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World On Your Street: The Global Music Challenge
A Place Called England
As Fiona Talkington presents an examination of the state of English folk and traditional music live from BBC Birmingham, World on your Street focuses here on its own gems of the genre.

Eliza CarthyEliza Carthy comes from one of the country's leading folk families. Her parents, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterstone imbued Eliza with a deep sense of the English folk tradition to such an extent that she peforms with them as well as carving out a multiple award-winning career for herself as a solo artist. What's rivetting about Eliza is the way in which she's made English folk relevant to our contemporary lives. Who else would liken a song like 'Adieu Adieu' to 'your basic hip hop plot - a person in jail bragging about what they've done, the people that they've robbed and how cavalier they were about it.' Read and listen more

Johnny AdamsJohnny Adams has been playing the fiddle since he was a teenage car mechanic in the mid sixties. He was so in awe of Dave Swarbrick's playing when he heard him in session with Martin Carthy that he figured he'd be better off trying a mandolin. In time he progressed to the fiddle, learning much of his repertoire from Willie Taylor, a shepherd from the Borders who had a unique feel to his style. Johnny now lectures in Salford University and is as passionate as ever about traditional fiddle playing, English in particular. You can regularly catch him at the ripping weekly sessions at the Bridge Bar in Rippendon, West Yorkshire. Read and listen more

Josephine OniyamaJosephine Oniyama is only 18 yet it's as if she came out of the whole Dylan / Joni Mitchell era of folk songs from the sixties. Yet, even at this young age, she's carved out her own unique style. She's been writing songs for years but thanks to her mentor and English teacher, she moved on from a fixation with death themes to create songs around love and relationships. With her family roots in Ghana, she's opened the Liverpool Proms as support for Lady Smith Black Mambazo. She's also represented Britiain at a Millennium Festival in Ghana and London. Josephine's determined to pursue music full time as soon as she finishes her A Levels. Read and listen more

Keith AngelKeith Angel grow up on English folk in his Northern pit village. He spent years playing session percussion with folk luminaries the like of Andy Cutting and Richard Wilson. Then he did a workshop with Satnam Singh, a dholak player whose family originally hailed from the Punjab. Like Dave, Satnam grew up in a tough pit village and their musical worlds have naturally fused and found their home via their band, The Angel Brothers and Satnam Singh. Through their music teaching at the Doncaster Arts Centre together with regular sessions around Yorkshire, the band is forging fresh links between the local English and Asian communities. Read and listen more

Pete MortonPete Morton started out on the English folk circuit as an unashamedly Dylan impersonator. He was also partial to Buffy Saint-Marie - protest songs from the folk revival. Then he was exposed to traditional singers on the club circuit and began to write his own material. With an innate love of history, this was the approach for Pete. He likens his repertoire, especially classics like 'Little Musgrave' to those songs that were told and sung around the fireside in the days before television. While he's committed to collecting good songs, Pete's also a believer in the need to make songs as accessible to the modern world as possible. Read and listen more

Go to A Place Called England for more details on our BBC Radio 3 English Folk Night from Birmingham

More English folk music at World on Your Street.

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