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Archives for September 2008

Reg Meuross on Folk Festivals Texas style

Mike Harding | 15:27 UK time, Monday, 29 September 2008

Reg Meuross writes:

The Kerrville Folk Festival takes place in the Texas hill country, and I've just passed signs announcing 'THE COWBOY CHURCH. ROPING FOR JESUS' and 'GET GOD BEFORE HE GETS YOU!'

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Reg Meuross asks What is The Tradition?

Mike Harding | 14:43 UK time, Friday, 26 September 2008

I have always been a singer songwriter. I see it as an honourable, creative and traditional trade, like thatching or carpentry - although there's less chance of falling off a ladder or hitting my thumb with a hammer!

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Reg Meuross on Rural Touring

Mike Harding | 12:00 UK time, Thursday, 25 September 2008

I wrote in my blog on 30 July of this year, that the reaction to Reg Meuross' song And Jesus Wept was amongst the strongest I've had to anything I've ever played on my programme.

We had literally dozens of emails asking to hear more from his Dragonfly album, and generally wanting to know a bit more about the man. So I thought I'd ask him to be my guest blogger this week.

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Learning the folk

Mike Harding | 16:35 UK time, Monday, 22 September 2008

Somebody asked me the other day how they could get their kids interested in folk. A hard question really. In the good old days (which I am so fond of spouting about) there were dozens of folk clubs in any town of a half decent size and, since folk was then regarded as alternative music, the clubs were full and very welcoming. So it was much easier for people who wanted to learn an instrument to do so. Then, when they felt proficient enough, they could get up and practice their craft before an audience.

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Such a thing as a non-folk instrument?

Mike Harding | 15:37 UK time, Friday, 19 September 2008

I was thinking the other day about 'appropriate' folk instruments and decided that really there weren't any - or that, with the exception of the Bontempi organ there probably wasn't a non-folk instrument.


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Classic Folk Albums - Your Suggestions Please!

Mike Harding | 18:08 UK time, Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Radio 2 listener John Nunn emailed me to say,

"I must admit that I was a bit of a latecomer to the world of folk, roots and acoustic music, but I have been a regular listener to your show for the last three years now, and I have built up a good collection of contemporary CDs as a result of hearing tracks on your shows from a wide variety of performers, such as Cara Dillon, June Tabor, Christy Moore, Oysterband, Bellowhead, Joan Baez, Steeleye Span, Jim Moray, Megson, and so on."

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Excellent new releases from Scotland

Mike Harding | 13:57 UK time, Monday, 15 September 2008

I'm always delighted when I come across folk singers or musicians that are not just new to me, but brilliant - (you might remember how I wrote about Reg Meuross and Lissa Schneckenburger in a previous blog). In the last few days I've come across an album by an all female group The Shee called 'A Different Season' and an album called 'Islands On The Moon' by Mark Dunlop.


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Lady Drummers, Highwaymen and Smugglers

Mike Harding | 14:54 UK time, Friday, 12 September 2008

One of the tracks on this week's show was Female Smuggler from the new album of the same name by Jo Freya. It's more than an excellent piece of music, it is part of that whole tradition of songs in which a woman dresses up as man, usually a soldier, sailor, pirate or highwayman. In the latter case, Sovay - the female highwayman, was the subject of a much recorded song, put together from various sources by Martin Carthy.

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Dales folk festival punches well above it's weight

Mike Harding | 16:29 UK time, Tuesday, 9 September 2008

There are lots of folk festivals that I go to in the course of the year: some of them big, some of them massive, some of them middling and some of them small. Being a friend of Snow White's myself...

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Julie Matthews on Unsung Heroes

Mike Harding | 13:31 UK time, Monday, 8 September 2008

Julie Matthews writes:

This is my last blog for this week and I wanted to use it to pay tribute to all the wonderful sidemen and women that fill our record collections and stages alike.

These are the exceptionally talented people who have no desire for their name to be in bold on the poster or on the front cover of the CD, yet without them our CDs and concerts would be like trying to produce oil paintings with pencils.

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Julie Matthews on six degrees of separation

Mike Harding | 11:50 UK time, Friday, 5 September 2008

Julie Matthews writes:

Chris While and I head back to Australia in March / April for the festival season next year and I can't wait. We've been playing in Australia for over a decade and as we tour there every other year, by the time it comes around, we're more than ready for it.

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Julie Matthews on songwriting

Mike Harding | 21:35 UK time, Tuesday, 2 September 2008

My guest blogger this week is singer and songwriter Julie Matthews.

Well known for her many performances and albums with Chris While, Julie was also one of the main writers on the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Radio Ballads. As well as that - she's a good egg and all this week she's going to be telling us what she's been up to.


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Brilliant new CD from BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners

Mike Harding | 14:49 UK time, Monday, 1 September 2008

A CD landed on the studio floor the other morning from Jeana Leslie and Siobhan Miller, the current holders of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

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