Worth") and Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young). Stephen Stills would say that Neill Young was doing what he always wanted to do, play folk music in a rock band. He draws from rock&roll, blues, country, folk and Latin music. His primary alternate tuning is EEEEBE (Palmer modal tuning), which can be heard in "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". Stills was ranked in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in both 2003 and 2011. He became the first person to be inducted twice on the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with CSN and Buffalo Springfield.


"Lonesome in O'Donoghues"

Eddie Furey (*24 December 1944, Ballyfermot, Dublin, USA). In 1976, four brothers of Irish Traveller heritage from Ballyfermot, Dublin — Eddie, Finbar, Paul and George Furey — formed an Irish male folk band, later called The Fureys and eventually The Fureys and Davey Arthur. Prior to the band's formation, two of the brothers had toured as a duo known simply by their names as Eddie and Finbar Furey. In 1981, The Fureys released their most successful single "When You Were Sweet Sixteen", becoming a worldwide hit.

"Tell My Sister"

Anna McGarrigle (*4 December 1944, Montreal, Quebec, Canada). The Canadian folk music singer and songwriter wrote and performed as a duo with her sister, Kate McGarrigle, until Kate's death in 2010. In the 1960s, Kate and Anna McGarrigle had established themselves in Montreal's burgeoning folk scene. Their 1975 self-titled debut album was chosen by Melody Maker as Best Record of the Year. Their albums "Matapedia" (1996) and "The McGarrigle Hour" (1998) won Juno Awards. Anna McGarrigle was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1993, and received a Women of Originality award (1999) and a SOCAN Lifetime Achievement award (2006).

"Red Sky"

Ralph McTell (*3 December 1944, Farnborough, Kent, UK). Born Ralph May, the English singer-songwriter and guitarist has been an influential figure on the UK folk music scene since the 1960s. He was named after Ralph Vaughan Williams – his father had worked as the composer's gardener before the war. Fellow musician Wizz Jones suggested the stage name McTell, since his guitar playing has been modelled on the style of the early 20th century country blues guitar players such as Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell.

»Nearly all my guitar heroes are black, American, usually blind and most of 'em dead.« (Ralph McTell)

McTell is best known for his tale of Irish emigration, "From Clare to Here," and the song "Streets of London", which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world. He recorded it first in 1968, and again in 1974 (with bassist Rod Clements and backing vocalists Prelude). It rocketed up the charts to #2, became a worldwide million-seller, and won McTell the Ivor Novello Award.

Chris Smither (*11 November 1944, Miami, Florida, United States). In 2014 Chris Smither marked 50 Years of Songwriting with the release of the double-CD retrospective "Still On the Levee," featuring new takes on 24 iconic songs. Signature Sounds also released an all-star tribute record including a stellar list of artists offering their takes on some Smither favorites, including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Tim O’Brien, and many others. Chris Smither's trademark sound: fingerpicked acoustic guitar and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice. His music (Emmylou Harris, for example, recorded his song "Slow Surprise" for the Horse Whisperer soundtrack) draws deeply from blues and folk music, Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin' Hopkins being cornerstone influences.


Artist Video I see that the wonderful singer Shelia Stewart has died. One of the famous Stewarts of Blairgowrie, the family of travelling people, who during the UK Folk Revival in the first 2 decades after WW2 , became the foremost “source family” after the “Copper family of Rottingdean”. Here she is at her peak. She is about 34 years old here. She is in the family cottage in Blairgowrie, and Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger are at her immediate right. She could sing with such passion.

Artist Video The great gypsy flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata, has died at 93. Here is a typically wonderful obituary from the home of the best obits in the British press: The Economist magazine. And here he is from about 30 years ago. Truly death is as wondrous a thing as birth! Amazing to think that those incredible hands are finally silent.

David "Dai" Woosnam (


Popsy Dixon (†2015). The drummer and singer of the Holmes Brothers died of bladder cancer on January 9, 2015. The Holmes Brothers are an American musical trio originally from Christchurch, Virginia, formed in 1979. Mixing sounds from blues, soul, gospel, country and rhythm & blues, they have released twelve studio albums, with three reaching the top 5 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart. In 1992, they were signed to Peter Gabriel's Real World Records as the first American act on the prestigious British world music label. They won the Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation for Band of the Year in 2005 and for the Soul Blues Album of the Year in 2008.

Incredible String Band

"Live at the Fillmore"

Clive Palmer (1943-2014). British folk musician and banjoist Clive Harold Palmer died on 23 November 2014 in Penzance after a long illness. Born in Edmonton, North London, Clive Palmer first went on stage at the age of 8, and took banjo lessons from the age of 10. Around 1957 he began playing with jazz bands in Soho. He began busking with Wizz Jones in Paris in 1959–60, before moving to Edinburgh in late 1962.

By now a virtuoso banjo player, he teamed up as a duo with singer and guitarist Robin Williamson in 1963, playing traditional and bluegrass songs. They became the avant-garde folk group Incredible String Band in 1965 and added a third member, Mike Heron. After recording the first ISB album, Palmer travelled to India, where he played on national television, and Afghanistan. On his return, he left the increasingly successful group to pursue his own musical career.

Sakina Teyna

Sakîna: "Blick in eine ..."

  ARC Artists Helping to Support Children in War-Torn Areas

World Music for War Child is the first world music compilation produced by the UK’s most established world music label, ARC Music, in support of the UK charity War Child. All profits from this album go to War Child UK in aid of children in war-torn regions around the world.

World Music for War Child features 17 songs and instrumentals about peace, children and a better future for all people on this Earth. Participating artists include: Ahmed Mukhtar, Arinushka Folk Group & Linas Rimša, Bapi Das Baul & Baul Bishwa, Blessings Nqo Nkomo, Common Chords, Elemotho, Gondwana Dawn, Jason Carter, Lenka Lichtenberg & Roul Said, Yair Dalal, Sakîna, Shir, Slim Ali & The Hodi Boys, Sousou & Maher Cissoko, Tango Siempre, Techung and Zein Al-Jundi.

Our Artists on ‘World Music for War Child’ Artists Say:

‘My name is Sakîna and I am child of war. Now I am living in Europe as a political refugee and I am a singer...Maybe music cannot change the world but it can make it a better place.’ – Sakîna

‘There are many war zones around the world where people, especially children suffer terribly. I feel honoured and really fortunate that we can contribute our music to War Child [UK] which changes lives for these innocent children.’ – Lenka Lichtenberg.

‘ Hello, my name is Techung and I am the singer from Tibet... My song [Snow Lion of Peace] is a tribute to our spiritual leader The Dalai Lama and everyone who is working for peace and non-violence in the world.’ – Techung.

‘The youngest victims of the world and most innocent are the children and what time will it be when there will be no more conflict in the world?’ – Yale Strom.

The Knitted Character Folk Festival

June 6th, 2015

The Blue Boar, Temple
Grafton, Warwickshire

  The Knitted Character Folk Festival

»Bring along a knitted version of your favourite folk artist and a CD with four songs from that artist. Between 'real' acts we will play the CDs and place your knitted character on a special knitted stage (next to the 'real' one) complete with knitted PA and mic stands!!«

"Real" Acts confirmed so far include…

Oysterband megsons
Henry / Martin Miranda Sykes Seth Lakeman

   Ruth Bramley
   Gerry Colvin
   The Daisy Chain Quartet
   Marion Fleetwood
   The Folking Bad Names
   The Grimaldi Band
   Kim Ralls
   Red Shoes
   The Startled Ferrets
   All-comers folk session 

"Knitted" Acts confirmed so far are…

   Knitted Phil Beer
   Knitted Gerry Colvin
   Knitted Bob Geldof
   Knitted Nancy Kerr and Knitted James Fagan
   Knitted Steve Knightley
   Knitted Seth Lakeman
   Knitted Ralph McTell
   Knitted Megsons
   Knitted Oysterband
   Knitted Miranda Sykes 

  Ireland's Newest Music Festival

A top class line-up of Irish acts has been confirmed for INIS Fest, a music festival taking place in Ennis, County Clare, from June 26-28th 2015. The inaugural event features Damien Dempsey, Delorentos, Nathan Carter, The Kilfenora Céilí Band, Hermitage Green, Frankie Gavin and De Dannan, Finbar Furey and more acts to be announced. The three-day festival will see Active Ennis Tim Smythe Park being transformed into a world-class venue with a 3000-person capacity big top tent and an entertainment and leisure area featuring a Ferris wheel and food/drink stalls.

Doolin Folk Festival

12 - 14 June 2015

We Banjo 3

Artist Video We Banjo 3 @ FW:
"Gather the Good"


26 - 28 June 2015

Kilfenora Céilí Band

Artist Video Kilfenora Céilí Band @ FW: "Now is the Hour"

Mick Flannery, Sharon Shannon, Stockton's Wing and Declan O'Rourke are included in the line-up of music acts for the 2015 Doolin Folk Festival. Other confirmed performers include O’Sahara, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, We Banjo 3, Paddy Keenan & Daoiri Farrell, Aldoc, Moxie, Fiddlecase, Dermot Byrne & Floriane Blancke & Brendan O’Reagan, Four Winds, Fiddlers’ Bid, Tóla Custy & Cyril O’Donoghue, The Lost Brothers, David Hope, Simon O’Reilly, Brian O'Leary & Friends, NoCrows, and Fiach Moriarty. Taking inspiration from the great festivals of the 1970s and 1980s, such as the nearby Lisdoonvarna, and from Clare's deep musical roots of the County, the Doolin Folk Festival will again present powerful music in the intimate setting of the Hotel Doolin Marquee from June 12th-14th.

Commenting on the festival, broadcaster and musician Philip King pointed out, “Human contact is at the heart of traditional music in this country. Festivals like Doolin are clearly filling a void in our virtual age. We may be more connected than ever before but we are also more disconnected in other ways. Out there on the edge of the country, Doolin allows both musicians and audiences to reconnect, to take a rest from media and experience that unbroken but changing nature of our rich and nourishing music.”

26 - 28 March 2015 Babel Med Music, Marseille, France

6 - 10 May 2015 folkBALTICA, Flensburg & Sønderjylland-Schleswig, Germany/Denmark
ft. Johanna Juhola, Kalüün, Flook, Nynke Laverman, Trio Mio, Dreamers' Circus, Baltic
Crossing, Sofia Karlsson, Dota und die Stadtpiraten, Fiddler's Bid, Dougie MacLean, ...

14 - 16 May 2015 European World of Bluegrass, Voorthuizen, Netherlands

12 - 14 June 2015 Doolin Folk Festival, Co. Clare, Ireland
ft. Mick Flannery, Sharon Shannon, Stockton's Wing, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, We Banjo 3, Paddy 
Keenan, Aldoc, Moxie, Dermot Byrne & Floriane Blancke, Fiddlers’ Bid, David Hope, NoCrows, ...

12 - 14 June 2015 40th TMSA Keith Festival, Keith, Moray, Scotland, UK

13 June 2015 Behind the Castle, Sherborne Castle, Dorset, UK
ft. The Waterboys, Show of Hands, Larkin Poe, Emily Barker, Phillip Henry &
Hannah Martin, The Willows, Megson, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Jaywalkers, ...

19 - 21 June 2015 Beverley & East Riding Folk Festival, UK
ft. Hayseed Dixie, Seth Lakeman, Ralph McTell, Barbara Dickson, Peatbog Faeries,
Martin Simpson, Greg Russell & Kiaran Algar, Lucy Ward, Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra, ...

26 - 28 June 2015 INIS Fest, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland
ft. The Kilfenora Céilí Band, Frankie Gavin & De Dannan, Finbar Furey, ...

1 - 5 July 2015 Førde Folkmusic Festival, Norway

2 - 5 July 2015 TFF Rudolstadt, Germany
ft. Norwegen, Cister, Halling, Gabby Young & Other Animals,
Sedaa,, Masaa, Kapelsky & Marina, Funny van Dannen, ...

6 - 12 July 2015 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland

10 - 12 July 2015 Priddy Folk Fayre, Somerset, UK

15 - 19 July 2015 Larmer Tree Music Festival, Wiltshire, UK
Tønder Festival

Tønder Festival

27-30 August 2015

Artist Video Tønder 2013:
Hot, Hot, Hot

La Bottine Souriante

Artist Video La Bottine Souriante @ FW: "Appelation d'O..."
20 - 24 July 2015 Meitheal - Residential Summer School, Limerick, Ireland

23 - 26 July 2015 Warwick Folk Festival, UK

23 - 26 July 2015 Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Estonia

30 July - 1 August 2015 Urkult Festival, Sweden

30 Jul - 2 Aug 2015 Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge, UK
ft. Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading, Punch Brothers, The Unthanks, Show of Hands,
Katzenjammer, Altan, Treacherous Orchestra, Gretchen Peters, Danú, Shooglenifty,
Peggy Seeger, Bella Hardy, Amsterdam Klezmer Band XL, Chris Smither, Josienne
Clarke & Ben Walker, Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, The Demon Barbers XL,
Rura, Goitse, De Temps Antan, Lynched, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, The Willows, ...

31 July - 2 August 2015 Castlefest, Schloss Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

31 July - 7 August 2015 Sidmouth FolkWeek, Devon, UK

7 - 16 August 2015 Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France

8 - 16 August 2015 Bath Folk Festival, UK

13 - 15 August 2015 Fairport's Cropredy Convention, UK
ft. Fairport Convention, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Katzenjammer, ...

14 - 16 August 2015 Parkfest, Eindhoven, Netherlands

27 - 30 August 2015 Purbeck Folk Festival, Dorset, UK

27 - 30 August 2015 Tønder Festival, Denmark
ft. Bellowhead, Richard Thompson, Mary Gauthier, The Wood Brothers, Allan Taylor,
Hayseed Dixie, Kathryn Tickell, Kepa Junkera, Lynn Miles, Hans Theessink, ...

28 - 31 August 2015 Shrewsbury Folk Festival, UK

  Last but not least: Wee Deoch an Doris

»I know it is trendy now in Scotland for the natives not to take the late Sir Harry Lauder seriously. Well, I have news for them. I do not take THEM seriously. By “them” I mean those that diss Sir Harry as a toadie of the House of Windsor. To me, he was a superb singer of popular songs. Listening to him sing great songs like Keep Right On To The End Of The Road and Roaming In The Gloaming, still thrills me to my core.

But seeing a friend's e-address recently, made me think of this item. When I was a kid, I used to hear on my radio Sir Harry sing a song that I thought was titled A Wee Jock and Doris. My mind could not make sense of that title, so I figured “ours not to reason why”. So I decided, a “Jock and Doris” must be Scottish vernacular for an alcoholic drink ... and presumably – because of the word “wee” - that meant whisky.

Do you know what? (And here I identify myself as a dunce...) I truly must have been 40 years old before I found out that it was a Gaelic phrase! - Wee Deoch an Doris: A convivial song from the pen of Gerald Grafton and Sir Harry Lauder. Only a real Scot can properly get his tongue (and his throat) round "It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht."

Artist Video

And now, here is the great man himself. What a way with a lyric that man had! And don't you love the orchestra!? The wonderful arrangements were a hallmark of Lauder's work.«

Wee Deoch an Doris

There's a good old Scottish custom that has stood the test o'time,
It's a custom that's been carried out in every land and clime.
When brother Scots are gathered, it's aye the usual thing,
Just before we say good nicht, we fill our cups and sing...

Just a wee deoch an doris, just a wee drop, that's all.
Just a wee deoch an doris afore we gang awa.
There's a wee wifie waitin' in a wee but-an-ben.
If you can say, "It's a braw bricht moonlicht nicht",
Well yer a'richt, ye ken.

Now I like a man that is a man; a man that's straight and fair.
The sort of man that will and can, in all things do his share.
Och, I like a man a jolly man, the sort of man, you know,
The chap that slaps your back and says, "Jock, just before we go..."

Just a wee deoch an doris, ...

Meaning of unusual words:

deoch an doris = Gaelic for a last drink at the door: more colloquially, a farewell drink.
aye = always
but-an-ben = a two-roomed cottage
ken = know

David "Dai" Woosnam (

Daigressing ( Should any FolkWorld reader want a regular free online mailing, just write me at Tell me who you are and where you live please. You will join a large mailing list to 28 countries.

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