Whatcha doin’ sittin’ there? Everyone’s up and about! A quick glance across the social media landscape and it look’s like there’s not a folk singer in the land who isn’t currently on tour, releasing something or heading to the Shepley Spring Festival.
See? We could start a new section called #FolkiesInVans, such is the volume of tour-bus-based photographic evidence hitting your channels all over the shop. It looks like such fun!
Not that we condone this kind of behaviour, of course…
And it’s not just #FolkiesBehavingBadly. Oi! Venues! Get your acts together and stop stealing from the poor musicians.
Lots of people shocked that a lot of venues take money off musicians for selling their CDs at gigs. 15, 20, sometimes 25% plus VAT for selling merchandise. I buy my CDs from the label for £6.40. If I sell at £10, and the venue takes 25% + VAT, I make 60p per CD. Time for change?!
— Sam Sweeney – on tour May 2019 (@samsweeney123) May 3, 2019
In all seriousness, Sam’s point is something we at fRoots firmly agree with. And you’ll find a more in-depth look at the problem (via Fancourt Music’s Ant Miles) on our Facebook page here…
Before you buy, we’d encourage our readers to ask the artists whether or not they are having a chunk taken out of their takings in this manner. Ask if there’s an alternative way to buy the CD directly from the artist. Quite often there’ll be a Bandcamp page (or some such) in existence, and the artist will probably be happy to sign the CD for you before sending it out. There are better ways to get the money to the artist directly without the venue’s involvement.
Meanwhile, make of this what you will…
And absolutely set your alarm clocks for May 21st.
Elsewhere, there’s this, which we’re sharing with you for no other reason that it sparks joy (that’s the hip terminology these days, isn’t it?)
But before we go a step further with our Big Ears this week, you’ll want to strap your ear goggles on and get stuck into this month’s fRoots Radio. Full details are listed here, and you can get started by clicking the player bellow.
Looks like Lankum are coming to the end of something loud and booming. Social media reports describe whatever they’ve got in the can as a “monster” of an album. We expect nothing less!
Daragh… Lankum… Guerrilla Studios… Rough Trade Records pic.twitter.com/Fk9UALpyIt
— Robert Watson (@afghaniscan) May 11, 2019
Faustus have been touring their Cotton Lords work for a number of months now, but this week sees the official release of the EP. Looks like Manchester and London are the places to be.
Cotton Lords EP launches:
13/5 @anthonyburgess Manchester
15/5 @slaughteredlam London
Tix details https://t.co/skFQ7Xp0sX#fRootsLive pic.twitter.com/Y2OdA4eFfB
— Faustus (@FaustusFolk) May 6, 2019
The new Kate Rusby album is almost upon us, and it’s all there on numbered, heavyweight vinyl, too. Get involved!
Good morning!!! 😃 And here are the vinyl masters for Philosophers, Poets and Kings whoop whoop!!! 😆 So it’s now available to pre order, 🎊🎉 Pressed on double 180g heavyweight pink vinyl, there'll be only 500, all numbered, so go go if you want one.😃https://t.co/KqS3iP6Tti pic.twitter.com/eJjJWFLZAO
— Kate Rusby (@katerusby) May 12, 2019
Rachael McShane is one of several folkies getting very excited about their appearance on this new Topic Records release. No, not the Dick Gaughan reissue (although that’s exciting, too). We’re talking about that wonderfully embossed delight spanning the first 80 years of the legendary company’s output. Only a couple of weeks left to wait now…
Eek! Lovely things post this morning. I’ve been excited for this one to arrive. We’re delighted to have a song on the @TopicRecords compilation "Vision & Revision: The First 80 Years of Topic Records" (out May 31). Pre-order: https://t.co/jhsydNISnB #topic80 pic.twitter.com/SJHnneCfzS
— Rachael McShane (@rachaelmcshane) May 11, 2019
It’s a fascinating thing, this, and we think you’ll like it. Partnering Danny Peddler, Greg Russell has created the Field & Dyke project, based around traditional songs mixed in with “the sounds of industry”. It has to be heard to be fully understood. So… off you trot! You’ll find it over here.
7 days on the road
Out and about this week…
Nick Hart launched his new album tour last night in Dorking, but the official release party is tonight (Sunday) in London at Jamboree. Run quick and you might catch it. Other than that, he’s in Manchester on Tuesday, Liverpool on Wednesday and Hereford on Thursday. More gigs later in the month. Well worth seeing.
First night of the tour. Gearing up for a lovely evening with @nbroads in Dorking for @goodhonest_folk. pic.twitter.com/MdtUDcGNh4
— Nick Hart (@MrNickyHart) May 11, 2019
Also well worth seeing (we reckon) is Ben Walker, and he’ll be doing an album preview show at the Slaughtered Lamb in London on Saturday (18th May). The post below suggests that there’ll be special guests. How many can you name? (Do we win free tickets if we can name them all, Ben? Although, we’re kinda stuck on top left…)
Coming on Sat 18th May don't miss the Ben Walker – Album Preview Show @slaughteredlam #Clerkenwell, London with special guests
A BBC Folk Award winner he was recently hailed as one of ‘the best acoustic guitarists in the world’ by Total Guitar magazine. https://t.co/gaqW0CHWJK pic.twitter.com/slnsXZI78Y
— folkandroots (@folkandroots) May 10, 2019
The fastest fingers in the West? Certainly the fastest fingers in Wrexham, Oxfordshire and Bath this week. We love what Gwenifer Raymond does.
Home again home again in Cardiff in a bit over a week. I'm missing Game of Thrones for this one, so come along and ignore the internet with me.https://t.co/ZvtJRwL2SW
— Gwenifer Raymond (@GweniferRaymond) May 10, 2019
Grace Petrie must feel as though she’s been on tour forever, but with all those “sold out” signs she’s certainly had friends around her. The last few dates are approaching. Catch her tonight (Sunday) in Liverpool, on Friday in Edinburgh and then on Saturday in Glasgow. And then rest well, Grace!
Been a LONG old tour, this one. Absolutely delighted to see all those “sold out” stickers. Tonight I’m at MAC Brum and we are sold out. Onwards to North Wales, Liverpool, and Scotland – still tickets for those 4 then I am, well and truly, done. Thx for your support, means the 🌎 pic.twitter.com/gLDbv1fxms
— Grace Petrie 🧜♀️ On Tour Til May (@gracepetrie) May 10, 2019
There are lots of lovely things happening down at the Campfire Club this summer. Check out the website for a full lineup, and gaze on this wonderful venue pic to get you in the mood.
You’ll catch Andy Cutting out and about in London (Wednesday), Huddersfield (Friday), Bristol (Saturday) and Newport (Sunday; a week today).
Brìghde Chaimbeul is on in Kirkcaldy on Saturday.
The Dovetail Trio hit Cambridge tonight (Sunday), Birmingham (Wednesday), Bradford (Thursday), Bristol (Friday) and Whitchurch (Hampshire; Saturday).
You can see Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith at Shepley Spring Festival in Huddersfield on the 18th (Saturday).
John Kirkpatrick is playing in Cambridge on Thursday and London on Saturday.
Kitty Macfarlane heads out to Guildford (Friday), Wiveliscombe (Saturday) and Huddersfield (Sunday).
You saw Lady Maisery at the top of this page, driving around in their van. They were heading towards Chesterfield for a gig tonight (Sunday), and then they’ll be off to Ulverston (Tuesday), Manchester (Wednesday), London (Friday) and Huddersfield (Sunday; a week today).
Leveret are playing Music in the Round in Sheffield on Monday.
Lots of chance to see and hear Martin & Eliza Carthy this week, as they take their spring tour to Newcastle Under Lyme (Monday), London (Tuesday), Guildford (Wednesday), Ashby De La Zouche (Friday), Alfriston (Saturday) and Southampton (Sunday; a week today).
The Melrose Quartet is at Doncaster Folk Festival on Saturday.
Jim Moray brings his trio show to Exeter (Monday) and Bristol (Wednesday) this week. More gigs towards the end of the month.
Rachel Newton is currently all over the place, playing Salisbury (tonight; Sunday), Canterbury (Wednesday), the aforementioned Campfire Club (Friday) and Maidstone (Saturday).
Rant are on in Findhorn (Friday), Barnard Castle (Saturday) and Topsham (Sunday; a week today).
Jack Rutter takes in some solo gigs this week, hitting Kenilworth tonight (Sunday), Bracknell (Tuesday) and Huddersfield on Saturday. The Huddersfield gig is part of Shepley Spring Festival, which Jack is a patron for.
Catch Ye Vagabonds in Birmingham (Tuesday) and Preston (Wednesday).
Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar will be at the Trinity Folk Festival (Guildford) on Saturday.
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.