mon 18/02/2019

folk music

Brighton Festival 2019 launches with Guest Director Rokia Traoré

The striking cover for the Brighton Festival 2019 programme shouts out loud who this year’s Guest Director is. Silhouetted in flowers, in stunning artwork by Simon Prades, is the unmistakeable profile of Malian musician Rokia Traoré. Taking place...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Robert MacFarlane's Spell Songs

With books including Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways and Landmarks, Robert MacFarlane has established himself as one of the leading writers on landscape in the English language, continuing a literary tradition that contains...

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CD: Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center

In recent weeks, you may have noticed signs for the Better Oblivion Community Center, from billboards to park benches, all displaying a mysterious helpline telephone number. This was not some new community support project, but a surprise...

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Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - celebrating the Irish in England

Last spring, Imagining Ireland took a fresh, shamrock-free look at contemporary Ireland’s cultural scene, with spoken word and alt-folk mixing with indie rock and jazz, classical, gospel and rap, with the line-up led by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan and...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Shirley Collins - 'There was no way I could ever sing to be popular'

When Shirley Collins appears at The Roundhouse next week, it will be 50 years since she last played there. On 30 May 1969, she and her sister Dolly were on a bill promoting their then label Harvest Records. When she plays there on 31 January, she is...

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CD: Katie Doherty & The Navigators - And Then

It’s more than 10 years since Katie Doherty, a new-minted music grad championed by the Sage-based Folkworks collective, was named Newcomer of the Year and released Bridges, her debut album. And Then is only her second – which is not to suggest she’s...

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Albums of the Year 2018: Mari Kalkun - Ilmamõtsan

Any of the individual elements making up Ilmamõtsan would be enough. Unified, they imbue Ilmamõtsan with beauty and an understated power. That questing Estonian singer-songwriter Mari Kalkun does not sing in English is no barrier to being affected....

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Albums of the Year 2018: Ry Cooder - The Prodigal Son

Rudderless, and under the unpredictable and self-interested leadership of crazy and authoritarian populists, the world finds, as ever, some solace from music.  I’ve spent a lot of time exploring '90s Dub Techno this year, not least the work of...

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Albums of the Year 2018: The Gloaming - Live at the NCH

The Irish American supergroup was only meant to be a one-off, but the fervour of their audiences’ passion for the music – across two studio albums from Real World, and some magnificent concerts in the UK, Ireland and the US – has given The Gloaming...

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CD: The Albion Christmas Band - Under the Christmas Tree

The Albion Christmas Band is as much of a fixture as Yuletide itself and their tour runs right through till Christmas – and of course there’s an album, Under the Christmas Tree. Specially formed for the festive period and featuring Simon Nicol (...

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CD: Sandra Kerr & John Faulkner – The Music From Bagpuss

In 1974, a saggy old cloth cat and his rag-tag bunch of friends managed, in just 13 episodes, to influence a generation. Ask pretty much anyone who watched Bagpuss what their first experience of traditional folk music was and the answer is unlikely...

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Orphy Robinson’s Astral Weeks, London Jazz Festival 2018 review - reimagining a masterpiece

After failing to make the charts on its release 50 years ago this month, Astral Weeks has long since passed into pop mythology, its unique amalgam of jazz, folk and soul influences inspiring musicians, writers and filmmakers alike.Martin Scorsese...

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