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A double Folk Show this week + Articles on Jackie Oates, Rachael McShane, Lunasa, Kitty MacFarlane, Steve Tilston, Mike Vass, John Smith and more.

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A double helping of Folk Shows

Folk Show 32 features Eamon O’Leary, Lúnasa, Rachael McShane & The Cartographers, Lau, Fay Hield, Mishaped Pearls, Rory Campbell, Mary Jane Lamond, Shooglenifty, Liam O Maonlai, Battlefield Band, Planxty, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Spiers & Boden & more.
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Folk Show 33 features new music from John Smith, Damien O’Kane & Ron Block, Eddi Reader, Kitty Macfarlane, Jackie Oates and Steve Tilston. Plus music from Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake and more.
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Artist of the Month

Jackie Oates 

The Joy of Living is the seventh studio album from Jackie Oates, also our Artist of the Month for August. It is her most personal yet, covering an intensely personal period of her life in which she celebrated the birth of her daughter Rosie and bid an emotional and loving farewell to her beloved father.​ Read more.

A Featured Album of the Month

Rachael McShane & The Cartographers

When All Is Still may be an album with its roots in tradition, but it has a freshness that makes these old songs seem wonderfully new. It is one of the best collections of traditional songs you’ll hear all year. Read our review and watch the video premiere of Ploughman Lads.

Album Reviews

Steve Tilston, Olivia Chaney, Lúnasa, Glenn Jones, Mike vass & more 

Steve Tilston - Distant Days
The opportunity presented here to experience the stripped back songs in all of their raw glory is an aural delight. This collection proves that less can indeed sometimes be more, and with Distant Days, Steve Tilston, one of our most revered songsmiths, has confirmed his reputation as a jewel in the folk and acoustic-world crown.
We Banjo 3 - Haven
While initially combining their existing influences was the start for We Banjo 3, Haven tells us the journey is far from over as celtgrass spreads its boundaries, showing it can assimilate what it finds while remaining true to its roots.
Olivia Chaney - Shelter
Even more so than its predecessor, Shelter is a series of teasingly enigmatic meditations leaving a distinct feeling that for all Olivia’s emotional candour there’s a persistent – albeit attractive – unknowability giving an added depth to her increasingly masterful songwriting.
Lúnasa – Cas
Dave McNally reviews the latest offering from top-flight Irish traditional band Lúnasa who are currently touring with Natalie Merchant. Along the way, band member Ed Boyd fills in some background about the album which features Natalie along with Tim O’Brien, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Eric Bibb. A fitting, celebratory, must-listen album.
Glenn Jones – The Giant Who Ate Himself...
“The Giant Who Ate Himself” is a new collection from Massachusetts based acoustic instrumentalist Glenn Jones that feels very much like the final part of a trilogy that began in 2013. Treasures pop up throughout to bring a smile to the face. Another faultless and hugely enjoyable set from a master storyteller still peaking.
Mike Vass – Notes From The Boat
After fitting out his boat as a combined living space and recording studio, Mike Vass invited various friends aboard to record some music – and the delightful result is his latest album – Notes From The Boat. Warm, engaging melodies and sparkling performances combine with Mike’s peerless skills as an arranger for a truly delightful album.
Prana Crafter – Enter the Stream
In Enter The Stream, Prana Crafter, the musical alter-ego of William Sol, has created an album that is deeply intuitive, interpretive and built to last. It cocks a snook – albeit a very abstract snook – at the idea of throwaway music for mass consumption, instead attempting to create lasting compositions that take the rhythms of the natural world as a blueprint.
Rab Noakes – Welcome to Anniversaryville
When a musician is at the top of their game, as Rab so clearly is here, the results can be compelling; Welcome to Anniversaryville is an album of pure delight and marks Noakes out as a continuing force for musical good in a sometimes all too cynical and depressing world. 
Lisa Knapp – The Summer Draws Near, A Branch of May
Lisa Knapp’s Branch of May sequel ‘The Summer Draws Near’ is available via digitally for the first time. Opting for a more pared-back approach her voice is brought to the fore highlighting her ability to balance the skills of singer and storyteller – We look forward to more tales from the May Queen.
Jason McNiff – Joy and Independence
Jason McNiff’s been gathering increasing acclaim since he made his debut and it’s long overdue for that to be matched by greater  commercial success. With the label behind him, Joy and Independence might just be the one to crack the ceiling.
Bob Pegg – The Last Wolf
Cherry-picked from two decades of output, this is a varied collection of consistently high quality. Listeners hankering for an echo of that sly Mr Fox (genuinely weird and wonderful) will find delight in the 70s composition, Fiddler’s Cross.
Alden Patterson & Dashwood – By the Night

There’s a quiet, easy charm about Alden Patterson & Dashwood’s distinctive little musical niche, yet its very simplicity of execution is deceptive, for it can conceal an inventiveness and sense of challenge that I find every bit as beguiling.

Various Artists – Destination: Fellside Recordings 1976-2018

A magnificent celebration of the achievements of Fellside Recordings, a marvellous collection of life-affirming music that (together with its predecessor-companion issues) richly deserves a place on your “dip into often” shelves.

New Releases

John Smith, Kitty MacFarlane and Seth Lakeman. 

John Smith - Hummingbird 
John Smith announces new folk album Hummingbird, produced by Sam Lakeman and featuring Cara Dillon, John McCusker and Ben Nicholls. The album will be released on October 5th and accompanied by an extensive EU Tour. Listen to John performing Willy Moore, a song he first heard performed by Wizz Jones.
Kitty MacFarlane - Namer of Clouds
“Time and tide wait for no man”, so the saying goes. But ever since her EP, Tide & Time, came out in 2016, many have been waiting expectantly to hear Somerset singer songwriter Kitty Macfarlane’s debut album. On September 21 the wait will be over as this fine young acoustic artist unveils the beguiling release Namer Of Clouds.
Seth Lakeman - The Well-Worn Path
Fresh from his whirlwind world tour with rock legend Robert Plant, charismatic singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman releases his stunning, ninth solo album The Well-Worn Path on October 26 via Cooking Vinyl.

Celebrating Newport & Cambridge Folk Festival

An interview with Darlingside and Kaia Kater. 

For the first time ever, two legendary Folk Festivals on two continents are teaming up to spread the word about a few talented artists. We caught up with Darlingside and Kaia Kater at Newport Folk Festival ahead of their Cambridge appearance. Read it here.
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