Venue: Merchants Inn, Little Church Street, Rugby, CV21 3AN
Rugby Roots is absolutely delighted to welcome this superb new trio to the Midlands.
The unique sound of traditional Manx music is the Celtic World’s best kept secret. This is set to change with the introduction of Barrule, an exciting new trio hellbent on taking the Isle of Man’s music to a much wider audience.
Named after the famous Manx summit where legend says the ancient Celtic God Manannan MacLir stalked his mighty fortress, Barrule fuses three distinct musical forces – gifted 19 year-old fiddle-player Tomas Callister, accordion wizard Jamie Smith (of Mabon) and Adam Rhodes (Mabon and Manx band King Chiaullee)on bouzouki. Together this versatile acoustic unit creates a powerful and wholly distinctive sound.
With bold but sensitive arrangements, the trio presents a fresh take on traditional and contemporary Manx music. While sharing common ground with its Celtic cousins, as well as the English tradition, Manx music has retained its own particular and inherent Manxness: an atmosphere evoked by the music that speaks of the natural beauty of the island and the lives of its inhabitants. The trio’s debut album, self-titled Barrule, showcases a diverse collection of material from rousing marches, jigs and reels to sorrowful slow airs and beautiful songs sung in the Manx Gaelic language. The album had an Isle of Man launch last summer and an official UK release is planned for early 2013.
The trio is off to a flying start in 2012, with festival appearances during the summer including Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Brittany, Yn Chruinnaght festival in the Isle of Man (supporting Scottish group Blazin’ Fiddles) and Lowender Peran Festival, Cornwall. This summer they embark on their first UK tour. Catch them if you can, this is a band to watch.
Support: Rugby's very own Hollie Aires
Venue: The Arnold House, Elsee Road, Rugby, CV21 3BA
Co-promotion between Christopher French Promotions and Rugby Roots for the Rugby Festival of Culture. For further details contact Chris on 07855 463934 or at email@example.com
Cellist. Pianist. Singer. Composer.
An absolute must-see.
This is a golden opportunity to catch the first ever non-American winner of the coveted Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre in New York.
MOBO award nominated Ayanna brings a near indefinable taste of jazz, blues, soul, classical and more.
“Cellist and singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson has to be heard to be believed. Her self-assured style blends a honey-sweet vocal delivery with bewitching, and bewildering, cello-playing.” – Mike Flynn, Time Out
Venue: Lawrence Sheriff School, Clifton Road, Rugby, CV21 3AG
Dean Friedman first marked his entry into pop consciousness with the Top 20 chart success of his infectious hit single, Ariel, a quirkily irresistible and uncategorizable pop song about a free spirited, pot-smoking, vegetarian Jewish girl in a peasant blouse who lived, as the lyric goes, “…way on the other side of the Hudson”.
Friedman scored again with the release of his follow up album, “Well, Well,” Said the Rocking Chair’, and the now classic hit single, Lucky Stars. This magical duet, performed with singer, Denise Marsa, zoomed to the top of the UK singles charts, going instantly gold. Lucky Stars paved the way for a slew of Friedman hits, including familiar radio staples such as Lydia, Rocking Chair, McDonald’s Girl and Woman of Mine.
Friedman’s consummate songwriting and performing, have earned him a loyal international following, devoted to the sophisticated, funny and profound work of a master songsmith.
“Stunning Musicianship” – Hot Press, “Songsmith Extraordinaire!” – Music Week , “An Amazing Talent” – The Sun, “An American Classic” – Tribune, “The Soundtrack of Our Lives” – NY Times, are just of few of the superlatives used to describe Friedman’s powerfully unique and original talent.
Friedman’s recent run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival garnered similar critical praise:
“Every song in this Edinburgh show is a classic. You won’t see a better show.” – London Theatre Guide. “Sophisticated and humorous work from an old master!” Scotland on Sunday. “With his mix of jaunty ditties, sentimental ballads and bashful charm, Friedman is the pop troubadour of choice.” The Scotsman. “Dean Friedman is entirely unique and utterly brilliant” – ThreeWeeks.
Though Friedman’s next single, McDonald’s Girl was officially banned by the BBC for mentioning the tradename of the fast food restaurant, the irrepressible pop song has been successfully covered by a number of acclaimed contemporary bands including the Blenders (Universal) and top canadian band, Barenaked Ladies [WEA]. (BNL member, Steve Page, sings background vocals on Dean’s recent double album.) The song has become a viral YouTube video hit, and a staple of high-school and college a capella groups, around the world – including Harvard’s Din & Tonics and Yale’s Mixed Company – spawning more than 40 different video versions on YouTube; and now, three decades after being banned, the song has just been licensed by the McDonald’s corporation to be featured in a national TV/Radio campaign:”McDonald’s Girl”.
Friedman composes and produces music soundtracks for TV and film, including five seasons of Central TV’s hit series BOON and the soundtrack to the underground cult horror film classic I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle [Hobo Films/U.K.]. Other credits include Nickelodeon, NBC, BBC and FUJI TV.
Despite Friedman’s apparent absence from the popular music scene, evidence that his name and music have made a lasting impact on pop music can be found repeatedly in popular media: The British band Half Man Half Biscuit released a best selling EP containing the oddly titled, The Bastard Son of Dean Friedman. (Dean emphatically denies this claim.) Friedman extracts his revenge on his CD, Submarine Races with his song, A Baker’s Tale, the hitherto untold story of Nigel Blackwell’s dubious origins. With his influence evident in the music of contemporary bands like Barenaked Ladies, the Blenders and Ben Folds Five, Friedman states, ‘It’s nice to see my music has made an impact on a new generation of artists.’
Friedman also produced and presented BBC Radio Scotland’s acclaimed radio series, ‘Real American Folk’, which has featured American Folk icons such as Christine Lavin, David Bromberg, John Prine and Steve Forbert.
One of Friedman’s recent tours was almost cancelled when it was announced that his tour sponsor www.goldenseeds.co.uk would distribute packets of cannabis seeds to the first ten people that purchased CD’s at each of Friedman’s gigs. The controversy was only resolved after Friedman promised not to distribute the seeds within 50 yards of the venue premises. (click to see Songwriter’s Cannabis Controversy). [note: it is legal to possess cannabis seeds in the UK as long as they don’t get wet and germinate!]
Friedman’s latest CD, Submarine Races, has been receiving rave reviews from fans and critics, alike. The long awaited studio album contains 13 brand new tracks, lyrical soundscapes and story-songs, bursting with life, love and survival in a surreal world. It contains instant classics like ‘I’m a Lucky Guy’, ‘Under the Weather’, ‘Essie May’, ‘You’re a Criminal Darling’, ‘Calamity Waltz’ and more. This stunning recording further confirms Friedman’s status as one of the finest songwriters of his generation.
Friedman, 56, makes his home in Peekskill, NY where he lives with his wife and two children, plus assorted live stock – including a monkey named Amelia.
Venue: Merchants Inn, Little Church Street, Rugby, CV21 3AN
“Luke went so far beyond amazing, amazing was little more than the tiniest speck of a dot to us all there sitting in the cosy room at The Merchant Inn” – Rob Powell on Luke’s 2012 show at Rugby Roots (see full review here).
Luke is a rising 18 year old Roots singer/songwriter from Canterbury, Kent , and 2013 sees him nominated for both the Horizon Award for Best Emerging Talent and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.
With a bold, show stopping voice and honed guitar skills, Luke is a confident and captivating performer demonstrating an astonishing maturity. He has been making ripples on the live acoustic scene supporting such luminaries as Show of Hands, Paul Brady, Chris Wood, Steve Knightley, Lucy Ward and Boo Hewerdine and playing Sidmouth, Bristol and Trowbridge festivals.
More than Boys, produced by the acclaimed Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph, launched at the Shrewsbury Festival, has been receiving plaudits from critics and airplay on numerous radio stations.
Luke has also appeared on BBC South East TV, guested on BBC Radio 2’s Good Morning Sunday, interviewed by Aled Jones, and received national airplay from such respected DJs as Bob Harris and Mike Harding. He was also one of the artists appearing at Lancaster University’s PipeFest, hosted by Martyn Joseph.
The 11-track debut album is a riff- layered “rite of passage” CD that draws inspiration from memories of childhood camaraderie; a lyrical real-time journey from adolescence to young adulthood – in songs that are by turns powerful, passionate, poignant and pop tinged.
A cache of arresting but honest, uncluttered narrative numbers it brilliantly conveys the free-wheeling freedom of youth – climbing trees with friends in Bakers Woods, scoring a Winning Goal, riding down the Big Hill on a bike with no brakes – and then changes tack with a totally unexpected insight into parents watching their children grow in the perceptive and graceful How Does It Feel? His lyric “now it seems like all my childhood songs have been sung” seems to underpin the whole album mirroring Luke’s own journey into what promises to be a “tipped for the top” future.
“Luke Jackson sings with an extraordinarily rich voice and possesses a guitar technique astonishing for one so young. I first heard him sing four years ago and even then his songwriting suggested a performer of rare promise” – Steve Knightley, Show of Hands
“For a while after Nic Jones and Chris Wood there was a big gap and you wondered where the next generation was coming from – now Luke’s the next guy” – John McCusker
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman
Venue: Lawrence Sheriff School, Clifton Road, Rugby, CV21 3AG
BBC Radio 2 2013 Folk Award’s best duo make a welcome return to Rugby Roots
Twin daughters and a folk-rock whirlwind forced Kathryn Roberts (Vocals / Piano / Woodwind), and Sean Lakeman (Guitar), to sideline their popular duo performances in the mid naughties. Now the timing is right for a return to form from the Dartmoor based couple.
Two of the British folk scenes most accomplished performers, Kathryn and Sean have graced stages the world over in a number of guises, however, the intimacy and strength of passion shown as a duo, combined with an eclectic repertoire ensures a rare treat.
With a story that includes music making with the likes of Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Levellers, Kate Rusby and Show of Hands, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have established themselves as pillars of modern British folk.
Whether on stage or in the studio Sean Lakeman is a tour-de-force of modern folk music. As the eldest of the 3 ‘Lakeman Brothers’, Sean was raised on Dartmoor and has played the guitar since the age of six. He was recognized at an early age as one of the most promising guitarists around. Sean learned his trade and travelled the world for a decade with folkpopsters ‘Equation’, he then famously went on to orchestrate the sound of his little brother ‘Seth’, producing his most successful albums, garnering many awards, a gold record and a top ten hit album along the way. As a member of Seth’s live touring band Sean has played at the highest level, breaking down boundaries and and winning over legions of music fans with a commitment and energy seldom seen from a folk band. Sean excels when working within a band, and his services have been called upon by many other leading artists and groups. One of his favourite achievements is to have produced the albums ‘Letters from the Underground’ and ‘Static on the airwaves’ by the folk punk legends ‘Levellers’, both records hailed by critics and fans alike as ‘A triumphant return to form’.
A lauded singer, one of the finest of her generation, Kathryn is held in the highest regard by peers and music fans alike. Born and raised in the South Yorkshire mining town of Barnsley, Kathryn has simply sung since she could speak. Her musical parents took great delight in introducing her to many types of music including a regular summer trawl of folk festivals. This engendered a life long love of traditional song and also introduced her to some of the finest young talent on the British folk scene. An early duo career with fellow Barnsleyite Kate Rusby led to much critical acclaim and an award winning album. This partnership led swiftly to the teaming up with 3 brothers from West Devon and the folk – pop band ‘Equation’ was born. Many years fronting the band saw Kathryn grace exotic stages all over the world, 5 years of which were spent almost exclusively in the U.S. Her relationship with Sean Lakeman flourished both personally and musically, and after a decade of relentless touring the two decided to return to their English roots and gig as an acoustic duo. Two albums and several tours of UK folk clubs swiftly cemented a formidable reputation. Now after a few years of proud motherhood she feels ready to return to the place she belongs, singing at the front of a stage.