Monday, 29 November 2010

Benny gets the drive

Scottish folk singer-songwriter Benny Tetteh-Lartey has won this year's  G-Technology Driven Creativity Award in the Professional Music Category.  The Hitachi Europe sponsored event celebrates the best in innovation in the creative arts.

The competition for photographers, musicians and film makers in the UK, France and Germany gave nominees a chance to win €5,000 cash and technology prizes.

As a promotion for the G-Technology storage device brand, participants submitted a creative project created in 2009 or 2010. Tetteh-Lartey received a G-Technology G-Raid drive for his winning entry for the song “You Can't Hide”. 

iTunes sell music

He received his award at the gala celebration which opened the exclusive exhibition at London’s Brick Lane Gallery, where Benny provided a live performance for the gala event attendees.   

More info on Benny Tetteh-Lartey

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Ken gets Weaving

FolkCast's Ken Nicol is setting out on a Christmas tour with legendary Lancashire folk band The Houghton Weavers.

Ken Nicol - who recently ended an eight-year tour of duty with folk-rock legends Steeleye Span - will be "guest guitarist" for a touring show that mixes the Weavers' laid back songs and family fun with Ken's lightning-fast guitar tunes.

The Weavers, who shot to fame across the North West of England in the Seventies with their own series on BBC radio and television, recruited Preston-based Ken over a round of golf.

David Littler (left) and Ken Nicol.
Weavers' guitarist David Littler said: "He and I met about eight years ago when we were performing in the same town. We were at the Buxton Opera House and Ken was playing in the folk club in a pub across the road. After our show we went to watch him, and I was gobsmacked by his playing.

"I talked to Ken and was amazed to discover that we lived only about a mile apart in Preston! Since then I'm pleased to say we've become good friends and often play golf together.

"When Ken announced he was leaving Steeleye Span it was a great opportunity to recruit him for our Houghton Weavers At Christmas tour. He'll be playing alongside us, as well as having his own little spots in the set list. He'll give us a massive injection of musical talent!"

Ken said: "When I came back home from America in 1988 my dad used to talk about this band he'd seen on the telly. He liked them, but their TV series had finished by then so they were a mystery to me. I eventually saw them only about 12 years ago."

The Houghton Weavers - who this year celebrate their 35th anniversary - are set to release a DVD documentary about their history. It features interviews with members of their 2,000-strong worldwide fan club, which meets annually at the Norbreck Castle hotel in Blackpool. And there's also a new CD - titled Lancashire Leads The Way - featuring 40 songs about the county.

"We are proud to be a Lancashire folk group. When you've been around for 35 years you get to know a few songs about it," laughed multi-instrumentalist David, who started the band with his brother Denis on bass, Norman Prince on guitar, and Tony Berry on vocals. Today, David and Tony continue in the band with keyboardist Steve Millington.

Recalling the heady days of their TV fame, David said: "My mother wrote to the BBC saying 'I've two lads in a folk band which is much better than the rubbish you play', and they put us on a talent show. We were so popular they gave us our own series! In those days there were only three channels - BBC1, BBC2 and ITV - and ITV went on strike, so we got the highest ratings in the region for the year!"

From then on the Weavers have kept to their promise to "Keep Folk Smiling" with their mixture of songs and comic stories.

Click here for tour dates.

Friday, 19 November 2010


BRISTOL FOLK FESTIVAL, which returns to the city after 32 years next spring, is to stage a dynamic dance and song curtain raiser to the event as part of this month’s 2010 Music South West Convention.

The second Music South West Convention “MSW 2010” takes place in Bristol on November 24 and 25 with national speakers and a live music fringe showcasing some of the best acts from the South West in more than 15 venues across the city.
On Wednesday, November 24 Bristol Folk Festival will stage The Music South West Folk Fringe featuring one of the biggest gatherings of Morris dance sides yet seen in the city.
The event has been put together with the help of the Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival – the UK’s national student folk festival.  The country’s longest running festival, it is held at different universities every year and 2011 will be the first time it has taken place in Bristol since 1957, bringing another festival back to the city after a long absence.
Tickets are already being snapped up for the Folk Fringe event which will take place at the Fiddlers Club at Bedminster. The performers – all from in or around Bristol – will include Rag Morris, Bristol Morris Men, Bristol Rapper, Nonesuch Morris and City Clickers together with special guests including the band Fastest to Canada and young singer songwriter Gaz Brookfield.

Tickets for the event cost £5 in advance available on 0117 987 3403 or through the venue website

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Have a BLAST!

Something new from FolkCast - The Blast is a free download of great music from the worlds of folk, folk-rock, singer-songwriter and roots. It's just music - no features, minimum chat - and the special debut edition features songs from The Urban Folk Quartet, Crispy and Other Roads.

Click the pic and have a Blast!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

How Come That Blood

A fascinating take on the traditional murder ballad How Come That Blood by New York based experimental/alt.folk artist Sam Amidon, from his new album I See The Sign.

Sam Amidon

What do you think? Leave a comment, why don't ya?

Monday, 15 November 2010

Hotpots for Great British Folk Fest

The biggest festival of the Winter is set to be the Great British Folk Festival at  Butlins Skegness, featuring some of the biggest names from British folk scene - including Oyster Band, Rod Clements, The Unthanks, Kate Rusby, The Dylan Project, Gordon Giltrap, The Strawbs and Donovan. Now the latest band to join the incredible line-up is comedy fettlers The Lancashire Hotpots.

The Hotpots - who are playing gigs in London, Burnley, Manchester and Preston soon - replace the previously announced Nine Below Zero, who will not now be appearing.

Another change is that The Gathering - featuring some of the greatest names in folk-rock - will be toning it down for their appearance, playing acoustically and just as a trio made up of Lindisfarne's Ray Jackson, Fairport/Fotheringay guitarist Jerry Donahue, and Magna Carta's Doug Morter. Acoustic folk-rock? OK... Actually, I heard two of the trio - Donahue and Morter - recently and they make a great team, so it's really something to look forward to.
Tickets (including accommodation) are available from £59 for the three nights. Click here for full details and booking form.

Here's the latest running order:

Friday December 3rd 
(Downstairs venue)
  • 7.30 – 8.45: Gary Fletcher
  • 9.15 – 10.30: John Renbourn and Jaqui McShee
  • 11.00 -12.15: Oyster Band
(Upstairs venue)
  • 7.30 – 8.30: Gordon Giltrap
  • 9.15 – 10.30: Acoustic Strawbs
  • 11.00 -12.15: The Lancashire Hotpots

Saturday December 4th
  • 12.30 - 1.30: Ay Ducane
  • 2.00 – 3.15: Phil Cool
  • 3.45 – 5.00: Richard Digance
  • 7.30 – 8.30: Rod Clements
  • 9.00 – 10.30: The Unthanks
  • 11.00 -12.15: Jiggerypipery
  • 7.30 – 8.45: The Gathering Unplugged
  • 9.15 – 10.30: Sandi Thom
  • 11.00 -12.15: Stackridge

Sunday December 5th
  • 1.00 – 2.00: Hunter Muskett
  • 2.30 - 3.30: Shinjig
  • 4.00 – 5.00: Deborah Bonham Acoustic
  • 7.45 – 8.30: Kate Rusby part 1
  • 9.00 – 9.45: Kate Rusby part 2
  • 10.15 – 11.30: The Dylan Project
  • 7.30 – 8.30: Away with the Faeries
  • 9.00 – 9.45: Donovan
  • 10.15– 11.00: Donovan and Band

Friday, 12 November 2010

Bellowhead buckle their swash in Bristol

Members of Bellowhead found themselves “kidnapped” by swashbuckling Bristol pirates when they arrived in the city to open their UK tour with two sold-out shows at The Old Vic.
The pirates caught up with the 11 piece band by the Llandoger Trow pub in historic Harbourside, giving the band a taste of the shadier side of the city’s history.

Bellowhead have just been named as the first of three headline acts for next year’s revived Bristol Folk Festival – back in the city after 32 years.
Bellowhead will bring the three day Bank Holiday festival to a flamboyant finale on May Day (Sunday, May 1, 2011) at Colston Hall. 
Frontman Jon Boden said: “Bellowhead are delighted to have been asked to headline and programme the main stage music for May Day at the Bristol Folk Festival. With some festivals sadly disappearing in the current climate it's great to see this one making a comeback after 32 years and we'll be giving it all our support."
Co-organizer Jan Ayers responded: “It’s a real coup to get one of the biggest – in every sense- names in acoustic music to top the bill on the final day of what will be a bumper ‘back again’ Bristol Folk Festival.”

Excitement is growing as organisers set about realising the dream of bringing Bristol Folk Festival back to the city after an absence of more than three decades. The "indoor" festival will take place in and around the revamped Colston Hall and has another hot property folk performer as its patron, Seth Lakeman. Headliners for Friday April 29 and Saturday April 30 will be announced shortly.
Early Bird tickets for the Bristol folk bonanza are already on sale from Colston Hall at the special price of £60 for the three days. As well as award-winning artists, the festival will feature Morris dancers, mummers and maypoles, ceilidhs, “posh loos” and indoor camping.
More information -

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Urban Folk Quartet on tour

Joe Broughton, Frank Moon, Tom Chapman and Paloma Trigas are The UFQ, and they are on the road right now. We hope to feature a track from their album in the December podcast.

Show Of Hands - Autumn Tour & Covers 2 CD

From Show Of Hands:

The recent interest in the live version of 'Boys of Summer' on the Radcliffe & Maconie show has spurred us on to get 'Covers 2' ready, and it will be available from mid-Nov.
This recording is intended for our friends and fans only - we'll be selling it at gigs and by mail order, but it won't be available through the shops and it won't be on iTunes etc. It was recorded in three sessions in October and intentionally stays very close to the 'live-trio' sound with minimal overdubs and production changes.
Apart from Don Henley's 'Boys of Summer', the tracks will include the Stereophonics' 'Dakota', Tom Robinson's ' 2-4-6-8 Motorway', Mark Knopfler's 'Tunnel of Love', Bruce Springsteen's 'Youngstown' and lots more ... 
We hope to have the CD's by the start of the Concert Tour gigs listed. If you won't be able to get to any of them you can pre-order your copy now from the online shop.

Autumn Concert Tour 2010Special guest Rodney Branigan
Wed 17 SALISBURY City Hall 01722 434434
Thu 18 MANCHESTER Royal Northern College of Music 0161 907 5200
Fri 19 STAFFORD Gatehouse Theatre 01785 254653
Sat 20 STOCKTON ON TEES, ARC 01642 525199
Sun 21 BUXTON Opera House 0845 127 2190
Wed 24 TRURO Hall for Cornwall 01872 262466
Thu 25 READING Concert Hall 0118 960 6060
Fri 26 IPSWICH Corn Exchange 01473 433100
Sat 27 CAMBERLEY The Camberley Theatre 01276 707600
Sun 28 BRISTOL Colston Hall 0117 922 3686

Wed 01 GATESHEAD The Sage 0191 443 4661
Thu 02 BRADFORD St George's Hall 01274 432000
Fri 03 St ALBANS Alban Arena 01727 844488
Sat 04 CANTERBURY Gulbenkian Theatre 01227 769075 SOLD OUT
Sun 05 LONDON UCL Bloomsbury Theatre 020 7388 8822 SOLD OUT

See you out there - hope you like the CD!

Show of Hands 

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Demon Barbers Roadshow

The Demon Barbers have released a video giving a flavour of their fabulous "Roadshow", which mixes terrific live folk and folk-rock with clog, morris and rapper dancing. Superb!

Monday, 8 November 2010

Cropredy ticket offer to beat VAT increase

From the Fairport Convention website:

"We've got bad news and good news about VAT. The bad news is that VAT on festival tickets will jump from 17.5% to 20% from January 2011. The good news is that we've arranged a special pre-Christmas VAT-buster offer for you, our loyal Cropredy crowd.

Our box office normally opens in March but this time we're putting
Cropredy Festival & Camping tickets on from Wednesday 1 December until Tuesday 14 December (note this is a limited period only).

Not only will you save 2.5% (which is a significant saving if your family or group buys multiple tickets) but UK purchasers should receive their tickets in time for
Christmas - what better present could you wish for?" 

Answer: tickets and a guarantee of dry weather!  :-)

Click here to go to the online ticket store.

Put Down The Gun, Pick Up The Hanky!

Bonkers! Morris dancing as the way to end urban street violence? Pull the other one, it's got bells on it...

Direct link to video

Sunday, 7 November 2010

November 2010 Show Out Now

The latest edition of the FolkCast podcast is out now! 

For November 2010, Ken Nicol joins presenter Phil Widdows in the studio for a podcast full of great new releases. Music comes from: Bellowhead - Jon Boden - Blabbermouth - Heidi Talbot - Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts - The Legendary 10 Seconds - Rodney Brannigan - Linda Scanlon - Seize The Day - Stig Denson - Paul and Storm. Babba concludes his Story Behind The Song about The Black Death, and there's a stormy poem from William Topaz McGonnagall. 

Download now, for free. Click here.

Friday, 5 November 2010


Portugal's folk music, Fado, aims for place on UN's heritage list - more details here: 

A few years ago, I enjoyed an excellent evening of listening to Fado in a small restaurant on the Portuguese island of Madiera. Being part-Portuguese it spoke to something deep inside.  Thrilling melancholy vocals, and stirring mandolins. It's worth tracking down, and I must try to find some for the show sometime.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Vin Garbutt: Movie Star

‘Vin Garbutt: Teesside Troubadour’ is a major new documentary by Craig Hornby (‘A Century in Stone’) It is a richly detailed chronicle of Teesside folk legend Vin Garbutt’s epic 40-years on the road. 

Combining fly-on-the-wall, unseen archive and live concert footage plus candid interviews with family, friends, fans and peers the film is typically Vin - fascinating, philosophical and funny!

The film is to premiere at Cineworld in Middlesbrough on November 11th. Craig will introduce the film and afterwards Vin will perform a unique live performance in the cinema. The premiere screening is already sold out.

Craig said “For a huge company like Cineworld to make time to support local films such as this is so great. After 'A Century in Stone’ packed the place out in 2004, they were keen to get behind the new film. Its a fascinating and unique tale that I wanted to tell. 

"Its not aimed at a folkie audience particularly, its for to everyone with any interest in real Teessdie culture. I want as many people as possible across the region to this and as the premere is already sold out, it bodes well." 

Fresh from playing in British Columbia, Canada, Vin said “I am thrilled to bits. What a great time I have had collaborating with Craig. He travelled with me around the world filming the whole time, he is so meticulous with every detail. For Cineworld to back the end result is fantastic and allowing me to play live in the cinema is a first for me. It’s a great opportunity”

More details: