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.

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.

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.

The Johnny Doherty Festival - Ardara, Co Donegal - 21-23 September, 2012

The fiddle music of Donegal is recognisable the world over, with many names being synonymous with the style – Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Tommy Peoples, Paddy Glackin and James Byrne being amongst them.  But the name associated most with the area perhaps is John Doherty – a travelling tinsmith renowned the world over for his style, knowledge and skill.

Sara Grey & Kieron Means - Grey Means Business

When this article was commissioned I had a good idea of the shape it would take. I've admired Sara Grey's music for twenty years, been in a band with her, become a good friend along the way, and feel that I know pretty well what she's about. When we were rehearsing at her place some ten years ago, I remember her son Kieron Means (the name comes from Sara's first husband) talking to me about his teenage dream of 'making it' with a band. And here he was now, Sara told me, doing gigs on the folk scene and playing back-up on her new album. I was pleased; it's fun to play music with your kid.

Traditional Music And The Role Of The Festival

“Music functions on a whole lot of different levels,” said Daithi Sproule from Altan. “But an interesting thing about music is that it is funny to look around and realise that music is everywhere. And it wouldn’t be everywhere if it wasn’t for the some reason. It’s in lifts, and it’s in shops…” He smiled, and tapped his finger against the table. “…And there is actually music for people who aren’t very musical. Muzak! Yes!”

Jerry Holland’s Cape Breton Home

In 1969, in Boston Massachusetts, a young musician made a decision about the future of his life.  Fiddle player Jerry Holland explains “At the grand old age of fourteen, I just knew, someday I was going to live in Cape Breton.  At twenty one, I saw my dream come true as I celebrated my birthday there.  In this place I had got, I waited for my furniture to be delivered.  For 33 years since, Cape Breton has been and always will be my home”.