20 Years of Malinky

For the last 20 years Scottish folk band, Malinky, has made a name for itself as one of the great champions of traditional Scots song. As the band prepares to launch its 20th anniversary album, Handsel, I caught up with two of its founder members, Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop. They start by telling me a bit about the early days - the line-up back then consisted of Steve, Mark, Karine Polwart and Kit Patterson. Mark begins: “As I recall, the scene at the time comprised either instrumental bands who did the odd song (e.g. Deaf Shepherd), or purely instrumental acts." +

  • http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Thumbnails/issue129_newsfeed.jpg

    20 Years of Malinky

    For the last 20 years Scottish folk band, Malinky, has made a name for itself as one of the great champions of traditional Scots song. As the band prepares to launch its 20th anniversary album, Handsel, I caught up with two of its founder members, Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop. They start by telling me a bit about the early days - the line-up back then consisted of Steve, Mark, Karine Polwart and Kit Patterson. Mark begins: “As I recall, the scene at the time comprised either instrumental bands who did the odd song (e.g. Deaf Shepherd), or purely instrumental acts." +

  • http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Thumbnails/issue128_newsfeed.jpg

    Pete Coe, Brian Peters & Laura Smyth - The Road To Peterloo

    August 16, 2019 is the bicentenary of the Peterloo massacre when 60 cavalrymen charged into a peaceful crowd of men, women and children who had assembled to protest against poverty and their deteriorating conditions and to demand improved democratic representation in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The event took place in St Peter’s Field Manchester, just four years after the battle of Waterloo - hence the name. +

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    Iona Fyfe - The Real Deal

    2018 was a remarkable year for Aberdeenshire singer Iona Fyfe. It kicked off in January with a ‘live’ performance of her album, Away From My Window, at Celtic Connections, and ended in December with her walking away with the Scots Singer of the Year prize at the Scots Trad Music Awards. In between, she toured so extensively at home and abroad, including appearances at prestigious events like the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, that one paper said she “made Metallica look like skivers”. Post Trad Awards she has been congratulated in the Scottish Parliament, released a new EP, and is preparing for her finals at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in July. +

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    Jack Rutter

    The chances are that anyone attending a folk festival this summer will probably have seen Jack Rutter making an appearance somewhere along the line. Perhaps best known as the final name in the young traditional and mainly instrumental group, Moore Moss Rutter, this is the year that Jack has progressed from being well-known as a guitar player and one third of a group, to a multi-instrumentalist solo artist with a CD of his own and a string of bookings. +

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    Andy Cutting - At The Cutting Edge

    I first heard Andy Cutting with the wonderful Blowzabella at The Brewery, in Kendal, in the mid-1990s, and thought at the time how young he looked to be such an accomplished musician. I last saw him in 2017 when he was playing with the differently wonderful Leveret, and thought... how young he looked for such an accomplished musician..... +

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    Rowan Piggott - next generation

    Rowan Piggott is the fiddle-playing and singing son of Charlie Piggott of De Danann fame. He is currently making a name for himself around the folk scene in England as a solo musician and also as a member of the Georgia Lewis Band and as half of a duo with Rosie Hodgson. He is the next generation, not just of a family of musicians, but he is also part of the next generation of folk musicians, festival and club goers, working in the scene and making it their own. +

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    Will Pound - Through The Seasons

    Not many people who are known primarily as a folk artist can claim to have played on a number one record in the charts. Even one nominated three times for the coveted BBC Folk Awards ‘Musician of the Year’. However, Will Pound played the opening harmonica riff on one such record. He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother, by the Justice Collective, was recorded to raise money for the various charities associated with the Hillsborough families. It reached the highly coveted Christmas Number One spot in 2012. +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 130 is out now!

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....

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Cornwall Folk Festival - scam warning!

The Cornwall Folk Festival has found itself at the centre of a scam aimed at artists and agents, mainly in the USA and Australia. Someone has sent out emails using copy taken from the festival website, saying that one of the headliners has pulled out, and would the targeted artist like to be the replacement. They are offering a very generous fee, flights, accommodation etc, and are presumably aiming to access artists’ monies and personal information. The festival has informed Action Fraud UK, and done what it can to spread the word, but be warned, these emails are not genuine!

The 2019 Roy Palmer Lecture

The autumn meeting of the Traditional Song Forum is to be held in Belfast on Saturday 19th October 2019. The meeting will be the occasion for the annual Roy Palmer Lecture which will be given by Dr John Moulden, well known for his books, articles and lectures on the Irish song tradition. John was recently featured in the acclaimed BBC TV documentary on the work of Ulster collector, Sam Henry. The lecture will form part of an afternoon of talks on aspects of Irish song. More details will be found on the TSF website - tradsong.org

20 Years of Baring-Gould weekend

It has attracted and inspired some of the biggest names in traditional folk music, and, in October, the Baring-Gould Weekend celebrates its 20th year. Today, the folk festival takes place at venues in the Dartmoor town of Okehampton in West Devon, but for the first few years, it was held in the nearby rural villages of Lewdown and Bratton Clovelly. An odd setting for a musical festival, perhaps, but one that made perfect sense.

Roland Walls - 1954 – 2019

Roland Walls, who has died from Motor Neurone Disease, has been the focus and inspiration for live folk and roots related music in and around the city of York for the last 40 years. Neither musician nor performer, he dedicated his spare time to encouraging, supporting and promoting a huge variety of music events.

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.

EFDSS at English Folk Expo 2019

The English Folk Dance and Song Society are presenting three artists at English Folk Expo in Manchester this October, all of whom will perform 20-minute sets at The Comedy Store on Whitworth Street West on the morning of the 18th.

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.


  • Birnam CD
  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • The Tradition Bearers

New Releases

Shrewsbury Folk Festival - 23-26 August

What can you expect from this “little piece of heaven”, tucked away on a glorious riverside site in the heart of Shrewsbury? Some of most established artists from the UK alongside acts celebrating folk music and dance from across the world. With a warm welcome from the volunteer stewards, the festival promises a relaxed atmosphere with time to explore the festival site with its four sound stages, dance tent and specialist venues for the children’s and youth festivals. There are workshops galore, a magnificent food village, real ale and cocktail bars, craft fair, free buses into Shrewsbury town centre, pub sessions and a great campsite.

Mull of Kintyre Music Festival - 21-25 August

The Mull of Kintyre holds this annual music festival, which has grown each year since it’s inception in 1993. Set in the community of Campbeltown, the festival has become the region’s top cultural event, which encourages people to visit Kintyre from all parts of the globe, satisfying an ambition of the Festival to showcase the very best in traditional and contemporary music worldwide whilst also displaying the region’s cultural individuality through the talents of the local musicians of all ages.

Whitby Folk Week - 17-23 August

More than 600 events, spanning seven days, Whitby Folk Week is a firm favourite in the festival calendar. Visitors can enjoy over 300 concerts over seven days spread across 50 venues; you can dance until you drop, with ceilidhs and dances for everybody led by some of England's best callers; you can try your hand at one of the many workshops in anything from melodeon to Medieval dance, banjo to Border, or join the Festival Orchestra. There is also a huge range of children's and youth events.

Dartmoor Folk Festival - 9-11 August

The 42nd Dartmoor Folk Festival will take place on the 9th, 10th & 11th August 2019 in the village of South Zeal near Okehampton in Devon. A packed weekend of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, song and music sessions, children's festival, craft displays, folk service, Dartmoor ramble and much more, don't miss it!!! Guests this year include Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Sara Grey & Kieron Means, Moirai, The Jellyman's Daughter, Kirkophany, Luke Daniels, The Postman Poet Show (Liz Shakespeare, Nick Wyke, Becki Driscoll), The Stowes, The Dartmoor Pixie Band, Ramsley Minors, Crazy Goat, plus more to be confirmed...

Wickham Festival - 1-4 August

Wickham provides a wonderful setting for the Wickham Festival. It is a lovely village in which to spend a weekend enjoying excellent music, fine food, great company and lovely surroundings. Set in rolling downland two miles north of Fareham in Hampshire, the village of Wickham has a picturesque Georgian Market Square, scenic water meadows, the historic Chesapeake Mill, plus attractive church and village buildings. The festival is on a lovely site, with camping/motorhome areas, and all the usual amenities including various stages, food vendors, traders, a children's area, bars and tearooms, and even a cinema!

Speyfest - 26-28 July

At the end of July, the playing fields on East Street in the Moray town of Fochabers will be home to the 24th annual Speyfest, three days of the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music. The tented village hosts a variety of seated and standing events including the Friday and Saturday concerts and stomps, the music marathon that is Speyfest Sunday, a craft and food fair with taster sessions and an ecumenical Celtic Kirk service. The event is fully licensed and offers a wide range of hot foods and a variety of drinks from a number of onsite concessions.

Warwick Folk Festival - 25-28 July

Billy Bragg will be headlining on the Thursday of Warwick Folk Festival 2019 as they celebrate their 40th year on Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th July. The line up also includes other leading names from around the world including Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Will Pound & Eddy Jay, Breabach, O'Hooley & Tidow, Nancy Kerr, Calan, Melrose Quartet, Granny's Attic, John Kirkpatrick, Mick Ryan's Here At The Fair and more.

Joe Mooney Summer School - Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim - 20-27 July

Drumshanbo is a small picturesque town situated in the very heart of County Leitrim, Ireland. Every July Drumshanbo plays host to the award winning Joe Mooney Summer School, a week long festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance named after the man who did so much to promote the cause of Leitrim and his beloved town. The committee continue to emulate his high ideals, endeavouring to promote Leitrim's heritage of traditional music while handing on the best traditions of the past to future generations.