So, we're back in lockdown, but you know what that means! Over the next four weeks (or longer, we'll see what happens!), we'll be returning to our "an hour or so with..." sessions via our FACEBOOK page. And we're thrilled to announce that the guest for the first of these will be the thoroughly brilliant MAZ O'CONNOR.
Hailed as a "remarkable songwriting talent" by Q magazine, singer-songwriter Maz is known for her thoughtful lyrics and captivating singing. She grew up in the wild Lake District of the Romantic Poets, studied literature at Cambridge and is now settled in South London. With roots in Ireland, all of these influences make her songwriting and performing style something truly unique.
In 2014 Maz was awarded a BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellowship (Adele was a previous recipient). During this year she wrote her album This Willowed Light, which earned her a nomination for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Horizon Award and appearances at high profile festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival, WOMAD and Glastonbury. She headlined Downend Folk Club, at our larger Christ Church venue, back in February 2015.
Her second album The Longing Kind, was a coming-of-age piece, about which Songlines wrote: "There is an inquiring intelligence as well as an emotional sensibility at work here…she plays and sings beautifully." She toured the UK and Europe, and opened for such artists as David Gray, Thomas Dybdahl & Rosanne Cash.
Maz's new album Chosen Daughter is a concentrated feminist statement. It is not protest music, but a very personal album which explores, and celebrates, the feminine, inspired by the stories of her grandmothers.
The focus of these "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations going direct to the guest. You can donate at PayPal.me/downendfolkclub or via the button below.