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BBC 2006 RADIO BALLADS - THE SONGWRITERS

John Tams
JOHN TAMS - MUSICAL DIRECTOR

A highly-respected musician, singer and songwriter, Tams has been a guiding light of the folk scene for four decades, with the Albion Band, Home Service and as a solo performer. Previously musical director at the National Theatre and associate director at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, Tams is a regular producer of dramas for Radio 4 and is also a skilled actor, taking a lead role in the historical TV drama Sharpe, as well as composing and performing the show's soundtrack.

Karine Polwart
KARINE POLWART

This gifted Scottish singer-songwriter contributes many songs across the series. Two philosophy degrees and extensive work in the field of domestic abuse and child protection give her a valuable insight into the issues raised by today's Radio Ballads.

Jez Lowe
JEZ LOWE

Jez, a Newcastle-based songwriter and guitarist with a background in traditional music, has made a name as a writer of poignant songs about the industrial decline of the Thatcher years. He adds a highly personal insight into the world of shipbuilding.

Ray Hearne
RAY HEARNE

Ray, from Rotherham, is a one-time steelworker turned poet and songwriter whose acclaimed work has been much featured on BBC radio. He is a member of the No Masters Co-operative.

Julie Matthews
JULIE MATTHEWS

Sheffield-born Julie is a singer-songwriter whose father worked in the steel industry. A gifted pianist, guitarist, singer and writer of beautiful lyrics, Julie is an erstwhile Albion Band member and long-time collaborator with Chris While.

Tommy Sands
TOMMY SANDS

A songwriter and veteran peace campaigner contributing thoughtful songs about his experience as a musician during Northern Ireland’s sectarian conflict. Tommy was nominated for a BBC Folk Award for his song about The Troubles, There were Roses.

Ian McMillan
IAN McMILLAN

Veteran of The Circus of Poets performance group and Versewagon (the world’s first mobile writing workshop), Ian is now a well-established performance poet, writer, playwright and broadcaster, working extensively for radio and television.


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THE MIKE HARDING SHOW

An impeccable selection of the best in folk, roots and acoustic music.
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