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Archives for March 2009

Darwin Song Project - Krista Detor

Mike Harding | 14:52 UK time, Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Krista Detor writes: There was the minute...

There are some minutes that define days or years. I walked into the Songhouse not knowing what would come of it. This idea of "creativity on demand" - never having collaborated much as a writer - seemed daunting.

Writing something out of the air has always been, for the most part, a lone endeavor - and sparked by some random occurrence; this other kind, this "collaboration" I was aware of, and had qualified internally as either Nashville Briefcase Writing - the stuff that craft is made of, that nearly all of Big Money Music is made out of; scratched out of formula, common sense, and a solid hook - or the magical stuff that happens with the perfect meld of a talented duo and cosmic alignment: the Gershwins, the Bergmans, Taupin & John,
Pratchett & Gaiman, et.al. Either collaboratively contrived or some mystical convergence.

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Darwin Song Project - Mark Erelli

Mike Harding | 12:14 UK time, Monday, 30 March 2009

Mark Erelli writes:
It sounds as muchlike a reality TV show as it does an artistic endeavor:
eight folksingers from across the US and the UK holed up in an English
country farmhouse for a week to collaborate on songs inspired by the
life and work of Charles Darwin, in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth.

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Darwin Song Project - Emily Smith

Mike Harding | 17:30 UK time, Thursday, 26 March 2009

My guest bloggers for the next couple of weeks are songwriters who took part in the recent Darwin Song Project, a songwriting retreat where eight prominent folk artists got together to write songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin. You'll be able to hear interviews from the songhouse as well as some of the newly composed songs on my programme on Wednesday 8th April.

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Darwin Song Project - Jez Lowe

Mike Harding | 16:07 UK time, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

My guest bloggers for the next couple of weeks are songwriters who took part in the recent Darwin Song Project, a songwriting retreat where eight prominent folk artists got together to write songs inspired by the life and work of Charles Darwin. You'll be able to hear interviews from the songhouse as well as some of the newly composed songs on my programme on Wednesday 8th April.

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Folk Music at the Royal Albert Hall!

Mike Harding | 11:14 UK time, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

One of the artists appearing at the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London this Wednesday will be Reg Meuross. He'll be sharing the stage alongside the likes of Fairport Convention, and Kate Rusby and I'm really looking forward to seeing him live; it will be my first time.

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Dulcimers and Such

Mike Harding | 11:57 UK time, Friday, 20 March 2009

While I was wobbling round the highlands of West Virginia last week I spent some time looking for a small hammered dulcimer for my grandsons Felix (4) and Toby (6). I believe in starting them young because it was on my seventh Christmas morning that I dug in the pillowslip and found, alongside the Rupert Annual and the rubber dagger, a Hohner Sonny Boy mouthorgan.

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Great new music from the USA

Mike Harding | 12:08 UK time, Wednesday, 18 March 2009

I was in the US last week scouring and snooping around looking for good
music, mostly in Virginia and West Virginia, and I was lucky enough to
lay my hands on quite a lot of stuff, including two cracking albums by
quite different performers - Karen Ashbrook and Richard Shindell

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Martin Simpson on his current favourite sounds

Mike Harding | 14:39 UK time, Monday, 16 March 2009

Martin Simpson writes:

My friend Josh Michaell in California made me a number of CDs of various people at the end of last year when I was staying with him, and I've been listening to them a great deal.

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Martin Simpson on Music, Motorways and Banjos

Mike Harding | 16:11 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

Martin Simpson writes:

My head is spinning currently from the ongoing combination of gigs and working on the
new album, which by the way will be called True Stories.

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Martin Simpson on recording his new album

Mike Harding | 15:25 UK time, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

My guest blogger this week is the ever so brilliant singer/songwriter and musician
Martin Simpson.

You can hear one of Martin's tracks on my programme this week
as well as a song by June Tabor on which he accompanies her most beautifully on
guitar.

Martin Simpson writes:

Just back from five gigs on the trot. I am so happy with the way things are working. I'm
looking at capacity audiences of all ages and feeling that I can be more
relaxed on stage than ever before.

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Lau Blog Part 3 - by Kris Drever

Mike Harding | 15:04 UK time, Monday, 9 March 2009

Kris
Drever of Lau writes:

The thing about this job is that there's all this travelling and sitting around waiting for things to happen, waiting for the transport you're on to stop moving or waiting for transport to stop moving so you can get on it.

Also it's not a proper job and people do often think of you as an unemployable vagrant.

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Lau Blog Part 2 - by Aidan O'Rourke

Mike Harding | 11:59 UK time, Friday, 6 March 2009

Aidan O'Rourke of Lau writes:

There's a lot of love in Lau, but we do spend an awful lot of time together, gigging,
recording and rehearsing and now we've taken up a new calligraphy hobby
together - our time apart is precious.

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Lau Blog Part 1 - by Martin Green

Mike Harding | 15:58 UK time, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Lau-
winners of the Best Group award at the 2008 and 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards -
are my guest bloggers this week.

Their new album is brilliant and you can hear all three - Kris Drever, Martin Green and Aidan O'Rourke - talking about it on my programme in two weeks time, on Wednesday 18 March. In the meantime - have a read:

Martin Green of Lau writes:

You join Lau steaming up the M6, the glorious sunshine of The Midlands has faded and the familiar grey drizzle of Scotland lies before us. The first stint of the spring tour is complete and we're happy as sandboys, mainly because we played most of the stuff from the new album, Arc Light, and it didn't descend into total chaos (no more than usual anyway) in a
public arena.

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Classic Albums - More Suggestions Please!

Mike Harding | 13:35 UK time, Monday, 2 March 2009

We've started a new feature on the programme: looking at what we believe have become
"classic albums".

There's no hard and fast definition of "classic" but I do think that generally people have come to some kind of consensus that certain albums have, through time, come to acquire that indefinable status.

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