Gary Lutton – ‘Slipstream’
Gary Lutton is an instrumental acoustic guitarist from Belfast. He won the Sky competition Guitar Star (2015) in which he had the opportunity to work with legends such as Rodrigo y Gabriela, Mike Dawes and Paco Pena. He recorded at Abbey Road Studios with producer Tony Visconti and played the main stage at Latitude festival for 30,000 people.
Gary’s first EP, Departure, is a four-track affair featuring two originals and two arrangements that has been mixed and mastered by Eric Spitzer-Marlyn at the Hitbox Altenburg (of U2, Brian Eno and Thomas Leeb fame).
Kev Minney – ‘All You Need’
Kev Minney is a Brighton based songwriter. Using his voice, his guitar playing and his songwriting skills he has created a unique and mastered sound. Taking inspiration from folk greats such as Simon & Garfunkel, Neil Young and Nick Drake, he has blended his creative guitar playing with pop and folk melodies.
His debut EP All You Need was recorded and produced in New York by Kenny Siegal at Old Soul Studios. Taking a modern approach to traditional singer-songwriter folk, the EP combines a mix of pop tracks with all the depth it takes to keep you listening and time and time again.
Ayala – ‘This Year’
Ayala’s debut album This Year was produced between LA and London by Fabio BOI Angelini (Pink), Juan Luis Ayala (Gabrielle) and Troy Miller (Amy Winehouse, Laura Mvula), and is a beautiful blend of British pop with folk and blues as well as touches of the more exotic Mexican/Latin flavours. Plans for 2016 include the release of a duet with the multi-platinum selling artist Gilbert O’Sullivan on his new single ‘I Guess I’ll Always Love You’, as well as plans to launch into the Mexican and Latin market.
Ayala can also be seen presenting her own live music TV show on Irish TV (Sky 191).
Sultans Of String – ‘Rakes Of Mallow – Rouge River Valley’
Sultans Of String create “energetic and exciting music from a band with talent to burn!” (Maverick Magazine). Thrilling audiences with their genre-hopping passport of Celtic reels, flamenco, gypsy-jazz, Arabic, Cuban, and South Asian rhythms, the band combines fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar. Since forming 10 years ago, Sultans Of String have hit #1 across Canada on top 10 national radio charts, and received multiple awards and accolades, including two Juno (Canada’s Grammy) nominations and two Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Jinder – ‘Gathering My Children Home’
Over 15 years, 2,000 live shows and nine lovingly crafted albums of exquisite folk-noir-sadcore songwriting, Jinder has emerged as one of the most prolific and enigmatic figures of the UK music scene. Despite releases for Sony BMG and Universal, a commercial crossover has never really been on the cards and Jinder remains something of a cult artist, albeit with a fervent following among those in the know.
‘Gathering My Children Home’ is taken from 2015’s critically acclaimed Traditional Dark LP, recorded entirely to tape in an abandoned West Country cottage in late 2014.
Rosie Eade Band – ‘Ashamed’
Inspired by Kate Bush and the Who as much as Steeleye Span, Rosie sings life inspired stories written over many years gigging solo around the country, from a party in a field to Glastonbury’s Avalon Café, arranged around her love of folk, rock and thrashing her old guitar. This dual passion shines through in her new album Battlestorm, which tells of the many battles and conflicts, emotional and physical, faced in our modern and historical lives. These are heartfelt tales brought to life by Rosie, Challow Park Studios, and her band mates Steve Matthews (mandolin), Simon Stanley (bass) and Niall Robinson (drums).
The Shrinks – ‘Maybe We Did’
Bristol-based septet the Shrinks, have for the last 16 years, been creating music best described as a strange looking, yet at the same time, strangely familiar car that has been welded together from several other cars.
It may be rusty in places and perhaps doesn’t get out on the road as often as it should but, when it’s firing on all cylinders, it can really move and transport you to some pretty unusual places. Enjoy the ride.
Brooks Williams – ‘Nine Days’ Wonder’
Brooks Williams stands on tradition but he doesn’t stand still. Born in Statesboro, Georgia, Williams got his start in the clubs and bars around New York and Boston. There he developed his signature roots sound and honed his craft as both a songwriter, a singer, and a performer.
With 22 albums to his name, including his newest, My Turn Now (2016), Williams’ music has been lauded by the likes of Guitar Player, Blues Matters, Acoustic, Maverick, and WUMB-FM Boston. Like drinking whiskey from a honey jar, you get both the sweet and the bite.
Sheelanagig – ‘Shetlag’
Sheelanagig have become something of a West Country institution for the past decade. A quintet with a well-stocked armoury of stringed instruments and a bagful of joint-jumping tunes, these boys sure know how to get a party started. Putting both stomp and skank into gypsy-flavoured tunes from the Balkans and beyond, it’s difficult for your limbs to remain stationary when you’re within earshot of them in full flight. Five showmen with a touch of the circus about them, the fact that they’ve often play with a knowing wink shouldn’t obscure their impeccable technique and virtuoso-standard ability that raises the roof in every place they play.
Mike Weaver – ‘Pembrokeshire Fair’
Mike Weaver is a singer-songwriter who draws upon contemporary and traditional influences from both sides of the Atlantic. After break of 17 years, Mike returned to songwriting and performing and released CD of original songs in August 2014.
His latest album, The Others (March 2016) is a collection of previously unreleased material, together with new songs including the single ‘Pembrokeshire Fair’. A fingerstyle guitarist, Mike always performs solo and records his music live to reflect the directness and simplicity of his gigs, creating a strong focus on the lyrics.
Don’t Tell Johnny – ‘Beyond Your Wildest Dreams’
Don’t Tell Johnny are a Wales and West Country based folk band that play a range of acoustic styles from folk and blues to Americana. Their music combines touching, emotional vocals and harmonies, beautiful finger picked guitar and scorching fiddle lines to evoke memorable moods and feelings. Towards the end of 2015 the band started work on their debut album Better Late Than Never, a collection of 10 original songs. The album was recorded by Paul Hobday at Scabby Road Studios in Chepstow and was released in February 2016.
Half Deaf Clatch – ‘Boxcar Bulldogs’
Drawing from his obsession with pre-war country blues, Half Deaf Clatch has been impressing audiences all over the UK for the last five years with his raw down-home sound and his original songwriting.
He has been nominated in the finals of the British Blues Awards eight times in the last three years, and recently played on the daytime line-up of the 2015 Prudential Bluesfest at London’s O2 Arena. His new album The Life and Death of A.J Rail was released in October 2015 and is a one-man blues and roots tour de force.
Fred’s House – ‘Earthquake‘
Fred’s House are turning heads on the acoustic music scene and touring at venues and festivals all over the UK. Their 70s West Coast-inspired vocal harmonies, catchy songs and entertaining live shows has everyone talking. The beautifully penned track ‘Earthquake’ is full of raw emotion and is taken from their new album Faultlines, which is out in May 2016. Faultlines very much highlights why this band are going places
Wolfe Sunday – ‘Go Out To Sea’
For the last three years Wolfe Sunday has spent most of his time on the road, bringing his unique blend of folk-punk all over the UK and Europe. Combining intelligent and witty lyrics with an energetic live set and a burning passion for music, Wolfe Sunday is an unmissable and unforgettable act. If you have never seen an acoustic musician climb the walls of a venue, you’ve never seen Wolfe Sunday perform. The brand new album Empty Bottles, Broken Bones is available now on all good streaming services.