Saturday, 13 June 2015

It's The Guvnor MBE!


English traditional music is celebrated in the Queen's Birthday Honours as musician, songwriter and bandleader Ashley Hutchings is made an MBE for his services to folk music.
Ashley: ace of bass
Born in London but now living in Derbyshire, 70-year-old Ashley - known in folk circles as The Guvnor -  was the driving force behind several famous bands including Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. These groups enlivened the folk scene by introducing rock instruments thereby opening up traditional music to a new and younger audience.

Ashley said: "I'm obviously very proud of this honour but it's England's musical tradition that's being recognised as much as me."

Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)
Awarded for a significant achievement or outstanding service to the community. An MBE is also awarded for local ‘hands-on’ service which stands out as an example to other people.
In a career spanning nearly 50 years Hutchings has worked with a host of folk and folk-rock luminaries including Richard Thompson OBE, Martin Carthy MBE, Maddy Prior MBE, Shirley Collins MBE, John Tams and the late Sandy Denny (who described him as 'one of my biggest heroes; a great man'). He's also a frequent performer with FolkCast's own Ken Nicol.

During the 1970s, Hutchings worked with National Theatre director Bill Bryden composing the music to 'The Mysteries', 'Lark Rise to Candleford' and 'The World Turned Upside Down'.

Education has also been an important element in Ashley’s  career. EMI commissioned him to put together an LP of traditional dance tunes specifically aimed at school children and he has conducted numerous workshops to introduce young people to England's folk song and dance.

He was also the driving force behind Fairport Convention’s seminal album 'Liege & Lief'.

FolkCast says: "Congratulations to The Guvnor! A well deserved honour for the man we shall continue to call Sir Ashley."