Rachel Newton, harpist, fiddler and singer extraordinaire, has just been nominated for 'Folk Musician of the Year' in the BBC Folk Awards 2017 - Congratulations Rachel!!! So in the final instalment of my series introducing the Coracle Band, we say both hello and goodbye to Rachel Newton, as this March Tour will be her last with The Coracle Band and The Emily Portman Trio. We'll miss her, and wish her all the best in this new chapter!
Sophie Parkes interviewed Rachel, to find out more...
Ahead of the Coracle Band Tour in March I've been introducing each member of the Band with an interview...And now it's the turn of Lucy Farrell! This viola maestro possesses a lark-like voice, a superb ear for harmonies, an uncanny knack of remembering lyrics and super human saw-playing thumbs...What more could I want from a band mate?!
Lucy’s recently been very busy with Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band and their album, Big Machine, which recently hit number 25 in the official album charts. Impressive stuff!
Sophie Parkes had a chat with her to find out what else she’s got going on.
Wishing you a very Happy New Year! 2017 brings a spring tour with the Coracle Band; Pete Flood (drums) Rachel Newton (harp, vocals, fiddle) Sam Sweeney (strings) (Lucy Farrell) (viola, saw & vocals) and M G Boulter (acoustic, electric & pedal steel guitars) will be joining me on the road in March, dates below.
23/03 Ropetackle Arts Centre SHOREHAM
24/03 The North Wall, OXFORD
25/03 Bridgwater Arts Centre BRIDGWATER
26/03 Blackheath Halls LONDON
27/03 Ludlow Assembly Rooms LUDLOW
Welcome to the second instalment of my ‘Introducing…’ series of blog posts that intends to shed light on the new line-up of The Coracle Band.
Although Andy Bell is a sound engineer and record producer extraordinaire, and not technically part of The Coracle Band, he’s been just as instrumental to the sound of Coracle and the wider band as the rest of us. As a result, I thought you might like to know what makes him tick.
Read on for a short interview between writer, Sophie Parkes, and the producer of Coracle.
You'll be familiar to many as the man behind the Bellowhead percussion. When did you first meet Emily, and how did she approach you with regards to playing on the forthcoming tour?
I know Emily's work from way back in the Devil's Interval. It was very nice to get an email from her out of the blue one day asking if I'd consider depping for Toby Kearney. Since then, Toby has become busy with CBSO, so I'm hoping to be a worthy successor to him.
When you think of Emily Portman's music, you don't necessarily think of big beats and rousing drum fills. Does this make it more of a challenge for a percussionist?
Getting the dynamics right is always a challenge, and the Coracle Band uses the full range, from whisper quiet to poundingly loud. I've been focusing on the quieter end of the scale for years in my practice, but as you can imagine, I didn't get much of a chance to show off that side of my playing with Bellowhead, so I'm really looking forward to bringing the delicacy to the fore with Emily.
In the second instalment of my 'Introducing the Coracle Band' series, meet Sam Sweeney!
Many of you will know leaping fiddler, Sam Sweeney, from Bellowhead, Leveret, The Full English, his duo with Hannah James, and his early forays into the English folk music scene with the band, Kerfuffle. He’s also in demand as a session instrumentalist and I’m so delighted he’s joined us in The Coracle Band - it's a real privilege.
Sophie Parkes caught up with Sam ahead of the December tour to find out how he’s finding the job so far.
Introducing… The Coracle Band!
For my final tour of 2016, I’m delighted to announce that the all-new Coracle Band will be on tour with me, giving my songs a new, bigger, bolder twist…And we're really excited to be heading out on our first tour together in December!
I'm delighted to announce that I've been nominated for Folk Singer of the Year in this year's BBC Folk Awards! It's a particular honour to be in the fine company of Eliza Carthy, Sam Lee and Rhiannon Giddens in this category. The BBC Folk Awards will be announced at The Royal Albert Hall, London on 27th April. The Furrow Collective are also up for Best Traditional Track for Rachel Newton's beautiful rendition of The Unquiet Grave, so it's going to be a good party!
Here's some news to blow those cobwebs away. To lighten the mood after Halloween I have some November treats in store in the form of a single, a video and a tour.
Seed Stitch will be released as a digital single alongside a new video by Laura Sparks a fellow Liverpool-based artist, and this will coincide with a live 'Emily Portman Trio' tour from 6th-15th November.
I will be joined by special guests to play a BBC live session for Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show on 4th November, which will coincide with the Seed Stitch video premier by Folk Radio UK.
Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating the launch of Coracle on tour! Whilst we were on the road, photographer Rob Bridge came along to our gig at The Musician, Leicester. He took some photos and we had a chat over pizza - you can read the resulting Folk Radio UK interview HERE (munching omitted).
The Morning Star have given Coracle a great review, saying 'Fans of Portman should get to the front of the queue to check out her third album Coracle'. So for those of you who need a bit of persuading you can read the full review HERE ! And more good news on the Coracle front: a five star review has just arrived in the latest issue of Songlines who say 'Coracle is without doubt one of the folk albums of the year'. Songlines have also included 'Darkening Bell' as one of their Top of the World tracks - read the full review below. BBC Radio 3's Late Junction have been giving Coracle lots of airplay and the trio was very excited when Fiona Talkington came to one of our launch shows ! Verity Sharp features '`Seed Stitch' HERE