Current Issue: SpringOut now, and available from all good music shops etc, or by post and subscription for the breathtakingly great price of only £13 for UK, £18 for Europe and £22 for the rest of the world, including postage! here
InterviewsKarine Polwart - Karine's ground breaking show A Pocket of Wind Resistance is garnering rave reviews and we were so fortunate to have a wide ranging and - up to now - exclusive chat with her.
"Nigel: You use traditional song on the album almost as a way of creating the scenery. But it’s in some ways unexpected.You open with song called All on a Summer’s Evening which is a version of Heather Down The Moor.
Karine: Or Queen Among The Heather as we tend to call it. I really enjoyed that part of the process – taking a traditional song and combining it with natural sounds and spoken word."
James Wood - We travel to Brittany to seek out this Sheffield exile and find out about his wide ranging and multi-faceted career. He also helps us understand the deeper meaning of his solo album The Last Journey. "You’ve lived here [France - Ed] for 35 years now.What prompted the move in the first place? James: I came over to teach English and started up a band in Paris. After a while I moved to Nantes, where, as you know, I’ve been in lots of different bands, playing in a range of different styles."
BACKtrackNo1 - Scarborough Fair: There's a well trodden path to this song by many, many singers from all genres. Find out where it's from and how it got to where it is now.
"So Why Scarborough? With Brexit one year away, it seems apt that we begin this series with a song which celebrates, however implicitly, European trade."
ArticlesThree Month walkies: Most of us have a folk filled late Summer/Autumn, but last year Lynda and Alan's was a marathon. A whirlwind of new discoveries and old friends re-connected. Shows, concerts, folk clubs & CDs. A mere stick would be inadequate to shake at it all.
"So to the Hartlepool finale, and the reason why we bought our tickets as soon as we got wind of it – The Barrack-Room Ballads … The stage was dramatically overcrowded – Hardeep Singh Kohli on extreme stage right, excelling up to his ears in the spoken wonder of Kipling poetry and prose; Jon Boden on extreme stage left singing with passion worthy of Bellamy himself… "
Modal guitar made easy: Duncan McFarlane, of this parish, will share with you the means to attain the first step on the way to folk guitar godliness. Now modal tuning is within the reach of every budding folkster barre-ing none.
"But why bother with such a weird tuning at all, you ask? Well, you’d best try it and hear for yourself. First off, for ‘beginners’, it’s a much easier way of getting started than the dreaded ‘Play in a Day’"
Anahata's Tune SpotSpeed The Plough - Is a common enough tune annually debased at Whitby Folk Week in the Speed the Plough Speed contest. Tykes News will have none of those shenanigans! Anahata has brought to us an unusual Norfolk version from the William Clarke manuscript, to which he has made a harmony part fit for the most tasteful listening set. "We recorded a multitracked arrangement of this on our Baker’s Dozen album, but despite the addition of banjo and cello parts I decided it needed something else, so I dubbed on a semi-improvised Anglo concertina descant harmony."
Review SectionThe Review section is flexing its muscles again with a CD-ROM review and a new element - 'Songs from the Shows' - which is all about folk on the stage in all its variety and glory.
Martin Graebe has written of Sabine Baring-Gould's collecting travels around Devon and Cornwall 'As I Walked Out'. It's a far reaching book expertly explain by Mike Feist. It's a long way from Yorkshire, I hear you cry. And indeed it's as far away as you can possibly get on the English mainland. But consider where he started his collecting. In 'Yorkshire Oddities' (1874) he commented of Yorkshire, "No other county produces so much originality - and that originality, when carried to excess, is eccentricity." On the nose Sabine, on the nose.
Musical Traditions have released volume two of Ralph Vaughan Williams' Collecting in Norfolk, 1908 to 1911 on interactive CD-ROM. Searchable to the Nth degree with maps, manuscripts and sound files, it's the epitome of how CD-ROMs should work. Mary Humphreys takes you through the menus and drop-downs with a fine toothed comb. It's worth seeking out Volume One to complete the set.
We have a final look at The Transports tour. This time in our area at Leeds City Varieties. "In the confines of the small old theatre with its compact stage, the restricted spaces evoked into the show – servant’s quarters, single room houses, prison cells, transport ships and indeed a very restricted corner of a very alien land – gained a particular resonance."
Kathy Reade sent us glad tidings of Crickmore:Crewe's festive review at the Topic FC. One to watch out for next year.
"Crickmore:Crewe finished by introducing us to The Dunster Carol which we had not heard before. It had a joyful, and infectious chorus, ‘Raise your voices higher, higher, til the night expire, 'til the night expire!’ We did not want the night to expire, and sang it lustily on the way home. "
CDs from: O'Kane, Igoe, Said the Maiden, Magpie Lane, Smyth & Kemp, Pilgrim's Way, Melrose Quartet, Dow. Mighty names all worthy of your folk £.