Lau is a trio made up of fiddler Aidan O’Rourke, accordion-player Martin Green and Kris Drever who plays guitar and sings in the group. Aidan Martin and Kris have considerable experience and finesse that gives them license to play with a rare freedom. Despite the traditional music definition, their combined efforts make something new: great musicians doing something more than just showing their skills.
Lau pull together their influences which span most of the UK from the west coast of Scotland up and across to Orkney and down to the east of England. The combination is a modern sound with all the depths of these traditions backing it up.
Their debut album Lightweights and Gentlemen came out in early 2007.
Kathryn Tickell was born in 1967. Her roots are very definitely in the North Tyne Valley of Northumberland where many of her relatives still play traditional music. Her father Mike Tickell is an acclaimed performer of the songs of this area.
Kathryn has always been surrounded by music and has played the piano since the age of six. She took up the Northumbrian smallpipes at the age of 9 and by the age of 13 had won all of the traditional open smallpipes competitions at the Border festivals and many fiddle competitions also. In 198 she learned the Shetland fiddle style from the great player and teacher Tom Anderson. As a result of this she was invited to play at the Shetland Folk Festival in 1981 where she was so popular that she was invited back the following year. In 1983 she was a guest at the Edinburgh International Festival the first year that famous event included British traditional music in its program.
In 1984 she recorded her first album On Kielderside. In 1985 she turned professional immediately entering a busy schedule of work throughout Britain as well as recording a Northumbrian music album From Shewingshields to Glendale with Alistair Anderson and other respected musicians such as Joe Hutton Willy Taylor and Will Atkinson. 1986 saw her still working extensively as well as recording her second solo album Borderlands for Black Crow Records. This record was released in January 1987 to great critical acclaim and featured in the Folk Root “Top Thirty” for over a year. Kathryn also featured on the “Square Roots” compilation performing with Rory McLeod and played sessions on albums for various bands.
Kathryn’s third album Common Ground featured two of the most respected players in Britain Danny Thompson on bass and guitarist Chris Newman. It was chosen Q Magazine’s Record of the Year. Kathryn was also named as Top instrumentalist in the Folk Roots Poll of 1988 and was also nominated for two major awards the Variety Club of Great Britain’s,Northern Personality of the Year Award” and a Northern Arts Awards for outstanding achievement throughout the year in which she scooped the main honors in the Performing Arts Category.
In 1990 the Kathryn Tickell Band was formed. The next few years saw Kathryn putting all her energy into the band recording the albums The Kathryn Tickell Band and Signs and touring extensively throughout the world. However she still found time to compose music for two of Newcastle’s Live Theatre Company productions to present a series of programs for Radio 2 record with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and with The Chieftains. During this time Kathryn also contributed to Sting albums as well as joining him to play live at Newcastle City Hall & also on TV.
In March 1997 Kathryn’s sixth album The Gathering was released to great critical acclaim and led to appearances on Later with Jools Holland and playing live on Andy Kershaw’s Radio 1 show. In May Sting Jimmy Nail & Kathryn hit the stage of the Carnegie Hall New York performing,The Waters of the Tyne” at a benefit concert in aid of the Rainforest Foundation. The song has also been recorded for a benefit CD Carnival.
Since then Kathryn has been involved in a collaboration with saxophone player John Surman culminating in two concerts at Stockton Riverside Festival. She has also been presenting more programs for Radio 2 featuring young musicians throughout Britain.
In February 1997 Kathryn founded the Young Musicians Fund. Managed by The Community Foundation the fund aims to help young people in the North East region to realize their musical potential.
In 1998 Kathryn released The Northumberland Collection an album featuring various musicians and singers from the county. She also became Gateshead’s Composer in Education working with three primary schools and the Gateshead Youth Orchestra. 1999 saw Kathryn touring with her new band & releasing her eighth album Debateable Lands. In August 1999 Kathryn was awarded a bursary from the Britten-Pears Foundation to study composition with Judith Weir at Dartington International Summer School. She also presented a series of TV programs on music composition for Channel 4 Schools.
2000 was another exciting year with Lordenshaws Kathryn’s piece for pipes & small ensemble being penned toured and broadcast. The other major project of 2 was Ensemble Mystical an exciting new group set up by Kathryn and including musicians from classical jazz and folk backgrounds. The group toured and released an album in the final part of the year.
2001 saw Kathryn touring in Uganda Canada Italy France and the UK. Collaboration with jazz saxophonist Andy Sheppard resulted in a major multi-media work which was premiered at the opening of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It was also released as a limited edition CD (Music for a New Crossing).
In September 2001 the Kathryn Tickell Band performed as part of the,Last Night of the Proms” celebrations the first time the event had included traditional folk music. The performance was broadcast nationally and internationally.
Since September 2001 Kathryn has been a part -time lecturer on the new Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University.
In 2002 Kathryn’s 10th album Back to the Hills was released featuring solos duets and trios in traditional style as well as archive recordings of Kathryn with Northumberland shepherd and fiddle player Willie Taylor.
Kathryn’s BBC Proms commission for London Sinfonietta Muzsikas and Folkestra was presented in 2008. In 2009 she received the British Queen’s Medal for Music awarded to artists judged to have made an exceptional contribution to British music. Celebrating Peter Maxwell Davies’ 75th birthday in 29 Kathryn worked with the Nash Ensemble performing â€˜Kettletoft Inn’ the piece he composed specially for her.
As the Artistic Director of Folkworks the folk development agency for the north east of England, Kathryn provides artistic leadership and inspiration for Folkworks programs and is also the founder and Director of Folkestra the north east’s young folk ensemble.
In 2011 she continued her collaboration with Sting as well as touring with the Kathryn Tickell Band.
Jez Lowe grew up in the coal mining village of Easington, England. He started to play guitar at the age of 10 and decided that his future was not in working in the dying local mines.
By the time Jez Lowe recorded his first album in 1980 he had already served a musical apprenticeship in the thriving traditional music scene around his native North East England. He had played in a variety of groups over several years usually in a partnership with Ged Foley. When Foley joined the Battlefield Band at the turn of the decade Lowe began an illustrious solo career signing with Cumbria based Fellside Records for the first of eight acclaimed albums.
As a “live” performer Lowe is one of the busiest people on the British acoustic music circuit has toured all over Europe and most successfully North America and Australia. As a recording artist he has consistently been Fellside’s “top seller.”
It is as a songwriter that Jez Lowe has found most acclaim. He also sings about the hardships of the English miners and their families. His songs of Northern England are among the most widely sung on the British scene and have been covered by artists as far away as California and Australia. Established acts such as the Black Family The McCalmans, The Dubliners, Gordon Bok, The Tannahill Weavers and Fairport Convention are singing Lowe compositions and his song Back in Durham Jail has been covered by no less than fourteen different artists. He has recently won a Performing Rights Society award as part of their Composer in Education Program and this in turn has led to him being appointed Composer in Residence in East Durham by the Easington District Arts Department.
In 1990 Jez Lowe began working with The Bad Pennies a quartet of singers and musicians with whom he has recorded three albums. They have gone on to be one of England’s top folk bands combining what has been called “acoustic simplicity with electric vitality” at festivals and concerts across Europe and North America. Their 1996 album Tenterhooks for the Green Linnet label has won them rave reviews and their contributions to the top selling album of a cappella folk songs Voices was one of the outstanding tracks.
Jez is joined in The Bad Pennies by Billy Surgeoner Simon Haworth and Judy Dinning. Billy Surgeoner plays fiddle keyboards whistle and vocals and joined The Bad Pennies in 1992.
He is based in North London where he is a session musician and recently toured with the Chalmondeleys one of the U. K.’ s leading modem dance groups. Joining the group in 1999 Simon Haworth plays bass and keyboards and is the newest member of the group. Judy Dinning sings and plays keyboards and percussion and is one o I Northeast England’s best know vocalists with several albums to her credit.
Jez Lowe continues to tour across Europe and the United States of America both solo and with the band and continues to write and involve himself in new projects.
Jez Lowe (198)
The Old Durham Road (Fellside FECD34 1983)
Galloways (Musica Pangea MP 16 1985)
Two a Roue with Jake Walton (1986)
Bad Penny (Fellside FECD7 1988)
Briefly On The Street (Fellside FECD79 1990)
Back Shift: A Collection Of Songs From 1980 To 1986 (Fellside FECD89 1992)
Bede Weeps (Fellside FECD94 1993)
Tenterhooks (Green Linnet GLCD 1161 1995) The Parish Notices (Green Linnet GLCD 1192 1998)
Live At The Davy Lamp (2)
Honesty Box (Tantobie Records TTRCD 12 2002)
Tantobie Twinset – The Parish Notices + Honesty Box (2007)
Jack Common’s Anthem (2007)
Northern Echoes: Live on the Tyne (2008)
Heads Up: 18 Essential Jez Lowe Songs (2012)
Ged (pronounced “Jed”) was born in County Durham in the North East of England. Ged is a superb guitarist, a singer of distinction with a spare, unornamented style and a player of both the fiddle and the Northumbrian smallpipes.
A one-time member of Scotland’s The Battlefield Band and a founding member of The House Band, Ged also worked in a duo with the excellent English singer/songwriter Jez Lowe. He replaced originalPatrick Street member Arty McGlynn in 1996, and joined the Celtic Fiddle Festival after an initial tour with the band in 2001. He lives in the USA.
Emily Burridge works internationally as a cellist (she started playing the cello at the age of five), singer, composer and producer. She usually collaborates with renowned artists in the alternative musics, such as for example Gandalf, who plays in Footsteps in the Sand, together with other musicians. Emily also works in soundtracks, and keeps an intense activity with respect to concerts. Her voyages and contacts with the native cultures of South America have made her into a woman who is concerned with the cultural preservation of minorities, and have provided her with an unusual artistic background.
Footsteps in the Sand is Emily Burridge’s second CD release. The album evolved from the personal experiences of Emily when she was living on the North East coast of Brazil. Seeking out tradition and armed with her portable digital recorder, she traveled on local buses to isolated places and visited rural communities. She recorded both tribal groups and individuals singing chants and songs. From these people she discovered a folkloric world, rich in musical diversity.
Produced in studios in Brazil, Austria & England, Footsteps in the Sand features musicians from all these countries. In her music, Emily is capable of gathering, in a truly spontaneous way, elements derived from her Classical upbringing, together with those coming from the ethnic musics she has lived with. Blending her vocals and sonorous ‘cello with percussion and classical harmonies, together with the aforementioned location recordings, she has created in sound a virtual Brazilian environment.
Emily Burridge’s music crosses over into various genres, including New Age, Classical, world music, and ambient.
In recent years she has collaborated with guitarist BJ Cole in a series of albums with crossover duos for pedal steel guitar and cello.
Earth Songs (White Horse World Music 1994, remastered in 24)
Footsteps in the Sand (White Horse World Music, 2004)
Bridge between Worlds (White Horse World Music, 2006
The Imagined Village is a project led by Grammy Award winning musician and producer Simon Emmerson. Simon is also a founding member of the groundbreaking Afro Celt Sound System.
‘After travelling the world as a producer and musician I thought it was time explore my own roots,’ said Simon, ’to look at the earth under my feet, dig the dirt of the homelands.’
The Imagined Village was created in 2007 and brought together a set of remarkable voices, and set them in a musical framework that honors the past while updating it with splendid new arrangements. The Imagined Village intertwines fiddles and accordion with electronica and ambient effects.
The line-up on the first album, The Imagined Village, included Benjamin Zephaniah, Billy Bragg, Chris Wood, Eliza Carthy, Johnny Kalsi, Martin Carthy, Paul Weller, Sheila Chandra, Simon Emmerson, The Copper Family, The Gloworms, Tiger Moth, Transglobal Underground, and Tunng.
‘Cold Haily Rainy Night’ from the The Imagined Village album won the ‘Best Traditional Song’ category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2008.
The band’s second album, Empire & Love was released on ECC Records in January 2010.
‘Englishness is the final frontier of world music,’ said Simon Emmerson about this project.
Martin Carthy is one of the greatest artists of contemporary British music. He is regarded as one of the finest singers and interpreters of traditional music of the British Isles, as well as a highly influential, innovative and significantly emulated guitar player.
Like many others in the 1950s, Martin was immensely affected by listening to Lonnie Donegan sing “The Rock Island Line.” He started to sneak away with his father’s guitar disguised as a trombone, which he was then studying.
Martin became drawn towards the traditional music of the British Isles, especially acts like Big Bill Broonzy and Elizabeth Cotten. By the early 1960s he was resident at The Troubadour Folk Club in Earl’s Court, London, where his playing and highly emotional singing had a important effect on all types of musicians, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, who adopted Martin’s arrangement of “Scarborough Fair,” intact.
In 1966 Martin started to work with fiddle player Dave Swarbrick in a pioneering musical partnership. On a total of five albums, including Byker Hill (1967) and Prince Heathen (1968), the duo redefined the relationship between fiddle and guitar in a previously ignored corner of this repertoire.
Martin’s work took other turns when he joined seminal folk bands Steeleye Span in 1970 and the Albion Country Band in 1973. Shortly after the the Albion Country Band disbanded he became a permanent member of the influential group The Watersons, with his wife Norma Waterson and her brother and sister, Mike and Lal.
Between and during group ventures, Martin has maintained a busy solo career, recording acclaimed albums such as Crown of Horn (1976) and Because It’s There (1979).
The start of the 1980s saw him return to a group setting with the formation of the characteristically English folk band, Brass Monkey, featuring a trumpet section. Due to busy schedules, they stopped playing as a band in 1987, but regrouped in early 1995 for a brief tour and again in 1998 to record the celebratory Sound and Rumour.
In the early 1990s Martin renewed his partnership with Dave Swarbrick, producing two more outstanding albums: Life and Limb and Skin and Bone. By then Martin was working alongside his wife and daughter, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy as Waterson Carthy. Waterson:Carthy (1994) and Common Tongue were both released to critical acclaim, both capturing the exceptional musical understanding that lies between members of this remarkable family.
Martin Carthy was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to English folk music.
Martin Carthy (Fontana STL 5269, 1965) with Dave Swarbrick
Second Album (Fontana STL 5362, 1966) with Dave Swarbrick
Byker Hill (Fontana STL 5434, 1967) with Dave Swarbrick
But Two Came By (Fontana STL 5477, 1968) with Dave Swarbrick
Prince Heathen (Fontana STL 5529, 1969) with Dave Swarbrick
Landfall (Philips 6308 049, 1971)
Please to See the King, with Steeleye Span (B&C CAS 1029, 1971)
Ten Man Mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler Rides Again, with Steeleye Span (Pegasus PEG 9, 1971)
Shearwater (Pegasus PEG 12, 1972. Reissued in 2005 with three extra tracks)
Sweet Wivelsfield (Deram SML 1111, 1974)
Crown of Horn (Topic 12TS300, 1976)
Storm Force Ten, with Steeleye Span (Chrysalis CHR 1151, 1977)
Live at Last, with Steeleye Span (Chrysalis CHR 1199, 1978)
Because It’s There (Topic 12TS389, 1979)
Out of the Cut (Topic 12TS426, 1982)
Right of Passage (Topic 12TS452, 1988)
Life and Limb (Special Delivery SPDCD 1030, 1990) with Dave Swarbrick
Skin and Bone (Special Delivery SPCD 1046, 1992) with Dave Swarbrick
The Kershaw Sessions (1994)
Signs of Life (Topic TSCD503, 1998)
The Journey (Live at The Forum, London, 1995), with Steeleye Span (Park Records PRKCD 52, 1999)
Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527, 2004)
Martin Carthy at Ruskin Mill (2005)
Straws in the Wind (Topic TSCD556, 2006) with Dave Swarbrick
Walnut Creek: Live Recordings, 1989 – 1996 (Fellside FECD243, 2011)
Eliza Carthy is one of the leading artists in the UK’s folk music movement. She has absorbed a rich tapestry of traditional sounds and reinvented them in her own unique way – a melting pot of old and new, captivating lyrics, entrancing vocal melodies, sublime fiddle playing and heartfelt arrangements.
Born August 23 of 1975 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, Eliza has been widely acknowledged as one of the most creative, and original, young talents in English music today. She built on her vast reputation as a singing and fiddle sensation and emerged with Angels & Cigarettes – a modern sounding collection of personal, passionate and intensely affecting songs.
The Rat Catchers project unites her with two more of English music’s most celebrated young pioneers, John Spiers (melodeon) and Jon Boden (fiddle, double bass) of Bellowhead, with long-time partner Ben Ivitsky (viola, guitar) completing the line-up.
In 2016, Eliza Carthy put together a dream group of musicians called The Wayward Band with members of Bellowhead, Blowzabella, Mawkin, Emily Portman Trio, Tyde and other. They recorded an album titled Big Machine.
* Waterson:Carthy: Waterson:Carthy (1994)
* Waterson:Carthy: Common Tongue (1996)
* Waterson:Carthy: Broken Ground (1999)
* Blue Murder: No One Stands Alone (2002)
* Various Artists: Shining Bright – The Songs of Lal & Mike Waterson (2002)
* Waterson:Carthy: A Dark Light (2002)
* The Watersons: The Definitive Collection (compilation 2003)
* The Watersons: Mighty River of Song (4 CD & 1 DVD compilation 2004)
* Waterson:Carthy: Fishes and Fine Yellow Sand (2004)
* Waterson: Carthy: The Definitive Collection (compilation 2005)
* Waterson:Carthy: Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man (2006)
English folk singer Kate Rusby has been played on mainstream radio and established a loyal following among people who’d previously stated they didn’t like folk music. She’s reached the top of folk and roots charts and headlined major festivals throughout Europe.
Kate Rusby was born on December 4, 1973 in Sheffield, England and grew up in South Yorkshire. The dramatic storytelling of folk music songs has the same allure to her now as it did when she first heard her parents singing those songs to her when she was a yound child.
Spending her childhood at folk festivals and listening to Nic Jones on her Walkman when all her friends were listening to Bon Jovi, she inevitably turned to playing fiddle and singing harmonies in her parents ceilidh dance band when she was twelve. Another Barnsley folk music star Dave Burland inspired her to take up the guitar.
At fifteen, Kate got her first gig at Holmfirth Festival. She gradually developed her style to include the odd contemporary song (Iris Dement’ Our Town on Sleepless and Richard Thompson’s Withered And Died on Little Lights) and developing her own songwriting combining it together with the traditional material.
In August 2000, she toured with a folk superband that included John McCusker and Andy Cutting, and former Pentangle bass player Danny Thompson, former Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader, and bluegrass star Tim O’Brien.
The album 10, released in 2002, featured Kate’s favorite tracks after performing for ten years, all re-recorded with some live tracks and unique tracks not recorded elsewhere.
Underneath the Stars, released in 2003, was produced by multi-instrumentalist John McCusker. Rusby and McCusker were joined by Ian Carr, Andy Cutting, Ewen Vernal, Paul Burch, Simon Fowler (Ocean Colour Scene), Michael McGoldrick, James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty), and Eddi Reader.
Her 2004 DVD titled Live From Leeds is a concert film featuring Rusby and her all-star band (John McCusker, Andy Cutting, Michael McGoldrick, Ian Carr, and Ewen Vernal), in 5.1 Digital Surround audio, with numerous bonus features. Additional content include three extensive on-camera interviews, a video diary, rehearsal footage, and even home movies of Kate as a child.
In 2005 she released ‘The Girl who Couldn’t Fly, produced by John McCusker, with cover design artwork by Graham Coxon. This was Kate’s sixth solo album and blended traditional folk tunes with new originals. The bonus track, “Little Jack Frost”, was written for a BBC cartoon. Roddy Woomble from Idlewild, was a guest vocalist on an anguished ballad of breaking love, titled “No Names.”
Awkward Annie was released in 2007. The album was the first produced by Rusby herself, following her separation from husband and producer John McCusker.
In 2008 she released a Christmas album titled Sweet Bells. It is a collection of carols from in and around South Yorkshire. The album was repackaged in 2009 with a new cover that contains an image by Marie Mills.
The album ‘20’ released in 2012, celebrated Kare Rusby’s 20 years as a professional singer. It includes new recordings of Kate’s favorite songs from throughout her career. Guests included Paul Weller, Richard Thompson, Nic Jones, Paul Brady and Dick Gaughan, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway, bluegrass artists Chris Thile and Sarah Jarosz, American folk and country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eddi Reader and others.
In October of 2016, Kate Rusby released her 14th studio album Life in a Paper Boat. The album was produced by her husband Damien O’Kane. Kate and Damien experimented with sounds and effects, particularly those that can be recreated on stage. The lineup included Damien O’Kane on acoustic and electric guitars; Duncan Lyall on double bass and moog synthesizer; Nick Cooke on diatonic accordion; Steven Byrnes on bouzouki and tenor guitar; Steven Iveson on electric guitar; and Josh Clark on percussion.
Life in a Paper Boat also features a string section with Donald Grant and Magnus Johnston on fiddle; Triona Milne on viola; and Laura Anstee on cello. Additional guests include Ron Block on banjo; Dan Tyminski on vocals; Michael McGoldrick on flute and whistles; and Anthony Davis on keyboards.
Bellowhead was a dynamic, 11-piece band combining the traditional skills of John Spiers, Jon Boden, Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin, Rachael McShane and Giles Lewin with the eclectic percussion of Pete Flood and the funky brass of Andy Mellon, Gideon Juckes, Justin Thurgur and Brendan Kelly.
The material was contemporary English folk dance music and song. After their first year, they played major festivals, released a 5 track EP and won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 folk award for Best Live Act 2005.