Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Bill Caddick, who has died aged 74, was already well known on the British folk scene as a master craftsman of songwriting when he was recruited to join the Albion Band at the National Theatre in performances of Lark Rise (1978), Keith Dewhurst’s adaptation of Flora Thompson’s memoir of late-19th century rural England.

The innovative production, directed by Bill Bryden, was performed as a promenade: no seats but with the audience, actors and musicians intermingled. The band, led by Ashley Hutchings and also featuring John Tams, added traditional folk songs to the production, played in a folk-rock style. Caddick was in his element, playing guitar and percussion as well as providing vocals, and he relished the theatrical experience and the closeness of the audience. Dewhurst’s Candleford followed, and Caddick performed on the Albion Band’s 1980 album Lark Rise to Candleford.

Caddick continued to perform and sometimes write songs for National Theatre shows, including Don Quixote (1982), A Country Calendar (1979) and, most notably, the trilogy of plays, The Passion, The Nativity and Doomsday, which made up The Mysteries, Bryden’s landmark promenade production of medieval mystery plays, which transferred to the Lyceum theatre in 1985.

Read full article: Bill Caddick obituary | Music | The Guardian


Roy Bailey obituary | Music | The Guardian

Posted: November 20, 2018 in News

Singer whose political brand of folk music brought him fame in Europe and America

Although Roy Bailey, who has died aged 83, played a significant role in the development of sociology in Britain, he was most widely known as a folk singer. He started in the folk clubs around Southampton and Portsmouth in the early 60s, with a repertoire of the US-based folk and skiffle popular at the time, but quickly found his voice in folk music as a popular expression of political and social dissent. Influenced by singers as diverse as Ewan MacColl and Bob Dylan, he became convinced that folk music could become a powerful vehicle for contemporary social criticism.

As folk gained in popularity, Roy became a star attraction. His rich baritone voice, his charm and skill as a performer, together with his evocation of traditional folk themes, gave him an appeal to a much wider audience than either a purely cultural interest in folk or an unadorned political radicalism would have.

Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected In the early years, he often sang with his wife, Val (nee Turbard), whom he met in 1960 and married in 1963, but he also formed a number of other working partnerships, including one that took a historical perspective, with the politician Tony Benn. In 1964, he teamed up with Leon Rosselson, a prolific writer of songs of incisive social comment. They collaborated for many years. He later formed the Band of Hope, a group of traditional English folk musicians that also included Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick, Dave Swarbrick and Steafan Hannigan, and together they recorded the CD Rhythm and Reds (1994).

By the 70s, his reputation had spread to mainland Europe, and he sang in Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. During the 80s, he became more widely known in North America, particularly on the west coast of the US and as a regularly featured performer at the Vancouver folk festival, where he met and performed with both Pete Seeger and Billy Bragg. He also performed in Australia in folk festivals and clubs from Sydney to Perth.

Rather than write his own songs, Roy took up material provided by the many performers and writers he met on his travels, each drawing on the traditions of protest of their own country. With songs from Si Kahn, Robb Johnson, Ray Hearne, Geoff Pearson and Rosselson among others, he wove the threads of his own distinctive themes and causes: denunciation of war, political repression, injustice and the impoverishment of working people and minorities.

Read full article: Roy Bailey obituary | Music | The Guardian

Cyril Pahinui — slack key master, Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning recording artist, teacher, mentor and role model — died Saturday at Queen’s Medical Center. He had been in declining health for several years and was hospitalized in 2016. He was 68.

Waimanalo born and raised, Cyril Pahinui learned to play by watching his father, slack key master Charles Philip “Gabby” Pahinui, play music in the backyard with a circle of friends that included slack key guitarists Leland “Atta” Issacs and Sonny Chillingworth, and acoustic bassist Manuel “Joe Gang” Kupahu. His first instrument was the ‘ukulele. He started playing slack key at seven and was allowed to start sitting in with the adults at the age of 12.

Read full article: Slack key master Cyril Pahinui dies at 68 – Honolulu Star Advertiser

The death has been announced of musician Alec Finn, co-founder of Galway-based folk group De Dannan.

Finn, along with Frankie Gavin, Ringo McDonagh and Charlie Piggot founded De Dannan in 1974. Driven by the unique musical partnership between bouzouki player and guitarist Finn and co-founder Gavin, the band won considerable acclaim and brought Irish music to the world stage during the 70’s and 80’s with a series of seminal albums like Anthem and Ballroom.

Read full article: De Danann co-founder Alec Finn dies aged 74

WTMD is thrilled to host an evening of acoustic music by Fink, Marxer & Gleaves, featuring the legendary folk performers Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer teaming up with Appalachian singer-songwriter Sam Gleaves.

This summer, the trio released their debut album, “Shout and Shine,” and they’ll perform songs from it live in WTMD’s intimate, acoustically engineered performance studio.

The record draws on the trio’s diverse influences, featuring original songs by two-time Grammy award winners Fink and Gleaves, as well as old time country songs and songs written by celebrated songwriters Alice Gerrard, Tom Paxton and Jim Beloff. “Shout and Shine” honors folk music matriarchs Elizabeth Cotten, Jean Ritchie and Maybelle Carter with new interpretations of songs from their repertoires.

Fink, Marxer & Gleaves first came together at Common Ground on the Hill, a traditional arts festival in Westminster, Maryland, where Sam Gleaves met folk legends Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer. After bonding over a love of traditional music and social justice, the three began to play together and formed a quick friendship.

When it came time to record Sam’s first album, “Ain’t We Brothers,” in 2015, Cathy and Marcy joined him in the studio, both playing on the record and Cathy producing the project. They began touring, showcasing together at Folk Alliance International and playing music any chance they could get. “Shout and Shine” spotlights the incredible and unconventional friendship between the three — Cathy being 64, Marcy being 62, and Sam being 25 — brought together by the culture, power, love and community of roots music.

Friday, October 12 at 7:30pm to 9:30pm at WTMD in Towson.

Maartin Allcock (photo: Dirty Linen)

Tributes have poured in from around the world to Maartin Allcock, former Fairport and Jethro Tull multi-instrumentalist, who died on Sunday aged 61.

Maart – as everyone knew him fondly – had been suffering from liver cancer.

A former resident of Barford, he had lived in Harlech for a number of years and returned to Cropredy for this year’s Fairport’s Cropredy Convention to play to a massive and adoring crowd of fans for one last time.

His website said: “It is with overwhelming sadness that we have to announce the death of our wonderful husband, friend, father and genius musician, Maart.”

Born in Manchester in 1957, Maart played in folk clubs and dance bands before running away to join the Celtic folk group Bully Wee Band.

This led to an 11-year stint with folk-rock legends Fairport Convention, four years with rock band Jethro Tull and a session career which has included over 300 albums.

Read full article: Fans mourn death of Fairporter Maartin Allcock – Banbury Guardian

Maartin Allcock at Fairport’s annual festival, August 2017.


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Written by Philadelphia and Manchester UK singer/songwriter Zoe Mulford, “The President Sang Amazing Grace” appears on Whistle Down the Wind, the new album by Joan Baez.

  1. Mokoomba – Mokole
  2. Trad.Attack! – Talgo (Working Bee)
  3. Oysterband – It’s My Country Too
  4. Offa Rex – Sheepcrook and Black Dog
  5. Oumou Sangaré – Yere Faga
  6. Richard Thompson – Sloth
  7. Ken & Brad Kolodner – I’ve Endured
  8. Ímar – The Ashbury Slides
  9. Fairport Convention – Lord Marlborough
  10. (tie) The Jerry Cans – Ukiuq
  11. (tie) John McCutcheon – This Ain’t Me

Hear Detour’s Top 11 Songs of 2017 on Sunday, December 10, 5-7PM on Detour, the Folk, Roots, and World Music Show.

Source: Paul “Detour” Hartman’s Top 10 Songs of 2017 – WTMD

Twenty-five thousand songs recorded onto 78RPM discs in the early 20th century have been released online, for free.

They are the first batch of an estimate 400,000-piece virtual record collection to be made available by the Internet Archive, from gospel by the Tuskegee Institute Sings, to opera recorded in Italy, to novelty tunes by Spike Jones, to hot — though obscure — jazz.

The task of digitizing all of those old records is happening in Chestnut Hill.

In a little storefront building on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, George Blood Audio LP, an audio preservation company, has been quietly preserving America’s musical heritage, one 78 at a time.

Read full article: Philly company digitizes 25,000 old records and they’re free to download — NewsWorks

Link to 78rpm Records Digitized by George Blood, L.P.

Mariachi Herencia de Mexico (photo © Meg Rachel)

Mariachi Herencia de Mexico (photo © Meg Rachel)

Mariachi Herencia de México,
an Ensemble of Students from Chicago’s Immigrant Barrios,

Scores a Surprise Hit with their Debut CD, Nuestra Herencia (Our Heritage);

CD Debuts at #2 on iTunes Latin Chart, Showcasing Growth of Mariachi Music in the U.S.

Produced by Top L.A. Mariachi Musician José Hernández, CD Features Guest Vocalists
from Renowned Bands Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, Los Camperos, and others

With Support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Project Represents Success of Mariachi Program Model in Financially-Strapped Chicago Public Schools

NYC Debut August 20 at Joe’s Pub + Kennedy Center in Washington, DC on Sept 16

Mariachi Herencia de México, an ensemble of students from Chicago’s immigrant barrios, has scored a surprise hit with their debut album of traditional Mexican music. Nuestra Herencia (Our Heritage) ranked No. 2 in its first week on iTunes’ Latin chart, defying a music industry trend and pointing to a revival in recorded mariachi music.

The album is believed to be the first major mariachi recording released in the U.S. by a student ensemble, with members ranging in age from 11 to 18. It was produced and arranged by L.A.’s mariachi master, Jose Hernández, who calls the project “one of those labor of love things.” Much of that love and labor came from César Maldonado, an investment banker whose most important startup was a non-profit foundation that promoted mariachi music instruction in Chicago public schools, creating a classroom incubator for the talent on this album.

“It’s really nice, and very refreshing, to see kids that age who have so much love and respect for mariachi music,” says Hernández, best known as founder of Mariachi Sol de México, one of the top mariachis in Los Angeles.

In a historic collaboration, the album features guest musicians from some of the most respected mariachi groups from both sides of the border. It includes vocal contributions, recorded in Mexico, by members of Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán, a revered institution in the genre. In addition, members of three top Los Angeles ensembles – Los Camperos, Sol de México, and the all-female group Reyna de Los Ángeles – recorded guest vocals on the CD.

The release of the album, featuring 11 traditional mariachi tracks, comes paradoxically at a time when the genre had been waning. With more than 100 years of history, mariachi music had become an iconic art form, representing Mexican culture throughout the world, via records, movies and spectacular live performances by superstar singers. But the lack of major new artists in the field, coupled with the emergence of other popular folk styles, especially banda and corridos, mariachi music lost its commercial appeal for the recording industry. In fact, last year the Latin GRAMMYs did not offer an award for “Best Ranchero / Mariachi Album” due to an insufficient number of entries in the category.

Nuestra Herencia was released in time to qualify for this year’s Latin GRAMMY competition and features tribute medleys to two of the genre’s greatest stars: Juan Gabriel and José Alfredo Jiménez.

For the creators and members of Mariachi Herencia de México, the passion for mariachi music has never faltered. The group’s success represents the strength of the colorful folk style as a grassroots movement, very much alive in regional festivals and especially in the schools.

“I tell people that mariachi is a sleeping giant in this country,” says Hernández, who also operates music education programs through his L.A.-based Mariachi Heritage Society. “A lot of people in the mainstream don’t realize how big mariachi has become in the schools. This album might open people’s eyes to what’s happening to mariachi education in this country. It’s really growing.”

In Chicago, Mariachi Herencia de México was purely a barrio creation.

The band emerged from a plucky non-profit, the Mariachi Heritage Foundation, that pushed a cultural agenda in the schools. It was started in 2013 by a determined investment banker whose entrepreneurial spirit was aimed at doing good for his old neighborhood. César Maldonado, 33, was born and raised in the blue-collar, predominantly Latino community of Brighton Park on the south side of Chicago. At the time, he recalls, the public schools he attended had no formal arts or music instruction.

“I believe in the impact of the arts, especially when the art form is relevant. And this art form is completely relevant to Chicago’s growing Mexican and Mexican American communities,” says Maldonado.

Maldonado, who still lives in his old neighborhood, decided to make good on his convictions. With the blessing of Chicago’s arts-focused leader, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and support from a network of local businesses, a program of mariachi music instruction was launched, initially in five public schools. These were among the schools identified by a city study as most lacking in arts resources. And that included Maldonado’s alma mater, Davis Elementary.

The program, part of the regular school curriculum, has now expanded to eight schools and enrolls 2,100 students, who learn music theory and performance in the mariachi style. The ensemble Mariachi Herencia de México was created for students who showed the most talent and promise, and enrollment for the group was opened citywide.

For trumpeter Marco Villela, 14, who joined the mariachi last year at the urging of his mother, the experience has been a cultural eye-opener.

“It’s something that changed my life,” says Villela. “It really taught me how to look at music differently, and that there are more things out there than just classical and jazz.”

The group performs in major mariachi festivals, including upcoming events in Chicago, Orlando, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Guadalajara, Mexico’s mariachi capital. Maldonado says the band recently signed with IMG Artists, the New York agency that also represents international stars Aida Cuevas, Eddie Palmieri, and Diego El Cigala.

The aim is more exposure, so the world can see what these young musicians have to offer. Debut concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and The Public Theater in New York City are now on the schedule.

“I want people across the country to hear about these kids,” says Maldonado. “These are kids from some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods, most of them first generation Mexican American, and all of a sudden, they enroll in this mariachi program and awaken a talent they never knew they had. And they become good enough to record something like this.”

Mariachi Herencia de México – Summer 2017 Tour

August 20 – New York, NY – Joe’s Pub – 7:00pm
Aug 25- Sept 3 – Guadalajara, MX – Guadalajara International Mariachi Festival
Sept 16 – Washington, DC – Kennedy Center / Millennium Stage (FREE)
Sept 16 – Chicago NPR Radio – WFMT-FM Performance on “Introductions”