Bands To Watch
Mark Radcliffe, Stuart Maconie and Mike Harding Recommendations
Mike Harding recommends
"Martin Simpson is a world class guitarist, singer and banjo player who is launching his new album Prodigal Son at the festival this year. Originally from Scunthorpe but having spent many years living in New Orleans, his eclectic mix of Anglo and American traditions has brought him widespread fame and respect on the acoustic scene and led to musical collaborations with great figures such as Jackson Browne, June Tabor, Martin Carthy, Roy Bailey and Kelly Joe Phelps."
"Four Men & a Dog have been at the forefront of Irish traditional music for nearly two decades with their eclectic and vivacious blend of traditional Irish music with a wide spectrum of other genres, including jazz, blues, bluegrass, polka, country swing, and even salsa. Gaining their name from the band’s original quintet featuring former member Mick "Black Dog" Daly, Four Men & A Dog have been earning their international reputation since they burst on to the folk scene back in 1990."
"Last Orders are the current holders of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and are performing at the festival this year as part of their prize. They met and started playing together when they were members of Kathryn Tickell’s 17 piece youth folk band Folkestra, based at The Sage, Gateshead. Their average age is 18 and since winning the Young Folk Award they have gone on to secure a record deal with the label Fellside and have just released their debut album Last Orders."
Mark Radcliffe recommends
"My favourite one man blues band American boxcar riding hobo now resident in Scandinavia, bar none!"
"Great singer/songwriter and all round good egg whose recent single Harvest Gypsies is one of my tunes of the year so far."
"Would probably be revered and cherished if he came from Austin, Texas but as he hails from Colchester, remains a bit of a secret. A blues/soul voice to die for. And pretty nifty on the guitar too."
"Probably the greatest living exponent of the protest song - and with a life story like that, the biopic surely can't be far away."
"Back on absolutely top form with the recent album Book of Lightning, and never less than majestic live. A welcome return."
Stuart Maconie recommends
"I've been a bit slow off the mark about these but saw them at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and was, as they say, blown away. An intoxicating combination of great musicianship, quirky joie de vivre and great tunes."
"Simply a legend. She's doomed to be forever seen as Bob Dylan's muse but as a musician and cultural force she taught him a thing or two. In person too, she's a fantastic combination of firebrand and elegance."
"It's just a great idea and a great vehicle for some disparate musicians and talents united in their love of a certain way of doing things and a certain attitude that Cambridge embodies."