Steph Sweet’s “The Grail”

Steph Sweet

Englishwoman Steph Sweet would have fit right in on the recent Sing Out! podcast focusing on British psych-folk. Like the classic artists Tom featured, Steph walks the line between trad-influenced singer-songwriter material and psychedelia, though in a clearly contemporary vein. Her song “The Grail,” from March, is quite simply a … → read more

Shackleton Banjo Aims to Revitalize UK Banjo Industry

The unique sound of the banjo has been making an astonishing comeback with a new generation of those listening to alternative country, folk, bluegrass, and roots music in both the UK and USA. English folk rock bands like the youth-favorite Mumford and Sons have incorporated the banjo into their music … → read more

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Stepping It Out Again!

Various: Stepping It Out Again!

          VARIOUS ARTISTS Stepping It Out Again! Veteran 10 www.veteran.co.uk\   Veteran’s established itself as very much a label of the people, documenting the songs, music and stories performed by ordinary people. You won’t find any stars here, or even any recognisable names, but they’re not … → read more

THE UNTHANKS: Diversions Vol. 1

The Unthanks: Diversions Vol. 1

        THE UNTHANKS Diversions Vol. 1: The Songs of Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons Rough Trade 636 www.roughtraderecords.com   The Unthanks have always played loose with the folk traditions of their native Northumberland, England. Though their intricate chamber-like arrangements transform folk repertoire into something uniquely … → read more

SPIRO: Kaleidophonica

Spiro: Kaleidophonica

        SPIRO Kaleidophonica RealWorld 188 www.realworldrecords.com www.spiromusic.com   Spiro is a quartet of highly imaginative musicians centered around the English town of Bristol. At first glance the combination of fiddle, piano accordion, mandolin and guitar would indicate a traditional folk ensemble. The first hint that something is … → read more

BRYONY GRIFFITH and WILL HAMPSON: Lady Diamond

Bryony Griffith & Will Hampson: Lady Diamond

        BRYONY GRIFFITH and      WILL HAMPSON Lady Diamond Selwyn 0007     www.selwynmusic.co.uk www.facebook.com/BryonyandWill   English fiddler and traditional singer Bryony Griffith and melodeon player and dancer Will Hampson have played together in various ensembles for the past 20 years. These include Bedlam, The Newcastle … → read more