Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Bruce Molsky

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

He’s a self-described “street kid” from the Bronx who bailed on college and big city life for a cold-water cabin in Virginia in the 1970s. His mission? To soak up the passion that was dramatically upending his parent’s life plan for him – authentic Appalachian mountain music – at the feet of its legendary pioneers, old masters who are now long gone.

Today, Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer, ethnomusicologist and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations. He’s also the classic “musician’s musician” – a man who’s received high praise from diverse fans and collaborators like Linda Ronstadt, Mark Knopfler, Celtic giants Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine, jazzer Bill Frisell and dobro master Jerry Douglas, a true country gentleman by way of the Big Apple aptly dubbed “the Rembrandt of Appalachian fiddlers” by virtuoso violinist and sometimes bandmate Darol Anger.
 
Molsky digs deep to transport audiences to another time and place, with his authentic feel for and the unearthing of almost-forgotten rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook. Molsky seduces audiences with a combination of rhythmic and melodic virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit – a uniquely humanistic, downhome approach that can make Carnegie Hall feel like a front porch or intimate jam session.
 
In addition to his many live performances as a solo and with Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, Bruce will be kept away from his home in Beacon, New York, by his work as a Visiting Scholar at the old American Roots Music Program at the Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and through fiddling workshops and summer music camps he conducts for devotees here and abroad.

“Bruce Molsky is one of those great players who ‘gets it’: has all the links to the past but is happy not to be chained to it.”
Mark Knopfler

“An absolute master.”
No Depression

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Dakhla Brass (plus Spindle Ensemble)

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

DAKHLA BRASS
Dakhla Brass return to The Wardrobe Theatre to showcase their brand new and most expansive album yet – ‘Murmur’. As well as marking the addition of a sixth member, in the form of brilliant double-bassist Riaan Vosloo, the recording of the new album also sees the band working closely with Vosloo’s Nostalgia 77 colleague, producer Ben Lamdin, and recording away from their hometown for the first time (at London’s Fish Factory Studios).

Dakhla brass weave glittering brass threads into intricate musical tapestries like no other band. Propelled by restless percussion, theirs is ‘not exactly’ music – not exactly jazz, not exactly brass band or Arabian or second-line Mardi Gras, yet it draws on all that and more. This is demon stuff, delivered with deadly accuracy by six exceptional musicians- its in a class of its own.

“A powerhouse. Talent, instinct and creativity make them a real force to be reckoned with.”
Sound on Sound Magazine

“Very modern, great grooves, sound of Jazz coming from the UK that makes it stand out from everywhere else. One of the bands doing great things right now.”
Jamie Cullum, BBC Radio 2‬

SPINDLE ENSEMBLE
Spindle Ensemble are an experimental instrumental quartet from Bristol’s music collective ‘Bloom‘. They perform original compositions by Daniel Inzani that hover cinematically somewhere between jazz, folk and classical idioms, taking inspiration from artists such as Moondog, Eric Satie and Mulatu Astatke. Their debut album, Bea, was released as a luxury gatefold vinyl edition via new label Adderwell Music in Nov 2017.

“Beautiful sounds, definitely a band to watch.”
Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3, Late Junction

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Mairearad Green & Anna Massie

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

Two of Scotland’s most revered multi-instrumentalists, Mairearad Green (accordion and bagpipes) and Anna Massie (guitar, banjo, fiddle) are a truly captivating duo, providing a highly energetic performance with an instantly warm and friendly stage presence. Having played alongside each other for over ten years, they revel in an intuitive approach to each other’s musical ideas and interpretations, and an “almost telepathic communication” on stage (Hi-Arts), effortlessly showcasing the fruits of duo partnership to the highest level , creating “music more than the sum of just two parts” (The Scotsman).

Mairearad and Anna both grew up in the Scottish Highlands amidst very similar musical backgrounds (most notably, mandolin playing Dads!), and so share an innate understanding of Scottish culture and music. As a duo they have enjoyed many successes, including five stars in The Scotsman and high praise from KT Tunstall, becoming a much-loved live act.

Their three albums – 2009’s eponymous debut, ‘Doubling’ in 2013 and ‘Best Day’ 2015 – have met wide critical acclaim, Mairearad and Anna was recorded live, just the two musicians – the live double act – whilst Doubling features many layered tracks, building a more complex sound, though still just from the two musicians. At the heart of Doubling remains the live duo sets, intricately arranged and executed with symbiotic sympathy, enhancing their “must-see” reputation.

“The camaraderie and sheer fun of musical collaboration is plainly evident and infectious.”
Songlines

“An exuberant, beautifully recorded album…crisp, clean and crystalline.”
fRoots

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Bella Hardy – Hello Sammy Acoustic Tour

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

Bella Hardy, acclaimed songwriter and traditional music luminary, released Hey Sammy in November 2017, a record that bears the stamps of extensive musical expeditions far from home. Humanist hymns, ancient Chinese poems, feminist battle cries, and the title track’s reflections on the rise of racism in Britain make this Bella’s most wide reaching and richly rewarding album to date.

In the time since 2015’s 5-star reviewed With The Dawn, Bella temporarily relocated to Nashville where she became immersed in Music City’s culture of collaborative songwriting and also worked happily in the company of horses as a ranch hand. Two music-finding trips to Yunnan Province in Southwest China also saw this BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year Award winner return with a suitcase overflowing with new lyrical and musical notions. These radical changes of life and perspective flow through every word and note of the 11 songs on Hey Sammy – a glorious, accomplished, grown up record, delivered in Bella’s unmistakeable soaring and swooping voice.

Bella Hardy, BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2014, found her first home in folk music through a childhood love for ballad books. A self-taught “fiddle singer”, she began performing at Cambridge and Sidmouth festivals from the age of 13. Her debut album Night Visiting, released ten years ago, established her reputation as a songwriter when her first original composition Three Black Feathers earned a BBC Folk Award nomination.

“Inspired by feminism, racism, and international travels, this is an accessible proposition, reaching out, standing tall.”
The Guardian

“Many young musicians can sing and play beautifully, few are as adventurous and intriguing as Hardy.”
Songlines Magazine

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Ewan McLennan

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

Ewan McLennan has come to be known as a guitarist at the very forefront of his generation; a troubadour, balladeer and storyteller cut in the old style; a singer that can move audiences with his passion and pathos; and a songwriter for whom social justice is still a burning issue.

From a BBC Horizon Award for his debut album to his performances on the iconic Transatlantic Sessions, recent years have been marked by numerous awards and accolades for his music. Ewan McLennan’s most recent solo album, ‘Stories Still Untold’, continued this reception:

Ewan’s most recent project entitled Breaking the Spell of Loneliness – a collaboration with renowned author and journalist George Monbiot – seeks to use music and word to open up the issue of loneliness. Their UK tour and concept album have received wide acclaim and been featured widely, including live appearances on BBC Two’s Newsnight, BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune.

“Breaking the Spell of Loneliness is a powerful, poignant set.”
★★★★ Guardian

“McLennan continues his evolution into a major figure on the folk scene. An artist whose music lives and breathes.”
★★★★ Songlines

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Alasdair Roberts

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

Alasdair Roberts is a Scottish musician, born in Germany, who was raised near Callander and has been based in Glasgow since 1995. He is primarily a songwriter/composer, singer and acoustic fingerstyle guitarist as well as an interpreter/arranger of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond.

Since 1997 Alasdair has produced several full-length albums of music (initially under the name Appendix Out and later under his own name), primarily working with Drag City Records of Chicago. His most recent Drag City album is Pangs, a collection of ten original songs recorded with bassist Stevie Jones (Arab Strap, Sound of Yell) and drummer Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells, Alex Rex)– it was released to critical acclaim and a successful UK tour in February 2017.

Over the years, Alasdair has collaborated with a wide variety of fellow musicians (such as Will Oldham, Jason Molina, Josephine Foster, Mairi Morrison and Karine Polwart) as well as with other artists including poet Robin Robertson, puppeteer Shane Connolly of Sokobauno Puppet Theatre and film-maker Luke Fowler. In 2013 Alasdair became a member of the Scottish/English folk group The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The Furrow Collective has released two albums on Hudson Records, the most recent being Wild Hog in late 2016; the quartet won the accolade of Best Group in the 2017 BBC Radio Two Folk Awards.

Alasdair Roberts is one of a rare breed of musicians whose work has found favour with aficionados of both experimental/avant-garde music and traditional/folk music – as such, he has been the cover star of both Wire Magazine (March 2010) and fRoots Magazine (October 2003 and January/February 2017).

“Though it’s all new, the weirdness of ancient folk is ever-present; he’s a true original.”
★★★★ The Observer

“Quietly escalating towards Scottish national treasure status.”
Mojo

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Harry & Chris Save The World

After sell-out runs of their 2016 and 2017 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, Harry Baker and Chris Read have been featured three times on ‘The Russell Howard Hour’ (Sky) and have been touring regularly around the UK. Last year they prevented a apocalypse and got a panda pregnant, so they are now drunk on comedy-rap-jazz power, intent on bringing love and laughter to a world that needs both more than ever.

“Amazing, fabulously entertaining.”
Jonathan Ross

“A wonderful blend of infectious songs packed with sharp, clever wordplay… Harry and Chris’ family friendly
set leaves the audience with a smile on their face and the catchy tunes stuck in their head for the rest of the
day.”
★★★★★ The Sunday Post

“The numbers are upbeat and feel-good, and all of them are about surprising and inventive subjects or points
of view.”
★★★★★ Fringe Guru

“The pair are inspiring Instagram posts in human form.”
Chortle

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Rivertown 2018: The Grahams (plus The Black Feathers)

The Grahams, traveling troubadours, always itching for the next ride out of town guitars and whiskey in tow. In 2013 their wanderlust took them down the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya swamp in Louisiana, then in 2015 it was the American rails, and a cross-country odyssey that resulted in not only a new album but an award-winning film. In 2017, with the country reeling from a seemingly unstoppable vortex of disorientation, The Grahams embarked on perhaps their most adventurous journey yet, pointing their Harleys west to explore the “Mother Road” and the concept of “real” America with the eccentric and notorious characters who live and work in the strange and mysterious world that is Route 66. What they discovered was both heartening and heartbreaking, an America torn, but aching to come together, the culmination of decades of manhandling of the so called American Dream.

The Black Feathers
The ability to write songs that are both modern and ancient is a rare thing . But The Black Feathers weave a subtle thread of traditional influences and fresh creations so delicate their creations have led to widespread acclaim with the magic they conjure through their musical projects. Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler make up the Americana Folk duo that have been causing a stir with their debut album breaking the Top 10 in the iTunes Country chart and the Official UK Americana Chart.

In 2017 their tours in the UK, as well as an Irish tour supporting Eddi Reader, have kept Sian and Ray firmly on the road and in 2018, with new material on the horizon, there’s no rest of this hard-working pair.

Rivertown: Bristol’s Americana Festival
Now in its fourth year, Rivertown brings the music of America’s heartland to Bristol. This year’s festival promises a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, performed by global icons and rising stars.

Rivertown 2018: Jess & The Bandits (plus Foreign Affairs)

Having wowed the likes of Terry Wogan, Gaby Roslin and Bob Harris with their high-energy pop-Americana, Jess & The Bandits deliver infectious “country with zing and sparkles” (Renowned For Sound). Performing new tracks and favourites from their debut album – “a fun, melodic rollercoaster mix of country rock and ballads.” (Nashville Over Here) – Rivertown is excited to welcome “one of the most exciting live acts on the circuit” (Louder Than War).

Jess & The Bandits are back with a brand new album and UK tour. Following a successful couple of years with the release of their debut album ‘Here We Go Again’ the band have been busy in the studio writing and recording what is set to be their most exciting release to date.

Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs are an Alt Country/Americana duo from Bristol, comprising of brothers Adam and Lawrence Purnell. The powerful, passionate vocals of younger brother Lawrence have been turning heads since their burst onto the scene in 2017 but their carefully crafted songs and energetic performances have made a lasting and memorable impact.

Their success in the local scene has led them to tours with the likes of Frankie Ballard, Margo Price, Morgan Evans and Striking Matches. They are currently recording their second record, due for release in 2018.

Rivertown: Bristol’s Americana Festival
Now in its fourth year, Rivertown brings the music of America’s heartland to Bristol. This year’s festival promises a vibrant programme of blues, bluegrass, country and gospel, performed by global icons and rising stars.

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Alabaster DePlume (plus RHAIN)

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

ALABASTER DEPLUME
Following 12 monthly development residency concerts and 3 viral video clips, this ruthlessly creative approach to experimental pop music delivers eastern-influenced anthems, under spoken elements that attempt to challenge and address divisive rhetoric recently prevalent in society. Ahead of an LP release on Lost Map produced by Danalogue (Comet is Coming) and Kristian Capitol K in early 2018, the show described in the Guardian as “a reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be” enjoys an emphasis on candid interaction, humility and warmth. Based in underground East London’s Total Refreshment Centre, saxophonist and spoken word artist Alabaster creates a new band each month in his development residency Peach. PRSF has funded his forthcoming 4th LP The Corner of a Sphere, following recent performances for BBC Radio 3, National Theatre and clubs festivals and theatres around UK.

“Totally unique… Very, very brilliant indeed.”
Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3

“One of the most thrilling performances I’ve seen this year; a reminder of how vital and adventurous music can be.”
Laura Barton, The Guardian

RHAIN
the Isle of Wight native, is a bold, powerful and honest performer, whilst her songwriting is acutely fragile, mythical and overwhelmingly melodic. 2018 sees brave new territory covered for RHAIN with adventures arrangements, ambitious production and charming lyrics.

“I saw her play a couple of weeks ago. …she’s got the most beautiful voice, reminds me of Bjork & Joanna Newsome.”
Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1

“Isn’t that special!!”
Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 Music

“Voice shimmers and soothes; remember her name.”
The Independent

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)