Sandra Kerr - Rebel With Her Chords

Interviews! They can take place in the oddest of places! A recent one was conducted sitting on the floor in a corridor of a town hall in Kent at the end of a Saturday concert during a festival. This one with Sandra Kerr was in a rather plusher setting; it was a Sunday morning in June in the residents’ lounge of a hotel in Fitzrovia in Central London. We were both involved in the traditional song and tune weekend organised by the Musical Traditions club and the nearby King & Queen. +

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    Sandra Kerr - Rebel With Her Chords

    Interviews! They can take place in the oddest of places! A recent one was conducted sitting on the floor in a corridor of a town hall in Kent at the end of a Saturday concert during a festival. This one with Sandra Kerr was in a rather plusher setting; it was a Sunday morning in June in the residents’ lounge of a hotel in Fitzrovia in Central London. We were both involved in the traditional song and tune weekend organised by the Musical Traditions club and the nearby King & Queen. +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue130_newsfeed.jpg

    Rob Harbron - Finger on the Button

    Recent articles on Andy Cutting and Sam Sweeney have prompted Paul Walker to take a look at Leveret’s third member, Rob Harbron... Rob Harbron is best known as a player of the English concertina, but this wasn’t his first instrument. “No, I played several instruments before I discovered the concertina - piano briefly aged about five, then guitar and recorder at school, then the violin/fiddle, which I wasn't that keen on until I discovered folk music." +

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    20 Years of Malinky

    For the last 20 years Scottish folk band, Malinky, has made a name for itself as one of the great champions of traditional Scots song. As the band prepares to launch its 20th anniversary album, Handsel, I caught up with two of its founder members, Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop. They start by telling me a bit about the early days - the line-up back then consisted of Steve, Mark, Karine Polwart and Kit Patterson. Mark begins: “As I recall, the scene at the time comprised either instrumental bands who did the odd song (e.g. Deaf Shepherd), or purely instrumental acts." +

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    Pete Coe, Brian Peters & Laura Smyth - The Road To Peterloo

    August 16, 2019 is the bicentenary of the Peterloo massacre when 60 cavalrymen charged into a peaceful crowd of men, women and children who had assembled to protest against poverty and their deteriorating conditions and to demand improved democratic representation in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The event took place in St Peter’s Field Manchester, just four years after the battle of Waterloo - hence the name. +

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    Iona Fyfe - The Real Deal

    2018 was a remarkable year for Aberdeenshire singer Iona Fyfe. It kicked off in January with a ‘live’ performance of her album, Away From My Window, at Celtic Connections, and ended in December with her walking away with the Scots Singer of the Year prize at the Scots Trad Music Awards. In between, she toured so extensively at home and abroad, including appearances at prestigious events like the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, that one paper said she “made Metallica look like skivers”. Post Trad Awards she has been congratulated in the Scottish Parliament, released a new EP, and is preparing for her finals at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in July. +

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    Jack Rutter

    The chances are that anyone attending a folk festival this summer will probably have seen Jack Rutter making an appearance somewhere along the line. Perhaps best known as the final name in the young traditional and mainly instrumental group, Moore Moss Rutter, this is the year that Jack has progressed from being well-known as a guitar player and one third of a group, to a multi-instrumentalist solo artist with a CD of his own and a string of bookings. +

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    Andy Cutting - At The Cutting Edge

    I first heard Andy Cutting with the wonderful Blowzabella at The Brewery, in Kendal, in the mid-1990s, and thought at the time how young he looked to be such an accomplished musician. I last saw him in 2017 when he was playing with the differently wonderful Leveret, and thought... how young he looked for such an accomplished musician..... +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 131 is out now!

Issue 131 of The Living Tradition (Dec 2019 - Jan 2020) features articles on: Sandra Kerr, The Wilson Family, The Outside Track, Dave Mattacks, Innes Watson, Singers from Connemara, Bryan O'Leary, Simon Evans' Mummers Plays, Benji Kirkpatrick, Scott's Sangs, Tales From The Road, Fret Not, Transatlantic Connections, Dec-Apr Festival Listings, news, reviews and much more....

Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

Or subscribe here!
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GemsOnVHS project

American folklorist and documentarian, Anthony Simpkins, is visiting the UK this December / January, and is interested in talking to any folk singers or songwriters who might want to be involved with his GemsOnVHS project, a YouTube channel focussing on folk music field recordings and history – “like a modern day Alan Lomax or Cecil Sharp,” he says. See some examples of his work at youtube.com/gemsonvhs, and if you’d like to find out more, contact him at anthonytsimpkins@gmail.com.
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Belshazzar’s Feast retire

The well-loved folk duo Belshazzar's Feast has announced the retirement of Paul Hutchinson at the end of May 2021 and as a result the final dates for Belshazzar's Feast. In their words, delivered with their usual dry wit: “The end is nigh… It is said that all good things have to come to an end but there are exceptions to all rules. And so it is with Belshazzar’s Feast. We think we have been touring for 26 years now and Paul H isn’t getting any younger, so it is with regret that we announce that our last tour will take place in May 2021. We would like to thank our many loyal fans for their undying support, we know all six of you. We hope that in the remaining time we can visit most of the country to say goodbye.”
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Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook

Phil Cunningham’s Christmas Songbook returns to venues across Scotland this December, bringing warm and moving musical moments to get audiences in the festive spirit. Phil and a billing of Scotland’s finest folk musicians, including Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson, John McCusker, Kris Drever, Ian Carr and Kevin McGuire, will hit the road for seven shows, in Aberdeen, Perth, Stirling, Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh.
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‘Tis the Season… for awards

As we go to print with Issue 131, we are in the thick of award season. Nominations, shortlists, ceremonies, voting campaigns – they are all coming thick and fast...
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Hobgoblin acquires Scayles Music in Edinburgh

An Edinburgh institution, Scayles Music, is a traditional music shop that has been trading for over 25 years. Earlier this year, its owner retired and Scayles has now become part of the Hobgoblin Music chain.
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The Lewis and Harris Piping Society recitals

The Lewis and Harris Piping Society ran a programme of recitals from the time it was formed in the 1970s until about a decade ago. Now, it has revived its winter recitals, beginning with a performance from Callum Beaumont in Stornoway which took place in November. Dr John Smith, chairman of the society, said: “For many years, the Piping Society held anything up to six recitals a year, inviting the best pipers in Scotland… but for the past few years it’s proven a bit beyond their means to bring good pipers to Stornoway to demonstrate to the youth the standard they should be aspiring to. But thanks to a very generous donation from a private individual the Society plans to organise perhaps up to four recitals over the next few months.”
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Steeleye Span - Est’d 1969

Steeleye Span has released Est’d 1969 to mark its 50th anniversary. A new collection of songs, featuring contributions from all seven of the band members, and a guest appearance from Ian Anderson, the album release precedes an extensive UK tour this November and December.
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  • Birnam CD
  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • The Tradition Bearers

New Releases

Costa Del Folk, Ibiza - 25 April - 1 May 2020

Enjoy Travel is delighted to be taking the Costa del Folk Festival back to the 4* Sirenis Seaview Country Club, Port Des Torrent, Ibiza which is considered to be one of the finest accommodation complexes on the island. There will be music, singing, dancing and laughter aplenty from morning until the wee small hours at venues situated throughout the complex.
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Girvan Traditional Folk Festival - 1-3 May 2020

The 46th Girvan Traditional Folk Festival will be held on 1-3 May 2020. One of the oldest and friendliest festivals in the country, last year's festival was a great success and 2020 promises to be similar with lots of great musical experiences from people firmly rooted in the tradition.
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Obituaries