The release of our Wild West District today gives me the perfect excuse to post some recent folk music I haven’t included here yet. Although the district holds much more, from Argentinian and Peruvian cumbia bands to classic Breaks and insane drum N bass B2B’s – I feel that people often overlook the fact we have some great quality folk music, especially those within the folk music media who seem to make ignoring us a national sport. So here’s a few of my favourites joining us on the Old Mines stage.
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Although this track isn’t from their new ‘Big Machine’ album, it’s a recent video from this year’s Celtic Connections that shows why Eliza is still considered to be one of the finest folk musicians in the country.
In fact Eliza Carthy was one of the first artists I booked when we launched the Old Mines, having been a favourite of mine since I was originally taken to Folk festivals as a child. A return though is certainly over due and she’s as strong as ever with an amazing new album which has been getting plenty of praise in the press, in fact the Financial Times called it her “best in years” and The Guardian, fRoots and R2 all gave it glowing 5 star reviews. All the songs from it seem perfectly suited to Boomtown also, so I’m looking forwards to seeing some of them live.
Also not from their new album which isn’t out til next month, but although you can see a video of new music on their YouTube, if you’ve not seen them before then I figure it best to show you a clip of what’s in store.
I’m never sure exactly what they’re following is like in the UK but Kíla are certainly one of the biggest and best folk bands in Ireland so hopefully you’ll show up and show them the welcome they deserve. Also keep an ear out for the new album called ‘Alive Beo’.
With a handful of BBC Folk Awards under his belt already, I was surprised not to see any nominations for his latest album ‘So Much To Defend’, it was certainly deserving. Here’s a little write up from Folk Radio about it, “Even in the conscientious world of folk music, Wood is a significant force for good, both in an ethical sense and a musical one. With So Much To Defend he has created a wise, soulful set of songs that should see him consolidate his place at the top table of British songwriters.”
In recent years the Boomtown audience have proven that they can really take time out and listen to artists so I can afford to put on singers like Chris who require attention. As one of the finest folk singers this country has to offer, he’ll be totally worth it if you go see him.
Ríoghnach Connolly has already performed at Boomtown in a number of guises, last year with Afro Celt Sound System, previously with Honeyfeet and if I remember rightly Beware Soul Brother also. Having first seen her in a Reggae band (YesKing) and then taking on a myriad of musical styles after, I’ve never fully considered her as a folk singer per se and The Breath is similarly not so easy to pin down as such, however I’ve never found folk an easy one to categorise and this project seems to sit well amongst the other artist I’ve included. Her partner for the project is the former guitarist of The Cinematic Orchestra but fellow musicians also include pianist John Ellis and drummer Luke Flowers who were also in the band.
The group are signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World Records and I first saw them at WOMAD last year. It was such a perfect gig for the Sunday, I knew I simply had to follow suit and so they shall be following the traditional Beans On Toast afternoon slot this year (for the record, Chris Wood will be just before him also).
The Furrow Collective
Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton are all respected folk artists in their own right, although out of the group it was Emily who first caught my ear with her slightly more twisted take on traditional folk. Thankfully the group all have a similar taste in such tales and I’m looking forwards to finally seeing them all together.
The albums are both stunning and last year’s Wild Hog has seen them nomianted for Best Group in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards this year. The title track is above and i love Folk Radio’s write up of it “hallucinatory, funny and sad. It’s Dr Seuss-on-peyote narrative features dismembered knights, boat-carving beavers and an incongruous mouthless ghoul with a tape recorder. The overall feel is Southern Gothic meets Day of the Dead carnivalesque with a liberal smattering of British folklore and overtones of post-Kafka absurdity. It’s a thrilling mix, and an inclusive one, allowing contemporary images to subtly permeate the old-time nature of the tale. The song itself is a rollicking update of the mythological man-eating boar story often known as Old Bangum.”
There’s a Bandcamp link below for those of you who have problems with YouTube videos.
This is a young and new band on my radar so I don’t know much about them, but for those who love their folk nice and lively, these guys have a great energy that I’m sure will translate well at Boomtown. Their ‘Gun Hill’ EP is out now but they also have a debut album dropping soon.