Robin Huw Bowen (*7 June 1957, ??).
Peter Knight (*27 May 1947, ??).
Paul Brady (*19 May 1947, ??).
Jim Lauderdale (*11 April 1957, ??).
Emmylou Harris (*2 April 1947, ??).
Beverley Martyn (*24 March 1947, ??).
Ry Cooder (*15 March 1947, ??).
Meic Stevens (*13 March 1942, ??).
Dónal Lunny (*10 March 1947, Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland).
Rosalie Sorrels (1933-2017).
Jimmy LaFave (1955-2017).
Lonnie Brooks (1933-2017).
James Cotton (1935-2017).
Frank Murray (19??-2016).
Lifetime Achievement Award for Sarah McQuaid
At Ards International Guitar Festival, Sarah McQuaid was presented with the festival’s annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Previous recipients over the festival’s 20-year history include legendary guitarists Davey Graham, John Renbourn, John Martyn, Arty McGlynn, Martin Simpson, Gordon Giltrap, Pierre Bensusan and Martin Carthy.
Sarah recalls her initially annoyed reaction when compère Ralph McLean of BBC Radio Ulster and festival director Ernie McMillen of Avalon Guitars came out to present the award: “I’d just finished my set and left the stage, and the crowd was calling for an encore, but before I could come back out from the wings, Ralph McLean and Ernie McMillen walked onstage and started talking about the Lifetime Achievement Award. “I just thought, ‘Oh, rats, now they’ll bring out some big-name guitarist to accept this bloody award and I won’t get to do my encore!’ Never in a million years did I think it would go to me. I was totally and completely floored. It’s a very, very big deal to be placed on a level with so many of my musical heroes.” And she did get to do an encore after all, performing a cover of Ewan MacColl’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’, which she also recorded on her fourth solo album Walking Into White (Waterbug, 2015).
“Every year since 1999, Ards International Guitar Festival has awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award to an artist performing at the Festival,” explains the Ards Arts Centre’s Emily Crawford, co-director of the festival along with Ernie McMillen and Darren Porter. “There has never been a female recipient of the award, and with an artist of the calibre of Sarah McQuaid on our bill, it was an easy decision to make in 2017! A favourite of local audiences in Ards, Sarah has a true gift and captivates the audience with seamless playing and an effortlessly enchanting voice. She and her guitar become one beautiful sound, and her goosebump-inducing rendition of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ was the perfect end to an outstanding performance.”
Ernie McMillen agrees: “It is rare in the guitar world to find a player who displays genius without arrogance, and who shares their hard-won skill and knowledge so selflessly,” he says. “I get to see many specialist guitarists up close, and many over-perform. It’s honey for the soul to witness Sarah McQuaid perform.”
Sarah McQuaid is currently hard at work writing songs for her fifth solo album, to be produced by folk icon Michael Chapman and released in 2018 (once again on the US-based Waterbug label) with album launch tours in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe and the USA. She also hopes to pen a sequel to The Irish DADGAD Guitar Book, the popular tutor she authored on the alternative guitar tuning she uses exclusively – originally published in 1995 and still the standard reference on the subject, selling worldwide through Novello & Co./The Music Sales Group and Hal Leonard Corp.
In addition to her Ards appearance, April sees Sarah performing at the prestigious Costa del Folk Festival on the Spanish island of Ibiza and donating her services to a charity concert to benefit her local village hall in Cornwall. Summer and early-autumn appearances include an outdoor concert at Penzance’s Penlee Park, the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, Stainsby Festival, Evesham Arts Centre, Faversham Hop Festival, Southdowns Folk Festival, Stroud Folk Weekend and Rye Arts Festival.
Folk East Number 6!
This year’s 6th edition of the Folk East Festival in Suffolk in East Anglia promises to be once again a highlight of the British folk circuit. The line-up is once again mouthwatering, and includes a plethora of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners and nominees including folk legend Jon Boden, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Lau, Nancy Kerr playing at the festival with Andy Cutting and Martin Simpson, and Nineborrow. For an international touch, there’s top Irish band Beoga (recently also in pop circles a household name, having been backed the chart topping song “Galway Girl” by Suffolk’s own Ed Sheeran) and Ireland’s Damien O Kane, and to go further afield, Basque band Korrontzi and Slovenians Terrafolk. And if the music is not mouth-watering enough, the wonderful range of Suffolk food is certainly moutwatering too. Often described as unique in its family friendly village fair atmosphere, this is a festival not to be missed. Head to the beautiful grounds of Glemham Hall near the gorgeous Suffolk coast, on 18th, 19th & 20th August 2017, to join in the fun.
Folk at the Froize, in East Suffolk in the UK, has established itself a very special reputation amongst folk musicians – David Grimwood’s monthly folk series is well regarded as an intimate folk music venue with a buffet of delicious tapas included in the ticket price. But now Folk at the Froize goes large – in addition to the monthly concerts at the Froize Inn. The very first “Folk on the Farm” at Wantisden Valley, on 20th October 2017, will feature the brilliant duo Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, supported by great Cambridge based The Willows – food included. And a month earlier, there’s “Folk at the Theatre” organised by Folk at the Froize, bringing you the masterful music of Sam Kelly and his cheeky band of friends on Friday 22nd September 2017, supported by favourite Norwich based trio Alden, Patterson & Dashwood. Two double acts not to be missed – and Folk at the Farm and at the Theatre might well become regular features on the Suffolk scene.
6 - 9 July 2017 Rudolstadt Festival, Germany ft. Focus: Scotland www.rudolstadt-festival.de 8 - 9 July 2017 Brosella Folk & Jazz Open Air, Theatre de Verdure/Groentheater, Brussels, Belgium ft. OKra Playground, Mandolinman, Voxtra, ... www.brosella.be 9 - 15 July 2017 South Sligo Summer School, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo, Ireland www.sssschool.org 10 - 16 July 2017 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival, Finland ft. Kimmo Pohjonen, Värttinä, Trad.Attack!, JPP, Frigg, Fiddler’s Bid, Tuuletar, Trolska Polska, Summers/Silvola, ... www.kaustinen.net 19 - 22 July 2017 Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornaway, Isle Of Lewis, Scotland ft. The Waterboys, LAU, Peatbog Faeries, Dougie MacLean, Lewis & Leigh, ... www.hebceltfest.com 21 - 23 July 2017 Etnosur, Jaen, Spain www.etnosur.com 21 - 23 July 2017 Underneath the Stars Music & Arts Festival, Cannon Hall Open Farm, South Yorkshire, UK ft. Kate Rusby, Show of Hands, John Tams & Barry Coope, Sam Kelly, Rob Heron & the Tea Pad Orchestra,... www.underthestarsfest.co.uk 23 - 30 July 2017 Fiddler's Green Folk Festival, Rostrevor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland ft. The Sands Family, Ulaid, Martin Hayes, Karan Casey, Eddi Reader, ... www.fiddlersgreenfestival.com 24 - 28 July 2017 Meitheal - Residential Summer School, Limerick, Ireland ft. Benny McCarthy, Dave Sheridan, Ronan Browne, Simon Thoumire, ... www.tradweek.com 27 - 30 July 2017 Cambridge Folk Festival, Cambridge, UK ft. Oysterband, LAU, Hayseed Dixie, Jon Boden, ... www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk 27 - 30 July 2017 Viljandi Folk Music Festival, Estonia ft. Curly Strings, Svjata Vatra, Ro:Toro, Otava Yo, ... www.folk.ee
3 - 6 August 2017 Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival, Co. Donegal, Ireland ft. Kíla, Altan, No Crow, Máirtín O’Connor, Sands Family/Na Leanai, Stocktions Wing, ... www.ballyshannonfolkfestival.com 4 - 11 August 2017 Sidmouth FolkWeek, Devon, UK ft. Oysterband, Peatbog Faeries, Dervish, Lau, Rura, Leveret, Show of Hands, Ralph McTell, Martin Carthy, Seth Lakeman, Roy Bailey, Ange Hardy, ... www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk 4 - 13 August 2017 Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France Focus: The Year of Scotland www.festival-interceltique.com 9 - 14 August 2017 Feakle Traditional Music Festival, Feakle, Co. Clare, Ireland ft. Tulla Céilí Band, Martin Hayes, Cherish the Ladies with Don Stiffe, ... www.feaklefestival.ie 10 - 12 August 2017 Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK ft. Petula Clark, Richard Thompson, Marillion, Feast of Fiddles, Show of Hands, Dougie MacLean, ... www.fairportconvention.com 11 - 13 August 2017 Viru Folk, Estonia ft. Värttinä, Wimme & Rinne, Jaakko Laitinen & Väärä Raha, Kimmo Pohjonen, Mari Kalkun, Pekko Käppi & K:H:L:L, ... www.virufolk.ee 11-13 August 2017 Dartmoor Folk Festival, South Zeal, Okehampton, Devon, UK ft. Fay Hield, Rob Heron, Jim Causley, Siobhan Miller, Keith Donnelly, Jackie Oates, ... www.dartmoorfolkfestival.org.uk 11 - 20 August 2017 Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland ft. Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Lemon Bucket Orchestra, Väsen, ... www.kilkennyarts.ie 18 - 20 August 2017 Folk East, Glemham Hall, Suffolk, UK ft. Lau, Beoga, The Young'uns, Korrontzi, Martin Carthy, ... www.folkeast.co.uk 18 - 23 August 2017 Festival d'art de Huy, Belgium ft. MANdolinMAN, Karim Baggili, Fanfare Gankpo , ... www.huyartfestival.be 23 - 27 August 2017 The Masters of Tradition Festival, Bantry House, Co. Cork, Ireland www.westcorkmusic.ie 24 - 27 August 2017 Tønder Festival, Denmark ft. Loudon Wainwright III, Lucinda Williams, Altan, Afenginn, Réalta, Dallahan, Talisk, Romengo, Kaia Kater, Foy Vance, ... www.tf.dk 25 - 28 August 2017 Shrewsbury Folk Festival, UK www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk 25 - 28 August 2017 Towersey Festival, Oxfordshire, UK ft. Eliza Carthy, The Demon Barbers XL, Jon Boden, Rob Heron, Coope Boyes & Simpson, Hardy & Drinkwater, Blackbeard's Tea Party, Lindisfarne, Roberts & Lakeman, Gilmore & Roberts, Megson, ... www.towerseyfestival.com 13 - 17 September 2017 Mercat de Musica Viva de Vic, Spain www.mmvv.net 14 - 25 September 2017 Clifden Arts Festival, Galway, Ireland www.clifdenartsfestival.ie 5 - 8 October 2017 Fira Mediterrània Folk Market, Manresa, Spain ft. Misia, Amparanoia, Mascarimiri, Temenik Electric, Os D'Abaixo, ... www.firamediterrania.cat 5 - 8 October 2017 Tenterden Folk Festival, Tenterden, Kent, UK www.tenterdenfolkfestival.btck.co.uk 24 - 30 October 2017 Return To Camden Town Festival, London, UK ft. The Bonny Men, Noel Hill, Gatehouse, Niamh Parsons, ... www.returntocamden.org 25 - 29 October 2017 WOMEX World Music Expo, Katowice, Poland Showcases ft. Talisk, MAZ, Leyla McCalla, Dimitris Mystakidis, ... www.womex.com