OUT 21st APRIL – PREORDER NOW
Ollie King is one of England’s foremost melodeon players and traditional folk singers. His first album, Gambit, was released three years ago to considerable acclaim: Songlines called it a “well-judged introduction to the work of a terrific musician.”
Diffractions sees King make a bold step forwards; it opens with what has become a viral sensation: on the morning of the Brexit referendum, Ollie posted a video of him playing Haydn’s Austria and Holst’s Thaxted, liberating them from their nationalistic overtones and pairing them as a symbol of European unity. The resulting social media storm ensured they made the record.
From there, King picks up the electric guitar and, with considerably more delicacy and craft than is usual when a folkie “goes electric”, sings a charming interpretation of the traditional Sweet Lemeney.
Throughout, King explores where folk music has overlapped with art music, the classical establishment; Haydn and Holst are joined by Vaughan Williams, Handel and Purcell, nestled cheek-by-jowl with Lal Waterson, Cecil Sharp and Nic Jones. Joined by the talents of Rosie Hood, Tom Kitching, Al Simpson and producer Tom Wright, King explores where folk melodies meet Baroque suites, where the music of England meets its European neighbours. Accompanied by the bold photography of Elly Lucas and textiles of Rosie Butler-Hall, DIFFRACTIONS unfolds as a remarkable, brave sophomore release by a deep-thinking folk musician.
Lady Maisery’s highly anticipated new album Cycle is released today, and The Guardian call it “some of the most exquisite, thrilling vocal harmony work in the English folk scene.”
Last night, the band launched the album in London, the start of a 23-date national tour that continues on Saturday with a sold-out gig at The Hive in Shrewsbury.
Listen again to their BBC Radio 2 live session from Wednesday night, then get your copy of Cycle direct from us or via Amazon, iTunes and all good record shops.
Alma is Emily Askew (fiddle, Elizabethan Session, Askew Sisters), John Dipper (fiddle, English Acoustic Collective, Methera) and Adrian Lever (guitar, Arhai); three of London’s finest early and traditional musicians on a joyous exploration of European and Asian fiddle traditions.
From John Playford’s 1651 English Dancing Master to tunes from Sweden, Tunisia, and Iraq, as well as compositions by all three band members, the tunes are united by a consistent strength of technique and a refreshing, honest clarity that puts the joy of a good tune above all.
Recorded by Dipper and featuring guest musicians Louise Duggan (RSC, National Theatre) and Duncan Lyall (Kate Rusby, Treacherous Orchestra), Varieties is a charming collection of instrumental virtuosity that presents its eclectic material with verve and elegance.
Varieties is RootBeat Records RBRCD32, released on 5th August 2016 and available through Proper Music Distribution on Amazon, iTunes, independent record shops and direct from www.rootbeatrecords.com
RootBeat Records congratulates The Rheingans Sisters on their BBC Radio 2 Folk Award
The Rheingans Sisters capped a remarkable year with a Folk Award on Wednesday night, winning Best Original Track for “Mackerel”, from their acclaimed album “Already Home“.
— BBC Radio 2 (@BBCRadio2) April 27, 2016
After a warm response and across-the-board critical acclaim for her collaboration with Chatterbox, Tuulikki Bartosik strikes out on her own with her solo debut Storied Sounds. A showcasing artist at Tallinn Music Week, Bartosik enlists the help of Timo Alakotila (piano), Villu Talsi (mandolin) and Dylan Fowler (guitar).
“We transfer our traditions to each other, take our world with us wherever we go, and we take something with us from every place we visit, every person we meet.” –Tuulikki
Storied Sounds is a beautifully-composed love letter to the Estonian landscapes of Tuulikki’s childhood, to more recent adventures, and to family and friends. There is a glimmering vividness in these tracks. Pulsating cities, screeching seagulls, fishes flapping in nets, the smell of the forest in autumn and spring… all of these things, and more, are depicted powerfully in their reflective tunescapes. Ambient field recordings made in Estonia infuse several pieces, enhancing their already strong sense of place. Storied Sounds evokes an elemental point where nature, memory and music converge.
Praise for Chatterbox, Tuulikki’s collaboration with Hannah James (RBRCD25):
“An evocative album” Martin Chilton, The Telegraph
“Against expectations Chatterbox is one of the freshest and in its quiet way one of the most spectacular albums I have heard this year” Folk Radio UK
“A wholly original and mesmeric album” Folkwords
“A gem of an album that I think will be near on impossible to top in the accordion world” FATEA
Leveret are up for Best Group, with Andy Cutting also nominated for Musician of the Year, whilst the Rheingans Sisters and Rosie Hood are both named in the Horizon Award nominees. The Rheingans Sisters also get a nomination for Best Original Song for “Mackerel”, from their new album Already Home.
We’re incredibly proud of the music we released last year, and of the recognition our artists have received tonight.
You can find all nominated releases on a special page in our shop, and they’re also available on Amazon, iTunes and Proper Music.
Exactly a year after the release of their debut New Anything, English instrumental trio Leveret return with In The Round, a new live recording of instrumental music played spontaneously for a live audience. Recorded during one concert in an octagonal church in Derbyshire, the album continues Leveret’s mission of rediscovering and re-imagining tunes from archive sources, and features the distinctive interaction between players for which their live performances are renowned.
Leveret comprises three of the top instrumentalists in English folk music. Fiddler Sam Sweeney is the current BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Musician of the Year’, thanks to his work in Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, The Full English and his own Made In The Great War project. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting is a two-time winner of that award, and as well as his new trio with Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr currently performs with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emma Reid, Fay Hield, Jon Boden and others.
Leveret’s work as a trio sounds unlike anything else. Their music is not arranged at all in the conventional sense; instead it is played entirely in the moment, combining consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity in a sound that is timeless and natural yet also fresh and contemporary. The material may come from archive sources and manuscripts, but there is nothing academic or historical about the sound: it’s warm, listenable, engaging and refreshing, a massage for the ears.
The English folk tradition has not always valued its instrumental repertoire as highly as some of our neighbours, and yet the tunes exist in their thousands in manuscripts and archives. For every tune in current circulation, there are dozens more waiting to be rediscovered. Leveret’s music has helped inspire a growing interest in instrumental music; In The Round doesn’t always fit into what has come to be known as ‘the English style’ but it’s without doubt a current and contemporary recording of English repertoire by three top-notch instrumentalists with deep roots in the tradition.