As established solo artists, Bryony & Alice are no strangers to the folk scene, but this powerful new duo is sure to turn some heads. Hailing from West Yorkshire, both are long-time purveyors and performers of traditional English folk music, united by a mutual fascination with local folk song and tune collections. Combining a respect for tradition with their own contemporary style of performance, they present a unique repertoire of harmony, history and Northern banter, featuring fiddle, harmonium, tenor guitar and intricate vocals in their distinctive regional accents. Their much-anticipated debut album is available to pre-order now at bryonyandalice.com
Keith is a very [very!] funny, globe-trotting, Geordie tall-tale-telling-singer-songwriter-guitarist.
Keith could make sheep laugh! (Jasper Carrott)
‘Crows’ were a popular feature of the folk scene from 1978 to 1988. The combination of four strong voices and expert musicianship gave them a simultaneously unique yet broad appeal. With the sad death of Ralph Jordan, in 2013, previously unreleased radio recordings were discovered. A ‘new’ album (‘Time To Rise’ Wildgoose Records), was released in 2016, and enthusiastically reviewed (‘All the songs are really inspiring….spellbinding’ Mick Tems ‘Folk Wales’).
Two of the original line-up remain in the revived band, Mick Ryan and Dave Bordewey .
Crows are now joined by Pete Harris (vocals, guitar, bouzouki) who worked in an acclaimed duo with Mick for many years, adding a unique blend of power, warmth and harmony to the band’s vocal mix. Dave Bordewey adds his astonishing high harmony lines and plays fiddle and mando-cello . Finally, the inimitable Paul Downes on guitar, banjo, mando-cello and harmonies, takes over from Ralph. All four are well known and highly respected performers in their own right.
For the new ‘Crows’, it is very clearly ‘Time To Rise’!
Take Three is a special one-off collaboration for Whitby@Home of three of England’s most popular contra dance musicians, Ali Messer on accordion (Mollie & Ali, Momentum, Ali and Sundry), Linda Game on fiddle and Gareth Kiddier on piano (both of English Contra Dance Band).
Earlier in the year they produced a number of superb recordings together which were used at online contra dances during times when playing together live was not possible. This is your one and only chance to hear them – and dance to them – playing that material live!
Charlotte Rich-Griffin is an enthusiastic folk dance caller based in Oxfordshire, with experience in calling for ceilidhs, American style contra dances, and Playford dances. She loves sharing dances with everyone from absolute beginners right through to die-hard fans. Since the pandemic started, Charlotte has been working hard adapting dances for zoom, making sure that groups of all sizes from solo dancers and couples to longways sets have dances that work for them.
Jess & Rich Arrowsmith are one half of festival patrons Melrose Quartet, two-fifths of top ceilidh band Hekety, and produce superb music in their own right as a fiddle/melodeon duo. They will be playing live for the Whitby@Home Themed Ceilidh alongside caller Martyn Harvey, and we are hoping there may also be a few (pre-prepared) special guest appearances from the Melrose Quintet ceilidh band…
Once you have heard Sara Grey you will never forget her. She has a certain quality of voice that compels you to give her your undivided attention. Her voice is both powerful and sweet with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to ballads and song that have travelled across the Atlantic to North America.
One of the best things about her singing is that it reflects her great knowledge of and feeling for traditional singing. She just seems to know what is right in the interpretation of a traditional song. She is a singer of great strength with a fine understanding of the importance of understatement in the art of ballad singing. The breadth of her repertoire of songs is enormous.
A predominantly traditional Irish band based in Yorkshire, playing a variety of tunes and songs from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany & England.
Peter and Barbara Snape have a great love of traditional British folk music especially that of the north of England where they live.
Their songs and music offer a refreshing and individual approach which effortlessly embraces the carefully researched repertoire of material they love performing.
They are convivial company, a proven quality act and a close-knit partnership that’s fully assured in its research, preparation and performance, and deservedly popular with audiences.
Pete is a fine singer and melodeon player with a song repertoire that includes many songs from his own collecting. He first came into contact with the riches of traditional song when he was a student at St Andrews University and a member and organiser of the folk club. His contacts with the Stewart Family of Blairgowrie led to song collecting on the berryfields and exploration of traveller tradition in Scotland, England and Ireland. He runs Springthyme Records, is an organiser of the FifeSing Traditional Singing Festival and continues a life-long involvement in traditional song and music.
Mike Bettison is the artistic director of Blaize, a community arts company which has been working in rural areas since 1980.
He played melodeon and sang with the folk group Flowers & Frolics. They recorded two albums. He performed with the Fabulous Salami Brothers 1979 – 1999.
He is the lead researcher for the Music at the Heart of Teesdale youth music project which incorporates the band ‘Cream Tees’. He has run regular ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions for the Alzheimer’s Society in the Teesdale area.
He was the Arena Theatre Director at the Sidmouth International Festival 1999 – 2004. He is the Towersey Festival Showground Director 2009 – present.
Fine voices with a plethora of songs serious and comic.
Benammi is a young melodeon player hailing from Derbyshire. Having been part of the first EFDSS National Youth Folk Ensemble and first cohort of the LCoM Folk degree, Benammi is an innovative player that specialises in English music but often branches out to Irish, Continental and even other genres of music.
Guaranteed a laugh at some of his funny songs, but also a great deal of enjoyment to be had from his more serious side
Janie Meneely & Rob van Sante present a variety of music as lively as it is eclectic, with songs culled from maritime traditions mixed with contemporary ballads about the ways of today’s world. Songwriter Janie’s lyrics buoyed by Rob’s musical arrangements recount heroic struggles of the recent past or show sensitive insight into contemporary issues. But just as often, their songs spring from Rob’s repertoire, collected over a lifetime as a touring musician. Either way, Meneely & van Sante present a program laced with humor and galvanizing sing-along energy.
Notts Alliance: they’re not young and they’re not pretty and they’ve been around the folk scene so long they get bookings as their own tribute band, but their enthusiasm for the music keeps them moving on to find new material and different arrangements.
Audiences say that they like the diversity of the material, which can go from the sublime to the absurd during a set and the boys (!!) enjoy the challenge of arranging and singing material that can be funny, off the beaten track, or both.
Cream Tees are an award-winning folk band based in Barnard Castle, County Durham. With an ever-evolving membership of young musicians, since their inception in 2011 the group have breathed new life into forgotten folk music first collected in the Teesdale area over the last 150 years by collectors including Ralph Vaughn Williams, Alan Lomax, Joan Littlewood & Ewan MacColl; as well as creating original compositions in the form of The Rooted Suite, gaining incredible encouragement, ideas and support from some of the best folk musicians on the UK folk scene in the process. With past & current members of the band a part of Folkestra and EFDSS’ National Youth Folk Ensemble, and ex-members recently graduating from Newcastle University’s Folk & Traditional Music BA – the band has made a mark on the musical tastes and aspirations of the young people involved.
Cream Tees are no strangers to Whitby, having first appeared at Hartlepool, Towersey and Sidmouth Folk Festival over the last 7 years. Now approaching their 5th visit (and the 2nd digitally!), Whitby Folk Week is a favourite for the band, so much so it’s officially become their home festival!
Val and Graham have been singing together since 1987. Originally they performed as part of Cockersdale. When Cockersdale stopped performing in 2012, Val and Graham decided to continue singing together. Their repertoire has broadened since then but has always included Keith’s songs. Having been regular performers at Whitby – Graham since 1966, they are delighted to be part of this on-line festival and look forward to 2022.
John is originally from Liverpool and Vic is from Sheffield, where they met and still live. They sing English songs, including some from the Sheffield area, as well as North American and Canadian variants, either in unaccompanied harmony or with Anglo concertina, melodeon and, unusually, jew’s harp! They have a long connection to the Grenoside Sword Dancers – Vic’s Dad danced with the team in the 1950s and 60s, and John is one of the musicians for the side – and are both stalwarts of the Local Carols traditions in Ecclesfield and Grenoside.
Brian Peters has been a Whitby regular for many years. He’s one of the English folk scene’s great all-rounders: a compelling singer of traditional songs, a top squeezebox player (anglo concertina and melodeon), and a skilled guitarist. Brian’s interests run from Child ballads to Appalachian music – if you’re lucky he may bring his banjo – and you can be sure of a varied and entertaining set.
This brother and sister duo are resident singers at Grimsby Folk Club where they started performing in the 1960s when they were teenagers.
In the 1970s and ‘80s they were both members of two popular harmony folk groups, Galley and Force Four. Paul spent many years playing fiddle with the Broadside Ceilidh Band and now plays with The Little Band and also with Dick Appleton as the BellApple Boys.
Paul and Lynn perform a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs sung in harmony and accompany themselves on guitar, fiddle and whistle.