EFDSS welcomes Eliza Carthy as President

Congratulations to Eliza Carthy MBE who has agreed to become the next President of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Eliza takes over the honorary post from Shirley Collins MBE, who was President between 2008 and 2020. Only three others have held the position since the Society was founded in 1932: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Princess Margaret and Ursula Vaughan Williams.  

Describing herself simply as a ‘modern English musician’, Eliza Carthy is one of the most recognisable faces in British folk. Steeped in the folk traditions of England from an early age, she has spearheaded the re-emergence of English traditional music as a vibrant, exciting genre. Eliza has been Vice-President of the English Folk Dance and Song Society since 2008. 

Katy Spicer, Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, said ‘We are very pleased to start another chapter in the organisation’s long-standing and valued association with Eliza. She is superbly imaginative ambassador for the folk music of England, celebrating its history hand-in-hand with an ever-innovative approach to music-making today. Eliza’s support will be invaluable as we continue our mission: to champion the folk arts at the very heart of England’s rich and diverse cultural landscape.’

Eliza Carthy said: ‘Since I was a child my family has spoken of the institution of the English Folk Dance and Song Society as the trove of our traditions. My first visit to the house as an adult to research the Carpenter collection on microfiche for my first album was like a pilgrimage, an experience never forgotten. The Society has since worked tirelessly to make the Archive and library available to the wider modern world via their online resources; the treasure is now free to curious minds all over the world.

‘When a laughing Shirley Collins and I put our handprints in cement outside the House in 2008 I didn’t imagine that I’d one day be given the honour of President of the Society. The English Folk Dance and Song Society continues to be custodian of the people’s shared cultural history whilst looking forward to the future. I’m beyond delighted to accept this position.’

Look out for Eliza’s 30th anniversary shows in 2022. Tour dates will be 24 Nov – 4 Dec with The Restitution.

Ye Vagabonds Big Winners At RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards

Huge congratulations to Ye Vagabonds who won Best Folk Group and Traditional Folk Track awards – the latter for their take on the much-loved folk standard I’m a Rover.

The memorable celebration took place at Vicar Street last night and showcased the very best in folk music in Ireland from the past twelve months.

A television highlights programme will be broadcast on RTÉ One on Saturday 20th November.

Ye Vagabonds will be releasing a much anticipated new album in spring 2022. The new album tour for May is now fully booked but get in touch for October 2022 bookings.

Brìghde Chaimbeul Making A Mark On The Global Stage

Scotland’s Brìghde Chaimbeul is making a mark on the global stage not only showcasing at WOMEX last month but also opening the prestigious COP26 summit in Glasgow recently. Growing up in a musical family in Sleat on the Isle of Skye, she was no stranger to the sound of the pipes, and indeed the sound of music at home. Brìghde has devised a completely new way of arranging for pipe music that emphasises the rich textural drones of the smallpipes; the constancy of sound that creates a trance-like quality in the tunes.

Her debut album ‘The Reeling’ has had an extraordinary response since it’s launch at a sold out Celtic Connections show at the start of 2019. It was named as Folk Album Of The Month by The Guardian, given five star reviews in both fRoots and Songlines, lavished with praise by BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction and listed as one of The Quietus’s Albums Of The Year. The Reeling was voted one of the 20 Scottish Albums Of The Year by the Say Awards (out of 293 submissions) and secured a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award win for Brìghde.

“Simultaneously ancient and modern, profound and direct.” Folk Album of the Month – The Guardian

Touring 20-22 May 2022 (with Aidan O’Rourke) + available for Festivals solo & duo 2022. 


English Folk Expo & Manchester Folk Festival

The ABM team are heading to Manchester this week for English Folk Expo and Manchester Folk Festival. We are looking forward to lots of great music, including the very talented Jack Rutter – an outstanding solo folk singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, combining powerhouse performance with engaging stage-presence – who is playing on the opening night, Thursday at the IABF (International Anthony Burgess Foundation) at 7.30pm.

If you are an EFEx delegate, please do come along and talk to us about Jack and the rest of our amazing roster at the industry Trade Fair on Saturday 23rd October between 10am and 1.30pm at Bridgewater Hall.

See you there!

ABM Spotify Sampler Playlist

Check out our new Spotify Playlist to get a flavour of the great variety of folk and roots acts we currently have on our roster.   

Lady Maisery Join ABM

We’re thrilled to welcome award-winning vocal trio Lady Maisery to the ABM roster. The trio have long been celebrated for their innovation at the forefront of the English folk scene.

All composers and multi-instrumentalists in their own right, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans weave together a rich palate of sounds with their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions.

Whether unearthing a feminist twist hidden in a traditional tale, delivering a poignant anti-war ballad, or showcasing their immense multi-instrumental talents in original compositions that draw on a myriad of musical influences, Lady Maisery are skilful explorers of the power, beauty and vitality of song.

Over the last twelve years, the trio have released five albums and toured widely, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe. Their next album – due for release in November 2022 – is eagerly awaited by their listeners.

 ‘the most exquisite vocal harmony work on the English folk scene’
The Guardian

Touring New Album November 2022 and available for summer festivals 2023.


New Tour From The Magpie Arc

After releasing three EP’s in 2020/21, new folk/roots/rock band The Magpie Arc, featuring multi-award winners Nancy Kerr and Martin Simpson, have been recording their debut album for release in January 2022 with gigs to follow. 

Their touring show will be two full sets of Martin, Nancy, Tom A. Wright (The Albion Band), Alex Hunter and new singer/guitarist Thomas Dibb, so a full, value-packed “Evening with The Magpie Arc”!

There are new songs, re-imagined traditional songs, great covers and Simpson and Kerr favourites. There will be folk, blues, country and maybe even rock ‘n’ roll, all in a musical mix of lush harmonies, scorching electric guitars, gorgeous fiddle lines and rock-solid bass/drums.

Available for festivals and gigs in 2022. Please enquire for options.


RANT News!

News from RANT… as they say a very fond farewell to their bandmate Jenna Reid, departing the band after 10 years, and a huge welcome to wonderful musician Gillian Frame.  A familiar name to any folk fan, Gillian has been a friend of the band for years who are over the moon to have her and her fantastic playing on board.

Bethany Reid from Shetland, Anna Massie and Lauren MacColl from the Highland peninsula of the Black Isle, and Gillian Frame from Arran join forces to showcase the combined resonance of their instruments with repertoire unearthed from both old collections and their own contemporary writing. RANT create a sound which is both spacious and lush yet retaining all the earthy bite and spark synonymous with a Scottish fiddle player.

The quartet been working away over the last couple of months on new material and old RANT favourites and looking forward to releasing new music with Gillian this winter with live dates available in 2022. 
“‘Chamber-folk of the highest order”

Touring 3-6 Feb, 24-27 Mar, 13, 19-22 May, 23-26 June and 9-11 Sept 2022.


Martin Carthy 80th Birthday!

Many Happy Returns to the one and only Martin Carthy on the prestigious occasion of his 80th birthday today. Alan Bearman Music have had the privilege of working as Martin’s UK booking agents for over sixteen years. He has been a hugely respected figurehead in English folk music for well over five decades; a pioneer of the folk revival and a gifted, bold and innovative guitarist and folk song interpreter.

Martin is as influential – amongst contemporaries and younger generations alike – as he is valued as a national cultural treasure. Endlessly curious, knowledgeable, talented and hard-working in equal measure, Martin is a true living legend and we are proud to work on his behalf. Happy Birthday Martin! Love from all at ABM. xxx

Martin has a new merch shop to try to raise some funds as he’s been out of work (like all performers), since March 2020: https://www.scarletmedia.co.uk/martin-carthy-merch

Ye Vagabonds New UK Tour

Ye Vagabonds – the outstandingly talented Dublin-based brothers Brían and Diarmuid MacGloinn – make a much-awaited return to the UK for two 2022 tours, after a studio focus in 2021, including the release of the brilliant I’m a Rover / The Bothy Lads 7”.  

The duo grew up playing music together around their hometown of Carlow, a small town in the southeast of Ireland. After moving to Dublin in 2012, they quickly became a staple of the live music and session scene in Ireland, playing their own original songs as well as folk songs from Ireland, Scotland, England and America.

Their already fast-booking city-focused May tour runs from 1st – 15th, and then they’ll be back again in October 2022. Be sure to grab a date ASAP!


New Project – Heal & Harrow

Heal & Harrow is an exciting new touring project with outstanding Scottish musicians, Rachel Newton & Lauren MacColl which has already hit the ground running in terms of 2022 bookings. Be sure to get in quick for the chance of a date!

The new multi-disciplinary work pays a humanising tribute to women persecuted during the 16th and 17th Century Scottish Witch Trials, while also exploring historical beliefs in the supernatural and modern day parallels in our society. Each piece is inspired by and in remembrance of real women who were persecuted and tried as witches, and characters from the folkloric tales and mythology enshrined in our oral culture.

The project will combine music, new writing and evocative visual art, and already has the potential for a number of related projects from a podcast, to educational resources and a book. A CD is planned for release in October 2021. The touring party will include Rachel, Lauren and a sound/projection engineer.

Read more here in The Scotsman article from January 2021 which has had a huge volume of traffic to it’s site. 

Touring Feb 2022 (remaining dates: 10, 13, 14, 16) and 12-25 2022 (remaining dates:  12-14, 17-22).


Leveret Live Streamed Show

Unfortunately, due to current restrictions, we’ve had to cancel our (already rescheduled) Folk in the Fall concert series on 13th March at Kings Place. The good news is that Leveret will be doing a special live streamed show from Hall 1 on 13th March at 7.30pm. Book your tickets here.
(NB the event will not be available on demand, so please tune in on Sat night).

ABM at Virtual Showcase Scotland

Sarah Coxson will be manning the virtual ABM Trade Stand on Friday with details of our roster of fantastic artists.

Just a reminder too that ABM artists featured in this year’s Celtic Connections include fiddle playing royalty RANT  (Saturday 16th January 2021) https://www.celticconnections.com/event/1/shooglenifty-rant-the-paul-mckenna-band-fiona-hunter-amira-kheir; singer and harpist Rachel Newton (winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year in 2017) performing songs from her new album To the Awe (Tuesday 19th January) https://www.celticconnections.com/event/1/breabach-aidan-o-rourke-365-rachel-newton-bassekou-kouyate-katherine-priddy and (on Sunday 31st January) the fantastic singer/songwriter from New Mexico, Cahalen Morrison.

Other Scottish artists on the ABM roster include: Ryan Young, Mairearad Green & Anna Massie, Ewan McLennan, Alasdair Roberts, Band Of Burns as well as some wonderful cross border collaborations: The Furrow Collective, Aly Bain, Ale Möller & Bruce Molsky and The Magpie Arc.

Have a great Showcase Scotland all!