FolkScene: Haunting sounds of an all-star trio

Heidi Talbot
Heidi Talbot
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three of the folk scene’s finest performers join forces for a not-to-be-missed show in Sheffield early next month.

Their songs range from traditional sounding folk tracks, led by Heidi’s beautifully lilting Irish voice, to the more poppy, jangly guitar sounds of Boo Hewerdine’s Patience of Angels.

Heidi Talbot’s 2008 breakthrough solo release, In Love + Light, swiftly promoted her to the premier league.

From reinvented classics to artful contemporary material, the album has long been a favourite of critics and fans.

Not least because it showcases Heidi’s’s achingly bittersweet vocals.

She has earned glowing reviews across three continents, a US Indie Acoustic Award and a Best Female Vocalist nomination in the Irish Music Awards.

She was recently on the road in this region accompanied by Chris Drever and John McCusker. And McCusker is back this time round, bringing his stellar musicianship to the show.

Born in Bellshill, near Glasgow, to an Irish mother who encouraged him to learn the fiddle when he was just seven years old, he became a regular in local youth orchestras and ceilidh bands and formed his first band with schoolmates when he was 14.

A couple of years later he gave up a place at the Royal Scottish Academy to go on the road with the Battlefield Band.

By the time he left 11 years later, he had composed a catalogue of songs and was acknowledged as a highly regarded traditional musician.

He has guested on albums with other musicians including Ocean Colour Scene, Paul Weller, Teenage Fanclub, Danny Thompson, Eddi Reader, Tim O’Brien and Linda Thompson.

Completing the trio is Boo Hewerdine, long considered one of the UK acoustic scene’s finest and most sensitive songwriters.

His career began to blossom in the mid-80s with his band, The Bible.

By the time he launched his solo career, he had established himself as a formidable talent. Debut solo album, Ignorance, was released in 1992, followed by Baptist Hospital in 1996 and Thanksgiving in 1998.

Around that time Boo developed a working relationship with Eddi Reader, which triggered a parallel career with her that continues.

Boo regularly plays and writes with Reader and has enjoyed composing songs for her: “Writing for Eddi, I’m forced to write from a woman’s point of view a lot of the time. She sets me homework.

“One song she asked me to write is called Forgive The Boy - she’s a single mother with teenage sons and wanted me to write about how women should sometimes forgive the way that men behave. I like doing that.”

Heidi Talbot, John McCusker and Boo Hewerdine are at the Greystones, Greystones Road, Sheffield, on Monday, October 3.

GUESTS at the Rock@Maltby tonight will be Stu and Debbie Hanna, better known as Megson. Their mix of self-penned and traditional material is delivered in an individual way, moving effortlessly from intimate acoustic and delicate vocals to driving guitars and soaring harmonies. The club, at the Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby, has Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies next Friday.

FORMER Incredible String Band front man Robin Williamson teams up with Bina Williamson on Friday, October 7 for an evening of Song, Story and Music at the Friends Meeting House, in Ashgate Road, Chesterfield.

After the Incredible String Band and all their projects as a duo and individually, Robin and Bina have put together something completely new. Performing and recording since the 90s, their songs and music feature the evocative East-West harmonies of their voices with harp, percussion and other instruments in a style described recently as Indo-Celtic-Delta.

GUESTS on the folk train next Tuesday will be the The Keltones, with their entertaining mix of electric and acoustic roots music. It leaves Sheffield at 7.14pm for Edale.