Tag Archives: folk

If Wishes Were Horses

Kris Drever – If Wishes Were Horses

Kris Drever – If Wishes Were Horses (Reveal Records, 2016)

Guitarist and vocalist Kris Drever departs from music rooted in British Isles tradition on If Wishes Were Horses. The album is a singer-songwriter effort with Drever focusing on lyrics. The acoustic folk arrangements are much more basic than what you would find in his regular band, Lau.

Guests include Ian Carr on guitars, trumpet and vocals; Euan Burton on bass, vocals and keyboards; Louis Abbott on drums and vocals; and Yolanda Quartey on vocals.


Vancouver Folk Music Festival This Weekend


The Vancouver Folk Music Festival is taking place this weekend, July 15-17, 2016 at Jericho Beach Park in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The festival schedule reflects a diverse and talented line up of 60 folk and world music artists and groups from 18 countries performing on 7 summer beachfront stages. The festival includes artists such as Bruce Cockburn; The Wainwright Sisters; Los Angeles’ Lord Huron; the world tribal sounds of Nahko and Medicine for the People; Estonia’s Trad.Attack!; The New Pornographers, Martin and Eliza Carthy from the UK; Jojo Abot from Ghana; Haiti’s music collective Lakou Mizik; Betsayda Machado y La Parrando El Clavo from Venezuela; Cape Verde’s Elida Almeida; Oysterband; Shane Koyczan and many more.

Included in the schedule are the popular day stage workshops. These “workshops” are essentially programmed gatherings of varied festival artists coming together around a particular theme, shared styles or content, or for a range of other interesting reasons. At these workshops, old musical friends connect again and fall into a familiar rhythm; other artists meet for the first time on stage to learn about each other and seek common ground.

More at www.thefestival.bc.ca


Artist Profiles: Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn
Abigail Washburn

Abigail Washburn’s soulful singing was one of the signature sounds of Uncle Earl since she joined in May 2003. Signed to Nettwerk Records as a solo recording artist, her album Song of the Traveling Daughter was released in August, 2005. The album features original songs in English and Mandarin Chinese, which she speaks. Actually, Abby was headed down a career path in Sino-American relations when she heard an LP of Doc Watson and decided to take up old-time banjo.

She met KC Groves at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Louisville, Kentucky and joined the band that summer. Combining her love of traditional American music, Chinese language and classical Chinese poetry, she began writing songs, some of which happen to be in Chinese. Her writing earned her a second place award in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2004.

In 2012, after attending Doc Watson’s funeral, Abigail began performing “And Am I Born to Die,” a sacred harp piece recorded by Watson. “Doc is one of the main reasons I play the banjo and sing American old-time music,” says Washburn.

Along with 24 innovative and creative thinkers from across the world, Abigail Washburn was named a TED Fellow and presented at the 2012 Ted Convention about building United States-China relations through music. Her efforts to share American music in China, and Chinese music in the Unied States exist within a hope that cultural understanding and the communal experience of music will lead the way to a richer existence.

In 2014, Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn released their eponymous debut album October 7th on Rounder Records. Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn is a front porch banjo and vocal album of new music, Appalachian murder ballads, gospel, chamber and blues; the culmination of a yearlong tour as a duo in 2013, following the birth of their son, Juno.


She Waits for Night, with Uncle Earl (Rounder Records, 2005)

Song of the Traveling Daughter (Nettwerk Records, 2005)

The Sparrow Quartet EP (Nettwerk Records, 2006)

Waterloo, Tennessee, with Uncle Earl (Rounder Records, 2007)

Abigail Washburn & The Sparrow Quartet (Nettwerk Records, 2008)

Afterquake, with Shanghai Restoration Project (Afterquake Music, 2009)

City of Refuge (Rounder Records, 2011)

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (Rounder Records, 2014)

Banjo Banjo EP, with Béla Fleck (Rounder Records, 2015)


Alpine Americana

Hubert von Goisern - Federn (Capriola, 2015)
Hubert von Goisern – Federn (Capriola, 2015)

Austrian multi-instrumentalist Hubert von Goisern will be playing next week in the United States. He will present his latest album, Federn, which showcases mix of American roots music such as blues, folk, gospel, jazz and country with modernized Austrian Alpine folk and world music influences featuring Austrian-German dialect vocals.

I myself thrive on the variety of music our world has to offer. The Alpine tradition is just one fascinating part,” reveals von Goisern. “I think in times like this, we need to have an ear for each other.”

The instrumentation on the album includes accordion, brass, lap steel, theremin and many other musical instruments.

The lineup on Federn includes Hubert von Goisern on accordion, guitar, keyboards, theremin, vocals; Helmut Schartlmüller on bass and vocals; Severin Trogbacher on guitar, dobro and vocals; Alex Pohn on percussion; American musician Steve Fishell on pedal steel guitar; Luis Ribeiro on percussion; Maria Moling, Tanja Mazurek, Farina Miss, and Andrea Graf on vocals; Wolfgang Staribacher on organ; and Burkhard Frauenlob on keyboards.

Next concert:

March 12, 2016 – Austrian Cultural Forum, Washington, DC at 7:00 PM

Buy Federn


BoomTown Fair Announces First Major Lineup

British genre-spanning festival BoomTown Fair has announced the first set of headline artists for Chapter 8 of the annual event. The headliners include three acts that have been at the top of the BoomTown wish list since day one: popular UK ska band Madness, reggae star Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley and New Zealand 7-piece dub masters Fat Freddy’s Drop. BoomTown Fair will take place from Thursday, August 11 to Sunday August 14, 2016 at Matterley Estate in Winchester.

The festival will cover a wide musical spectrum across nine individually themed city districts.

Headliner Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley
Headliner Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley

The Old Mines

The Old Mines stage will showcase some of the best in folk, world and roots music, spearheaded by one of the most celebrated world fusion bands on the planet, Afro Celt Soundsystem, Shooglenifty, Dhol Foundation, Lau, the rockabilly-blues sounds of Irish vocalist Imelda May, UK folk favorite and 2005 Mercury Music Prize nominee Seth Lakeman. Other acts include reunited nine-piece Spanish collective Ojos de Brujo, Beans On Toast, Joe Driscoll & Sekou Kouyate, Los De Abajo, Mokoomba, Skinny Lister, Steve ‘N’ Seagulls and US group Nahko And Medicine For The People.

Lion’s Den

The Lion’s Den has become one of the UK’s biggest reggae stages and its Chapter 8 lineup includes an all-star selection of reggae, dub and dancehall artists. Performers include Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, Fat Freddy’s Drop, dancehall act Tanya Stephens, Jamaican Rastafarian vocalists Junior Kelly and Tarrus Riley, Inner Circle, Morgan Heritage, Benny Page vs Ed Solo feat. Darrison, Channel One meets Mad Professor, Congo Natty feat. Congo Dubz, Tenor Fly and Iron Dread, The Heatwave presents Showtime, Kabaka Pyramid & The Bebble Rockers, Little Roy, Mungo’s Hi-Fi (Live), Solo Banton, Soom T, The Skints, and Zion Train.

Other stages will feature ska, electronic dance music, folk-rock, ambient and psychedelic trance music, hip hop and more.

More at www.boomtownfair.co.uk


Zusha’s Intention

Zusha - Kavana (indie release, 2016)
Zusha – Kavana (indie release, 2016)

Kavana (intention) is the new album by a group from New York called Zusha. The trio’s laid back sound is characterized by wordless vocals with 3-part harmonies, accompanied by acoustic instruments. On Kavana you’ll hear a captivating mix of reggae, pop, folk, jazz and beyond.

To us, kavana means giving more of yourself,” Explains percussionist Elisha Mlotek. “It’s the direction of the heart.”

The lineup on Kavana features Elisha Mlotek on percussion and vocals; Zachariah “Juke” Goldshmiedt on acoustic guitar and vocals; and Shlomo Gaisin on lead vocals. Guests include Jon Seale on percussion and electric guitar; Max Jacob on acoustic and electric bass; Jeremy Gustin on drums and percussion; Jake Sherman on keyboards; Oliver hill on violin and viola; Jas Walton on tenor saxophone; Jason Disu on trombone; Mike Fatum on trumpet; and Perrin Cloutier on accordion.

Zusha’s members started playing together when they were in college. Mlotek grew up with Yiddish theatre and klezmer music, guitarist Zachariah Goldschmiedt had been working with an electro-funk band, and singer Shlomo Gaisin had played saxophone and classical piano. The three met in New York’s the East Village, where they would get together to sing in apartments filled with friends.

Buy the Kavana digital download

Buy the Kavana CD.