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BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Final

Mike Harding | 15:34 UK time, Friday, 11 December 2009

The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award always gladdens my heart; it is truly wonderful to see so many talented young people so obviously in love with the music.  

Though I do admit to feeling a bit jealous ­ as Alan Bell of the Fylde Folk Festival said last week as we watched the rehearsals in the BBC Radio Theatre - "We weren┬╣t as good as this when we finished, and they're only just starting." 

It's been heartening too to see the variety of music coming through.

Last years winners, Megan and Joe Henwood are a brother and sister act who performed Megan's self-penned songs with amazing maturity and conviction. It was the first time a singer-songwriter had ever won the award and Megan and Joe well deserved it.

This year it was a complete turn about and, from out of a grout of extremely strong contenders that included everything from Gallic singing and harping to a group of boys from Northern Ireland playing Irish traditional music brilliantly, the winner was a traditional singer and guitarist James Findlay who played and sang like a cross between Nic Jones and the late Tony Rose.

I think any of you who heard the highlights on my programme on Wednesday night will have been more than impressed by his performance.

If you missed it - listen again here until 16 December.

It's a mark of the standard of performers that have competed in the Young Folk Award over the years that the last half hour of the show is devoted to a Pete Seeger special on which all the Seeger songs were performed by past winners and finalists - the result was a brilliant half hour that would have made a great album in its own right. Perhaps one of the new record labels might think of putting out an album of young folk singing the songs of Pete Seeger?  

There's a thought. 





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