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folk

Kate Young

Kate Young

Events with Kate

Kate Young is a Scottish singer, fiddle player and composer. She specialises in combining her experience of world musics such as her training in Bulgarian traditional singing with fiddle accompaniment and is constantly exploring new ways to combine her writing, informed by traditions with string quintet. 

In 2014 her band Kate in the Kettle's debut album, ‘Swimmings of the Head’ was received with high acclaim from Songlines, The Guardian, and MOJO. It proved as a celebration of innovation and the weaving together of similarities between Scottish, Scandinavian and Indian traditions. Kate Young is also known for her work with Songs of Separation (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Album of the Year), Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young and the Moulettes.

After a successful showcase of her ‘New Voices’ commission at Celtic Connections last year, 2017 saw Kate in the Kettle joined by an exciting new line-up with fresh songs arranged for string quintet, which explore the folkloric traditions surrounding plant medicine.

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Georgia Ruth

Georgia Ruth

Events with Georgia

Georgia Ruth is a Cardiff-based musician and songwriter from Aberystwyth in West Wales. Her debut album Week of Pines won the Welsh Music Prize in 2013, and she released her second (Fossil Scale) in 2016. She appeared as a guest vocalist on the Manic Street Preachers' Futurology album, and has toured extensively in India: both as a member of Ghazalaw (whose debut record was released on Cerys Matthews' Marvels of the Universe label) and as part of the British Council's Folk Nations project. 

Georgia presents a weekly music show on BBC Radio Cymru, and has also presented 'World on 3' for BBC Radio 3. 

Press for Fossil Scale :
“Georgia is finding her own distinct voice” **** Q Magazine
“Slow-burner of a record that rewards repeated listening” **** The Evening Standard
“a wealth of sonic detail” The Independent
“A deeply intelligent return”  Clash Magazine

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Sam Lee

Sam Lee

Events with Sam

Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, song collector, award winning promoter, broadcaster, animateur, and naturalist.

As an artist Sam traverses many worlds, challenging and pioneering folk music in diverse places and ways. Not just an award-winning singer with two highly decorated albums to his name and a sound incomparable to his contemporaries’; his work fostering live music in the UK has been instrumental in the explosion of folk of the last decade. Sam reinvents not just the way these ancient songs should sound but how they can be sourced, exist and thrive, from conscientiously gathering them in Gypsy Traveler camps to singing them for the Hollywood big screen.

Sam’s debut album, ‘Ground of its Own’ was conceived after winning the prestigious Arts Foundation Prize in 2011 and nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize. His second album, ‘The Fade in Time’ (2015) has been equally feted. At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016, Sam was presented with ‘Best Traditional Song’ for his version of the song ‘Lovely Molly’. During the ceremony, he performed the song live, backed by the 40-piece Roundhouse Choir, in front of a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The same week, Sam and his band of Friends were invited to perform the same song on BBC TV’s ‘Later with Jools’.

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Francesca Simmons

Francesca Simmons

Events with Francesca

Francesca Simmons, is a violinist and independent artist from North Wales, now living in Bristol.

She currently plays violin and musical saw with folk-improv instrumental trio Rock of Eye, and for live animation outfit The Paper Cinema. Performing under her solo moniker Madame Česki, she self-released her debut album Palimpsest in 2016 with airplay on Radio3, Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Cymru/Radio Wales.

Other session and performing work has included working alongside Sam Lee, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Spiro, Collectress, Fiona Bevan, The Heritage Orchestra, DJ Yoda, Marques Toliver, and Lleuwen Steffan. Francesca has also performed with Giffords Circus, Secret Cinema, and Sound UK.

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Barbara Dickson

Barbara Dickson

Events with Barbara

As a multi-million selling recording artist with an equally impressive Olivier Award winning acting career, Barbara Dickson OBE has firmly established herself as one of the most enduring and popular artistes in Britain today. 

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, Barbara’s love of music was evident from an early age – she began studying piano at the age of five and by twelve had also taken up the guitar. She developed an interest in folk music whilst at school which led to floor spots singing at her local folk club. After relocating to Edinburgh, she went on to combine a day job in the Civil Service whilst steadily pursuing her first love, music, in local pubs and clubs. The watershed moment came in 1968 when, after being refused leave from her job for an overseas singing engagement, Barbara resigned, determined to pursue a career for herself in the burgeoning folk scene of the late ‘60’s. 

The next few years saw her gradually ‘paying her dues’ on the Scottish and English folk circuit, steadily building a reputation and working with the likes of Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes and Archie Fisher. Early folk albums, which she recorded for Trailer and Decca Records, were well received. Barbara readily admits that she would have been happy to continue her life as a travelling folk musician, but a meeting with an old friend, musician and playwright Willy Russell, in Liverpool in the early 70s was to change the course of her career completely. 

She is currently working on a new studio album, a follow-up her recent live album, ‘In Good Company,’ which will feature some of her favourite songs recorded with a string quartet featuring new arrangements by John O'Hara, and she is also planning another release which she hopes will coincide with her next full band tour in early 2019. Whilst Barbara remains modest about her many achievements, with seventeen Platinum and Gold albums to her name she remains Scotland’s biggest-selling female singer of all time. 

Aly Bain, the great folk musician, has described her as having the best female voice ever to come out of Scotland whilst Billy Connolly says “from the very first time I heard her, her voice just nailed me to the wall. She’s just a one-off.” Barbara is quick to dismiss this politely as pure opinion, but the accolades she has received over the years undoubtedly recognise that she has been touched with a gift that is of great importance to her and, more importantly, to her audience. 

“Singing is not,” she says, “about technique but what is in your heart. That is the secret”.

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Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh

Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh

Events with Caoimhin

If you're wondering how to pronounce his name, try "Kwee-veen Oh Rye Alla" on for size. It's not quite right, but as a first attempt it's not too shabby.

Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh makes music on a 10-string fddle called the hardanger d'amore, and travels the world as a solo musician, in various duos, and as a member of two bands, The Gloaming and This is How we Fly. He has performed on some of the most beautiful stages in the world, including the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall and the Lincoln Center. He has made ffteen recordings to date, ranging from quite traditional to fairly out there, and continues to explore the region where traditional music begins to disintegrate. Caoimhín is known as a collaborator, having worked with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Amiina and Vincent Moon. He has made music for theatre and flm, including music for the Oscar-nominated movie Brooklyn and Volker Schlondorff's Return to Montauk.

"the most imaginative and fascinating musician in all of trad" - Earle Hitchner, Irish Echo, USA

"the missing link between Martin Hayes and Purple Haze" - Nick Kelly, Irish Independent

Lucy Farrell

Lucy Farrell

Events with Lucy

As one fourth of The Furrow Collective, Lucy is the current recipient of the BBC Folk Award for Best Group following the release of their widely acclaimed Wild Hog LP, earned during an immensely busy and creative time in which she contributed to the raved about return to form that was the Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band’s Big Machine album and tour, and also saw her final shows with the Emily Portman Trio with whom she’d sung, sawed and played viola for many years.

An inveterate collaborator, the news that Lucy is to take centre stage in her own right comes as a welcome surprise to all those who’ve been entranced by her haunting and quintessentially English voice, subtle and instinctive musicianship and her ability to connect emotionally with an audience while adhering to the great Shirley Collins’ adage that in folk music the singer should never get in the way of the song.

Lucy Farrell first enchanted fans of traditional music when she began performing as a duo with fellow Newcastle Folk Degree graduate Jonny Kearney. Invited to become the regular opening act for The Unthanks, Lucy & Jonny’s blend of wry and lovelorn tales with exquisite interpretations of English, Scottish and American ballads saw them frequently outselling the headline act at the CD stall.

As well as Lucy’s fruitful partnership with singer and songwriter Emily Portman and the award winning harpist and singer Rachel Newton, she has also written, performed and recorded with numerous bands and projects including Dark Northumbrian, Gluepot, a star-studded live tribute to Norma Waterson, and also formed her own group Ogres. Although she’s rejected the conventional career path, Lucy has become one of the most in demand musicians and vocalists on the young folk scene.

Signed to the impressively visionary Hudson Records, Lucy Farrell has returned to the traditional folk songs that have remained at the heart of everything she’s done. These are the ballads that inspire her own compositions, but in their own handed-down beauty and strangeness tell fantastical stories beyond our imaginations. And in her voice they bewitch anew.

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Jarlath Henderson

Jarlath Henderson

Events with Jarlath

From County Armagh, Jarlath Henderson has been playing the uilleann pipes since the age of 10. A talented and versatile musician, Jarlath also plays whistle, flute, cittern and has recently been winning over audiences with song.

In 2003 he became the first and only Irish solo artist to win the prestigious BBC Young Folk Musician of the Year Award, which led to him being invited to play at some of the most prestigious festivals in Europe. Jarlath is a three times ‘All-­­Ireland Champion’ Uilleann Piper, a teacher both in Ireland and Scotland and has featured in numerous BBC television programmes on piping and music. In 2008 he released his first album, 'Partners in Crime' (Vertical Records) with fellow border piper Ross Ainslie, followed by their second release 'Air-Fix' in 2013. Both albums received outstanding critical acclaim from the general folk world, with the debut release being voted '6th Best Folk Album' of 2008 by Mojo Magazine.

When not performing with his band, solo or alongside Ross Ainslie, Jarlath regularly guests with Scottish folk legends Capercaillie, Salsa Celtica and in Phil Cunningham's annual Hogmanay house band. This year in Ireland he will be playing with his sister Alana Henderson, the Cara Dillon Band, Atlantic Arc Orchestra and Cathy Jordan and Mick Daly.

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