16th June

Keith and Cathy write to remind you all of their picking weekend at Nick Baker’s Lower Stock Farm, Wrington near Bristol. Weekend of 27th June. Hot breakfasts, Bob the Barn Owl, sessions in the field, woods or barn, tents caravans and motor homes on a nice field. Great for families with children. This is a working farm so no dogs please. Full details:


Stompin’ Dave Allen – in various line-ups and musical styles
For more info. visit www.stompinstore.com

Fri. 12th June, The Wine Barrel, Truro, CORNWALL
Sun. 14th June, Jurassic Fun Centre, Burton Bradstock, DORSET
Sat. 20th June, The Customs House, West Bay, DORSET
Sun. 21st June, The Canteen, BRISTOL
Sun 21st June, The Stag and Hounds, BRISTOL
Wed. 24th, Glastonbury Festival, The Bandstand, SOMERSET
Thu. 25th, Glastonbury Festival, The Bandstand, SOMERSET
Sun. 28th June, Fun Day Out and Classic Car Show at Chickerell, DORSET
Tue. 7th July, Old Swan & Minster Mill, Witney, OXFORDSHIRE
Wed. 8th July, Nottingham
Tue 14th July, Hungerford, BERKSHIRE
Fri. 24th July, Summer Of Love Party, Hawchurch, KENT
Sun. 26th July, White Cliffs Blues Festival, Coldred, Dover, KENT
Thu. 6th Aug. The Blackmore Theatre, Exmouth, DEVON
Sat. 8th Aug., Wilderness Festival, Folk Barn, OXFORDSHIRE
Sat. 15th-16th Aug., River Cottage Food Fair, DEVON
Tue 25th Aug, Hungerford, BERKSHIRE
Sun. 30th Aug., Foxstock Festival, OXFORDSHIRE
Wed. 2nd-3rd Sep. The Great Dorset Steam Fair, The Black Bull, DORSET
Sun. 6th Sep., The Big Green Cardigan, SUSSEX
Fri. 11th Sep., The Greyhound, Corfe Castle, DORSET
Fri. 25th Sep., Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton, HAMPSHIRE


From Dave Aggs: – Old Time Music Day 20th June with Dana and Susan Robinson at Manor Buildings near Ashington, Sussex. They will be supported by The Muddy Lane String Band. In addition Dana and Susan will be running afternoon workshops in fiddle, guitar and banjo.

There are a few workshop places left. Workshops start at 12.30 and continue until 5.30 – after which there will be a communal meal prepared by Dana Robinson – Tickets for workshop and concert £20.

We would really like to have as many people as possible for the evening concert – so if playing isn’t your thing, just come and listen!
We plan to start music by 8.00pm (possibly earlier) – to finish by 10.30 at the latest – so there will be time for a bit of a session. Tickets £10

For tickets and more details please visit http://www.robinsongs.com/old-time-music-day.html
We will also accept cash ‘on the door ‘ but it might be wise to email or ring Dave 01903 892891 to reserve.

For anyone who hasn’t been to Music at the Buildings before – follow your Sat Nav to RH20 3AW and then signs for the last 1/4 of a mile – if you are not a Sat Nav user: From Ashington which is off A24 take Rectory Lane and follow brown signs to Warminghurst Church where you will pick up Music at the Buildings signs – you are going to Manor Buildings, Warminghurst, Park Lane – in case you need to ask, but if you get lost just ring Dave on 01903 892891.

Many thanks to those of you who have booked for the workshop already – please email or ring if you have queries. There will be a basic snack picnic when you arrive (anytime before 12.30) as well as tea and coffee.
We plan to serve a one plate evening meal around 6.00pm – please let us know any dietary restrictions.

Evening concert goers please do come early and picnic with us – there is plenty of space in the garden or in the barn if its wet

No drinks license so please bring your own.


Posted in News | Comments Off on 16th June

11th June

Due to other commitments and limited computer access there will be another blog early next week and then probably nothing until July. That assumes there’s any news to pass on…


From Kate Lissauer:

We are now taking enrolment for La Fuente, our autumn week of Old-Time American Country Music workshops and fun, held in south-eastern Andalucia. The dates are September 26 to October 3, 2015.

Our host teachers from the US for this week are Beverly Smith and John Grimm, who will teach fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar and singing. We’ll also have classes, depending upon individual requests, in beginners’ instrumental, social jamming, ukulele, and step-dance, or, you tell us! We have a high teacher-student ratio, and we are usually able to accommodate your lesson requests.

Please go to our new website www.lafuenteholidays.com for more information and enrolment. Or, you can always simply contact me at kate@katelissauer.com

The price for the week is £595, which includes everything apart from travel costs.


ROXBY WEEKEND 4th to 6th Sept.

This event has been cancelled as the owner needs more time to bring the accommodation and facilities up to date. The site will be reviewed for next May Day Weekend.


The Peak District Old Time Weekend. July 31st – Aug 2nd

Camping is in a field by the Quiet Woman pub in the Village of Earl Sterndale, Derbyshire. No showers but there is use of the pub toilets.

The price is £8.00 per unit per night (tent or van) and there is limited space so it’s essential that interested parties book a spot by contacting Paul Wood on 07807972775 or via email on paulwood.co.uk@hotmail.co.uk

Posted in News | Comments Off on 11th June

June 4th

Here are further details for those planning to go to WOTMAD (the Windermere picking weekend) 24th to 27th July:



Next session at the Huntsman Inn, Ide, near Exeter is this coming Sunday. June 7th. 7.30 start


From BBC Radio – To mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War, Kris Kristofferson looks back over the music and musical legacy of the Civil War era.

In episode one and in the company of historians, music experts, songwriters and musicians, Kris explores the history of the conflict through its music and discovers how and why the Civil War generated so many of the songs and musical styles found in American music today.

In episode two, Kris looks at the musical legacy of the Civil War over the past century and its impact on American popular music today. He discovers how the war inspired 20th and 21st century songwriters and artists including Elvis Presley, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Band.

With music from the worlds of country, rock, jazz, blues and folk and tracks from Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, The Decemberists, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Band, Bernice Johnson Reagan and Pete Seeger.



Several sad losses in the oldtime world in the last couple of weeks – Bill Birchfield of the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, dulcimer legend and traditional singer Jean Ritchie and Richard Watson, son of Merle and grandson and regular accompanist of Doc.


The Sheffield session is now at the Gardener’s Rest in Neepsend, 1st & 3rd Tuesdays of the month. Other details in the session directory are the same.

Posted in News | Comments Off on June 4th

May 28th

Next Little Opry – Saturday 30 May – Rattle On The Stovepipe

A classy evening of the sources of Appalachian music from the United Kingdom to the mountain regions of America. Traditional songs, dark ballads and feisty dance tunes. Rattle On The Stovepipe are Dave Arthur (5-string banjo, melodeon, guitar, vocals), Pete Cooper (fiddle and vocals) and Dan Stewart (5-string banjo, guitar and vocals).

Meet in Fin Bar upstairs from 6.30 pm. Kick off with open mic at 7.30. Tickets £8

More information at

or contact Lesley&George & Alison&Gill directly on 01227 770840 or 01322 228802


The East Pointers from Prince Edward Island, supported by Cathy and Colm/The Newtowners and Retreat Singers, Saturday 14th June from 8pm. South Street Arts Centre, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4QU.

The East Pointers feature banjoist/vocalist/step-dancer Koady Chaisson, fiddle player/vocalist Tim Chaisson, and guitarist/vocalist Jake Charron.

Full details here – http://readingarts.com/southstreet/event.asp?id=SX1055-A7825FA4


The Railsplitters – Bluegrass & Beyond-Bluegrass from Boulder, Colorado

Tuesday 9th June 2015 – In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes
Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10

Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15
Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Posted in News | Comments Off on May 28th

May 21st

On 20th June there is an Old Time Music Day in collaboration with Susan and Dana Robinson at Manor Buildings, Park Lane, Ashington Sussex RH20 3AW


Beginner and improver workshops in Fiddle, Banjo and Guitar from 12.00 (noon) followed by an Evening concert with Dana and Susan Robinson + support The Muddy Lane String Band and Guests – jam sessions – food – overnight camping – BYOB. £20 for the day (£10 for the evening concert)

More details from: www.robinsongs.com/oldtimemusicday or by contacting chris.aggs@virgin.net or phone: 01903892891


Rayna Gellert with Jeff Keith will be at Burnetts Hill Chapel, Martletwy, Pembroke on 2nd June

Tickets are available from Main Stree Music, 44 Main Street, Pembroke, Tel 01646 621530 £10


More details of Rayna’s tour:

May 25: Winchester, UK (Hyde Tavern)
May 28: Worth Matravers, UK (The Square & Compass) (was originally 29th – note new date)
May 30-31: Bristol, UK (Lau-Land)
June 2: Martletwy, UK (Burnett’s Hill Chapel)
June 3: Selattyn, UK (The Cross Keys)
June 5: Holmfirth, UK (Hepworth Village Hall)
June 10: Edinburgh, UK (House Concert)
June 12: Westport, IE (Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival)

There’s also a new cd: http://www.raynagellert.com/merch/rgbk


Evie Ladin and Keith Terry are in the midst of booking a nice two week tour for early next year leading into Gainsborough festival. Keith’s stipulation on touring UK is not having to drive/navigate as well as all else, so Evie is bound to find a car & driver that won’t bankrupt the tour! Previously one of our members was generous to fill that gap. Any thoughts or suggestions in the first place to Gainsborough organiser, Tim Rooke – festival@foaotmad.org.uk



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Posted in News | Comments Off on May 21st

May 14th

For anyone wishing to attend Keith Johnson’s funeral (last week’s blog) it will take place at St Paul’s Church, Morton, Gainsborough, DN21 3AD at 10.15 am on Monday 18th May. There will be a couple of Old Time tunes during the service and a session in The Ship afterwards.

Family flowers only – donations in Keith’s memory may be made to Lincolnshire Aviation Centre. Dress is totally optional – dark clothes are not essential.






Advance notice for mandolin players: – Skip Gorman will be teaching a mandolin course at Sore Fingers 2016. This should be of interest to old style Monroe and old time pickers. Gorman’s discs Mandolin in the Cow Camp (or Fiddle in the Cow Camp) should be a good place to start if you don’t know his work.


American singer, banjo and fiddle player Jeff Davis will join England’s Brian Peters for a UK tour in May, featuring performances of ‘Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest’, a hit at Gainsborough in 2013. The show tells the story of English songhunter Cecil Sharp’s search for old songs and tunes in the Southern Appalachians almost 100 years ago, in music, narrative and image, with banjo, fiddle, guitar and mandolin. Brian and Jeff will also be performing conventional concerts at several other venues.

May Dates (SAH denotes Sharp’s Harvest):
15th: The Milkmaid, Bury St. Edmunds (SAH)
17th: Walthamstow Folk Club
18th: Harrison Bar, London (tbc)
19th: Dartford Folk Club
20th: Llantrisant Folk Club
22nd: Silver Street Sessions, Wiveliscombe (SAH)
23rd: Chippenham Folk Festival (SAH and concerts)
25th: Chester Festival (SAH and concert)
27th: The Sage, Gateshead (SAH)
28th: Black Swan Folk Club, York (SAH)
31st: Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax (SAH)

Full details at www.brian-peters.co.uk.


Posted in News | Comments Off on May 14th

May 6th

Keith Johnson at Sewerby in 2006Particularly relevant for FOAOTMAD members and those that don’t access our Facebook page:

I am saddened to report that our society founder, Keith Johnson, passed away on the 2nd May after a long illness. It was Keith who was the driving force behind the Gainsborough Festival and also the idea of regular fiddle and banjo workshops. He and his wife Brenda often provided festival accommodation for visiting American artists and their son Rob was the festival caterer for many years. His dedication to oldtime music in the UK has left its mark on many of us.

One thing for certain is that whether you knew Keith or not, without him you would not be reading this blog. He will be sorely missed.

Photo of Keith at Sewerby Hall in 2006 from Dave Dry.



The Spring Camp 2015 dates are Friday 22nd May to Monday 25th May 2015. The FOAOTMAD site will be at the bottom of the field. The site gate will be locked in the evenings. If you do arrive late please ask for the code on the field or at the camp fire. The code can also be found on the members’ section of the FOAOTMAD web site. Please try to avoid waking the warden up in the end caravan to ask him for the code if you are arriving or leaving when the gate is closed.

If you want to be in the quieter area, camp away from the fire, nearer to the entrance gates. Music after midnight around the fire only – please show consideration for your camping neighbours.

Please bring your current membership cards to ensure you get your membership discount. For any membership enquiries, please contact Eve Morris beforehand.

Prices per person per night: Adult FOAOTMAD members: £7, Children of family members (under 2s free): £5, Adult Non-members: £8, Children of non-members (under 2s free): £6

Don’t pay for camping at the site reception desk. A member of FOAOTMAD will collect payments daily. However, there are a few power points along the bottom hedge at an additional £3.75 per night, which you need to pre-book and pay for at the reception desk. Entry to the Farm Centre is included in camping fees.

Dogs must be kept on leads. Please avoid camping under the large tree next to the camp fire, as you will be asked to move by the site manager.

Firewood will be provided by FOAOTMAD to save having to scavenge for it.

For venue details check out www.sacrewell.org.uk Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre, Thornhaugh, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE8 6HJ


Concert reminder: Foghorn Stringband – Sunday 24th May
In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10 : Doors open 6:30pm : Music 7:00pm : Finish 9:15
Note the earlier start time
Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Keith and Cathy’s Picking Weekend is all set for the weekend of 26-28 June.
Same venue and format as previous years. Cathy and Keith (and Farmer Nick and Carol) are looking forward to meeting old friends and new faces.
Venue: Lower Stock Farm, Baker’s Lane, Wrington, N Somerset BS40 5HT
Don’t miss: communal breakfasts, Bob the barn owl, the tractor ride into Wrington village etc etc….oh and plenty of old-time sessioning.
More details on this webpage:


Tewkesbury Autoharp Day, Saturday 16th May

Do come and join UK Autoharps in Tewkesbury on 16th May for a full day of tuition, with workshops for beginners, intermediate and advanced players. The programme includes a special performance by Tom Travis on guitar and Mike Fenton on autoharp. Loaner harps and light refreshments available. See www.ukautoharps.org.uk for full details.


In Old Time News No 79 Autumn 2014 Martin Kennard wrote a review of the book Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina: A Guide to Music Sites, Artists, and Traditions of the Mountains and Foothills Paperback by Fred C Fussell.

Readers wishing to obtain a copy of this book might like to know that it is now available from Amazon UK priced around £16.50.

Posted in News | Comments Off on May 6th

April 30th

Next session at the Huntsman, Ide near Exeter, is this coming Sunday, 3rd May


The Old Time session at the Union Hotel, Chapel Street, Penzance is back, on Thursday, 14th May at 8.30pm for music, banter and conviviality. Whenever possible, the sessions will be on a Friday but that is dependent on the pub availability.

So, it’ll be Thursdays and/or Fridays – check with Bob and Sibs on 01736 332821 or bob@chase8483.freeserve.co.uk


Advance notice of an Old Time concert with the Buffalogals at the Acorn, Penzance on Wednesday, 24th June at 8pm as part of the Golowan Festival. Tickets from www.crbo.co.uk or 01726 879500.


Stompin’ Dave Allen upcoming performances
(in various formats – check http://www.stompindave.com )
Fri. 24th Apr, The Old Ale House, Truro, 9pm
Tue. 28th Apr, The Wrotham Arms Blues and Roots Club, Broadstairs, 8.30pm
Wed. 29th Apr, Blues with Bottle Club, The Anchor, London Rd. Sevenoaks, 9pm
Thu. 30th Apr, The Lighthouse, Walmer, Deal, 8.30pm
Fri. 1st May, Yarlington Fringe Festival, 7pm
Sun. 3rd May, The Chequers, Cornhill, Near Cheltenham, 9pm
Mon. 4th May, The Wheatsheaf, North Leach, Near Cheltenham, 7pm
Fri. 15th May, The Electric Palace, Bridport, 8pm
Sat. 16th May, Cornwall Folk Festival, pre festival gig, Wadebridge Town Hall, 7.30pm
Sun 17th May, The Feathers, Budleigh Salterton, 3pm until 5pm
Fri. 22nd May, The Dolphin Hotel, St. Deny’s, 9pm
23rd-24th May, River Cottage May Fair, (10am-1pm)
Sun. 24th May, Ashburton Blues Festival, 4.30pm-5.30pm
Mon 25th May, The Bicknoller Inn, Bicknoller, 7pm
Fri. 29th May, Fire In The Mountain Festival, Aberystwyth
Sun. 31st May, Fanny’s Meadow, Somerset
June 21st, The Canteen, Bristol, 4pm-6pm

Posted in News | Comments Off on April 30th

23rd April

Here’s an very interesting resource for fiddlers – Prince Edward Island fiddling from Ken Perlman’s collecting:



And on the subject of Ken Perlman and his PEI studies, his new book “Couldn’t Have a Wedding Without the Fiddler: The Story of Traditional Fiddling on Prince Edward Island” is now available from the University of Tennessee Press or Ken himself. 462 pages, includes about 40 photographs and numerous musical examples. $39.95 plus shipping – or try Amazon (I did).



Updated information about Anna Roberts-Gevalt & Elizabeth LaPrelle UK tour
May 2015
7 Guildford, Music Institute Folk Club, www.themusicinstitute.org.uk
8 London, Musical Traditions Club, www.mustradclub.co.uk/ SOLD OUT
9 Orwell Bluegrass Festival, www.orwellbluegrass.co.uk/
10 Dorset, Square & Compass Pub, www.squareandcompasspub.co.uk/
11 Todmorden, private event
12 Liverpool, The Caledonia, www.thecaledonialiverpool.com/ tbc
13 Sheffield, Upstairs at The Shakespeare, www.shakespeares-sheffield.co.uk/
14 Newcastle, Upstairs at The Bridge Hotel
15-16 Fife, Scotland, Fife Traditional Singing Weekend, www.springthyme.co.uk/fifesing/
17 Stockton on Tees, The Waiting Room, the-waiting-room.co.uk/
18 Edinburgh w/Foghorn Stringband, The Traverse, www.traverse.co.uk
19 London, The Green Note www.greennote.co.uk/
20 Kent, The Bowerhouse www.thebowerhouse.info


scrolling picture shows:

website www.annaandelizabeth.com


I am informed that the Thomas House session in Dublin is now all year round, not seasonal. All are welcome to come and play or listen.


Sweety Sunny South poster 2015


WOTMAD Poster 2015

Posted in News | Comments Off on 23rd April

April 16th

There’s a newly listed session in Berkshire – every 2nd Sunday 2-5pm
Pickin’ Lunchtime @ The Global Cafe, 35-39 London Street, Reading RG1 4PS
Contact Colm Daly 07776373906 or newtchaser@gmail.com


Further to the earlier mention of Rayna Gellert giving workshops and a concert at the Hyde Tavern, Winchester on May 25th, I am informed that the concert part is a ‘donations in the hat (or whatever will pass for the hat)’ event. Workshop details and pricing – see blog for April 2nd.


Sunday 26th April March in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

The Allen Family Band – a bluegrass and old time music playing family. The latest of a line of Allen Family bands which started in North Carolina in the late 1800’s, moving to Missouri in the 1930’s, New Mexico in the 1940’s, California in the 1960’s and then England.

Tickets £10 : Doors open 7:30pm : Music 8:00pm : Finish 10:15

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Here’s a request that some of you may be able to help with ( I have already provided some details of the Gainsborough workshops and festival attendances):


My name is Lew Stern. “Brooklynbanjoboy” on BHO. I’d like to ask for your assistance on a project of mine. I am writing a biography of Dwight Hamilton Diller, who as you certainly know is a 68 year-old musician from West Virginia devoted to local traditions of fiddle and banjo music.

After 9 months of work on this, I’m confronted with the reality that Dwight has kept no real systematic records of his teaching work, concerts that he’s played, workshops that he has run.

I’m looking for information on several kinds of activities:

First, Contests: Dwight participated in several of these especially in the 1970s. If you saw him compete I’d like to learn the venue, the dates, what tunes he played, and whether he placed in the contest. Any tape recordings would be very useful, too.

Second, Concerts: Either house concerts or concerts in public venues. Location, dates, who he might have shared the stage with.

Third, Workshops: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from one to four days — the “customary” length of workshops. Who attended, or hosted, where and when?

Fourth, Retreats: Banjo (or fiddle) instruction Dwight organized, for from four to seven or so days. I’d be interested in information from people who attended, or hosted, and can recall where and when.

If you’d be so kind to reply with your name and email, as a second step I’d be interested in reaching out to see whether you’d be prepared to fill out a “questionnaire” exploring things in greater detail.

My email is: brooklynbanjoboy@yahoo.com

I’d be grateful for your assistance. I’d value your contribution.

Lew Stern
120-A Overlook Road
Staunton, VA 24401


Posted in something | Comments Off on April 16th