Below are a selection of some of the very fine artists we’re lucky enough to work with regularly. All are fantastic, don’t miss them- at a New Roots night or elsewhere!
Ady Johnson, a London based singer songwriter, has shared the stage with the likes of Willy Mason and Ben Howard. His accomplished, finely crafted style filters the distinctly English mod tones of Ray Davies and Steve Marriot through a classic, soulful acoustic pop style.
Adam Beattie & The Consultants
Adam Beattie and the Consultants have a long standing association with New Roots and The Glad Sunday Sessions. Beattie ploughs a similar furrow to Tom Waits and Nick Cave’s downtempo work, noir folk blues with a dark edge and a big heart that never fails to move an audience. You’ll hear traces of old-time jazz, swing and parlour songs in his sound, now abstracted to a sharper, darker and more modern jazz influenced setting.
Alden Patterson & Dashwood
Taking inspiration from the twin pillars of American bluegrass and English folk, ALDEN, PATTERSON & DASHWOOD weave rich harmonies with fiddle, dobro and mandolin around a combination of finely crafted original compositions and traditional songs. The trio features members of much respected Norwich folk bands Murphy’s Lore, Woodland Creatures and Dumbfoundus.
★★★★★ fRoots Album of the Year 2016 Editor’s Choice Winners
‘It’s lovely stuff’ – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Folk Show 2016
★★★★ Songlines – ‘Obviously something of enormous promise’
★★★★ R2 – ‘Talented and poetic triumvirate’
Alice Phelps has been gracing the stages of London for the past year with her set up of harp and powerfully husky vocals, augmented by percussion, cello and violin. Influenced by folk from near and far, Celtic to Eastern, she experiments with delay, blues motifs, and intricate melodies and rhythms to create a unique melting pot of contemporary and traditional folk styles.
Master fiddler Alistair Caplin is a member of the wonderful John Langan Band, and runs the creative hub of all things folk in East London, No.14 Bacon Street. He mixes Celtic and American influences in a perfect Transatlantic Sessions style- it’s real treat for any fiddle fans out there…
Astrakan are French duo Simone Alves and Yann Gourvil. Their music combines the Breton Celtic folk tradition with strong Arabic and Middle Eastern influences. Based predominantly around folk texts (some stretching back as far as the middle ages) and the Oud, a stringed instrument with roots in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey, their songs combine a deep respect for the past with a forward-looking contemporary aesthetic.
Ben Smith & Jimmy Brewer
Legendary singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading discovered Ben Smith and Jimmy Brewer in 2012, choosing them to support her on tour. She loved them so much she called them again in 2015 to repeat the engagement. The duo combine classic close harmony style with superbly honed songwriting craft to produce a brilliantly accessible roots sound, taking influence from the The Everly Brothers to Simon & Garfunkel, John Martyn to the countrified Grateful Dead. They’ve just released their eponymous debut EP, great things await.
Fred Thomas’ latest album ‘The Beguilers’ weaves crafted song-writing into the narratives of poems by William Blake, Emily Brontë, William Shakespeare, James Joyce, Walter Savage Landor and Thomas Carew. Drawing on a wonderfully strange repository of musical influences – English folk, Joao Gilberto, Minimalism, the Aka Pigmies, The Beatles, and the English Madrigal School – Fred Thomas’ settings delicately bring the poets’ images and metaphors to life with finely wrought harmonies and luscious melodies. Joining Fred for his album launch will be an all star line-up assembled specially for the occasion: Pete Flood (Bellowhead), Alex Bonney (Bill Frisell), Nat Keen (Flying Ibex), Liam Byrne (Damon Albarn), Dave Shulman (Cleo Lane), all unified by the hauntingly beautiful voice of Ellie Rose Rusbridge (Beardy Man). Expect spell-binding poetry, unearthly grooves and hypnotising interplay from a special group of musicians for a unique and one-off performance at The Winemakers Club. Limited edition copies of ‘The Beguilers’ will be available for sale.
“a beautiful thing….The Beguilers is absolutely gorgeous” – Guy Garvey, BBC Radio 6
“The Beguilers’ version of Blake’s ‘London’ is the finest setting of the poem that I know – the human ear adorned with manacles more beautiful than any earring” – Tim Heath, Chair of the Blake Society
“The Beguilers make these classic works come to life” – The Liminal
“The Beguilers start with songs based on some of the greatest poetry in the English language, but it’s the combination of Ellie Rose’s haunting voice with Fred Thomas’s beautiful compositions that give this band its unique and unclassifiable quality – a treat equally for lovers of poetry, jazz, classical music and folksong” – Peter Slavid
Benedict Benjamin is Ben Rubinstein, formerly of The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue (Wichita). His debut album ‘Night Songs’ is a collection of timeless compositions recorded in a series of churches, bedrooms and kitchens across London and Kent with producer Dan Blackett (Landshapes, Bella Union). Ben is first and foremost a classic songwriter, his wonderfully cinematic songs are shot through with the heartbreaking swoon of Roy Orbison, the soothing harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the honesty of Jeff Tweedy. His music undercuts the dreamlike beauty of early 60s pop with lyrics frank and poetic, taking you to a David Lynch-like world that makes the heart swell and the head spin.
Bernhard Schimpelsberger grew up in Austria deeply rooted in Jazz and Western classical music. It was his dedicated years of studies in India, however, which shaped his unique approach to rhythm and music. Under the tutelage of Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, one of the legendary Tabla masters of the age, Bernhard immersed himself in the Indian rhythmic system and incorporated its poetry and intricacy into his Western oriented music making. Percussionist and acclaimed composer Schimpelsberger has toured the globe performing with legendary artists Anoushka Shankar, Nitin Sawhney, Akram Khan, Talvin Singh, Susheela Raman and his own group Circle of Sound. (feat Soumik Datta) In 2016 he travelled for 10 weeks across Europe, initiating 10 world premiere collaborations.
Tymon Dogg is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter variously described as the ‘King of Gypsy Punk’, ‘alt-folk legend’ and ‘a demented elf’. He is a true folk artist, imbued with the still blazing spirit of the London punk movement who’s formation he was so central to. His illustrious career began when he was discovered by Paul McCartney at seventeen years old, and signed to Apple records. Over his 40 year career he has worked with a wide variety of musicians from Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, The Clash and James Taylor to Malcolm McClaren and Flamenco superstar, the late Enrique Morente.
Tymon has wriiten and played with the Clash on Sandanista and Combat Rock and was a full time member of Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros until Joe’s untimely death in 2002. In 2010 Cherry Red Records released the critically acclaimed ‘The Irrepressible Dogg’, a compilation of songs from 1967 – 2009. His new Solo album, ‘Made of Light’ was released in November 2015.
‘It was in New York. I had speakers the size of a wall…They [The Clash] came into my apartment and shoved a tape into my machine. It was ‘Lose This Skin’…suddenly thunder and lightening erupted all over the city…it was one of those great moments…all the forces came down into that room.”
Martin Scorsese on ‘Lose This Skin’ (written and played by Tymon Dogg on ‘Sandinista’)
“Tymon’s a fuckin’ genius.”
John Cooper Clarke
‘A truly outstanding and utterly original musican’ fRoots Magazine December 2015
‘Uber talented Clash/101ers associate’s ornate and barbed song make their mark’.
Gavin Martin Daily Mirror November 2015
Chris Brambley’s haunting, graceful songs are rooted in the folk tradition. With a clear nod to the folk revival styles of Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Davy Graham, they are at the same time wholly contemporary interpretations of the genre. His newly released ‘Aperture E.P’ shares common ground with such modern day folk innovators as Fionn Regan and Nick Mulvey.
Dai & The Ramblers
4-piece Dai & The Ramblers recorded their debut album Duw Duw, crammed full of their brilliant brand of honky-tonk, folk and gonzo jazz, at legendary Toe Rag studios in 2013. Songwriter and singer Dai Price comes from Newport in South Wales, and previously worked with psychedelic cumbia outfit Los Chinches. Rupert Gillett grew up in Germany, and plays double bass and cello. He also performs with the London Klezmer Quartet and produces records at The Cabin studio in Walthamstow. Sheffield-born Alan Dunn plays piano and accordion, and has worked with folk legends such as Loudon Wainright III and Fairport Convention’s Richard Thompson. South African fiddler Bob Loveday has performed and recorded with artists as varied as Van Morrison, Jeff Beck, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Paul McCartney.
“I love his voice; I love the whole band.” Paul Heaton (The Beatiful South)
“Absolutely gorgeous… They make a beautiful sound.” Janice Long (BBC Radio 2)
“A joyous romp… will raise your spirits and gladden your heart” Michael Farley (Americana UK)
Channeling the spirit of Van Morrison and Fisherman’s Blues-era Waterboys Dan Raza’s uplifting, powerful songs have led him to share stages with Mary Gauthier, Badly Drawn Boy, Cara Dillon and Chris Farlowe amongst others. He has just released his debut album featuring a stellar array of guest appearances from Geraint Watkins (Van Morrison, Paul McCartney), BJ Cole (Dolly Parton, Martin Simpson) Steve Simpson (Eric Bibb, Ronnie Lane), Frank Mead (Albert King, Eric Clapton) and Mosi Conde (Mory Kante, Salif Keita).
David Roberts perfectly executed and highly composed style has echoes of everything from early Western art music forms to the psychedelic explorations of the late sixties folk revival, all imbued with a distinctly English style.
David James Herbert (Vive La Rose)
Dealing in downtempo, soulful Americana tinged alt-folk, David James Herbert’s recent single “Tinderbox” was produced by Moritz Hausler (Bat For Lashes/Everything Everything), and features guest musicians Mark Neary (Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds/The Hours) and Nicky Francis (Goldheart Assembly).
“Potential to break into the big time…heavy with spirit, emotion and sadness” Billboard Magazine
Ellie Rose Rusbridge/ INMIRIAM
Described by Time Out as playing ‘dusk-lit songs, strong and tender and sung in a voice that curls darkly at the edges in a way that’ll entice fans of Joanna Newsom and Regina Spektor’, the wonderfully talented Ellie Rose Rusbridge brings her full band to the Glad tonight for what promises to be a very special performance.
Ferris & Sylvester
In early 2016 London based duo Ferris & Sylvester’s alt-country tinged fine harmony and superbly crafted songwriting caught the ear of legendary producer Youth (Paul McCartney/ The Verve/ Beth Orton). He invited them to to record at his studio in Spain, where they recorded their soon to be released debut EP, ‘Save Yourself’. Greenwich Village 1966 is a clear reference in their catchy folk sound, from the Lovin’ Spoonful to Mamas & Papas, with contemporary nods to the likes of Laura Marling and Conor Oberst completing the picture.
Currently working with Talk Talk producer Tim Friese-Green, East London collective Firefly Burning blend influences from the chamber folk style of Sufjan Stevens and the post-minimalism of John Adams. to modern classical composition and Eastern and African folk music. Close harmonies and intricate rhythms set an intimate and intense atmosphere that demands and repays close attention. A truly unique ensemble, they’re a real Sunday evening treat.
‘fresh, original and often audacious- old and original at the same time..’ ★★★★ MOJO
★★★★ The Times
‘the music is so utterly hypnotic…Firefly are intoxicating, beautiful and affirming’ Matchbox Magazine
‘urgent dancing piano lines and frantic strings over which Bea Hankey sings with majestic, hypnotic grace..’ Time Out
Flux apply their sublime musicianship to combine traditional Asian roots with World music, Western jazz, contemporary classical and urban influences, employing instrumentation ranging from piano to bansuri, violin, double bass, guitar and cajon. Formed only two years ago, they have already performed at Glastonbury Festival, London Southbank Centre, Kings Place, The National Portrait Gallery, The Great Escape and the Indig02. Their virtuosic musicianship and dynamic arrangements fuse to create a truly spectacular live show.
Berlin based Liverpudlian singer-songwriter and UK alt-country queen Gem Andrews takes influence from roots artists as diverse as KD Laing to Kitty Wells, Lucinda Williams to Ani Di Franco, Emmylou Harris to the Be Good Tanyas. Her deep understanding of folk and country craft shines through in her beautifully written songs- in a wonderfully vibrant UK roots and Americana scene she stands out as a leading player.
Andrews has released two critically acclaimed albums to date on Market Square Records, recorded with a diverse array of talented players, from Chris Hillman (Billy Bragg), Nicky Rushton (And All Because the Lady Loves), Gabriel Minnikin (The Guthries, Ruth Minnikin), to Sue McLaren (Paul Van Dyk) and Beccy Owen. Her most recent album ‘Vancouver’ (the title track stems from her time in Canada, where she hooked up with Sam Parton from the Be Good Tanyas), produced by Martin Stephenson, has been described by Three Chords & The Truth as ‘mesmerising…drenched in pure emotion and sincerity’. She plays tonight acompanied by her full band.
‘A gifted writer, Andrews is a real diamond’ Folk Radio UK
A firm favourite of the New Roots Sessions, Jack Harris was a South by Southwest showcasing artist at 17. He was the first international act to win the New Folk songwriting competition at The Kerrville Folk Festival, Texas- previous winners include Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch and Devon Sproule.. A virtuosic guitar player and wonderfully authentic folk singer and songwriter, he has shared the stage with everyone from Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick to Anais Mitchell and Jeffrey Foucault.
Brighton-based visual artist and singer-songwriter Jinnwoo’s critically-acclaimed debut ‘Your Baby’ E.P. resulted in his being named one of The Independent’s ‘Faces to Watch 2015’. His long-awaited debut album ‘Strangers Bring Me No Light.’ was released on the much respected Cargo label on 2nd Sept 2016. The album features collaborations with Malcolm Middleton, Alasdair Roberts, Kami Thompson (The Rails) and Kylie La Grange. His sparse atmospheric folk-soundscapes, laced with ghostly string arrangements and his exceptional acoustic guitar work, offer a kind of ‘spooked’ ‘gothic’ folk that sounds like no other. ‘Strangers Bring Me No Light’ is nothing short of a seminal record and Jinnwoo a true original.
The Independent – “jinnwoo is the most singular new folk talent in some time” 4/5
The Guardian – “Jinnwoo’s gothic folk-croak is a confessional reel unspooling from his innards, a tale of circling doom”
The Line of Best Fit – “A rising talent in the folk world, Jinnwoo has been setting hearts ablaze with his off-kilter guitarisms and distinct, emotive vocals.”
Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
Winners of the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo, the Isambard Folk Award, the FATEA Awards for Best Album and Female Vocalist of the Year 2013, and the Spiral Award for Best Duo, Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker are hailed as the ‘the green shoots growing from the very top of the English folk family tree’ Whether interpreting words centuries old or singing her own authentic lyrics, Josienne Clarke’s jewel-like voice finds the nuance in the simplest phrase and sends it, effortlessly, straight to your heart. Ben Walker’s musical tact and flair for arrangement provide the perfect setting, allowing the song centre-stage. Their first major album together ‐ Fire and Fortune ‐ confirmed their place among the very best musicians of their generation and reached No.1 on the UK Amazon folk chart. Their next album Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour was one of the most anticipated releases of 2014 and was launched with a sold out show at The Purcell Room at London’s Southbank Centre. The following spring they were nominated for two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and went on to win the award for Best Duo.
“Extremely Compelling” The Independent
“gorgeous” Daily Telegraph
“A major album, from major players’ Americana UK
‘Stunning’ Maverick Magazine
‘.. a classic in the canon of contemporary UK folk music’ Folk Radio UK
Tobias Ben Jacob & Lukas Drinkwater
Blessed with a wonderfully emotive voice and a talent for sublime songwriting that ranges from the intimate to the epic, Tobias Ben Jacob played in ‘The Roots Union’ alongside Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (winners of Best Duo at the BBC Folk Awards.) Some career highlights to date have included a session for BBC’s ‘Late Junction’ on Radio 3, sharing the stage with Fleet Foxes J.Tillman, and appearances at Glastonbury, Green Man, Secret Garden Party, Larmer Tree and Electric Picnic.
Upright bass player Lukas Drinkwater is in heavy demand as a performer and session musician having performed and recorded with a catalogue of acclaimed artists. Rock’n’Reel magazine describe their sound together as ‘inventive and thrilling’, R2 magazine have recently included them on their covermount cd, and the duo have been featured on Tom Robinson’s 6Music show and BBC Radio 2’s folk show.
A truly exciting and original new talent in British music, Jinnwoo is a young folk musician from Brighton- The Independent listed him as one of their 10 acts to watch for 2015. His sound is sparse folk, with intense and unique vocals that the Guardian described as a ” gothic folk-croak…unspooling from his innards,”. Undoubtedly a folk artist, his reach expands beyond the confines of the genre- supports to Alt-J, Ghostpoet, Lucy Rose, Jeffrey Lewis, Willy Mason, Kyla La Grange, Frank Fairfield, Robert Ellis and Alasdair Roberts give an indication of his appeal. He was also recently invited to play at Cecil Sharpe House as a celebration of the new folk generation.
‘Jinnwoo is the most singular new folk talent i’ve heard in some time’ ★★★★
The Guardian – ‘Jinnwoo’s gothic folk-croak is a confessional reel unspooling from his innards, a tale of circling doom’
Clash Magazine – ‘Jinnwoo is a true original’
Subba Cultcha- ‘…full of emotion and a stripped back grace that feels completely alien to everything else around at the moment. It’s rustic and aged in influence’
Leonie Evans started been performing at the age of 5 and has never stopped….Her never ending tour has brought her to the furthest reaches of Britain, Europe, Japan & the USA. What sets Leonie Evans her apart from just a discography and list of tour dates are the countless guest vocals, collaborations, performances in the streets and jazz clubs of New Orleans, spontaneous jams at parties and festivals and, perhaps most precious of all, the sprawling web of connections growing between Leonie and her ever-expanding family of musical sisters and brothers.
Her output to date has included two exquisite albums of dreamy, jazzy, unclassifiable song craft as part of the Bristol-based quartet Rae, a series of limited edition solo CDs, and a just-released, ecstatically recieved album ‘Collaborations Volume 1’, recorded in 9 different locations and featuring 34 guest musicians. Artists featured include Riognach Connolly (The Breath/ Honeyfeet), Brooke Sharkey, Liam Magill (Syd Arthur) and Adam Beattie. Expect some surprise guests at this performance!
“I was just blown away by her” Cerys Matthews, BBC Radio 6 2016
“Jazz and Folk flirt en route to New Orleans via Canterbury with Evans’ slinky, supple vocal…One slot on Later with Jools holland is all it would take” Prog Magazine
The Little Unsaid
The Little Unsaid was forged in the badlands of West Yorkshire by multi-instrumentalist, producer and writer John Elliott. Combining string and brass orchestration with beats, electronics, found sounds, Elliot completes the picture with haunting, androgynous vocals. The Little Unsaid live show consists of a live band with string section- highlights have included touring the UK with American singer-songwriter Catherine Feeny, supports with Rozi Plain, This is the Kit and Rue Royale, and performances at Glastonbury, The Secret Garden Party and Larmer Tree. His new album Fisher King was released in summer 2015, mixed by Graeme Stewart, producer of Jonny Greenwood’s soundtracks There Will Be Blood, The Master and Inherent Vice.
Lords of Thyme
Sharing a love of esoteric folk, psych and progressive music, The Lords of Thyme were formed after Joe Woolley, Tali Trow and Pat Kenneally, past members UK prog-folk act Circulus, decided to record together. Describing themselves as psych-folk, four piece Lords of Thyme name Pentangle, Davy Graham and Neu! as artists that inform their sound. Currently recording their debut album with John Wood (Nick Drake/ Pentangle), they’re leading act in the exciting newly emerging UK folk underground. Their sound features hints of Americana, psychedelia and traditional English folk in it’s musical melting pot.
Favourites of Elbow’s Guy Garvey and 6 Music’s Marc Riley, known until very recently as Hot Feet, Low Chimes have released two acclaimed Eps under their previous moniker, with the band’s debut album set for release in Autumn 2017.
Since their last release, the band have spent time working to develop a fuller sound, finding influences beyond folk, rock and blues. The core live elements remain, with the introduction of synths, samples and other electronics lending the music exciting new shades and nuances, taking them into new territories beyond their more retro roots. Narratives of nature and seasonal change, new beginnings and letting go serve as metaphors for darker themes- strands of solitude and esacapism contrast with messages of hope. Low Chimes are a complex and hugely exciting band pushing to find new ground for alt-folk and contemporary rock, a band very much ready for 2017.
“Truly nothing short of fabulous… really wonderful” – Marc Riley, 6Music
“I predict great things” – Guy Garvey, 6Music
“…a delight. This is the sound of early Belle and Sebastian, Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling all rolled into one in a gently seductive and soothing concoction. Mellifluous sounds plucked from lead and rhythm guitar and ably enunciated by the light brush of the drums” – Supajam
“Beautifully progressive and original but with a nod to some of the greats. They are one of the best bands out there today.” – Folk Radio UK
Lucas and King
Lucas and King are a truly exciting new young duo emerging from Brighton. Songs of exceptional craft and depth pull influence from classic folk and American roots influences, delivered with the spine-tingling, unforgettable voice of Bo King and perfectly judged guitar accompaniment from Hayleigh Lucas.
A consumate songwriter and superbly accomplished folk player and singer, Lucy Kitt’s creative soul looks west acoss the Atlantic- LA’s Laurel Canyon bears great influence on her warmly mellow sound. The folky edge that dominates the character of her music takes influence from the work of artists such as Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny and Neil Young, and her perfectly crafted songwriting style shows a crystal clear vision and rock solid foundations strong enough to take such reference points.
Jamie Doe aka Magic Lantern’s debut album ‘A World In A Grain Of Sand’ was self-released in June 2011 on Hectic Eclectic Records. Recorded with a full ensemble it was a stunning piece of chamber folk, receiving critical acclaim from press and radio alike. 2014 sees Jamie return Magic Lantern to its solo roots, with a focus on emotional intensity and directness. Last year saw Magic Lantern commissioned to write scores for a number of plays and films in addition to extensive touring. His second Magic Lantern album ‘Love of Too Much Living’ was released in Autumn 2014 on Smugglers Records.
‘Beautiful music”’BBC Radio 3 Late Junction
‘Classic,’ Bob Harris, BBC Radio
“Outstanding” Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music
‘Very, very special’Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music
‘Iexceptional’ The Guardian
‘An exciting new talent’ Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
Ma Polaine’s Great Decline
Ma Polaine’s Great Decline play a highly potent mix of rhythm and blues and country soul with flavours of gypsy jazz, vaudeville and music hall, all performed with a focused intensity. Taking inspiration from the 1940′s jazz of Billie Holiday, the delta blues of Howlin’ Wolf and the genre sidestepping of Tom Waits, their music moves from foot tapping abandon to subtle intensity. Beth Packer’s superbly soulful voice, mean blues harp and Clinton Hough’s virtuoso guitar are supported by a superbly tight rhythm section, intertwining horns, piano and accordion to produce a truly exciting roots sound.
M G Boulter is a singer and songwriter living on the coast of the Thames Estuary, England. Releasing his debut album in Spring 2012 under the name The Whispering Pines, Boulter has been an integral member of leadimg UK Americana band The Lucky Strikes since 2007, starting out on bass before switching to guitar and vocals, as well as penning much of their material. Since accompanying Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers) on various dates including a prestigious Green Man Festival headline set in 2011, Matthew has become a full member of The Simone Felice Band, touring the US and UK, also opening shows as solo performer. As a much sought after pedal steel and guitar player he has also worked with Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), Mumford & Sons, and is currently touring in Emily Portman’s Coracle Band and Blue Rose Code.
“Gorgeous, in a word” ★ ★ ★ ★ Uncut
“Highly Recommended” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Independent on Sunday
“Lovely.. ” ★ ★ ★ ★ Mojo
“Brings freshness to songwriting” ★ ★ ★ ★ Telegraph
“The best of 2016, no contest” ★ ★ ★ ★ The Morning Star
Over a decade since Mercury-nominated four piece The Magic Numbers landed in the top ten with their double-platinum-selling debut album, Michele Stodart took leave of the band she formed with her brother Romeo, to release her second solo album‘Pieces’on 8th July 2016.
Released four years after her solo debut, ‘Wide-Eyed Crossing’, the nine songs that comprise ‘Pieces’ confirm that, almost by stealth, Michele has turned into an artist whose work bears strong comparison to some of the iconic songwriters that helped shape her outlook.
“With your first album,” explains Michele, “It’s very much a matter of planting your flag in the ground, assembling the best songs you’ve got, and saying, ‘Here I am.’ With this one though, I could start thinking about something more narrated and focus on the storytelling a bit more……There was never a plan to start making solo records,” says Michele. “But then something happens. The songs you’ve been writing just for yourself, whilst playing in a completely different band, take on a life of their own”.
‘Stodart’s solo career..sits in a rich tradition that encompasses such touchstone female performers as Karen Dalton and Judee Sill…Etta James..Alison Moorer [&] Gillian Welch. Pieces may well be the most impressive record she’s ever made, with or without brother Romeo and band’. MOJO Magazine
‘A thing of perfection’ FRUK
With their their roots in classical music and hearts in jazz and East European folk music, Minimal Klezmer create a uniquely original sound combining both the pious and festive natures of traditional Jewish melodies. Stunningly virtuosic and hugely entertaining performers, their original arrangements are played by mainly ‘portable’ and acoustic instruments reminiscent of small klezmer groups captured in recordings from the early 20th century. A remarkable group of musicians, unlike anything you’ll have seen before.
At the forefront of a very exciting new wave of UK folk, six piece Mishaped Pearls most recent album “Thamesis’ has recieved four star reviews from The Guardian, the Financial Times and the Telegraph, and garnered the highest of praise from Tom Robinson, Mark Radcliffe and Bob Harris, highlights amongst universal acclaim from the press and media. Their adventurous song combination of the ancient and the new finds an echo in their musical make up- dulcimer, bodhran, violin and mandolin mix with acoustic guitar, electric bass and drums, all led by the classically trained mezzo-soprano voice of Manuella Schutte. Their music’s roots in tradition expands into progressive folk and rock, eastern modal music and shows elements of contemporary classical influence.
One of the finest artists to grace the New Roots sessions, Ned Roberts is a wonderfully accomplished folk musician with a timeless quality to his sound. His perfectly balanced Laurel Canyon-esque songs delivered with a poetic turn of phrase, excellent musicianship and a perfectly judged vocal sensibility sit comfortably amongst the classics of the acoustic folk world. He recently released his debut album to rave reviews, recorded in L.A. and produced by Luther Russell (Noah and rthe Whale/ Richmond Fontaine), and completed a support tour with folk legend Anais Mitchell.
‘Absolutely gorgeous stuff…one to really get excited about’
Lauren Laverne, BBC 6Music
“…a warm treat. Roberts is a fine guitar picker, his melodies reminiscent of Leonard Cohen with lyrical nods to Bob Dylan, and his voice has echoes of Tim Hardin.” Observer 4 stars.
‘An understated gem’ – The Independent on Sunday
‘…so gifted, possessing a fine ear for a tune and a real knack for storytelling..stunning’.
Originally conceived as a close-harmony vocal trio, a collaboration with South London producer Kams brought The Nightjar to the attention of Boiler Room’s Joe Muggs. The ensuing Boiler Room debut went viral, and brought their 2015 ‘The Nightjar’ EP plaudits from nearly 70,000 underground music fans, as well as the accolade of airplay on Radio 3’s Late Junction.
A successful crowd-funding campaign convinced them of the existence of an audience for their dream-like, ethereal songs of hope, loss and disaster and, in the autumn of 2015, The Nightjar relocated to a farmhouse in rural Portugal to begin their first full-length offering.
2016 tours of France, Germany and the UK saw audiences brought to a stand-still by the raw intensity of their performance, bringing them a reputation as a must-see live band. Drawing influence from the lo-fi wooze of Grouper, the stark and poignant balladry of Diane Cluck and the deft compositions of Colleen, The Nightjar use close-harmonies, tight-interlocking guitars, deep bass and an intense lead vocal to paint fragile, haunting landscapes.
O’Hooley & Tidow
With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on BBC 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, culminating in a MOJO Folk Album of the Year award for groundbreaking album The Hum, O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting. Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, O’Hooley and Tidow’s powerful, deeply moving, and at times spine-tingling performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm even the hardest of heart.
‘Boundless songwriting and exquisite harmonies that truly shine’ ★★★★★ Guardian
‘I LOVE the new album.’ Lauren Laverne, 6 Music
‘Excellent’ **** Songlines Top of the World Album
‘Remarkable. Surely one of the albums of the year.’ ★★★★ Guardian
‘Remarkable…challenging, innovative and often moving‘ ★★★★ Irish Times
‘Defiant, robust, northern, poetical folk music for the times we live in.’ Independent
‘Boldly defiant and sharply individual. One of British Folk’s mightiest combinations’ ★★★★ MOJO Folk Album of the Month
The Orange Circus Band
The Orange Circus are a raucous, footstompin’, full blooded Americana/ bluegrass act from the U.K and Virginia in America. A unique co-operative, they’re a family band that can include members of all ages from junior to senior. Concentrating mainly on updating traditional songs taken from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, they continue an historical musical lineage in a fresh, exciting way. Bring your dancing shoes- they put on a brilliantly entertaining show- great playing, beautiful harmonies and boundless energy are guaranteed to raise the roof, warm the heart and encourage the biggest of grins.
Bringing a unique take to the classical piano trio, this contemporary London based ensemble, Filipe Sousa, (piano), Tara Franks (cello), and Preetha Narayanan (violin), collaboratively create original work with a distinctive sound that blends their diverse musical and cultural backgrounds. With traces of Vaughn Williams, Steve Reich, and Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Quest Ensemble paint a unique and evocative musical landscape filled with lyrical melodic lines, rich harmonies, and interwoven rhythmic counterpoint.
Raevennan Husbandes is an award winning songwriter and member of much respected UK alt-folk act The moulettes. She has collaborated with a host of the UK’s most stellar talents, from Lisa Hannigan and The Unthanks to Tracey Browne and Paul Liddell. A soon-to-be discovered gem, her fluid finger-picking guitar style and beautiful, clear and heartfelt singing voice can electrify a room. She has recently released her debut EP ‘Box of Innocence’ produced by and featuring the legendary BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar.
‘..an acoustic masterclass of modern folk.’ 4000 Miles to Nashville
‘Raevennan is blessed with a voice that silences rooms and captivates audiences. It is sweet and pure and drifts beautifully over the intricate and dexterous guitaring she plays underneath’
A rising star on the London folk scene, American singer wongwriter Robert Chaney counts Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams and Judee Sill as influences. His recently released debut album ‘Cracked Picture Frames’ garnered high praise in the music press, with Folk Radio UK making it their featured album of the month.
Northern singer-songwriter Robin Elliott’s gruff, dry sense of humour and voice like brushed smoke underpin a keen ear for the observational and a finely honed songwriting craft. A key player in the London folk scene, Elliott’s songs have neen performed by Radio 2 Folk Award winner Ben Walker, Samantha Whates, and Sophie Jamieson amongst others. His work has featured in the feature film A Very British Gangster and on Channel 4’s much respected Cutting Edge series.
RUTH THEODORE’s songs fascinate audiences with their gripping honesty and distinctive lyricism. Over an array of unconventional guitar tunings, Ruth sings stories of the known universe with captivating vocal dexterity and poetic originality. Ruth moves almost recklessly between pacey political passages, stomping slide guitar, and enchanting piano pieces that conjure the compositional freedom of a young Keith Jarrett, with the timeless qualities of such artists as Carole King and Nina Simone. Turning her music on its head at every opportunity, Ruth’s natural lyricism and deliberate turn of phrase is that of a skilled writer in command of, and having fun with, the idea of contemporary songwriting. Ruth’s fourth studio album ‘Cactacus’, which she recorded with producer and bassist Todd Sickafoose (Anais Mitchell/Ani Difranco), was released through Aveline Records in September 2016. Ruth travelled and played her way through California and up into Oregon to work alongside a stellar cast of musicians including organist Rob Burger (Tom Waits, Willie Nelson), percussionist Mathias Kunzli (Regina Spektor, Lauryn Hill), and Violinist Jenny Scheinman (Lucinda Williams, Lou Reed).
“Extraordinary” – The Guardian ★★★★
“Confident, assured and truly unique” – Fatea Magazine
“Truly original…” “Her new album’s a killer” – fRoots
“Occasionally recalling Kate Bush and Ani DiFranco, this is a beautiful, sad, wonderful LP” – MOJO ★★★★
“… [an] impressive ability to excite audiences with her truly original, fascinating and thoroughly entertaining music….. a wealth of poetry, satire and pure, natural artistry. ‘Cactacus’ is a wonderful, captivating album.” – Folk Radio UK
“…songs that are full of vitality. Quirky lyrics tumble out of her in a torrent, with angular melodies and inventive settings… an excellent album of invigorating freshness and originality.” – Country Music People
“…a beautiful voice, backed it up with amazingly accomplished guitar skills, songs of substance…” “…[her] lyrics are Dylanesque in scope and skill” – Red Guitar Music
“Ruth writes alternative folk and blues music but at heart she is a pure punk San Franciscan beat poet” – Todd Sickafoose
Samantha Whates is a London based singer and songwriter. Despite living in the capital since her mid-teens, her heart, voice and songs retain a strong affinity with her Scottish roots, cultivating a sound that is thoroughly contemporary, rooted in tradition yet uniquely her own. A regular live performer, Samantha has played throughout the UK from small town pubs to large festivals and major London venues (Union Chapel, Vortex, Cecil Sharp House). She recently released her debut Dark Nights Make For Brighter Days which has been enjoying both critical acclaim and radio play (BBC 6 Music, KCRW, Resonance FM).
Core members of the critically acclaimed US roots/ alt-folk act Groanbox (‘Marvelous’- The Sunday Times, ★★★★ – Mojo, ‘true originals’ The Guardian) The Seznec Brothers influences and musical interests are vast, ranging from Appalachian banjo music to 20th century electroacoustic composition by way of 1960s West African pop and interactive sound art. Using mostly acoustic instruments including gourd banjos, pianos, guitars, the brothers defy strict categorization. Their music is strongly rooted in tradition yet forward looking, introspective yet universal, straightforward yet complex, and joins the dots from Appalachian mountain music through to New Orleans ragtime, old-time jazz & blues and on to European gypsy folk, ultimately making the links back to the music’s strong African roots.
Victoria Hume (with string accompaniment) performs a set of beautifully cerebral folk-pop with elements of contemporary art music, finely crafted and delicately observational in its execution.
Whiskey Moon Face
Whiskey Moon Face are an alternative folk group based around double bass, accordian, clarinet and banjo, led by the stunning vocals and hallucinatory lyrics of singer Louisa Jones. They combine elements of Eastern European traditional music, old-time New Orleans jazz, the baroque folk of Sufjan Stevens and Beirut, and their own unique take on contemporary folk to make for a superbly realized and truly beautiful sound.