A howl with soul from mountains

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RITA Hosking is as close to a female Woody Guthrie as you’re likely to get...

Her songs dig deep into blue collar America and reveal a larger-than-life cast of characters.

Miners, trailer dwellers, loggers — they all crop up in Hosking’s country-folk music.

Her voice has been called a ‘soulful howl from the mountains’ - and even a brief encounter with new album Burn shows why.

A touch of country blues and a splash of country folk form the canvas on which she sketches the outlines of her song-folk.

There is the demolition derby-loving woman of Crash and Burn who lives life in the fast lane.

Said Hosking: “We went to derbies as a child since they were often paired with horse shows at county fairs. When I saw last year that my childhood house is now inhabited by a derby driver, I realised it was time to integrate demo derby into my spiritual centre.”

The result is a great and truly memorable song. Full of neat lyrical twists and musical brilliance.

Also clamouring for your attention is opening track Something You Got.

This is her first ‘real love song’ written for hubby Sean Feder (who plays banjo, Dobro and percussion on the album).

She said: “This came up one evening when I was joking about how I hadn’t written a song for him yet..but I wanted to. So you get the first line ‘I wanna write you a pretty love song’.”

Rita reckons her upbringing in rural Shasta County and the old-time band of seasoned mountain characters that took her under their wings all helped form her take on music.

Her ancestors were Cornish miners who sang in the mines.

And Rita grew up with a deep regard for folk music and the power of the voice.

Her songs have been lauded for story and sense of place and her performances praised for capturing the audience.

Honours include winner of Best Country Album (Vox Pop) in the 2010 Independent Music Awards, winner of the ’08 Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest at the Sisters Folk Festival, finalist in the ’09 Telluride Troubadour Contest among others.

Rita Hosking, accompanied by veteran English folk-blues guitarist Michael Chapman, is at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield, on Tuesday, October 18.

Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts will be at the Princess Royal next Friday, Oct 14. The duo released their second album, Up From The Deep, last year which earned them many new fans.

This year, they spent five weeks touring with Fairport Convention and completed a 30-date nationwide tour in their own right. They also performed at Cambridge Folk Festival and Cropredy.

Geordie musician and funny man Vin Garbutt is at the Rock@Maltby, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby tomorrow night. Next Friday’s guest will be John Tamms and Barry Coope.

Robin and Bina Williamson perform an acoustic concert of Song Story & Music at the Friends Meeting House, Ashgate Road , Chesterfield tomorrow.

Ian Stephenson and Sarah Hayes are at Nether Edge Folk Club on Sunday.

David Crosby and Graham Nash are at Sheffield City Hall on Tuesday.

Hank Wangford is at the Greystones on Tuesday.