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General News

General News

Joe Stead

Joe Stead is about to publish a book based on his 'Ramblings of an Old Codger' newsletters which he has been publishing since 2000.

Remembering Maggie Boyle

On January 10, a ceremony was held in The Gambia to mark the opening of Maggie's Well. When Maggie Boyle died in November 2014, it was decided to donate part of the fund raised in her memory to The Gambian Schools Trust, a charity which she had supported since its foundation in 2001. The charity decided to spend the money to construct a well in a village on the underdeveloped north bank of the River Gambia, thereby bringing a safe, fresh water supply to an area which previously did not have one. This gift of health and life seemed singularly appropriate for Maggie, whose kindness and generosity is remembered by all who knew her.

Celtic Colours Live

They say, “You can’t take it with you”. And while that remains true in its original context, the Celtic Colours International Festival has found a way for music fans from around the world to do just that. For the third year in a row, the Cape Breton festival has sent its team of recording engineer, Jamie Foulds, and producer, Declan O’Doherty, all over the Island to capture the magic of this unique music and cultural event.

Alan and Christine Bell strike gold

Alan Bell and his wife, Christine, celebrated their Golden Wedding in January 2016. Alan was the founder and director of the Fylde Folk Festival, with Christine as the administrator. For 42 years they produced and directed the festival staged in their hometown of Fleetwood. Since closing the festival in 2014, they now concentrate all their time and effort in presenting folk music through Folkus, The Folk Arts Network of the North West, of which Alan is the chairman.

ITMA celebrates Nicholas Carolan

On 24 September, colleagues and friends gathered in the Irish Traditional Music Archive offices to mark the recent retirement of Nicholas Carolan, founding Director of ITMA. It was an occasion full of warmth and respect for a man who has done much to further the very important work of the Archive.

Bust up in Edinburgh Hostelry

When Scottish folklorist Hamish Henderson died in 2002, members of Edinburgh Folk Club commissioned a paper maché bust of the great man. The bust naturally found a comfortable home in the Edinburgh folk music pub, Sandy Bell's. Henderson's real office was Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies, which he'd helped to create in the 1950s, but he would often be found in his ‘unofficial office’, Sandy Bell's, a mere stone's throw away.

FiddleOn magazine merges with The Living Tradition


FiddleOn magazine, a specialist magazine devoted to the fiddle, is joining forces with The Living Tradition, the premier magazine for folk and traditional music with a primary focus on the UK and Ireland. This development, which brings further editorial expertise, additional subscribers and a wider reach to The Living Tradition and is good news all round.

Folk Legacy - 37 tracks of historic live recordings from Girvan Folk Festival now available on CD

A double CD is now available featuring historic live recordings from Girvan Folk Festival, marking the festival's 40th anniversary and sampling the treasures of the archive - 27 tracks of wonderful live recordings.

It features Arcardy, Iain Mackintosh, Dervish, Mirk, Adam MacNaughtan, Boys Of The Lough, John Kirkpatrick, Heather Heywood, Cathal McConnell & Tim O'Leary, Bob Fox, The Kipper Family, Altan, Waterson:Carthy, Bobby Robb, Highland Connection, Huw & Tony Williams, Setanta, The Gaugers, Quadrille, The Voice Squad, Deanta, Dave Burland, Tony Hall, Norman Kennedy, Gerry O'Connor, Jolly Jack and Ossian.

New Venture for The Milkmaid

The Milkmaid Folk Club in Bury St Edmunds was changed to a Community Interest Company in 2007. CICs are businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. CICs tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy.

Re-release of Far Far From Ypres: songs, poems and music of WW1

In this the 100th Anniversary of the start of World War 1, Greentrax Recordings is re-launching this critically acclaimed album, first released in 2008. Since its launch a stage version, based on the album, was presented in 2012 at both Celtic Connections and The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. The stage presentation is a poignant and moving live show, which received standing ovations at both 2012 shows. The writer and musical director of the stage show is Ian McCalman.