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Chris Thile and Michael Daves: Sleep with One Eye Open (MP3)

The third installment of Fiddlefreak’s series on new mandolin-guitar duos features a record from Chris Thile and Michael Daves titled Sleep with One Eye Open and released today on Nonesuch Records. We all know mando virtuoso Chris Thile from his days with Nickel Creek and more recently the Punch Brothers, but Michael Daves may not [...]

The Twilite Broadcasters: Evening Shade (MP3)

Welcome to the second in my ongoing mini-series reviewing new releases that feature mandolin and guitar duos performing vintage pieces from the golden era of brother duets (ie. Monroe Brothers, the Louvin Brothers, Blue Sky Boys). This week’s post references “Evening Shade,” the latest release from the Twilite Broadcasters (Adam Tanner on vocals, mandolin, and [...]

Heidi Talbot on making The Last Star

Guest blogger Heidi Talbot writes: "I am sat in my flat in Edinburgh among half packed boxes and baby gear. Myself and John (McCusker) are moving house just before we start The Last Star tour. Very excited and very busy! The Last Star is my new record and I'm really looking forward to the tour and singing the new songs. Show More Summary

Backstage at Cambridge with Kathy Mattea and Natalie Merchant

Way back in the mists of time I left Manchester behind and set off with a BBC film crew for the Appalachian Mountains of America to cycle along the Appalachian Trail. Not actually on the Trail, I have to add, but along the roads that...Show More Summary

The Beautiful South's David Rotheray on birds and folkies

Former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray writes about The Life of Birds, his new album which features a flock of top folk talents: Woke up this morning with a (self-inflicted) sore head. Last night turned into something of an impromptu celebration. Show More Summary

McGoldrick and McCusker join Mark Knopfler

Mike McGoldrick, one of Manchester's, or Britain's, heck, the world's finest folk musicians has signed up to continue his stint playing in Mark Knopfler's band on the Get Lucky tour. Mike joined Knopfler for the US leg of the tour after...Show More Summary

On tour with Eric Bibb - Part 1

Guest blogger Megan Henwood writes: I have to admit that when the chance of touring with Eric Bibb arose, I wasn't particularly clued up on him, but after investigating online I realised what a wonderful opportunity I'd been offered!...Show More Summary

Damien Barber on cutting a rug

Damien Barber writes:One studded belt, one luminous tiger print muscle vest, one studded denim jacket complete with picture of Toyah Wilcox, one tartan bum flap, one pair of 'baby bouncer' Airwair, one crew-cut sprayed blue, one fake...Show More Summary

Karine Polwart on music and motherhood

Guest blogger Karine Polwart writes:If an alien landed on Earth and listened only to mainstream pop music on mainstream radio, it might be forgiven for thinking that the only kind of love and heartache and fear and joy human beings ever...Show More Summary

Serious Sam Barrett: Close to Home (MP3)

Yorkshire singer-songwriter Sam Barrett is a very busy man. In addition to printing his own product packaging, stickers, and t-shirts, he maintains a hectic gig schedule all over Great Britain, singing a mix of his own songs and trad material from England, Scotland, and Ireland on his vintage Stella 12-string. Sam’s songs are raw, rowdy, [...]

Remembering Diz Disley

It was a drizzly night in Manchester, way back in the mists of Aunty Kitty, I was making my way to the Manchester Sports Guild for the Saturday night folk club there. I was playing support but had no idea who I was supporting. Jenks,...Show More Summary

'Looking For A New England'... in Texas. Part 2

Jackie Oates writes:Our showcase was on Friday evening (19th March) at the St David's Episcopal Church, right in the heart of Austin. The venue consisted of a large, seated, atmospheric space with sunshine streaming through the windows, making it very beautiful but also feel slightly like sitting in an enormous sauna, fully clothed. Show More Summary

Among the Oak & Ash (MP3)

Photo Credit Jeff Fasano. A few years ago I discovered Garrison Starr’s music: at that time, a polished and pleasing Nashville country rock that was just far enough outside the current of mainstream country to make me buy a couple tracks and crank it up. Haven’t heard much since until now, with the release of a [...]

Tin Sandwiches & Jew's Harps

I had a very kind present from a reader in Ecclefechan who sent me some porridge after reading my bit on the porridge-free zone in Glasgow the other day. I was very touched at the present, less so the postman because the Jiffy bag had...Show More Summary

Report from Celtic Connections

We’re back on American soil after almost two weeks at that mad-yet-brilliant festival of craziness they call Celtic Connections, in Glasgow, Scotland. Billed as the largest winter music festival anywhere, the catalog of this huge gathering reads like a whos-who of Celtic and folk artists, with over 300 performances over three weeks, and over 500 [...]

Learning the folk

Somebody asked me the other day how they could get their kids interested in folk. A hard question really. In the good old days (which I am so fond of spouting about) there were dozens of folk clubs in any town of a half decent size and, since folk was then regarded as alternative music, the clubs were full and very welcoming. Show More Summary

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