Fantastic line up of Artists for 2018
These are the artists currently booked for the Main Stage in the Town Hall.
There will be plenty more musicians on our FAR Stage (previously known as the Fringe Stage), and in the streets and town sessions. Last year we had over 35 acts on the Fringe, and back-to-back slots in five locations in the streets. And that's not to mention the many sessions!
And we've added TWO bonus events. First, we are so excited to have Nashville star Gretchen Peters and her husband and keyboard player Barry Walsh on Friday 24th August.
Flats and Sharps will support Gretchen, before heading over to Egloshayle Church to perform again, with Joli Blon.
And we've added another on Thursday 23rd in Egloshayle Church, with "the English Emmylou..." Naomi Bedford, with the heavenly voiced Jennian King.
AMERICANA BONUS GIG
Wadebridge Town Hall, Friday 24th August 7.30pm
We are so excited to welcome to this year's Cornwall Folk Festival Nashville's Gretchen Peters!
Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2014, she was named by the Telegraph as one of the best female singer-songwriters of all time.
Her 2016 album Blackbirds went in straight at Number One in the UK Country Charts. Her songs have been recorded by Etta James, Shania Twain and Bonnie Raitt, amongst many others, and she's co-written and recorded with Bryan Adams.
The follow-up Dancing With The Beast was released earlier this year to rave reviews, hit the Official UK Country Charts at number 2 and was still in the top 20 at the time of writing.
"If Peters never delivers another tune as achingly beautiful as 'On A Bus To St. Cloud,'" People Magazine wrote, "she has already earned herself a spot among country's upper echelon of contemporary composers."
Gretchen Peters is a songwriter and an artist. Both sides are essential to her identity, and one listen to this collection makes it clear that her extraordinary body of work is indeed essential listening for the rest of us.
She appears with husband and pianist Barry Walsh in this remarkable coup for the South West.
This concert is NOT included in the weekend ticket. However, weekend ticket holders can swap the advertised Friday night concert (Flats and Sharps with Joli Blon) for Gretchen Peters for an additional £15 (£7.50 under 16s) -- and still see Flats and Sharps, who will be the support for Gretchen, and then headline at the other night's concert!
With Flats and SharpsArtist's Website
Eddi ReaderWadebridge Town Hall, Saturday 25th August 7.30pm
Eddi Reader grew up in Glasgow and Irvine, Scotland and it was in those towns that she learned to use music as a vehicle for communicating with others through busking and performing at the local folk clubs.
In the early 1980s, Eddi travelled around Europe with circus and performance artists before moving to London where she quickly became a sought-after session vocalist. She famously harmonized with Annie Lennox touring with the Eurythmics, after her time with successful punk outfit Gang of Four.
It was the short-lived but warmly remembered Fairground Attraction that really brought her into the limelight and to the attention of a much wider audience. The single 'Perfect' and parent album First of a Million Kisses both topped the British charts.
However, it was her subsequent albums which signalled her increasing ability to assimilate different musical styles and make them all very much her own. Her unerring instinct for fine material, whether self penned, collaborative or a carefully chosen cover version resulted in 'Mirmama' (1992), 'Eddi Reader' (1994), 'Candyfloss & Medicine' (1996), 'Angels & Electricity' (1998) and 'Simple Soul' (2001).
In 2001 she decided to move home to Glasgow where she recorded the classic 'Songs Of Robert Burns' album. Awarded the MBE in 2006 for services to singing, she took her Burns songs on tour all over the world and found connections to the bard everywhere from Kolkata, India to Sydney, Australia. In 2006 she released 'Peacetime' on Rough Trade featuring some of the UK's finest traditional players and produced by Folk Musician of The Year, John McCusker. Constant touring with her band has created a magical organic chemistry between Eddi and her players and the results of this relationship can be found on her most recent releases.
'Love Is The Way', Eddi Reader's seventh solo album, was released in March 2009 on Rough Trade Records. Produced by Eddi herself, it is her best work so far. Recorded in a matter of days with her band in Glasgow, the record has captured the award-winning songstress in her finest form. Songs written with her long-time writing partner Boo Hewerdin (who joins her in Wadebridge), songs written with her life partner John Douglas (The Trashcan Sinatras) and a song from the magical Irish singer/songwriter Declan O'Rourke as well as a rare Brian Wilson composition, an Eddi/Fleetwood Mac 'mash up', and one from Dublin songwriter Jack Maher.
From the traditional to the contemporary, Eddi brings joyous life to all forms of song. Her taste in co-writers, writers, songs and players is impeccable and anything with her name on it is guaranteed musical treasure. What sets her apart is the depth and quality of the emotional performance; her ability not only to move the listener but to connect her experience to that of her audience. Her rare blend of meltingly true vocals and towering romanticism combine with an astute and pragmatic nature to make her a unique and powerful figure in contemporary British music, one of our most thrilling and affecting performers.
With NinebarrowArtist's Website
Roberts & LakemanWadebridge Town Hall, Sunday 26th August 7pm
Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene's most rewardingly enduring partnerships.
Twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo 2016 and 2013, the couple's intimacy and strength of passion on stage have won them many fans and an enviable reputation as 'Songwriters par excellence' (fRoots), whose greatly varied original songs cover such subjects as wicked mermaids, Norwegian legends, and a lonely whale.
Building upward from their last two highly praised albums 'Tomorrow Will Follow Today' and 'Hidden People', fans of folk and acoustic music can only wonder where this leading couple will choose to turn next.
With a story that includes over 20 years of music making with the likes of Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Levellers, Kate Rusby and Show of Hands, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have consolidated themselves as pillars of modern British folk.
'BEST DUO' BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 and 2016
'BEST DUO' Spiral Earth Awards 2015
"Kathryn Roberts is extraordinary, exuding more emotion in a single sigh than most divas can manage in an aria" (Sing Out magazine, USA)
"Sean Lakeman's clever acoustic guitar riffs mixed with Roberts' sultry singing combine to bring tuneful, intelligent and soulful music" (Acoustic Guitarist)
With Gilmore and RobertsArtist's Website
Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds Egloshayle Church, Thursday 23rd August 7.30pm
Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds came together over a mutual love of folk and country music. Paul was the mandolin player and songwriter with The Men They Couldn't Hang; Naomi was the singer and writer of Orbital hit 'Funny Break'.
Of 2011's 'Tales from the Weeping Willow', Andy Gill from the Independent said it was, 'both brilliant and original'. Nigel Williamson in Uncut praised Naomi's voice that 'soared, soothed and haunted in equal measures'. Duets with Beautiful South's Paul Heaton and Scotland's Alasdair Roberts were equally lauded.
The follow up album 'A History of Insolence' saw further rave reviews and a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination for best original song with 'The Spider and the Wolf'. It led to many festival appearances, including Celtic Connections, Wickham, Glastonbury Left Field Stage with Billy Bragg and Cambridge.
Now comes the third part of the trilogy, 'Songs My Ruiner Gave Me' — a look at the good, bad and ugly side of love from the sugar coat to the bitter chill. Startling musical contributions from Ben Walker and Gerry Diver illuminate the folk-blues feel while The Police's Andy Summers' guitar is suitably unique. In a strange twist, Naomi was once Andy Summers' babysitter -- talk about synchronicity!
Partners in real, as well as musical, life, this album is their mission, their story and, appropriately, a true labour of love.
With The Paper CircusArtist's Website
Sam Kelly & the Lost BoysWadebridge Town Hall, Monday 27th August 7.30pm
One of the most rapidly rising stars on the UK folk scene, Sam Kelly is a truly rounded musician -- singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, producer.
You may have seen him as a 2012 Britan's Got Talent finalist, or as part of Cornwall's The Changing Room. Now with his band The Lost Boys, he's a reputation for an incredibly high class and dynamic live show, and the guys are rapidly became firm favourites at venues and festivals in all parts of the country.
They've played sessions on Radio 2 and won their Horizon Award for Emerging Artists in 2016. Whether playing to 13 million people on prime-time television, or to 10 people in a tiny pub, Sam's child-like fascination with music shines through, and his passion for discovering and rekindling the sounds of his musical heritage has gained him the respect of peers and audiences worldwide.
"I think this guy is absolutely brilliant... His voice is beyond sublime." Mike Harding
"Amazing, thrilling music." Mark Radcliffe
"Sam Kelly — what a beautiful singer. He has that really rare male voice, that soft-edged tone, you know those beautiful tenor voices of the 30s and 40s...it really draws you in. Sam's absolutely great, he's going to go places." Kate Rusby (on the 'next big thing' in fRoots magazine)
"One of the best folk bands on the scene." Seth Lakeman
"Sam has such a beautiful voice and sings with so much soul. Amazing!" Cara Dillon
"A captivating performer, Sam Kelly has one of the best young male voices in British acoustic roots music. Seriously...Check him out!" Sean Lakeman
"The Lost Boys is an outstanding debut album." Bright Young Folk
"This is the album that the folk world has been awaiting... The Lost Boys is going to be huge." Folking.com
With ZonjArtist's Website
Flats and SharpsWadebridge Town Hall, Friday 24th August
Egloshayle Church, Friday 24th August
Flats and Sharps have come a long way from their humble beginning busking in Penzance as 17 year-olds to performing on the Town Square Stage at the Country 2 Country Festival at the O2 in London in March 2015 and at Proms in Hyde Park, London in September 2015, which was recorded for later broadcast on the Bob Harris Country show on BBC Radio 2. Along the way that have played for (and with) the Governor of Kentucky who jumped on stage to play with them, won fans at scores of festivals including Isle of Wight, Maverick and many bluegrass and folk festivals and performed for events for Ralph Lauren and Jack Wills shops in London. They were the headline act at the Ireland's Westport Folk and Bluegrass Festival in June 2015.
With five great voices, fast finger-picking and their mastery of playing round a single microphone makes for a thrilling visual and sound experience. They've also written some fine songs!
Flats and Sharps are ones to watch out for and these five talented young men are clearly going to pick up many, many fans along the way.
Note: Appearing twice on Friday 24th: first with Gretchen Peters and then with Joli Blon at Egloshayle Church. Artist's Website
Gilmore & RobertsWadebridge Town Hall, Sunday 26th August 7pm
Contemporary folk/acoustic duo Gilmore & Roberts combine award-winning songwriting with astounding musicianship and 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.
Katriona grew up in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, learned violin at school and started playing local folk clubs with her guitarist father at the age of 14. She joined folk pop sensations Tiny Tin Lady in 2006, and in 2011 was invited to be part of The Albion Band. Katriona has featured on many acclaimed albums as a session musician and has appeared onstage with such diverse acts as The Troggs, Kim Richey and Matt Berry.
Jamie was brought up in Barnsley, South Yorkshire in a musical family (Kathryn Roberts, also on tonight's bill, is his sister). Jamie joined young English traditionalists Kerfuffle in 2007 and more recently formed The Dovetail Trio with Rosie Hood and Matt Quinn. Alongside his regular projects, he has performed with Nancy Kerr's Sweet Visitor Band and Blackbeard's Tea Party amongst others.
'Hot property' (fRoots)
'Gilmore & Roberts take English folk and scuff it up with indie rock drama' (Q Magazine)
'Enthralling... consistently compelling' (Pure M Magazine)
'Head and shoulders above their contemporaries' (Rockin' Magpie)
With Roberts and LakemanArtist's Website
NinebarrowWadebridge Town Hall, Saturday 25th August 7.30pm
Ninebarrow are a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition. Described by Mike Harding as sounding 'damn fine', by Seth Lakeman as 'a fantastic duo' and by Kate Rusby as 'absolutely amazing'.
Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breath-taking vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles. Most recently, the duo were nominated in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the 'Horizon' category for Best Emerging Artist.
Their latest album 'Releasing the Leaves' was awarded five stars in both Maverick Magazine and the English Folk Dance and Song Society Magazine, who described it as 'Immaculate'. It was also listed in The Telegraph's Top Folk Albums of 2016.
'A rather lovely thing ... like two halves of one voice' Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
With Eddi ReaderArtist's Website
The Paper CircusEgloshayle Church, Thursday 23rd August 7.30pm
FAR Stage, Sunday 26th August, 6:10pm
The Paper Circus are a young group of three very talented musicians, featuring Suraj Nagar on guitar, Jennian King on vocals and Jim Park on cello.
Cornwall Folk Festival president Mike Walford was bowled when he caught them at the recent 2017 Bedworth Folk Festival with Jen's stunning vocals and Suraj's delicate and sensitive guitar weaving around the songs, so we had to book them.
We are delighted to have them here in Cornwall. They are a real class act who will reach great heights on the festival and club scene in 2018-19, so make sure you don't miss this hot trio!
With Naomi BedfordArtist's Website
Joli BlonEgloshayle Church, Friday 24th August 7.30pm
FAR Stage, Saturday 25th August, 3:30pm
Joli Blon, who take their name from a much-loved Cajun waltz, play traditional dance music from Louisiana, USA — two steps and waltzes with a bit of blues — on fiddle, accordion, guitar, drums and rub-board.
From a core all-women trio, to a full band of five with lap steel and drums, they play festivals, gigs, Mardi Gras and swamp parties, getting audiences of all ages up and onto the dance floor — with or without a dance workshop!
The band has experience of a broad range of venues and festivals from Towersey Folk Festival to the Croissant Neuf Field at Glastonbury, as well as dates in the Netherlands, Ireland, and Louisiana.
They aim for audience participation, and are always happy to demonstrate some southern moves.
'Laissez les bon temps roulez' — as they say downtown N'Orleans ... and Stoke-on-Trent.
Lucy Vines: Cajun accordion; Fliss Premru: fiddle; Miriam Hogan: guitar/rub-board; Owen: drums
With Flats and SharpsArtist's Website
ZoñjWadebridge Town Hall, Monday 27th August
Shanty St Foundry Court, Saturday 25th 12:15pm
Far Stage, Sunday 26th August, 12:10pm
Zoñj is a breton music trio formed in 2016. Wooden flautist Baptiste Barbier takes an authentic approach to breton traditional themes, while wilful guitarist Liam Roudil provides sharp and energetic rhythms. The trio is completed by fiddler Elouan Le Couls.
All three are from Cavan, a small town in western Brittany. They now work in Rennes as professional musicians, although not with each other to begin with. They all had other musical experiences, playing in different breton bands before setting up their trio. They've since played all famous breton festivals and "festou noz" stages — Yaouank, Kann al
Loar, Festival de Cornouaille, Festival Interceltique de Lorient and many others.
After two years of these rich musical and human experiences, they recorded their first album, with help from the well-known Breton record company Coop Breizh.
With Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys
Thorn and RosesFAR Stage, Friday 24th, 7pm
Hosting Singaround Session in The Ship, Friday 24th, 8-11pm and Sunday 26th 3-6pm
Running Cornwall Festival Harmony Choir workshops Saturday 25th Town Hall and Sunday 26th Goods Shed Large Room, both 10.30am-noon, plus opening slot at Roberts and Lakeman gig Sunday 26th 7pm
Thorn and Roses are a three-part mixed voice unaccompanied close harmony folk group performing traditional and contemporary material.
Slick delivery, joyful harmonies, great professionalism, plus a good injection of fun, they are Rowena Metters, Sylvia Fletcher, and Jinks Jenkin, who joined voices a number of years ago inspired by their mutual love of unaccompanied close harmony singing.
They are all accomplished singers in their own right, but since forming Thorn and Roses they have developed a style and presentation that has gained them quite a following in this country, with much interest from the Cornish communities of North America.
Last year Sylvia and Rowena, who have harmonised together since they were teenagers, celebrated 50 years as performers. They sound as fresh as ever — congratulations, you stars!Artist's Website
No guarantee can be given that any events will take place, or any artists will perform at a particular time, or at all. We will, however, make every effort to carry out the programme as advertised.
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