Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Stanlæy (plus Alfi)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

Stanlæy is the musical moniker of Bristol based singer, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Bethany Stenning, performing her original compositions live with Ben Holyoake (bass), Oliver Cocup (drums/percussion) and Naomi Hill (violin). The music of Stanlæy has been influenced by a diverse genre pool of folk/jazz and cosmic atmospheres, and has been compared to artists such as Kate Bush, The Dirty Projectors and Sigur Ros.

Their live show is a masterful collaboration, marrying pop, classical, experimental rock and folk. The sound is tied together in polyphony, with crafted violin parts weaving between Bethany’s ethereal vocals and the electric guitar.

Stanlæy’s complex and intricate recordings are entirely composed, arranged and recorded by Bethany Stenning. The Human Project, her audio-visual album is due to be released May 2019.

“Unique and distinct.”
Folk Radio UK

Alfi are a fresh new trio combining American old time and traditional Irish music and song to produce a unique and tasteful sound. Alfi features an unusual line-up of harp, five-string banjo, uilleann pipes, whistles and vocals. The trio have performed at many established venues and festivals, including Body&Soul, Knockanstockan and Whelan’s, and have recently returned from touring America. In November, Alfi won the prestigious ‘Molloy Award’ competition at the ‘Trip to Birmingham Tradfest’, a competition for young, up and coming bands. They will have their own slot at the Trip to Birmingham Tradfest 2019 as a result. At the moment, Alfi are busy recording their debut EP, due for release in May 2019.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Nick Hart

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

Nick Hart is a folk singer deeply rooted in the English tradition. Raised in a family of morris dancers, Nick played instrumental music for many years before discovering his passion for traditional song. Whilst studying for an ethnomusicology degree, he began to explore the large body of recordings of traditional singers from the second half of the 20th century, and this led to several years of fevered study and many nights spent at folk clubs and festivals, honing his skills as an unaccompanied singer.

Nick’s initially hardline attitude to the accompaniment of folk songs has softened over the years, but his love of the nuances of traditional singing informs his minimal guitar accompaniment, and his songs are delivered with a great emphasis on storytelling. His repertoire of songs, drawn largely from his native East Anglia, reflect his understanding of both the depth and breadth of material within the English tradition and he is fast acquiring a reputation as an engaging and entertaining performer.

2017 saw the release of his first solo album, Nick Hart Sings Eight English Folk Songs. Recorded by long-time collaborator Tom Moore, the album has been well received, being described as “One of the most rewarding and accomplished albums we’ve heard this year” by fRoots.

“Uncluttered, great singing that reminds me of the very best English roots singers… this is the real deal.”
Mike Harding

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Orpheus

An internationally award-winning modern retelling of an ancient myth.

Dave is single and turning 30. He’s stood at the bar. Eurydice is a tree nymph. And Bruce Springsteen is on the juke box. A tale of impossible, death-defying love told through hair-raising spoken word and soaring soul music. The Flanagan Collective and Gobbledigook Theatre weave a world of dive bars, side streets and ancient gods.

WINNER Best Theatre, Fringe World
WINNER Best Theatre Award, Adelaide Fringe
WINNER Summerhall Award, Vault Festival

“A true gem of a show who’s praise I want to sing from the rooftops.”
★★★★★ VoiceMag

“Charming, uplifting… simple storytelling at its finest.”
★★★★ The Advertiser

“An experience not to be missed.”
★★★★★ The Clothesline

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Edgelarks

April 2018, Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin) retreated to a remote cottage in Ulpha, western Cumbria. They breathed in the mountain view, banked up the fire, and took their instruments out of their cases. Then they sat down, and wrote. In escaping the everyday chaos of busy lives, they realised how caught up in the misery of the 24 hour news cycle they were; absorbed in the heartbreak of the world, they had lost sight of its beauty. Tired of the navel gazing tendencies of sad song writing, and the terrible events frequently depicted in the folk ballad tradition, they decided to turn their attention to an oft overlooked but vital facet of our lives: hope.

Swiftly, a set of songs and tunes emerged. Stories of wonder from the natural world; tales of rejoicing and long lost returns; and simple thanksgiving for their own surroundings and place in the landscape. Informed by world rhythms, British folk roots, and the duo’s penchant for making as much noise as possible with only two people, the album is an upbeat celebration, an incitement to hope.

Edgelarks fly in on the tailwind of BBC award winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. The pair’s new project takes the roots of their previous work, from the traditional musics of the British Isles to Indian classical slide guitar to the stomping roots party of Phil’s beatbox harmonica; adds a strong stem of original writing; and runs wilder with each repeat play.

“Subtle, atmospheric… Bravely original.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“Keen, curious and concerned intellects are at work here. Hannah Martin is an enthralling singer; Phillip Henry plays all manner of guitars and the harmonica, terrifically.”
★★★★★ Songlines

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Martin Simpson

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

The remarkable intimate solo performances Martin gives go from strength to strength – every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing. 40 years after he recorded his first album, Golden Vanity, in 1976, Martin is known as a guitarist of formidable talent. Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world.

Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. His own songwriting produced the poignant ‘Never Any Good’, from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year.

Martin continues to collaborate with a dazzling array of people from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons are among the great musicians he has worked with.

In recent years, he has been a lynchpin in the award-winning Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and, in 2015, recorded Murmurs, an exciting new album with Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr. Martin’s latest solo album entitled Trails and Tribulations was released in September 2017 on Topic Records. Album guests include Andy Cutting, Kathryn Tickell, Nancy Kerr and John Smith.

He has had the most nominations of any performer in the 18 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 32 times, 13 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice.

A virtuoso player without question, but above all Martin Simpson conveys his diverse treasure trove of material from the heart, performing with rare subtlety, intensity and honesty. A true master of his art.

“One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene… Sounds better than ever.”
★★★★ The Guardian

“Simpson has become a fine interpreter of traditional and other songs, as well as a notable writer of his own.”
The Times

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ben Osborn – Letters From The Border: Album Launch

and all our love is a pattern of ashes,
a scatter of songs overcome by the silence…

Ben Osborn, the award-winning poet, composer and songwriter, returns to the UK this summer to launch his debut album Letters From The Border at The Wardrobe Theatre.

The result of an extraordinary musical partnership with the head of Nonostar Records – German experimental violinist Alex Stolze – the album was created at the remote Nonostar Studio on the German-Polish border in the summer of 2018. Channelling Leonard Cohen-esque balladry, Ben’s penetrating poetic lyrics are set against ethereal string arrangements, skittering, Bjork-like beats and drifting Erik Satie inspired piano chords. His songs evoke a strange and broken world, at once the stories of Ben’s Eastern-European Jewish ancestry and the struggles faced by migrants and refugees today. Intimate and honest tales explores themes of nostalgia and unspoken family conflicts, and examine the universal experiences of grief and bereavement from a deeply personal perspective.

The album follows a 2017 poetry collection on Bristol’s Moot Press (Murmeln um Schiffland), released as a digital EP of songs on WANDA Portal Records. Ben is already well-known as a composer for theatre and film, and a critically acclaimed librettist and lyricist for classical music including commissions for BBC Radio 3’s concert series, the Bristol Proms and the Spitalfields Music Festival. A Bristol resident for many years, he left for Berlin in 2016 where he runs the Open Music Lab, a free school for refugee and migrant musicians.

((( On Pa )))

((( On Pa ))) meaning sound wave in Japanese, is the collaboration of Japanese musician and inventor ICHI and contemporary english folk artist Rachael Dadd. Their new performance is a joyful and explorative celebration of sounds from our everyday lives fused with live drawing using an overhead projector. Water, paper and books, ball games, clapping, balloons, bottles and cooking utensils are used alongside voice, steeldrum, xylophone, clarinet, banjo and handcrafted instruments made from found objects. ((( On Pa ))) is an experience to be universally shared and enjoyed by all cultures and all ages and they invite you the audience to become an orchestra with them.

ICHI
“It’s a trip to listen to and watch.”
Don Letts
www.ICHIcreator.com

Rachael Dadd
“Contender for the best of the year lists… brilliantly unusual, unexpected tracks, you never know what she’s going to do next.”
Lauren Laverne
www.rachaeldadd.com

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Chance McCoy | Eli West

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

CHANCE MCCOY
Chance McCoy is a Grammy winning Indie Folk musician from West Virginia. After receiving a grant to study with old master musicians from the Appalachian Mountains, he went on to win the Fiddle, Banjo and Dulcimer championships in his home state. His studies and deep love for the traditional ways of the mountaineer soon landed him in an unintentional situation though, abject poverty. In 2012 Chance was living in a run down cabin when a cold call from Old Crow Medicine Show landed him an invite to join the legendary Americana band of ‘Wagon Wheel’ fame. His first album with Old Crow, where he debuted his talents as song writer, singer and instrumentalist, earned the band a Grammy for best folk album. After touring with artists such as Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Willie Nelson, Sturgil Simpson, Margo Price and other luminaries, he turned his focus towards making his first solo record. His first LP ’Wander Wide’ set to be released in 2019 is a collection of masterfully written songs woven with threads of folk, indie, and rock, with pop hooks laden through out. Straying far from clichéd Americana it’s an incredibly creative take on the modern singer song writer, wherein each song was written specifically for it’s unique placement on the album, unfolding into different landscapes of light and shade as it takes the listener on a musical journey. Chance currently lives on his farm in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia where he enjoys a rustic back to the land lifestyle, creating music and producing films.

ELI WEST
Eli West – Well-known for his work with Norwegian fiddler Olav Mjelva, Cahalen Morrison, Jayme Stone and more, the Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist oozes understated talent. We recently witnessed both Martin Simpson and Richard Hawley utterly floored by his skill. Truly a sublime musician!

Eli’s recent debut solo album, The Both, sees him taking the lead, on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.

The album focuses on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. They couldn’t have differed more, but together they shared a family. In this spirit, the theme of the album is duality: the first half showcases carefully built arrangements of six American folk songs, the second revisits these as instrumental passages, revealing new sides to the other.

“Making music the world needs.”
Tim O’Brien

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Marshes (featuring Beth Porter) plus Stanlæy

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

MARSHES
Marshes is the new incarnation of Beth Porter and the Availables. Having recorded the album before her daughter Molly was born and finishing it after, (thanks to an Indiegogo fund-raising Campaign) it feels like a life time’s journey in making a record. However, the album is a coherent collection of charmingly orchestrated songs with a full band, strings, wind and brass.

The songs are dark, quirky, charming and ethereal and depict themes such as fear, confusion, money, the weather and the odd cheesy love song, all carried by Beth’s pure and unaffected voice. They have been said to channel Ray Davies, and have been likened to The Incredible String Band, REM, Cat Power, This Is The Kit, Penguin Cafe Orchestra and Radihead!

The album has involved many of Beth’s previous band including Jools Scott on piano (The Duckworths, The Cool Web) Emma Hooper on Viola (Waitress for the Bees), Pete Gibbs on Bass (Count Bobo) Sue Lord and Ian Vorley on Violin (Red Carousel) Paul Macmahon on Drums (Protest Crayon). Producer Luke Cawthra (The Brackish and son of Dr Feelgood’s Gypie Mayo) has brought a cool sound, warmth, clarity some awesome guitar solos to the songs from his studio in Clifton, Bristol.

Beth is the cellist for Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band and she is one half of prolific duo The Bookshop Band as well as String Quartet Red Carousel. She has played cello on over 100 records including those of The Proclaimers, Petula Clark, Newton Faulkner, Jackie Oates, Jim Moray, The Heavy. She has played and written for short films including BAFTA winning The Eagleman Stag by Mikey Please.

“Quirky, engaging and really rather brilliant.”
fRoots

STANLÆY
Stanlæy (Bethany Stenning) is primarily an artist, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Bath, England. Firstly a writer, and artist, and classical musician, Bethany discovered her love for singing, and writing music at age 18. She started studying Music at Southampton University in 2013 and moved to Paris in 2015 to study French and Music at the Sorbonne alongside her degree. It is in Paris she met Marco Pavesi, a talented French musician who she began to collaborate with. In February 2016, Bethany and Marco recorded a 5-track EP in Tour, France. Bethany has performed and recorded under a number of pseudonyms including “Stanhopea” and “Stanlæy”.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Moore Moss Rutter

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

It has been 3 years since the release of Moore Moss Rutter’s second studio album ‘II’ – and there is a heightened sense of anticipation around the reunion of Tom Moore (fiddle, viola), Archie Churchill-Moss (melodeon) and Jack Rutter (guitar) in the trio that won them the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Widely regarded as three of the best players, innovators and performers in traditional folk amongst a precociously gifted generation, their finely-crafted arrangements wield a rare potency. Now, having toured with with some of the biggest and brightest acts in the British folk scene, they reconvene to release their third record together which will mark a decade of performing as a band.

‘III’ (released April 2018 on Hudson Records) harbours the trio’s talents as instrumental composers and curators, featuring a diverse yet cohesive collection of primarily self-penned material. Recorded ‘live in the room’, this album is a melting pot of influences which feels unmistakably current. Whilst intrinsically borrowing from English and other European Traditional Dance music, sonically Moore Moss Rutter (and producer, Andy Bell) have their heads firmly in the present, understanding the values of contemporary music and art making. The distinct pulse, energy and group-intuition of trad-music haunts their playing as they continue to push the creative boundaries for English instrumental music, listening and responding to the world around them as much as their musical ancestors.

Tom Moore is a unique fiddle player, violist and composer originally from Norfolk. He is currently studying for a specialist creative music masters at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is in-demand as a session musician and collaborator on projects working across several fields including folk, improvisational and electronic.

Archie Churchill-Moss is based in Bristol and is one of Englands top melodeon players and tune-writers, whose work is stylistically informed by English and French musics. He is currently touring with Sam Kelly’s Lost Boys; alongside Tom in False Lights; and teaches in the Folk department at Leeds College of Music.

Jack Rutter is a highly respected guitarist, singer and multi-instrumentalist from West Yorkshire. The recent release of his debut solo album has been met with across-the-board acclaim, and he has toured extensively with Seth Lakeman, Jackie Oates, Molly Evans Trio, and many more bands.

“Giving English traditional music the love and respect it deserves, with dreamy reinterpretations.”
Verity Sharp on Late Junction, BBC Radio 3

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)