BBC Folk Awards 2009 Box set
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With the profile of the genre still rising and an amazingly vibrant live scene this is possibly the strongest selection yet in the 10 year history of the Folk Awards. Many of the artists and their respective albums have featured strongly in the critics recommendations throughout the year. Bellowhead even headlined BBC 4's coverage of this year's Folk Prom, whilst Eliza Carthy featured on Later With Jools. Eliza was also on hand to present this years lifetime achievment winner, Judy Collins, with a similar Mojo Awards in 2008. It's a great selection of talent covering the UK from the English common sense of Chris Wood to the John McCuskers ever inventive Scottish themes; the cleverly chosen covers versions of pop songs put into traditional context by Julie Fowlis and Jim Moray; Seth Lakeman's scene stealing grasp of his local history matched by Karine Polwart's emotive, plangent refernce to the horrors of Flodden Field and Megson's recasting of their Teeside roots. Age is no distinction as yound and old sit side by side to marry music and history, paradoxically creating something that taps the zeitgeist and offers a future built on substance rather than fickle fame. DISC ONE Bellowhead - Fakenham Fair / Julie Fowlis -Lon-Dubh/Blackbird / Jim Moray - All You Pretty Girls / Chris While & Julie Matthews -Together Alone / John McCusker - Jack Seward's /Boys Of The Puddle / Chris Wood - Come Down Jehovah / Eliza Carthy - Mr Magnifico / The Shee - Chilly Winds / Tom McConville - Pretty Fair Maid / Faustus - The Hostesses Daughter / Jackie Oates - The Lark In The Morning DISC TWO Karine Polwart Sorrowlessfield / The Demon Barbers - The Good Old Days / Bob Fox & Stu Luckley - The Bonnie Gateshead Lass / Seth Lakeman - Solomon Browne / Jeana Leslie & Siobhan Miller Edward / Lau - Banks Of Marble / Martin Simpson - Duncan And Brady / Mawkin:Causley - Come My Lads / Judy Collins - Born To The Breed / Phil Beer - Blow The Man Down / Megson - O Mary Will You Go / Spiers & Boden - Rambling Robin / Bella Hardy - Alone, Jane?
As the CD compilation market grows tinier and more fractured, the annual collection that accompanies the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards becomes more indispensable. Like the Rough Trade Counter Culture CD which brings together the best in indie, this 24-track gathering of all the nominees is the one-stop shop for the folk uninitiated and a perfect round-up for the aficionado.
Compiled by the show's Executive Producer, John Leonard, the collection reveals the music's quiet supremacy and the wide spectrum it covers. From the traditional Fakenham Fair - lovingly recreated by Bellowhead - to the album's pop hits; Julie Fowlis' beautiful Gaelic reading of the Beatles' Blackbird and Jim Moray's updating of Andy Partridge's sea shanty, All You Pretty Girls, it is a record of an eventful year in the genre.
Seth Lakeman's tale of the 1981 Penlee lifeboat tragedy, Solomon Browne, demonstrates the music's essential enshrining of social history. Lifetime Award winner Judy Collins' Born To The Breed brings gravitas to the proceedings. It's also introduces the listener to gems such as Chilly Winds by The Shee or The Good Old Days by The Demon Barbers.
The CD comes with a 6-track bonus disc of all the Young Folk Awards finalists, won this year by Megan and Joe Henwood. When you consider previous winners include Cara Dillon, Julie Fowlis and Rachel Unthank, you can see the pedigree.
Folk Awards 2009 has an appropriate mix of light and shade, education and entertainment, comedy and tragedy. It's another vital addition to the series. --Daryl Easlea
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Top Customer Reviews
Loads of great stuff on here, if you're already a 'folky' i guess theres most of this you'll know or have heard but still worth the price for the compilation as a whole. If you're relatively new to folk as i am, this is a great taster for what's currently out there and i'll certainly be checking out more from Bella Hardy, Chris Wood and Megson.
Finally there's a freebie too, a free third disc with 6 tracks from the finalists of the Radio 2 young folk awards. Don't knock this either, they may be young but if you didn't know that, every one of these 6 tracks stacks up against the more 'senior' nominees - hears howls of abuse from the more 'senior' " How dare he!!"
This is great value with 30 tracks for your cash and as they're all award nominees you can be sure there's no 'filler'.
The particular strength of this compilation is that every nominee is represented, so you get a real survey of the field. In some years people have complained that the Folk Awards can be a bit 'safe' and not reflect the current acts that are exciting people in folk clubs and at festivals. That's not the case in 2009, with exciting young bands like Megson, the Shee and Demon Barbers here along with several of the old familiar names.
This compilation is a basket of delights. Perhaps this year's most controversial award was "original folk song" to Andy Partridge for XTC's "All You Pretty Girls", as covered by Jim Moray. That track is here, and you don't doubt for a second it's a folk song when you hear Moray's rendition of it. The best traditional song winners, Jackie Oates' version of "Lark in the Morning", is also here; and several of the best song nominees also feature. There are fantastic, full-on tracks from the new stars of the folk world such as Bellowhead and Seth Lakeman.
The short compilation of Young Folk Award nominees is just the icing on the cake; we have seen from previous years the way that these young stars often go on to become contenders for the main awards in just a few years.
An explosion of talent, keeping the traditional and contemporary folk music alive. The artists often reveal their inspiration such as Latin, jazz and other foreign influences, which gives the music and fresh and modern feel. This is the reason why these musicians are the ones at the forefront of today's folk scene.
So much to enjoy: whether you like delicate female voices full of feeling or strong male voices asserting themselves in the courting game, there is something for everyone.
Be prepared and get your dancing shoes on for the tunes your feet just cannot help but wanting to get up and move along to. Get your tissues ready for the sad songs, sung with such compassion and feeling, it sucks you in. Polish your voice off as there is plenty of opportunity to join in and sing your heart out. Prick your ears up for some lovely harmony singing. Share in the happiness of young lovers.
Listen out for the multi-talented musicians playing a wide variety of instruments, ranging from harp to fiddle, guitar to brass, keyboard to pipes - the list goes on and on.
The bonus CD is exactly that. You think you have heard it all and yet there are more pearls in store, ranging from instrumental tunes to unaccompanied song to sad stories, performed with feeling by the young and up-and-coming musicians, who will no doubt be making their marks on the folk scene before long.
So diverse and yet all celebrating the British folk tradition!
If anyone else has noticed this I'd be interested to know if I'm not actually exaggerating a little, albeit unwittingly. I'm surprised none of the previous reviewers have noticed it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I Do not particularly like the awards format. But I love the music. Since, like it or not, it is the only measure of what is currently headlining in the Folk world, I have to put... Read morePublished 10 months ago by G. T. Swain
Bought for a Christmas gift, so I'm not sure what is founds like. I'm sure the person I have bought it for will love it.Published 20 months ago by Lorraine Mitchell