BEST ALBUM - FREEDOM FIELDS - SETH LAKEMAN
FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR - SETH LAKEMAN
18 months after his Kitty Jay album was shortlisted for the Mercury Music Prize, the Dartmoor singer-songwriter/fiddler’s feet have scarcely touched the ground. He has been signed to a major label, his album Freedom Fields and single White Hare have reached the charts, and he’s acquired a young audience with no previous interest in folk music. Seth, formerly a member of ‘folkbrat’ band Equation, draws widely on the folk legends of Devon as the inspiration for his songwriting.
Seth Lakeman official website
BEST DUO – MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICK
Famously the subject of a premature obituary in the Daily Telegraph in 1999, Dave Swarbrick was too ill to claim his Lifetime Achievement award in 2004. Now recovered due to a successful double lung transplant, he has recently released two albums, one with new band Lazarus and one with old compadre Martin Carthy. Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of traditional music as well as a highly influential guitarist, Carthy's work has immeasurably enriched the British folk heritage. Awarded the MBE for services to English folk music in 1998, his drive and enthusiasm are undiminished and he continues to be one of folk music's great innovators.
Dave Swarbick on Wikipedia
Martin Carthy on Wikipedia
Dave Swarbrick - BBC Four Music
Dave Swarbrick official website
BEST GROUP – BELLOWHEAD
Formed by the duo John Spiers & Jon Boden, the eleven-strong big band made their debut at the 2004 Oxford Folk Festival and were named Best Live Act at the Folk Awards in 2005. Their spectacular multi-genre arrangements of traditional song are truly unique. The line-up includes acclaimed individuals like Benji Kirkpatrick (guitar, banjo, bouzouki, mandolin), Paul Sartin (fiddle, oboe), Pete Flood (percussion), Rachael McShane (cello, fiddle), Giles Lewin (fiddle, bagpipes) and Gideon Juckes (sousaphone, tuba).
Bellowhead official website
BEST ORIGINAL SONG – DAISY: KARINE POLWART
The Scottish singer-songwriter took three prizes at the 2005 Folk Awards and followed up with her second solo album Scribbled In Chalk, full of typically moving and thought-provoking songs. Formerly a member of Battlefield Band, Malinky and MacAlias, she has a Masters Degree in Philosophy and abandoned a secure career as a social worker to work full time in music. In the last year her music has been heard on everything from the BBC’s updated Radio Ballads to soap opera Hollyoaks and The Hairy Biker’s Cookbook!
Karine Polwart official website
BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK – BARLEYCORN: TIM VAN EYKEN
Best known as a member of Waterson:Carthy and Dr Faustus, the Dorset singer/melodeon player shone in 2006 with his own band and the stunning album Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves, bringing startling freshness and new ideas to the English tradition. The 20-something van Eyken (the name is from Belgian ancestors who settled in Wells) won the BBC’s Young Folk Award in 1998 and has just announced he’s leaving Waterson:Carthy to concentrate on his own band, which includes fiddler-singer Nancy Kerr and renowned guitarist/producer Olly Knight.
Tim Van Eyken official website
MUSICIAN OF THE YEAR – CHRIS THILE
The sole American on this year’s nominations list, 25-year-old Chris Thile (pronounced Thee-lee) is now regarded as the greatest mandolin player in the world. He started playing the instrument at the age of five and recorded his first album when he was 13, but came to international attention in the progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek. The band subsequently announced their split and Thile launched his solo career with his trailblazing album How To Grow A Woman From The Ground.
Chris Thile official website
Chris Thile on myspace
HORIZON AWARD – KRIS DREVER
One of the brightest young talents coming out of Scotland, the inventive guitarist and singer has already accumulated an impressive CV, having worked with the likes of Kate Rusby, Eddi Reader, Roddy Woomble, John McCusker and Donald Shaw. The son of Ivan Drever of Celtic rockers Wolfstone, Kris also plays with the excellent trio Lau (with Martin Green and Aidan O’Rourke) but surprised everyone with the maturity and distinctive style of his debut solo album Black Water.
Kris Drever official website
BEST LIVE ACT – BELLOWHEAD LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – PENTANGLE
Chosen to represent the band’s five members, the name of Pentangle quickly became synonymous with uniquely jazz/rock-tinged folk music. The original line-up of Jacqui McShee (vocals), John Renbourn (guitar), Bert Jansch (guitar), Danny Thompson (double bass) and Terry Cox (drums), was unchanged throughout the band's first incarnation (1967-1973). Reactivated in the early 1980s, only McShee survives in the current line-up, though Jansch also was a member of the second incarnation of the band between 1982 and 1995. The original line-up reformed especially to perform at this year’s Folk Awards.
Pentangle on Wikipedia
Pentangle on myspace
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – DANNY THOMPSON
In his 40-plus years as a professional musician, acoustic bass player Danny Thompson has worked with the cream of the music industry, from Roy Orbison and Rod Stewart to Pentangle, Richard Thompson and John Martyn. Widely regarded as a genius by musicians and fans alike, his improvisatory style is utterly distinctive and ‘Victoria’, his beloved bass, has accompanied him on dozens of albums including four solo recordings.
Danny Thompson on Wikipedia
GOOD TRADITION AWARD – NIC JONES
A giant of the 1970s British folk scene, Nic Jones has been unable to play since the appalling car crash that ended his career 25 years ago. Yet his distinctive voice, inventive guitar playing and ambitious arrangements of traditional song have had an impact on everyone from Bob Dylan to Kate Rusby and his Penguin Eggs album is frequently name checked as one of the most important folk albums of all time. 60 this year, he remains one of the folk scene’s most influential figures.
Nic Jones official website
FOLK CLUB AWARD – THE RAM, CLAYGATE
The relaxed and intimate atmosphere of The Ram Folk Club makes it a firm favourite with both artists and audience. Since 1983 the club has welcomed top folk, roots and acoustic acts from the UK and beyond in the garden room of the Foley Arms in Claygate, Surrey.
The Ram Club official website
AUDIENCE VOTE – FAVOURITE FOLK TRACK – WHO KNOWS WHERE THE TIME GOES: SANDY DENNY/FAIRPORT CONVENTION
Although only with the band for 18 months, Sandy Denny remains for many the abiding voice of Fairport Convention. Who Knows Where The Time Goes was her second composition, written in 1967. She first recorded it during a brief stint with The Strawbs in 1968 and Judy Collins popularised the song later that year, but it’s Sandy’s own recording with Fairport, underpinned by Richard Thompson’s glorious guitar, which remains the definitive version.
Fairport Convention on Wikipedia
Sandy Denny on Wikipedia
Sandy Denny on myspace