Category Archives: Folk

Free folk download – ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’, Philip Murray Warson

When done right, folk music has the unique ability to capture a mood. Perhaps thanks to the rawness of the common acoustic setup, you often feel as if it’s just the simplicity of the chords and lyric that draws you in, without need for excessive layers or overwrought production.

This is the case with the excellent EP from Philip Murray Warson, released last year. And now you can get the closing track ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ on free download.

New solo album from John Wheeler of Hayseed Dixie

Having found cult success with underground comedy folk group Hayseed Dixie, John Wheeler has already discovered that his unusual brand of tongue in cheek songwriting has a solid audience. Looking to build on that foundation while exploring his own style, Wheeler has in recent years worked on developing a solo sound away from the band.

His first album showed a confident songwriter who didn’t rely on a narrow folk genre and twisted cover versions to string together a strong collection of tracks (not that there’s anything wrong with that). And with his second solo outing ‘Difficult #2 Album’, Wheeler further explores a newfound love of piano and develops his solo voice further.

The album is out now from all the usual digital outlets, and you can also find John Wheeler on tour in the UK over the next few weeks. If you enjoy roots music with a twisted sense of humour, his is a live show that comes highly recommended.

Video: Kuschty Rye & Pete Townshend – ‘Chameleon’ (Ronnie Lane tribute)

As a big fan of Ronnie Lane, when Pete Townshend heard that folk singer Des Horsfall was writing a three album collection in tribute to the Small Faces legend he knew he had to get involved.

With the first of the three albums already released, the second, ‘The Bastard’s Tin’, is out early next year. It will be well worth checking out, full of rootsy tales and thoughts on the life and career of Ronnie Lane.

Before that comes the single ‘Chameleon’. Released on December 11th, the track offers Townshend his chance to lend his vocal and songwriting skills to the project. It makes for a unique combination, and a lovely taster for the album to come.

Head ‘Downtown’ with Folkstock Records’ Emerging Artists

This month’s Folk and Roots festival in London will naturally showcase some of the finest artists around in the UK at the moment. Among the gigs available to go and see for capital based folk fans, boutique record label Folkstock Records will be hosting two Emerging Artists gigs over the next couple of weeks.

To celebrate the gigs, they have released a compilation album called ‘Downtown’. All eight artists from their Emerging Artists shows will be making an appearance, and as you can hear above they represent quite a range of styles withint the roots arena.

Whether you’re looking for dirty, earthy traditional folk or a pop-folk hybrid, there will be something here to satisfy all needs. So, have a listen to the tracks above, get the album, and then choose which of the gigs to head down to. You could always treat yourself to both!

November 4th – Fred’s House, Kaity Rae, Ben Smith, Marina Florance – Tickets

November 11th – Kelly Oliver, Minnie Birch, Daria Kulesh, Zoe Wren – Tickets

Folkstock lfrf Kelly Oliver newFolkstock freds house with logo and pic

Russell Suereth releases concept album ‘Spiritual Haven’

A new age, atmospheric release which was conceived as a journey for the listener, the new album from Russell Suereth has the most fitting of titles. Not built to appeal to the mainstream, it instead moves head on into spiritual territory. Those with doubts about the genre or beliefs need not apply.

Those who do though will find much to enjoy here. Lilting melodies and soft choruses make for an instrumental, contemplative treat.


Rachel Ann Crowned TeenStar Singing Competition Winner

The national singing competition TeenStar has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of prestigious Future Music competition winners, Rachel Ann from Bournemouth, Dorset has been crowned the champion of the national TeenStar competition at The NEC in Birmingham!

Singing Competition Winner


Rachel Ann was crowned champion in front of a capacity crowd and a prestigious music industry judging panel at The NEC in Birmingham on Saturday night. Her unique performance of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” won over the competition industry judges making her the overall winner of TeenStar. She will now be offered a recording and development deal including a £5,000 advance to spend on the development of her music.

The national singing competition is brought to you by Future Music – the company behind the discovery of artists such as such as Luke Friend and Karen Hardy both of which have had chart success this year, Jacob Banks, Warner Music’s Birdy, Columbia Record’s Lucy Spraggan, Union J’s Jaymi Hensley and Jahmene Douglas, both of which are now signed to Sony Music.

Music industry judges at the National Singing Competition Grand Final


After impressing the judging panel at the auditions, Rachel Ann battled against more than 9,000 acts who entered for TeenStar this year across the UK. She went on to perform in the TeenStar live showcases, battling through both Regional and Area Final heats to make it to the national Grand Final.


The judging panel for the Grand Final included record label representatives from Universal, as well representatives from music management companies, recording studios, professional musicians, national press representatives and the examination board, Rock School.


Rachel Ann has now won a comprehensive consultation package with Future Music, an extensive winner’s publicity package, and an amazing £5,000 advance to spend on the development of her music. On winning the prizes Rachel said, “I’m literally speechless, overjoyed with happiness. Thank you to everyone for all the support!”


Chris Grayston, Head Judge and Director of Future Music has said, “Rachel Ann has been a stand out act throughout the TeenStar competition. Her unique vocal range and emotive performances make her a clear winner!” Check out more information about the TeenStar Champion on the website here.

Future Music is also about to start singing auditions for Open Mic UK, find more information and enter music competition Open Mic UK now. Also check out the Future Music Songwriting Contest, which is specifically for songwriters of any age and genre.

Chris Hornsby ready for new EP ‘Human, Too Human’

Chris Hornsby is a folk songwriter who works to write songs which, in his own words, ‘have the smell of leaves and mud about them’. This approach, achieved by recording each instrument with as simple a set up as possible, gives rise to new EP ‘Human, Too Human’ which includes the delightful track above.

Full of this kind of rustic, folky charm, the EP is one of those quiet releases which can really get under your skin. Each track is relatively simple in message, mostly centered around the everyday. But the complexity and subtleties of how they build is something that grows in appreciation with each listen.

See for yourself, when ‘Human, Too Human’ is released on May 22nd.

‘From the Shallows’ – a new album from Alexander Wolfe

A singer-songwriter who never fails to impress, it gives us great pleasure to let you know that Alexander Wolfe’s new album ‘From the Shallows’ is out now on iTunes and other online stores.

The album, which opens with ‘Trick of the Light’ above, sees Wolfe return to fuller, more rounded arrangements after the pared down acoustic second album ‘Skeletons’.

This rebuild has taken in full orchestrations, from horn sections, strings and more, to lend a depth his music hasn’t felt before. It helps that the light and shade offered by those extra layers is used perfectly, not overly ‘in your face’ but there when it needs to be.

As a third album, this really feels like an artist hitting his stride – this could be the year Alexander Wolfe gets the attention he deserves.

‘So Rewind’ – hot new folk single from Narrow Plains

It only runs to about three and a half minutes, but that’s long enough to know that new folk trio Narrow Plains are not messing about. New single ‘So Rewind’ is sharp, focussed, well executed and (most of all) fun.

It takes skill to create a song that sounds so easy and off the cuff and then craft it into a top recording without sanding off the edges and excitement. That’s what Narrow Plains have done here. With the UK and US currently on the crest of a folk and country wave, the timing couldn’t be better for Narrow Plains.

So, if you’re a fan of all those in vogue singer songwriters and folk groups (as I am), Narrow Plains should have just made your list.