The boss is freshly back from Montreal, having spent the last week careening around Folk Alliance. So let’s start there, shall we? Here’s a lovely clip relating to fRoots that we’re rather chuffed with.

And if you’re wondering who caught his eye this year, Ian A Anderson had this to say:

“Some new discoveries were mindblowingly good: any European festival could take a risk-free punt on David Davis & The Warrior River Boys (dynamic real deal proper-job bluegrass), Nava (sublime Irish-Iranian quartet), Flor De Toloache (wild all-women mariachi group with harmonies to die for – lots of people talking about them) and Los Texmaniacs (hot stuff driving Tex-Mex conjunto).”

Parish notices

Back here in Blighty, it’s a big congrats to Gilmore & Roberts as they announce their “most recent release”!

And it seems now’s the time for that kind of thing. Rachael McShane has dropped a huge hint along similar lines, so massive congrats to her, too…

Anyone who has ventured onto folkie Twitter this week will have been drenched in a wave of restitution. Here’s why…

There’s a new episode of Matthew Bannister’s Folk On Foot out, and it’s all about Stick in the Wheel and Epping Forest. Have a look at the video below, and listen to the podcast itself by clicking here.

50 years?! 50 YEARS?! How is that possible?!

Lastly, this week’s TV recommendation comes from Nancy Kerr. Tune in on iPlayer while you still can!

Who’s releasin’? 

Here’s a thing of beauty for you. Fran & Flora (described as “London’s best-kept secret”) have released their debut album, Unfurl, and it’s really quite something. A string duo, they take an experimental approach to tunes from the Eastern European Klezmer and Roma traditions, and it’s spellbinding. Explore further by clicking here to buy their album.

The brand new Emily Barker & Marry Waterson album is on the horizon! Pre-orders via the link below…

Jon Wilks (him from the old Grizzly Folk website, and occasional fRoots scribe) started a monthly “research and perform” blog series in January, sticking mainly to the Midlands theme from his recent Midlife album (see fRoots issue 422) but occasionally going off-piste. This week, he continued the series with an in-depth look at ‘Poverty Knock‘, including mini chats with Thom Ashworth and Jim Moray. Keep an eye on what he’s doing by clicking here.

If you pre-ordered the new Leveret album, then chances are you’ve received yours early. Fans on Twitter are already posting their prize pictures, a full two weeks before the official release date (March 1st). Get in there quick!

Speaking of ‘Poverty Knock’ and Thom Ashworth, pre-orders for his new album Head Canon are now happening. Scroll down this page for news of this week’s preview concert at Cecil Sharp House.

And there are some great photos in from the latest Martin Simpson sessions, featuring Nancy KerrLiz Hanks and Andy Cutting. We heard bits in the comfort of his front room (see the next issue of fRoots) and we can confirm: this album’s going to be a belter!

Valentine’s Day news reaches us from Pure Records, concerning Sam Kelly and Ruth Notman

7 days on the road

Ewan McLennan continues his farewell tour this week with gigs in Durham (tonight; Sunday), Glasgow (Tuesday), Preston (Wednesday). A couple of final gigs will take place during March in London and Bedford, and then that, sadly, seems to be it.

Faustus are on the road for two gigs this week, in Wakefield (tonight; Sunday) and Hungerford (Saturday).

As mentioned earlier, Thom Ashworth takes to the stage at Cecil Sharp House this week with Nicola Beazley. Catch them on Wednesday night.

Mikey Kenney continues his Reverie Road tour this week, hitting up Winchester (Thursday), Worth Matravers (Friday) and London (Saturday).

Just two gigs for Jim Causley this week, too. He’ll be in Wandsworth (Friday) and then Horesham (Saturday).

Get along and have a jig with John Kirkpatrick in Coventry (Tuesday), Brighton (Friday) and Hoole (Saturday).

Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow will be doing their thing tonight in Bristol (Sunday) and then again in Saffron Walden (Friday).

If you’re in the mood for some Carthy the Elder, then head to Southwark Cathedral this coming Friday and fill yer boots!

For a chance to see Martin Simpson away from the his studio hibernation, head directly to Wolverhampton this Saturday and clap your eyes on a fingerpicking legend.

You will find Tony McManus and Julia Toaspern at The Greystones in Sheffield tonight (Sunday) and then again at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Monday night.

We mentioned Jim Moray earlier on this page. Here he is again, this time hitting Cardiff with his trio. But, run! They’re on on Tuesday!

Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar have also been off galavanting around Folk Alliance in Montreal, but they’re back on tour in the UK this week, playing Headingley (Friday) and Bury (Saturday). There are loads more gigs for these guys the following week, so keep an eye on their socials.

If you’re in Aberystwyth this Wednesday, keep your eyes peeled for Jackie Oates. Not that she’s just hanging around or anything – there’s a gig on, folks!

If you’re in Chesham this Monday night and you fancy being blown away (a good thing, we promise), head over to see Granny’s Attic.

John Smith is playing the Royal Exchange in Manchester next week (Sunday), so get a load of him while you can. He’ll be heading to Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia the week after that.

Lastly, Knight & Spiers take to the road this week, hitting Shoreham-on-Sea (Wednesday), Chelmsford (Thursday), Halesworth (Friday), Haverhill (Saturday) and beyond!

We think that’s all!

Fare thee well 

And so to this week’s closing chapter. We say a very fond farewell to an important folk revival figure, Roger Marriot, who went peacefully after a short bout of pneumonia.

And we’ve also said a premature farewell to Sali, a driving voice in Malian music. A talent gone too soon.


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.