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Archives for January 2009

Steve Knightley Blog - Part 1

Mike Harding | 16:40 UK time, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

I'm very pleased to say my guest blogger for the next week is Steve Knightley - one half of Show of Hands (or one third, these days) and one of the best songwriters these islands have produced.

His songs Red Diesel, Country Life and Roots are, in my opinion, are some of the best new songs to enter the folk canon in recent years.

Take it away Steve!

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The Boys Of The Lough release 22nd Album

Mike Harding | 16:29 UK time, Monday, 26 January 2009

The worst aspect of the job I do is that there's never enough time to get everything in.

At the end of every week I still find myself with a stack of unplayed CDs cursing and moaning that we've run out of time again.

I just wish I had more time so that I could play more of the great stuff that lies there on my CD library shelf.

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Celtic Connections - from the comfort of your own home!

Mike Harding | 15:48 UK time, Friday, 23 January 2009

I must be one of the luckiest blokes in the world, in that I not only have a job I really enjoy (i.e. playing folk music on the radio to people who actually want to listen!) but that doing that job, I often get to go to interesting places such as Washington DC, San Diego, Sidmouth and Glasgow.

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Gypsy music on the streets of Budapest

Mike Harding | 11:07 UK time, Thursday, 22 January 2009

I was in Budapest last week for a four day city break.

I timed it really well too - I was full of a military strength cold and feeling very sorry for myself - so a trip to a Mittel-European city in the grips of the worst winter in years, with ice floes rolling down the Danube and a night time temperature of -11C was just the job.

I'm sure the staff at the hotel were really impressed with this wheezing, sneezing, hacking, nose-blowing Englishman and his grumpy visage mooning in and out of the lobby.

It was no fault of Hungary or the good people there - but it was not one of my best little jaunts.

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Emily Smith at the 2009 Celtic Connections Festival

Mike Harding | 13:57 UK time, Monday, 19 January 2009

Emily Smith writes:

Hello again!

I woke up to a snow covered Dumfriesshire this morning, I've got another gig back up in Glasgow tonight so the drive there should be very interesting ...

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Emily Smith at the 2009 Celtic Connections Festival

Mike Harding | 14:21 UK time, Friday, 16 January 2009

Emily Smith writes:

I'm now up in Glasgow where the Celtic Connections festival is off to a great start.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the madness that is Celtic Connections - it's what gets us Folkies through the winter. Three weeks jammed-packed full of brilliant music at venues all over Glasgow.

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Emily Smith on "Homecoming Scotland 2009"

Mike Harding | 16:35 UK time, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

My guest blogger this week is singer, musician and song writer Emily Smith, whose most recent album Too Long Away is one of my personal favourites of the past 12 months.

You can hear a track from it on my programme this week.

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For all of you who love the banjo...

Mike Harding | 16:03 UK time, Monday, 12 January 2009

Now all you banjo-haters had better put your fingers in your ears right now because I am more than a little excited about a recent discovery vis-a-vis the instrument, and am likely to go on about it at length.

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Excellent new album from Sean Keane

Mike Harding | 15:23 UK time, Friday, 9 January 2009

It was shortly after I started presenting the folk show - some time way back in the mists of antikitty - that I got a phone call inviting me over to Galway for the launch of a new Sean Keane album. I knew Sean from his early work and was a great fan.

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Richard Thompson performs classic album live

Mike Harding | 16:52 UK time, Wednesday, 7 January 2009

"A happy New Year to one and all" said Tiny Tim, as he bit the bum off the chocolate elephant, and I do hope that the coming year is as good to you as it was to him.

So far it's been el crapolata for me.

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