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General News

General News

Living Tradition Issue 132 is out now!


Issue 132 of The Living Tradition (Feb/Mar 2020) features articles on: Ben Paley, Moirai, Jenn Butterworth, Jez Lowe & The Pitmen Poets, Jock's Jocks, Devonshire Step Dancing, Niel Gow, Eric Bogle's Tales From The Road, The Key Is The Key, On The English Ceilidh Bandwagon, Trip To Birmingham Tradfest, Transatlantic Connections, Feb-May Festival Listings, news, reviews and much more....

Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

Or subscribe here!

Cork Sacred Harp Celebrates a Decade with Tenth Annual Convention

Cork Sacred Harp will host the tenth annual Ireland Sacred Harp Singing Convention on the 29th February through the 1st of March 2020 at St. Maries of the Isle on Bishop Street in Cork City. The Sacred Harp Singers of Cork have been meeting every week to sing melodies from the Sacred Harp for over a decade. Drop by the Unitarian Church on Princes Street any Thursday at 7pm and, as you walk through the front door, you’ll be met with a booming chorus of voices singing a cappella, “shape-note” harmonies. Once inside, however, you may be surprised to find the number of people singing rarely matches the impressive sound heard from the street. In the center of the room, somewhere between seven and fifteen people are seated in a small cluster of chairs arranged in a square formation. Here, the community is small and the voices are big.

Merger for Stirrings and Tykes’ News

Stirrings was one of the UKs regional magazines, focussing on folk and acoustic music in South Yorkshire, since 1975. Its most recent editor, Raymond Greenoaken, decided to retire after around 20 years at the helm and, as no-one was found to continue the editorship, it looked like the end of the road for the magazine after an impressive 181 issues. But happily, the Tykes’ News team who produce West Yorkshire’s quarterly folk magazine stepped up to the plate.

Traditional Music Forum workshops

The Traditional Music Forum in Scotland will be presenting various workshops in the next few months in response to some of the points that came out of its recent report ‘Working as A Traditional Musician in Scotland’. The topics covered are Rights and Publishing, Negotiating Skills and Stage Presence. Workshops are free. You can sign up for as many as you wish, but they must be pre-booked as space is limited. traditionalmusicforum.org.

Bob Copper’s Songs And Southern Breezes reprinted

Although Bob Copper’s first book, A Song for Every Season, has never been out of print, the same cannot be said for his second, Songs And Southern Breezes. But this account of Bob’s travels and adventures throughout his area of Sussex and Hampshire has recently become available again thanks to current members of The Copper Family.

Big Whistle Festival Farewell… for now at least

After considerable deliberation with their partner organisation, The Met, Bury, the Big Whistle Festival organisers have announced their decision that the festival will no longer be held at that venue and agreed that there will be no Big Whistle Festival in 2020. This may not be the end of the road for the event, however. Any further announcements will be made through the Big Whistle website.

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.

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.