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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    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..... +

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    Rowan Piggott - next generation

    Rowan Piggott is the fiddle-playing and singing son of Charlie Piggott of De Danann fame. He is currently making a name for himself around the folk scene in England as a solo musician and also as a member of the Georgia Lewis Band and as half of a duo with Rosie Hodgson. He is the next generation, not just of a family of musicians, but he is also part of the next generation of folk musicians, festival and club goers, working in the scene and making it their own. +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 130 is out now!

Issue 130 of The Living Tradition (Aug-Nov 2019) features articles on: Rob Harbron, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, Laura-Beth Salter, Sara Grey & Kieron Means, Rachel Hair, Kimber’s Men, Jean Redpath, Dylan, Guthrie & The Scottish Bard, Rees Wesson, Simon Evans’ Collecting, Music in Belper, Folk in the High Sierra, Transatlantic Connections, Aug-Nov Festival Listings, news, reviews and much more....

Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

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Cork Sacred Harp Hosts Ninth All-Day Singing in Cork, Ireland

Cork Sacred Harp will host its ninth annual Sacred Harp All-Day Singing on 24 August, 2019 at St. Finbarre's Hall on Dean Street in Cork City. Sacred Harp singing, a folk tradition with strong ties to the southern United States, has been thriving in Cork for over a decade. There are a lot of peculiarities about the musical style, but the first thing most people notice is that it's loud. Very loud. Unlike conventional choirs, Sacred Harp singers sing in their full natural voices, which produces a powerful sound capable of booming down corridors and rattling windowpanes.
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Roland Walls - 1954 – 2019

Roland Walls, who has died from Motor Neurone Disease, has been the focus and inspiration for live folk and roots related music in and around the city of York for the last 40 years. Neither musician nor performer, he dedicated his spare time to encouraging, supporting and promoting a huge variety of music events.
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Dick Gaughan and The Harvard Tapes

Dick Gaughan has been at the cutting edge of Scottish folk music for almost five decades. A guitarist, singer, songwriter, actor, musical director, arranger, record producer, engineer and goodness knows what else - he has been there and done it all. In recent years, Dick has had to deal with some health issues. In October 2016, an MRI scan confirmed Dick had suffered a stroke several months previously, from which, thankfully, he is now gradually recovering.
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Canal Boat Crew Sessions

The Canal Boat Crew is a group of musicians/singers hosting a series of acoustic music sessions whilst holidaying on the canals and waterways of Great Britain, Ireland and, possibly in the future, continental Europe. This year, two weeks of holidays have been planned around the canals of The Black Country and The Potteries starting on September 14th.
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365: Stories and Music from James Robertson and Aidan O'Rourke

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has launched the latest chapter in the 365: Stories and Music collaboration between James Robertson and Aidan O’Rourke. Commissioned by the Book Festival, and supported by Creative Scotland, an immersive sound installation of stories and music by the two leading Scottish artists can be enjoyed, free of charge, by the public in the Book Festival’s George Street Bookshop from Wednesday 7 August 2019.
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Cornwall Folk Festival - scam warning!

The Cornwall Folk Festival has found itself at the centre of a scam aimed at artists and agents, mainly in the USA and Australia. Someone has sent out emails using copy taken from the festival website, saying that one of the headliners has pulled out, and would the targeted artist like to be the replacement. They are offering a very generous fee, flights, accommodation etc, and are presumably aiming to access artists’ monies and personal information. The festival has informed Action Fraud UK, and done what it can to spread the word, but be warned, these emails are not genuine!
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The 2019 Roy Palmer Lecture

The autumn meeting of the Traditional Song Forum is to be held in Belfast on Saturday 19th October 2019. The meeting will be the occasion for the annual Roy Palmer Lecture which will be given by Dr John Moulden, well known for his books, articles and lectures on the Irish song tradition. John was recently featured in the acclaimed BBC TV documentary on the work of Ulster collector, Sam Henry. The lecture will form part of an afternoon of talks on aspects of Irish song. More details will be found on the TSF website - tradsong.org
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  • Birnam CD
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New Releases

Frank Harte Festival - 20-22 September

The Frank Harte Festival 2019 is from Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd September and is held at The Teachers' Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, and as always will celebrate and commemorate the life and work of Frank Harte. The first Frank Harte Festival took place in 2006 and since its inception has become a focus for traditional singing. The guest list over the last decade, reads like a veritable "Who's Who" of traditional singing from these shores and beyond.
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Southdowns Folk Festival - 19-21 September

The 2019 ticketed line-up for South Downs Folk Festival is probably one of the best ever. Featuring the brilliant folk-rock legends LINDISFARNE, the hugely popular OYSTERBAND, BBC folk multi-award winners THE YOUNG ‘UNS, with a very special and unique whole evening show, plus the highly entertaining 3 DAFT MONKEYS and the sensational BLAIR DUNLOP. All the aforementioned concerts take place between 19th and 22nd of September at Bognor’s Alexandra Theatre.
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St Ives September Festival - 14-28 September

A two-week celebration of music and the arts in St Ives, this festival features many renowned folk artists, including Show of Hands, Dougie MacLean, iconic Irish band Dervish, Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow, Katie Kirk and Rick Williams, John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett, Geoff Lakeman, and many more. Throughout the two weeks there will be exhibitions, walks, talks, films, workshops, comedy, theatre and poetry, as well as some great concerts.
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Leadhills Music Blast - 6-8 September

Leadhills Music Blast Festival is a new festival this year organised for the 6th, 7th,8th September at Leadhills Village Hall. Individual tickets are available at £15.00 per concert or a super saver of a weekend ticket can be bought for £30.00. Camping and motor home parking is available and other accommodation is available in the Hotel or local Airbnbs. Artists performing in this inaugural year include; The Lasses, Archie Fisher, McKerron Brechin & OhEadhra, Brendan Hendry & Jonny Toman, Jon Blek and The Humpff Family. There will also be sessions held in the Houpeton Arms.
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Bromyard Folk Festival - 5-8 September

Bromyard Folk Festival started in 1968 and sold 150 tickets. Now it is attended by thousands every year. Bromyard Folk Festival’s goal has always been to promote folk traditions by making them as accessible as possible during one weekend of packed entertainment. Acts can be local, award winning national performers and international folk legends. There is a warm family feeling to Bromyard Folk Festival, with entertainment for all ages, plus food, drink and activities throughout the whole weekend.
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Shrewsbury Folk Festival - 23-26 August

What can you expect from this “little piece of heaven”, tucked away on a glorious riverside site in the heart of Shrewsbury? Some of most established artists from the UK alongside acts celebrating folk music and dance from across the world. With a warm welcome from the volunteer stewards, the festival promises a relaxed atmosphere with time to explore the festival site with its four sound stages, dance tent and specialist venues for the children’s and youth festivals. There are workshops galore, a magnificent food village, real ale and cocktail bars, craft fair, free buses into Shrewsbury town centre, pub sessions and a great campsite.
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Mull of Kintyre Music Festival - 21-25 August

The Mull of Kintyre holds this annual music festival, which has grown each year since it’s inception in 1993. Set in the community of Campbeltown, the festival has become the region’s top cultural event, which encourages people to visit Kintyre from all parts of the globe, satisfying an ambition of the Festival to showcase the very best in traditional and contemporary music worldwide whilst also displaying the region’s cultural individuality through the talents of the local musicians of all ages.
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Whitby Folk Week - 17-23 August

More than 600 events, spanning seven days, Whitby Folk Week is a firm favourite in the festival calendar. Visitors can enjoy over 300 concerts over seven days spread across 50 venues; you can dance until you drop, with ceilidhs and dances for everybody led by some of England's best callers; you can try your hand at one of the many workshops in anything from melodeon to Medieval dance, banjo to Border, or join the Festival Orchestra. There is also a huge range of children's and youth events.
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Obituaries