We're thrilled to announce one of the most recognisable names on the UK folk scene as the next guest in our series of "an hour or so with..." sessions on Friday 26th February.

ELIZA CARTHY is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Twice nominated for the Mercury Prize and winner of innumerable other accolades over a 20 year career, Eliza has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including, Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Patrick Wolf and Bob Neuwirth. More than most, Eliza Carthy has revitalised folk music and captured the most hardened of dissenters with intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance.

Eliza grew up immersed in the world of traditional music. She still divides her time between touring and recording with her legendary parents, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson as well as engaging in numerous pioneering solo and band projects, including work with Pere Ubu and Melanie Challenger, an artist in residence in Antarctica. In what has become something of a parallel career, Eliza has co-presented the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards, been a regular guest-presenter on the BBC Radio 2 Mark Radcliffe Show and has made many appearances on BBC TVs 'Later with Jools'. In her own right, Eliza has been the subject of an hour long ITV documentary ('Heaven & Earth') and 'My Music' on Channel 5. Comedian and writer Stewart Lee describes Eliza as "Not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl".

The focus of our "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything.

Second time lucky! The next artist to join us for an hour or so on Friday (19th February) truly is an unmatched force of innovation in British folk. A multi-faceted performer, HANNAH JAMES’ virtuosic talent spans all her four disciplines: clog dancer, singer, composer and accordionist.

She has amassed an international touring career, multiple award nominations, and credits in some of Britain’s most respected folk projects, including LADY MAISERY and SONGS OF SEPARATION. Hannah began life as a clog dancer, learning from her mother and is now acknowledged as a standard bearer and champion of this traditional dance form. Rhythm and percussion and a sense of playfulness are at the heart of everything she creates.

Also a seasoned collaborator, Hannah has worked with musicians from around Europe, Canada and India, picking up skills and ideas and making many important connections. She presents an impressive and diverse portfolio of shows which can suit a range of venues and settings and allow her to express her many layers of talent and vision, including an Ensemble, Duo and Solo shows.

In October 2019, she released the album, The Woman & Her Words with The JigDoll Ensemble. Recorded with with support from the Budapest Music Centre, it clearly establishes Hannah as a composer and performer of note.

The focus of our "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link and a QR code at the bottom of this page

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything.

In a slight change of plan from what was announced last Friday evening, our guest for an hour or so next week (Friday 12th February) will now be the wonderful JACK RUTTER, who will join us for a chat and a few songs on our Facebook page at 8.00pm.

A highly-respected folk singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Jack grew up in the Holme Valley area of West Yorkshire, a place steeped in a wealth of traditional song, and following a BSc degree in Countryside Management at Newcastle University has forged a highly successful career playing music across the UK and Europe. In addition to his acclaimed solo work, he has become a highly sought after collaborator for a host of the biggest names in folk music such as Seth Lakeman, Sam Sweeney and Jackie Oates, as well as playing in the celebrated instrumental trio Moore Moss Rutter.

His second solo album Gold of Scar & Shale was released in 2019. Produced by Joe Rusby and recorded as live, the new album continues the stripped back approach of its critically acclaimed predecessor, Jack’s debut solo outing Hills. The songs are unearthed gems from the folk canon – almost all of them rare and many previously unrecorded – gathered from old books and source singers as Rutter uncovered material for this major new release of traditional song. 

Jack’s soaring vocal takes centre stage on the album, delivering each folk tale in a fresh and current way; his masterful playing and arrangements providing the perfect accompaniment. Jack contributes guitar, bouzouki, duet concertina and harmonium to the album with featured guest musicians Sam Sweeney on fiddle, Alice Robinson on Northumbrian pipes and Sam Fisher on flugelhorn. There is a strong sense of place on the new record too, with over half of the songs having some sort of Yorkshire connection. The album title itself, Gold of Scar & Shale, comes from a line in one such track, ‘The Hills of Longdendale’, with words written by ‘The Moorland Poet’ Ammon Wrigley (1861-1946).

Jack has kindly agreed to swap weeks with our scheduled guest HANNAH JAMES, who we announced during last Friday's session. Hannah will instead now join us on Jack's scheduled Friday of 19th February, so you're not missing anything... you're just getting them the other way around! Huge thanks to Jack for his flexibility.

The focus of our "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link and a QR code at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything.