Kirsty Merryn & Mike Reinstein - May1, 2017

Double Bill
KIRSTY MERRYN & MIKE REINSTEIN

Kirsty Merryn has been turning heads in London’s prestigious folk venues and has now been signed up to support Show Of Hands on their autumn Cathedrals Tour.

She is currently working on an album of original songs focusing on the stories of real and imaginary female heroes, some with Sussex connections.

“An incredibly gifted songwriter and musician….she is a rare talent”  -   Sam Kelly, BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Winner 2016

“Everything about the future will be rubbish – except Kirsty Merryn. I plan to retreat to my bunker and listen to her EP until it all goes away.”  -  The Guardian

“Sassy and sexy, witty and wistful”  -  Steve Knightley, Show of Hands

"Perfect! Poised vocals."   -  Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music



A compelling performer and established songwriter, Mike Reinstein is a wonderfully dextrous wordsmith whose incisive analysis of the human condition is leavened with warm humour. 

“...in a similar ball park to masters of wordplay like Jake Thackray, Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson, on whose label he now appears"  -  Colin Irwin, Spiral Earth

"A brilliant singer and songwriter"  -  Mike Harding

“Alluring melodies strewn with beguiling hooks and perceptive lyrics with a perspicacity that could punch a hole through sheet steel”   -  Folkwords

“Music with heart, wit and imagination”  -  Folking.com

“Songs which engage the inner mind as well as the emotions”  -  Fatea


April 3, 2017

Double Bill
TERRY MASTERSON & EMILY MAE WINTERS


Terry Masterson was at the heart of British folk revival in its infancy and remains a hugely influential figure, especially in Sussex. He was a resident at the legendary Bunjies Folk Cellar in Soho where Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and David Bowie all played early in their careers.

Following residencies at more prestigious venues around London he became much sought after. He was top of the bill at the first Broadstairs Festival and soon embarked on headlining tours of the USA and Canada.

His life-long involvement with the oral tradition was fostered by the storytelling of his Irish father and song sessions at family gatherings. Among the Irish diaspora he forged especially strong links with the travelling community, whose songs are a feature largely in his repertoire. A captivating performer and spellbinding singer, it is a cause of much regret that he only recorded one album  -  but this has recently been reissued on CD and will be available on the night.

We’re delighted to be part of Emily Mae Winter’s tour promoting her debut album, Foreign Waters, recorded at Ben Walker’s Brighton studio. An award-winning songwriter, she has appeared at the Cambridge Folk Festival and at the Folk Alliance International in Kansas.

Much praise has already come her way:

Emily Mae Winters has produced an arresting, enthralling tantalising introduction to her work that leaves us hungry for more. -  Folk Radio UK

Superbly crafted and dramatic song writing.. Winters’ songs reflect a love of poetry, her lyrics giving a dark edge to songs that are beautifully performed. -  Radio 2 Magazine

Some singers grow on you over time and others stop you in your tracks. Emily Mae Winters falls into the second category.  -  Fatea Magazine

We were hooked. - Time Out

Her songs are touched by the influence of Irish folk, country and Americana, and her voice borders on devastating. In short… she’s terrific!  -   Folkroom

A singer straddling the folk and country genres with some aplomb.  -  W21 Music


Haunting  -  Acoustic Magazine

March 6, 2017

JOHN COPPER

He was just sixteen when he made his first public debut, alongside his father at The Royal Festival Hall but this will be a rare solo appearance. In addition to the familiar Copper family favourites there are sure to be songs from his grandfather James’ cherished comic and music hall repertoire.
John and his sister Jill now bear the torch handed down by their father, Bob, the prolific author and broadcaster and who are now joined in their glorious harmony singing by their burgeoning extended family. Between them they carry this unrivalled heritage with an easy familiarity born of seven generations of family song sessions round the kitchen table.

There will be fascinating insights into the quotidian pleasures and hardships of work and leisure in the heydays of pre-industrial farming life, with and anecdotes and banter a-plenty.

Next month:  Terry Masterson & Emily Mae Winters

FEBRUARY 6, 2017

TOM EVANS & JACK HOGSDEN


Tom and Jack grew up in families with a long involvement with folk music in Sussex.

Tom’s Dad is a regular contributor to local sessions and his multi-instrumentalist Mum, Sue, is a pivotal member of the famous Twagger band. He too can turn his hand to a variety of instruments and has been playing in public since he was 11.

Jack’s parents, Becky Martin and Leon Hogsden, are steeped in Sussex traditions. Excellent musicians and singers, they are integral to the activities of Ditchling Morris.

It’s unsurprising, therefore, that their repertoire comprises mostly English songs and tunes as well as those of Ireland, Scotland and North America.

DOM PRAG


Having already forged a reputation as an insightful lyricist in his native Hampshire, Dom has been turning heads on the Brighton music scene of late.  Hearing his father playing traditional Scottish music he was later influenced by the songs of the Durham miners in a documentary he encountered during his film studies.


For him the creative process begin as poems but his captivating melodies transform them in a most felicitous way.

January 2, 2017

THE LONG HILL RAMBLERS



Sussex’s folk supergroup is one of the UK’s finest folk / old timey bands and combines the talents of four hugely experienced musicians whose performances of traditional music from both sides of the Atlantic are a compelling mix of dazzling instrumentals and glorious harmonies. They are (L - R)

DAN EDWARDS  -  banjo
BEN PALEY  -  fiddle
LAURA HOCKENHULL  - vocals
TAB HUNTER  -  guitar


December 5th

BLANCHE ROWAN & MIKE GULSTON 

As far as performers of traditional music go Blanche and Mike cast their net wider and deeper in time and distance than most. Their extraordinary repertoire encompasses the Celtic reaches of Wales and France and far back into our medieval past. Together with composed songs from the modern era (including their own) this promises to be a musical odyssey like no other.

"Excellent harmony vocals and dexterous guitar, mandola, psaltery and recorder ... this is classy stuff"  -  fRoots

“ Engrossing from beginning to end”  -  English Dance & Song

Whether in unison or harmony - they gel perfectly, their arrangements evoking convivial firesides with wine and good company. Gulston's string playing - from guitar to laĆ¹d - is both sensitive and incisive, while Rowen's recorders and bowed psaltery add colour and texture.  -  Radio 2 Rock’nReel Magazine

“With distinctively attractive harmonies ... their voices make for a powerful duetting force.  They suit the material brilliantly, possessing a deftly charismatic quality”   Living Tradition

“Ethereal”  -  FolkWords

“A kaleidoscope of Welsh, English, Scottish and medieval French traditional and written lore, melded to forge a new, original culture. The combination of Mike’s assured, vibrant tenor and Blanche’s warm, lovely alto makes for the unique sound which these two generate.”  Mick Tems, Folk Wales

November 7th, 2016

We feel sure that our November session will make for new experiences, both for us and our guest performers, all songwriters with Sussex connections.

We are looking forward to listening to some accomplished musicians from outside the folk circuit  - and they will have the opportunity they richly deserve to be the focus of attention as opposed to providing background ambience from the corner of a raucous pub.

They are, in alphabetical order:



NEIL JOHNSEN, whose songs have been warmly received by his musical contemporaries and deserves huge respect for his recent odyssey to explore every possible bear pit of an open mic night in town. It’s not a challenge that he needed to undertake given that he has already been part of a prestigious bill alongside Kevin Montgomery.


HUBERT MURRAY, now resident in Lewes, is from County Galway. Since moving to England he has appeared at the Isle of Wight and Wilderness festivals and at many top London venues with Lands End and The Hot Rock Pilgrims, with whom he has recorded two albums.





HOLLIE ROGERS’ star is on the rise and we’re delighted that she wanted to play for us on her way to the top. “Astonishing!” was how The Sun described her and we can’t offer higher praise than that of two of her illustrious fans, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason: “Amazing voice, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Carole King” and from Suzanne Vega "...a magnificent and powerful voice".



ALICE WESTERN is a 19 year-old songwriter and inventive guitarist, originally from West Sussex, now living in London. Her influences are deeply rooted in the composers who followed in the wake of the great folk revival, such as Nick Drake, Jackson C Frank and Joni Mitchell.