Congratulations to Jason & Pharis Romero for their Saturday night 2019 JUNO Traditional Roots Album of the Year Award win for ‘Sweet Old Religion’. Be sure to catch them on their UK tour when they arrive next month! http://www.pharisandjason.com/shows
We’re excited to be booking a UK tour for three outstanding traditional performers. Sharing their Celtic, Nordic and Appalachian cultures: Aly Bain, Scotland’s supreme traditional style fiddler; Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ale Möller, and American old time fiddler, singer, guitarist and banjo player Bruce Molsky form a dynamic diversity.
Touring UK 14-23 November 2019.
“Our far-flung trio of pals love meeting up whenever we can and enjoy our music most when it’s ‘in the moment’. We very much hope that you too enjoy this meeting-point!” Aly, Ale and Bruce
“Dynamic yet seamless diversity…with the extra warmth and zest of patent mutual ease, enjoyment and admiration.” The Scotsman
The third release on Rough Trade’s River Lea imprint is the work of brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn who grew up in the rural town of Carlow on the southeast of Ireland. The Hare’s Lament (released 22nd March 2019) is an album of traditional songs learned from some of the greats of Irish music; from precious archive recordings of a grandfather they never met; from the unique collection of singer Róise na nAmhrán from Arranmore Island in Donegal (their mother’s birthplace) and from contemporaries in the singing communities around Dublin, of which Ye Vagabonds are a valued part.
In 2018 the group was nominated for a BBC Folk Award on the strength of their self-released and largely self-written debut album, and received several nods from the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards. They spent the year touring throughout Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe, and took part in the Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breton before returning home to work on their second LP.
With The Hare’s Lament, Ye Vagabonds have produced a record that might remind listeners of the exquisite harmonies and intricate musicianship of the legendary Planxty while being evidently part of the current, innovative and vibrant Irish folk scene, alongside their pals Lisa O’Neill and Lankum. These songs speak to people now as they’ve always done.
In the meticulous sleevenotes for the album, Brían and Diarmuid write:
“These ten songs have been in circulation for a great number of years, successively renewed and recharged by each generation of singers. There is no single definitive source or version associated with many of them.”
Singing in Irish and English and accompanying themselves on violin, bouzouki, guitar and mandolin, the brothers are joined on this record by their regular touring band member Alain McFadden on harmonium, their brother-in-law Jessie Smith on additional fiddles, John Flynn on tin whistles (two played at once, held together with rubber bands) and fellow River Lea signing Brìghde Chaimbeul on smallpipes.
“We researched the songs in archives, written sources, and by asking around, finding new verses, different melodies, related songs. Our memories (often through their infidelity) did a good deal of the work for us, and the songs developed over time as we started to play them and sing them. Sometimes if we listen back to the recordings we initially learned from, it’s clear how much we left these sources behind.”
Happy New year! ABM is looking forward to attending Showcase Scotland, as part of Celtic Connections, and will be running a stand at the Trade Fair on 1st February, where delegates can come and talk to us about our diverse roster.
Amongst the ABM acts appearing at this year’s Celtic Connections are:
Brighde Chaimbeul (18th Jan, St Andrews In The Square);
Chris Smither (18th, The Tron);
Ryan Young (20th Jan, Piping Centre);
Ye Vagabonds – guests at The Dublin Sessions (20th Jan, City Halls);
Rachel Newton (24th Jan, Mackintosh Church);
Sam Sweeney – The Unfinished Violin (27th Jan, Strathclyde Suite, GRCH);
Mairearad Green and Anna Massie (2nd Feb, Drygate);
Eli West with Olav Mjelva (3rd Feb, New Auditorium, GRCH.)
We welcome several generations of quality American roots artists to the UK this year.
The summer sees the return of the amazing and much-revered hardcore Americana singer/musician Tim Eriksen from mid July – mid August. Available for festivals and venue bookings.
New to the UK, raw and compelling duo Mama’s Broke appeal to a wide range of audiences with their original and urgent old-time songwriting and playing. The duo will be here from mid July – mid August and promise to wow festival and arts centre audiences.
In November (2nd– 20th), the brilliant Riley Baugus makes the trip back to the UK for some solo dates with his show Banjos, Ballads, Stories and Songs of the Southern Appalachians. An unmissable act!
Finally, we welcome back to the UK Bruce Molsky’s excellent trio with Allison de Groot and Stash Wyslouch. Molsky’s Mountain Drifters will be touring 24 May – 2 June 2019.
Co-curated between ABM and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 Musician of the Year – harpist and singer Rachel Newton – Trad. Reclaimed is a music-based series at Kings Place, London (15-17 March 2019) as part of the Venus Unwrapped series.
Trad. Reclaimed celebrates both women musicians and singers in the contemporary folk scene and iconic figures in its development. Showcasing pioneering forces in the tradition, some of the country’s finest instrumentalist talent and powerful purveyors of song, the weekend aims to redress a gender imbalance often found in the wider music scene. Celebrating the light and shade, energy and dynamism, grit and nuance of some of the finest trad. players, as well as the sheer diversity of skills and inspiration.
The increasing contemporary consciousness about the visibility of women in music helps to shine a light on imbalance in folk music events. ‘I want people to be aware of it,’ says Newton. ‘To go to a festival with all men on the platform and to think, “There’s something weird about this!
“I like the idea of reclaiming something: It feels like we’re doing something powerful but not aggressive. And although it’s a great chance to showcase the talented women in folk today, it’s not a women-only event. The point I’ve always been trying to make is that it’s not about taking anything away from anyone … it’s just trying to even out the playing field. The more women are visible on stage, not just singers but instrumentalists as well, the more young girls and women are likely to think that they can do it too. There’s nothing more powerful.’
The weekend event features ground-breaking women in folk – from a musical play about iconic Irish singer Margaret Barry to a conversation with influential folk singer and song collector Shirley Collins. There will be also be performances from some pioneers of the current generation of folk musicians, from the joyous all-women line-up The Shee to Kathryn Tickell’s evocative reflections on her native landscape with The Darkening. Offering breadth and balance to the weekend, also featured are the acclaimed sister act The Rheingans Sisters, Hannah James’ Innovative dance and music show JigDoll, newcomers Solasta and panel discussions related to gender issues in folk music with contemporary singer and writer Emily Portman and more.
Box Office 020 7520 1490
Trad. Reclaimed Programme Of Events
The Shee Big Band + Hannah James’ JigDoll
Fri 15 Mar 2019 – 7.30pm // Hall One
The Shee bring electro-harp, accordion, fiddles, flute, mandolin and three powerful voices together with a range of individual musical influences to produce an adventurous brew of Folk, Gaelic and American music.
A rarity in folk music, Hannah James is a singer, musician and innovative clog dancer. Jig Doll combines all of these disciplines in a beautiful show exploring the life of the travelling player, with newly-composed music in a magical setting woven around percussive dance.
Women in Folk – Music Panel Discussion with Rachel Newton, Emily Portman, Sarah Coxson, Jo Frost and Sarah Jones
Sat 16 Mar 2019 – 2pm // Hall Two
Rachel Newton brings together a group of women from across the music industry to discuss issues around gender in folk music with questions from the floor.
Shirley Collins in Conversation with Emily Portman
Sat 16 Mar 2019 – 4pm // Hall Two
Iconic English folk singer and song collector, Shirley Collins, has enjoyed a momentous recent return to the stage. Her deep and lasting influence on many contemporary singers is significant, inspired by her belief in the ‘song not the singer’ at the core of her performances of traditional material. Emily Portman is one such singer. With their shared passion in the source material, this event promises to be an insightful and engaging conversation about lives lived in song.
Sat 16 Mar 2019 – 6pm // Ground Floor Foyer
Solasta is an outstanding young folk trio, fast building a name for themselves on the back of their inventive arrangements, unique sound and exhilarating live performances.
She Moved Through The Fair: The Legend of Margaret Barry with Mary McPartlan, Lisa Knapp, Gerry Diver, Gillian Horgan, Luke MacLeod and Colin Irwin
Sat 16 Mar 2019 – 7.30pm // Hall One
Hailed as an icon and ‘real soul singer’ by singers as diverse as Norma Waterson, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison, Margaret Barry was extraordinary. Born in Cork in 1917 she left home at 16 with nothing but a bicycle and a banjo, setting off to busk her way through the harsh streets of Ireland. What happened next is part of folk music legend.
Written by music journalist Colin Irwin and Irish singer Mary McPartlan, She Moved Through The Fair features many of her most famous songs (Bold Fenian Men, Factory Girl and Galway Shawl) along with dialogue from interviews with colourful characters who shared her adventure. A poignant and funny musical drama, debuted at Celtic Connections festival last year to wide acclaim, this is the first time the show will be performed in the city where Barry spent many of her vintage years.
Now She’s Fairly Altered her Meaning: A gendered response to British Traditional Songs with Emily Portman
Sun 17 Mar 2019 – 2pm // St Pancras Room
In this talk with musical accompaniment, songwriter Portman discusses her own feminist interpretations of the traditional songs she sings and the original songs she writes.
Rachel Newton – Solo Recital
Sun 17 Mar 2019 – 4pm // St Pancras Room
Singer and harpist Rachel Newton specialises in interpreting traditional folk songs in both English and Scottish Gaelic, in new and innovative ways.
Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening + The Rheingans Sisters
Sun 17 Mar 2019 – 7.30pm // Hall One
Kathryn Tickell is widely acclaimed as the world’s foremost exponent of the Northumbrian pipes. She is a composer, performer, educator and successful recording artist whose work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. This new full-band project featuring musicians from Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland and England invokes the dark, powerful, shamanic sounds of Ancient Northumbria and broadcasts them to the modern world with a global resonance and outlook.
Rowan and Anna Rheingans make bold, playful and innovative contemporary music, anchored in folk traditions but not bound by them. Their performances – fiddle, viola, banjo, concertina and voices – showcase an intuitive and moving musical conversation between two musicians at the height of their powers.
We are really saddened to hear of the death of our friend and colleague, Frank Bechhofer. We send all our love and best wishes to his family and many friends.
As he became ill, Frank asked ABM to take over the UK bookings for his long-time client and close friend, and one of the greatest Irish singers, Andy Irvine. Though the circumstances are sad ones, we are of course delighted to step up to represent a man whose voice gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself”.
Andy is taking bookings for UK dates throughout October and early November. Please get in touch ASAP to secure a date, as the tour is unsurprisingly filling very fast.
Musician, singer, songwriter, and Lifetime Achievement Award winner at the inaugural RTÉ Folk Awards, Andy has had an amazing musical career over the past 50 years. At the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, and then Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island, Andy is both a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.
ABM is delighted to be working with Riley on a November 2019 tour (2nd – 20th): Banjos, Ballads, Stories and Songs of the Southern Appalachians.
Riley Baugus represents the very best of old time American banjo and song. His powerful singing voice and his expert musicianship place him squarely in the next generation of the quality American roots tradition.
Riley is a native of the southern Appalachians. The Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina is where his roots lie, and he grew up learning the music and art of storytelling of the region from older musicians in the area. His solo show consists of a focus on banjos, ballads, stories and songs.
He has toured in the UK for many years with Ira Bernstein, as one half of the hugely popular Appalachian Roots project. He has played at Celtic Connections several times with Dirk Powell, and also toured with Tim Eriksen in the States, as part of the Cold Mountain film tour, and as a duo.
Riley has also recorded with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, and with Willie Nelson – both T-Bone Burnett projects.
Lucy Farrell is quietly building her solo career with her exquisite renditions of traditional ballads and quietly moving original songs. As one fourth of The Furrow Collective, Lucy is a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner in the Best Group category following the release of the band’s widely acclaimed Wild Hog LP in 2017.
Her upcoming solo album sees songs arranged in pairs: a traditional song alongside her one of her own, inspired by the theme or emotion instilled. It’s very much a personal response, and it’s one that she hopes will also echo with her listeners.
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 saw them frequently outselling the headline act at the CD stall. She went on to perform in the delightful quartet, Carthy, Hardy Farrell and Young; on Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band’s Big Machine album and tour and in the Emily Portman Trio with whom she sang, sawed and played viola for many years.
Lucy will be most at home in intimate venues, though her quiet command of the space makes her very adaptable to bigger rooms and festival stages too.
Touring solo late May/early June and October 2019.
ABM are excited to be working with the lovely Matthew Byrne on some summer 2019 UK dates.
Matthew comes from a musical family. Both his parents are fine singers and collectors of songs from various traditions.
His music has travelled well beyond the rugged shores of his Newfoundland home since his 2010 debut, Ballads. Touring as both a solo artist as well as singer with The Dardanelles, he has graced major festival stages worldwide. With his second album, Hearts & Heroes, receiving Traditional Recording of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Byrne has established himself as one of Canada’s most authentic and vital traditional voices.
Matthew’s third album, Horizon Lines, was released domestically in August of 2017 and in the UK on Tom Sweeney’s RootBeat label in May of 2018. That release was supported by the PR work of Lizzie Evans of Evan’s Above.
We are now booking shows from 19 July to 6 August 2019. Get in touch asap to confirm a booking.
“It’s increasingly rare to find male traditional singers who are not just good, but GREAT! Matthew is certainly in that truly great category.” ~ BRIAN O’DONOVAN, WGBH BOSTON
“Possibly the finest interpreter of traditional songs in the country.” ~ PENGUIN EGGS MAGAZINE
“His reverence and respect for his material, along with his unabashed exploration of new songs and his staggeringly beautiful voice, makes for the rarest and most vital folk performer.” ~ TOM POWER, CBC MUSIC
“Matt’s interpretation of traditional songs is somehow fresh and ancient at the same time. And his voice is friggin’ perfect.” ~ ALAN DOYLE
“A voice as true as a compass needle.” ~ JAMES KEELAGHAN
ABM is delighted to welcome Andy May Trio to the roster. Three of the North East’s most sought after musicians – Andy May (Northumbrian pipes), Ian Stephenson (guitar) and Sophy Ball (fiddle) – join forces to create a compelling, energetic instrumental act. Join them in their shared musical home, as heard on their CD About Time, with old tunes from Northumberland, new compositions, and captivating arrangements.
Expect tradition and innovation in equal measure, along with an entertaining mixture of history lessons, silly stories and sparkly shoes.
They are available for festivals throughout the summer and will be touring 22-30 Nov 2019 and 20-29 March 2020.
November 2018 sees the release of the third album by award-winning and acclaimed folk group The Furrow Collective. Their new album ‘Fathoms’ was produced in Powys and Oxfordshire by honorary fifth-Furrow Andy Bell and sees the group build further on their substantial reputation for breathing new life into traditional songs.
The twelve recordings of which Fathoms is comprised capture typically innovative arrangements and set the four distinctive voices in a magical, captivating sound-world. As with their previous collections, the impression is by turns ancient, evoking the lines back to the earliest source, and then altogether unknown; fresh as tomorrow morning.
The Furrow Collective is an English/Scottish band consisting of four talented and individually prominent performers: Lucy Farrell (viola, voice & saw), Rachel Newton(harp, fiddle, voice), Emily Portman (banjo, concertina, voice) and Alasdair Roberts(guitars, voice). The group formed in 2013, drawn together by a shared love of traditional song and balladry of the England, Scotland and beyond and an open, intuitive approach to collaboration. In recognition of their innovative approach, The Furrow Collective were awarded the accolade of 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Group’, hot on the heels of the release in late 2016 of their second album, Wild Hog (also on Hudson Records).
The Furrow Collective tours extensively throughout the UK as well as in mainland Europe, delighting audiences with their uniquely beguiling approach to traditional song. November 2018 sees the band touring England and Wales to launch the new album.
‘A bravely sparse and compelling new take on traditional songs… A quietly classy young folk band’ Guardian
09/11/2018 Galeri Caernarfon CAERNARFON
10/11/2018 Howard Assembly Room LEEDS
11/11/2018 Lincoln Performing Arts Centre LINCOLN
12/11/2018 The Slaughtered Lamb LONDON
17/11/2018 The David Hall SOUTH PETHERTON
18/11/2018 Whitstable Sessions WHITSTABLE
23/11/2018 Barnsley Civic Theatre BARNSLEY
24/11/2018 Old Fire Station CARLISLE