Julia Clifford - Katie Howson

Katie Howson, ex-Director of The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust, is currently undertaking a research project into the life and music of Julia Clifford, an important traditional fiddle player, originally from Kerry but a resident of East Anglia in the later years of her life. Katie is looking for information anyone has about Julia.

Julia Clifford was a wonderful - and very influential - fiddle player from east Kerry who lived in England for most of her life. After the issue of several LPs, in particular The Star Above the Garter in 1969 and the Topic series in 1977, the music played by Julia, her brother Denis Murphy and accordion player Johnny O'Leary helped to define a style now known as Sliabh Luachra.
Within months of the issue of those albums, Julia moved to Norfolk and the last twenty years of her life and music have been undocumented until now. Anybody wishing to know a bit more about Julia Clifford is recommended to visit the Rushy Mountain website https://rushymountain.com/2016/04/22/julia-clifford/

Anybody with memories of Julia is invited to get in touch by messaging Katie's Facebook page, I looked East and I looked West. More details of the associated research project are here: https://katiehowson.co.uk/research

Clive Gregson & Liz Simcock

Saturday 19th May Canopy Theatre, Hungate Church Beccles

Acclaimed singer/songwriters Clive Gregson & Liz Simcock first toured together in 2015 in a series of shows performing songs from the Clive Gregson & Christine Collister back catalogue. The tour was a resounding success, so Clive and Liz decided to keep the partnership going and in October 2017 they released Underwater Dancing, a CD of 14 brand new Clive Gregson songs

They undertook a very successful and well received tour in support of the album in autumn 2017 and will be embarking on the next leg of that tour in early summer 2018, bringing them to the Canopy Theatre at Hungate Church Beccles on Saturday 19th May at 8.00 p.m.

Photo Sara Porter

Read more: Clive Gregson & Liz Simcock

Hadleigh French weekend

Hadleigh Folk and Acoustic Music Nights hosted another weekend of French music and dance form 6th - 8th April, attracting well over 100 people from all parts of the country. Our main guests, La Chavannée, have been responsible for some of the best interpretations of traditional music from Central France for the last 50 years.


Read more: Hadleigh French weekend

Tony Hall's Folk Band Night moves to new venue

From April, Tony Hall's Folk Band Night will move from the Duke of Wellington to The Reindeer, Dereham Road,NR2 4AY.

They will be playing every week on wednesdays and as before, this is a listening session (not joining in)

(known formerly as The Von Krapp Family Band)

The Ballad of Shirley Collins - Film release

Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins is someone who was born to invoke the old songs. Alongside her sister Dolly, she stood at the epicentre of the folkmusic revival during the 1960s and ‘70s. But in 1980 she developed a disorder of the vocal chords known as dysphonia, which robbed her of her unique singing voice and forced her into early retirement.

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins - which premiered at this year’s London Film Festival - tells this story, though to reduce it to that single aspect
does everyone (not least of all Shirley!) something of a disservice. The story proves itself to be something of a time-travelling Transatlantic road-movie of sorts, utilising a motherlode of archive audio to recount the tale of her seminal 1959 song-collecting trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and legendary ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax. As well as these songs (notably Alabama Sacred Harp Convention, Texas Gladden and Sidney Hemphill-Carter) there are more recent offerings, a home recording of Shirley's sister Dolly Collins, and a BBC session from 1958, "Eight Five Spiritual" which gets its first release, some 60 years after it was recorded.

Shirley Collins spent her life in song. Even during her time without her performing voice she was telling the stories of others’ music. Not once has she dropped the baton in keeping these songs, these stories, these people alive. The soundtrack to ‘The Ballad Of Shirley Collins’ - though diverse - showcases just a fraction of the facets that make up an extraordinary career by anyone’s standards.

"Music Documentary Of The Year" – Louder Than War

"One of the great voices in British folk music" - The Guardian

Deliberately eschewing a straightforward biopic approach, Rob Curry and Tim Plester's follow-up to their award-winning documentary WAY OF THE MORRIS, is a lyrical response to the life-and-times of this totemic musical figure. Granted intimate access to recording sessions for Shirley’s first album of new recordings in almost four decades, and featuring contributions from the comedian Stewart Lee and David Tibet of Current 93, what emerges is a meditative and carefully textured piece of portraiture. A timely delve into the arterial blood, loam and tears of our haunted island nation. The film was released in October and has played more than 50 venues to date. January 9th is the date to look out for, with the film showing at around 30 venues across the country. Between then and January 20th there will be screenings in:
Bath , Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Henley, Liverpool, London, Norwich, Oxford, Southampton, Torrington and York.
Performance dates can be found HERE