BARNSLEY Acoustic Roots Festival has certainly hit the ground running. In only its second year, it is bringing some of the finest music to the town in a feast of fun and folk.
Headline slot goes to Cara Dillon, possibly the brightest star to shine from the Irish music scene for some years.
She grew up in an area steeped in Irish music and demonstrated a striking vocal ability from an early age, winning the All Ireland Singing Trophy when only 14.
May 2008 saw the release of a duet with singer-songwriter John Smith, If I Prove False, which was used to promote the release of Cara’s first live DVD, The Redcastle Sessions.
It perfectly captures the magic of a Cara Dillon show which will be unleashed on the Barnsley crowd as a fitting finale to this year’s festival on April 3.
Other performers include Show of Hands, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams (from the US), Karine Polwart, Larkin Poe (more US musicians) and Vin Garbutt. The opening concert takes place at The Civic, in Barnsley next Friday, starring Show of Hands.
All other events will be based at Kingstone School, getting underway on Saturday, April 2 with an afternoon concert featuring Karine Polwart, Carrivick Sisters and Nigel Stonier. In the evening a concert will be headlined by Gandalf Murphy, also featuring Stephanie Lambring and Dave Burland.
On Sunday afternoon, a concert will featureby Vin Garbutt, Larkin Poe, Sharon King and the Reckless Angels and Richard Kitson.
In the evening, Cara Dillon will headline a show, which also has Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman and Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts.
n Full details of the festival line up can be found at www.barnsleyacoustic.co.uk
n Apologies for mixing up the dates in last week’s column. I wrongly said Chris Wood would be at the Rock@Maltby this Friday. In fact, he was there last week. Reg Meuross and cellist Beth Porter are guests tonight.
Next Friday’s guest will be Edwina Hayes, who has been a regular on both sides of the Atlantic for the last few years. Dublin-born Edwina now spends half the year living on Yorkshire’s East coast, the other half in her ‘second home’ of Nashville.
She has opened shows for Van Morrison, Jools Holland and Nanci Griffith. Her performances are full of warmth, with her beautiful, heartfelt singing, offset with her wonderful stories of work and play. Edwina has an ability to communicate the message of a song, whether it be her own or by another writer.
The club meets at the Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby.
IRISH folk band Tir Na Nog, who play music based on strong Celtic roots typically featuring intricate guitar and close harmony singing, are at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield tonight.
GUESTS next Friday at the Beehive Folk Club, Harthill, between Sheffield and Rotherham, are The Wilsons.
THE Old Dance School, who blend folk with jazz and classical ideas are at the Greystones next Friday.