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)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: The Rheingans Sisters

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

Winners of the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Original Track, The Rheingans Sisters make playful, powerful and richly connecting music that is wholly contemporary while deeply anchored in folk traditions. Drawing on their pan-European musical scholarship (having studied extensively in France, Sweden and Norway) and their spirited mission to make connections between the music of different geographical roots, they have developed a rich artistic approach to the deconstruction and reimagining of traditional music alongside their own beguiling compositions. Since the release of their award-winning album Already Home (2015) audiences across the UK, Europe and Australia have been captivated by their live performances; as full-hearted performers and on-stage improvisors – via the adventurous use of fiddles, voices, banjo, bansitar, tambourin à cordes, poetry and percussion – The Rheingans Sisters are a unique and unmissable act on the folk and world music stage today. Their hotly anticipated third album ‘Bright Field’ is released in March 2018.

Fiddle-singers and multi-instrumentalists Rowan and Anna Rheingans grew up in the Peak District, surrounded by traditional music and encouraged to pick up the fiddle by their musician mother and violin-maker father from an early age. Rowan is a well known on the English folk scene as part of hugely popular BBC Folk Award nominated trio Lady Maisery as well as for her work with Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band andthe Songs of Separation super-group alongside Eliza Carthy and Karine Polwart. Anna lives and works as a fiddle player in Toulouse and is an expert in southern French folk music, having recently gained a 1st class diploma from the Conservatioire Occitan. As both sisters have also spent a significant amount of time studying fiddle music in Sweden and Norway, they pull a range of influences from both northern and southern European fiddle traditions into their own interpretations, compositions and arrangements.

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Leveret

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

Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England’s finest folk musicians. Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity. Leveret’s music is not arranged in the conventional sense and instead they rely on mutual trust, listening and responding. Their playing is relaxed and natural, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless.

Fiddler Sam Sweeney was the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, directs the National Youth Folk Ensemble and is known for his work in Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Full English and his own Made In The Great War project. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting, a three-time BBC Folk Awards Best Musician, is a compelling solo performer and currently works with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron leads the English Acoustic Collective summer school and is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emma Reid, Fay Hield, Jon Boden and others.

Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but sounds fresh and new. With their albums New Anything and In The Round and over a long string of sell-out gigs, the trio have built a strong reputation as consummate musicians and captivating performers. Now they return with Inventions, a new album of original material that brings Leveret’s trademark groove, energy and intuitive playing to bear on a set of new tunes composed by the trio, three of today’s finest tunesmiths in the folk field.

“Classy players … their intuitive way with tunes is glorious.”
Mojo

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow plus Jacob & Drinkwater

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

Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow are a Bristol based duo playing acoustic, folk and roots music. The pair have worked with many artists including Seth Lakeman, Afro Celt Sound system, Yola Carter, Mad Dog Mcrea, Sheelanagig and Roni Size to name a few but what unites them is a passion for folk music. They draw on their many influences to created unique arrangements of traditional song and tunes, as well as their own compositions. The live show is a musical journey through Europe and beyond; combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship.

Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow’s debut album The Fox has been received with critical acclaim. It explores the relationship between fiddle, guitar and voice, using the fertile ground of the traditional music of the British Isles as its starting point. The product of decades of musical experience, the track listing combines self penned tunes and folk tales, all intricately arranged and heartfelt.

“Fleet fingered and ingeniously arranged… deserve to be thought of as up there with the best of them.”
Songlines

Jacob & Drinkwater have been called ‘stand out new Folk’ by BBC6 Music with their live show described as ‘intense and spellbinding’ by Folk Radio UK. The duo formed in 2014 playing their first gig together at the iconic Glastonbury Festival.

The 2015 indie release ‘The Burning Low EP’ received national airplay and glowing reviews from such quarters as Radio 2’s Folk Show, BBC 6’s Tom Robinson, Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing, BBC Bristol, FRUK, Fatea, Spiral Earth, Louder Than War and ‘Whispering’ Bob TV.

Singer- songwriter Tobias ben Jacob first received wider acclaim as part of The Roots Union with BBC Folk Award winners Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) including playing live for the BBC at Maida Vale Studios and recording in Nashville, Tennessee. He has toured extensively and had several releases including the 2017 album ‘A Polyphonic Life’ Tobias’ songs have been featured in the documentary film ‘Beating The Bomb’ and in forthcoming feature film ‘Tomorrow’ (2018)

Lukas Drinkwater is rightly referred to as ‘one of busiest musicians in the UK.’ In demand as a producer, performer and session player in the worlds of folk and jazz he has featured on many acclaimed albums. Recently he’s been touring with ‘AMA UK Artist of the Year’ Emily Barker, Albert Jones, Ange Hardy, and the Peoples String Foundation. He has also worked with Seth Lakeman, 3 Daft Monkeys, Jim Causley, Lack of Afro, Lucy Ward, Tankus The Henge, Sam Kelly, The Little Unsaid and many more.

The duo’s dynamic and emotionally charged live show with all its energy, musical chemistry and spontaneity has drawn comparisons with the virtuosic pairing of John Martyn and Danny Thompson. Jacob’s sweeping vocals never fail to captivate, delivering many a spine-tingling moment; the fluidity and precision of his finger-picking underpinned by Drinkwater’s nimbly rhythmic double bass; at times sweetly soaring, haunting, percussive and driving, the layers of depth a perfect counterfoil. The added complement of stirring vocal harmonies nicely rounds off the mix.

“Intense and spellbinding.”
Folk Radio UK

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Rachel Baiman

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

Raised in Chicago by a radical economist and a social worker, Rachel Baiman was surrounded by social justice issues her entire life. “If I wanted to rebel against my parents I could have become a finance banker or a corporate lawyer” she says of her childhood. While her classmates went to church or temple on Sunday mornings, Baiman attended the Ethical Humanist Society of Greater Chicago, a non-religious community formed around discussions of morality and current events. “That was always a tough one to explain at school” she says with a laugh.

As a teenager, Baiman found music to be a welcome escape from worrying about global politics. “I often found the constant discussion of seemingly unsolvable problems to be intense and overwhelming, and when I moved to Nashville to pursue music it felt like something positive, beautiful and productive that I could put into the world. Now that I’ve had some years to devote to music,”—Baiman has been recording and touring internationally for the past 4 years with 10 String Symphony, and has played fiddle for numerous other artists including Kacey Musgraves and Winnipeg folk band Oh My Darling

Baiman’s 2017 label debut Shame was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and described by Vice’s “Noisey” as “flipping off authority one song at a time.” Now Baiman has announced Thanksgiving—out November 2 on Free Dirt Records—a self-produced four-song EP, featuring her live trio and special guests including Molly Tuttle and Josh Oliver. Thanksgiving is a collection of music to inspire an introspective holiday spirit. The songs center around themes of Indigenous Rights, home and homelessness, and love in hard times. “Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays,” says Baiman. “But two years ago in November, the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline was in full swing, and it just got me thinking about how the relationship between indigenous and white people in this country has hardly changed at all over the years. The irony of Thanksgiving being celebrated right as people were being arrested and sprayed with water guns for protecting their right to clean water really hit me”.

Baiman’s Thanksgiving is an intriguing follow up to Shame, allowing her a chance to stretch out stylistically, moving effortlessly between bluegrass, folk, old-time and country. The bittersweet lyricism she’s become known for conveys the ups and downs we often feel around the holidays, and is a reminder to raise our glass to both the joy and the hardships many experience during this season.

“A goose-bump-instigating talent that reminded me of a young Gillian Welch or Joy Williams (Civil Wars).”
Z. N. Lupetin, The Bluegrass Situation

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

The Paper Cinema’s Ghost Stories: Tales Of The Supernatural

Beguiling pen and ink drawings are magically brought to life in real time by two puppeteers and a projector to create a unique, animated film. They are joined by a hugely talented ensemble of multi-instrumentalists (including violin, guitar, musical saw and live looping) performing the atmospheric soundtrack live on stage.

Discover what happened when the Devil came to Cornwall, strange happenings in a bewitched house in Devon, ghostly apparitions in Shropshire and a headless rider in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire.

Ghost Stories is The Paper Cinema’s latest show combining the languages of animation, music, film and theatre to create something truly unique and magical. Previous shows include Macbeth and  The Odyssey.

Made for adult but suitable for ages 8+

“The pleasure here is not just that the animations are both sinister and enchanting, or that the wonderful music gives the whole thing the feel of a quirky silent movie, but also that you can see how the show is being made right before your eyes. The mechanics are fully revealed, and being able to observe the process in no way diminishes what you see but rather enhances it.”
The Guardian

“Ingenious and beautiful… Bound to delight.”
The Telegraph

“Any production by this small British company is bound to be something special.”
The Times

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)