FolkWorld #44 03/2011

German News

News & Gossip

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CD Give Away

The shelves in the FolkWorld office are jam-packed once again. We have to get rid of EP's, samplers etc. send in for review in the past years.

So if you are interested in folk, roots and world music from all over the world, just send an email with the subject FolkWorld Give Away, including your full postal address, and keep waiting for a nice Easter present!

Give-away is continued!

Happy Birthday

Canada Buffy Sainte-Marie (*20 February 1941, Piapot Cree Indian reserve, Saskatchewan, Canada). The Canadian Cree singer-songwriter started performing in the early 1960s. She quickly earned a reputation as a gifted songwriter, and many of her earliest songs were covered, and often turned into chart-topping hits, by artists such as Chet Atkins, Barbara Streisand or Roberta Flack. In 1963 she witnessed wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam and was inspired to her protest song "Universal Soldier," which later became a hit for Donovan. Throughout her career Sainte-Marie's work has focused on issues of indigenous people.

Michael Doucet/BeauSoleil
@ FolkWorld: FW#38, #39

USA Michael Doucet (*14 February 1951, Scott, Louisiana, USA). Way back in 1975, Michael Doucet received an National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Apprenticeship to study Cajun fiddle styles. He sought out every surviving Cajun musician, including Dewey Balfa, Dennis McGee, and many others. He studied their techniques and songs and encouraged some to resume public performances. In 1975, some of his friends and he formed BeauSoleil which became one of the most popular groups performing music rooted in the music of the creole and Cajun people of Louisiana, incorporating elements of rock-and-roll, jazz, country, blues, and other genres in original compositions and reworkings of traditional tunes. BeauSoleil won two Grammy Awards. In 2005 Doucet was recipient of the National Heritage Fellowship by the NEA, the highest honor in US folk and traditional arts. In 2008, he released "From Now On," his solo cajun fiddle album.

Britain Mike Waterson (*16 January 1941, Hull, England). Michael 'Mike' Waterson is a writer, songwriter and singer, best known as a member of The Watersons with his sisters Lal Waterson and Norma Waterson and his brother-in-law Martin Carthy. Today he is a member of the occasional folk a capella folk group Blue Murder, consisting at various times of various members of Swan Arcade, Coope Boyes and Simpson, Waterson:Carthy and The Watersons.

Britain Frankie Armstrong (*13 January 1941, Workington, England). The blind English singer and voice teacher joined the Stort Valley Skiffle Group in 1957, which changed its name to the Ceilidh Singers as its repertoire moved towards folk music. The group founded the Hoddesdon Folk Club. In 1963 Frankie began working with Louis Killen, then in 1964 she joined The Critics Group under Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Her first recording was at the invitation of Bert Lloyd, who as director of Topic Records was putting together a recording of erotic songs with Anne Briggs, released as "The Bird in the Bush" in 1965. Frankie has also performed and recorded with Blowzabella, Leon Rosselson, Dave Van Ronk and Maddy Prior. Since the mid-1970s she began teaching voice and singing through developing a variety of voice and singing workshops.

Joan Baez

"Edle Einfalt, stille Größe"

USA Joan Baez (*9 January 1941, Staten Island, New York, USA). American singer, songwriter and activist Joan Chandos Baez of mixed Scottish-Mexican parentage began her musical career performing folk songs in coffeehouses in the 1950s. When she was 8, she had attended a concert by Pete Seeger, and found herself strongly moved by his music. Folk singer Bob Gibson invited Joan Baez to perform alongside him at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival. The appearance of the barefoot Madonna with the otherworldly voice was an immediate success. Joan Baez recorded several albums of traditional folk ballads, blues and laments sung to her own guitar accompaniment, and introduced the songs of the then-unknown Bob Dylan to the wider public. Her music has diversified since then, encompassing everything from folk rock and pop to country and gospel music.
Joan Baez also began writing own songs, beginning with "A Song For David" which was written for her then-husband David Harris, a prominent anti-Vietnam War protester imprisoned for draft resistance. Already at age 16, she committed her first act of civil disobedience by refusing to leave her High School classroom for an air-raid drill. For this act she was ostracized by the local population for being a supposed Communist infiltrator. Since then Joan Baez has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social causes in the fields of non-violence, civil rights, human rights and environmental issues. Recently she created a special version of "We Shall Overcome" with Persian lyrics in support of peaceful Iranian protesters. She recorded a home video and posted it on YouTube.

Norway Bjørn "Lillebjørn" Falk Nilsen (*21 December 1950, Oslo, Norway). Lillebjørn Nilsen is a prominent Norwegian singer-songwriter and folk musician. He is considered somewhat the leading Voice of Oslo thanks to numerous songs about Norway's capital. In 2005 his home town presented him "The Oslo City Cultural Prize".

Seán Cannon 2011

"Wenn der Vater …", "And It's No! Nay! …"

Ireland Séan Cannon (*29 November 1940, Galway, Ireland). From an early age, the Irish musician Seán Cannon travelled around Europe. He had known The Dubliners for years and joined them on stage on numerous occasions. When Luke Kelly became ill, he stepped in and eventually became a full time Dubliner in 1982. Seán Cannon still manages to do solo work and plays gigs with his son, James Cannon.

UK Tom McConville (*6 November 1950, Newcastle, UK). The Tyneside fiddler was brought up in The Globe pub, Newcastle with clientele from the Irish and Scottish communities. It was here he first experienced traditional music. Tom credits Belfast fiddler Sean McGuire for teaching him his bowing technique.

"By Land and Sea"
Among his first influences were the music of James Hill and Tom produced the first album entirely devoted to Hill's compositions. Tom started playing in Tyneside folk clubs in the late 60s and early 70s. In 1971 he joined Bob Fox and then Magna Carta to play all over Europe. After brief partnerships with guitarists Kieran Halpin and Chris Newman, he teamed up with Northumbrian piper Pauline Cato. Tom has just completed a solo album.


I see that the voice of the great Enrique Morente is finally silenced. The foremost living male cantaor (exponent of flamenco singing) in Spain, died aged 67 on Dec 13th. I love [this clip's] start: He is on a programme hosted by the percussionist and fellow flamenco singer, Antonio Carmona. The opening of this clip looks for all the world like the fact that the great Morente is turning up has been a well-kept secret ...

The British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died aged 64. Surely, his artistic high-water mark came with his fine portrayal of the brass band conductor in that gem of a movie, Brassed Off. Here is perhaps my favourite scene in that movie: It is of course, the famous “orange juice” scene, ... “orange juice” was a pun on the Spanish “Aranjuez” (as in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, the magnificent music played so majestically here).

I see that the rock/blues singer/guitarist Gary Moore has been found dead in his hotel room while on holiday in Spain. He was 58. This clip comes from 5/6 years ago:

The great Charlie Louvin has died aged 83 on Jan 26th. Those Louvin Brothers records from half a century ago still THRILL me with those amazing harmonies. Ira the tall guy, was the one with the amazing voice, but Charlie was no slouch: In 1965, Ira was killed in a car smash aged just 41: ironically, boozer Ira got hit by a drunken driver.

David "Dai" Woosnam

Scotland Gerry Rafferty (1947-2011). The Scottish singer and songwriter was born into a working-class family at Paisley to the west of Glasgow. Inspired by his mother, who had taught him Irish and Scottish folk songs, and influenced by the music of The Beatles and Bob Dylan, Rafferty started to write his own material. In the 1960s, he earned money busking on the London Underground. He formed a folk duo with Billy Connolly called The Humblebums [#39], and another with Joe Egan called Stealers Wheel. The later group scored a hit with "Stuck in the Middle". In 1978, Gerry Rafferty recorded his solo album "City to City," featuring the song with which he remains most identified, "Baker Street". He died on 4th January 2011 from liver failure.

Spain Enrique Morente (1942–2010). Flamenco is the most famous style of Spanish traditional music. On December 13th, 2010 Enrique Morente, one of the top cantaores, died in a hospital in Madrid.
Morente has been a very charismatic figure and not just for the fans of flamenco. He developed his great talent on the purest style mostly from the 1960s until the 1980s in Madrid. But since the 1990s he also extended the scope of his music in new fields, like world music performing with the Moroccan singer Chekara, with the Andalusi Orchestra from Tetuan, or with the female group Bulgarian Voices Angelite. He also adapted to flamenco singing several songs from Leonard Cohen, poems from different Spanish writers (Garcia Lorca, Miguel Hernandez, Machado, Alberti, Lope de Vega), and experimented the fusion between flamenco and the African and Cuban music. Enrique Morente even admitted his passion for rock music and played with bands such as Lagartija Kick, Los Planetas, Señor Chinarro or Amaral, incorporating his flamenco singing in memorable rock songs. His great talent and the respect he achieved in the flamenco world (many times very strict in the preservation of the purity of their art), allowed Enrique Morente to unorthodoxly experiment with many innovations that helped to introduce younger generations into flamenco. Sadly, such courageous and fruitful career has ended much earlier than expected. Fortunately his daughter Estrella Morente has followed in his footsteps since a very early age, and today she is a very acclaimed flamenco singer.

Another essential figure in the development of contemporary Flamenco died on 26. November 2010. Mario Pacheco (1950-2010) had launched the Nuevos Medios label in 1982, when Madrid was experiencing its famous movida (an explosion of music and art) after the Franco era. He signed many of the key figures in the Nuevo Flamenco movement, from Ketama to Las Migas, who renewed flamenco or mixed it with other musical forms such as blues, jazz and African music.

Ireland Peter Horan (1926–2010). One of Ireland's best known flute and fiddle players, has died on 17 October 2010 in the North West Hospice, Sligo.

Peter Horan & Gerry Harrington
"The Merry Love to Play"
Born in Kilavil in 1926, Peter Horan developed a unique style, influenced by the local Irish fiddling tradition of Co. Sligo. For almost 30 years he performed as a duo with fiddler Fred Finn, more recently he teamed up with Sliabh Luachra fiddler Gerry Harrington. In 2002, Peter Horan received an Irish Music Awards Hall of Fame award.

Germany  Na Píobairí Uilleann launch 'Source'

A new extensive on-line resource for traditional musicians and craftspeople was unveiled. The new service, entitled Source, is the work of Na Píobairí Uilleann, the society for uilleann pipers, and will include Irish music web tutors, Irish music collections dating back to 1724, reed-making and pipe-making videos, recitals and historical data of iconic musicians. As well as being of enormous value to those interested in traditional Irish music in general, Source, which contains thousands of music and video clips, will provide specific support to students of uilleann piping, pipe-making and maintenance of the instrument.

More Online Resources:

Ireland  The Online Academy of Irish Music

The Online Academy of Irish Music (OAIM) provides a new web-based platform for delivering Irish music lessons. The teaching is provided directly from world-renowned performers and tutors. Tutors include Danú singer Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, uilleann piper Mikie Smyth and flautist Majella Bartley. Based in Co. Clare, OAIM uses the power of the Internet to deliver tutorials that combine video, audio, manuscript and text into a coherent music class.

On Friday April 29th 2011, OAIM will embrace internet technology further with a live webcast on the internet platform. This webcast will launch OAIM to a worldwide online audience and will feature live performances by some of the course tutors, as well as live interaction with viewers.

Sweden  Ranarim Says Thank You


"Ranarim - New Swedish Trad"

"Dear friends and fans, after much reflection, we have now come to the conclusion that it is time to end Ranarim. It is with great sadness and not an easy decision, but rather than being unable to pay the group the time and energy we want, we choose to end with flyingcolors.
As the situation is for us now, we feel that it is impossible to continue with Ranarim. Sofia stopped even before she had her second child and both Ulrika and Johanna are now also mother of two children, and on parental leave, in whole or in part for an additional period. With only one child, it has worked fine to tour around as before because the kids and dad can join. There have been many such fun trips the last few years. But with two children, the situation is quite different.
To continue in a low intensive way and not renew our repertoire, not have time to record a new album and just take the events that work with regard to families and children is not meaningful for any ofus.
Ranarim as been such an important part in all our lives, both creative,friendly, and as a livelihood. Yes, a bit like a family, actually, because everybody's planning has largely been based on the group. But working in such a way as we did also take very much time, time thatwe now notice no longer exist.
We separated as best friends and will all continue to work as folkmusicians, both individually and together in various new forms. Who knows, this is a short period of life and maybe there will be a Ranarim-reunion sometime in the future ..?
But until then we want to thank all of you who followed us on concerts, CDs and websites over the years. Without you, there was no Ranarim and without you we would not have had all these great memories and experiences. Thankyou and thank you!
We hope that you will follow each of us forward into new musical adventures."


Britain  Fairport's Cropredy Convention 2011

LAU @ TFF Rudolstadt 2010

Cropredy Convention
11. - 13. August 2011

Fairport Convention announces the line-up for its annual music festival, Fairport's Cropredy Convention. Billed as 'Britain's Friendliest Festival', the three-day event will take place on Thursday 11, Friday 12 and Saturday 13 August 2011. The festival will be held at its usual site on farmland north of Banbury, Oxfordshire, three miles from Junction 11 of the M40 motorway.

Headliners include reggae legends UB40, guitar-pop band The Coral, bluesman Seasick Steve, acclaimed singer-songwriter Badly Drawn Boy, Blockheads (best known as Ian Dury's band), America's Hayseed Dixie and, as special guests, Irish rockers Horslips. Cropredy will also present the winner of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. This year the lucky youngsters are a trio named Moore, Moss, Rutter. As usual, the festival has a strong contingent of folk music acts including award-winning Lau, The Urban Folk Quartet, and recently-reformed folk legends Home Service.

6 - 10 April 2011 FolkBaltica, Flensburg (Germany)

15 - 17 April 2011 Féile Atha Dá Chab, Ballydehob (Ireland)

1 May 2011 Roots and Roses Festival, Lessines (Belgium)

27 - 29 May 2011 Off The Tracks Spring Festival, Donington Park (UK)

2 - 4 June 2011 European World of Bluegrass, Voorthuizen (Netherlands)

30 June - 3 July 2011 TFF Rudolstadt (Germany)

18 - 22 July 2011 Meitheal - Residential Summer School, Limerick (Ireland)

12 - 14 August 2011 Folkwoods Festival, Eindhoven (Netherlands)

25 - 28 August 2011 Tønder Festival (Denmark)

Britain  Last but not least: Sandy Denny

"Sandy Denny Box Set"

Sandy Denny was one of the greatest British singers of all time. And possibly THE BEST ever in the genre of UK Folk Music. Even Jeannie Robertson, Shirley Collins, Anne Briggs, June Tabor, Jean Redpath, Peta Webb and Maddy Prior probably have to bow to her. What marks her out as the top of the tree? Could it be that “the great career move” of an early death, is colouring my judgment here? No, emphatically not. It is all there in that voice. Such an ability to go from her heart to your heart, without passing GO. To call it a soulful voice is almost to sell it short. It is so much more. Above all, I regard her voice as being uniquely switched-on: you are immediately aware when listening to it, that this singer who brings everything to the microphone. Naked emotional honesty, maximum concentration (total thought on every word she delivers), and an absolute willingness to show her humanity. The incomparable Sandy can be seen in this rare video performance on YouTube. I always thought of her – when she was alive – as a British version of Joni Mitchell. A remarkably similar voice: and a songwriting style influenced by Joni too. Take this song. It could have come straight off Joni’s album “Blue” or “Ladies of the Canyon”, ‘cept it is not up to the young Joni’s songwriting quality:

I always knew she battled with the booze, but until I read this, I had not realised the degree of her alcohol habit. Indeed, it was reading this astonishing short piece, that made me decide to write and include this whole item:

Gosh, reading between the lines here, the writer clearly holds Trevor Lucas responsible for her death, by taking the baby to Australia! How come? Well, just look at the cavalier way she talks (in the last line) about his death in his sleep, aged just 45. Lucas, I recall seeing on stage in live performance. And he was a handsome, strapping chap. Perhaps the booze killed HIM, too? Certainly, “losing” her baby in this way, must have made Sandy even more unsure of herself and guilt-ridden. This must have made her hit the bottle even more. I wonder if Sandy dying in such a shocking manner had repercussions 12,000 miles away. Did Trevor feel a reciprocal sense of guilt, and was it a contributory factor in his own early death? Did he take this guilt to his own premature grave? Gee! This is the stuff of a big folk ballad! A new Matty Groves or a Lady Margaret or a Barbara Allen. (Songwriters reading this, take note!) But here is Sandy (alas, only on vinyl), singing perhaps my favourite song of her total output. A song that - we forget - she herself wrote: and furthermore, wrote at the incredibly young age of 19. Such prescience, in one so young! The one really ACE song she wrote. This demo home version is the one I like best. And what am I saying “alas, only on vinyl”?! With divine pix like these that accompany the soundtrack, who needs “video performance”?

David "Dai" Woosnam

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