FolkWorld #78 07/2022

German News

News & Gossip

Happy Birthday

Andy Irvine

Artist Video Andy Irvine @ FROG

Andy Irvine (*14 June 1942, St John's Wood, London, England). Andrew Kennedy Irvine is the founding member of Sweeney's Men, Planxty, Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and Usher's Island. He also featured in several duos, though touring mainly as a soloist. Irvine has been influential in folk music for over five decades, during which he recorded a large repertoire of songs and tunes rooted in the Irish, English, Scottish, American old-time, as well as Eastern European folk traditions. Along with Johnny Moynihan and Dónal Lunny, he is one of the pioneers who adapted the Greek bouzouki—with a new tuning—into an Irish instrument. In 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed at RTÉ Radio 1's Folk Music Awards. Andy Irvine continues to tour and perform extensively.

Sam Bush

Artist Video Sam Bush @ FROG

Taj Mahal (*17 May 1942, Harlem, New York, USA). Henry St. Claire Fredericks Jr., better known by his stage name Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician, often incorporating elements of world music into his work. Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his more than 50-year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, India, Hawaii, and the South Pacific. Taj Mahal believes that his 1999 album Kulanjan, which features him playing with the kora master of Mali's Griot tradition Toumani Diabaté, "embodies his musical and cultural spirit arriving full circle." To him it was an experience that allowed him to reconnect with his African heritage, striking him with a sense of coming home. In 2014, he received the Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement award.

Isla St Clair (*2 May 1952, Grangemouth, Scotland). Born Isabella Margaret Dyce, Isla St Clair gave her first stage performances, aged three years, at her mother's concerts (herself a talented songwriter and poet, and founding member of the Aberdeen Folk Club) and with the local Salvation Army. At the club she came to the attention of a BBC producer, and became a regular guest on many other television and radio shows. During her teenage years she was influenced by her mother's friend Jeannie Robertson, the traditional ballad singer, and Hamish Henderson of the University of Edinburgh's School of Scottish Studies. In 1971, St Clair released her first LP Isla St Clair sings Traditional Scottish Songs and she was voted "Female Folk Singer of the Year" by the New Musical Express. There followed numerous appearances, both as singer and presenter. In 1981, she made The Song and The Story which involved dressing up in historical costume and explaining the social history behind the folk songs. The series won the coveted "Prix Jeunesse for Best Light Entertainment". In 2002, St Clair was awarded an honorary degree as Master of the University of Aberdeen for her lifelong contribution to the traditional music of Scotland. Isla continues to be busy on television, radio and stage, touring with different stage shows.

Sam Bush (*13 April 1952, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA). Charles Samuel Bush is an American mandolinist who is considered an originator of progressive bluegrass music. In 1970, he was inspired by the rock-flavored progressive bluegrass of the New Deal String Band. The following year he co-founded the New Grass Revival. The group went through numerous personnel changes, with Bush remaining as the sole original member. When the New Grass Revival dissolved in 1989, Bush joined Emmylou Harris' Nash Ramblers. He formed his own band in the mid 1990s. In 2010, Legislation passed in Kentucky that officially named Bowling Green the "Birthplace of Newgrass" and Sam Bush the "Father of Newgrass." In 2020, he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. The Sam Bush Band tours extensively, being one of the main attractions at the annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado.

Rest in Peace

Jim Schwall (*12 Nov 1942, †19 June 2022). Famed Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Jim Schwall -- co-founder of the influential and popular Siegel-Schwall Band -- died of natural causes at his home in Tucson, Arizona on Sunday, June 19, 2022. He was 79. Known for his distinctive guitar sound -- he played an amplified Gibson B-25 acoustic -- Schwall helped introduce the blues to the rock and roll audience with his easy-going, good-natured music. (Alligator Records)

  Basic Income for the Arts

The overarching objective of the Basic Income for the Arts scheme is to address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent, periodic, and often project-based nature of work in the arts. The scheme will research the impact on artists and creative arts workers creative practice of providing the security of a basic income, thereby reducing income precarity. The Basic Income for the Arts pilot scheme will run over a 3-year period (2022 – 2025). Its intention is to research the impact a basic income would have on artists and creatives work patterns by providing the opportunity to focus on their practice, and to minimise the loss of skills from the arts as a result of the pandemic and to contribute to the sectors gradual regrowth post pandemic.

The Basic Income for the Arts application portal closed on 12th May 2022.

  Official Folk Albums Chart MAY 2022

Kate Rusby

Artist Video Kate Rusby @ FROG

On Tuesday 7 June the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo reveal the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the May reporting period. The chart is first announced to the public at 7pm GMT as part of the Official Folk Albums Chart Show presented by Folk on Foot via their YouTube channel. Eight new releases have entered the Top 40 chart this month with half digging into the well of UK’s traditional music, including Bryony Griffiths & Alice Jones who come together as a force for the Yorkshire Tradition, singing songs from their native county.

30:Happy Returns (Pure Records) is the brand-new No.1 from singer Kate Rusby, a joyous celebration of her impressive 30-year career. Since her first ‘proper gig’ in 1992, Kate has gone on to release 19 widely praised albums and earn the title of ‘First Lady Of Folk’. Returning to points in her career, Kate has selected 15 songs that have been recrafted and newly recorded. The importance of people met and songs sung is reflected by the stellar array of guest musicians who appear with her - Ladysmith Black Mambazo on the exhilarating stand out track, ’We Will Sing’, Richard Hawley, Darlingside, KT Tunstall, Sarah Jarosz and more. Throughout, Kates’ unique pure voice shines through.

Straight in at No.4 is Nine Waves (River Lea Recordings), from contemporary folk duo, Ye Vagabonds, Irish brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn. Recorded in the Dublin Mountains, the album is a superb collection of traditional and original songs with their distinctive brotherly harmonies at its heart. Songs are soft, gentle and brooding with delicate arrangements and airy soundscapes. Both accomplished multi-instrumentalists, they are supported by cello and double bass from Irish contemporary classical group Crash Ensemble, alongside piano, saxophone, concertina and harmonium. A beautifully tentative, reflective and languid collection of songs.

In at No.5 is Nick Hart Sings Ten English Folk Songs (Roebuck Records) from roots singer and multi-instrumentalist Nick Hart. A departure from the stripped back approach of his first two albums, here, Hart has explored a different approach to the accompaniment of traditional song and augmented his distinctive guitar playing with harmonium, lyre, viols and a host of percussion and woodwinds, with some songs given a more multi-layered treatment. Central to the album is Harts deep respect for the nuances of traditional song and to the importance he places on story-telling, approaching the songs with the care and sensitivity for which he has become known.

Sing It For A Lifetime (Heidi Talbot) is the new entrant at No.10 from Irish-born singer Heidi Talbot, the latest in her 20-year career. Charting the painful split from her husband, folk musician John McCusker, Talbot presents her most exposed and personal work through a combination of self-penned songs and exquisitely chosen covers reflecting the huge changes in her life. With an international group of musicians including Mark Knopfler on guitar and the Appalachian fiddle legend and country producer Dirk Powell, and with the freedom to experiment and push boundaries, Talbot hit upon a blend of Celtic and Americana that sees her delicate, floaty, nightingale voice soar.

The Edge Of The Land (Lightship) is the compelling sophomore album from progressive folk singer-songwriter and guitarist, Katie Spencer, landing at No.14. Raised in the East Yorkshire flatlands, Katie’s landscape is that of open skies and widening rivers and it’s this sense of space and movement that flows through her music. Artists such as Joni Mitchell and James Taylor seep into her sound, carrying with them the idealism of the early 70’s folk movements. Songs explore themes of home, solitude and love against a backdrop of intricate finger-style guitar and Katie’s distinctive voice. Delicate and un-rushed, yet the intimacy and introspection still remain.

The only debut to enter the May chart is Youngest Daughter (Xtra Mile) from pop-folk quartet, Guise, in at No. 18. Fronted by singer-songwriter, Jess Guise, the album is filled with autobiographical songs written from the heart during a passage of personal reflection taking the listener on a voyage of love, loss, hope and personal growth. Produced by husband Frank Turner, Jessica’s delicate, cooing vocals and layered harmonies take centre stage with fiddles and flutes. The lush arrangements of the 13 tracks are as sweet and soulful as the characters of the songs themselves.

Established solo artists in their own right, Bryony Griffith & Alice Jones come together to release A Year Too Late And A Month (Splid) taking their position at No. 20. Both Griffith, a highly regarded fiddle player and singer, and Jones, a singer, step-dancer and multi-instrumentalist, hail from the close-knit communities of West Yorkshire and are long-time purveyors of traditional English folk music. United by a mutual passion for the folk songs of their county, the album draws on stories inspired by the landscape, language and industry of their surroundings. Heart rending unaccompanied tales of woe meet with lively ditties and other masterful interpretations of treasured old songs.

Also steeped in a great love for the traditional music of Britain, is Cornwall-based singer and multi-instrumentalist Angeline Morrison whose new recording, The Brown Girl And Other Folk Songs (Angeline Morrison) is in at No.24. Using her distinctive, dark, but sweet voice as the main instrument, Morrison layers vocal harmonies, often unaccompanied, to communicate the feelings as well as the stories in this collection of traditional songs. Her sparse use of traditional instrumentation is used to great effect allowing the beauty of the song to shine. Recording the songs that most move her emotionally, Angeline’s collection of intimately performed songs makes for a powerful listen.

Official Folk Albums Chart APRIL 2022

Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage

Artist Video Sanders / Savage @ FROG

On Tuesday 3 May the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo reveal the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the APRIL reporting period. The chart is first announced to the public at 7pm GMT as part of the Official Folk Albums Chart Show presented by Folk on Foot via their YouTube channel.

Six new releases have entered the Top 40 chart this month. Birds That Flew And Ships That Sailed (Black Crow) is the brand-new No.1 from Brighton-based singer-songwriter musician, Passenger, aka Mike Rosenberg. Although Rosenberg released two albums with folk-rock band, Passenger in 2007 and 2009, it was his hit single ‘Let Her Go’ and an album self -funded by busking that catapulted him to stardom in 2012. This is his 14th album, released out of the blue, entirely independently. Banjo, guitars, strings and occasional horns are accompanied by his distinctive, intimate voice, clever wordplay and heartfelt lyrics that speak of human impermanence and the passing of time. A beautiful and resonate album.

At No.3 is Ink of the Rosy Morning (Topic) from Cambridge folk duo, Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage. The album was recorded in a quiet room, just the two of them, nothing prepared, a few mics, a bottle of wine and a bunch of “great old songs” the pair have known for a long time. A touch of Americana, yet quintessentially English, their traditional yet contemporary style is playful and instinctive. Hannah has a voice of disarming purity; harmonies are exquisite and songs dreamy. Subtitled ‘A Sampling of Folk Songs from Britain and North America’, songs are played in true Sanders/Savage fashion, with unique sensitivity, and panache with the natural chemistry between them making this an undeniably intimate record.

Masters of blissful psychedelic folk and harmony-laden cosmic country, Hanging Stars release their fourth album, Hollow Heart (Loose Music) entering the Top 10 at No.11. Favouring sound as much as song, the London five-piece recorded the album at Edwyn Collins Scottish studio resulting in a more sonically varied and contemporary recording. Throughout, the vocal arrangements amaze and the breadth of instrumental exploration inspires awe. Songwriting is intricate and the captivating meld of swirling electric and pedal steel guitars with dreamy vocals exudes the warm, rootsy psychedelia that the band are renowned for. This is the band’s most assured collection of songs to date.

Landing at No.16, The Struggle (Cherry Red) is singer-songwriter Michael Weston King’s first studio album in 10 years in an almost 30-year musical career on the roots music scene. Drawing inspiration from songwriters of the late 60’s and early 70’s such as Mickey Newbury, Dan Penn, John Prine, and early Van Morrison, King skillfully fuses his love of country music with a distinctive political edge to produce an album uniquely his own. While this collection of new songs still has a ring of country soul about them, they have taken on a folkier, more earthy sound. The sound is lush and atmospheric while songs are compassionate and thought-provoking.

Bound to Rise (Chris Brain) is the debut album from Leeds-based, Yorkshire-born Alt-folk artist Chris Brain entering the chart at No.22 Recorded on analogue tape, the album captures the shoulder-to-shoulder warmth of a live setting through 10 live performances. Firmly rooted in place, the album is an enthralling meditation on nature, with glimpses of the confessional. Chris explores distinctive finger picking patterns and alternate tunings in his sound, and with the addition of piano and violin, renders a work embedded in folk tradition and the pastoral, with a contemporary resonance.

Hallival (Hudson) is the remarkable debut from Leeds-based folk singer songwriter Iona Lane in at No.36. Fascinated by folklore and legends from across the British Isles, the album is inspired by natural landscapes, scientific discoveries, equality, human relationships and the supernatural, all bound by a strong sense of place and a love of wild settings. Lane plays guitar and shruti box and is joined by guests that include Lauren MacColl, Rachel Newton and Jenny Sturgeon. Iona’s expressive, charming voice lace a set of well-crafted, imaginative all-original songs that are haunting and sparse. Hallival is informed by the folk tradition but heads out on its own contemporary journey of exploration

Official Folk Albums Chart MARCH 2022


Artist Video Oysterband @ FROG

On Tuesday 5 April the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo reveal the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the MARCH reporting period. The chart is first announced to the public at 7pm GMT as part of the Official Folk Albums Chart Show presented by Folk on Foot via their YouTube channel.

Five new releases have entered the Top 40 chart this month. Straight in at No.1 is Read The Sky (Running Man), the 12th studio recording from folk-rock legends, Oysterband. Despite an 8-year gap since their last recording, the collection displays an undiminished creative energy and a storytelling that has become more personal and more emotionally truthful. In writing about the world they experience, Oysterband's politically-alert songs have become more implicit and more urgently green, both in anger and in elegy. Their combination of guitars, keys and drums with melodeon, violin, cello and mandolin with forceful vocals makes for a rhythmic sound that packs a punch. Despite some hard-hitting themes, their brand of rootsy folk-rock and rousing choruses is uplifting and joyous.

The second and final Top 20 entry comes from Samana, the pairing of Rebecca Rose Harris and Franklin Mockett. Their sophomore release, All In One Breath (Music for Heroes) lands at No.6. Recorded when stranded in the French countryside during the lockdown of 2020, songs weave between various musical styles from progressive folk to an experimental, transcendental take on soul, blues, and rock. The album documents their beautiful surroundings and the silence, solitude and the boundless sense of the destruction of the time. Many of the songs are improvisations with the album’s shifting sonic palette combining squalling, twangy guitars with meditative and understated parts. Vocals are sombre and compositions hypnotic, often dark with a sound that is raw, beautifully alive and uniquely striking.

On Sinners Shrine (Wrasse) in at No.23, Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens surrenders to the intoxicating sounds of America’s desert states, travelling to Arizona to record with musicians from iconic Latin rockers, Calexico. While still rooted in his signature Americana-alt country sound, the album sees him adding desert noir and Latin notes to his musical palette. Stories of love and lust, sinners and saints, the displaced and the wanderers showcase Owens’ gift for storytelling and searingly soulful voice infused with the guttural guitar of Joey Burns and John Convertino’s masterful drumming and sweeping mariachi horns. Music conjures the open road’s wild romanticism, distilling the Scottish and Americana into a unique blend.

A new entry at No.25 is Moch (Arc Music) from modern trad fusion band DLÙ. A truly remarkable album, Moch champions the Gaelic language and culture, celebrating the generations who have fought, and continue to fight, against its neglect. The four founder members - Moilidh NicGriogair, Zach Ronan, Aidan Speirs and Andrew Grossart - first met at Glasgow’s all-Gaelic school later calling in Jack Dorrian to complete the young Scottish Gaels line-up. DLÙ combine uplifting, fast-paced traditional Scottish tunes with their influences of funk, rock, pop and classical to create an uplifting, energetic sound that is uniquely their own.

After The City (GFM) is the 3rd release from Brighton-based Bird In The Belly landing at No.36. Inspired by ‘After London’, the 1885 post-apocalyptic novel by Richard Jeffries that describes England’s slow rot and eventual renewal following a catastrophe, the ambitious concept album beguiles and disturbs in equal measure. Rich with their trademark ‘folk noir’ sound, the album is cinematic and beautifully crafted. Ben Webb’s gravel-edged vocal fuses with the crystal-clear voice of Laura Ward underpinned by an array of instruments that include violin, bass pedal, synth, banjo and bodhran by Adam Ronchetti and Tom Pryor. A startling, theatrical album from an uncompromising collective who continue to be a revelation.

Official Folk Albums Chart FEBRUARY 2022

The Longest Johns

Artist Video The Longest Johns @ FROG

On Tuesday 1 March the Official Charts Company in partnership with English Folk Expo reveal the Top 40 best-selling and most streamed folk albums released in the FEBRUARY reporting period. The chart is first announced to the public at 7pm GMT as part of the Official Folk Albums Chart Show presented by Folk on Foot via their YouTube channel.

Three new releases have entered the Top 40 chart this month. Sailing straight into the No.1 slot is Smoke & Oakum (Decca) from the Longest Johns, the trailblazing band at the forefront of the recent sea shanties phenomenon. Featuring a combination of legendary folk songs and thrilling originals, the four friends from Bristol pay homage to protest singers and folk luminaries through the years shining a new light on songs that hold a torch up to the truth. From powerful a capella arrangements to traditional accompanying instrumentation (banjo, whistle, harmonium), the collection of songs combines rousing sing-alongs to melancholic numbers demonstrating their authenticity and unfailing allure.

Two of Scotland’s foremost traditional musicians and composers, fiddler Lauren MacColl and harpist-singer, Rachel Newton come together to release their self-titled album, Heal & Harrow (Shadowside) straight in at No.4. The album is a captivating original work that pays tribute to the many Scottish women who were executed as witches in the 16th and 17th centuries. Each piece is inspired by real women who were caught up in the persecutions, or characters from folklore that fired the imaginations of Newton and MacColl. Stark, spectral and stripped back yet exquisitely tender, the album melds haunting harp and sensitive fiddle melodies with the engaging, sometimes eerie voice of Newton, singing in both English and Gaelic. The hypnotic music, readings and songs act as a restorative salve to the heart-breaking ‘hate crime’ stories of women burnt at the stake for being ‘different’. It’s an emotive, beautifully crafted release and a work of dignity and emotional healing.

Scottish modern folk group, Talisk jump into the Top 10 landing at No.9 with their third release, Dawn (Talisk). Renowned for their high energy, foot stompin’ live shows, Talisk are one of the quintessential bands of the genre, breaking down boundaries and bringing folk right into the mainstream. With stunning musicianship, the trio, Mohsen Amini, a demon, quickfire concertina player, Graeme Armstrong on guitars and Benedict Morris on fiddle, produce their instantly enthralling signature sound. Tracks are multi-layered and artfully woven with songs combining intricate, gentle melodies and an epic, exhilarating sound.

English Folk Expo have announced the five young people who will take part in their new Trainee Promoter Programme, an initiative to support the next generation of music industry professionals into sustainable careers through learning meaningful skills and building professional networks. Aged between 18-25, the participants - Barney Whittaker, Edi Milner, Jasmine Rowland, Kate Gambhir and Safa Majid -will work with the EFEx team to deliver a range of live music events throughout the year including Rochdale Folk Festival, Campfire Clubs and Manchester Folk Festival.

The Official Folk Albums Chart is a Top 40 chart, released monthly. It is open to artists where at least one band member is a UK or Irish musician. Charts are based on physical sales, digital downloads and streams. Charts will be sent out by email on request on the first Monday of every month and will be available to view at and Tracks from the full Top 40 folk albums can be heard at the Official Folk Albums Chart Spotify Playlist

  The Songs for Social Change Contest is On!

RAWA (the Renaissance Artists and Writers Association) is now accepting entries in its seventh consecutive Songs for Social Change songwriting competition at Formed in 1958, RAWA is a worldwide movement of artists, writers and musicians working to restore art to its role as an instrument for social change and awakening. RAWA’s annual songwriting competition looks for songs “with lyrics addressing the social issues confronting society today.”

“Songs for Social Change shines a light on the music we hope will inspire people to build a world where there is social and economic justice for all people,” said RAWA spokesperson Ed Glassman. “We have received close to two thousand entries since the contest began in 2014,” Glassman added.

The winner of the contest receives $500, as well as publicity that can be a career booster. The wining song is featured on a yearly compilation album, along with ten contest finalists. The album is distributed to radio stations around the world as well as sold on the RAWA website (

The 2021 winner Harris, remarked that the modest contest entry fee “was the best $5.00 that I ever spent.” Mary Lou Fulton, the winner of the 2019 contest said "Songs for Social Change was a turning point in my life as an artist. For the first time, my music was featured in news media coverage, on folk radio stations and podcasts. This recognition from RAWA gave me the confidence to record my first album, We'll Tell Stories, which reached the Top 15 on the FAI Folk Charts last fall and was featured on more than 200 radio stations across the nation.”

“The entry process is easy,” Glassman noted. “Go to our website and upload your song and information. The entry form is located here:

Please note: the deadline for entries is November 30, 2022 and the winner will be announced in January 2023.

PS: You can listen to the winning entries from previous years on our BandCamp page

Memory Lane

The Sands Family

Artist Video Ben Sands @ FROG

  Ben Sands says: Hello again – after a while!

I hope you are all as happy and healthy and as ready for summer as I am! The recent Sands Family Tour in Germany was a very rewarding experience for us on so many levels; and, hopefully, also for all those who came along to the 10 concerts. Once again, we were reminded that we write and perform our music because that is what we love to do - and it’s a really big buzz when audiences show that they enjoy it a lot, too!

The tour was planned quite some time ago, but the arrival of Corona caused it to be delayed by over two years. During that long wait, it certainly looked like it could be the Sands Family’s final German tour. But the reception we received from audiences - and the enjoyment it gave to us - has forced us to think again about that. Let’s see what the future holds.

So, take good care – stay safe and healthy!

All the best for now, Ben Sands

Coming Soon

Beans on Toast

  The Foolhardy Folk Festival

Returning for its second year - Beans on Toast - proudly presents… THE FOOLHARDY FOLK FESTIVAL 2022!


Artist Video DiaTon @ FROG

Taking place at the beautiful Nottingham Arboretum park in the heart of the city, the cult folk hero and festival veteran will curate a day of life-affirming music on the Summer Bank Holiday Sunday (28 August).

Calling on some of his closest musical compadres, expect performances from SHE DREW THE GUN, WILL VARLEY, HOLY MOLY & THE CRACKERS, KITTY LIV (Kitty, Daisy & Lewis), GAZ BROOKFIELD, JACK FLANAGAN (Mystery Jets), and Nottingham’s own GEORGIE; not to mention a set from BEANS ON TOAST himself.

Music, Trees and revelry will be the order of the day, with the festival offering a unique opportunity to see some of the UK's most exciting acts playing stripped back sets live from the Arboretum's bespoke bandstand venue.

Street food stands and a pop-up beer festival will also be on site to keep attendees refreshed throughout the day.

Speaking about what to expect from the second edition of the FOOLHARDY FOLK FESTIVAL, Beans on Toast says: “It'll be a wonderful, family-friendly event filled with brilliant music, good company, tasty food, cold drinks and warm sunshine in a truly beautiful setting, all for the bargain price of £25. Nice one!”

Chiming with the release of his book ‘Foolhardy Folk Tales’, the inaugural Foolhardy Folk Festival was launched in 2021. Back by popular demand, the festival returns bigger, better and with a brand new lineup for 2022.

  CaDansa Balfolkfestival

CaDansa, a dutch Balfolk festival, is going into the 10th year (and unfortunately due to the last few years, the 8th edition). While the festival is being held in the Netherlands, we get about 60% of our visitors from abroad, and quite a lot from Germany!

CaDansa, a wonderful festival full of crazy bands, funny games, beautiful connections, good coffee, local beers, and a whole lot of dancing! We hope to see you all in Steenwijk(NL) for CaDansa 2022 October 20-23 to make some wonderful new memories.

Videos of previous editions: 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Borsh Division

Music of Ukraine

Ukrainian Artists

Last but not least

  Ukraine 2022: Let’s Teach Our Children Well...

"This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before." (Leonard Bernstein)

Celebrated roots rock band DISPATCH have released a timely acoustic re-recording of one of their most beloved singles, “The General,” in Russian to show their support of Ukraine. The song first appeared on the band’s sophomore album (1997’s Bang Bang), and has long resonated with fans who have streamed it hundreds of millions of times since its release and continue to scream the words back to the band every night on tour. DISPATCH founding members Chadwick Stokes and Brad Corrigan recognized the cultural relevancy of the lyrics about a battle-torn general who has a dream where he visits with the enemy and sees them not as soldiers but as young people with lives to live and families who love them, and Stokes worked with a translator to record the song entirely in Russian while Corrigan contributed vocal harmonies. The song was written as a statement against war and Stokes wanted to record it in Russian with the hope that Russian soldiers might hear the message and question their roll in this unjustified invasion.

“To force someone to act against humanity is to destroy their own humanity,” said Chadwick Stokes.

All proceeds from streams to benefit Leleka Foundation, which provides vital medical supplies for treatment of the wounded in Ukraine.

Eileen Kozloff

“If only a song could stop war”, desperately wishes American singer songwriter, Eileen Kozloff. That is her fervent mantra and the driving force behind her decision to release her song, “No More War Anymore”, as a stand alone single.

Anthemic in nature, the music and lyrics of ”No More War Anymore”, immediately grabs the listener and tugs at their heartstrings. Kozloff’s audiences are frequently transformed into pop up choirs; spontaneously adding their voices and rich harmonies to create a communal spiritual experience!

Recognizing that music is a powerful medium, Eileen seeks to harness that energy globally and laser focus the public’s attention to the plight of refugees displaced by war. To accomplish that goal, she created , “Peace Project : No More War Anymore”. Her mission is to raise public awareness and money to support the massive, immediate needs of those impacted by the war in Ukraine. All money derived from her single and project, will be donated to the I.R.C., Doctors Without Borders and Shelter Box (all bona fide charities that are currently on the ground providing direct services and assistance to refugees).

I'm delighted to annouce that I've teamed up with music video producer Julia Knight (Beyoncé/ Mick Jagger / Sir Paul Mccartney) to create a video for our Ukrainian friends - We hope you enjoy - all images and videos have been presented by our Ukrainian friends and family from within combat zones and the wonderful volunteers helping Ukraine through this horrific war. The song I wrote is called Paszport and is inspired by loss of passport and a fight for freedom. —Katy Carr

Paddington standing outside George Orwell's house in Hampstead

Katy & Mary Presents is a new TV Channel where Katy Carr speaks with US Film maker Mary Skinner in a series of meetings to discuss the war zone in 🇺🇦Ukraine from an artistic and personal perspective. Every episode also includes a performance of a song from Katy's repertoire and a visit from our beloved beloved Paddington Bear who pays tribute to the brave people of Ukraine and President Zelenskyy's legendary voicing of the famous bear refugee.

Below are the beginning episodes of our TV series - please follow us here on and watch premieres every thursday at 7:30pm on YouTube Here is our playlist link! Listen on SPOTIFY!

★NEW VIDEO ★ Watch my new lyric video for 'Freedom Song' dedicated to the brave people of #Ukraine and #Poland in #WWII. #WeStandWithUkraine

The Anti-DicKtators are a collaboration of likeminded musicians horrified at what’s going on in Ukraine at the moment, and wanting in their own small way to help contribute to raising awareness and money for a relief fund (details below).

They are producer Phil Meadley (The Gaslight Troubadours), vocalist/songwriter Yuriy Gurzhy (RotFront/Shtetl Superstars), fiddle player Jon Sevink (Levellers), bassist Tom Robinson (Tom Robinson Band/BBC Radio 6Music presenter), and vocalist Katya Tasheva (RotFront).

Yuriy is a Ukrainian who moved to Berlin at the age of 20. He’s a musician, DJ, producer and celebrated author who’s recently been keeping a war diary for German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.

Jon Sevink

He explains that the song lyrics are based around the story of the small handful of Ukrainian soldiers on Snake Island in the early days of the Russian invasion who responded to a Russian naval commander “Russian warship, go f**k yourself!” when they were told to surrender. It’s now become rallying cry for Ukrainians and the slogan has even been made into a Ukrainian postal service stamp to commemorate their bravery.

“We are shocked and hurt to see what's been happening in Ukraine,” he says. “And how brutally Russia wipes out its cities, towns and villages. Ukrainians fight back like superheroes but even if this unjust, cruel war will be over soon, it'll need every pound or dollar of what's been donated so far. So we join those who've been raising money and ask you to donate for The Ukraine Trust Chain (who are bringing aid and evacuations to Ukrainians in the active war zone) by purchasing a song that in three minutes teaches you the main sentence in Russian that you need to know at the moment.”

The track will be released on its own dedicated Bandcamp page on Friday 25th March. All proceeds will go directly to the Ukrainian Trust Chain who have a network of volunteer teams providing urgent food, medical supplies and rides to safety in Ukraine. For more details visit

Gogol Bordello (feat. The Cossacks) “Teroborona (Civil Defense)”

Dedicated to incredible courage of Civil Defense units of Ukraine.

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Дорогi Захистники України !!! У цей тяжкий час, Ви робите те, чим пишається весь свiт! Ви зупинили єбаний ''русмир'', зроблений по ліцензии пропаганди Гебельса. Українці першi, хто послав цю хімеру нахуй. Ми надсилаем нашу глибоку пiдтримку та глибоку повагу, кожному з Вас!!! Україна переможе !!! Слава Українi !!! Героям Слава !!!

Dear Defenders of Ukraine !!! In this difficult time, you are doing what the whole world is proud of! You stopped the fucking "gossip" made under Goebbels' propaganda license. Ukrainians were the first to send this chimera to hell. We send our deep support and deep respect to each of you !!! Ukraine will win !!! Glory to Ukraine !!! Glory to heroes !!!

—Eugene Hutz, Gogol Bordello

Solidaritine Tour Announced

Gogol Bordello is going on tour to spread the message of freedom for Ukraine. Every show of the upcoming “Solidaritine” US tour will be dedicated to the brave Ukrainian defenders, and a significant portion of proceeds will go to Ukraine’s battle for democracy. We will also partner with human rights organizations providing relief in Ukraine throughout the tour. Come stand in solidarity with us.

Ukraine We believe in international support, and most of all, in the Ukrainian army! It is clear that in such circumstances we are canceling the upcoming concerts in Ukraine, but hoping to play them in the near future. But we will play concerts throughout the world to support Ukraine and rise money. We will win! Glory to Ukraine!


Ukraine Support:

Jesse Malin and Ukrainian-born singer Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello have teamed up for an impassioned new version of the Pogues’ “If I Should Fall from Grace with God,” out April 29 on Velvet Elk Records. All proceeds from the exclusive Bandcamp release will benefit the people of Ukraine in their fight for their homeland against Vladmir Putin’s brutal war of aggression.

“Universe knows Jesse and I bonded over Pogues years ago,” and it’s only natural that we sing this anti-colonial song for Ukraine now,” says Hutz. “This land was always ours! And no amount of Moscow propaganda can undo оver а thousand уеаrs of history. It is also a natural fit once again, since scientists uncovered that Irish people come from Modern Day Ukraine territory! And guess where I read that? In the Irish Independent.”

The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation supports the development of democracy, a free market economy and human rights in Ukraine, and the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Ukraine.

This is an EXCLUSIVE to Bandcamp in order to collect proceeds for Ukraine. The song is currently only available here and not on streaming services. We encourage you to support both the music and the cause.

Otava Yo

Artist Video Otava Yo @ FROG

Случилась страшная трагедия, которая затронула всех нас. Мы абсолютно раздавлены тем, что происходит сейчас в братской Украине. Невозможно было себе представить что-либо подобное, но, как ни жутко это осознавать, самое худшее, что могло случиться, происходит прямо сейчас, и все мы стали невольными участниками этих трагических событий. В связи с этим мы объявляем об отмене всех наших ближайших концертов в России и весеннего тура по Германии. В настоящее время мы находимся в процессе решения технических вопросов, касающихся возврата билетов и сообщим вам об этом в самое ближайшее время. Простите нас, но в сложившейся ситуации мы не можем делать вид, что ничего не происходит и продолжать играть со сцены свою жизнерадостную музыку. Убедительно просим воздержаться от хейтерских комментариев, хотя бы из уважения к тем членам нашей группы, чьи родственники вынуждены сейчас укрываться от взрывов и выстрелов в подвалах своих домов в Украине. Уповаем и надеемся на благоразумие тех, кто может повлиять на мирное урегулирование конфликта. Группа Отава Ё.

26 Feb Dear friends! A terrible tragedy took place and affected all of us. We a totally crushed with what is happening now in brotherly Ukraine. It was impossible to imagine anything like this but the worst possible thing that could happen is taking place right now before our own eyes. And we all are unwilling participants of these tragic events. Due to these circumstances, we are cancelling all our upcoming concerts in Russia as well as our spring tour in Germany. We are working on technical issues related to tickets return and will soon make this announcement. We are sorry but under these circumstances we cannot pretend that nothing is happening and continue playing our cheerful music. Please refrain from hateful comments at least out of respect to the members of our group whose relatives are forced to hide from shells and explosions in the basements of their houses in Ukraine. We hope for prudence and reason of the once who can ensure peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Artist Video
24 Apr Today, the Orthodox Easter Sunday we share with you one of the most beloved and important songs for us. A year ago, at a gala concert dedicated to the 18th anniversary of Otava Yo, we performed it together with the Vasilisa Folklore Ensemble, and it is this recording that we bring to your attention today. Jesus is risen!

Artist Video
23 Jun Dear friends! We are glad to announce that this Sunday, June 26th, Otava Yo will perform an online concert dedicated to the 19th anniversary of the band. An extended line-up is expected (Julia, Lina and all the others). The live stream starts at 7 pm Moscow time on our YouTube channel and also on our Facebook and VK page. Please do not miss! See you!

Luca Bassanese

Artist Video Luca Bassanese

We are all emotionally broken by what is happening in Ukraine and Europe, and I am sure that many of you, in various ways, are doing your best to help stop the war, welcome refugees, etc. History has shown that music is a strong instrument of social cohesion, healing, and peace. Luca Bassanese released, in 2019, the video clip KEEP YOUR VOICE UP celebrating social volunteering in Europe. More recently, on February he has put online another clip RESET. In DEMOCRISISA, he was already denouncing months ago the growing gap between the social majorities of the world who see AUSTERITY for the social majorities of the world as the best option to increase their gains. Some critics find the narrative too simplistic. At least, it does not kill - especially KIDS.

I’m also thinking of Ettore Castagna, one of the founders of the historical world music band from Calabria RE NILIU, who declared in a recent interview for his new album Ἐρημία/Eremìa (AlfaMusic/EGEA, 2022): “I come from a generation of baby boomers who couldn’t think of music other than a personal political commitment. On the other hand, "the personal is political” we used to say. I kept such imprinting. I also say clearly in one of my songs that social justice does not exist but I continue to expect it.” I come from the same generation. Social justice is of course something you build day after day, by taking responsibility and putting forward the work to be done. It suggests you talk with your neighbors first. Then, there is the Sicilian world music artist Antonio Smiriglia who is reminding us in his new opus “Amanti, Santi e Naviganti” (Aventino Music-Opensoundmusic, 2022) that we are all sailors on the same sea. And we all know that the sea is not always calm.

Let’s teach our children well!

Sincerely, Eric E. van Monckhoven (Music4You | Live Music With Roots)

Colin Devlin

Artist Video

Given the current events happening in Eastern Europe, Colin Devlin (of The Devlins) was recently reflecting on a cover song he'd recorded in December 2021, and how the message is as poignant today as when John Fogerty wrote it in 2004. "Déjà Vu (All Over Again)" was originally recorded as part of a KZZ Music charity project, before the current conflict in Ukraine began. But upon listening to it last week, Devlin and KZZ Music/Blue Élan Records co-founder, Kirk Pasich, realized how much the message in the song is now more timely than ever with the state of our world today.

As Devlin emphasizes, “It’s a song about the senseless loss of life and how history repeats itself. For the last 70 years we’ve been hearing ‘never again’ but here we are, again.”

The single is available exclusively through Bandcamp. Please download the song at the link below and help the people of Ukraine during this tragic time. DOWNLOAD NOW!!

Colin Devlin & Blue Élan Records are devastated by the current events in Ukraine. In hopes that we may bring some relief to those most directly affected by this war, we are contributing all revenue from "Déjà Vu (All Over Again)" to Save the Children, through Children's Emergency Fund. To learn more about the work Children's Emergency Fund is doing on the ground in Ukraine please read more here.

Blue Élan Records

Bobby BlackHat and Danny Lubertazzi - Blues For Ukraine. Songwriters capture the good, bad, and ugly moments of life through their lyrics. Sometimes that inspiration comes from tragedy. This is a moment of tragic, unwanted inspiration.

It is abundantly evident that the world is closer to a nuclear holocaust than at any time since 1962. —David Rovics

At the end of World War 3, amid the lightning and thunder
Those left alive, as long as they live, will wonder
Was there something that could have been done
Before nuclear winter blocked out the sun
After the Earth that we once knew was blown asunder

At the end of World War 3, any pundits who may still be found
Will have heated debates about how the end came around
Was it the Black Sea blockade  
When the rush for the end times was made
Or the breaking of promises promised when the wall came down

At the end of World War 3, as people look for clean water to drink
As they're dreaming of the days when they had a kitchen sink
Wishing they could try again  
To talk to belligerent men
Back when we were hanging on the brink

Merrick Garland: Drop the Charges Against Julian Assange

The US Attorney General intends to prosecute war crimes committed by Russians, while pursuing his case under the Espionage Act to keep Julian Assange silenced and caged for exposing US war crimes. You can also read this on my blog and in Counterpunch. There's now a podcast version.

On Julian Assange's 51st birthday people spoke as well as sang at the gates of Belmarsh Prison. Here's David singing 'Behind These Prison Walls'. You can see the rest of what was recorded that day on the YouTube channel of EF Press.

The world is a heartbreaking place these days. Watching the news coming out of Ukraine has made me feel helpless, angry, sad, inspired - sometimes all at the same time. It's overwhelming. In an effort to do something more than just watching the news and doomscrolling, Barry Walsh and I will be livestreaming a concert from our home on March 10th at 3PM Central Time/9PM GMT to benefit Voices of Children, a Ukrainian organization which provides psychological and psychosocial support to children suffering the consequences of war. Today, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Voices of Children is providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process.

When we announced this show, friends and all-around good folks Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris asked us if they could help. We loved the idea and welcome the opportunity to reach their fans, too. The event will be streaming on both my Facebook page and my YouTube channel. All of the proceeds from the "tip jar" will go to Voices of Children. If you can't make the livestream, but still want to help, you can donate directly to Voices of Children.

Come join us along with our special guests Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris at 3PM US Central time/9pm GMT for some music, community, and to help the children of Ukraine.

Hi - A couple of weeks ago, with your help, we raised over $11,000 for Ukraine's Voices of Children foundation during our livestream featuring Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris. But that wasn't the end of it - there were other artists who heard about it and wanted to help. I'm thrilled to announce that my guest for the next livestream will be the incomparable Rosanne Cash. Please join Rosanne and me, along with John Leventhal and Barry Walsh, on April 1st at 3pm Central/4pm Eastern (9pm UK time/10pm Central Europe) on my Facebook page or my YouTube channel. All proceeds from the virtual "tip jar" go to Ukraine's Voices of Children, which provides psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by the war, and is also currently assisting in the evacuation process.

I"m so looking forward to this, and I hope you'll join us for a very good cause.

Our Livestreams for Ukraine's Voices of Children with special guests Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, Mary Gauthier, Barry Walsh and Jaimee Harris have raised over $20,000 thanks to your generosity.
It's easy to feel hopeless in the tidal wave of bad news these days, but one thing that's helped me immensely is taking some kind of action, no matter how small. The two livestreamed concerts we recently did raised a lot of spirits and over $20,000 - which doesn't feel small at all. The online concerts benefitted Voices of Children, a Ukrainian organization which provides psychological and psychosocial support to children suffering the consequences of war. Today, during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Voices of Children is providing non-stop assistance to affected children and families from all over the country, providing emergency psychological assistance, and assisting in the evacuation process.
You can watch both livestreams (the first with Mary Gauthier and Jaimee Harris, and the second with Rosanne Cash and John Leventhal, on my YouTube channel. Please note - my "tip jar" is no longer open, but you can still help by donating directly to Voices of Children.

Artist Video The Live Ukulele Ukes for Ukraine event / fundraiser was a huge success, and we (everyone who donated) brought in over $11,000 for the World Central Kitchen. If you missed the live stream / performances and tutorials, you can view it here.

0:00 Intro
8:12 Tobias Elof
58:46 Kevin Carroll
2:04:34 Victoria Vox
3:02:48 Neal Chin
4:08:44 Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel
4:56:47 Herb Ohta, Jr. & Jake Shimabukuro
5:02:33 Brad Bordessa
5:53:17 Keoki Kahumoku and Brad Bordessa
6:17:52 "Hawai'i Aloha" & Outro

More Ukraine News in English Seth Kibel | Katy Carr & German Acoustic Guitar for Peace | Russkaja | Mariana Sadovska | The Anti-DicKtators | Mulo Francel | Jan Cornelius | The BossHoss | Georg Clementi | Die Grenzgänger | Versengold | Bernd Köhler | Borsh Division!

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