FESTIVAL ARTISTS 2015
The wonderful Turnpike - Traditional and modern folk/ bluegrass musicians. We’ve all enjoyed their melodic harmony and musical interludes at our Festivals and we look forward to them opening our festival and to another entertaining set. We also hope that they don't have to endure the monsoon storm where they stoically played on despite the waterfall in front of the stage last year!
RUTH AND KEN POWELL
These reviews say it all.
Folk Roundabout - magazine review
Ruth Powell is blessed with a lovely voice and boy! does she use it well!
Ken Powell is a brilliant guitarist who tends to keep his light under a bushel but some excellent playing can be heard on their latest recordings.
Spenborough Guardian - 'Folk stars shine at Cleckheaton Folk festival'
Ruth and Ken Powell provided the perfect partnership, with Ruth's staggering vocal abilities enhanced by Ken's guitar playing, all making for a fine evening of folk.
Wirral Folk Festival - Festival news 2014
Ruth remains one of most exceptional female vocalists in the UK. Her interpretation of the material they choose leaves one in no doubt of her abilities as a singer. Ken has been admired for his ability to enhance and strengthen the personal achievements of a singer and musician over the years with his competent, dedicated guitar playing
Wigan’s own totally unique stage act are Chonkinfeckle. The carefully written comedy lyrics about all places and things “Wigan” are accompanied by excellent ukulele, keyboard, percussion and mouth organ playing. These three performers bravely manage to produce a set so different that they can only be classed as brilliant.
HARD TIMES ACOUSTIC FOLK BAND
HARD TIMES is a Lancaster based Folk band who play regularly in Northwest England.
GORDON JOHNSTON ... Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar and Vocals.
LAURIE JOHNSTON ... Whistle, Flute, Mandolin, Guitar and Vocals.
GEOFF WILKINSON ... Bass and Guitar.
Gordon Johnston is one of these guys who can play most anything with strings attached. His main instrument in Hard Times is 5 string Banjo which he plays to a level unsurpassed in this part of the world. He is an excellent guitarist and mandolin player and features prominently on these instruments on any performance.
Laurie is the band's main vocalist who also plays Flute, Whistle, Guitar, Mandolin and one or two other bits and pieces. As with the other lads, Laurie's performing skills are of the highest order and he expects nothing less from the band as a whole. He is the "Front Man" and presents their shows with good humour, informative anecdotes and musical excellence.
Geoff Wilkinson is the band's Bass player and a fine Guitarist who compliments the musicianship generated by this talented trio.
Ken has been a stalwart promoter of the festival for 5 years and is a very talented musician and all round folk singer. He specialises in traditional Lancashire songs, poems and stories bringing them to life in his own inimitable way. Saturday afternoon is his spot where, not on does he do a great set, but he invites new talent to grace the stage with a different theme each year. There is so much untapped talent in the Wigan area. This year its the young local talent and no doubt the afternoon will be as enjoyable as ever.
This is one of the most versatile, entertaining, and brilliant singer-songwriters in the North West. We are delighted to welcome him back.
From Jon's Website:
I’d like to let you know about the music in me.... I feel very lucky that I've played and sang in piano bars, at some of the larger folk festivals, art galleries, country festivals, pubs, arts centres, care homes, band stands, on street corners and café terraces all over Europe.
My songs might well take you to new places and after the feeling that brings the creation of a song I want to recreate the atmosphere and spark of that moment…
My latest album, The Missing Emotion, was recorded with my voice, my acoustic guitar and the double bass of James Budden, then layered with other instruments played by myself (with the notable exception of Steve Wickham on the fiddle).
Performing is like being on a journey – one that can find a lively rhythm - and there’s so much to share along the way… Sometimes I will caress those guitar strings delicately then other times throw that beat straight at you creating bass lines and layering lead phrases on the chord progressions. My fiddle was handed down from my Grandma and I could well play you one or two of my compositions. I was inspired to take it busking all round Europe after reading Laurie Lee. I’ve explored music through many forms. Celtic melodies, blues, contemporary folk, country, rock, popular songs and traditional ballads can all be picked out of my repertoire and it’s usually my own interpretations. Expect the unexpected!
ED MCGURK AND NIC CAFFERY
We are looking forward to a evening of the finest folk music to close the festival. This popular duo continues to explore the delights of traditional and contemporary folk songs. With their good humour and informed understanding of the song subjects, they instil their particular flare for harmony and enthusiastic performance making each song a joy to hear.