Human Cargo: Matthew Crampton & Jeff Warner

ABM is delighted to welcome Matthew and Jeff to the roster. We’re now taking bookings for their compelling live show Human Cargo.

Human Cargo is an epic night of story and song, featuring two masters of the craft. Storyteller and singer Matthew Crampton’s recent show The Transports won Five Stars from The Guardian. Now he returns with a new adaptation of his acclaimed book Human Cargo: Stories & Songs of Emigration, Slavery and Transportation. An inspired collaboration unites Matthew with American traditional music legend Jeff Warner. Together, they cast fresh light on human migration, giving voice to those actually aboard the slave ships and emigrant boats and, crucially, framing today’s hot topic with history and humanity. Each performance also features stories researched locally, as part of the Parallel Lives project. Expect a rich and entertaining evening.

Matthew Crampton’s recent success with The Transports has highlighted his emergence as a foremost storyteller and singer within the folk scene.

“A compelling storyteller” 5 stars, The Guardian

“Crampton has a great voice that entices and explains. He pulls the audience in like a magical toyshop owner. He has some joy and sorrow that he cannot keep to himself.” Folk Phenomena

Jeff Warner is one of America’s leading interpreters of traditional music. Born to an eminent family of folksong collectors, his pedigree is matched by his remarkable ability to connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives of people from past centuries.

“The best folk singer in America.” Bob Bossin, founder of Canada’s String Band


Various dates available throughout May and June with specific tour periods  2 – 7 June and 12 – 24 June 2018.

Melrose Quartet present new album Dominion

Melrose Quartet are Nancy Kerr (voice, fiddle), James Fagan (voice, bouzouki, guitar), Jess Arrowsmith (voice, fiddle) and Richard Arrowsmith (voice, melodeons). This November sees them release their eagerly-awaited second album, Dominion.

From deep roots in their hometown’s vibrant music, song and dance scene, to smashing concert appearances all over the UK, Sheffield-based Melrose Quartet have attracted a reputation for making music that truly connects with people. All four are internationally renowned singers, instrumentalists and writer/composers and this year they were proud to be named the new patrons of Whitby Folk week.

Dominion expands and strengthens the musical presence they first asserted with “Fifty Verses”, their 2014 BBC Folk Award-nominated debut CD.

Some late availability in their forthcoming album tour late Nov – early Dec 2017 please call Chris on 01661 842935 to discuss.

“Brilliantly showcases their joyous confidence and versatility. With particularly impressive four-part harmony singing, this is a rich, dynamic and inspired team.” fRoots Magazine

Martin Simpson – Trails & Tribulations

World renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson released his 20th solo album in 40 years ‘Trails & Tribulations’ on September 1st 2017 via Topic Records.

“Trails & Tribulations’ is a collection of songs about nature, about travels and about real life stories. There are traditional songs, poems and contemporary songs by great writers, and songs that I had to write because nobody else knew what I wanted to say. I travel, I learn songs, I write and try to get better at the skills required for me to do my job. I look at the world as I pass by, on the road, out of the train window, or as I stop and pay close attention to the square foot under my nose. There is so much to see and to hear and to inspire and to try and understand. I had a huge amount of fun playing and recording these songs, using different instruments, different noises, old friends and new ones, all of whom brought so much to the mix.” Martin Simpson, April 2017.

Guest musicians on the new album are: Ben Nicholls (string bass and electric bass guitars), Toby Kearney (drums and percussion), Nancy Kerr (fiddle and viola), Andy Cutting (diatonic accordion and melodeon), John Smith (electric guitar and backing vocals), Helen Bell (strings), Amy Newhouse-Smith (backing vocals) and his daughter Molly Simpson on vocals.

Martin will tour extensively this year, including a special launch concert at London’s Kings Place in autumn, following the release of ‘Trails & Tribulations’. Hand in hand with his long and storied solo career, Martin has been central to seminal collaborations like The Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and Simpson Cutting Kerr. He has worked with a dazzling array of artists from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons, to mention a few. He is consistently named as one of the very finest acoustic, fingerstyle and slide guitar players in the world and is the most nominated musician in the history of the BBC Folk Awards, with a remarkable 31 nods. A true master of his art.

Exclusive versions of Trails & Tribulations, which include a signed print of a handwritten guitar tab, plus Trails & Tribulations branded guitar pick are available now from Martin’s shop.

Trails & Tribulations tracklisting (standard edition):
1. Blues Run The Game
2. Bones & Feathers
3. Thomas Drew
4. East Kentucky
5. Katherine Of Aragon Interlude
6. A Ballad For Katherine Of Aragon
7. Maps
8. St. James Hospital
9. Jasper’s/Dancing Shoes
10. Ridgeway
11. Rufford Park Poachers
12. Reynardine Interlude
13. Reynardine

Deluxe Edition CD2 Bonus Tracks:
1. Joshua Gone Barbados
2. Dillard Chandler
3. Willy O Winsbury
4. Heartbreak Hotel
5. Blues Run The Game Interlude
6. Blues Run The Game (Radio Edit)

Lankum New Album Update

Watch out for imminent news on Lankum’s new album Between The Earth And Sky (Rough Trade). The band have album UK tour dates planned this October, following on from previous sell-out dates, and are taking bookings now for a further album tour in May 2018 (from 15th – 27th).

Expect more explorations and experimentation in tradition – from dark drone-based balladry to fiery, upbeat anthems – on this much-awaited new album from the mighty Dublin four-piece.

“The most convincing band to come out of Ireland for years!”
5 stars, The Guardian

“Anarchic, yet connected, rootsy and gutsy… I love their music, it is just so damn good!” Mike Harding

Video: Henry My Son Live

Faustus Join ABM

A big warm welcome to Faustus who have just joined the ABM roster. Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone.

Rooted deeply in the English tradition, and fresh from a year-long residency at Halsway manor, their latest album, Death and Other Animals has received the German Critics Award (Schallplatenkritik Bestenliste) in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter/World Music category. They are currently touring with The Transports, ‘the folk event of 2017’, a revival and reworking of Peter Bellamy’s ballad opera, which has received stunning reviews and five stars from the Guardian.

The band will be touring 1 – 16 March 2018 and are available for festivals during 2018.

‘One of Britain’s outstanding folk bands.’ **** The Guardian

‘Ridiculously great band.’ Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music

‘Brilliant performances…Faustus are at their best here.’ **** Songlines

Stick in the Wheel Join ABM

ABM are thrilled to announce that we are now representing the thrilling Stick In The Wheel, who have been taking the folk scene by storm these past few years with their incendiary performances of traditional English folk music, seamlessly blending it with their own songs and breathing new life into this culture for new generations.

The four-times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated band return with a new album in 2018, with advance tracks due for release late 2017.

Stick In The Wheel’s debut album From Here was awarded fRoots’ Critic’s Poll Album of the Year 2015, and received wide acclaim, resulting in a personal invitation from Billy Bragg to play his Left Field stage at Glastonbury, and a string of festival dates including Larmer Tree, Sidmouth, Cambridge Folk Festival, Lunar and Sin-Eater, as well as sessions on BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, BBC6 Music and John Kennedy’s Radio X Xposure, plus a Rough Trade East Instore and curating two Café Oto folk weekends.

Their most recent project, to produce and curate a collection of ‘field recordings’ based on what “From Here” means, had no shortage of English folk alumni queuing up to take part. It marks their intention to make traditional music relevant to now, reclaiming the indigenous culture of the people back to its own. In their own words: “We play the music of our people. We sing in our own accents. We record in our kitchens and living rooms. This is our culture, our tradition.”

“A great live band” The Guardian

“A shot in the arm for contemporary folk music” The Independent

“Rich in attitude and uncompromising intent” Mojo

New Martin Simpson Album & Tour

We’re very excited to announce that Martin’s eagerly awaited new solo album entitled Trails and Tribulations will be released on 1st September 2017 on Topic Records. Album guests include Andy Cutting, Kathryn Tickell, Nancy Kerr and John Smith. Martin will officially launch the album at Cambridge Folk Festival this summer accompanied by a band of first class musicians.

The remarkable intimate solo performances Martin gives go from strength to strength – every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing.

He has had the most nominations of any performer in the 18 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 31 times, 12 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice.

“Martin Simpson has transcended borders and oceans to quietly become a superb storyteller and musician of great depth and unquestionable taste.” Stephen Fearing

Touring 14 Sept – 10 Dec 2017. Now booking spring/summer 2018. 

Lucy Farrell Joins ABM

Touring new album Jan – Feb & Festivals 2018

2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Lucy Farrell is at last embarking on the solo career so many have been hoping for, since first hearing her exquisite renditions of traditional ballads and quietly moving original songs. Lucy’s new solo album will be released at the end of January 2018 on Hudson Records and will be accompanied by a UK tour.

As one fourth of The Furrow Collective, Lucy is the current recipient of the Best Group prize following the release of their widely acclaimed Wild Hog LP, earned during an immensely busy and creative time in which she contributed to the raved about return to form that was the Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band’s Big Machine album and tour, and also saw her final shows with the Emily Portman Trio with whom she’d sung, sawed and played viola for many years.

Lucy Farrell first enchanted fans of traditional music when she began performing as a duo with fellow Newcastle Folk Degree graduate Jonny Kearney. Invited to become the regular opening act for The Unthanks, Lucy & Jonny’s blend of wry and lovelorn tales with exquisite interpretations of English, Scottish and American ballads saw them frequently outselling the headline act at the CD stall.

Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas tour new album ‘Ports of Call’

Alasdair and Natalie’s latest album ‘Ports of Call’ was released in January 2017 on Culburnie Records and moves from the raw power of wild dance tunes to modern chamber arrangements. This album is a snapshot of the duo’s current place on their musical journey – a mix of original compositions along  with dance tunes from around the North Atlantic, leaving Scotland for a few forays into the fiddle music of Scandinavia, Spain, and France, hence the title, “Ports of Call”. They are doing a few select UK dates this May. One not to be missed!

18th May               Eastgate Theatre, Peebles

19th May               Masham Town Hall, Masham     

21st May               Matthews Hall, Exeter  

23rd May              Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham

24th May              King’s Place, London      

26th May              New Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth

Folk Award Winners!

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees at last night’s glittering BBC Radio Folk Awards. We are particularly delighted that both Rachel Newton and The Furrow Collective scooped awards for Musician Of The Year and Best Group respectively. Richly deserved!

Be sure to get bookings with folk’s hottest property ASAP!

Book the ‘masterclass in folk tradition’ The Furrow Collective for final dates in November 2017 (3rd and 4th Nov) and for Mar and Nov tours in 2018.

Book the hauntingly beautiful modern sound of Scotland – harpist/singer Rachel Newton – for specific Sept/Oct/Dec dates in 2017 (please enquire) and for tours in Feb and May 2018.

Congratulations also to the wonderful singers and writers Jim Causley and Nancy Kerr for their well-deserved nominations too! Get in touch to discuss availability for both.

The amazing Spiro join the ABM roster!

STOP PRESS: The amazing Spiro join the ABM roster!

“The folk scene – or rather, the experimental acoustic folk-influenced scene – is becoming increasingly sophisticated and adventurous, and Spiro are leading exponents of this new genre.”

Don’t miss Spiro live tonight – broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 3 – as they open for the BBC Concert Orchestra’s premiere of a brand new BBC Radio 3 commission, Kynde, by Jane Harbour at a special concert at Cecil Sharp House.

Chris Pentney Joins The Team

Big news for March – we’re delighted to welcome Chris Pentney to our team of agents. Chris is a highly experienced event producer and programmer with over 21 years working in folk and traditional music at both Folkworks and in the Folkworks team at Sage Gateshead.

In addition to now running her own booking and management agency, Chris will be working for ABM looking after live bookings for Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, The James Brothers and Melrose Quartet.

Here are her direct contact details:

01661 842935

07912 659950