Let’s get this week’s Big Ears started on an up ting, shall we? Add a little joy to your life. Slap your eyes and ears around this.

And once you’re done with that, take a journey to an entirely different mental space with the all-new Netflix documentary on Robert Johnson. Devilishly good.

Parish news

Speaking of Netflix, they’ve announced the date for the new Scorsese Bob Dylan documentary. Set your VHS recorders for June 12th.

Dragging our eyes from the Netflix screen for a second, have Lankum changed their name again? 

We’re pretty big fans of these two… you might’ve noticed. So our advice would be to get on the ticket line quick sharp.

The WOMAD lineup is up and out there…

…as is the Cambridge Folk Fest‘s.

Oooo, and if you’re down near Slapton today, keep an eye and an ear open for this. We wrote about it in this month’s cover feature, and Andy Bell tweeted a fragment of it in the recording studio earlier this week (see below).

Lastly but not leastly, if you’re in the Bristol area this coming weekend, make sure you get along to the Bristol Folk Festival, of which fRoots is a proud media sponsor. There are so many artists we love playing at this event, including Cara DillonSam Kelly, Spiro, Kris Drever, Grace PetrieLady Maisery, Amadou Diagne, Kim Lowings, Ian A Anderson (yes, him), The Drystones, Nick Hart, Thom Ashworth, Hannah James, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne. The list goes on…

fRoots Editor, Ian A Anderson, will also host a talk event titled The New Wave of Folk Blokes, featuring Jimmy Aldridge & Sid GoldsmithThom Ashworth and Nick Hart. Take a look below and click to say you’re interested (presuming you are interested).

Who’s releasin’? 

June Tabor and Topic Records have been treating us all this week, so we thought we’d give you this little bonus…

This guy, eh? He’ll be all up in your inboxes and trad boxes on Wednesday (May 1st). Best not to resist.

Mr Rob ‘Concertina’ Harbron has put together an album of “solo concertina meanderings” and preorders are taking place now. Hopefully there are a few gratuitous mic shots on the inner sleeve. Long-time readers will know what we mean (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

As mentioned above, here’s Martin Simpson recording overdubs on what seems to be his new song about Slapton hero, Ken Small.

7 days on the road 

We couldn’t get Spring properly rolling without a visit from the May Queen herself. You can see Lisa Knapp doing her thing on Friday (Singing With Nightingales, London) and then in East London on Saturday. Here’s a reminder of why she’s wonderful.

If you’re in Southampton and really light on your feet, you could still catch a glimpse of this fine-looking Jon Boden show…

You’ll catch Alisdair Roberts at the Campfire Club in London this week on Friday, fresh from his most recent tour with Furrow Collective. The Furrows finish up their spring jaunt tonight (Sunday) in Havant.

The Drystones continue what looks like a very full gigging calendar this week in Great Langdale (Friday) and at the Bristol Folk Festival (a week today; Sunday).

You’ll catch those Feastie Boys, Belshazzar’s Feast, on Thursday in Bedford, Friday in Horsley, Saturday in Kington and then on Sunday at the Raunds Festival. They don’t stop after that, continuing throughout the month. Have a look here for future arrangements.

Jim Causley is in Exeter tonight (Sunday), Sidmouth (Monday), and then Watchet (that’s a place, not a warning) next Sunday; a week today.

John Doyle is on the road this week, dropping by Preston (Wed), Sheffield (Thu), Northwich (Fri), Malvern (Sat) and Birmingham (Sun; a week today).

You can see John Kirkpatrick tonight (Sunday) in Twickenham, on Friday in Keighley, and then in Upton-on-Severn on Sunday (a week today).

Martin & Eliza Carthy take to the saddle this week, arriving in Bristol on Thursday, Calstock on Friday, Freshwater on Saturday and Chipping Norton a week today (Sunday). They’re all over the place (in a good way) this month. Stick with yer Good Ol’ Uncle Big Ears. He’ll keep you informed.

There are signs of life around the Melrose Quartet, with a return to the stage at the Wath Festival on Friday night.

Sam Sweeney runs riot throughout May, kicking off this week with gigs in Cardigan (Wed), Bury (Thu), Wavendon (Fri), Gateshead (Sat) and Derby (Sun; a week today).

Next weekend sees the return of The Bristol Folk Festival, with performances from Cara DillonSam Kelly, Spiro, Kris Drever, Grace Petrie, Amadou Diagne, Kim Lowings, Lady MaiseryIan A Anderson, The Drystones, Nick Hart, Thom Ashworth, Hannah James, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne. Or had we already mentioned that?

In other festival news, you’ll catch a rare stage appearance of False Lights on Saturday at Walton Folk Festival. They’ll be doing a few other festivals throughout the summer, including Wimborne Minster Folk Festival and Ely Folk Festival.

Girl-power bluegrass specialists, Midnight Skyracer, will take to the stage at the Crossover Festival in Congleton, Cheshire, on Saturday. Have a look at their Instagram account for more glimpses of things to come.

Plenty of chances to see the India Electric Co this week. Look out for them tonight in Bury St Edmonds (Sunday), Andover (Tue), Barrow-In-Furness (Thu), Lincoln (Fri), Bristol (Sat) and the Isle of Wight (Sun). All of these shows are in support of Midge Ure. A twofer!

The ever-skyrocketing Kitty Macfarlane (KittyMac to her fans) is in Bournemouth on Friday, and then Crediton on Saturday. Catch her while you can.

Head to the Todmorton Folk Festival next weekend and you’ll find several lovelies, including Martin SimpsonGreg & Ciaran, Bryony GriffithLucy Farrell and many more.

It’s a busy week out there. Have all the fun, 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.