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 –


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


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: or by contacting 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:


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 –


It occurs to me that many people who read this blog are finding out about it indirectly, through Facebook or friends etc. If you wish to join the mailing list that sends you an email when there is a new posting available, please add your email below and press the ‘subscribe’ button. You will be sent an email to confirm your request.

You are able to ‘unsubscribe’ from the bottom of the regular email.

Subscribe to our mailing list and get regular updates

* indicates required

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


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 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


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 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


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 or 01726 879500.


Stompin’ Dave Allen upcoming performances
(in various formats – check )
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,
8 London, Musical Traditions Club, SOLD OUT
9 Orwell Bluegrass Festival,
10 Dorset, Square & Compass Pub,
11 Todmorden, private event
12 Liverpool, The Caledonia, tbc
13 Sheffield, Upstairs at The Shakespeare,
14 Newcastle, Upstairs at The Bridge Hotel
15-16 Fife, Scotland, Fife Traditional Singing Weekend,
17 Stockton on Tees, The Waiting Room,
18 Edinburgh w/Foghorn Stringband, The Traverse,
19 London, The Green Note
20 Kent, The Bowerhouse


scrolling picture shows:


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


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


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:

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

April 9th

Many thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s dulcimer ‘survey’. If you missed it, it’s still there (see below).


Stompin’ Dave Allen – upcoming dates

Fri 17th Apr, The Portico Gallery, West Norwood,
Fri 24th Apr, The Old Ale House, Truro, Cornwall
Tue 28th Apr, The Wrotham Arms Blues and Roots Club, Broadstairs, Kent
Wed 29th Apr, Blues with Bottle Club, The Anchor, London Rd. Sevenoaks, Kent


Old Time Music Day at the Manor House Barn, Warminghurst Park Lane, Ashington, West Sussex RH20 3AW

~ Workshop Schedule ~
12:30 pm – Fiddle #1: Bowing and Double Stops (beg.) / Banjo #1: Old Time Banjo Basics (beg.)
2:00 pm – Guitar: Zen of the “Boom-Chuck”
3:00 pm – Fiddle #2 / Banjo #2 – Tunes, and more Tunes (int.-adv.)
4:30 pm – “Attaining The Groove” (Bringing it all together)

Evening concert with Dana and Susan Robinson, the Muddy Lane String Band and guests

For info, Contact Chris Aggs at


Posted in News | Comments Off on April 9th

April 2nd

Rayna Gellert and Jeff Keith will be giving workshops and a concert at the Hyde Tavern in Winchester SO23 7DY on Monday 25th May (bank holiday).

12:00 -1:30 – oldtime fiddle
2:30 – 4:00 – mixed instrumental
5:00 sessions
7:00 – concert

Workshops £25 each or £40 for both (I assume/hope that includes the concert)

Contact Kate Theodore – for further details


Other dates for Rayna (there are likely to be more):

Fri May 29 – The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers BH19 3LF
Sat May 30 – Workshops – Lau-Land, Bristol
Sun May 31 – Lau-Land, Colston Hall, Bristol,
Wed Jun 3 – The Cross Keys, Selattyn SY10 7DH
Wed Jun 10 – House Concert, Edinburgh
Fri Jun 12 – Westport Folk & Bluegrass Festival, Westport, Ireland


The Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festivel is following the recent trend at bluegrass festivals of having a dedicated Old Time venue.

It takes place from 25th to 27th September and the old time music will be centred around the George Hotel. This has been the scene of many wild old time sessions in the past few years. This year, the main old time act will be the Corn Potato String Band from the USA, featuring Aaron Jonah Lewis, Lindsay McCaw and Ben Belcher. Legs Levens and the Limestone Cowboys from Cumbria will also be performing there.

Check out for full details of the festival. It’s a great little village in the beautiful Dumfriesshire countryside.


Southern Belle with Vic Wilcox, Sue Mo, Eve Morris & Chris Taylor will be performing at the CICCIC Taunton, April 4th at 7.30pm. Tickets from £7. Book online for cheaper tickets!


Down Trodden String Band news

Tue 24 Mar – Sheffield-Edale Folk Train
Thu 16 Apr – Crookes Folk Club, Sheffield
Sat 25 Apr – Pennine Way Anniversary, Rambler Inn, Edale, S33 7ZA
Fri 12 – Sun 14 Jun – Tamworth Bluegrass Festival
Fri 4 – Sun 6 Sep – Sweet Sunny South, Hastings, TN35 5DR
Mon 14 Dec – Mansfield Folk Club

More details at


The next old time session at the Huntsman Inn in Ide near Exeter – Sunday (Easter), 5th April.


There’s an interesting article published in last week’s The Independent, an arts-focused newspaper in North Carolina. It discusses the work of Bill Ferris, a folklorist at UNC…. “For six decades, folklorist Bill Ferris has broken some of the country’s biggest racial barriers. Now, he’s sharing the South’s story with the world.” Read it at:

The article refers to an online course, “The American South: Its Stories, Music, and Art”
It’s available at: although I’m not sure if that is something that would be of interest of accessible.


Not oldtime but I guess it could be if you take it there yourself – traditional music sessions running each week in July and August in Achiltibuie, Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands.

Mainly on a Tuesday (one on a Wednesday) with a dance one week so go to and check out all the events. There is no charge at the door although there is a donation box for those that want to give something.


Having spent the weekend at the Palestine Dulcimer and Old Time festival in Texas surrounded by hundreds of dulcimer players, I am curious to know how popular the mountain/Appalachian/lap dulcimer is in the UK. It cerainly features prominently in our logo.

So here’s a bit of research. It’s for my personal interest although the results summary will be passed on to the FOAOTMAD committee in case they are able to use it to justify a bit of promotion.

I’m specifically after UK & Ireland based responses but elsewhere is fine too. Non-FOAOTMAD members are also welcome to respond.

So, remembering that I’m only interested in mountain/Appalachian/lap dulcimer players here, what I need to know – emailed to – is:

Name (optional – I’ll already have an email from the response)

Home area – in a general form e.g. south west England, County Cork, that sort of thing. I don’t want actual addresses.

1 – I play (a) often (b) sometimes (C) it looks good on the wall

2 – I use (a) tab/numbered frets (b) music notation (c) play by ear (d) a mix

3 – I play mainly (a) oldtime (b) bluegrass (c) folk (d) a mix

4 – I am a member of a dulcimer organisation – yes/no

5 – if yes, what is the organisation name

6 – I am a FOAOTMAD member – yes/no

Thanks, Nick

Posted in News | Comments Off on April 2nd

March 12th

The Devil Makes Three tour UK & Europe dates

TDM3’s sound is garage-y ragtime, punkified blues, old n’ new timey without settling upon a particular era, inspired as much by mountain music as by Preservation Hall jazz. Or so they say.

Mar 18 Whelan’s, Dublin
Mar 19 Ballyholme Yacht Club, Bangor (County Down)
Mar 20 King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
Mar 21 The Ruby Lounge, Manchester
Mar 23 The Wardrobe, Leeds
Mar 24 The Rainbow, Birmingham
Mar 25 Bierkeller, Bristol
Mar 26 Scala, London
Mar 28 AB Club, Brussels
Mar 30 Paradiso, Amsterdam
Mar 31 Luxor, Cologne
Apr 02 Knust, Hamburg
Apr 03 Postbahnhof, Berlin
Apr 04 Conne Island, Leipzig
Apr 05 Strom, Munich
Apr 07 Albani Club, Winterthur
Apr 08 Social Club, Paris


Friday 27th March
Rachel Eddy – 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

Posted in News | Comments Off on March 12th