The big day is upon us all, and the fRoots team are right merry. Therefore (and partly because nobody’s doing very much at this time of year), this’ll be a very brief Big Ears. We hope you don’t mind.

But first, a quick Christmas cracker to make you all smile after what can only be called a Bad News Week…

Boom tish!

Parish news

Let’s kick things off in earnest, as we frequently do, with a little something from John Spiers. He’s been down to the Squeezy Shed in the past few days, pumping out merry yule tunes for one and all. Take it away, John!

Heading down to Cornwall, Tom Dale and Foxes Fair have put together this rather lovely presentation of The Ballad Of The Christmas Weevil. You can watch it below, and find out more about it at

Set the controls for the heart of the internet, for the @TradSongTues project has spawned a digital choir. Rather than get together and sing in the traditional sense, people are encouraged to send recordings of themselves singing sections of arrangements to songleader, Piers Cawley. He then mixes them into a single collected recording. Keep an eye on his Twitter feed to find out what they’re doing next, and how you can get involved.

In the meantime, here’s “Shepherds Arise!”

Oh, and if you’re already keen to start planning for 2019, make sure you tune into BBC Radio 2 to listen to Kitty Macfarlane on January 2nd.

Who’s releasin’? 

The big folkie news this week is that folk music’s very own Eliza Carthy has announced the release of her next album, along with a launch event at Cecil Sharp House on Valentine’s Day (aw, shucks… love you too!)

Restitute will feature a large fraggle of folk superhumans (that’s the correct collective noun, isn’t it?), some of whom will be playing at the shindig. You can get tickets here.

Also out in February is a new album from top fiddler and man possessed with the extraordinary, disembodied spirit voice of John Jacob Niles, Mikey Kenney. We can’t wait for this one…

Fare thee well 

Losing someone at any time of the year is awful, but our thoughts turn away from Christmas celebrations this week to mark the passing of Bristol Folk Musician, John Turner. We wish his friends and family commiserations and fond thoughts.

We look forward to catching up with you all as soon as the turkey sandwiches are finished off. Have a very peaceful Christmas, won’t you?

Remember, if you like what we’re doing and you want to support our ongoing dedication to all of this fine music, please consider taking out an fRoots subscription, or perhaps even making a donation. You can also click whenever it says “pre-order here” and we’ll get a little kickback from Amazon. It really does make a difference. We thank you.