Category Archives: folk


Greetings to you all from my new home in Shrewsbury! I’m currently having a great time touring with UFQ but the main purpose of this email is to tell you all about my NEW ALBUM! And also the accompanying tour and lots more besides. Read on to find out more 🙂

I am ecstatic to announce that my new album ‘Trio’ will be released in May accompanied by a UK tour. Last year saw our first tour and it was a great success and I am so pleased and proud to be working with two of my favourite musicians and people – Ciaran Algar on fiddle and Nic Zuppardi on mandolin. We will be playing new material from the album, a few old favourites and a few brand new items as well. Come and see us – tickets and dates below:
02 PENRITH Sunbeams Music Centre
01768 892909
04 KIRKBY FLEETHAM Stapleton House
Mike Dillon –
05 NEWCASTLE Gosforth Civic Theatre…
09 NORWICH Anteros Arts…/thursday-9th-may-dan-wa… 1
11 WOLVERHAMPTON Newhampton Arts Centre
17 ASHINGTON SUSSEX Music At The Buildings
22 STAFFORD Gatehouse Theatre…/the%20dan…/info
26 NORTH YORKSHIRE Swaledale Festival…/22…/e/dan-walsh-trio-26-may-2019
28 MALDON Blue Boar
29 MILTON KEYNES The Stables
30 LEICESTER The Musician…/dan-walsh-trio-the-musi…/8876105…
31 BRISTOL Folk House…
Tickets available soon
I’m also delighted to say that for the first time, I will be releasing a banjo tablature book. I’ll be returning to the Midwest Banjo Camp in the US (see below) in June and last year so many people asked me about a book I thought it was about time I did one! It will be a collection of tabs from four of my albums – The Same But Different, Incidents and Accidents, Verging On The Perpendicular and the new album Trio. It is aimed at intermediate to advanced players primarily but hopefully there’s something for everyone! There’s plenty of instructions to accompany the tab. More information to follow on release dates, where to get it etc but I thought I’d give you the good news now 🙂
Delighted to be heading back for my third tour of the USA. I’ll be returning to the Midwest Banjo Camp in Olivet, Michigan to play and teach alongside some of the world’s finest banjo players (no pressure…) and then heading to California for a little run of gigs. Dates as follows, would be lovely to see you:


06-09 OLIVET, MI Midwest Banjo Camp
11 SISKIYOU COUNTY Skyelark Ranch
12 SEBASTOPOL Jon Berger’s House Concerts
13 SOQUEL The Ugly Mug
14 GILROY House Concert
Please contact me for this one!
15 MODESTO Great Valley Songwriter Series
16 BERKELEY Sally Greenberg’s House Concerts
17 NEVADA CITY The Willo
Finally, very excited to tell you that over the summer and in a few gigs in the autumn my band Urban Folk Quartet will be augmented! UFQ x2 will hit the festivals featuring an extra fiddle, bass and a horn section as part of our tenth anniversary celebrations. We’ve had the first couple of rehearsals and it sounds amazing! We can’t wait to unleash it on the world – head over to and check the gigs out.
Thank you all so much for the continued support. It’s a crazy life I’ve chosen, and you all make it possible and I am forever grateful.

Best wishes,


‘One of the most enchanting and sublimely realised sets of songs that will be released this year’………

(My review can be found here – an album worthhy of your listening time)

Mike Vass: Save His Calm

Released: April 5, 2019

~Award-winning Scottish tunesmith finds his voice~

“The Making of” video:

Official video of opening track ‘They Never Found Me” As played on BBC Radio 2 Folk Show (Mark Radcliffe), BBC Radio Scotland Iain Anderson Show, BBC Radio Scotland ‘Travelling Folk’ (Bruce Macgregor), BBC Radio nan Gaidheal ‘Caithream Ciuil’ ALBUM OF THE WEEK ,BBC Radio Sheffield, BBC Radio Merseyside,

BBC Radio Lancashire, Exile FM FEATURED ALBUM, Coast & County Radio, Kirkcaldy FM, Cuillin FM , Harborough FM, Swindon 105.5,

Beyond Radio, Dare Radio, Folk Radio, CKUT Radio (Montreal).

“Mike Vass should be singing – he’s got a great voice

Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Folk Show

“Save His Calm is one of the most enchanting and sublimely realised sets of songs that will be released this year” – From The Margins

“Absolutely gorgeous – he has a perfect late night radio voice”

Kathleen MacInnes, BBC Radio Scotland

“His first album of songs – it’s great to hear Mike singing”

Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland ‘Travelling Folk’

“Absolutely stunning” – Emma Sweeney, BBC Radio Lancashire

“Vass’s albums have been evocative musical journeys. Now he’s turned singer-songwriter, a most unexpected change of direction. The power of Save His Calm grows with repeated listening and it becomes clear that sometimes it takes a monumental event to release somebody’s creativity.” –

Known for his evocative and classy compositions and named Composer of the Year in the 2012 Scots Trad Music Awards, Nairn-born tunesmith Mike Vass will hit a milestone with his new release in April – when he unveils his first album of self-penned songs.

Save His Calm (the astute may work out the anagram!) is an atmospheric album that’s close to home – a sonic snapshot drawn from key events from Mike’s life over the last few years – or those of people close to him.

Says Mike: ‘Save His Calm’ has been two years in the making and it’s a really important project for me. I spent some time in the hands of the NHS in 2013 and 2016 and these songs link to my experiences there as well as stories from friends and family that have shaped my thinking these last few years.”

Free form and fascinating Save His Calm marks a new path for one of Scotland’s most respected and original acoustic composers –it’s an ‘all life is here’ work that has the ability to burrow into your thoughts and draw you for a while into an intriguing, sometimes raw personal world while at the same time reassuring and resonating in an ‘Everyman’ way.

Save his Calm is released on April 5 on the Unroofed Records label.


Music news – FAIRPORT CONVENTION Spring Newsletter 2019

Hello Fairporters,

As you can see in the photo taken on Sunday, Spring has arrived and the Cropredy fields are really looking their best. The auspices look good for the fortieth anniversary (1979-2019) of the Cropredy Festival.

Roxy in the field

No-one can predict the weather but it smiles on Cropredy in August much more often than not and with summer not far around the corner, festival tickets are selling strongly so don’t miss out – buy yours while you still can.

To celebrate forty years of our festival we’ve put together a really great bill for you. The line-up includes Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, The Waterboys and the magnificent Gogol Bordello. Then there’s Richard Thompson, barnstormer Seth Lakeman and, of course, us – Fairport Convention & special guests – plus fourteen other top acts. With a roster like that you can look forward to a great weekend of first class entertainment at Britain’s friendliest music festival.

Check out the full Cropredy line-up here

Buy your tickets (at early bird prices) here

Pre-Cropredy warm-ups

As always, our pre-Cropredy ‘warm up’ concerts are proving popular. We still have tickets left for both the shows but these concerts sell out quickly so don’t delay.

This year, the ‘warm ups’ return to Banbury Trades & Labour Club. The dates are Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 August.

Buy your tickets here…

Drastic On Plastic

Drastic on Plastic

Last year we joined other members of the Association of Independent Festivals in promoting the elimination of ‘single use’ plastic at festivals. Backstage, all our plates, cups and crockery were made from compostable materials, as were all the ‘glasses’ from behind the Wadworth bar. Throughout the site we managed to reduce our single use bottle usage from approximately 4500 in 2017 to less than 200 in 2018.

Our aim is to eliminate single use plastic from the festival completely by 2020. And with your help we know we can do it!

For example, many of you purchased our stainless steel refillable Cropredy bottles and we will be stocking up the merchandise store with more for August. Meanwhile these stylish bottles are available now via our online store here…

We plan to have even more ‘Filling Stations’ around the arena for 2019 where you will be able to top up the bottles with cooled spring water for just 50p. If you’re happy with tap water, the water from the stands in the arena is free and will have been passed safe to use by the local authorities. Even if you don’t buy one of our bottles, please bring along a refillable bottle of your own.

Single use plastics don’t just mean bottles, bags and containers. What about tents? Much has been made lately regarding the number of tents left behind by festival goers. Fortunately, this hasn’t been a huge problem for Cropredy but we’d still like to see it disappear altogether.

Recycling Bay

And continuing the ‘green theme’, this year you will notice enhancements to our recycling arrangements in the concert arena and on the campsites. Working with our waste management advisors, Purely Waste Solutions and Smiths Gloucester, we’re providing recycling bays similar to those pictured here.

Fairport on the road and in the studio

We start our UK Spring Tour in Leamington Spa on 7 May. With 30 dates taking in most parts of the UK and Ireland, there’s bound to be a show near you so come along and see us – you’ll be most welcome.

Chris and Ric have some solo shows and Chris is currently joining Dave Mattacks and friends on their annual Feast of Fiddles tour. Another gig not to be missed.

We have booked time in the studio later this year to record a brand new album which we hope to have ready for the Wintour 2020. We are currently writing and gathering material and we’ll let you know more as it happens.

We’ll be back with more updates as Spring blossoms into early summer – meanwhile enjoy the sunshine.

Love from us all,

Simon, Peggy, Ric, Chris and Gerry

07 May 2019 Leamington Spa All Saints Buy Tickets Here 01926 850385

08 May 2019 Penistone The Paramount Buy Tickets Here 01226 767532

09 May 2019 Leek Foxlowe Arts Centre Buy Tickets Here 01538 386112

10 May 2019 Lowdham Village Hall Buy Tickets Here 0115 9663596

11 May 2019 South Holland Centre Spalding Buy Tickets Here 01775 764777

12 May 2019 Norwich Epic Studios Buy Tickets Here 01603 727727

13 May 2019 Nettlebed Village Club Buy Tickets Here 01628 788997

15 May 2019 Pocklington Arts Centre Buy Tickets Here 01759 301547

16 May 2019 Clitheroe The Grand Buy Tickets Here 01200 421599

17 May 2019 Glasgow Oran Mor Buy Tickets Here 0141 357 6200

18 May 2019 Aberdeen The Lemon Tree Buy Tickets Here 01224 641122

19 May 2019 Perth Concert Hall (Festival) Buy Tickets Here 01738 621031 

21 May 2019 Blanchardstown, Dublin Draiocht Theatre Buy Tickets Here 353 1 885 2622

22 May 2019 Limerick University Concert Hall Buy Tickets Here 353 61 331549

23 May 2019 Armagh Market Place Buy Tickets Here 028 3752 1821

24 May 2019 Cork St Luke’s Buy Tickets Here

25 May 2019 KIlkenny Watergate Theatre Buy Tickets Here 353 56 7761674

26 May 2019 Belfast The Lyric Theatre Buy Tickets Here 028 9038 1081

28 May 2019 Bethesda Neuadd Ogwen Buy Tickets Here 01248 208485 

29 May 2019 Milford Haven The Torch Theatre Buy Tickets Here 01646 695267

30 May 2019 Pontardawe Arts Centre Buy Tickets Here 01792 863722

31 May 2019 Pentyrch Acapela Studio Buy Tickets Here 029 2089 0862

01 June 2019 Bridgnorth Castle Hall Buy Tickets Here 01584 878141

02 June 2019 Birmingham Glee Club Buy Tickets Here 0871 472 0400

04 June 2019 Chipping Norton Theatre Buy Tickets Here 01608 642350

05 June 2019 Folkstone Tower Theatre Buy Tickets Here 01303 223925

06 June 2019 Hailsham Pavilion Buy Tickets Here 01323 841414

07 June 2019 Sevenoaks St Edith Folk Buy Tickets Here 07538 822115

08 June 2019 London Nells Buy Tickets Here

09 June 2019 East Hagbourne Fleur de Lys Buy Tickets Here 01235 813247

Music news – NINEBARROW new book & gigs

March News

‘Ninebarrow’s Dorset’ – Musical Walks in a Magical Landscape

We’ve been working on the book for about a year now, but in many ways, it really feels like it’s been a lifetime in the making! 😊 We’ve spent most of our lives exploring the Dorset countryside and the last eight drawing on it for inspiration with our songwriting.  We’ve wanted to share these walks with fans of our music for quite some time. So many people we meet around the country have some kind of tie to Dorset – a friend living here or a family holiday they once had. They speak of its fairy-tale quality in a way that we totally understand – it’s exactly how we feel and that’s exactly what we’ve tried to capture in the book. Essentially, we wanted people to feel like they were walking through one of our songs!

So what’s the book got?! 

✅ 10 walks or various lengths, (between 4-9 miles)
✅ Hand-drawn maps
✅ Detailed walk instructions
✅ Beautiful photography
✅ Routes that take you through the heart of our songs
✅ Dorset’s most beautiful views and hidden treasures
✅ Snippets of Dorset folklore and history
✅ QR code links to more detailed articles 

But don’t take our word for it! Why don’t you have a look?! Here’s a copy of Walk 5! Without a doubt one of our favourites, taking in the charming St Aldhelm’s chapel, right out on the clifftop. The views as you approach the coastline are simply incredible and this walk was the inspiration for our song, The Pinner.

So – we hope we’ve managed to whet your appetite a little! All that’s left to say is that if you’re interested, you can click the button below to grab a copy. We’re also currently shipping all orders complete with a weather-proof cover, just in case you get caught in any April showers! 

Best Duo Nominees!

We’re really delighted to have been nominated for the awards in the Best Duo category! The awards are based on a public vote though – so we could do with your help!! If you haven’t already, you can cast your vote by here and it only takes 5 seconds! We’re currently tied for the lead, so it’s very close indeed! 😎

Thu 21 Mar 2019    
Stowe School

Fri 22 Mar 2019    St Nicholas’ Church, 
Ringwould SOLD OUT

Sat 23 Mar 2019    
Dunsden Village Hall    

Sun 24 Mar 2019    
Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre    

Thu 04 Apr 2019    
West End Centre    

Fri 05 Apr 2019    
St Hilda’s Church Hall, 

Sat 06 Apr 2019
Wychwood Folk Club
Chipping Norton

Sun 07 Apr 2019    
Kingskerswell Parish Church
Newton Abbot

Wed 24 Apr 2019
South Luffenham Village Hall

Thu 25 Apr 2019
Coddington Village Hall

Fri 26 Apr 2019
St Martin’s Church,

Sat 27 Apr 2019
St Francis’ Church

Sun 28 Apr 2019
The Old School    

Sat 04 May 2019    
St James’ Church

Wed 15 May 2019
Ely Folk Club

Thu 16 May 2019
St Peter’s Church, 

Fri 17 May 2019    
The Ram Club    
Thames Ditton

Sat 18 May 2019    
St Andrew’s Church, 
Letcombe Regis

Wed 22 May 2019    
Cottingham Live

Thu 23 May 2019
The Place Theatre

Fri and Sat 25 May 2019
Ireby Festival 2019

Sun 26 May 2019    
Chester Folk Festival 2019

Fri 07 Jun 2019    
St Michael the Archangel    

Sat 08 Jun 2019
Bickerton Village Hall

Sun 09 Jun 2019    
Wimborne Minster Folk Festival 2019

Fri 14 Jun 2019    
St George the Martyr Church
Milton Keynes

Sat 15 Jun 2019    
St John the Baptist Church
Stanton-St-John, Oxford

Sun 16 Jun 2019
Crediton Congregational Church

Thu 20 Jun 2019    
The Atkinson    

Fri 21 Jun 2019    
St Andrews United Reformed Church

Sat 06 Jul 2019    
Kimpton Folk Festival 2019

Sat 13 Jul 2019    
St John’s Church, Totnes

Sun 21 Jul 2019    
Manor Green, Cossington    

For more info on these gigs and many more: click here!


Former Skid Row vocalist Seb Bach is hard at work on his new album which will feature guest guitarists including John 5 and Steve Stevens (Billy Idol). His old band Skid Row plan to record a new album this year, the first with vocalist ZP Theart.

Lynyrd Skynrd’s Johnny van Zant has said the band have an album almost ready to record.
“We have an album in the can really, to be honest,” Van Zant told Madness to Creation in a recent interview. “We have a bunch of songs that we’re all the time writing … probably after this tour we’ll have that album, do a studio thing.” Johnny has also hinted an album with his brother Donnie is likely in the near future plus he wants to record a gospel album.

Hunter & the Bear are currently recording their second album with Grammy nominated producer Romesh Dodangoda. Their debut album was very enjoyable and looking forward to hearing where their sound takes them next.

The Darker My Horizon have completed work on their album entitled ‘Seize The Day’ it is due for release later this year.

Alter Bridge plan to have their next album out in October.

Pendragon are currently working on a new album, with planning also underway for an accompanying tour. Also due this summer is a live release of the band’s recent fortieth anniversary show.

The crowd fund campaign for Fanfields chief Michael Riesenbeck’s new solo album ‘Courage’ is active for only a few days. Please click the link below, listen to/view the sound clips/video’s and if you like what you’re hearing, it would be so great if you would pre-order the album. This will help to get “Courage” released in 2019! Only 16 more days and then the crowd fund campaign ends, so Michael can use all your help now. Expect top notch adventurous melodic rock with influences by – obviously – TOTO, Journey, Giant, Whitesnake, Gary Moore, Vitesse, Powerplay and Diesel, featuring many guest musicians and singers that also can be heard on Fanfields.

Music review – MIKE VASS Save His Calm

[Release date 05.04.19]

Having enjoyed ‘Notes From A Boat’, released last year and the album was recorded on his boat, with various guest musicians, including a harpsit which must have been fun getting on and off the boat!

This new album sees Mike Vass singing for the first time, having been seriously ill with . Indeed he draw on his own personal experiences of the past few years for the lyrics.

Although labelled as folk, Mike Vass has that soothing, in the wee small hours vocal and with the piano playing of Tom Gibbs featured on many songs, the music would also appeal to lovers of West Coast AOR and gentle jazz infused music. ‘They Never Found Me’ and ‘As I Grow Older’ both have a rich, melodic sound with Philip Cardwell’s trumpet playing a particular highlight on the latter. To be fair you’d have to be made of granite not to be moved by the closing song ‘Walk With Me and Meet My Children’.

A beautifully crafted album, one to savour and enjoy, especially when you are winding your day down.


Two recent eBay bargains… first up the 2015 album from the Darkness ‘Last Of Our Kind’. It was the only album to feature drummer Emily Dolan Davies, who was replaced by Rufus Taylor (son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor). It made the UK album charts no.12 – topping the Up rock chart –  and US charts no.125. Not bad at all, based on the loose concept of a Viking invasion of East Anglia it is suitably OTT. Not as strong as their classic debut album, but an album worth owning.

Had this one on cassette and now picked up a CD copy of ‘Yoyo’ by Bourgeois Tagg. This was the second album (released in 1987) by the band formed by Brent Thomas Bourgeois and Larry Tagg. If like me you love a bit of hi-tech 80’s synth pop rock – like the Police jamming with Go West – it is an album worth investigating further. The album made the US charts at no.38

In the review pile is Becky Mills, who has a new album ‘Tall Tales and Home Truths’ out on April 26. Eleven songs written by her and it is a wonderful folk album, highly recommended. Journey’s new double CDD/DVD package recorded at Tokyo’s Budokan in 2017 when the band performed the ‘Escape’ and ‘Frontiers’ albums in their entirety. Enjoying the CDs and will set aside a couple of hours to watch the concert DVD.