Karine Polwart (photo: David Angel)
Fantastic folk line-up for Darwin project
Eight of the finest singer-songwriters in the folk music world are getting together to create a musical tribute to Charles Darwin as part of this year's Shrewsbury Darwin Festival.
Famous names from the world of folk music are getting together to write songs in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Shropshire naturalist Charles Darwin.
A week of work by the eight musicians from Britain and the USA will be performed at a special concert at Shrewsbury's new Theatre Severn on 19 March.
The project will feature a number of popular artists from across Britain: Jez Lowe from Northumberland, Bellowhead's Rachael McShane from Yorkshire, Stu Hanna from Teeside (a member of the group Megson), Scots singer-songwriter Karine Polwart, Emily Smith (winner of 2008 Scots Singer of the Year) and popular multi-instrumentalist Chris Wood from Kent.
Two American folk artists complete the team - Krista Detor from Indiana and Mark Erelli, from Massachusetts.
The eight musicians will spend a week together at a 16th Century farmhouse at Acton Scott working on their songs which are intended to reflect the life, work and legacy of Charles Darwin.
The project director, Neil Pearson, is also a director of Shrewsbury Folk Club. "Alan Surtees, another director of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival, and I had some ideas about commissioning a song," he said.
Then he came up with the idea of putting the musicians into a house together and letting them get on with it.
No one is officially in charge, but Mr Pearson said one leader might emerge as the week goes on.
Tickets for the concert, which will be the first to be presented at Theatre Severn, are selling fast. BBC Radio 4 will also be visiting the house and parts of the concert will be broadcast. A CD will also be available to buy.
The project has been funded with grants from Europe, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council and the Performing Rights Society Foundation.
All the artists involved in the project are to appear at this year's Shrewsbury Folk Festival in August and will be playing their Darwin songs again as well as performing in their own right.
last updated: 24/03/2009 at 11:36