Alan Stivell (*6 January 1944, Riom, Auvergne, France). The singer and harpist (born Alain Cochevelou) revived global interest in the Celtic harp since the early 1970s. Alan began playing the instrument at the age of nine. He also learned Celtic mythology and history as well as the Breton language, traditional dance and the bombarde. He became closely associated with the Breton roots revival, especially after the release of the double LP "Renaissance of the Celtic Harp" (1971). In 1972 he performed a concert in the Olympia theatre in Paris, combining traditional Breton music with modern sounds. This made him popular throughout France. His stage name means fountain in Breton, refering both to the Breton revivaland to his surname Cochevelou, an evolution of kozh stivelloù, the old fountains.
Robin Williamson (*24 November 1943, Edinburgh, Scotland). The Scottish multi-instrumentalist first made his name as a founding member of The Incredible String Band. At first Robin Williamson performed in jazz bands, before turning to traditional music as a singer and guitarist. In the early 1960s he shared a flat with Bert Jansch, and in 1963 they travelled together to London to play the folk circuit.
By 1965 Robin Williamson had returned to Edinburgh and formed a trio with Clive Palmer and Mike Heron. As resident band at Clive’s Incredible Folk Club in Glasgow, they called themselves the Incredible String Band. Between 1966 and 1974 they released some 13 albums with psychedelic folk music and built a considerable following within the British counterculture. After the ISB split up, Williamson started to tour solo blending traditional music and story-telling. His live album with John Renbourn, "Wheel Of Fortune" (1995), had been nominated for a Grammy.
Joni Mitchell (*5 November 1943, Fort Macleod, Alberta, Canada).
The Canadian singer/songwriter began singing in small nightclubs and busking in the streets.
In 1965 she moved to the US and, touring constantly, began to be recognized when her original songs ("Chelsea Morning", "Both Sides Now") were covered by notable folk singers.
Popular songs like "Big Yellow Taxi" and "Woodstock" helped define an era.
Her wide-ranging vocals and distinctive open-tuned guitar and piano compositions grew more harmonically and rhythmically complex as she explored jazz, melding it with influences of rock and roll, classical music and non-western beats.
Paco de Lucía (1947-2014). Spain has lost one of the top artists of all times on 26th February. He was probably the greatest flamenco guitarist in the last centuries. His contribution to the modern era of flamenco and his pioneering fusions with jazz, Latin or classical music have been fundamental pieces to understand the evolution of this style of traditional Spanish music in the 20th and 21st century.
Some of the always remembered phases in Paco de Lucías’s long and fruitful career were the work done with the flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla, and the performances and recordings in the guitar trio with John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell, later joined by other artists such as Al Di Meola or Chick Korea.
Pete Seeger (1919-2014). One of the main voices behind the American folk movement of the 1950s and 1960s died on January 27 at the age of 94. Known for his social activism as much as his singing, Seeger went from being banned on TV to playing at Barack Obama’s inauguration concert.
A fixture on radio in the 1940s, he had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers. In the 1960s, he re-emerged as a prominent singer of protest music in support of civil rights and environmental causes. A prolific songwriter, his best-known songs include "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "If I Had a Hammer" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!".
Philip Chevron (1957-2013). The Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist Philip Ryan, known as Philip Chevron, was best known as a member of The Pogues. Chevron grew up in Santry, a suburb of Dublin. In the late 1970s, he was lead singer and co-founder of the punk rock group The Radiators from Space.
Following a breakup in 1981, he lived in London, befriending Shane MacGowan.
He was invited to join The Pogues as cover for banjo player Jem Finer's paternity leave. He became a full-time member and
took over as guitarist following MacGowan's decision to concentrate on singing.
Chevron proved himself as a singer-songwriter, writing "Thousands Are Sailing" among others for The Pogues,
and "Faithful Departed" covered by Christy Moore.
He died on 8 October 2013 in Dublin from throat cancer.
Willie Clancy Statue Erected
A statue of uilleann piper Willie Clancy, after whom the internationally renowned annual Summer School was named, has been unveiled on the Main Street in Miltown Malbay by Liam O’Flynn, a former pupil of Willie Clancy.
The statue has been donated to the people of Clare by Judith and Barry Merrill, an American couple who spend much of the year in the Miltown Malbay area drawn to the area by a love of traditional music.
Topic Records 1939-2014
Topic Records is the oldest independent record label in the world. 2014 will see them celebrate their 75th anniversary. Topic Records have a number of new album releases, a vinyl reissue and several special events planned.
Throughout 2014 they will be making monthly special offers from their website.
Each month they continue to publish digital booklets for Topic albums. There are now over 250 new digital booklets available for free download.
The Living Tradition Magazine Reaches 100
Longstanding traditional music magazine celebrates its 100th issue in February 2014 and looks back over 20 years of promoting the best of traditional folk music.
Back in 1993, Pete and Heather Heywood and a team of traditional musical enthusiasts started a journey. With a desire to help promote the many things that were happening in the traditional music world and to point people to the great music that was available, they founded The Living Tradition magazine.
Over 20 years later, The Living Tradition is still going strong. The Living Tradition has stayed true to its stated aim; to provide news, reviews and information from the world of traditional music.
If you are interested, the team at Living Tradition are happy to send you a sample copy. Simply drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and give them your details!
WOMEX 13 Artist Award
WOMEX is proud to announce the winner of the WOMEX 13 Artist Award: Los Van Van from Cuba!
Formed in 1969 by bassist and composer Juan Formell, Los Van Van has remained Cuba's most important and popular dance orchestra for over four decades. Formell's visionary approach to instrumentation brought new sounds and concepts into Cuban dance music, blending charanga-style violins and flute with a trombone section, adding drums and introducing electric guitar, bass and keyboards. Fusing influences from contemporary rock and jazz with Afro-Cuban roots, Formell and timbales-player Changuito created a new rhythm they named 'songo', which gave birth to a whole genre.
Hearth Music (www.hearthmusic.com) is pleased to announce the release of the first issue of their new digital roots music magazine, KITHFOLK. This is a full magazine designed to be read online or on your iPad/tablet. KITHFOLK features interviews, articles, reviews, audio and video.
Issue Highlights: Exclusive interviews with Malian guitarist Vieux Farka Touré, Smithsonian Folkways artist Elizabeth Mitchell, New Orleans roots activists Rising Appalachia and anarcho-folk legends Blackbird Raum. Lots of album reviews and streamable audio. Video premiere from Jon Pontrello of the Moondoggies, and an audio premiere of one of the world's rarest 78rpm recordings. Northwest-based content like stories of logging camps in the 1970s and a poem/story from Northwest Native American culture. Beautiful original graphic design throughout.
KITHFOLK is a quarterly magazine, so expect Issue #2 sometime in May 2014.
FREE Online Guitar Lessons
ArtistWorks (www.ArtistWorks.com), the interactive lifestyle social learning platform, announced the upcoming launch of their new Acoustic Guitar 101 School. Available since December 2013, Acoustic Guitar 101 represents a comprehensive free guitar lesson resource.
Acoustic Guitar 101’s thoughtfully constructed series of 87 self-paced lessons lead them through a series of sequential exercises designed to get them playing real songs quickly and help them to enjoy the learning process. The school also provides complimentary practice charts, looping functionality, a metronome and more.
Nickel Creek announced that they have reunited to make a new LP and to perform live shows together starting with a short US tour in April. The bluegrass trio, that had been together since 1994, called a quits back in 2007.
During the seven-year hiatus, all three members pursued other musical avenues, which included mandolinist Chris Thile founding the bluegrass quintet The Punch Brothers, fiddler Sara Watkins taking on a solo album and guitarist Sean Watkins collaborating with Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman to create the band Fiction Family.
7 - 9 March 2014 Cwlwm Celtaidd - Wales' Interceltic Festival (UK) ft. Jamie Smith's MABON, Barlow Cree, Ballochleam Scottish Dancers, The Brim ... www.cwlwmceltaidd.org 14 - 19 March 2014 Costa Del Folk Festival, Benalmadena (Spain) ft. Fairport Convention, The Demon Barbers, Blackbeard's Tea Party, Show of Hands, Hut People, Sean Taylor, Niamh Parsons, Tom McConville, ... www.costadelfolk.co.uk 20 - 22 March 2014 Babel Med Music, Marseille (France) www.babelmedmusic.com 7 - 11 May 2014 folkBALTICA, Flensburg & Sønderjylland-Schleswig (Germany/Denmark) ft. Jitka Suranska & Jiri Plocek, Laima Jansone, Big Basco, Sväng, Alma, Väsen, Etta Scollo, Nordic Fiddlers‘ Bloc, ... www.folkbaltica.de 18 - 26 May 2014 40th Fleadh Nua, Ennis (Co. Clare, Ireland) www.fleadhnua.com 23 - 25 May 2014 Off The Tracks Spring Festival (UK) ft. Big Country, Lisa Knapp, Plantec, Hallouminati, ... www.offthetracks.co.uk
29 - 31 May 2014 European World of Bluegrass, Voorthuizen (Netherlands) www.ewob.eu 2 - 6 July 2014 Førde Folkmusic Festival (Norway) www.fordefestival.no 3 - 6 July 2014 TFF Rudolstadt (Germany) ft. Tanzania, Magic Bass, Samba, June Tabor & Oysterband, ... www.tff-rudolstadt.de 21 - 25 July 2014 Meitheal - Residential Summer School, Limerick (Ireland) www.tradweek.com 24 - 27 July 2014 Viljandi Folk Music Festival (Estonia) www.folk.ee 31 July - 2 August 2014 Urkult Festival (Sweden) www.urkult.se 31 July - 3 August 2014 Cambridge Folk Festival (UK) ft. Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, Richard Thompson, Afro Celt Sound System, Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, Oysterband, Julie Fowlis, My Darling Clementine, Yves Lambert Trio, Peatbog Faeries, Cara Dillon, Peggy Seeger, Brian McNeill, Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle, ... www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk 1 - 3 August 2014 Castlefest, Schloss Keukenhof, Lisse (Netherlands) ft. Asynje, Faun, Shantalla, Berlinski Beat, Corvus Corax, Omnia, Zirp, Embrun, ... www.castlefest.nl 1-8 August 2014 Sidmouth FolkWeek (UK) www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk 1 - 10 August 2014 Festival Interceltique de Lorient (France) www.festival-interceltique.com 7 - 10 August 2014 Parkfest, Eindhoven (Netherlands) ft. Cecilia, Dealan, Gonnagles, Naragonia, ... www.parkfest.nl 7 - 9 August 2014 Fairport's Cropredy Convention (UK) ft. Fairport Convention, Levellers, Peatbog Faeries, ... www.fairportconvention.com 22 - 25 August 2014 Shrewsbury Folk Festival (UK) www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk 28 - 31 August 2014 Tønder Festival (Denmark) ft. Steve Earle, Runrig, Julie Fowlis, ... www.tf.dk 2 - 5 October 2014 Cork Folk Festival (Ireland) www.corkfolkfestival.com
Madrid: New Folk Music Sessions starting in March 2014
We received some very good news about an initiative coming from some of the veteran musicians of Madrid’s folk scene. Back in 2010, FolkWorld published an article where we introduced some of Madrid’s key folk musicians in the 1980s & 90s, such as José Climent and the band La MUSGAÑA. It is now in 2014, that we get news from José Climent telling us that, together with today’s duo La Musgaña (Jaime Muñoz & Carlos Beceiro), they are planning to launch folk music sessions in Madrid. They are targeting to start around March, playing every Saturday night in a pub located in Aravaca (just 15 minutes from Madrid’s city center).
These are fantastic news considering the terrible events that Madrid’s folk music community suffered back in 2013, starting in January with the closing of the pub TABERNA ELISA, and then the train crash in July, where Santiago “Santy” BARRAL (Elisa’s pub manager) died just arriving to Galicia. Not to forget the closing of the paper magazine INTERFOLK in December.
La MUSGAÑA and a few other experienced musicians from Madrid will have a first concert + folk music session, in March 15th 2014 at 9:00pm. This will take place in the pub EL OTRO, inside the shopping area Centro Commercial Rosa LUXEMBURGO ARAVACA in Madrid. This place is in the crossing of the streets Bardegueral and Rosa Luxemburgo in Aravaca (Madrid).
Acaba de terminar Enero y en este momento nos llegan muy buenas noticias, sobre una iniciativa que ponen en marcha algunos músicos veteranos de la escena folk madrileña. En el año 2010, FolkWorld ya dedicó un artículo a recordarnos los músicos que relanzaron la música folk en Madrid, allá por los años 80 y 90. Estamos hablando por ejemplo de José Climent y la banda La MUSGAÑA. Es ahora en 2014 que José Climent nos anuncia que junto con los dos actuales miembros del duo ‘Musgaño’ (Jaime Muñoz y Carlos Beceiro), están planeando el poner en marcha sesiones de música folk en Madrid. Su objetivo es empezar en Marzo, y será en un bar situado en el barrio de Aravaca (a apenas 15 minutos de la Puerta del Sol).
Una noticia fantástica teniendo en cuenta los desastrosos sucesos que la comunidad de aficionados al folk sufrimos en el pasado 2013, empezando con el cierre de TABERNA ELISA en Enero, y más tarde en Julio con el trágico fallecimiento de Santy Barral (músico y encargado de “La Elisa”) en el accidente de tren que se produjo en Angrois, justo antes de su llegada a la capital gallega. Sin olvidarnos del cierre de la revista INTERFOLK en Diciembre.
Tal como veníamos anunciando, el grupo La MUSGAÑA y otros experimentados músicos del folk madrileño (José Climent, Javier Chacón,…) celebraran un primer concierto + sesión folk el día 15 de Marzo 2014, a las 21:00, en el bar EL OTRO, situado en el Centro Comercial de la urbanización Rosa LUXEMBURGO de ARAVACA, Madrid, en el cruce de las calles Bardegueral y Rosa Luxemburgo. Zona de fácil aparcamiento en fines de semana, y con paradas de autobús en la calle próxima de Arroyo de Pozuelo. Los autobuses salen del intercambiador de Moncloa (líneas 160, 658,…).
Last but not least: Colchester Folk Club 50th Anniversary
Throughout those five decades the folk club has been run entirely by unpaid volunteers - arranging venues, booking and paying guest performers, providing accommodation for visiting performers, producing and distributing programmes of events (for audiences, newspapers, magazines and local radio), collecting admission charges and selling tickets, banking and accounting for club funds, singing and playing for free (and persuading other support acts to do likewise), organising and presenting each evening's performances.
Three particular individuals have served as regular Folk Club organisers during most of Colchester Folk Club's existence.
As part of the celebrations of Colchester Folk Club's 50th Anniversary, they would like to make token awards to those exceptional volunteers. It is hoped to make these awards at the 50th Anniversary gig on March 31st, when the Churchfitters will be guests.