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VARIOUS ARTISTS - Folk Awards 2013

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Folk Awards 2013
Proper Music Distribution PROPERFOLK14

There are compilation albums, and there are compilation albums. Every year, Proper brings together tracks that in one way or another have been nominated for the folk awards. Some are specific – where a particular song or performance is nominated – some are left to the discretion of the compilers, where an artist or album is nominated. Because all tracks are the result of a formal process of nomination and election, they form a representative cross section of the best of British folk for each year.

Here are tracks by the artists from each category (except “Lifetime Achievement”): folksinger of the year, Nic Jones, is pleasingly represented by a recent unreleased recording. In addition, the various contenders for the Young Folk Award are to be heard on a bonus live CD from a concert held at the Brewery Arts Centre. Here are all the nominees for Best Original Song; unfortunately, the winner of the Best Traditional Track is notable by its absence, though its three contenders are all in place. It’s an annoying failure in a well-selected and thoughtfully sequenced collection.

Notably this year, the nominees and award winners at the folk awards were dominated by younger musicians who are steadily establishing themselves as the future of folk music. It’s a welcome shift to shining a spotlight on names which are less familiar than some of the well-established old stagers who have dominated the awards in previous years.

With a new focus for the awards and a new presenter for the Radio 2 Folk Show, what we have here is a marginally flawed document of the year when those two ethnic institutions moved on.

Nigel Schofield


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.