Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger was born on 3 May 1919 in a small town about 100 miles north of New York. He was sent to boarding school at the age of 4, then in 1927 his parents divorced - he was 8. Neither really had custody - apart from the odd holiday, Pete was at boarding school for most of his childhood. One of three sons (Pete was the youngest) he refused either piano or voice lessons but it was at this time, whilst still very young, that he made up the story song, Abiyoyo. +

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    Pete Seeger

    Pete Seeger was born on 3 May 1919 in a small town about 100 miles north of New York. He was sent to boarding school at the age of 4, then in 1927 his parents divorced - he was 8. Neither really had custody - apart from the odd holiday, Pete was at boarding school for most of his childhood. One of three sons (Pete was the youngest) he refused either piano or voice lessons but it was at this time, whilst still very young, that he made up the story song, Abiyoyo. +

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    Allan Taylor - All Is One

    Allan Taylor has spent his life making music. His immediate career aim on leaving school at 16 was to run a folk club. After a decade honing his craft as a songwriter, singer and guitarist, he made his recording debut with Sometimes which featured members of Fairport Convention, with whom he also toured at the time. +

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    A Jurassic Park of Folksong: Brian Peters and Jeff Davis feast on Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest

    In the first few years of the 20th century, Cecil Sharp thought that he was collecting the last remnants of a song tradition in England. A few years later, during a working visit to America, an opportunistic meeting with an American collector, Olive Campbell, was to lead to the creation of one of the most significant folk songs collections in the world. +

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    Kitchen Songs, Family Ties and other Knots - a conversation with Maggie Boyle

    Last year, I had the pleasure of adding a new album to the Maggie Boyle section of my CD collection. Won’t You Come Away now sits alongside 1987’s Reaching Out and Gweebarra from 1998. +

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    Luke Daniels

    Luke Daniels was one of the first winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Musician award back in the days when Folk On Two came from the BBC specialist unit in Birmingham. He was the first of many - very young and an exceptional talent. Luke went on to become a significant ‘Irish’ folk musician, yet was born and raised in Oxfordshire and Reading. +

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    At First Light - Shine!

    There is no shortage of good music coming out of Ireland these days, and Belfast seems to be producing more than its fair share. The session scene there appears to be alive and well, and the discerning visitor can find good traditional sessions in various bars across the city without having to look too far. +

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    Tim Edey

    Success in the music world means different things to different people, and can be hard to define. But in terms of the outsider looking in, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Tim Edey seems to have success by the bucket load. Having just won himself not one but two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (Musician Of The Year and Best Duo with Brendan Power), and with a list as long as your arm of top notch musicians queuing up to play with him, he appears to have it all. +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 101 is out now!

Issue 101 of the magazine is out now! This issue contains articles on Fiona Hunter, Allan Taylor, Pete Seeger, Shane McAleer, Tony Wilson, Mayday Traditions in SE England, Cheltenham Folk Festival, full 2014 festival listings, news, reviews and much more!!
Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

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Ireby Festival - 23-24 May

Ireby is a gem of a weekend of music and friendliness in a lovely Cumbrian farming village. It is a festival for those who prefer to see live music performed in intimate settings and there are several to choose from. From the village square you are never more than a few minutes walk to any of the venues including the main stage marquee and camping area.
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Cheltenham Folk Festival Review - 14-16 February 2014

Heather and I looked forward to an all too infrequent trip to an English folk festival with some relish. It was a long journey, but one which proved to be well worth the effort on a number of fronts. When Cheltenham Festival started, it was one of very few winter events in a festival season that typically started around Easter and finished in the late summer. Celtic Connections in Glasgow preceded Cheltenham and has since expanded into a broad ranging music festival. Cheltenham has stuck to its roots and is using the facilities of the Town Hall pretty much to full capacity.
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Blues Harp Night with Mat Walklate and Paolo Fuschi

Mat Walklate is hosting a blues harp night at The Met, Bury, Lancs on Thursday 31st July 2014. With the help of Italian blues guitar ace, Paolo Fuschi he will start proceedings off with a few tunes, then open the floor to all comers to get up and play in a wide variety of blues styles, both amplified and acoustic.
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Orkney Folk Festival - 22-25 May

From small beginnings in 1982, the Orkney Folk Festival has grown to become one of the most prolific and special throughout Scotland, the UK and further afield. The festival runs for four days, Thursday to Sunday, hosting around thirty ticketed events (and many more free) featuring something for everyone – concerts, ceilidhs, sessions, workshops and talks. Within these the festival aims to cater for all tastes – from the acoustic song clubs for the tradition bearers to the more energetic, contemporary dance gigs for those who like to jump around to the music, and most things in between.
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Chippenham Folk Festival - 23-26 May

This is Chippenham's 43rd Festival and it still maintains it's original core objective "... to be primarily a participatory festival promoting and presenting some of the best in English Folk Song, Music and Dance ...". It does this by presenting over 200 individual events and workshops, all in one weekend on the Spring Bank Holiday.
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Moniaive Folk Festival - 9-11 May

Situated 16 miles from Dumfries, Moniaive is a great little town and a perfect place for a folk festival. The festival this year will have the usual mix of well-known performers and those that are either up and coming or largely unknown in Scotland, a fantastic programme of free children's events and its usual legendary session scene.
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Girvan Folk Festival - 2-4 May

One of the longest running Scottish folk festivals, Girvan is renowned for its quality concerts, lively sessions and a warmth of welcome. This seaside town in South Ayshire comes alive on the May bank holiday weekend, and is well worth a visit. This year sees them celebrating their 40th Anniversary with an extra special line-up of guests, many of whom are familiar faces from years gone by at the festival.
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  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Worthing Theatres
  • Birnam CD
  • Wildgoose Recordings
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • Fiddle On magazine
  • The Tradition Bearers


New Releases

New Release: Johnny Coppin - Borderland

The long awaited new album from one of England's finest singer/songwriters.
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New Release: Various Artists - The Omnibus

This album attempts to reflect the current state of Northumbrian piping by distilling the music of 16 pipers and 8 other musicians into a 70-minute package. +

New Release: Chris Corrigan - The Crooked Mountain Road

An album of new music from Belfast based fiddler, Chris Corrigan, showcasing his enviable composing skills and giving his take on some traditional Irish and more recent Scandinavian tunes.

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New Release: Yvonne Bolton & Alan Jordan - Silver Threads

Yvonne Bolton is a concertina, fiddle player, composer and teacher from Co Laois and Alan Jordan is a guitarist, singer and low whistle player from Co Mayo. +

Obituaries