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.
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.
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
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 laùd - 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
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:
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.
Award-winning duo ROSIE HODGSON and ROWAN PIGGOTT have forged an intriguing musical partnership. Drawing upon their respective musical heritages their live performances are a fusion of the Irish and English traditions. This is hardly surprising since Rosie’s family is steeped in the songs and Morris dancing of Sussex, while Rowan’s father was a founder member of the Irish folk supergroup, De Dannan.
To add to the mix, Rosie is the lead vocalist with Irish band Crossharbour while Rowan was brought up in England and whose mother, Frances was an inspirational fiddle teacher.
Rosie is a songwriter, whose debut EP was well received but her engaging vocal style brings warmth and conviction to traditional ballads too. At her side Rowan’s wonderfully accomplished fiddle playing and vocal harmonies provide the perfect foil.
"Rosie & Rowan are at the forefront of the modern folk scene individually; together they form a powerful partnership that will surely accelerate their rise to the top. Songs crafted of the highest quality, sensitively delivered with haunting harmonies - and a cheeky smile!"
Heard And Seen
At one time Brighton had a folk club every day of the week - and all the now-famous names made an appearance. Essential to this thriving scene was the quality of the local resident singers and many’s the time that the likes of Tom Paxton and Ralph McTell had to work their socks after following the likes of this month’s guest TIM BROADBENT, Brighton born & bred (Hove, actually).
His precocious talents soon took him all round the world where his lightning-fast fingerpicking were matched only by his quickfire banter. Now resident in France he a fixture on the acoustic music scene across mainland Europe together with a superb fiddler from his adopted country, CHRISTIAN FROMENTIN.
With some great songs of his own plus an eclectic choice of the best of the rest, theirs is great package of great musicianship and humour.
Born on his grandfather’s farm in Ifield Wood, Martyn took off with a guitar and a head full of Sussex songs to work on a sheep farm in Australia. Working alongside the station hands he became fascinated by their old bush songs, “My jaw dropped,” he later recalled.
When he returned to England he became hugely influential not only for the championing of the traditional songs of Australia but also those of its new wave of songwriters. With his newly-acquired repertoire, delivered in with his trademark virtuoso style, he soon became a fixture in the clubs and concert halls of the UK.
Since then, his many prestigious collaborations with the great and the good of British folk music have been hugely important in our understanding of the links between our native traditions and those throughout the English-speaking world. He has featured on over 40 albums and continues to tour extensively.
Living Tradition said of his most recent album, Starlit Skies, “Heavenly ... superb on all counts”