Dave is a jobbing teller of tales, an itinerant journeyman who performs at museums, heritage sites and schools, from Lindisfarne Holy Island in the north to Arundel Castle in the south. He works regularly for English Heritage and national museums like the Ashmolean and has written three books, ‘Tudor Tales,’ ‘Norfolk Folk Tales for Children’ and ‘Medieval Tales for Children’ and is also working on a 4th, “Trickster Tales From Many Lands.’ He specialises in costumed historical storytelling of period rich and often irreverent tales shared by the poorer folk long ago, but of late he’s ditched his costume in favour of normal clothes and a fine trilby hat and can be heard at storytelling events including Taffy Thomas’s Tales in Trust and Festival at the Edge. That said, many of his performances still have an historical flavour with sets like Tavern Yard Tales and Dame Fortunes Wheel.
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.
Maria takes traditional tales and makes them her own, breathing life into characters and taking the listener on journeys of magic and myth. She has a warm and engaging, humorous style which is well suited to sharing story secrets with her audiences. Her favourite stories are those that leave you feeling that all is well in the world…..perhaps those are just the sort of stories we need at the moment…
Maria has excelled at adapting to online media for sharing stories and made it her own. Her warmth and humor shine through the screen and she ‘shares’ her tales in the truest sense of the word. During lockdown Maria has told extensively at storytelling events and clubs across the country, and is one of the storytellers invited to tell online for The World Storytelling Café.
She has recently been commissioned by The Royal Shakespeare Company to create new stories based on the recollections of their costume department and will be a featured artist at Marrakech International Storytelling Festival in February 2022.
“Storytelling gold” Lisa Schneidau, South Devon storytellers.
“Glorious – an irresistible combination that drew the packed house into a vivid world of story” Alastair Daniels Surrey Storytellers.
‘Beautiful storytelling so warm hearted and gentle…loved it’’
‘Haunting and evocative tale telling’
‘Humour drier than a sloe and wit sharper than a blackthorn’
‘Loved your story today. It felt as though we were sitting and “gossiping.” Your relaxed style envelopes like a warm hug.’
Archer Matthews Russell are a new grouping of veteran musicians whose track record includes too many outfits to mention them all – amongst them the Vin Garbutt Band, Champion String Band and Battlefield Band. Over the years they have been frequent guests at Folk Week.
Gigs for the new trio were just getting underway when Covid struck and cancelled them all. Most have been, or will be rearranged, and can be found on the Facebook page, along with a full biography.
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.
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.
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.
Award winning professional musician, singer, and dancer, Mossy Christian specialises in the musical traditions of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Drawing on a rich and diverse repertoire of traditional dance tunes and folk songs, charting the lives of everyday people, in their work and recreation, from the 1700s to the present day. Delighting audiences across the UK, with performances at festivals and folk clubs from Whitby to Sidmouth, Morpeth to Nottingham, his shows are a treat not to be missed.
Martyn Wyndham-Read has been involved with folk music for over fifty five years.
In his late teens he left his mother’s farm in Sussex, England and headed off, with his guitar, to Australia where he worked on a sheep and cattle station, Emu Springs, in South Australia. It was while he was there that he first heard the old songs sung by some of the station hands and became captivated by the character and atmosphere of these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from. He headed off to Melbourne and became part of the folk song revival there and throughout Australia during the early 1960’s.
Back to England in 1967 where he met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, made some albums with him,who himself had spent time in Australia, also started recording for Bill Leader and later with Fellside Recordings he now has his own label Wynding Road Music.
During the Lockdown Martyn has been putting up a song video a week under the title of Songs from The Settle, these are on his Martyn Wyndham-Read Youtube Channel.
Keith is a very [very!] funny, globe-trotting, Geordie tall-tale-telling-singer-songwriter-guitarist.
Keith could make sheep laugh! (Jasper Carrott)
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…
Jerry O’Reilly and Rosie Davis are much in demand as singers and céilí dance leaders and are known for encouraging new dancers and harnessing the enthusiasm and expertise of experienced dancers and singers to recreate the lively atmosphere of the traditional ‘Hoolie’ and dances at the crossroads.
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.
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
Brown Boots is Will Allen on melodeon and Martin Clarke on fiddle. Their musical background is rooted in playing music for dancing, as well as gaining inspiration from playing with their many talented musical friends at festivals and pub sessions across the country.
Will is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist, although his primary focus is as a melodeon player and fiddler. He performs an extensive repertoire of folk dance tunes, mostly from the British Isles. His music takes influences from all corners of Western Europe and he has developed a unique take on traditional tunes.
In 2015 he was shortlisted for the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Competition. Will is also a proud member of electrifying ceilidh band Urban Folk Theory. with which he has performed at some of the UK’s biggest folk festivals.
Martin is a highly-skilled fiddle player, with musical roots in the North East of England, stemming from his time living in Durham. He plays music from across the British Isles with influences from the continent. He also has an interest in North American music traditions.
Although originally classically trained, he has a wealth of experience at playing for dancing. He also plays for Silver Street Ceilidh Band and the award-winning Tower Ravens rapper sword dancers. All of this contributes to his unique style, producing soaring, lyrical melodies with rhythm that makes the listener want to move!
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.
Bursting onto the Festival scene in their first year, Banter are all about having a great night of traditional English dance tunes and songs, played with a cheeky twist…
Featuring Simon Care on squeezeboxes, Nina Zella on piano and vocals and Tim Walker on percussion and cornet. Banter are becoming one of the “must-see” bands on the English folk circuit.
With festivals including Glastonbury, Towersey, Bromyard, Southwell and Sidmouth already under their belt they promise a great show that is guaranteed to leave you smiling.
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.
Raised in Norfolk and heavily influenced by earlier Norfolk singers such as Walter Pardon, and Peter Bellamy, Damien is a stylish and distinctive singer, either a capella or accompanied on guitar or concertina. Best known in recent years for his critically acclaimed stage shows ‘The Demon Barbers XL’ and ‘The Lock In’, Damien is now returning to the traditional songs of East Anglia that ignited his passion in folk music. He is the epitome of a traditional folk singer, having learnt his trade directly from some most respected singers in the UK, and brings real authenticity to his performances.
Jim has been running the Shanty Sessions at Whitby Folk Week for nearly 50 years since first visiting the Festival in 1973. Having moved all around the town the sessions have found their home in The Endeavour on Church Street where they serve great beer and welcome everyone. Ably assisted by Graeme Knights the sessions run on a ‘come all ye’ basis where everyone gets a song (maritime of course) and the aim is to raise as much as possible towards the Whitby Lifeboat over the course of the week by voluntary donations, raffles etc. Over £30,000 has been raised in the last few years by session regulars and we hope the good work will continue this year. With ‘Outward Bounders’ at the beginning and ‘Homeward Bounders’ at the end of the week the theme changes daily as do the ‘surprise guests’. Come and join Jim and Graeme for a pint and a shanty or two and help raise money for a very deserving cause.