Happy Easter to you. And what a scorcher! Let’s hope this week’s folk music and roots news can do it justice.

Straight off the bat, here’s something to keep you jolly. It’s a brand new Jim Moray video, performed rough and ready in (what we’re assuming is) his own back yard. And the great thing about a new Jim Moray video, aside from the song itself of course, is the attention to detail for folk enthusiasts and guitarists alike. Jim learned ‘Australia’ from Bob Hart’s Songs From Suffolk album, released in 1973 on Topic Records (you’ll find that on Discogs here), and he’s playing it in CGCGCD tuning. While that may not mean a lot to many of you, we know there are tonnes of people out there that will be reaching for their guitars as we speak. Big thanks to Jim, and happy strumming to the rest of you.

Parish news

Also in what appears to be video-making mode is Nick Hart, who seems to be in a distressed loft somewhere, knocking out umpteen versions of ‘Georgie’. We’ll get in touch and find out what’s what. Watch this space.

Guest appearances are often nice surprises for audiences at big dates on an artist’s tour, but Gigspanner have announced their big hitter already. John Spiers will be joining them at Cecil Sharp House on May 9th, so it’s a twofer: Gigspanner and Knight & Spiers all for the price of one. Tickets here.

You can’t keep Billy Bragg off the TV these days. And thank goodness, considering the gems he’s offering up. In case you missed it, here’s a new BBC documentary on the late, great Woody Guthrie. It’s all up in your iPlayers now.

We’d usually keep this kind of news until the week of performance, but seeing as this tour seems to be selling out so quickly, you might want to book your tickets well in advance. We’ll let James Yorkston explain…

Similarly, should you wish to savour Sam Sweeney, you should sell your syrup and shuffle off to the boxsh officsh sis instant. (Alteration 101)

And while we’re on a giggin’ ting, this deal from The Nest Collective sounds like something worth properly investigating. Go to it!

Who’s releasin’?

Yer man Jack Sharp is busy with cellos in the front room, so there must be an album in the offing. If you’re not familiar with his work, take another listen to the first of the Stick in the Wheel From Here: English Folk Field Recordings albums. His interpretation of ‘Bedfordshire May Carol’ is one of the highlights.

Speaking of Stick in the Wheel, the second of the aforementioned series was released at the end of last week, and it’s 20 tracks of wonderfulness (as you might expect). You want it? You got it. Grab your copy by clicking here. Here’s a clip of Laura Smyth & Ted Kemp performing their version of ‘Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy’.

Kate Young is in the studio, by the looks of things, and she’s got Hannah from Moulettes along with her for the ride. It all sounds suitably magical. Keep your ears open.

Lookit! Josienne Clarke has gone and done a solo on Rough Trade. Streaming and singles are yours for the taking immediately. We’re talking three great tracks from one of the current folk scene’s most distinctive singers. Why wouldn’t you?

If you like your folk a little less traditional and a little more experimental, then this album was made for you. Letters from the Border is a fascinating collaboration between British polymath, Ben Osborn, and German violinist, Alex Stolze, and it came out on April 19th. Have a listen via the Soundcloud player below and then grab your own copy by clicking here.

Seven days on the road

Bringing in the May fractionally early, if you’re in the Oxford area you’ll want to get along to this lovely-looking Magpie Lane gig. It’s on April 28 – that’s a week from the time of writing.

Moore Moss Rutter kicked off their April tour this weekend, and they’ll be on the road until the bitter end (of the month). Catch them tonight (Sunday) in Watchet, then in Bristol (Tuesday), Norfolk (Wednesday), Liverpool (Thursday), Truro (Friday), Corsham (Saturday), London (Sunday; a week today) and beyond!

Also out and about for Spring, you’ll find the Furrow Collective. The Fabulously Furrowed Four will be in Glasgow (Sunday; tonight), Edinburgh (Monday), Liverpool (Tuesday), Newcastle (Wednesday), Reading (Friday), London (Saturday) and then finishing up neatly on Sunday in Havant.

The Drystones continue their April tour this week, hitting up Bude (tonight; Sunday), Fareham (Thursday), Andover (Friday) and Shoreham (Saturday).

The legendary Martin Carthy is venturing out into the sunlight this week, popping up in Basingstoke (Wednesday), Bath (Saturday) and Aberystwyth (Sunday; a week today). The man’s a living legend. Do yourself a favour!

You’ll catch the also-legendary Martin Simpson in Cambridge this coming Saturday night, and then continuing throughout May. The man’s also a living legend. Do yourself another favour!

Pharis and Jason Romero are in Whitstable (Wednesday), London (Thursday), Sheffield (Friday) and Glasgow (Saturday). Take a peak, why don’t you.

Lady Maisery are out this week, with a one-off in Halifax on Friday. There’s plenty more where that came from, though, as they’ll be flexing their touring muscles will into next month.

The wonderful Askew Sisters continue what must seem like a never-ending tour (they’ve been on the road for weeks) with a very special gig this week – their album launch at Cecil Sharp House on Wednesday. They follow that up with a Saturday night gig in Cambridge and then they look to be taking a break until festival season. Well earned, we say!

You’ve got four chances to catch the India Electric Co this week – Horsham (Wednesday), Watford (Thursday), Milton Keynes (Friday) and Bury St Edmonds (Sunday; a week today). Which of those chances will you take?

Kitty Macfarlane is gracing Saffron Walden this week, but just the once, and that’ll be on Thursday. Enjoy yourselves!

You can see Granny’s Attic this week in Baston (Thursday) and Ripponden (Sunday; a week today) – and we thoroughly recommend that you do.

Gigspanner are doing their thing in Southampton (Wednesday), Guildford (Thursday), South Petherton (Friday) and Dorchester (Saturday). The big gig with John Spiers is the week following. Get yer skates on!

Fare thee well 

This week we bid a fond farewell to Tommy McGoldrick, former winner of the all-Ireland Fiddle Championships. Our condolences to his friends and family.

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