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Folk Radio in AR: From Albion And Beyond - on KUAR FM89 produced and hosted by LRFC's Len Holton and now streaming live worldwide on the Internet Wed 8pm CT (Thu 0200h GMT) 

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LR Irish Music Sessions (ACMS)

 

 

Sat Jan 9th: Still On The Hill – the Ambassadors of the Ozarks return bringing their superb collection of songs about the Arkansas Ozarks and its inhabitants and will present Kelly’s book True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art Of Ed Stilley. In 1979, Ed Stilley was leading a simple life as a farmer and singer of religious hymns in Hogscald Hollow, a tiny Ozark community south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Life was filled with hard work and making do for Ed, his wife Eliza, and their five children, who lived in many ways as if the second half of the twentieth century had never happened. But one day Ed’s life was permanently altered. While plowing his field, he became convinced he was having a heart attack. Ed stopped his work and lay down on the ground. Staring at the sky, he saw himself as a large tortoise struggling to swim across a river. On his back were five small tortoises—his children—clinging to him for survival. And then, as he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed received a vision from God, telling him that he would be restored to health if he would agree to do one thing: make musical instruments and give them to children. And so he did. Beginning with a few simple hand tools, Ed worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to create over two hundred instruments, each a crazy quilt of heavy, rough-sawn wood scraps joined with found objects. A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—Ed used anything he could to build a working guitar, fiddle, or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.” True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley documents Ed Stilley’s life and work, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion.

Videos here

Sat Feb 6th: Caroline Doctorow - Caroline Doctorow, whom No Depression.com., the music publication finds “akin to Nanci Griffith and Judy Collins…” just released her latest Americana/folk album with Narrow Lane Records. It’s called “Raven Girl-Retrospective Vol. One” produced by Pete Kennedy. It traces Ms. Doctorow's twenty five year career as a folksinger, songwriter and record producer. Ms. Doctorow has also recently released several retrospective albums interpreting the songs of earlier American Folk Songwriters. Another Country…The Songs of Richard and Mimi Farinã received critical acclaim and was called by critic Steve Maddeo “an album that enters the folk canon as one of the best collections of the recording of specific artists” Her western-themed release "I Carry All I Own...The Songs of Mary McCaslin" appeared on both the Americana, and Folk Radio airplay charts reaching #12 on Folk Radio. She has released a total of nine albums all of which continue to receive much airplay on folk and Americana stations worldwide. Her recent appearances include The Guthrie Center in Great Barrington MA., Pete Seegers's Beacon Sloop Corn Festival, The Katharine Hepburn Theater in Old Saybrook CT, Infinity Hall in Norwalk CT, The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River MA, the Gold Hall Theater in Hewlett New York, and at The Patchogue Theater for the Performing Arts sharing a bill with Suzanne Vega and Amy Helm. She is the daughter of world renowned author E.L.Doctorow.

Fri Mar 18th: Sean Tyrrell – making a very welcomed and indeed long overdue return visit to LRFC… an Irish national treasure who has managed to avoid well deserved worldwide acclaim due to his delight in championing the causes of forgotten poets such as Brian Merriman whose ‘Cúirt an Mheán Oíche’ was written in 1780, and translated into English by Frank O’Connor in 1945, whereupon The Midnight Court was subsequently banned by the Irish Censorship Board. And buried it remained until resurrected by Sean in 1992 as his hit of the Galway Arts Festival followed by 150 Irish performances thereafter, an Edinburgh Fringe production in 2008 and American tours of the production in 2012.

Videos here

Sat Apr 2nd: Brooks Williams – is an introduction even necessary after all of Brooks’ visits to LRFC? The voice, the guitar chops and the repertoire… the complete package

Videos here

Fri May 6th: John Doyle and Ashley Davis - It’s been several years since John Doyle performed for LRFC – as a member of Solas – in the interim he has become world-famous!

Dublin-born John Doyle is universally recognized as a leader of contemporary Celtic and folk guitarists. His early fame came from his work with Solas where he created a style of guitar playing that has since influenced generations of guitarists and received a Grammy nomination in 2010, for his work with fiddler Liz Carroll. Now a staple within the Irish and American folk communities, pairing with such greats as Joan Baez and Mary Chapin Carpenter, you will find Doyle’s name listed in the liner notes of who’s who in the folk world. His top-shelf playing is matched only by his songwriting and story-telling, all essential aspects of a splendid evening of entertainment. He has 3 solo albums to date that span exceptional writing to retakes on traditional folk pieces from his native land of Ireland.

Ashley Davis is a rising star within the same audiences, adding 6 albums to the Celtic canon over the past decade. As creator of beautiful, lush melodies sung with a gorgeous, romantic style, Davis has also frequently teamed with current (Sarah Watkins) and eternal (Paddy Maloney) stars in her popular output. NBC’s Today Show described her songs and sound as “new music springing from ancient roots” and was recently named one of the most influential Irish-Americans under the age of 40 for her work within this field.

The Doyle/Davis team is in its third year. Starting with a 2013 collaboration on the lovely classic “Barbara Allen,” they have blended both their writing and performing talents on several projects, including a very popular 2015 Christmas album (“The Christmas Sessions.”) Together they form one of the most fetching and enjoyable duos in the American Celtic/folk genre, and never fail to deliver a joyful evening of songs, smiles and satisfaction.

Sun May 15th: Joe Crookston - Songwriter, singer, guitarist, painter, fiddler, banjo player, eco-village member and believer in all things possible. Named 2016 Folk Alliance International Artist-in- Residence and signed to Tamulevich Artists Management. He’s not afraid to walk outside the trends creating his own version of magic. He’ll surprise you and awaken the cynics.   He’s plumbing for lyrical gold like a social archeologist.  His story songs are universal, his rhythm infectious and in concert, he is funny as hell one moment and transcendent the next.  Come to a show. You’ll ride mystical, historical, and humorous roads, and twist through vivid cinematography.  His songs are being made into films.  They are visual, artful and human. Brooklyn in July, Oklahoma towns, rattlesnake tails, turbary thieves, Galway heather, meter maids and drunken roosters. At the end of the night, you’ll leave inspired.  “The Long Note” is a phrase used in Irish culture. ”The Long Note” is that place of resonance and transcendence where the music, the voices, the instruments, and the community ALL come together and unite. Whether he’s picking his 48 Gibson, weaving through lap slide songs or looping his fiddle, he will draw you in.  It happens every time.  Watch a YouTube video. It’s good, but it’s not the same. You gotta come to a show.  With unwavering courage to be himself, he is literate, poignant and funny as hell.

Sat Aug 6th:  Brett Ratliff – Newly resident in our fair state following the appointment of his significant other as senior editor for The Oxford American, Brett Ratliff grew up in the historic coal camps of Van Lear, Kentucky. His music echoes the ancient sounds that have passed through time, interwoven with the rugged east Kentucky landscape, steeped in the hallowed hollers and accented by boots stomping the hardwood floors. From a young age he was deeply impacted by the surrounding hills and so many of the people who were able to paint a picture of life's greatest joys and sorrows through song. Brett has taught traditional mountain music at numerous workshops and music camps including; Cowan Creek Mountain Music School in Letcher County, KY; Swannanoa Gathering in Swannanoa, North Carolina; Augusta Heritage's Early Country Music Week in Elkins, WV; Sore Fingers Week in Oxfordshire, England; and The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. He has toured extensively with groups such as Clack Mountain String Band, Dirk Powell Band, and Rich & the Po’ Folk, and as a solo artist releasing Cold Icy Mountain on June Appal Recordings in 2008.

“Brett Ratliff is probably the best banjo balladeer in the eastern Kentucky style of old-time music. His mastery of traditional songs is a revelation to all who hear him! Brett Ratliff is one of those musicians who lets you know that this old music isn’t dead and it never was. It lives and breathes and continues without missing a step.” — Dom Flemons, The American Songster, co-founder of the Grammy-award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops

Sat Sep 17th: Jon Brooks - It was in 1997, at 28 years old, and at the end of a year of travelling throughout Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and particularly, throughout war ruined Bosnia-Herzegovina – it was during this time Jon discovered what kind of song he wanted to write. In 2006 he began singing that song. In 2014 Borealis Records released his 5th album, The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside. Jon is Kerrville New Folk Winner and a three-time “Songwriter of the Year” nominee at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside crashes the folk/roots party in late 2014 with a death count of 75. It’s an album of rural Canadian murder ballads and was recorded in Toronto by well-awarded and oft-acclaimed producer/engineer, David Travers-Smith. Jon’s 5th full length release is an intrepid solo set that defies categorization and resists any ‘folk,’ ‘singer-songwriter,’ or ‘solo acoustic’ description. Equal parts local Canadiana and universal horror, this is a collection that has buried all the trademark Jon Brooks social commentary in a shallow, roadside grave. Philosophical paradox, gallows humour, impossible love, titillating gore, adulterous sex, serial killers, gun dealers, rampage killing, missing women, First Nations catastrophe, necrophilia, Shakespeare, and John Milton: The Smiling and Beautiful Countryside is neither an album for casual fans nor is it music that will ever be heard in your dentist’s waiting room. Why record such a violent set of songs? In Jon’s words, “because: a) I wanted to write an album from which nobody indifferently escapes, an album that can only be loved or hated; b) if courage is a muscle, it needs to exercised with a healthy dose of fear today; and c) I’ve already done four albums that inspire: it’s now time to offend.”

Fri Sep 30th: Plainsong was a country rock/folk rock band formed by Andy Roberts and Iain (then Ian) Matthews in early 1972, along with Dave Richards, and Bob Ronga. Following the release of their classic LP "In Search Of Amelia Earhart" the group toured extensively and then set about recording a second album. Before these sessions were completed the band disbanded. In less than a year, Plainsong had been born, made an indelible mark on musical history and then disappeared.

Fast forward eighteen years and Iain and Andy meet up in a Brighton pub and decide that the time is right to revive Plainsong. They recruit Mark Griffiths and Julian Dawson and released three albums from 1992 to 1996 and build up a strong following, a combination of fans of the original line-up, of solo projects by group members and people hearing Plainsong for the very first time.

In 1996 Julian left the band to concentrate on his solo career. Clive Gregson joined and Plainsong version 3 was formed.

Two years later the nucleus of Plainsong, Andy and Iain, record a mini CD entitled A to B (Amsterdam to Brighton - where Iain and Andy live!) and tour the UK as a duo. (version 4)

And in 2003 Julian rejoins Plainsong and together with Mark Griffiths form version 5 and record Pangolins and again embark on a UK tour to promote the album.

2012 will be the 40th anniversary of Andy Roberts and Iain Matthews forming Plainsong with Dave Richards and Bob Ronga and also the release of the legendary ‘Amelia Earhart’ album.

To celebrate, the band will be releasing a live studio album, ‘Fat Lady Singing’ (on the Blue Rose label) and touring Europe and the UK in August and September. The sad news is that this will be a farewell tour for Plainsong, as it has become harder to pin down the four current members in one place, let alone schedule dates for touring.

And finally, finally...

Andy, Iain and Griff's REINVENTING FARINA CD was released in September 2015 and a tour undertaken across America, Europe and the UK in 2016.

Sat Nov 5th: Alan Kelly and Steph Geremia - Touring as a trimmed down duo from the powerful, emotive and critically acclaimed traditional Irish music band Alan Kelly Gang from the west of Ireland, long established as one of Ireland’s leading contemporary trad’ acts. Alan Kelly has long been deemed Ireland’s innovative piano accordion maestro and not only described by New York’s Irish Voice as ‘in league with the best piano accordionists in the world’ but also credited with ‘making the piano accordion hip in Ireland again’ (Folk Roots).

As a duo, Alan is joined by the highly acclaimed New York singer and flautist, Steph Geremia. Bringing a sweet, soulful yet energetic air to her music, Steph is a vibrant and versatile musician who officially debuted on the scene in 2009 with the release of her critically acclaimed album, The Open Road. Described by Irish Music Magazine as “one of the most promising young flute players around” and “an unexpected treasure”, The Open Road was also named as one of Folk Worlds ‘top ten trad albums of 2009’. Taking inspiration from the Irish greats, such as Matt Molloy, she has also delved deep into other world music traditions giving her music a fresh perspective with depth and maturity.

Each highly respected artists in their own right, blending instinctively and presenting a unified front, they create a sound with depth, groove and musicality of the highest order. The sheer energy and variation in repertoire they lend to their live performance has set the Alan Kelly Gang apart from the mold and won them accolades from critic and music lover alike. The Alan Kelly Gang Duo present an exciting mix of contemporary infused traditional Irish music full of creative interplay, imaginative arrangements and carefully selected influences from neighbouring Celtic countries.

Sat Dec 3rd:  Flashpoint make a very welcomed return visit to LRFC. A powerhouse trio of youthful musicians combining banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar and harmony vocals, Flashpoint comprises brothers David and Daniel Mehalko and Joseph Carmichael who formed in 2009 after meeting at the O’Flaherty Irish Music Youth Camp in Richardson TX. Rapidly establishing themselves as consummate musicians with a gift for innovative and boundary-stretching compositions of complexity and structure played with passion and verve that delight the Irish traditional purists yet draw in enthusiastically approving jazz and bluegrass aficionados with equal ease. They have performed all of the major national Irish festivals including Milwaukee, Kansas and North Texas festivals and were invited to a week-long residency at the celebrated John D McGurks Irish Pub in St Louis in addition to touring nationally from their base in Dallas.

Sat Dec 10thAshley Davis and Cormac de Barra present Songs of the Celtic Winter. Back in May Ashley wowed a packed LRFC with a magical concert along with Irish master guitarist John Doyle and asked if they could bring their Christmas show in Dec; after considering the suggestion for almost 2 seconds the date was penciled in, but, as every busy person knows, Life will play around with one’s plans and thus it came to pass that conflicting obligations prevented John from being able to play the concert – he sends his regrets and was greatly looking forward to returning to LRFC. But, as one door closes lo! another opens and in place of guitar maestro John we are delighted to present harp master, composer, TV presenter Cormac de Barra whose resume includes 5 group and 4 duo albums with Moya “The Voice of Clannad” Brennan, 3 albums with Ashley Davis, 5 with English singer/songwriter Hazel O’Connor, and 5 other releases of solo and/or duo/group albums in addition to playing with such luminaries as The Chieftains, the Irish Harp Orchestra, Cathy Jordan (of Dervish) Galway singer, composer, songwriter and record producer Julie Feeney and with his brothers Fionan and Eamonn.  At 17 he performed for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko in their palace at Akasaka, Tokyo, also present was Irish Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney. In Scotland he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Hazel O'Connor. In addition to performing, as a TV presenter Cormac has presented the traditional Irish music series, Flosc, on TG4, Ireland's Gaelic-language TV channel, which was awarded Best Music Series by Irish Music Magazine in 2002. He is a presenter of the arts series Imeall on TG4.

Ashley Davis is a rising star adding 6 albums to the Celtic canon over the past decade. As creator of beautiful, lush melodies sung with a gorgeous, romantic style, Davis has also frequently teamed with current (Sarah Watkins) and eternal (Paddy Maloney) stars in her popular output. NBC’s Today Show described her songs and sound as “new music springing from ancient roots” and was recently named one of the most influential Irish-Americans under the age of 40 for her work within this field.

Please join us for a very special event