Evening all, and welcome to February’s fRoots Live Blog. These were kicked off in January (you can see what we did last time by clicking here). Very briefly, here’s how it works:

    1. In a 2-hour slot, we’re going to publish as much news and info as we can about the month of Feb on the trad folk and world music scenes. This could be general news or funny/interesting tweets/Instas/Facebooks you’ve seen (from within those music scenes, natch), new album release/recording news, tour news.
    2. You don’t have to be a musician to send us info. You could just be a fan who wants to share something you’ve spotted. Maybe you’re an events organiser. Maybe you’re a blogger. Maybe you’re a record company. As long as it’s about trad folk or world music, we’ll try and squeeze it in.
    3. The best way to let us know about it is by pinging Jon Wilks on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Reaching out on the fRoots social channels should also work (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), but since Jon is running this evening’s live blog, it’s easier to knock straight on his door.
    4. We can’t guarantee we’ll get everything in. We’ve set ourselves two hours. We’ll do our best.
    5. The reason we’re doing this is because it creates a little community moment, so more people get to see what’s going on – something that benefits the artists and audiences alike. The best way to help is not just by sharing your news, but also by sharing this post on your social channels and telling people to get involved. We’ll use the hashtag #fRootsLive to help it gain traction.

Looking forward to seeing you at 8pm. This’ll be fun!

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.

(10:04pm) Thanks to everyone who wrote and tuned in tonight, as well as to those who shared this post. It makes a huge difference. Same place, same time next month? See you then.

(21:56pm) Another contender for Busiest Folkie of the Month is Lukas Drinkwater, who seems to live from tour to tour. He’ll be taking his duo, Jacob & Drinkwater, on a 21-date UK jaunt, kicking off this Friday. He’s a great performer. Go and see the show if you get a chance.

(21:50pm) And as we enter the final 10 mins of this month’s #fRootsLive blog, here’s another of those tweets that are really about March events but sneak into February’s news by dint of having tickets on sale now. Also… some great names in that tweet. Thanks Michael!

(21:40pm) The mighty Faustus are back on tour, but they wanted to let you all know that their brand new Cotton Lords EP is imminent. It’ll be with you just as soon as it arrives in Hampshire.

Living in Hampshire myself, I can tell you that our local postman was last seen heading into a snowdrift on Thursday. Fingers crossed that (A) he wasn’t carrying those Faustus CDs, and (B) he’s OK. (And in that order, too… who heads into a snowdrift, ferchrissakes?) Keep an eye on their website for news (of their EP, not of the postman).

(21:29pm) Followers of fRoots weekly Big Ears column will know that we’ve been enjoying watching Rob Harbron posting (frankly filthy) pictures of mics at his solo album sessions. He’s such a busy fella, so we’re delighted to be able to share this missive we’ve just received…

“The solo album is all in the can now! Should see the light of day by the summer, I think.

Leveret will be touring in March, and tickets are on sale now. Dates are here https://www.leveretband.com/gigs

We’re also doing a live stream of a workshop/performance along with the National Youth Folk Ensemble on Feb 21 that people might like to tune into – info and teachers’ resource pack can be found here.

And, while we’re on the subject of NYFE, it would be great to mention that the sampler days are now open for 14-18 year olds to come along, have a go, and do an optional mini-audition if they’d like to. Full info here.”

(21:23pm) This kinda thing we like to hear. And just so you don’t have to reach for your A-to-Z, John Heather is referring to a postcode in Woolpit, Suffolk. Get along with you!

(21:14pm) I mentioned her earlier, and sure enough, she did appear. (Is it just me, or is that how it works for everyone?)

Eliza Carthy has dropped us a line with the great news that her forthcoming album, Restitute, has been selling so well that they’re expanding the limited edition run. Don’t worry, it’s still limited, but 500 extra copies will be numbered and signed. It’s all for a great cause (watch the video below). Let’s just hope that all that numbering and signing doesn’t result in some kind of repetitive strain injury. Take care, Eliza!

(21:07pm) We’ve just passed the hour mark and things are flowing in thick and fast now. Keep it coming! Tell your friends! But before you do that, take a look out the window. Why, it’s only Jim Moray!

“I have a couple of solo shows – next Sat 9th in Barnard Castle, and Fri 15th in Haywards Heath. And then the first gig with my new trio (feat. Tom Moore and Matt Downer) at St Davids Hall in Cardiff on Tues 19th Feb. It’s the classic folk line-up of fiddle, electric guitar, concertina, double bass and minimoog, so I’m really looking forward to unveiling some new music.”

(21:02pm) It must be Thom Ashworth Month. Ellie from Stick in the Wheel has been tweeting news about him, too…

(8:57pm) What was that I just said about Mikey Kenney? His Reverie Road is one of the best things we’ve heard so far this year. Get out and see him while you can. A truly outstanding talent. (And so glad you seem to like this live blogging malarky!)

(8:54pm) With great power comes great responsibility. So I’m going to use my brief power over this live blog to say…

(8:40pm) Graham Smallwood just wants to let us know about three gigs he’s keen to see. There’s Swedish duo, Symbio (video below) playing at Green Note Camden tomorrow night (Feb 4th). Jackie Oates plays the Water Rats on the 12th, while Dan Walsh and Alastair Anderson are also at Green Note Camden on the 19th. All sounds grand! Thanks Graham.

(8:30pm) Alden, Patterson and Dashwood are a trio I keep hearing amazing things about. Shame on me for not having spent the time to explore further. I shall endeavour to do so just as soon as I’m done with this. They’ve just dropped me a line via Facebook to say that they’re currently on tour in Belgium (Ooooo! International!) and they’ll be at Downend Folk Club in the near future. They’ll also be at these places…

(8:20pm) Haha! Here’s an enterprising way to approach “news for February”. Those cheeky Rheingans Sisters have dropped by to say that they are embarking on a March tour… but tickets are going on sale in February. That still counts, right? Here’s what they have to say…

“Our Feb news is that tickets are now on sale for our March tour dates starting 11th March at NCEM in York. We’ll be throwing in some experiments from the pot of next-album-making as well as some old faves and the biggest tun-tun and long-song hits from Bright Field.” 

(8:15pm) And if you simply can’t get enough of Thom Ashworth, Nicola Beazley has just tweeted about him, too. Actually, she’s tweeted about herself and Cecil Sharp House as well. The more the merrier, we say! Grab your tickets while you can.

(8:10pm) Who’s that knocking? Why, it’s only Mr Ashworth, come to bid us all a pleasant February, and to tell us:

“Assuming I ever stop having a cold, my album comes out on March 29th, so it’ll be the soundtrack to either commiseration or celebration depending on how the political dog’s breakfast all falls out. Until then, you can preview a couple of tracks off the album over at thomashworth.com, hear the whole thing live at Cecil Sharp House on Feb 20th, or catch me on twitter buying hundreds of cans of Irn Bru and making niche jokes about 90s comic books.”

(8:03pm) Want some Knight & Spiers? Course you do. And this is certainly the month to get yourself some. They’ve been in touch to say they’re starting a whopping 26-date tour on February 20th. Get along, do!

(8:00pm) Straight out the box, it’s Martin Simpson, who writes to tell us that his February is well under way.

“I’m currently playing with Richard Hawley, alongside Shez Sheridan and Clive Mellor. It’s a complete blast, learning a whole set in an afternoon and then gigging it! Then solo gigs in Narbeth and Hornblotton!!!! Then recording with Andy Cutting, Liz Hanks and Nancy Kerr for the new album. Later on I’m working with Ben Nicholls and Jon Smith also for the new thing. Then Newhampton Arts Centre.” 

Martin will be a big part of the next fRoots mag. Here’s a little pic I snapped of him when I interviewed him in Sheffield a couple of weeks ago. For fans of Jackson C Frank… well, let’s just say that guitar he’s holding has stories. You can read all about them very soon. Make sure you’re all subscribed and ready to go.

Feature photo by Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash.