Eliza Carthy has been recording and touring for over twenty years. To celebrate this, in 2013 the multi-award winner mustered an all-star band, featuring many of the leading figures from her life, for a new and astonishing big band sound covering favourites from her long career in music. The Wayward Band have now embarked on their first album together, “Big Machine”, presenting new traditional material alongside contemporary songs, and the sound they make is unlike anything you have heard before. Touring the UK in November and heading to Shepley to headline the Saturday night concert. You really, really don’t want to miss this.
For 50+ years, Roy Bailey has been one of the UK Folk & Acoustic scene’s most loved and admired performers. From his early days performing skiffle in student union bars, to his love of traditional songs and the stories they tell, onto developing a unique repertoire of songs of dissent and hope, he has performed on stages, TV and radio all over the world. In 2000 he was awarded an MBE for Services to Folk Music – an Award he later returned in protest at the Government’s Foreign Policy. In 1990 Roy and Tony Benn first presented their show ‘The Writing on the Wall’ for which the duo won Best Live Act at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2003. The show has been performed to enthusiastic audiences the length and breadth of the UK. From 300 people in Working Men’s Clubs, to an estimated 9000 people at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2000. Roy’s association with Tony began in 1976 and they worked together on various programmes up to Tony’s sad death in 2014.
Roy has been patron of Shepley Spring Festival since it began in 2017 and we welcome him back again this year for his now customary concert in St. Paul’s Church on Saturday afternoon. This year he will accompanied by his friend and fellow musician Marc Block.
Many Moulettes met and started playing music together when they were 15-17. After a couple of EPs and singles they released an acclaimed debut album on Balling The Jack/Sotones in 2010, which found its way on to several Best Of The Year lists. They also won an Innovation Award and best group from the prestigious Fatea roots-music website and got nominated for best band by the alternative Brit awards. Their charismatic, idiosyncratic yet poppy brand of progressive, psychedelic neo-classical folk rock has enthralled crowds at many festivals as varied as Bestival, Glastonbury, End of the Road and Cropredy. Delighted to invite them back to Shepley.
The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc is a fiddle trio from Norway, Sweden and the Shetland Islands who swiftly gained a reputation for their gripping and unique blend of fiddle music since their inception in early 2009.
Comprising Olav Luksengård Mjelva (Norway), Anders Hall (Sweden) and Kevin Henderson (Shetland Islands), each regarded as leading exponents of their respective traditions, they have found themselves in great demand throughout the world performing together as ‘The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc’
With a firm focus on the rich traditional fiddle music from where they each belong, they have developed a sound that has been described as “unique”, “meaningful”,”intense” and “invigorating”.
Their clever use of harmony, rhythm, riffs & bass lines creates a sound that leaves the listener enthralled but at the same time dumbfounded that the sound only comes from three fiddles.
With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as ‘one of British folk’s mightiest combinations’ (Mojo). Their new album Shadows is the follow up to groundbreaking album The Hum, which earned them a place in Mojo’s Top 10 Folk Albums of 2014. They have a nomination for ‘Best Duo’ for the second year running at BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and soulful performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm the hardest of heart.
Tim Edey is brilliant – in every which way. As a guitarist he has few peers. As a box player he’s a magician. As a character he’s off the scale – Colin Irwin, fRoots
Tim is a multi-instrumentalist and singer and has toured the world and recorded with most of the major names in Celtic/Contemporary roots. Tim, now a name on the world stage in his own right after seventeen years of hard work, is rated by many to be one of the world’s finest ever Melodoen and Guitar players in the folk & contemporary scene today!
Originally from Broadstairs in Kent and of Irish descent, Tim honed his style learning from his father Richard a fine guitarist and listening to Ed Boyd, Steve Cooney and Django Reinhardt.
The Sunday Express
Three times nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and double winners of the Spiral Earth Awards Megson draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a truly unique brand of folk music.
The husband & wife duo bring an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars. Comprising Debs Hanna (Vocals, Whistle, Piano Accordion) and Stu Hanna (Guitar, Mandola, Banjo) Megson have gained fame on the British folk scene, not only for their arresting & intelligent songwriting, but for their exquisite musicianship and northern humour.
While each member of The East Pointers – banjoist/vocalist/step-dancer Koady Chaisson, fiddle player/vocalist Tim Chaisson, and guitarist/vocalist Jake Charron – is an accomplished musician in his own right, together they are even greater than the sum of their parts.
The cousins Chaisson hail from Prince Edward Island, Canada, part of the sixth generation of a heralded legacy of fiddlers and folk musicians, who also run the family fiddle festival in Rollo Bay. The East Pointers’ slew of Celtic-inspired tunes and original songs carry a diverse mix of influence, but what they all share in common is the undeniable ability to get hands clapping, feet stomping, and bodies of all ages bouncing in harmony.
Kelly Oliver lives in North Hertfordshire and comes from a family with no previous connections in the music scene. Listening to Bob Dylan, Alanis Morissette and Dolly Parton from a young age gave Kelly a passion for music, and an influential immersion into her grandmother’s Irish culture created a musical inspiration for her self penned songs.
Kelly’s debut album ‘This Land’ features legendary fiddle player Dave Swarbrick and was funded by an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK. and was released in 2014 by Folkstock Records. Kelly has appeared live on BBC London radio in an interview with Gaby Roslin. Her singles have enjoyed numerous radio plays, by Mark Radcliffe, Bob Harris, Clare Balding and Alex Lester.
Here we have three women who manage to create an orchestra and a choir of sounds and yet there are still only three of them. Throw away your preconceptions about what constitutes folk music and open your minds to a colourful pallet of sounds and song. Many bands can do beautiful music, many bands can do comedy, many focus on instrumentals others on their vocals, here you get it all in one tight but fluid package that will have you feeling so good you won’t feel the need to finish off the Christmas chocolate.
They are Melanie Biggs (From Cookley) , Sarah Matthews and Jo Freya, and between them you get accordion, flute, fiddle, viola, guitar, traditional whistles, soprano and tenor sax, clarinet and bass clarinet and … three voices. Many colours in a small prism.
Rosie Hood is a young folk singer from Wiltshire. Having started learning traditional songs at an early age from her family, Rosie is now well known for her strong, pure voice and engaging solo performance. Rosie has a keen interest in the history of traditional songs, particularly those of her native Wiltshire, where she has spent time researching in the local archives and developing a broad repertoire of local songs.
Rosie was a finalist in the 2011 New Roots competition for young musicians, and won both the Open Mic Competition at the 2011 Shrewsbury Folk Festival and the 2012 Fred Jordan Memorial Award (for Traditional singing). She has been to Shepley previously with the Dovetail Trio and has just finished recording a solo album to be released in the new year!
In 1993, three blokes from South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with a name like a firm of solicitors, released an album of acappella songs full of social comment and (in the words of Folk Roots) ‘harmonies you could chew’.
They were, of course, Coope Boyes and Simpson, and the album was Funny Old World. Q Magazine named it as their Roots Album of the Year in 1994.
Now, twenty three years later, with a career that has encompassed at least a dozen albums, numerous tours and festival appearances, as well as a Folk Awards nomination, Coope Boyes and Simpson have released what will be their final studio album. Coda is a collection of songs, mainly self-penned or drawn from the tradition, covering issues such as refugees, Iraq and climate change. With an anger undimmed, Coope Boyes and Simpson are returning to their roots and completing the circle that started with Funny Old World.
May 2017 will see Coope Boyes and Simpson embark on their farewell tour at venues throughout the UK. The tour will be a celebration of their career, and will feature material from across their entire repertoire.
There are many reasons to be excited about new Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar – “As soon as we all sat down to play together properly, it just worked,” says bodhrán player Adam Brown (RURA), originally from Suffolk. “It’s definitely more of a pure-drop trad sound than most of the other bands we’re involved in,” adds Cork-born uilleann piper, flautist and whistle player Ryan Murphy (Mànran), “but I think that’s partly why it feels so natural. We’re going back to the music we started out playing – which is ultimately the reason why we’re all here as musicians.”
Ímar’s formation also embodies a more personal reconnection with its members’ formative years, dating back long before their recent camaraderie around Glasgow’s justly celebrated session scene. All five of them – also including fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam Rhodes (Barrule/Mabon), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina – originally met as teenagers through Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that tutors budding players throughout the British Isles and beyond, and stages the annual schedule of Fleadh competitions
Guitar slinging travelling troubadour Roger Davies is proud of these parts.
The Brighouse singer-songwriter has built up a reputation for his quirky and entertaining tales of West Yorkshire towns and characters. With his trusty six-string in hand, he is a familiar sight at folk clubs, festivals and theatres playing evocatively titled tunes such as ‘Huddersfield Town’, ‘Brighouse on a Saturday Night’ and ‘The Beerbelly Blues’.
And while many would presume the appeal of folk songs about unfashionable industrial northern towns would be limited, the opposite has in fact been the case and he is in high demand for gigs across the country. Naturally, being a straight talking Yorkshireman Roger says he has no qualms about continuing to write about the people and places around Huddersfield that inspire him.
2016 saw Roger performing for the first time with a band made up of a group of his long time friends. The Roger Davies Band will be performing at Shepley
The Shepley Singers is a mixed-voice community choir singing traditional songs in four-part harmony. Led by Bryony Griffith (soloist, member of The Demon Barbers, Ex Witches of Elswick).
The group was formed for the first Shepley Spring Festival in 2007 and now rehearses regularly and performs locally throughout the year.
After years of hiding, Fourth Moon are finally here! With a killer – albeit unorthodox – line up of musicians, they certainly don’t fail to raise the bar. The line up consists of Mohsen Amini (Concertina), David Lombardi (Fiddle), Géza Frank (Whistles, Flute, Pipes) and Jean Damei (Guitar), who between them have performed Globally with their own projects and also with the likes of Riverdance and Carlos Nûnez. Amini from Scotland, originally met the band in Limerick, where the other three at the time were studying a Masters in traditional music at the World Academy of Irish Music, UL. Lombardi, Italian native, Frank from Austria and Damei from the South of France, with no obviously Irish roots between them are the reason for the whole concept being slightly unusual.
Debuting briefly in 2015 at Celticîmes and with an album underway, Frank says “I just can’t wait to share Fourth Moon with the world” and if the band are excited then I don’t need to tell you that you should be to. Fourth Moon are coming
Night Fall is a new trio of voice, fiddle and guitar, made up of graduates of the Newcastle folk music degree whose paths never crossed during their studies.
Kevin Lees, a fine player of Scottish and Northumbrian traditions, was brought up in the vibrant folk scene in Newcastle under the guidance of Stewart Hardy and Kathryn Tickell, and as an early member of Folkestra out of which came the Youn…g Folk Award-winning band Last Orders. Dave Wood is regarded as one of the leading guitarists on the folk scene due to his innovative, rhythmical accompaniment style. He played for several years with the acclaimed CrossCurrent, toured with Scots song band Malinky and with celebrated Northumbrian musician Tom McConville. Kate Locksley comprises one quarter of the critically acclaimed harmony group The Teacups as well as the all-female trio, Wychwood, finding both strength and vulnerability in the unaccompanied voice.
A chance meeting at a Midsummer festival encouraged them to collaborate, bringing together their different experiences in a delicate, assured sound
Canada’s response to the trend of strong female singer-songwriters is the irresistibly beautiful, Mo Kenney
The Canadian songsmith’s 1930s Parlor guitar she purchased after her debut tour shaped ‘In My Dreams’, which saw its US release April 29th, 2016. “It’s the best guitar ever. I love it so much,” she says of the instrument she bought from the Halifax Folklore Center. But there was something besides her guitar driving her to write: the breakup of a long distance relationship, a subject that trends track by track. “There’s definitely a theme to the album,” Kenney says. “It’s reflective of what I was going through at the time… spending a weird couple of years in and out of relationships. That was on the forefront of my mind and it came through in my writing – most of the songs are about it
Innovative band Stepling has been delighting audiences everywhere with their unique blend of music, step dance, and song inspired by English traditions.
With appearances at venues such as London’s Green Note, Sidmouth Folk Week, Harwich Festival of the Arts, Hitchin Folk Club, Priddy Folk Festival and Bath Folk Festival, Stepling’s dynamic and varied performances have already received much acclaim.
Stepling brings together the talents of an experienced group of performers: champion step/clog dancer Toby Bennett (solo dance artist), percussionist Jo May (Against the Grain, Token Women), Deb Chalmers on fiddle and vocals (Folk Dance Remixed, Bella Hardy) and guitarist Adrian Lever (Alma, Horses Brawl) – their performances weave a rich tapestry crossing the boundaries of music and dance.
Sound Tradition is an a cappella folk foursome (David, Linda, Catherine and Moose) singing in glorious harmony. Their varied repertoire ranges from lively chorus songs to lilting ballads, and from medieval times to the modern day, but always with an ear for the English folk tradition. They have proudly supported such luminaries as Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, Chris Wood and Roy Bailey but also enjoy the main stage in their own right. Hailing from East Anglia, Sound Tradition is building a reputation that has garnered bookings at clubs and festivals across the country – come and join in!
Progressive acoustic music at its finest, Stillhouse are a mandolin, guitar, double bass and vocal trio ensemble, presenting beautifully crafted original songs and meticulously arranged instrumental material with roots in bluegrass and contemporary folk.
2017 marks the first anniversary of the band, as well as the release of their first 7-track EP, Love is the Weight. With a string of promotional tour dates and a summer of festival appearances, the trio is looking forwards to sharing this first offering with their burgeoning audiences across the UK.
Jonny Neaves (guitar, vocals) and Polly Bolton (mandolin, vocals) have been collaborating since their teens. Matt Mefford (double bass) has roots in his hometown of Austin, Texas and spent the years before his move to the UK touring the States with bluegrass/jazz/folk quartet MilkDrive. After first jamming together in spring last year, the three of them began collaborating to form what is now Stillhouse.
The trio creates a new and exhilarating collective sound which draws from each member’s unique musical background of bluegrass, folk, jazz, pop and acoustic music. The result is a captivating and complex set characterised by melodically astonishing original songs alongside soaring mandolin, guitar and bass-led instrumental pieces with roots in bluegrass, old time and folk melodies.
“Wonderful musicianship and superbly well-arranged material; Stillhouse completely captivate their audience from the first note they play. This trio is one to watch.” Chris Helme, formerly The Seahorses.
A storming season of festival and club gigs in 2016 saw these 8-piece rabble rousers bring audiences to their feet around the country with their brand of kick-ass gypsy funk and klezmer madness. Appearances last year at Boomtown Fair and Shepley Spring Festival were particular highlights. Klonk’s interpretation of traditional Eastern European dance tunes, infused with hip-hop, funk and rock riffs, is both unique and totally infectious. Their combination of powerhouse horns, earthy strings, accordion and percussion is guaranteed to excite you instantly into a foot-stomping frenzy. Klonk are delighted to be back again at Shepley this year to get you dancing. Faster. Louder. Klezmer!
Yorkshire stonemason Will Noble learnt his first song whilst on the family farm as a boy and later attended after- hunt sings and traditional local pub carol sessions. His music has taken him around the UK and North America. Over 40 years of performance, Will added many fine songs from elsewhere to his repertoire, and is now acknowledged as a true representative of the English singing tradition. He is joined by his wife, Pippa, whose songs are drawn from her native North East as well as France, Ireland and further afield. Two big voices and one subtle guitar from the ‘top end’ of Shepley itself.
Exhilarating folky band; a combination of racing tunes, powerful songs with Celtic backgrounds and modern rock. They play everything from their own unusual arrangements of traditional and contemporary pieces, to original material. Aelfen was formed by duo Sarah Horn and James Cudworth, who already had a growing reputation in the folk world for their exhilarating music. The band was put together especially for Galtres Festival in Yorkshire as a party band after the headliners! Aelfen’s dynamic and modern style of folk music has caught on and they’ve played at many festivals and events over the last few years including Beverley and Warwick Folk Festivals, Cornucopia, Moonbeams, Galtres Festival and Shepley.
Concertina bands were very popular in Victorian times. They could be found in the music halls as well as the Salvation Army. Amateur concertina bands of northern industrial workers competed keenly against each other. The West Riding Concertina Ensemble is new group of concertina enthusiasts. They played their first concert alongside Shepley Singers in December and we immediately invited them to perform at the festival.
Flossie Malavialle is a French born singer who has been based in the North East of England since 2002. Several years on, she has become an accomplished performer playing at folk clubs and festivals all over the UK and beyond. Flossie’s powerful yet sensitive rendition of songs combined with her quaint northern twang and humorous banter will no doubt entertain and leave you with a smile . Her collection of 12 albums (so far) is a reminder of how much work and dedication she has put into her music career: from well established folk songs to jazz standards, from blues numbers to Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel’s classics, her wide répertoire appeals to all.
The Aldyn Duo
The Aldyn duo are sisters who play accordion and viola and recently decided to start playing together after Rebecca learnt to play the accordion. They found they really enjoyed choosing and arranging tunes as well as the freedom which comes from playing as a duo rather than in a larger group. They write tunes themselves as well as playing traditional tunes from Europe and the UK and have been heavily influenced by European traditional music as they grew up around French traditional dance alongside English ceilidh dancing, which has inspired the music they create together. Claire and Rebecca were both classically trained from a young age, and still play in orchestras, which has allowed them to develop their musical ability and technique whilst broadening the range of music genres they are exposed to.
The duo recently took part in the St. Albans New Roots events for young musicians and we are pleased to welcome them to their first Shepley.
Jack is a 22 year old performer, singer and songwriter from Holmfirth. In 2016 he was a semi finalist in the BBC Young Folk awards and spent last summer playing gigs at festivals and venues across the country including Shepley. Jack stands out as an exceptional talent whose songs and performance style are simultaneously rich and complex at the same time as being engaging and emotionally touching. We are delighted to invite him back to play and sing again.
Hokum are a 4 piece acoustic “goodtime” blues band from Huddersfield with steel resonator guitar, harmonica, washboard, kazoo, tea chest and occasional spoons!They play a range of pre war blues with the odd post war more rockie number. They also play ‘good time music’ tunes and songs which are sort of American top tapping jazz/ burlesque numbers.
Jo Mitchell (vocals), Jason Kerry (guitar and vocals), Gordon Wood ( washboard ) Kath Stewart (tea chest bass).
The 3Jayz are so named because all their names begin with “J”. They are: Joy Rennie, John Rennie, John Thrall
John Thrall sang for many years with the shanty group “Landlocked” and, more recently, with “The Owd Chivers”.
John Rennie sang for many years with the shanty group “The Endeavour Shanty Men”. John & Joy Rennie have been singing together as “Dogwatch” since 2000.
3Jayz started singing together in 2014 and have sung at a number of festivals and folk clubs since then. They sing a varied mix of contemporary and traditional material, including maritime and the usual topics of sex, death and alcohol. Some of their songs are acapella, while others are accompanied on melodeon and, sometimes, also concertina, but their aim is always to give the audience plenty of opportunity for participation.