It would be very hard to imagine the Suffolk summer without FolkEast, a three day extravaganza celebrating not only wonderful traditional music but also some of the great traditions of the best county in the country. It’s always a pleasure to broadcast from the 300 acre Suffolk estate of the 16th century Glemhall Hall just off the A12.
This year’s FolkEast takes place between August 17-19 and organisers John and Becky Marshall-Potter have gone above and beyond to ensure the event is packed with big names as well as plenty of emerging ones who’re sure to become headliners themselves in the years to come. This year is the 7th FolkEast and it’s a very lucky one indeed for those who’ll be attending and for media types like me who’ll be covering it.
In the Oyster Band and Show Of Hands, John and Becky have secured two of the best headliners they could possibly get. Both acts are now part of the fabric of British folk and will ensure the Friday and Saturday evenings respectively will conclude on the highest of highs.
Sunday night’s star billing goes to Glasgow’s John Langan Band whose style is rooted in Celtic folk but still manages to weave in threads of Balkan, Roma and flamenco music too. Jon and his two colleagues go down a storm at the Celtic Connections festival and I’ve no doubt the same will be said for FolkEast.
Lesser known acts also leave a long-lasting impression on festival goers and there’s no shortage of contenders at FolkEast. One artist I guarantee will enjoy healthy CD sales after her appearance is an Irish-Canadian award winning songwriter who goes by the name of Irish Mythen. I was lucky to catch her opening for FolkEast patrons The Young ‘Uns in Aldeburgh a couple of years back and was mightily impressed.
It’s also good to see Texas-raised Londoner Rodney Branigan on the bill as well as Somerset’s Reg Meuross. I haven’t met Rodney yet but Reg has guested on my radio show and continues to write superb songs deserving of far more recognition than they currently get.
Chances are I’m preaching to the converted here but if you haven’t yet sampled the best folk festival in the UK then get along to Glemham Hall at the middle of next month. I guarantee you’ll be hooked. I most certainly am.