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The Sandy Denny Project

 

BBC Radio Northampton, as part of National Music Day 2017, chose ex-Fotheringay Mk2 members Sally Barker (The Poozies, BBCTV's "The Voice") and guitarist PJ Wright (TradArrr, The Dylan Project, LJE) to celebrate the award of Sandy Denny's Blue Plaque at Byfield Village Hall, the scene of her last-ever concert in 1978. 

 

The following year Sally and PJ constructed a dream folk-rock band to commemorate the passing of Byfield resident Sandy, 40 years before, for a sell-out concert at the Village Hall - "Sandyfest."

 

With the line up of Sally, PJ, frequent Fairport Convention guest Anna Ryder, rising star Marion Fleetwood (voice, fiddle, guitars) and the rhythm section of bassist Mat Davies and drummer Mark Stevens, from now-defunct folk-rock legends Little Johnny England, the material is approached as a tribute in its best sense - an interpretation of Sandy's wonderful body of work. 

 

With every year since Sandy's passing, her reputation continues to grow in stature as a songwriter and interpreter of traditional material. The six musicians in the band, who share an impressive folk-rock pedigree, are each at the very top of their musical game. 

Check out this live recording of The Sandy Denny Project from SandyFest 2022      

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Dylancentric

 

 

After a lifetime of following Bob Dylan's music and songwriting (including encouraging

Fairport Convention in the 1960s to cover his lesser known and unreleased songs) Ashley Hutchings received an email from Bob Dylan in 2015, completely out of the blue.

Bob sent an unsolicited quote to use on Ashley's new website. 

It included the words; "Ashley Hutchings is the single most important figure in English folk rock".

Ashley was not even aware that Bob knew who he was. What followed was a regular stream of messages that cemented a strong friendship between the two of them.

In 1969, Dylan topped the bill at the iconic Isle of Wight Festival - an event which was attended by 150,000 people, including The Beatles. 

In August 2019, the Isle of Wight witnessed a 50th anniversary festival. The last act onstage was a band specially formed by Ashley Hutchings to celebrate Bob's music. The band was dubbed Dylancentric - featuring a star-studded line-up of Ashley Hutchings, Ruth Angell, Ken Nicol, Blair Dunlop, Guy Fletcher and Jacob Stoney.

 

A cd was made from highlights of the group's set and gigs were planned and then Covid struck. 

To this date Dylancentric has performed only two gigs, both festivals.

So this is a sleeping giant waiting to be discovered by music-lovers everywhere.

 

"A mighty fine band" - Bob Dylan.

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TRADarrr

 

 

The studio project that grew into the seven-piece TRADarrr, has since their debut at Fairport's 2015 Cropredy Convention, played many festivals, concerts and clubs.

To date they have released three critically-acclaimed studio albums. Their beautifully produced recordings use the full palette of sounds that modern studio technology offers. 

TRADarrr 's dynamic live show is a rock'n'roll invigoration of  English traditional folk music that is their repertoire - six featured singers, blending harmonies, three fiddles, cello, flügelhorn, organ, piano, electric & acoustic guitars, bass and drums.

 

 

'Barn-stormingly good'
'Electrifyingly good live!'
'They took things to a whole new level, such was the synergy on stage'
'Adding a new dimension to the folk canon'

"Few can match the propulsive muscle that TRADarrr bring to the English folk tradition. A raucous mood leaps from the speakers in its hard-rocking parts, but there are moments of spellbinding beauty too."

The Musician: Autumn 2017

"Revolutionary folk-rock - if that's not a contradiction in terms!" 

   Dave Pegg: Fairport Convention

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IN CONVERSATION WITH ASHLEY HUTCHINGS  

"An evening with Ashley Hutchings and Steve Heap"

A very special and unique evening in the company of Ashley Hutchings and Steve Heap.  Steve will be chatting  to Ashley about his lifetime as "the single most important figure in English folk rock" - Bob Dylan.  An informal evening of chat between two friends about Ashley's incredible musical journey - an opportunity for the audience to ask "The Guv'nor" questions about his work with Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, The Albion Band, The National Theatre and much more. 

Book it now !!!

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in conjunction with :-

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Banter

 

Described as "The future of folk", Banter take English traditional music to the next level with their

iconic interpretations of classic songs and dance tunes.

Banter are: Simon Care on melodeon, Nina Zella on keyboards and vocals,Tim Walker on drums, vocals, percussion and brass and Mark Jolley on bass, violin and vocals. They are rooted in English traditional music but incorporate influences of pop, jazz, soul and big band sounds.
Now firmly established as one of the UK’s finest bands, they have recently recorded their third studio album THREE, which explores and reimagines a selection of well loved traditional songs as well as their usual hearty take on some romping dance tunes. John Spiers and Phil Beer appear as guest musicians on two of the tracks.
Although just four people, they create a huge sound and have been described as the world's smallest big band.

Quotes:

"If you think there's nothing new to hear in folk music these days, listen to Banter and think again" - Folking.com

"Really atmospheric and exquisitely done" - Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2 Folk Show)

"Full of invention" - R&R Magazine - 4 star review

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Ashley Hutchings and Becky Mills

 

Paradise and Thorns is the title of a new performance that the duo of Ashley Hutchings 

and Becky Mills are currently presenting.

It is based upon two of Ashley's favourite albums - 1987's By Gloucester Docks I Sat Down and Wept and 2018's Paradise and Thorns. Both albums are linked with the theme of love. Gloucester Docks ("The greatest rock album about romantic love" - Nigel Schofield) tells a particular story, while Paradise and Thorns ("An absolute masterpiece" - Rock 'n' Reel) is a double album covering love in its many forms.

Ashley, whom Bob Dylan calls "The single most important figure in English folk rock", has often employed the spoken word alongside music and these recordings are examples of this alliance at its peak.

Becky Mills is one of Ashley's favourite singers. This is praise for her indeed as he has worked with the best English singers on the folk scene - Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, Cathy Lesurf, Polly Bolton, Chris While and many more.

 

Together, Ashley and Becky present a memorable and moving performance.

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Emily Slade

'Like an unstable chemical reaction, keep your eye on Emily. She will reappear doing something stunning at any time' - Folk on Tap

 

Emily Slade is an outstanding acoustic guitarist, singer-songwriter from Cambridge. The partnership between her enchanting voice and intricate guitar playing are rarely found in one person, making Emily a captivating performer. Her debut album ‘Shire Boy’ led to a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination, and she now tours as part of the mighty Phil Beer Band.

 

Emily is widely hailed as an intelligent contemporary British songwriter. Her songs approach modern day issues, relating to real people. She is a woman quite clearly at ease with her audience. Her winning personality and presence have endeared her to audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Edward II

 

Edward II are an English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles.  Back in the nineties the band were signed to Cooking Vinyl Records and Rhythm Safari in the US.  They worked extensively across the globe, touring world music, reggae and folk festivals on almost every continent before finally calling it a day in 1999.
 
Despite the constant touring, the band always remained close friends and in 2016 came back together to record and perform a new repertoire of songs born of the Industrial Revolution, specifically of their home town Manchester. These are known as the Manchester Broadsides and feature on a CD called ‘Manchester’s Improving Daily’.  The album received a plethora of positive reviews, including four stars in both Mojo magazine and The Guardian. 
 
Their latest album, ‘Dancing Tunes’, released in 2021, finds Edward II still upbeat with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies.  The band continue to amaze audiences across the UK and Europe.

Generally available for festivals worldwide.

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IOTA

IOTA (Sally Barker, Anna Ryder & Marion Fleetwood) leaves audiences dazzled, with phrases such as ‘luscious’ and ‘beautifully crafted’ tripping off people’s tongues at the end of a performance.

All three write the songs, sing and play everything on their debut CD ‘O YEH YEH!’. It has been described by Nigel Schofield [Tykes News] as  “Three voices that seamlessly combine in rich, fulfilling harmonies with a wealth of instruments to draw upon and create a rich, varied, satisfying sound that simply makes you want to smile.”

Sally Barker (vocal, guitar & percussion) sang to millions as Tom Jones' finalist on The Voice UK but the singer-songwriter has entertained for years as a member of revered fem-folk group The Poozies, of the re-formed Fotheringay and as a solo artist supporting Bob Dylan, Robert Plant and Richard Thompson.

 

Anna Ryder (vocal, keys, accordion, guitar, banjo & French horn) is a musical dynamo; an original and inventive singer-songwriter with a musical style that spans an array of genres. Amongst others Anna has worked with Fairport Convention, Eddi Reader, Julianne Regan (All About Eve). 

The blazingly dynamic Marion Fleetwood (vocal, fiddle, cello, guitar & percussion) is a highly respected multi-instrumentalist and singersongwriter.  Best known as a member of TRADarrr and as a former member of Colvin Quarmby.  

“Three witty, intelligent and above all superbly musical women. All great solo performers in their own right. Together, beautiful harmonies and quality songwriting, backed up classy multi-instrumentalists.”       Phil Beer [Show Of Hands]

“When the planets align, great things happen. Now three stars have!”                                                     Simon Nicol [Fairport Convention]

“Une cascade de sérénité”     Audience member [St Maurice-Crillat, France]

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James Delarre

A veteran and founding member of the critically acclaimed Topette!!, Mawkin and Mawkin:Causley, James has established himself as a stalwart of the English traditional music scene.

As a fiddle player he is in high demand and has worked with some of the country’s top musicians and groups including, Eliza Carthy, Bombay Bicycle Club, Jim Moray, Jim Causley, Saul Rose, appearances with Bellowhead and Jools Holland as well as work as a musician on TV and film. His filmography includes Peaky Blinders, Far from the Madding Crowd, Tulip Fever and My Cousin Rachel, to name but a few.

 

Steeped in traditional music from an early age, the tunes pour out of his finger tips filling the air with a rich tapestry of emotion. The flow and natural swagger of the melodies have room to breathe, enticing the listener to tap a foot or wipe a tear away. His voice speaks through the violin creating a perfect accompaniment for the songs he sings with a raw natural sound.

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Sally Barker
 

Veteran folk-blues singer/songwriter Sally Barker became Tom Jones' finalist on The Voice UK 2014 after reducing her mentor, and many at home, to tears with her performances.  Sally has supported Sir Tom, Bob Dylan and Robert Plant amongst others during 30+ years as a fiercely independent artist.

In this show 'Joni, Sandy & Me' Sally is delighted to bring some of the songs of both Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny to the stage to explore the singer/songwriter legacy that was forged in the '60s and '70s.  

 

Founding member of revered fem-folksters The Poozies and folk-rock's reformed Fotheringay (now re-named The Sandy Denny Project), Sally takes time out from new indie-folk trio IOTA (and duo work with Vicki Genfan and Anna Ryder) to perform classics by Joni and Sandy alongside her own songs.

 

Sally's forthcoming solo recording 'Never Been to Nashville' is due in 2022.

 

 "Sally changes the atmosphere in a room when she sings" (DJ Chris Evans).

Veteran folk-blues singer/songwriter Sally Barker became Tom Jones' finalist on The Voice UK 2014 after reducing her mentor, and many at home, to tears with her performances.  Sally has supported Sir Tom, Bob Dylan and Robert Plant amongst others during 30+ years as a fiercely independent artist.

 

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Simon and Gareth have been described as "two of the UK's leading melodeon players". They joined forces to record, and tour, an album 27 years ago called Two's Up. Their list of bands include The Albion Band, Little Johnny England, Edward II, Banter, Phil Beer Band, Morris On Band. They are available for a limited number of shows in 2022/23. Their new album Two's Up - The Box Set will be released on Talking Elephant Records this summer .....book them now for a great evening of tunes and funny anecdotes.