FolkWorld Issue 33 05/2007

News & Gossip

++ Flook ++ Tom McManamon ++ Hallvard Kvåle ++ Highland 2007 ++ Edward Bunting Festival ++ Cara ++ Folkwoods Festival ++ Tønder Festival ++ BBC Musician of the Year ++ Steve Tallis ++ Irish Postage Stamps ++

Flook Baby
England. Flook (-> FW#31) is delighted to announce that Sarah Allen and partner Robert have produced the first Flook baby! Maisy Elizabeth was born on Friday February 16th, just after midday. Both mother and baby emerged from the birth quite battered, but are doing very well. Congratulations from FolkWorld and good luck!

Tom McManamon (1961-2006)
London. On 15 December 2006, banjo player Tom 'The Beast' McManamon passed away after a long battle with illness. Tom was best known as the banjo player in Shane MacGowan's band The Popes [-> FW#22]. He was also part of Storm along with James McNally.
Tom McManamon, photo by
Throughout his career Tom guested with The Pogues, Depeche Mode, Joe Strummer, U2, Sinead O'Connor, and many more. Affectionately known by fans as The Beast, Tommy's banjo playing was a vital and integral part of The Popes' sound. He was buried with his banjo in his hands on the 5th of January 2007.
The Popes were headlining a sell-out night at the Camden Underworld on Friday March 2nd as a 'Tom McManamon Memorial'. All proceeds went to the Aisling Return To Ireland Project - just as Tom, their guiding spirit, might have wished.

Hallvard Kvåle passed away
Norway. Musician and producer Hallvard Kvåle passed away at the end of 2006 aged 65. He left a rich legacy: 150 folk records had been published on his label Heilo/Grappa in the last thirty years. Among them Kirsten Bråten Berg [-> FW#4, FW#11], Annbjörg Lien [-> FW#13, FW#29], Bukkene Bruse [-> FW#30], Halvorsen/Bruvoll [-> FW#29, FW#30], and Chateau Neuf Spelemanslag [-> FW#27]. In the late 1970s he broke up with the dominating solo tradition of hardanger playing. He published 'Slinkombas' by Kirsten Bråten Berg, Hallvard T. Bjørgum and Tellef Kvifte which would be the first folk group production in Norway. Hallvard Kvåle had been a skillful hardanger fiddler himself.

Highland 2007
Ceud Mìle Fàilte - one hundred thousand welcomes to Highland 2007, the year Scotland celebrates Highland culture.
Scotland. 2007 is a special year for Scotland, especially the Highlands and Islands. Hundreds of events and activities are taking place celebrating Highland culture in villages, towns and cities throughout the Highlands and Islands and beyond. In March 2003, at the Convention of the Highlands and Islands in Elgin, the First Minister, Jack McConnell, announced that 2007 would be ‘Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture’. Impressed by the momentum built up during the preparation for the Inverness/Highland bid to be the European Capital of Culture in 2008, the First Minister gave his backing for plans to be developed for a year long celebration of Highland culture in 2007.
Highland 2007 recognises and celebrates the area’s culture, combining traditional and contemporary Highland culture in a reflection on the old and a celebration of the new. Highland 2007 will work with individuals and communities throughout the Highlands and further a field to bring together a bespoke cultural celebration of the Highlands and Islands in 2007. Highland 2007 will develop the existing cultural infrastructure of the Highlands, providing a legacy that will continue on after 2007, significantly contributing towards the benefit of the region in social and economic terms.

Edward Bunting Harp Festival Returns
Arthur O'Neill (1734-1818)
Edward Bunting Harp Festival
24th - 27th May 2007
Ireland. The Edward Bunting Harp Festival 2007 celebrates the life and work of, Armagh born 18th century church organist and collector of harp music and song, Edward Bunting who was commissioned to note down the music from the last oral traditional harpers at the famous 1792 Belfast Harp Festival.
Today the Edward Bunting Festival aims to encourage and facilitate the traditional arts community through increasing awareness for and help expand participation in the Irish traditional harp culture by offering harpers/singers a platform to showcase their talent and skills learned at workshops and master classes offered. This festival helps unlock to the public for the first time a wealth of musicianship and talent through, the development of new skills, encouraging self-belief and improving existing skills and widening experience of students. The Armagh Harpers Association look forward to the festival encouraging social activities such as concerts and music sessions that are both enjoyable, inspiring and improve physical and mental health and general well being to everyone involved.
Two new initiatives this year is: (i) The establishment of an outreach concert series as part of the festival reaching out to new areas offering what has grown from the establishment of the Edward Bunting Harp Festival which helps involve the wider community and develop further interest in the harp. (ii) The Edward Bunting Harp Festival highlights the diversity of the harp by warmly welcoming for the first time new harpers from across Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand.
Names of artists, tutors, facilitators involved: Paul Dooley, Harriet Earis, William Jackson, Kathleen Loughnane, Cormac Cannon, Laoise Kelly, Steve Cooney, Anna Dunwoodie, Patricia Daly, The Spanish-Lady Ensemble, Flook, Mary O’Neill, Armagh Harp Ensemble.

Cara on US Tour
Cara, photo by Tom Keller

04.08. Unity ME, 05.08. East Dixfield ME, 08.08. Madison CT, 09.08. Madison CT, 10.08. Hartford CT, 11.08. Boston MA, 12.08. Boston MA, 14.08. Alexandria VA , 17.08. Bedford VA, 19.08. Clayton DE
Germany/USA. This is a news item not too often heard of. However, German band Cara brings Irish music to the United States. In August 2007 the quartet from Germany will tour the West Coast of America, further concerts are in the pipeline for March 2008.
The members of Cara are quite familiar to the German-Irish scene. Fiddler and singer Gudrun Walther performed with the popular all-female band More Maids. Guitar player Juergen Treyz had been a member of the well-known medieval rock band Adaro. (Both together also have a project called Deitsch, playing traditional German music.) Flutist and concertina player Claus Steinort was a founding member of the recently deceased group Dereelium. Flutist, pianist and singer Sandra Steinort completes the line-up; with bodhran player Rolf Wagels occasionally joining in.
Cara has proven in the last three years that German musicians are able to play Irish music to critical acclaim. Cara did not only pick the best of Irish songs and tunes, but took up the roots and began to write their own songs and tunes. They sound very Irish but at the same have a special knack which comes from outside the Irish tradition and from different contemporary influences. Cara was already welcomed in Ireland with open arms, and Irish audiences were very encouraging. Americans should love it too.

German speaking readers might like to read Gudrun Walther talking to FolkWorld: "Irisch klingende Verzierungen & bluesige Pattern"

Folkwoods Festival
10.-12. August 2007

Muddance at Folkwoods 2004, photo by The Mollis

Folkwoods 2004
Folkwoods Festival
Eindhoven. What do you get if you put some veteran pop and festival experts together to organise a completely new festival? A good festival, just like the old days. That was (and is!) exactly what the organisers of the Folkwoods Festival meant to aim. In 1998 there were a lot of rumours about our target group, the folkies, being overlooked by synthesizer and guitar violence. Many people complained about festivals. They got thin beer in plastic cups and there were only fattening snacks available. They had to wait for hours to get tokens. They stayed at remote campings with filthy chemical toilets and no showers. They could listen to some good bands, but there were no activities whatsoever for children. In 1999 we managed to put our (slumbering) plans into action and in August 2000 the 1st Folkwoods Festival was born. While other folk festivals tend to dilute, by presenting a wider program with a lot of pop acts and world music, Folkwoods mostly aims at European traditional music. This doesn't mean that we present traditional folk music only; within the borders of its style, Folkwoods is going deeper and wider. As a matter of course there is room for Irish, Scotish and Breton folk music, which form the basis for what usually is called 'folk'. Folkwoods, however, broadens the geographical and musical perspective; from the USA to Germany, from traditional jigs and reels to electric guitar-folk and American singer / songwriters. It is a festival for people who like tuneful music from The Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world! The Folkwoods Festival takes place in a wonderful setting, in the middle of the woods, and is surrounded by provisions of an unusual high standing. 4.000 people at the most are allowed at the festival and camping grounds.
Folkwoods 2007: Thad Beckman (USA), Tjane (NL), Instinkt (DK), Gwezel (F), Snakes in Exile (B), Wolfgang Meyering 's Malbrook (D), Folkaholics met de Knegselse Fanfare (NL), El Pino and the Volunteers (NL), Flook (UK), Lucky Fonz III (NL), AedO (B), Navrang (HUN), Marike Jager (NL), Chris Chameleon (SAFR), Watchman (NL), Travak (NL), PinknRuby (UK), Besh o Drom (HUN), Norland Wind (D/IRL), Pot, van Lienen en Baumgarten (NL).

Tønder Festival

Tønder Festival
23.–26. August 2007

Tønder 2006
Tønder 2005
Tønder 2004
Denmark. Names of performers are leaking through: Runrig, The Levellers, Taj Mahal Trio, Seth Lakeman, Crooked Still, The Mammals, Lau, Guy Forsyth, Rasmus Lyberth, The McCalmans, Liam Clancy, Karan Casey, Balfa Toujours, Dirk Powell, Riley Baugus, Eleanor Shanley, Danu, Solas, Great Big Sea, Hans Theessink, Genticorum ...

Ceilidh, photo by Tom Keller

BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year
Scotland. Six of Scotland’s finest young musicians battled it out in the grand final of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year Awards on Sunday January 28th at City Halls, Glasgow. After what was a tough decision, judges announced that Catriona Watt (19) from the Isle of Lewis had won the coveted title with her moving performance of Gaelic song. Winning the title has brought her the opportunity to perform at various high profile festivals in the UK and across the world, a recording deal with Foot Stompin’ Records and one year’s membership of the Musician’s Union. All the finalists receive one year’s membership of the Traditional Music and Song Association and a session on BBC Radio Scotland’s Travelling Folk programme. This was the first time the final was held at the City Halls as part of the Celtic Connections Festival. It was also the first time it had been broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland.
Past winners: Gillian Frame, Emily Smith, Anna Massie, James Graham, Stuart Cassells, Shona Mooney.

Sam Sweeney awarded Fame Academy Bursary
England. RootBeat Records are proud to announce that Sam Sweeney has been awarded a prestigious BBC Fame Academy Bursary to help him pursue his musical education and career. Sam, who plays fiddle in the noted folk band Kerfuffle, intends to use the grant to study with some of the best fiddle players in this country and abroad. Sam is hoping to go to Newcastle University later this year to study Folk & Traditional Music. In addition, he hopes to travel to Scandinavia to pursue his love of their fiddle music. Sam, aged 17, said, “ This is a great privilege and an amazing opportunity to pursue my studies and my career”. Only 4 bursaries are made each year to young musicians up to the age of 25, across the whole spectrum of classical, rock, jazz and folk music. Sam joins Shona Kipling and Cormac Byrne (Uiscedwr & Seth Lakeman band), both previous recipients from the world of folk music.

Steve Tallis
Steve Tallis: Ethnic Blues from Down Under
Steve Tallis and the Holy Ghosts "Loko"
Steve Tallis "Jezebel Spirits"
Steve Tallis' Loko
Australia/France. Steve Tallis' album "Loko" will be released May 21st in Europe through French label Ici d'Ailleurs. Steve has been invited to perform at Les Tombees de la Nuit at 6th of July 2007. He is looking for possible venues before and after the festival (and also looking for long term partners and agents).
Distribution: France - Rue Stendhal; Belgium - Rough Trade; Italy - Wide Records; Switzerland - Rec Rec; Netherlands - Sonic Rendezvous; Germany / Austria - Cargo; UK - Shellshock.

Postage Stamps celebrate Irish Music
Ireland. An Post have issued four stamps each featuring a different Irish group that have been instrumental in bringing Irish music to a worldwide audience. The stamps feature The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, The Dubliners, The Chieftains, and Altan.

Irish Stamp Dubliners Irish Stamp Chieftains
Irish Stamp Clancys Irish Stamp Altan

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© The Mollis - Editors of FolkWorld; Published 05/2007

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