ENGLISH FOLK EXPO: Charting Success


by Norman Warwick

Spring has brought a rush of new album releases with eleven of those releases making the Official Folk Albums Chart top 40 for March 2023, including delivering a new number 1 and 2

Heading up the new chart at number 1 is ‘False Lunkum’ (Rough Trade) by Lankum (left) of which The Guardian says, ‘the Dublin group’s fourth album lulls the listener with songs of exquisite softness and deeply affecting harmony’.

New at 2 is Levellers Collective’s new album, right), of acoustic recordings of old and new material, ‘Together All The Way’ (On The Fiddle), produced by Sean Lakeman at the band’s own Metway Studios, with friends including members of Moulettes and Dan Donnelly of The Wonder Stuff

The Soft Struggles (Daylight Saving), the solo debut album by one half of Sunderland’s Field Music sibling duo, David Brewis arrives in at number 6. Under The Radar says, ‘There’s a gorgeous live feel to the recordings that gives the whole collection a rich, organic feel. Music played by human beings. It’ll never catch on.’

At number 6 is the newly formed Hack-Poets Guild with ‘Blackletter Garland’ (One Little Indpenendent). The band brings together Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Nathaniel Mann, a trio who The Guardian describes as having, ‘award-laden histories in traditional and avant-folkery’.

At 11 is singer and bouzouki player, Dublin’s Daoirí Farrell with his fourth studio album, ‘The Wedding Above In Glencree’ (Daoirí Recordings) of which Songlines says, ‘Not simply the best album so far from Farrell, The Wedding Above In Glencree already sounds very much like a landmark album in Irish acoustic music.’ ****
Other entries in the March chart are ‘Flowers’ (Reveal) by respected songwriter Boo Hewerdine at no. 16, Fairport Convention is new at 22 with ‘Full House For Sale’ (Matty Grooves), ‘Dusk Moon’ new at no. 23 by Scottish four piece Rura, guitarist Ben Walker’s ‘Banish Air From Air’ (Folkroom) at 24, ‘Petrichor’ (The Lost Trades) by vocal harmony trio The Lost Trades at 31, with the last new entry this month being Salt House at number 37 with ‘Riverwoods’.

Congratulations to all charting artists. ***To receive chart graphics to celebrate your success please contact info@englishfolkexpo.com.

To view the full Official Folk Albums Chart chart click here.  To watch to Official Folk Chart Show again, click here or the image below. 

The Official Folk Albums Chart is compiled by The Official Chart Company and produced by English Folk Expo. The Official Folk Albums Chart Show is presented by Folk On Foot with the support of English Folk Expo. 

English Folk Expo (Charity no 1192064) is a sector support organisation and a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England. It has a growing portfolio of initiatives designed to support the English folk, roots and acoustic sector including its annual English Folk Expo Showcase for UK and international industry, showcasing a broad range of English folk, roots and acoustic artists in Manchester, England each October. To find out more go to englishfolkexpo.com

Your taste in music might, of course, also turn to jazz, in which case here are two interesting gigs coming up.

John Etheridge and
Vimala Rowe Quartet
Crowmarsh Jazz

John Etheridge and
Vimala Rowe Quartet 

Crowmarsh Jazz

Saturday 22 April

Doors 6.45pm | Show 7.30pm.
Tickets – £15 (£5 concession, details below)

John Etheridge and Vimala Rowe (left bring their unique blend of jazz music to for the first time to Crowmarsh Jazz, so this is a fantastic opportunity to hear something special.

John Etheridge’s reputation in the jazz world cannot be overstated. A genuinely virtuosic fusion guitarist, he is one of a handful of players who can claim to have helped shape the character of modern jazz guitar. He has been described by fellow fretsman Pat Metheny as ‘one of the best guitarists in the world’, due largely to his tireless exploration of the possibilities of his instrument. A hugely respected artist in his own right, Etheridge also claims an impressive collaborative history, from his seminal work with ground-breaking fusion group Soft Machine to his longstanding status as the guitarist of choice for jazz icon Stéphane Grappelli as well as long associations with John Williams and Nigel Kennedy .

In vocalist Vimala Rowe, he has not only found a partner of rare ability but a talent that perfectly complements his explorative nature. An exemplary jazz singer with a faultless and deft expression, Vimala has a unique style that is further enhanced by her past training in classical Hindustani vocals. Her soulful, moving, and unerringly committed performances on the album produced with John, ‘Out Of The Sky’, are truly memorable.

Vimala Rowe took the role of Billie Holiday in Alex Webb’s music-theatre show Cafe Society Swing, as well as appearing with flamenco great  Paco Pena at Sadler’s Wells, and recent appearances at the London Jazz Festival, celebrating Ella Fitzgerald. But though flawless tributes to the great jazz vocalists are a speciality of hers, she is also an award-winning original composer, and this evening’s concert will showcase well-known songs with some beautiful newer examples. You may recognise Vimala from our big ‘Jazz For Ukraine’ concert last April where she made a very special and stunning guest appearance.

John and Vimala will be joined on stage by virtuosic musicians Raph Mizraki (double bass) and Charlie Stratford (drums).

There will be a bar and stoned baked pizza on offer.

Doors open at 6.45pm and the show starts at 7.30pm.

Venue: Crowmarsh Village Hall, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, OX10 8ED.


A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and
Louis Armstrong

featuring Jo Harrop, Andy Davies and Alex Hutton

Bishop’s Court Farm

Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP

Sunday 30 April
Doors 6pm | Show 7 – 9pm | £20

Hampstead Jazz Club proudly presents the hotly anticipated second season of The Snug Sessions at Bishop’s Court Farm, a series of nine very special shows featuring a line-up of some of the brightest stars in contemporary jazz and soul.

A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

The third in an exciting series of contemporary jazz evenings at Bishop’s Court Farm
 “A very fine jazz singer. When she sings, she moves me.” Iggy Pop – BBC 6 Music

Having received unanimous critical acclaim for her last three albums, Jo Harrop (right) recently sold out two shows at Ronnie Scott’s and a string of dates in New York’s most prestigious jazz clubs. Blessed with a chocolate and cream voice that is delicately poised between beguiling sensuality and exquisite fragility, her mellifluous music could melt the hardest of hearts.

For this very special one-off performance, she will be joined by trumpeter Andy Davies and pianist Alex Hutton to celebrate the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Between 1956 – 1959 they recorded three timeless albums (Ella and Louis, Ella and Louis Again and Porgy and Bess). Although Fitzgerald and Satchmo’s singing styles could not have been more different, together they enjoyed a symbiotic musical connection which still sounds utterly irresistible after all these years.

Jo Harrop vocals | Alex Hutton piano |
Andy Davies trumpet | Jihad Darwish bass

Drinks will be available to purchase on the evening.

Doors: 6pm, show 7 – 9pm.

Bishop’s Court Farm, 91 High St, Dorchester on Thames OX10 7HP  Map
 Book tickets here – £20

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