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General News

General News

Living Tradition Issue 130 is out now!

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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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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.”

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.

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.

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.

Festivals getting Drastic On Plastic

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is one of many festivals that have backed a call to say ‘no’ to single-use tents and are urging festival-goers to take tents home for re-use in an attempt to tackle the problem of single-use plastics. Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers have called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.

New Arts Centre for Newton Stewart

The closure of Newton Stewart's RBS branch may have a silver lining for Wigtownshire traditional music lovers. Plans are progressing to transform this spacious building into the Vault Arts Centre. The Trad Music Trust charity, organisers of the Newton Stewart and Minnigaff Traditional Music and Dance Festival, plan to use it for music, dance, arts and language tuition, exhibitions and live performances. This substantial space will be a welcome cultural addition to the town, and the local community is firmly behind the moves.