Harvey Andrews (*7 May 1943, Stechford, Birmingham, UK). From 1964, Harvey John Andrews supported his nascent career as a singer/songwriter by working as a schoolteacher, before becoming a full-time professional musician in 1966. He has produced 17 successful albums singing his own songs, many of which have also been recorded by other artists. His best known song is "Hey Sandy," based on the death of a female student, who was shot by the National Guard in the US anti Vietnam War demonstrations in 1970. Harvey retired from full-time concert performances in 2012.
Martin Simpson (*5 May 1953, Scunthorpe, England). Martin Stewart Simpson is an English folk singer, guitarist and songwriter, regarded by many as one of the most skilled folk guitarists playing on the British and American folk scene. He took an early interest in music, learning to play the guitar and banjo and performing at local folk clubs. His music reflects a wide variety of influences and styles, rooted in Britain, Ireland and America. Simpson won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2004 in the category Best Musician, and Best Album in 2008.
Willie Nelson (*30 April 1933, Abbott, Texas, USA). The critical success of the album "Shotgun Willie" (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of "Red Headed Stranger" (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Willie Nelson one of the most recognized artists in American country music.
He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed at the end of the 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound.
During the mid-1980s, while creating hit albums like "Honeysuckle Rose" and recording hit songs like "On the Road Again" and "Pancho & Lefty", he joined the country supergroup The Highwaymen, along with fellow singers Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson.
Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.
Nick Keir (1953-2013). The musician from Edinburgh (guitar, whistle) studied at Stirling University, where he founded Finn mac Cuill, a folk rock band which for a while expanded into The Finn mac Cuill Folkshow, a touring theatre group for which he wrote the scripts.
However, he became best known for his work with The McCalmans which he joined in the late 1970s. More recently he emerged as a singer/songwriter, producing three solo albums.
Other collaborations included work on The Complete Works of Robert Tannahill and appearing regularly with the Holbaek Ensemble in Denmark in a programme of Scots and Baroque Music.
Nick Keir died on the 2nd June 2013, after a battle with cancer.
Bob Brozman (1954-2013). The American guitarist and ethnomusicologist Bob Brozman took his own life on April 23, 2013. Brozman had been called an instrumental wizard and a walking archive of 20th Century American music.
He performed in a number of styles such as gypsy jazz, calypso, blues, ragtime, Hawaiian Music, and Caribbean music. He also collaborated and recorded with musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Brozman had won the Guitar Player Readers' Poll three times in the Best Blues, Best World and Best Slide Guitarist categories. From 2000 to 2005 his collaborations landed five times in the European Top 10 for World Music.
Richie Havens (1941-2013). Richard Pierce Havens was an American folk rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, born in Brooklyn, New York. He was best known for his intense and rhythmic guitar style (often in open tunings), and soulful covers of pop and folk songs.
His appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival catapulted him into stardom. As the festival's first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours. Havens was told to continue playing, because many artists were delayed in reaching the festival location. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom".
Until early 2012, Havens continued to tour and release albums. He increasingly devoted his energies to educating young people about ecological issues. On April 22, 2013, Havens died of a heart attack at home in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Rita MacNeil (1944-2013). Rita MacNeil was a one of the bestselling country and folk artists in Canada, outselling even Garth Brooks. A native of Big Pond, Cape Breton, MacNeil first performed on stage in 1971, and recorded her first album, Born a Woman, in 1975.
She performed at folk festivals throughout the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in her major label debut and pop breakthrough in 1987 with the Top 40 hit "Flying On Your Own." She also ran a tea room in her hometown of Big Pond, which has become one of Cape Breton Island's most popular tourist attractions. Rita MacNeil died on April 16, 2013.
Felix Dolan (1937-2013). One of New York’s most popular Irish musicians, died on April 9 after a short battle with cancer. The church service was attended by over 50 traditional Irish musicians. Raised in the Bronx, Felix took up the piano. In 1965, Andy McGann, Joe Burke and Felix Dolan recorded the famous album "A Tribute to Michael Coleman." His last recording was a live concert in 2007, "A Tribute to Andy McGann," featuring Brian Conway and Joe Burke.
Tony Small (†2013).
In January, Galway lost a truly vibrant voice with the passing of singer and poet Tony Small.
He had a huge repertoire of traditional Irish songs, and was also writing his own.
As a member of the legendary trad group The Wild Geese he toured extensively throughout Europe.
In late 2012 he had released "Mandolin Mountain," recorded by Donogh Hennessy (ex Lunasa) and featuring
piper Eoin Duignan
and singer Pauline Scanlon.
Jake Wilson: Antarctica Performance Success
Jake Wilson successfully reached Captain Scott’s expedition Hut at Cape Evans in Antarctica on 3rd March. Conditions were perfect – sunshine, blue skies, no wind, and a temperature of around -13 degrees – and Jake was able to perform all five of his Captain Scott songs in different locations around the Hut.
The whole experience was filmed by Colin Rogal, and a video of Jake's performance of “All’s Well” in the Hut is now ready to view on his website. "Hopefully this will give some idea of how special it was to be allowed to play in the Hut, and what an extraordinary place it is." Jake is currently putting together a longer film about the project, which will be ready later in the year.
Blowzabella Celebrating 35 Years
Blowzabella is playing at Cecil Sharp House in London on Saturday 12 October 2013, 35 years after the band went to the Vaughan Williams Library there to look for English tunes to play on the bagpipes. They found a tune called Blowzabella and the name stuck.
Blowzabella will be playing a lot material from the new album (released in September) as well as old favourites. There’s a dance workshop (2-4pm), musicians session in the bar from 5pm dance starts at 8pm (doors open 7:30pm).
Mulligans 25th Anniversary
There are dozens of "Irish" bars in Amsterdam. And only one Mulligans. Over the years its easy location on the river Amstel, casual friendly atmosphere, and the blend of quirky characters who call it home, have somehow made Mulligan's into a legendary meeting place for musicians, writers, artists and other unsavoury types — as well as a destination for thousands of curious visitors from abroad.
Every Sunday evening there's an open Irish session where musicians are welcome to join in. On Monday the McSweeney Dancers hold a set dancing session, inviting participation from beginners and experts alike.
This year Mulligans will celebrate its 25th year. This makes Mulligans the oldest Irish bar in the Netherlands, and probably in the whole Benelux.
Preliminary Programme Wednesday 28 August 2013: Victor Lacken and the Back Room Gang Thursday 29 August 2013: John O'Dreams and Friends Friday & Saturday 30-31 August 2013: Eugene & Declan Quinn with Joe Brennan Saturday and Sunday afternoon (31 August and 1 September 2013): Sessions Sunday evening 1 September 2013: Mega-session
Yehudi Menuhin Trophy 2013
Here we are again: You can vote for the most popular music stamp of the past year. In 2012 the postal
administrations have published about 450 stamps and sheets with musical topics!
The TOP 50 stamps are now available
The designer of the most beautiful music stamp will be awarded with the "Yehudi Menuhin Trophy 2013"
and among all participants a Mozart presentation set of German Post Ltd. with stamps and
Mozart-Silver-Medal is drawn by lots.
Folk Spot Denmark 2013
Danish Roots – Growing in the World, ROSA-folk and Tønder Festival present six top Danish folk bands touring Denmark and abroad. Folk Spot Denmark 2013, as the project is known, is part of Tønder Festival.
Asynje, Tradish, Svøbsk, Trias, Nordens Tone and Fromseier/Hockings are the six Danish roots bands chosen to play showcases at Folk Spot Denmark 2013. Catch the six showcases at the Old Mill on 23rd and 24th August at this year's Tønder Festival.
Folk Spot Denmark was launched at last year's Tønder Festival by Danish Roots, aiming to attract added attention to Danish folk and roots music internationally.
This year, there is extra focus on our neighbours to the South. Morten Alfred Høirup, project leader at Danish Roots, explains:
”Danish folk music has won respect abroad – perhaps even more than at home. In the light of recent years' growing attention paid to Danish folk bands in Germany in particular, it seems natural to present Folk Spot Denmark at Tønder Festival. This is the biggest folk festival in Northern Europe, with an ideal position relative to Germany.”
21 June - 26 July 2013 Festival Intermunicipal de Musicas do Mundo (Portugal) ft. D'Callaos, The Klezmatics, ... www.festim.pt 4-7 July 2013 TFF Rudolstadt (Germany) ft. Italy, Magic Flute, Árstíðir, Carminho, Frigg, Habadekuk, David Lindley, Johanna Juhola Reaktori, Noemi Waysfeld & Blik, Nuala Kennedy, Souad Massi, ... www.tff-rudolstadt.de 4-7 July 2013 Førde Folkmusic Festival (Norway) ft. Majorstuen, Sandén-Nygårds-Carr, Unni Boksap, ... www.fordefestival.no 11-14 July 2013 Rencontres Internationales de Luthiers et Maitres Sonneurs (France) www.rencontresdeluthiers.org 22-26 July 2013 Meitheal - Residential Summer School, Limerick (Ireland) www.tradweek.com 25-28 July 2013 Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge (UK) ft. Bellowhead, Levellers, Frigg, The Waterboys, Capercaillie, BeauSoleil, Mabon, Martin Simpson, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick, Le Vent du Nord, Heidi Talbot, Breabach, The Chair, Bella Hardy, We Banjo 3, ... www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk 25-28 July 2013 Viljandi Folk Music Festival (Estonia) www.folk.ee 2-11 August 2013 Festival Interceltique de Lorient (France) The Year of Asturias, ft. Anxo Lorenzo, Capercaillie, Clannad, Dalla, Delyth Jenkins, Hevia, I Muvrini, Mabon, Llan de Cubel, Plantec, Realta, Sinead O'Connor, Skolvan, SPontus, Startijenn, Sylvain Barou, Titi Robin, ... www.festival-interceltique.com 8-10 August 2013 Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Banbury (Oxfordshire, UK) ft. Fairport Convention, Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman, Lunasa, Levellers, Mediaeval Baebes, Peatbog Faeries, ... www.fairportconvention.com 22-25 August 2013 Tønder Festival (Denmark) ft. Sinéad O'Connor, Mariza, Kate Rusby, Tupelo, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Niamh Ní Charra, Dervish, Troy MacGillivray, Duncan Chisholm, ... www.tf.dk 23-25 August 2013 Solfest (Cumbria, UK) ft. Flogging Molly, Afro Celt Sound System, Oysterband, Ahab, ... www.solfest.org.uk 23-26 August 2013 Shrewsbury Folk Festival (UK) ft. Afro Celt Sound System, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Capercaillie, Oysterband, Heidi Talbot, Martyn Joseph, Lucy Ward, Lori Watson, Steve Knightley, ... www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk 30 Aug - 1 Sep 2013 New Forest Folk Festival (between Southampton and Salisbury, UK) ft. Show of Hands, Feast of Fiddles, Little Johnny England, Jez Lowe, Janet Dowd, ... www.newforestfolkfestival.co.uk 18-26 October 2013 Fiesta des Suds, Marseille (France) www.dock-des-suds.org 25 Oct - 3 Nov Return to Camden Town (UK) www.returntocamden.org 30 Oct - 2 Nov London International Festival of Exploratory Music (UK) ft. Värttinä, Alamaailman Vasarat, Tsuumi Sound System, ... www.lifem.org.uk
Last but not least: Boys of the Hills
Back in 2011 we introduced the Irish folk band from Alcalá de Henares (Madrid), BOYS OF THE HILLS. Although now in 2013, the deep economical crisis is still sinking the hopes of a large part of the population in Spain, there are also many young artists that are firmly determined to fight the pessimism and to give the best of themselves. The BOYS OF THE HILLS keep on climbing with their restless efforts to play top quality Irish folk music, and they are now preparing their second album.
Some of their latest shows have been : With THE CHIEFTAINS in Bilbao (2011); In the festival Keltska Noc, Plumov, Czech Republic (2011); In the Celtic music festival Arcu Atlántico in Gijón, Asturias (2012); Several live recordings for the Spanish national TV broadcasting company - RTVE (2012).
Since 2012, the BOYS OF THE HILLS are working in a new CD that is targeted to be released in 2013. Its title is ‘Gold in the Shoes’. Their message is: Do not just sit down expecting the good things to come to you by themselves. Get on your feet and start walking, ... or even dancing.
BOYS OF THE HILLS are also preparing a new show named ‘Celtic Breeze’, which will fuse the music of their Irish folk band with a classical music chamber orchestra (violin, viola, cello, double bass, oboe, trumpet, horn, ...). Their repertoire will be significantly based on the compositions from the 17th century harpist Toridhealbhach O'Cearbhallian (a.k.a. Turlough O’Carolan), with arrangements from Álvaro Carbonell, the leader of BOYS OF THE HILLS.
BOYS OF THE HILLS are also regularly playing in ‘Whelan’s Irish Pub’ in Alcalá de Henares, in a number of special sessions dedicated to the promotion of the culture, traditions & music from Ireland. This was possible thanks to the cooperation with the pub owner, Brendan Whelan.