Rooted in traditional music yet fearlessly creative, the Slocan Ramblers blend impressive bluegrass virtuosity with a fresh and modern appeal. As leading lights of Canada’s roots music scene, they’ve built on their reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan.
The band blend lightning fast, devilishly intricate instrumentals with evocative vocals on songs ranging from fine originals to rowdy old-time numbers. Their list of Canadian awards and plaudits is growing, including the 2015 Emerging Artist Award at Edmonton Folk Festival and a Traditional Album of the Year nomination at the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
The Slocan Ramblers have also been making inroads into the USA roots scene, touring relentlessly across North America over the last few years and winning over festival audiences from Merlefest to Rockygrass.
One of the most distinguished song craftsmen of the 21st century is to make his long-awaited return to record. On 17 August 2018, Tom Baxter will unveil his first official release in a decade, 'The Other Side of Blue.'
It was in 2008 that Tom brought out the self-funded 'Skybound,' the follow-up to the 2004 debut 'Feather & Stone,' which first alerted the wider world to his singular talent for absolutely believable, emotionally immersive composition. Since then, he's released one fan-only album, travelled the world, been through plenty of soul-searching and emerged at the other end with what may well be his best-ever work.
Baxter made his name with such heart-stopping originals as 'Better,' 'Almost There' and 'Day in Verona,' and his songs have been covered by much-loved entertainers from Dame Shirley Bassey all the way to Boyzone. He's admired by the likes of Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright, Gary Barlow and actor David Schwimmer, and by a steadfast set of fans who've been waiting for word of his next adventure for more than a while.
They won't be disappointed. 'The Other Side of Blue’ is Baxter's most searingly personal work to date, performed entirely solo and with gorgeous illustration on guitar and piano. It's a beautiful and elegant return to his very core as a songwriter and a human being. “I feel like I've been though a very slow metamorphosis over the years,” he says. “Even I'm not sure into what, but I can say I'm calmer inside, and I thought it was time for a full-on new release.”
While other artists rush so readily to provide the personal information that feeds the beast of self-promotion, Tom has kept his counsel, determined to be defined only by his music, and at his own pace. But it has been a tumultuous ten years. He married the longtime girlfriend for whom he wrote the Ivor Novello Award-nominated 'Better,' but then endured a divorce and, more recently, was happily remarried. Along the way, he lived in Devon, travelled to India, Los Angeles, Spain and then to Brazil, the place that inspired him to find the impetus to write again.
The new album is entirely free of “production camouflage,” as he puts it, and is underpinned by 'The Ballad of Davey Graham,' the song he was inspired to write after a request to play at the unveiling of a blue plaque for the great guitar pioneer of the title. In a moment of pure serendipity, Davey's partner had written to request Tom's contribution because Graham was not only an admirer of his, but she revealed that Baxter's music was the last that Davey had listened to. Not that of Paul Simon, Jimmy Page or any of the other superstars he had inspired, but Tom Baxter.
What they didn't know is that the revelation completed a perfect circle, because Davey had been one of the very inspirations for Baxter to pick up a guitar in the first place. Tom duly paid back the compliment by playing at the ceremony, and found that the whole experience refuelled his creative spirits to remarkable effect. He went on to finish what has become 'The Other Side Of Blue' with a renewed sense of his place in the musical ecosystem. As he describes the record himself, “there's no bells or whistles. Just me, myself and I, with absolutely nowhere to hide.”
Baxter's albums have always enveloped the listener with a delicious intensity, and so it is again on 'The Other Side of Blue,' which takes us from the heartwrenching title track and others such as 'For Crying Out Loud,' to the happier place that Tom now himself inhabits, expressed in the gentle optimism of 'When I'm In Your Hands.'
Alongside the imminent prospect of this stunning piece of work, we can also look forward to Tom's return to the live stage, with dates to be announced in due course. An English original has returned.
A Concert to Commemorate the End of World War One.
Carlton Main Colliery Band will be headlining a festival of remembrance which also includes performances from local singers Michael De Costa and Lee De Costa as well as a host of others.
The event will feature a number of local speakers and readers including Jeremy Buxton (BBC Radio York), Alan Brown (Selby College) and the Bishop of Selby.
The evening will be compered by Perrier Award nominee and Pittancer of Selby, Tim FitzHigham.
All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Royal British Legion.
Refreshments will be available in the interval with proceeds from these going to Selby Abbey.
Tickets are £10 (front seating) and £8 (rear seating)
No concessions are available.
Iconic and enigmatic, Canada’s Jane Siberry is one of the world’s most unique and gifted singer songwriters. Blessed with a sincere integrity and emotional depth, her work has spanned three decades with the release of 14 studio albums, moving from new wave, rock and art pop to jazz, folk, gospel and classically inspired music.
Her 1985 album The Speckless Sky was a huge critical and commercial success, while the follow up albums The Walking, Bound By Beauty, When I Was A Boy and her signature song Calling All Angels, cemented her status as one of the world’s foremost performance artists.
Jane’s songs have been covered by numerous artists, with particular success for k.d Lang on her renditions of Love is Everything, Haint It Funny and The Valley, while Jane’s recent albums Ulysses’ Purse and Angels Bend Closer have been released to rapturous acclaim.
The award-winning vocalist Jacqui Dankworth is joined onstage by her husband, acclaimed American pianist-vocalist, Charlie Wood, for a unique concert of duet arrangements celebrating a century of song.
Inspired by some of the great musical partnerships such as Ray Charles & Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn, George & Ira Gershwin, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway and James Taylor & Carole King, this concert features numbers including Alone Together, Autumn In New York, It Don’t Mean A Thing, A Foggy Day and You’ve Got a Friend.
The daughter of Dame Cleo Laine and the late Sir John Dankworth, Jacqui is one of the most highly regarded vocalists in the UK and has worked with the likes of Courtney Pine, Paloma Faith and Chick Corea. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Charlie is an acclaimed singer-songwriter incorporating jazz, blues, R&B and popular music.
For four decades, Nine Below Zero have delivered an explosive mix of blues and rock in live performances that never fail to leave their audiences illuminated and exhausted.
Formed in 1977 by lead singer and guitarist Dennis Greaves and harmonica player Mark Feltham, the band recorded three albums for major label A&M, appeared on The South Bank Show, Old Grey Whistle Test and the first ever episode of The Young Ones, and supported The Who and The Kinks on tour.
Following their original split in 1983, the band regrouped to mark the tenth anniversary of debut album Live at the Marquee and have been wowing crowds ever since with their powerful sound and incendiary on-stage chemistry, headlining shows across Europe as well as supporting the likes of Sting, Brian May, Squeeze and Eric Clapton.
Wildly fun, musically fearless and bursting with bravado, 2018’s prestigious Blues Music Award-winning Band Of The Year, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, have created one of the blues’ most instantly recognisable sounds and no-holds-barred styles.
Featuring the world-class talents of harmonica master, songwriter and vocalist Rick Estrin, guitar wunderkind Chris “Kid” Andersen, keyboard wizard Lorenzo Farrell and dynamic drummer Alex Pettersen, the band serve up sharp and incisive original blues and gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll.
With his wily and unforgettable songs and hipster, street-smart vocals, no one on the blues scene writes like, sings like or looks like Rick Estrin as he fronts a band of the most colourful showmen around. He has won a total of five Blues Music Awards and written songs for Grammy nominated albums by artists including Koko Taylor, Robert Cray and John Hammond.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of the classic live album Bitter Suite, Hue and Cry will be taking to the road for some very special stripped back shows in 2019.
Bitter Suite, released in 1989, was Hue and Cry’s third album and the band’s first live album following the critical acclaim and chart success of their debut album Seduced and Abandoned and follow up Remote. Bitter Suite features a beautiful acoustic version of classic Hue and Cry hit Looking For Linda along with their much loved cover of Michael Marra’s seminal Mother Glasgow.
For these special Bitter Suite 30th Anniversary Shows the brothers will be celebrating the songs from Bitter Suite as well as all the Hue and Cry hits and classics in a stripped back style.