Eliza Carthy - in conversation with Trevor Buck

I called Eliza at her home outside Fylingdales near Scarborough in the middle of a busy day. “You know what it’s like when you’ve got to pack for a flight the next day; your mind won’t rest. Well, my brain has been racing all night. I was up at 5am. I’m driving to Edinburgh this afternoon to pick the others up (including Karine Polwart, Mary Macmaster and Jenn Butterworth) for an intensive week of rehearsing and recording up on Eigg, an island in the Hebrides.” +

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    Eliza Carthy - in conversation with Trevor Buck

    I called Eliza at her home outside Fylingdales near Scarborough in the middle of a busy day. “You know what it’s like when you’ve got to pack for a flight the next day; your mind won’t rest. Well, my brain has been racing all night. I was up at 5am. I’m driving to Edinburgh this afternoon to pick the others up (including Karine Polwart, Mary Macmaster and Jenn Butterworth) for an intensive week of rehearsing and recording up on Eigg, an island in the Hebrides.” +

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    20 Years of Danu

    Back in 2005, Issue 63 of The Living Tradition boasted a very fresh faced looking young band by the name of Danú. Despite their youthful appearance, the band had already been on the road for almost ten years and had released six CDs to great critical acclaim. In the accompanying article, Steve McGrail told the story of the band’s origins and how it came to be known as “a top-flight Irish traditional music band”. As the article drew to a close, Steve reported that changes were afoot and that Danú planned to take a bit of a break due to changes in their personal circumstances. +

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    Edel Fox - From Clare to Here

    One of the rising stars of the traditional Irish music scene is concertina player Edel Fox, now resident in Waterford but originally from Miltown Malbay in County Clare, the home of the Willie Clancy Summer School and the town regarded by many as the Mecca of traditional Irish music. In this article, Edel tells her musical story to The Living Tradition's Simon Haines. +

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    Si’s matters! Si Barron – philosopher and punk purist!

    Si Barron’s recent debut solo release, Sweet Billy Caution, is garnering plaudits aplenty. A “genially undersold yet distinctly magical CD” according to David Kidman’s review in LT104, and our editor admits to having “nearly worn the CD out listening to it – it is one of the best I have heard in a while”. Time for some investigation… +

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    Josie Nugent & Brian Stafford - the space between the notes…

    “It’s powerful altogether to see musicianers rooting and plundering in the old (and new) collections like weans with new toys. It is also powerful to hear dacent tunes one doesn’t know, instead of the nearly standardised menu that has gone the rounds too often.” So says Rev Gary Hastings, the renowned flute player from Belfast, in the sleevenotes for Josie Nugent and Brian Stafford’s debut album, The Caves Of Cong. +

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    Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar - A Road Well Travelled

    The Living Tradition has never been one to laud the latest young musician as being the future of folk music. Such predictions rarely live up to expectations and first albums, whilst benefitting from an element of freshness, when viewed over time often lack a depth that comes with experience. +

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    Colum Sands - Turn The Corner

    Colum Sands, from County Down, is well known to most lovers of folk music. A musician, songwriter, radio broadcaster, album producer as well as a collaborative artist and member of the celebrated Sands Family, Colum has many years in the folk music business under his belt. +

Breaking News

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.

Tenterden Folk Festival - 1-4 October

Tenterden Folk Festival takes place over four days with folk song, music, dance, crafts and traditions. Situated in the ancient Weald of Kent, Tenterden is about 12 miles west of Ashford, is an ideal setting for this friendly, family folk festival. It features one of the widest High Streets in the country lined with historic and listed buildings, numerous friendly pubs, cafes and restaurants and green verges. Events at the festival include an English Barn Dance, concerts, sing-a-rounds, music sessions, folk clubs, special shows, a craft fair and street stalls, music stalls, free music and dance on the Recreation Ground stages, the dance displays, procession, showcases, meet the guest spots, workshops, dancers and musicians on the K&ES Railway, events for children and much more besides.

Costa Del Folk, Portugal - 3-8 October

Enjoy Travel, the tour company behind the very successful Costa Del Folk in Benalmadena are delighted to be taking the Costa Del Folk Festival to Portugal on the 3rd/8th October 2015 and couldn’t think of a better place than the stunning Tivoli Hotel in Carvoeiro. There’ll be music, singing, dancing and laughter aplenty from morning until the wee small hours at venues situated throughout the hotel itself.

Southdowns Folk Festival - 25-27 September

Sussex by the sea is the place to be at the end of September when the 3rd Southdowns Folk Festival brings the best of British roots acts to the county for one of the last music festival flings of summer. Bognor Regis will be buzzing as organiser Roger Nash welcomes headliners including one of the finest acts in folk to town – SHOW OF HANDS.

Living Tradition Issue 109 is out now!

Issue 109 of the magazine is out now! This issue contains articles on Eliza Carthy, Rura, Barry Kerr, Bob Fox, Baltimore Fiddle Fair, Michelle Burke, Silent Movies On The Radio, Shepley Spring Festival, Packie Manus Byrne, Festival Listings, News, Reviews and much more...
Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

Or subscribe here!

Cork Folk Festival - 1-4 October

Cork is the place to be this October if you’re looking for a taste of southern traditions. The line up for the Cork Folk Festival will be a feast of music, song, and dance and stories all reflecting the thriving traditional scene in the city. As expected local musicians will strongly feature on the bill, including; Jimmy MacCarthy, Jimmy Crowley, John Spillane, The Four Star Trio, Matt Cranitch & Jackie Daly, Noel Shine & Mary Greene, The Cork Pipers and Singers Clubs and many more. The line up also includes some of Irelands leading traditional groups including; Sligo’s finest trad band, DERVISH featuring Cathy Jordan on vocals, DANÚ from Na Déise with Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, CHERISH THE LADIES with Joanie Madden from USA, BUILLE featuring the Vallely brothers from Armagh and Gerry Cullen, Phil Callery and Fran McPhail of THE VOICE SQUAD. Also this year the festival will include Donal Lunny, Paddy Glackin and Paddy Keenan who all famously featured in The Bothy Band.

Celtic Colours - 9-17 October

This October sees the 19th Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Artists from Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Newfoundland and Labrador, PEI, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, will join some of Cape Breton’s finest singers, dancers and players in 47 concerts taking place in communities all over the Island.

Special Fiddle CD offers on our shop!

For many years, The Living Tradition has helped to make available recordings which might otherwise be hard to find. Among them we have some great fiddle related albums. To celebrate the FiddleOn merger, for the months of August and September we have a range of fiddle CDs on offer at only £8 each. To go to our special offer section on the shop, click here So now is the chance to fill up those gaps in your fiddle CD collection. If you would rather order by phone, then please do call us on 01563 571220 and we can process your order. Or send us a cheque for £8 per CD (plus £2 postage per order) and we will get them out to you.


  • Bob Fox
  • Birnam CD
  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Worthing Theatres
  • Wildgoose Recordings
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • Fiddle On magazine
  • The Tradition Bearers

New Releases

NEW RELEASE: Tom Orr - Off The Beaten Track

Dance Band of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards, the Tom Orr Band is one of the brightest and leading exponents of Scottish accordion music – with energy, flair and precision of the highest caliber.

NEW RELEASE: Ian Carmichael - Ten Years On

Ian is an innovative 5-string banjo player and this, his first solo album, is a fresh, authentic and vibrant take on the banjo unlike any other. It reflects some of the influences on his playing over the years, varying from American bluegrass fiddle tunes, Scottish and Irish traditional tunes and his own compositions.

NEW RELEASE: Sandy Brechin & Ewan Wilkinson - Hard Times Come And Go

This is the second album from the well established duo of Sandy Brechin and Ewan Wilkinson. Sandy will be familiar to many as an accordion virtuoso who has toured extensively with bands such as Burach, Seelyhoo and the Sensational Jimmy Shandrix Experience. Ewan is a singer and guitar player, who also writes some fine songs.

NEW RELEASE: Thomas McCarthy - Herself And Myself

Thomas McCarthy is an Irish Traveller from County Offaly who comes from a long line of old traditional singers and musicians. Now based in London, he continues to sing the old unaccompanied songs he learned from family members, including many previously unknown versions of traditional songs, along with other songs written by relatives and a couple of his own.


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