Welcome to an all-new digi-folk round-up. We’ll be trying to get tidbits of news out as often as possible, making good use of the things that we find on various social media outposts, rounding up the weekly bits and bobs so that you don’t have to.
Before we begin, let’s just point out that we have ourselves social media outposts of our own. You can find us by clicking Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram. Follow us, do! And, should you like what we’ve found and posted, and you fancy reading about it in far, far more depth, you could do a lot worse than subscribing to the esteemed, much-lauded print version of fRoots, now approaching its 40th year. Cue a rather obvious and somewhat overwhelming clickable advert…
Let it be known! Our team of social
stalkers observers reserve the right to report on what they deem newsworthy. No amount of bribing can change their minds. No, don’t even try. It really won’t work. Promise.
So, without further ado, here’s what we’ve discovered on our folkish rounds of social media this week.
Nothing mawkish about this bunch
Those chaps, Mawkin, released their new album, Down Among the Dead Men, on October 5th. They’ve also popped out the “most ambitious video we’ve ever done”, an accompanying piece of musical cinema filmed at the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Have a squiz at the Blind Fiddler below, and look out for tour details on their website.
Eliza Carthy and her fairly well-known father have released a live collection. She’s giving it the occasional airing over on her Twitter channel, as you’ll see below. Recorded at the Hailsham Pavilion earlier this year, it captures the duo on top form. Oh, and she’s also got a few goodies under her bed that she’ll happily part with. We daren’t ask…
On August 2nd Daddy & me have a DVD coming out, from a lovely night down at Hailsham Pavilion. For the next few days you can still preorder though, & discover many other under-bed goodies in our Pledge campaign! Please have a mosey over via this link…https://t.co/o1GEzv4lty
— Eliza Carthy MBE (@elizacarthy) July 29, 2018
You’ll also see that she’s recording a new album with Urban Farm Hand and a variety of friends and family, seemingly in her living room. Here’s a snap of someone called Jon Boden doing something with hands and fingers…
Mekkin a rekkid, part the two! @boden_jon is here to help…@UrbanFarmHand ❤️ pic.twitter.com/dkKyYd7DLl
— Eliza Carthy MBE (@elizacarthy) September 28, 2018
Getting down with the F-Collective
Singles aren’t the kind of thing we hear much about these days, but the digital world has ways and means. The Furrow Collective are gearing up for their new release (Fathoms) on Hudson Records, and they’re offering an instant download to anyone who pre-orders it now. Form an orderly queue! No pushing at the back!
We have a single out!! Pre-order our new album FATHOMS and receive an immediate download of our single 'Down by the Greenwoodside' – as already featured on @nprmusic Spotify Playlist https://t.co/X70LaEwjEy
— Furrow Collective (@TheFurrowC) October 5, 2018
She who needs no introduction
Topic Records released the latest in their superb Introduction To… series, and it’s one that anyone visiting this website ought to have almost as a kind of passport to getting in. We’ll let Topic make the official announcement via the Tweet below. Meanwhile… we’re not worthy!
An Introduction to Norma Waterson is available now, the latest in our Introduction series features 15 classic tracks and draws entirely from her distinguished Topic career.
Buy, listen or download the album here: https://t.co/DcYHZPFsup pic.twitter.com/AVYC33N0GY
— Topic Records (@TopicRecords) October 2, 2018
We shall overcome
If you’re under the impression that the protest and fight have gone from folk music, you’ll have been pleased to see that Jimmy Aldridge (of Jimmy & Sid fame) still has some fire in his belly. He swapped his banjo for his typewriter this week (he’s definitely the kinda man that still uses a type writer) and penned a piece for The Guardian on why he’s supplementing old traditional war ballads for brand new songs highlighting the fight against climate change. More power to your elbow, Jim!
"The power of folk music lies not just in its ability to document social change but also to effect it" https://t.co/3tXDNxTCYG
— Aldridge & Goldsmith (@JimmyASidG) October 4, 2018
Sign up for Insta-Sam
Over on Sam Sweeney‘s Instagram you’ll catch clips from rehearsals for his up-and-coming tour. His band are holed up in a hall somewhere in Stroud, knocking out tracks from his new album, The Unfinished Violin, (which you can read a review of here, and in the latest edition). Sam’s live band also includes Jack Rutter (6-strings and more), Rob Harbron (squeezy things), Patsy Reid (stringed and bowed items) and Ben Nicholls (large booming instruments). By the way, clicking on their various names will take you to their social media pages. Why wouldn’t you?
Time for tea and toast
Speaking of Jack Rutter, have you seen that he’s on the road with Greg Russell, gigging up a relatively well-behaved storm on the Ginger Beards and Tasty Beers Tour? We say ‘relatively’, as we remember the days when the likes of John Martyn and Danny Thompson would go out as a duo. Let’s just say that tea wasn’t the first thing on the rider back in those good ol’ days. But apparently being healthy and living a long and fulfilling life is fashionable these days. Who’d have thunk it?
Just how long ago that was…
Speaking of the good ol’ days, some of you may remember the first time the ‘October Song’ did the rounds. We reckon it must’ve rolled into existence in about 1965, as it made its initial appearance on the Incredible String Band’s 1966 debut. (Not to scare you or anything, but that’s 52 years ago!) The Grizzly Folk (band, not blog) have put a version out this weekend. Not dissimilar to the original, but with added drone organs and birdsong. Well, why not. It’s the time of the season after all.
All folked up and nowhere to go
Folk bloke (we really must stop calling him that) and man who constantly prompts the question “What do you mean, solo bass player?!”, Thom Ashworth, is in the process of recording his new album, which has the backing of the EFDSS. It’s no easy thing recording a folk album these days, however, and he’s hilariously documenting the process on his Twitter feed. Apparently his neighbours don’t realise there’s a time and place for pneumatics…
Our neighbours, not content with pneumatic drilling to build their extension, have just put the washing machine on. Meanwhile, I'm trying to record the quietest song on my record. THANX GUYZ pic.twitter.com/Bz4IzXzgvo
— Thom Ashworth (@thomashworth) October 5, 2018
Fyfe life and breakfast strife
If you’re in Poland and you fancy listening to some Scots trad, make sure you catch Iona Fyfe on her brief tour of Eastern Europe. And if you’re not in Eastern Europe but you want to know exactly how she’s getting on, follow her on her Twitter channel (where she has recently been found longing for oats – be warned).
I’m in Naklo, in Poland. The sun is shining and I just had a lovely coffee at Cafe Emelia where I shall be singing tonight with some very special guests I’ve been working with over here! #poland #naklo #folkmusic pic.twitter.com/lMbuB2j34f
— Iona Fyfe (@ionafyfe) October 6, 2018
Fay Hield‘s #TradSongTues marches traditional music keenly into the future. Each week, over on Twitter, she posts (along with her team) a theme for the coming Tuesday. Cometh the day, cometh streams of responses: people posting links to Youtube clips, Spotify lists, photos from archives, and even impromptu recordings to suit the subject (check out the sterling work by Piers Cawley, AKA The Singing Baker). She even ropes in well-known folkies to take over and run the day’s events from time to time. It’s like a digital, online folk club, and we love it.
This week’s theme? Well, see the tweet below…
In honour of #NationalPoetryDay next week's #TradSongTues theme is #PoeticSongs, either songs originating as poems, inspired by poems or with particular poetic flare – take is as you like it and let your inner muse roam free… pic.twitter.com/ug9a7UdZPt
— #TradSongTues (@TradSongTues) October 4, 2018
As if to underline our point about protest being alive and well, here’s Ry Cooder providing instant musical rebuke to Brett Kavanaugh and his ilk. Who ever said that folk music wasn’t relevant? Tsk, tsk.
Main photo by Kyle Smith/Unsplash.