Morning all! How was your break? We had a fine old time of it, lounging around in our pyjamas and giving our Big Ears a rest. You’ll be pleased to hear that they’re all fresh now and listening better than ever. So, without further ado, let’s do some folk-based eavesdropping, shall we?

Parish notices 

The “Save the Late Junction” campaign is still up and running and could do with your help. ‘Tis the season for signing petitions, it seems. Get your digi-fingers a-twitchin’.

One of the biggest pieces of news in the two weeks we’ve been lazing away features that there Oysterband and them there June Tabor. Have a squizz here…


Over on Mixcloud, there’s an (almost) brand new fRoots Radio to get stuck into. OK, OK… it’s a couple of weeks old now, but we’ve been relaxing. Hadn’t you heard?

If you’d been wondering about the fate of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards… well, so had we. Until, that is, this turned up on Facebook last week…

Whether you’re still using Betamax or you’ve finally updated to the latest VHS technology, you’ll want to set your recording devices for this!

Eliza Carthy has hinted at a London event in early June that may or may not be a combined party for Topic and Norma Waterson. (See a similar feature by Colin Irwin in our latest issue for details on what they’ll be celebrating). Follow the following thread for possible info, and block out June 7th on your calendar…

[Note: Eliza has since tweeted with a little more detail. You can read that here.]

Fans of jaw-droppingly good guitar fingerpicking, take note! Ben Walker has announced an extensive tour, and you’ll want to be there. If you’re not already in the know, take a moment to feel sorry for yourself and then head to his website and realise just how many albums you’ve got that have his fingerprints on them. And then buy yourself a ticket (or several).

Speaking of great guitarists, some good news recently from Ewan McLennan who announced earlier this year that he was hanging his guitar up…

Lastly, you don’t need us telling you that this glorious romp is everywhere at the moment. Not often that a folk-based film gets on the big screen, so let’s celebrate while we can!

Who’s releasin’? 

And while we’re on the subject of Topic Records, things are really hotting up on their release schedule, with teaser hints regarding their 80th anniversary album dropping regularly. Here’s one of our fave’s so far: Kitty MacFarlane doing Anne Briggs’ ‘Go Your Way’. Please, click this way for joy and loveliness…

There are some great clips turning up on the From Here Records Instagram account. There’s less than a month or so to go before the release of Stick In The Wheel‘s latest collection of folk field recordings. You can find out more and pre-order by clicking here.

Those fab folks at River Lea put out yet another great record last week. They’ve yet to put a foot wrong. Ye Vagabonds have been making waves for some time now – this could well be the one to take them all the way.

There’s something going on here, and it’s been put in motion by the combined, budding talents of Ruth Notman and Sam Kelly. Grab it!

Sorry to keep harping on about Topic Records, but if they will keep on doing great things… Last week they put out reissues of Martin Simpson‘s Prodigal SonAnne Briggs’ Anne Briggs, and Shirley Collins’ The Sweet Primroses. Note in the small print: a limited gold vinyl pressing of Anne Briggs follows in April. Credit cards at the ready…

7 days on the road

The Drystones can be found this week in Fareham (Monday), Andover (Tuesday) and Shoreham (Wednesday).

The wonderful Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith come out of hibernation this week for a busy tour that’ll take them all the way from Norwich to Madrid. Catch the first couple of dates at Norwich (Friday) and Faldingworth (Saturday).

This month’s fRoots cover star, Martin Simpson, returns from a few dates in Europe to play the National Centre for Early Music in York this coming Tuesday. He’s also gone and got himself an Instagram channel. Sign up here…

If you’re up in Edinburgh this Monday night, head to the Soundhouse and catch a rare gig from RANT.

And if you’re down in London this Monday night, head to the Green Note to catch an equally rare gig from Jon Wilks.

The Rheingans Sisters latest tour has been a much-loved thing. Catch the very last night this week in Bristol (Tuesday).

It’s quite the week for superb guitarists, isn’t it? You can catch Sam Carter at Biddulph Town Hall this Wednesday, and it’s a double whammy because the magical Kitty MacFarlane will be there in the support slot. He’ll bid fare thee well to Kitty immediately afterwards and head to Bury (Saturday) and Northampton (Sunday).

The Askew Sisters are on the road again this week, taking their tour to Maidenhead (Sunday; tonight), Sheffield (Thursday), Leicester (Friday), Lyme Regis (Saturday) and Worth Matravers (Sunday; a week today).

The aforementioned Kitty MacFarlane performs as support for Sam Carter (see above) before heading to Nailsworth (Friday).

Catch Rachael McShane on her last tour before maternity leave, hitting London (Thursday) and Southbourne (Saturday).

The Steeleye Span 50th Anniversary tour is now underway. You can catch them tonight (Sunday) in York, and then in Darlington (Monday), Whitley Bay (Wednesday), Wakefield (Thursday), Newark (Friday), Hertford (Saturday) and Cannock (Sunday, a week from today).

The superb Granny’s Attic will be in Bawtry on Thursday. We can’t recommend them highly enough.

Fare thee well

It is with great sadness that we’ve had to see a very fond fare thee well to these wonderful people over the last two weeks.


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.