FolkWorld #70 11/2019

German News

Bube Dame König: Nachtländlein

  Bube Dame König: Nachtländlein

Artist Video Bube Dame König "Nachtländlein", CPL-Music, 2019

Thanks to Bube Dame König we are able to raffle off a package of Dream, Winter and Night Country CDs.

Raffle completed!

See also: »Folklore ist eine hübsche Erfindung« (Folklore is a beautiful invention, in German)

Happy Birthday

James Keelaghan

Artist Video James Keelaghan

James Keelaghan (*28 October 1959, Calgary, Alberta, Canada). The Calgary native, who has been calling Winnipeg home for the past few years, has been held as “Canada’s finest songwriter” (Dave Marsh). Many of Keelaghan's lyrics display a concern about social problems and justice, e.g. "Kiri’s Piano" about Japanese interment camps in Canada in the Second World War. Best known is Keelaghan's "Cold Missouri Waters" about the Mann Gulch fire of 1949. James Keelaghan's latest release has been "History - The First 25 Years" (2013). The CD contains eighteen studio versions of his most beloved songs, while on the accompanying DVD we find him telling the stories behind the music.

Kieran Kane (*7 October 1949, Queens, New York, USA). The US American country music artist and owner of the independent Dead Reckoning Records has been referred to as "the godfather of Americana music." Kieran Kane's songs have been recorded by John Prine, Emmylou Harris and many more. Between 1986 and 1990, Kieran Kane and Jamie O'Hara comprised The O'Kanes, which charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Kieran Kane recorded several solo albums, with the trio Kane Welch Kaplin and two duo albums with olt-time fiddler and singer Rayna Gellert in 2018 and 2019.

Mary Bergin

Artist Video Mary Bergin @ FROG

David Hidalgo (*6 October 1954, Los Angeles, USA). In 1973, singer-songwriter David Kent Hidalgo was one of the founding members of Californian rock band Los Lobos, whose music is influenced by rock'n'roll, Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños. Together with Louie Pérez, Hidalgo wrote most songs. He also participated as a guest musician, playing guitar, requinto jarocho (guitarra de son), accordion, violin, 6-string banjo, etc., on albums by Buckwheat Zydeco, T-Bone Burnett, Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Crowded House, John Lee Hooker, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Taj Mahal, Suzanne Vega, Bob Dylan and Tom Waits.

Kelly Joe Phelps (*5 October 1959, Sumner, Washington, USA). The American musician and songwriter initially gained notice for his solo lapstyle slide guitar. Phelps' music has been characterized as a mixture of delta blues and jazz. In 2013, he announced a hiatus from touring due to ulnar neuropathy in his right hand and arm.

The Poozies

Artist Video The Poozies

Eddi Reader

Artist Video Eddi Reader

Sally Barker (*19 September 1959, Barrow upon Soar, Leicestershire, UK). In her early career, British singer and songwriter Sally Barker supported acts including Fairport Convention, Taj Mahal, Richard Thompson, Wishbone Ash and Roy Harper. Her second release, "This Rhythm Is Mine," marked her as a mature songwriter.

In 1990, Sally Barker became a founding member of all-women folk band The Poozies. The line-up featured harpists Mary Macmaster and Patsy Seddon from the harp duo Sileas and accordionist Karen Tweed. She left in 1995 just before the birth of her first child. In 2006, she reunited with The Poozies for a series of shows and subsequently rejoined the group permanently.

In 2014, Sally Barker became a finalist in the BBC One talent contest The Voice, finishing in joint second place. In 2015, she joined the three surviving members of folk-rock band Fotheringay, and supported Fairport Convention once again on their 2017 tour.

Sally Barker

Artist Video Sally Barker


Artist Video Norma Waterson

Mary Bergin (*13 September 1949, Shankill, County Dublin, Ireland). ‘Just about the best Tin Whistle player this century’ the Irish Times referred to Mary Bergin in a recent interview. She started learning to play the tin whistle at the age of nine, winning many awards in Oireachtas and Fleadh Ceoil competitions, including the All-Ireland Championships at Junior and Senior level. Her two virtuosic recordings of the solo tin whistle, "Feadóga Stáin" (1979) and "Feadóga Stáin 2" (1993), holds Biblical status as classic albums in traditional Irish music.

In 1990, Mary Bergin, together with Kathleen Loughnane and Dearbhaill Standun, formed the group Dordán who performed a particular and distinctive mix of Irish traditional and European Baroque music and recorded four cds. She has toured extensively playing concerts and festivals and giving workshops. So hundreds of students all over Europe and the United States have been taught to play the whistle.

Gene Parsons (*4 September 1944, Morongo Valley, California, USA). The drummer, banjo player, guitarist, singer-songwriter Gene Victor Parsons is best known for his work with the Byrds from 1968 to 1972. He has also released solo albums and played in bands such as the Flying Burrito Brothers. Along with guitarist Clarence White, Gene Parsons is credited with inventing the B-Bender (also known as the StringBender) — a device which allows a guitarist to emulate the sound of a pedal steel guitar. He currently lives in Caspar, California, running his StringBender company and customizing guitars with his B-Bender device.

Eddi Reader (*29 August 1959, Glasgow, Scotland). Sadenia "Eddi" Reader started her musical career busking around Europe (where she also worked with circus and performance artists). As a session vocalist she sang with such acts as the Eurythmics, The Waterboys and Alison Moyet. With guitarist and songwriter Mark E. Nevin, she subsequently formed Fairground Attraction. Their first single, "Perfect," became a number one hit in the UK; their only album, "The First of a Million Kisses," a kaleidoscope of country, folk and jazz music, reached number two in the album charts and won Best Album in the 1989 Brit Awards.

Starting with her first solo album, "Mirmama" (1992), Eddi Reader enjoyed a successful solo career. In 2003, she recorded an album of Robert Burns songs. In 2004, she sang ‘Auld Lang Syne' at the re-opening of the new Scottish Parliament building.

Billy Joe Shaver (*16 August 1939, Corsicana, Texas, USA). In 2019, Texas country music singer and songwriter Billy Joe Shaver received the Poet's Award from the Academy of Country Music. His 1973 album "Old Five and Dimers Like Me" is regarded a classic in the outlaw country genre. Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Elvis Presley and many more have recorded his music. Billy Joe Shaver had a job at a lumber mill and lost the better part of two fingers of his right hand in the machinery. He taught himself to play the guitar without those missing fingers.

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Artist Video Mairéad

Suzanne Vega

Artist Video Suzanne Vega

Norma Waterson (*15 August 1939, Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, UK). Norma Waterson is best known for the celebrated English traditional group The Watersons, featuring her siblings Mike and Lal and her husband Martin Carthy. In 2009, Topic Records 70-year anniversary listed two Watersons albums and one Waterson–Carthy album as classic recordings. In 2016, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

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."

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh (*26 July 1959, Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland). Mairéad is recognised as a leading exponent in the Donegal fiddle style, taught by her father Proinsias Ó Maonaigh. She is also often considered as one of the foremost singers in her native tongue, the Irish language. In 1987, she co-founded the band Altan with her late husband Frankie Kennedy, convinced that there was an audience for "no-compromise traditional music played with heart and drive."

Malcolm Jones

Artist Video Runrig @ FROG

In 2009, Mairéad released her debut solo album "Imeall." She also took part in the fiddle ensemble String Sisters (ft. Annbjørg Lien, Liz Knowles, Catriona MacDonald, Liz Carroll, Emma Härdelin ), T with the Maggies (ft. Moya Brennan, Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill), and family band Na Mooneys (along with her nephew Ciarán Ó Maonaigh and her siblings Anna Ní Mhaonaigh and Gearóid Ó Maonaigh).

Malcolm Jones (*12 July 1959, Inverness, Scotland). In 1978, Malcolm Jones became guitarist of Scottish Celtic rock band Runrig. In 2009, he suffered a heart attack which forced the band to cancel several tours. Runrig took the stage in 2013 once again with a 40th anniversary show in Muir of Ord, entitled "Party On The Moor," followed by several European dates. In 2016, the band released their last studio album, "The Story;" their final show called "The Last Dance" took place in Stirling in 2018.

Suzanne Vega (*11 July 1959, Santa Monica, California, USA). American singer-songwriter Suzanne Nadine Vega came to prominence in the mid 1980s releasing four singles that entered the Top 40 charts, including "Marlene on the Wall", "Left of Center", "Luka" and "No Cheap Thrill". While majoring in English literature, she had performed folk-inspired music in New York's Greenwich Village, where she was a regular contributor to Jack Hardy's "Fast Folk" albums.[60] In 1984, she received a recording contract, making her one of the first Fast Folk artists to break out on a major label.

"Tom's Diner," which was originally released as an a cappella recording on Vega's second album, "Solitude Standing," was remixed in 1990 as a dance track by English electronic duo DNA and became a Top 10 hit in over five countries. The song was used as a test during the creation of the MP3 format.

Alice Gerrard (*8 July 1934, Seattle, Washington, USA). After college, singer, banjo and guitar player Alice Gerrard moved to Washington, D.C. and became part of its bluegrass scene. She married Mike Seeger and recorded two albums with him. She also performed in a duo with Hazel Dickens and as part of The Back Creek Buddies with clawhammer banjoist Matokie Slaughter.

Rest in Peace

Johnny Clegg

Artist Video Johnny Clegg

Ginger Baker (1939-2019). His work in the 1960s and 1970s earned Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer." In the 1960s he joined Blues Incorporated, where he met bassist Jack Bruce. They would be rhythm section partners again in rock band Cream, which Baker co-founded with Eric Clapton in 1966. Ginger Baker spent several years in the 1970s living and recording in Africa, often with Fela Kuti, in pursuit of his long-time interest in African music. He melded jazz and African rhythms and pioneered both jazz fusion and world music.

Baker was noted for his eccentric, often self-destructive lifestyle and struggled with heroin addiction for many years. In 2016, he announced he had been diagnosed with "serious heart issues" and cancelled all future gigs. He eventually died on 6 October 2019 at a hospital in Canterbury.

Johnny Clegg (1953-2019). Sometimes called "Le Zoulou Blanc" (French: The White Zulu), musician and anthropologist Jonathan Paul Clegg was an important figure in South African popular music and resistance to apartheid. His songs mixed Zulu with English lyrics and African music with various Western styles. His band Juluka began as a duo with Zulu migrant worker Sipho Mchunu and was the first group in the South African apartheid-era with a white and a black man. Juluka grew to a six-member group with three white and three black musicians.

In 1986, Clegg together with the black musician and dancer Dudu Zulu founded the inter-racial band Savuka. Johnny Clegg and Savuka played both at home and abroad. In one instance, the band drew such a large crowd in Lyon that Michael Jackson cancelled a concert, complaining that they had "stolen all his fans". The band dissolved in 1993 after Dudu Zulu was shot and killed. In the following years, Clegg recorded several solo albums. His touring schedule was abbreviated in 2017 after undergoing surgery for pancreatic cancer, which ultimately led to his death on 16 July 2019.

Hossam Ramzy

Artist Video www.hossam

Mat Bayfield
Artist Video

Hossam Ramzy (1953–2019). »With great respect we announce that Hossam Hassan, known globally as Egyptian percussionist and world music star Hossam Ramzy, passed away on Tuesday 10th September 2019, aged sixty-five. Hossam was undergoing treatment for a heart condition in Brazil, however the condition was very advanced. Always a man of unwavering spirituality, Hossam passed on to begin the next phase in his spiritual journey. Among his crowning achievements are his loving family, a vast legacy of musical creativity and knowledge, and his philosophies of Egyptian dance and rhythm that he exported to the world.«

»Known as Egypt’s Ambassador of Rhythm, his goal of injecting Egyptian rhythms into public consciousness led him to arrange music for (among others) Jimmy Page & Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Shakira, Ricky Martin and A.R. Rahman, feature on recordings by Peter Gabriel and Jay-Z, and compose music for numerous films. Over the last three decades, Hossam travelled the world, educating in the art of true Egyptian dance. His philosophies of dance and rhythm helped tens-of-thousands of dancers and percussionists perfect their crafts. During this time, he somehow found the time to release some thirty albums of Egyptian dance and world music, and produce countless more for artists from all around the world.«

»Those who knew Hossam will cherish his kindness, his passion, spirituality, wit, and steadfast dedication to his art.« (ARC Music)

Beverly Guitar Watkins

Artist Video

Jitka Šuranská

Artist Video www.jitka

Beverly "Guitar" Watkins (1939-2019). »We are deeply saddened to announce that Beverly "Guitar" Watkins passed away. Since 1995, Beverly has been part of the Music Maker family. We released 4 albums and did hundreds of shows with this Atlanta Blues Legend. Her tenacity on the guitar was unparalleled. In July, Program Associate Jed Finley took to the blog and wrote the Guitar Slingin' Grandma - chronicling Beverly's life and music. Your support is critical to ensuring that important musicians like Beverly "Guitar" Watkins are known to the world and their legacies live on -- thank you.« (Music Maker Relief Foundation)

Mat Bayfield (†2019). »Suffolk lost one of its greatest folk singers. Mat Bayfield was a character greater than life; and anybody who may only have seen him on stage felt as if he was their friend. He become well known on the English folk scene as half of the duo The Broadside Boys.«

»In 2012, he was tragically diagnosed with a brain tumour. Yet he inspired us all by his extraordinary perseverance and love of life despite his illness. Over the last seven years, he raised thousands of pounds through a series of charity walks, which not only raised money but also brought people together. In the last couple of years of his life he was wheelchair bound, but this did not stop him to make the most of his life: He got married to wonderful Kelly Bayfield in January 2018; he released his solo album in summer 2018, performed a number of concerts in his new duo Bayfield Booth with David Booth or in his “big band”; and in 2018 and 2019 led the Thursday opening concern and was MC at FolkEast.«

»In a Facebook post, FolkEast Festival said: "Although we all knew this day would come it is always a shock when it does. We feel so desperately sad for Kelly and the family. Mat may be gone but he will not be forgotten and his legacy will remain strong at the festival, and as he often said #LifeIsNotARehearsal." Mat Bayfield passed away on 2 October 2019, aged 48.« (Michael Moll)

Jitka Šuranská (1978-2019). »Excellent Czech violinist and holder of three Anděl Awards Jitka Šuranská succumbed to serious illness. Jitka Šuranská had been actively involved in music since childhood. In addition to folklore music, when she worked for ten years in the Dulcimer ensemble of Stanislav Gabriel, she also devoted herself to classical music. She was a member of the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic in Zlín. The meeting with musician and journalist Jiří Plock was essential for her. Together they recorded "Písňobraní" (i.e. Song-gathering) for which they won the Anděl Award in 2005. In 2012, Jitka Šuranská moved on. She bought the Loop Station and started playing and singing solo. This was followed by cooperation with the Slovak trio Pacora, producer Stan Palúch, and in 2013 the first solo album "Nězachoď slunečko". She received the second Anděl Award in the World Music category for her album.«

»Since 2014 she had started to fulfill her dream of her own band. "What more could I have wished for - the Jitka Šuranská Trio," she said on her website. In 2016, the debut album of the trio called Divé husy (i.e. Wild Geese) was released. In the same year, she began to cooperate more with the Women's Choir of Kudlovice. She won the last Anděl Award in 2017 for a music project with the eponymous album name Beránci a vlci (i.e. Lambs and Wolves). This happened in the Folk category. Together with her trio, it was awarded to the Women's Choir of Kudlovice, the Association of Independent Jazz Artists and the Beskydy band RukyNaDudy. The passing of the energetic musician, who was breaking the borders of folk music and pushed it into new spheres, is an irreplaceable loss not only for the Moravian music scene.« (Přemysl Štěpánek, Indies Scope)

  Thomm Jutz Signed with Mountain Home Music Company

Thomm Jutz

Artist Video

A native of Germany who fell in love with American country and roots music as an 11-year-old, guitarist, producer and songwriter Thomm Jutz has made a name for himself in American roots music — in the songwriting credits for several #1 and top-20 Bluegrass hits, as an accompanist and musical partner to singer-songwriters like Nanci Griffith, Kim Richey, Mary Gauthier and David Olney, and as a producer of albums by artists like Griffith, Jason Ringenberg, and more. He’s the producer and principal songwriter of The 1861 Project, a three-record collection of original songs about the American Civil War, with each focusing on one chapter of the war: Farmers who turned into soldiers, the role Irish immigrants played in the Civil War, and the Battle of Franklin. He also co-wrote and produced I Sang The Song, a musical biography of Mac Wiseman that tells stories of his life growing up in Crimora, Virginia, during the Great Depression featuring John Prine, Alison Krauss, Shawn Camp and many other renowned Bluegrass artists. Jim Lauderdale, Sierra Hull, and Mac himself.

Jutz built a career as a touring musician across Europe and developed his skills as a songwriter, recording engineer and producer in the waning years of the 20th century before winning the immigration lottery in 2003 — heading straight for Nashville. While his songs have been recorded by a broad range of Bluegrass, Americana and folk artists, Jutz has always saved some for himself, performing his original work on two Bluegrass solo albums, Volunteer Trail, and Crazy If You Let It. Now, Jutz has signed with Mountain Home Music Company, a premier Bluegrass label representing such elite artists as The Grascals, Lonesome River Band, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, NewTown, Gina Furtado, Kristin Scott Benson, The Cleverlys, Sideline, to release more of his richly varied music.

Charlie Poole

“I’m elated to be signing with Mountain Home. We’ve been working together on the publishing end of things for a while. To record for Mountain Home now is a logical step and a very exciting one at that,” says Jutz. “We are already throwing around some ideas that I am enthusiastic about. There’s lots to be done, there's always room for things to be done differently and everybody at Mountain Home supports that energy. I truly have found a creative ‘Mountain Home.’”

Together with Mountain Home Music Company, Jutz is releasing a large body of work beginning with single releases and culminating in two volumes of collected songs under the apt title, To Live In Two Worlds. Each single release is a pairing of works — one featuring a crackerjack bluegrass band, the other featuring just Jutz and his guitar.

The first of these are two songs — “Mill Town Blues” and “I Long To Hear Them Testify” — about musicians from the first part of the 20th century based in the deep American south. “Mill Town Blues” tells the story of the legendary rambling banjo player Charlie Poole and his band roaring through the Carolinas. Jutz finds himself returning to Poole’s story often, as he’s a flawed role model whose legacy carries on. “It’s not just because of his music that Charlie Poole finds his way back into my subconscious and thus into my songwriting time and time again,” says Jutz. “Like most role models, he is the best and the worst — at the same time. He paid the price for how he lived and left a musical legacy that rings through today.” Poole reappears in the bluesy, contemplative solo, “I Long to Hear Them Testify,” which also tells the tales of Blind Willie McTell and Skip James. The song, written by Jutz and Trey Hensley, describes Jutz’ fascination with the south and how he feels as though he has one foot in the past and another in today — living, as the ultimate project title reminds us, in two worlds.

Olivia Millerschin

Artist Video Olivia Millerschin

Teresa James

Artist Video Teresa James

  2019 Unsigned Only Music Competition

The Unsigned Only Music Competition is pleased to announce its 2019 winners.

Unsigned Only is open to all artists who are unsigned to a major record label and gives artists exposure, recognition, and validation for their artistry. A total of $150,000 in cash and prizes is awarded to 38 winners, including an overall Grand Prize winner and a First and Second Place winner in each category. An additional group of Honorable Mentions were also selected.

Over the years Unsigned Only has become an important source for discovering new talent. Since its inception in 2012, five Grand Prize winners have been signed to record labels.

Judges: Garth Hudson (The Band), Taj Mahal, Aimee Mann, O.A.R., Sanctus Real, Bow Wow, Boney James, Ruthie Foster, and Robert Smith (The Cure) Among Judges The complete panel of 2019 judges includes: Aimee Mann; Garth Hudson (The Band); Taj Mahal; Sanctus Real; Bow Wow; Robert Smith (The Cure); The Secret Sisters; Boney James; Gareth Emery; O.A.R.; Janiva Magness; Fred Hersch; Francesca Battistelli; Frank Foster; Aaron Shust; Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals); Ruthie Foster; Tinariwen; Craig Campbell; JD McPherson; Carter Burwell; Zbigniew Preisner; Russ Landau; Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Mac Randall (Editor, JazzTimes); Marcos Juarez (Head of Latin Music, Pandora); David Sikorski (Senior Editor, EARMILK Media INC.); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Art Tipaldi (Editor, Blues Music Magazine); Nigel J. Farmer (Editor-In-Chief, Jazz In Europe); John Dibiase (President, Jesus Freak Hideout); David Silbaugh (Talent Buyer, Summerfest); Angel Romero (Founder / Sr. Editor, World Music Central); Brandon Chitwood (Assistant Director, EDM Joy); Enrique Santos (Chairman / Chief Creative Officer, iHeart Latino); Chad Jensen (Artist Manager, Jensen Artist Management); Brinson Strickland (President, Collective Music Nashville); Deborah Klein (JV Partner and Artist Manager, Primary Wave Entertainment); Kristyn Ciani (Talent Buyer, C3 Presents / Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Shaky Knees); Evan Stein (Owner, Experience Music Group); James Kempner (Owner, JMK Connections); Jennifer Taunton (Music Supervisor, Level Two Music); Jessica Cole (Founder / President, Lyric House); and Sheryl Louis (Artist Manager, CSM Management).

Unsigned Only is now accepting entries for the 2020 competition. More information can be found at: To hear the winning songs and view the complete list of winners, go to:

1 Kenny Foster (Joplin, MO, USA) – “Wood & Steel”  
2 Roger Street Friedman (New York, NY, USA) – “Everyday”
1 Layla Zoe (Victoria, BC, Canada)  – “The Deeper They Bury Me”
2 Teresa James And The Rhythm Tramps (Canyon Country, CA, USA) – “Forgetting You”

1 Tom Freund (Venice, CA, USA)  – “Freezer Burn”
2 Clinton Clegg (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) – “Spain”

World Music
1 OYME (Moscow, Russia) – “Vaya”
2 Kidum Kibido And Boda Boda (Bujumbura, Burundi) – “Nipe Nguvu”

Honorable Mention
Jim Allchin 
West Of Here 
Roman Miroshnichenko
Aaron English
Amy Jay
Billy Hector
Blind Lemon Pledge
Hat Fitz And Cara
John McMillan
Olivia Millerschin
Randy Casey
Rich Krueger
Sinead Murphy
Trevor Sewell

  Americana Honors & Awards

John Prine Rhiannon Giddens

Congratulations to the winners of the 18th annual Americana Honors & Awards!

Album of the Year: “The Tree of Forgiveness,” John Prine
Artist of the Year: Brandi Carlile
Song of the Year: “Summer's End,”  John Prine
Duo/Group of the Year: I'm With Her
Emerging Act of the Year: The War and Treaty
Instrumentalist of the Year: Chris Eldridge
President's Award: Felice & Boudleaux Bryant
Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting: Elvis Costello
Legacy of Americana Award: Rhiannon Giddens and Frank Johnson
Lifetime Achievement Award for Performance: Delbert McClinton
Trailblazer Award: Maria Muldaur
Inspiration Award: Mavis Staples

  fRoots Magazine Is Suspending Publication


»I’m so sorry to bring the news that fRoots Magazine is suspending publication. We are very proud of having recently published our 40th anniversary edition and that over those four decades every single issue came out on time. We are also very proud and aware of what we have contributed to the folk, roots and world music scene and many artists’ careers over that time, and the high regard in which we are held as a result. We were thrilled to get a Lifetime Achievement Award this year from Folk Alliance International.«

»We were truly humbled by the response to our Kickstarter campaign in 2017 that gave us the breathing space to look for a better future plan for the magazine. This resulted in our past six quarterly issues of greatly increased size and quality, which have all been wonderfully received and were the best we have ever published. We have worked tirelessly with many allies over those past 18 months to secure our future and have been in advanced discussions with potential publishers to take fRoots into their existing companies. We were given confidence that this would happen, but sadly it was not to be. In trying to find a sustainable business model we have had considerable help and advice from supporters with wide-ranging experience, particularly Alan James who explored all possible ways to source official funding before his sudden death a few months ago. It is frustrating that there are no Arts funding schemes available to us, in spite of our unique contribution to arts that do qualify for funding and our ticking of many of the boxes that are expected of other supported Arts organisations.«

»Unfortunately being an unfunded single-title publication in a specialised music field is now barely viable and many other music titles of far greater prominence have fallen this century. Changes in reading habits coupled with decreased advertising support in the digital age, along with current political and economic uncertainties, are a major hindrance. fRoots retains great unexploited potential and we know that the right expertise and investment could unlock this. However, personally, after 40 years of producing fRoots – the past four unpaid – and having invested a very substantial amount of personal funds that I am unlikely to ever recover, I am unable to take it any further myself. As you may imagine, this causes me great regret.«

»My heartfelt thanks and enormous gratitude go out to everybody who has contributed to or supported fRoots in any way down the years. The fRoots team will continue to seek potential publishers, funders or major benefactors/angels and in the meantime we are looking into ways to keep an enhanced web presence for reviews, news, podcasts etc – to keep the fRoots brand alive. But for now we are reluctantly stopping taking further subscriptions and have put plans for the Autumn issue on hold until further notice. The current and back issues remain on sale on the fRoots web site.«

Ian Anderson, Editor/Publisher, Southern Rag Ltd

Memory Lane

Return to Camden Town

  Return To London Town

Over the long weekend of Friday 25th to Monday 28th October 2019, Irish Music and Dance in London (IMDL) has presented its annual Festival. The Festival has been subtly rebranded, after 20 years as ‘Return to Camden Town’, to ‘Return to London Town’ and based at a new home, the Clayton Crown Hotel in Cricklewood, another area with important historic links to Irish music in London. The format of the Festival remains the same, with concerts, céilís, instrumental and singing workshops, sessions and album launches. Perhaps most important, it enables those in and around London who love Irish music to meet, play together and celebrate the finest traditional musicians, singers and dancers, both living and passed.

Artist Video Return to ...

This year’s line-up featured Altan, Len Graham, The Mulcahy Family, Johnny Óg Connolly and Cliodhna Costello, Paddy Tutty, Caoimhín and Seán Ó Fearghaill, Conor Connolly, Eileen O’Brien, The Housekeepers (Doireann Glackin and Sarah Flynn), Páraic Mac Donnchadha, Graham Wells and Noel O’Grady and The Parish Céilí Band.

»The North West London areas of Kilburn and Cricklewood have been well known for having large populations of Irish people since the 1950s. In 1952, London’s most iconic Irish dance hall, The Galtymore, opened its doors on Cricklewood Broadway and went on to serve thousands of Irish people on a nightly basis for the best part of six decades. The venue catered for all, hosting traditional céilí music, together with more mainstream dance bands and discos in its three halls.«

John Blek

Artist Video Static Roots Festival @ FROG

Artist Video John Blek @ FROG

»The famous neighbouring hostelry, The Crown, was originally a coaching inn. Opened in the 1850s, it catered for carriages passing between London, Elstree, Watford and St Albans. The Crown became well known as a meeting place for Irish people in London during the 1950s and 60s, with the forecourt serving as a daily morning meeting place for Irish construction workers and potential employers. It was famously referenced in the Dominic Behan song ‘McAlpine’s Fusiliers’, sung by The Dubliners: “Oh, the craic was good in Cricklewood and they wouldn’t leave the Crown”«

»At the end of the 20th century, Dublin publican and hotelier, Tom Moran, purchased The Crown, together with an adjacent plot of land and built a fabulous 152 room, 4-star hotel that combined with the original listed Victorian pub. The original red sandstone building, on three levels and complete with carvings and stained and engraved glass, still stands within the new structure. « (Laurie Harper, Irish Music and Dance in London)

  Static Roots Festival: Peace, Love and Rock’n’Roll

The fourth Static Roots Festival took place in Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany.

"Another successful Static Roots, which has by now established itself as a feature in the Roots and Americana punters annual diary. Every angle is covered at this festival. From the professional M.C. delivery by Jeff Robson, to the spacious stage, impressive lighting system, stage management, pin drop sound quality and refreshments on offer. No stone is left unturned. Spread the word, but not too widely, we don’t want it to get too big!" [Lonesome Highway]

"For sheer unadulterated Americana joy one need look no further than this unassuming spot in Germany’s Ruhr district, the small, post industrial town of Oberhausen, home to Static Roots. Now in its fourth year, Static Roots has grown from an initial invite only event to being sold out for the first time. There’s no corporate funding, no kowtowing to fashion, the line up purely a reflection of the festival’s director’s musical tastes which are somewhat impeccable." [Americana UK]

Victoria Vox Back from the CZ

Artist Video Victoria Vox @ FROG

Caitlin Canty

Artist Video Caitlin Canty @ FROG

"Back home from Static Roots Festival in Germany. It was truly one of the highlights of my life performing there this past weekend. I hope to return!" [Joe Nolan]

The Roadtracks magazine captured the 2019 Festival photographically.

  Victoria Vox Back from the CZ

»Hey all! I had the most wonderful time in the Czech Republic, where I met some wonderfully talented and friendly artists, as well as locals! The audience at the CZ uke fest was unbelievable. It was pretty emotional for me, as it felt so incredible to perform my original songs for people on the other side of the world who still connected and 'got me'. It was so powerful, and I am very grateful to have had that opportunity.« (Victoria Vox)

  TED Summit in Edinburgh

TED Summit Edinburgh

Artist Video Findlay Napier @ FROG

Janiva Magness

Artist Video Janiva Magness @ FROG

»There are two bits of big news. One is that I've got a puppy. She is currently asleep on my feet snoring gently... like an audience member at a Findlay Napier gig... We had the most amazing time at the TED Summit in Edinburgh. Ali Hutton joined Gillian Frame and I for the show which has been recorded and filmed. We'll share that with you soon. This month Gillian, Mike Vass and I will return to the studio to complete the recording of the album and we have the mixing dates lined up too. Agent Gail is booking us a tour in June 2020 to coincide with the album's launch. Last week Bella Hardy, Greg Russell and I started and finished recording the songs from the War and Peace project.« (Findlay Napier)

  Tønder Paradise

»Tønder Festival in Denmark was pure joy. I caught some electrifying shows and made music with new friends. When John Prine couldn't make it to Denmark to close the festival, we were asked to sing his songs in tribute, and I got to lead 'Paradise' with a score of singers. The next week, Americanafest brought a bunch of friends to Nashville, and I had a good time sweating it out with Noam Pikelny in a church.« (Caitlin Canty)

  Field Notes from AmericanaFest

»A little over ten years ago, we had a three-day event showcasing 56 acts in 5 venues along with another 20 acts during our cocktail hour and weekend parties. Since that time, we have worked hard to offer more opportunities for more artists. This year, our now six-day event had 320 acts performing official showcases and additional hundreds performing during various special events at almost 60 venues, totaling over 700 performances. We are overwhelmed by this support. We were also thrilled to hear many accents from several corners of the globe during the event week. To our international friends who traveled to Music City from 14 different countries, we thank you for making the trek over and hope you enjoyed your stay with us. There are hundreds of dedicated individuals who gave their time, energy, and money to support all facets of AMERICANAFEST 2019 – to you we raise our glass. Your passion is unwavering and we are honored to represent this community. We are already looking forward to next year and AMERICANAFEST 2020, slated for September 15-20. Thank you, cheers, and let's do it again next year.« (Jed Hilly, Danna Strong, Sarah Comardelle, Michele Rhoades, Bryan Ros, Anna Lee Crenshaw and Harriette Dew)

»Heralded as one of Rolling Stone’s Must-See Shows at AmericanaFest 2019, outlaw country badass Jesse Dayton played songs from his new record Mixtape Vol. 1, along with a few fan favorites, at his official midnight showcase at Exit In. Earlier in the evening, Jesse joined label mates Janiva Magness, Rod Melancon, and Gina Sicilia at the Red, White, & Blue Americana Party at White Avenue Studios.«

Jesse Dayton

Artist Video Jesse Dayton @ FROG

»Janiva Magness celebrated the release of her new record Change in the Weather - Janiva Magness Sings John Fogerty, with a special live stream of her performance at the party which you can view on Facebook. It was Janiva’s third performance of the week, following her concert at the 70th Palomino Rides Again Songwriters Circle and Official AmericanaFest Showcase at 3rd & Lindsley. Reframing 12 songs curated from the Creedence Clearwater Revival leader’s catalog in Magness’ soaring, soul-centered style, Change in the Weather - Janiva Magness Sings John Fogerty is out now.«

»Rod Melancon rocked the house with songs like “Westgate” and “Rehabilitation” from his album Pinkville, before heading out on tour with Hayes Carll throughout Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, and California. Check out his new music video which was shot on 16mm film below. Nashville blues contemporary Gina Sicilia warmed the crowd with songs from her album Heard The Lie. Gina just released her take on Foreigner’s 1984 hit “I Want To Know What Love Is”.« (Blue Élan Records)

  In Grandfather’s Footsteps

Asheville-based Tellico’s first European trip held special importance for singer, songwriter and guitarist Anya Hinkle. As the band toured the central and southeastern parts of France, with the highlight being the largest bluegrass festival in Europe, the La Roche Bluegrass Festival in La Roche-sur-Foron, Hinkle was following the footsteps of her grandfather who made the same trip with his jazz band 87 years ago.

Artist Video Tellico

Hyde Ruble was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota in 1909, known affectionately as “Rube” throughout his adult life. His father was a fiddler, traveling on foot for miles and miles to play dances and weddings, which might have sparked Rube’s interest in music. While attending the University of Minnesota, he put together a jazz band, “Hyde Ruble & his Musical Layout” — he played an archtop Gibson guitar. In 1932 the band was invited to play on the French luxury liner the S.S. Champlain, which made its debut that summer as the largest, fastest, and most luxurious cabin class liner ever built, transporting businessmen and tourists between New York and France at the height of the Great Depression.

Once Rube and his band arrived in France, they stayed in a small rooming house in the Cite de Trevise par la Folies Bergere, a district where many North Africans had settled at that time. During the heat of summer, he remarked on the incredible music flowing out of the opened windows into the streets. Similarly, Paris was overflowing with bohemian energy — Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Pable Picasso, James Joyce, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Edith Wharton, Henri Matisse, Jean-Paul Satre, F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Baldwin. That summer, Rube and the band performed at jazz clubs and on the street. He met Gertrude Stein (a fellow Minnesotan) and went to the Louvre every day.

Artist Video "Redefining the
Festival Experience"

  Postcards from Pickathon 2019

»Pickathon 2019 just wrapped up and, no hype, it's still one of the most visually powerful and creatively inspiring festivals I've ever experienced. If you were here, you know, and if you missed it, let's chat next year!« (Hearth Music)

Mandolin Orange

Coming Soon

  Towersey Festival at Claydon Estate

Towersey Festival, the UK’s longest running independent music event will move to a wonderful new site for its 56th year. Taking place from 28 to 31 August 2020 the festival’s new home will be the Claydon Estate, situated between Bicester and Milton Keynes. It’s just 10 mins from Buckingham. Set in the lush Buckinghamshire countryside Claydon Estate is an archetypal English country house setting of parkland, woodland, gardens and lakes. It offers festival goers a wonderful environment in which to relax, explore and enjoy everything that Towersey has become renowned for.

Towersey Festival

Towersey @ FROG

Kate Rusby

Artist Video Kate Rusby @ FROG

Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span)

Artist Video Steeleye Span @ FROG

“We wanted somewhere that would win the hearts of our visitors” explains Festival Director Joe Heap. “We are thrilled to have found a site that is so keen to work with us on the future of the event. A site that offers such natural beauty and a great blank canvas for us to create a Towersey Festival for the future”. The entire festival team is determined to ensure Towersey will remain the same great family friendly festival it has always been. The same community feel and friendly atmosphere, the same core values, same great music, same jam-packed programme just in a more beautiful setting. Visitors can expect to see all the Towersey favourites including 100’s of live bands, hours of Ceilidh, workshops, crafts, Street Theatre and a dedicated Children’s Programme. In addition the site offers different spaces that will allow the festival to develop more outside living activities, Forest School and Mindfulness and Wellbeing options.

Artists already confirmed for the 2020 festival include Kate Rusby, the new 4 piece line up of Show of Hands, Steeleye Span, Grace Petrie, This Is the Kit and The Hackney Colliery Band. And festival favourites The Chipolatas will curate an exclusive performance of Circocentric, a circus, music and theatre show.

21 - 24 November 2019 Quiet Lights Festival, Cork, Ireland ft. Lankum, Ye Vagabonds, Cormac Begley & Liam O’Connor, ... 22 - 26 January 2020 Temple Bar TradFest, Dublin, Ireland ft. Stockton's Wing Amongst Friends, Cherish the Ladies, Lau, Connla, Réalta, Goitse, Boxing Banjo, Kevin Burke, Mary Bergin, Daoirí Farrell, Tim Edey, ... 2 - 10 May 2020 folkBALTICA, Flensburg & Sønderjylland-Schleswig, Germany/Denmark 29 - 31 May 2020 The Acoustic Festival of Britain, Uttoxeter Racecourse (Staffordshire), UK ft. Lindisfarne, Merry Hell, The Hut People, Sarah McQuaid, ... 2 - 5 July 2020 Rudolstadt Festival, Germany Focus Country: Germany 13 - 19 July 2020 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland 15 - 18 July 2020 Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornaway, Isle Of Lewis, Scotland 31 July - 1 August 2020 Urkult Festival, Sweden 6 - 9 August 2020 Telemark Festival, Norway 7 - 16 August 2020 Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France Année de la Bretagne 13 - 15 August 2020 Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK 21 - 23 August 2020 Folk East, Glemham Hall, Suffolk, UK 27 - 30 August 2020 Tønder Festival, Denmark ft. Friel Sisters, The Once, Blue Rose Code, Amythyst Kiah, ... 28 - 31 August 2020 Shrewsbury Folk Festival, UK 28 - 31 August 2020 Towersey Festival, Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire, UK ft. Show of Hands, Steeleye Span, Kate Rusby, Grace Petrie, ...

Last but not least

  The Birth of American Music

"Black music is American music. Because as Americans, we say we believe in freedom. And that’s what we tell the world. And the power of black music is that it’s the ultimate expression of that belief in American freedom."
- Wesley Morris on The New York Times 1619 podcast

Beverly Guitar Watkins

Artist Video "Music Makers"

»25 years ago, Music Maker was founded on the idea of giving credit, appreciation, and financial support to those that shaped and continue to shape American culture through their music. We book shows for these artists, some of whom have never left their home communities, to play for huge audiences from Australia to Missouri in hopes that folks will will learn something about Black music and it’s monumental impact on our collective American culture.«

»Promoting a genre of music that people see as obsolete and partnering with musicians that have been forgotten due to their race and age often makes us feel like an underdog in the fight to connect the thread of popular music and culture back to its black roots. This is has been the conversation at Music Maker for the past 25 years – so when the NY Times released its latest 1619 podcast episode entitled The Birth of American Music the entire office got excited to listen, particularly given the fact that it is the #1 podcast in the US as of writing this.«

»The episode plunges into the racist history of popular American music and its origins of appropriation and black face minstrelsy. The advent of the recording industry gave a voice to black artists with the blues being the first genuine musical expression for black people that was publicly available. The episode lands on Mo-Town, soul, and funk as the culmination of Black music as a powerful, individuating art form.«

»Dig into the Music Maker catalog and you can hear every type of formative music mentioned in this powerful podcast. From the Goins’ raw, pared down gospel singing to Ironing Board Sam’s pioneering sounds on the synthesizer. Music Maker has forged partnerships with these artists because we believe that they continue to be important and are the links that connect us to a past that must be remembered. The podcast host, Wesley Morris, summarizes the essence of our mission with this powerful line, “Black music is American music because as Americans we say that we believe in freedom and that’s what we tell the world. The power of Black music is that it’s the ultimate expression of the belief in that American Freedom.”«

»It’s incredible to hear such a popular media outlet bring up this topic. But what about the musicians and artists that are still around and are still struggling to pay their bills and get their music heard? Traditional American music didn’t just evolve and become Yacht Rock and die off – it’s still be played and still evolving and that is why Music Maker exists – to protect and promote our rich musical traditions for future generations.«

Listen to Music Maker’s entire catalog for free at Read about the NY Times' #1 ranked podcast about the Birth of American Music.

Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Shrewsbury @ FROG


  Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2019

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