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VARIOUS ARTISTS - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016
Proper Music Distribution PROPERFOLK17P

Gosh, awards time has come around again and here we have a two CD collection of tracks from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees, some of whom are newcomers, which is refreshing. A total of 27 tracks from as diverse as Sam Lee (Lovely Molly) and Richard Thompson (Long John Silver), via The Young’uns (Waiting For The Ferry) and The Unthanks (Madam) should give you a taste for the runners and riders. We even have Joan Armatrading (Baby Blue Eyes), recently taking part in her retirement tour, although on this evidence she deserves to have continued recognition. Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band contribute a blinding rendition of the Great Grey Back, while The Furrow Collective deliver The Unquiet Grave with aplomb. Show Of Hands deliver a lovely version of Hambledon Fair. All in all, a pretty well balanced cross section of the current scene – a few new faces, some elder statesmen (and women) and some notable absences.

Incuded are four tracks from the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nominees, recorded live at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre (my old stomping ground) in January 2016, all of which are superb, but I suppose my highlight would be the Causeway Trio with a cracking medley (Changing Places/Dlùth/Ruidhle An Dotair).

This is bound to be a best seller as usual, and every artiste nominated has earned their place. I wish them all the best and recommend this collection as accompaniment. It’s looking to be a great year for folk music, yet again.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 114 of The Living Tradition magazine.