A lot has already been written about some of the guests at this year’s Tenterden Folk Festival such as The Askew Sisters, Tony Carling, Pete Castle, The Committee Band, Derek Gifford, Keith Kendrick, Mawkin, Moss and Moore, One Sheet Short and The Simon Hopper Trio, but there is a lot more to the Festival guest list than many people realise.
Jim Bainbridge impressed us so much last year that we have invited him back again this year. Jim’s material is more songs than music, often light and humorous, but sometimes thought provoking. He plays melodeon and his style is modelled on the older Irish and Scots tradition, but with much material from his Tyneside roots and even some from the time he lived in Kent.
The Claque are Tom Addison, Barry Lister, Dave Lowry and Sean O’Shea and their four voices have a depth and maturity blended to bring warmth and harmony to the English Tradition. The group has been distilled from the legendary groups of old including Isca Fayre, The Songwainers and Hollinmor. As they are based in Cornwall this is a rare opportunity to hear them in Kent. The Claque will be accompanied by their friend Moe Keast who can best be described as a story teller and singer of traditional Cornish and West Country songs. She has been performing since the age on nine and has a love of traditional songs.
Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews first performed formally as a duo at the Gosport and Fareham Easter Festival in April 2004 and enjoyed it so much that they decided to continue doing so and have extended their repertoire and recorded a CD and played on various other peoples CDs. Their intention remains to seek material which is very different in style from that of the band "Cross o'th Hands" with whom they also play and to keep the arrangements as free as possible leading to an exciting performance rooted in the English tradition.
The Power Folk Duo are Lisa Fitzgibbon and Jon Fletcher. Lisa is a UK based, Australian singer/songwriter who I believe has family connections to Tenterden and has been described as putting the power back into contemporary folk music. Her sound is soft centred but hard core, Power Folk with a tender heart. Lisa will be joined by Jon on guitar, mandolin and harmonica for their two sets at Tenterden, one in concert in the White Lion Saddlery and the other on The Woolpack Stage. Lisa has shared the stage with musical legends such as Arlo Gutherie, Roger McGuinn (from the Byrds), Chris Difford (from Squeeze), Eliza Carthy & The Waifs and played at prestigious venues such as the Shepherds Bush Empire, Glastonbury and Cambridge festivals.
We also try to use our guests in an imaginative way so as well as straight concerts, folk clubs, barn dance and showcases, there are “Meet the guest” sessions where you get a chance to sit and chat to the guests as well as hear a few songs or tunes in an informal setting. This year we offer the chance to meet the Askew Sisters, the Claque and Mawkin. Since Pete Castle, Doug Eunson, Sarah Matthews and Keith Kendrick now all live near each other in Derbyshire and all have connections with Kent we have got them all together for a few songs and a chat in the Saddlery on Saturday morning. There are also a number of “workshops” in the programme where you can learn more about Appalachian dancing, the birds featured in folk songs and concertina part playing.
This is all in addition to the chance to see hundreds of Morris dancers and their mascots, fools and mollies, Flora the Singleton Giant, Scottish dancers, Appalachian dancers and Maypole dancers. Throughout the weekend there will also be a craft fair in the Town Hall, street stalls in the High Street and music sales in the Woolpack Barn.
More details of Tenterden Folk Festival 2008 can now be found in the free souvenir programme which can be picked up from Tenterden Library, Ashford Tourist Information Centre, most festival venues and other outlets.
Alan Castle – Festival Director - 11th September 2008
Ashford own Bells of Revival Choir have now been added to the guest list and will be performing on the Woolpack Stage on Saturday (4th October) at 12 noon.