Looking for a New England - in the USA
English folk music resurgence makes its Stateside premier at South by South West in March 2010
Looking for a New England is a unique music showcase highlighting the young artists at the vanguard of the current resurgence in English folk music. In March the group heads to Austin's South by South West (SxSW) music convention and New York City to shine a light on the creativity and virtuosity flourishing at the grass roots of the traditional folk scene.
The performers on the showcase are all highly acclaimed and have established themselves on the UK folk circuit and are starting to make an impact in the broader UK media and music industry. They include Jim Moray, The Unthanks, Trembling Bells, Jackie Oates, Olivia Chaney and Gaderene.
The first US show will be in New York on Tuesday March 16th at Webster Hall Studio, 125 E 11th St. The entourage then travels to Austin for an official SxSW showcase on Friday March 19th at St. Davids Church, 301 E. 8th St. The package also includes a SxSW conference panel hosted by journalist Will Hodgkinson on the future of English folk and its influence on the music of the USA.
There will be a preview of the event at the The Social Bar, 5 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 7JD on Monday March 8th featuring acoustic performances from Jim Moray, Trembling Bells and Olivia Chaney.
Tickets for this free event are available at:-
This event will be recorded for broadcast on British Council's Selector radio show.
The project has evolved out of the Arts Council funded CD Looking For A New England which was given away free with the autumn issue of fRoots and was also available at the Womex conference in Copenhagen in October. The CD showcased some of the best emerging talent of the English Folk scene and led to the formation of an 'expedition' of this talent to SxSW.
The initiative has also led to the formation of a unique partnership of organisations to support the trip including British Underground, fRoots, MOJO, Arts Council England, English Folk Dance & Song Society and Sound and Music.
Punk-folk, Serbian dance and world-class guitar at Cecil Sharp House
Visitors to Cecil Sharp House this spring can enjoy a feast of Serbian-style music and dance from the London Gypsy Orchestra, music from world-renowned guitarist and singer Martin Simpson, and punk-folk from comedian Adrian Edmondson and his band the Bad Shepherds.
On Thursday 18 March, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner Martin Simpson will play a solo concert at Cecil Sharp House. Performing a subtle mix of his spellbinding interpretations of traditional song and his own moving songwriting, Martin will show why he has been nominated an unprecedented 23 times in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
"Although it's his guitar virtuosity that's frequently lauded, it's as an interpreter of song that Martin Simpson really scores. Simpson delivers narratives with colour and conviction. Fittingly be-gonged several times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Martin Simpson is taking his place, not just as a hero for guitar-besotted acolytes but as one of the national treasures of English traditional music." - BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic Reviews
On Saturday 20 March, the London Gypsy Orchestra take over Cecil Sharp House with a day of colourful music and dance from Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The afternoon will include a family dance workshop and family concert, plus workshops for all in Serbian dance, music and percussion. The evening brings a full-length full-colour London Gypsy Orchestra concert, plus a Serbian-style buffet with vegetarian and meat dishes.
Performances and workshops inspired by Serbia's joy and passion for music and dance will mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Danica Janković (1898-1960), Serbian Corresponding Member of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. In her 8-volume opera "Narodne Igre" ("Folk Dances"), published with her sister Ljubica between 1934 and 1964, she described in detail more than 900 different types of folk dances from Serbia and the Balkans, and devised a new system to represent their complexity on paper, saving the dances from oblivion.
On Saturday 22 May, Adrian Edmondson (The Young Ones, Bottom) and his band the Bad Shepherdswill perform their unique brand of folk-punk. The band say:
"The Bad Shepherds play punk songs on folk instruments. Not as a gag, but because they really like the noise. They think the songs are better than people remember. They love folk instruments. It works. They do songs by The Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Jam, Sham 69, The Undertones, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, The Specials, Talking Heads, Squeeze and others, even Kraftwerk! Alright, they're not all punk, but they come from roughly the same era. They've mostly given the songs a kind of Celtic feel, and they've stuck in the odd reel and jig here and there. But occasionally they just thrash! They've always thought the excitement of a reel taking off is the nearest thing to the excitement of watching punk live in the 70's."
"...not just the hit of this festival [Leicester Big Session], but probably every other Festival this summer" - fRoots
For more information on any of the above events or to book tickets, please visit the EFDSS website at www.efdss.org