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General News

General News

Living Tradition Issue 131 is out now!

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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!

Moonrakers courses

For several years Oxford-based group, Moonrakers, has been running residential and day Folk Orchestra workshops at Benslow Music (Herts) and Halsway Manor (Somerset). These multi-instrumental courses are suitable for intermediate musicians. A maximum of 15 people work on arrangements of tunes and songs with chords and parts provided, and the music is recorded and sent in advance. In 2020 the courses are being held in Halsway Manor in Somerset in February, Benslow Music in Hertfordshire in June, July and September, and at BunkFest in Oxfordshire in September. For details, go to moonrakers.net or call 01865 769206.

Folk London magazine

Folk London magazine will be under new management from the spring as its current editorial team, Peter Crabb-Wyke and Sue West, are retiring after 10 years. From February, the features, reviews and listings magazine will be edited by James Eagle and a team of volunteers from Morris Folk Club. You can continue to contact the magazine at editor@folklondon.co.uk. folklondon.co.uk.

Sharon Shannon celebrates 30 years with two releases

Sharon Shannon is celebrating 30 years on the scene with two new albums featuring 30 previously unreleased tracks. The first is The Winkles Tapes 1989, which was released in November, followed by a further 14 exclusive, tri-weekly tracks showcasing the wide and diverse scope of Sharon’s incredible 30-year musical journey. These 14 tracks will then be compiled on her 30th Anniversary album for release in November 2020.

The Great Fife Road Show returns

Back in late 1969 a troupe of singers from the Fife folksong scene gathered themselves together for a trip to Belfast. The occasion was an invitation to provide a show around folksong from Scotland at Queens University. Later that year, a tour of East Anglia was undertaken and here the name The Great Fife Road Show was unveiled.

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

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.