Ben Paley

Ben’s father was Tom Paley, founder member of the New Lost City Ramblers. His mother is Claudia Gould, a fine singer with a deep involvement in folk music. His stepfather, Ron Gould, is a guitarist and was a prominent skiffler with a very great and wide knowledge of a whole range of music, particularly jazz and folk music. So Ben grew up hearing a wide variety of very interesting music. He wanted to take up the fiddle from the age of six, and was given strong encouragement. He did not think of life as a performer until he was in his early 20s. +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue132_newsfeed.jpg

    Ben Paley

    Ben’s father was Tom Paley, founder member of the New Lost City Ramblers. His mother is Claudia Gould, a fine singer with a deep involvement in folk music. His stepfather, Ron Gould, is a guitarist and was a prominent skiffler with a very great and wide knowledge of a whole range of music, particularly jazz and folk music. So Ben grew up hearing a wide variety of very interesting music. He wanted to take up the fiddle from the age of six, and was given strong encouragement. He did not think of life as a performer until he was in his early 20s. +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue131_newsfeed.jpg

    Sandra Kerr - Rebel With Her Chords

    Interviews! They can take place in the oddest of places! A recent one was conducted sitting on the floor in a corridor of a town hall in Kent at the end of a Saturday concert during a festival. This one with Sandra Kerr was in a rather plusher setting; it was a Sunday morning in June in the residents’ lounge of a hotel in Fitzrovia in Central London. We were both involved in the traditional song and tune weekend organised by the Musical Traditions club and the nearby King & Queen. +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue130_newsfeed.jpg

    Rob Harbron - Finger on the Button

    Recent articles on Andy Cutting and Sam Sweeney have prompted Paul Walker to take a look at Leveret’s third member, Rob Harbron... Rob Harbron is best known as a player of the English concertina, but this wasn’t his first instrument. “No, I played several instruments before I discovered the concertina - piano briefly aged about five, then guitar and recorder at school, then the violin/fiddle, which I wasn't that keen on until I discovered folk music." +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/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." +

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    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. +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 132 is out now!

Issue 132 of The Living Tradition (Feb/Mar 2020) features articles on: Ben Paley, Moirai, Jenn Butterworth, Jez Lowe & The Pitmen Poets, Jock's Jocks, Devonshire Step Dancing, Niel Gow, Eric Bogle's Tales From The Road, The Key Is The Key, On The English Ceilidh Bandwagon, Trip To Birmingham Tradfest, Transatlantic Connections, Feb-May Festival Listings, news, reviews and much more....

Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

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Traditional Music Forum workshops

The Traditional Music Forum in Scotland will be presenting various workshops in the next few months in response to some of the points that came out of its recent report ‘Working as A Traditional Musician in Scotland’. The topics covered are Rights and Publishing, Negotiating Skills and Stage Presence. Workshops are free. You can sign up for as many as you wish, but they must be pre-booked as space is limited. traditionalmusicforum.org.
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Big Whistle Festival Farewell… for now at least

After considerable deliberation with their partner organisation, The Met, Bury, the Big Whistle Festival organisers have announced their decision that the festival will no longer be held at that venue and agreed that there will be no Big Whistle Festival in 2020. This may not be the end of the road for the event, however. Any further announcements will be made through the Big Whistle website.
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Folk London magazine

Folk London magazine will be under new management from the spring as its current editorial team, Peter Crabb-Wyke and Sue West, are retiring after 10 years. From February, the features, reviews and listings magazine will be edited by James Eagle and a team of volunteers from Morris Folk Club. You can continue to contact the magazine at editor@folklondon.co.uk. folklondon.co.uk.
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Merger for Stirrings and Tykes’ News

Stirrings was one of the UKs regional magazines, focussing on folk and acoustic music in South Yorkshire, since 1975. Its most recent editor, Raymond Greenoaken, decided to retire after around 20 years at the helm and, as no-one was found to continue the editorship, it looked like the end of the road for the magazine after an impressive 181 issues. But happily, the Tykes’ News team who produce West Yorkshire’s quarterly folk magazine stepped up to the plate.
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Bob Copper’s Songs And Southern Breezes reprinted

Although Bob Copper’s first book, A Song for Every Season, has never been out of print, the same cannot be said for his second, Songs And Southern Breezes. But this account of Bob’s travels and adventures throughout his area of Sussex and Hampshire has recently become available again thanks to current members of The Copper Family.
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Moonrakers courses

For several years Oxford-based group, Moonrakers, has been running residential and day Folk Orchestra workshops at Benslow Music (Herts) and Halsway Manor (Somerset). These multi-instrumental courses are suitable for intermediate musicians. A maximum of 15 people work on arrangements of tunes and songs with chords and parts provided, and the music is recorded and sent in advance. In 2020 the courses are being held in Halsway Manor in Somerset in February, Benslow Music in Hertfordshire in June, July and September, and at BunkFest in Oxfordshire in September. For details, go to moonrakers.net or call 01865 769206.
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Sharon Shannon celebrates 30 years with two releases

Sharon Shannon is celebrating 30 years on the scene with two new albums featuring 30 previously unreleased tracks. The first is The Winkles Tapes 1989, which was released in November, followed by a further 14 exclusive, tri-weekly tracks showcasing the wide and diverse scope of Sharon’s incredible 30-year musical journey. These 14 tracks will then be compiled on her 30th Anniversary album for release in November 2020.
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  • Birnam CD
  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • The Tradition Bearers

New Releases

Kings Place 'Wild Singing' Weekend - 13-15 March

Held in London in March, this is a weekend festival of folk music inspired by the natural world for Kings Place’s year-long Nature Unwrapped series. Co-curated by Matthew Bannister’s award-winning Folk on Foot podcast, the weekend sees influential figures from the UK folk scene, Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan and Martin Simpson in evening concerts, preceded by ‘in conversation’ events with Matthew alongside film and footage from the podcasts, bringing together the podcaster’s three passions – folk music, walking and telling stories in sound.
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Costa Del Folk, Ibiza - 25 April - 1 May 2020

Enjoy Travel is delighted to be taking the Costa del Folk Festival back to the 4* Sirenis Seaview Country Club, Port Des Torrent, Ibiza which is considered to be one of the finest accommodation complexes on the island. There will be music, singing, dancing and laughter aplenty from morning until the wee small hours at venues situated throughout the complex.
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Girvan Traditional Folk Festival - 1-3 May 2020

The 46th Girvan Traditional Folk Festival will be held on 1-3 May 2020. One of the oldest and friendliest festivals in the country, last year's festival was a great success and 2020 promises to be similar with lots of great musical experiences from people firmly rooted in the tradition.
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Obituaries

  • The news of the passing of Angie Bladen on 8 November 2019 was met with a real sense of loss...

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  • Joe Rae, who died just six days short of his 82nd birthday on 13th December, possessed an...

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  • Irish guitarist, Arty McGlynn died on 18 December 2019 in hospital in Enniskillen after a long...

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  • I recently had an email request regarding one of the Millen Family’s songs, for which I had no...

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  • Roland Walls, who has died from Motor Neurone Disease, has been the focus and inspiration for...

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