Well, Lockdown 3.0 is now upon us, but you’ll be pleased to hear that the tiny silver lining to that particularly dark cloud is that we’re back with some more of our hugely popular "an hour or so with…" sessions, every Friday night on our FACEBOOK page. Kicking off this third series will be the last act to actually play a full concert for us, back in February last year, and firm favourites of our regulars, GILMORE & ROBERTS.

The contemporary folk/acoustic duo combine award-winning songwriting with astounding musicianship and their trademark harmonies to create a powerful wall of sound. Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) met while studying at Leeds College of Music and released their debut album in 2008.
 

Since then, the duo have toured Canada and mainland Europe, played some of the UK’s biggest acoustic festivals, toured with folk rock legends Fairport Convention and won countless accolades for their genre-spanning work. Gilmore & Roberts released their fifth studio album, A Problem Of Our Kind, in October 2018.

Recorded at the duo’s home in South Yorkshire by co-producer Ben Savage (well-known on the UK roots scene for his own acclaimed musical output with The Willows and Hannah Sanders), A Problem Of Our Kind contains some of the most stripped-back arrangements of Gilmore & Roberts’ career so far, alongside full-tilt band numbers featuring their regular festival rhythm section of Fred Claridge (drums) and Matt Downer (double bass).

The focus of our "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 (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link and a QR code at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside, and certainly until February half-term at least. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything!

We're very proud of our reputation of bringing you something special for Christmas, and we were determined to continue that festive tradition despite the challenges of this year, so the final online "an hour or so with..." session of 2020 will feature none other than JIM CAUSLEY, famous (amongst other things, of course!) for his festive offerings. 

Expect plenty of chat between Jim and host Ant Miles, along with some a taster of A Causley Christmas, which promises a selection of lesser known West Country carols, medieval and secular carols from around the British Isles, his own settings of moving Christmas poems by his relative, the late Cornish poet Charles Causley; as well a gurt dollop of festive fun with songs of over-indulgence and even a spot of panto too! (We can't squeeze all of this into an hour or so, but you'll get the flavour!).

 

Since the release of his debut album in 2005, Causley’s unique voice and persona have helped him become one of the most well-loved and respected figures of today’s contemporary roots and folk scene. A prolific collaborator, Causley is hugely admired for his work with iconic groups The Devil’s Interval and Mawkin:Causley as well as playing, touring and recording alongside Waterson:Carthy, John McCusker, Eddie Reader, Graham Coxson, Shirley Collins, Michael Morpurgo, Show of Hands, Kate Rusby, David Rotheray of Beautiful South fame and many more. He was described by Mojo Magazine as "the finest singer of his generation" and they put Forgotten Kingdom in their Top Ten Folk Albums of 2016 list. West Country father of folk Geoff Lakeman described Causley as possessing "a voice in a million" in a recent interview in the Western Morning News, some accolade indeed!

More than simply a folk-singer, multi award winning singer-songwriter, musician and proud Devonian Jim Causley is an all-round entertainer and during the past decade Causley has been nominated no less than six times for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. In 2015 he worked with BBC TV historian Dr Sam Willis to create the music for his show Highwaymen, Outlaws and Villains and was asked to perform his song about Dartmoor tin mining Pride of the Moor on BBC TV's Countryfile.

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 simply point your smartphone or tablet camera at the QR code below and follow the instructions on screen.

This will be the last "an hour or so with..." for now; we'll asses the situation in the New Year.

 

Well, as if one former BELLOWHEAD member wasn't enough for the latest in our series of online sessions, we're proud to bring you a second. This Friday (11th December), we thrilled to announce the we'll be spending an online hour or so with fiddle-player SAM SWEENEY
 
Nominated four times, and winner in 2015, of Musician Of The Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam is a veteran of the mighty 11-piece, former and inaugural artistic director of the NATIONAL YOUTH FOLK ENSEMBLE, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio LEVERET, and "one of the defining English fiddle players of his generation" (Mark Radcliffe) at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music.
 
 
Sam has made two critically acclaimed solo albums (The Unfinished Violin and Unearth Repeat) and has also recorded and performed with THE FULL ENGLISH, ELIZA CARTHY, JON BODEN & THE REMNANT KINGS, FAY HIELD, EMILY PORTMAN, MARTIN CARTHY, as well as his own critically acclaimed show Made In The Great War.
 
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 simply point your smartphone or tablet camera at the QR code below and follow the instructions on screen.

We'll continue to do these online sessions until Christmas, as concerts aren't possible, and we'll asses the situation in the New Year.