August 20th

The 20th UK Sacred Harp Convention
19th – 20th September 2015, 10.30am – 4.00pm

Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London, SE1 4HU

full details at


Friday 28th August 2015
Debby McClatchy
In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes
Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

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

The last chance to hear authentic Appalachian music from a witty and amusing performer who can trace her family back to Thomas Jefferson. This is her last annual UK tour, her first was in 1968.

Reserve tickets by emailing Mark Wallace at


Flatfoot Dancing With Alice Cade – September and October 2015
Mondays ∙ 7:00pm – 8:30pm ∙ 14 September 2015 to 19 October 2015
£45 for six weeks (email us for information about concessions)
The Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, London E5 0PU

Please email to reserve your place


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August 6th

Congratulations to ‘our own’ Suzanne Ambrose who won the age 40-59 dance prize at Clifftop and also the Championship.


PICKIN’ LUNCHTIME (Global Café, Reading) – cancelled this month, back on 13th September


New venue for one of the Somerset sessions – the one at the Vintage, Wellington has transferrred to the White Horse, Bradford on Tone.
Details on the sessions page have been updated.


It seems to be banjo selling time:

Peter McLuskie has a Wildwood banjo up for sale.


Helen Logan has two:

John Grey Banjo. Particularly fine pot, 30 brackets, all original, bright sound – same type as Clifford Essex similar to Concert Grand. (Maple, laminated – probably a Spencer.)New Fibreskin head, also a really nice vellum (the original head)
New geared Schallers, fingerboard shows well played, no warp in neck.
New Martin Vega strings.

7-string fretless with 12” pot – all wood. A rare chance to buy an amazing banjo! There won’t be anyone else with one! We understand that it must be English because the Americans didn’t make 7 string banjos. The pot is oak.
It is beautifully made, the neck is as true and flat as a piece of glass. It is extremely old. It has it’s original tailpiece. The original head was torn, so it has a new vellum, wooden pegs and nylon strings. If fretless and/or minstrel banjo is your thing, for an authentic sound, this is for you.

Please contact Helen at if interested for photos and price. Very welcome to view and try! She lives in in mid-Wales.


2 guys named Ben… Bicyclists, musicians, and music archivists pedalled across the States with a fiddle, a banjo, and 100 pounds of film and audio gear, collecting stories and songs from musicians playing their own regional music that has never before been documented!! They captured 14 interviews and performances from amazing musicians and artists in their own backyards and now they hope to share these stories with YOU in the form of 14 webisodes and 2 albums – but need YOUR HELP to spread the word and to raise funds to complete the project.

Check out the trailer and first two webisodes here:
And take a look at the perks to see exactly what you can take away today!

Who are they? Ben Townsend is a multi-instrumentalist (former member of the Hackensaw Boys and The Fox Hunt) and has been playing Old Time music all his life. Before this trip he had never ridden a bicycle long distance (he’d hardly ever ridden one at all). Ben Guzman is a veteran cyclist who plays the fiddle (Triple Chicken Foot and The High Life Cajun Band) and is one of the founding members of The Los Angeles Old Time Social and The Bicycle Kitchen.

Posted in News | Comments Off on August 6th

30th July

Beverly Smith & John Grimm are at the Rhiwbina Recreational Club, Lon – y – Dail, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6EA on 24th October at 7:30pm

Here’s a Facebook link if you use it:


More details of Beverly & John’s tour here:

Sept 27 — Oct 3 La Fuente de Musica, Andalucia, Spain
Wed Oct 7 What’s Cookin’, Ex-Servicemens Club , Leytonstone, London E11
Fri Oct 9 The Three Horseshoes, Towersey
Sat Oct 10 TBA, London
Tue Oct 13 Working Man’s Club, Dartford, DA1 2AU
Thu Oct 15 Wolf Folk Club, Social Club, Wolverton, Norfolk
Sat Oct 17 TBA, Powys
Mon Oct 19 The Caledonia, Liverpool
Tue Oct 20 Acoustic Music Club, Dundee
Wed Oct 21 Folk Club, Pleasance Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Thu Oct 22 Acoustic Music Club, Polish Ex-servicemen’s Club , Kirkcaldy KY2 5TA
Fri Oct 23 Milkmaid Folk Club, The Constitution Club, Bury St Edmonds
Sat Oct 24 Cardiff (as above)


If anyone is looking for a reason to play some oldtime in Scandinavia, then the Kattinge Gathering in Denmark takes place in September (4th-6th). It’s a gathering that’s been going on for about 30 years now.

Oldtime musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Holland have been knowns to attend. It’s a lot of fun. It costs 650 Danish Kroner (aprox: 62 pounds) for the weekend. And that includes room and board. Read a bit more here:


The Summer Camp 2015 dates are Friday 7th August to Sunday 16th August 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


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23rd July

Kate Lissauer’s Spanish Old Time American Music Weeks dates:

September 26 – 3 October 2015
(with Beverly Smith, John Grimm, Kate Lissauer, Joff Lowson)

April 30 – 7 May 2016 (including Alice Gerrard & Tom Sawber)


Here’s one for the cloggers out there. A rather nice promo video from the Wild Goose Chase Cloggers from Minneapolis/St Paul


And more for the dancers:

Phil Jamison, Green Grass Clogger, Dance Editor of the Old Time Herald, old-time musician, flatfoot dancer and one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of traditional American dance forms has just released a book titled “Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance” on University of Illinois Press.

“Phil Jamison journeys into the past and surveys the present to tell the story behind the square dances, step dances, reels, and other forms of dance practiced in southern Appalachia. He argues that these distinctive folk dances are not the unaltered jigs and reels of the early British settlers, but hybrids that developed over time by adopting and incorporating elements from other popular forms. He traces the forms from their European, African American, and Native American roots to the modern day. From the Shoo-fly Swing to the Virginia Reel, Hoedowns, Reels, and Frolics reinterprets an essential aspect of Appalachian culture.”

In the UK this is (will be very shortly) stocked by Amazon.

Here’s a related newspaper article (expect to have to fill in a brief survey to get to it) :


Tim Eriksen is at the Cawdor Cafe, at Stackpole Walled Garden, Pembroke. All the proceeds will go to Pembrokeshire Mencap.

The concert will be held on Tuesday 28th July and will start at 8pm the doors will be open from 7pm. Children under 14 are free.

The Gardens are managed by the charity and are well worth a visit for any keen gardener. Tea and coffee and light snacks available at the cafe so you don’t have to worry about your evening meal.

Tickets are £10.00 and are available from Main Street Music, Pembroke, Tel; 01646 621530 or call the gardens on 01646 661442 to reserve a ticket and pay on the door, or simply turn up on the night.


Jeff Warner is in the UK and appearing at:

Warwick Folk Festival 24-26 July
Old Queen’s Head, London, 29 July
Sidmouth 31 July-7 August
Dartmoor Folk Festival 8-9 August
Broadstairs Folk Festival 10-14 August
Whitby Folk Week 22-28 August

He also has a few dates left in his schedule for May/June 2016, if anyone wants to book him for a show/workshop/house concert please contact Phil Tyler


There are some revisions to the Sweet Sunny South line up which haven’t been reflected in that shown in the latest Old Time News. Here’s the up to date poster

SSS 15


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16th July

Those FOAOTMAD members who have just received the new issue of the Old Time News and want to hear the mp3 for Hilary Dirlam’s tab of Flying Indian will either need to use their personal log-in from the web page or – for the majority of those of you who don’t want/have/need yet another login (and non-members) you can get it here:


Calling all dancers and musicians

Paul and Clare Sheridan have decided to revive the clog in’s that we used to have years ago. For those of you who aren’t au fait with the term then think of an Old Time dance party where people just freestyle and do their own thing, we can also do some step swapping and go over some basic flatfooting if you want, but come along if you want to play for us or if you want to dance your socks off.

The date is Saturday 17th October and Randwick Village Hall, Chapel Fields, Randwick, GL6 6HS , near Stroud, is booked from 6-11pm.

Contact for more details


Also for cloggers:

An interesting article on kids clogging teams in North Carolina written by Carol Rifkin (of the Green Grass Cloggers) can be found at – note that there may be a simple questionnaire to answer before you can read it but just invent answers unless there’s something you prefer to pick!


David Prat is involved in organizing an Appalachian music Gathering in Asturias, Spain. It will take place in la Taberna de Hank, Luanco, a town on the Asturian coast.

More details –


Stompin Dave Allen’s gigs (in various line-ups):

For more info please visit

Fri. 17th July, The Square & Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset, 9pm
Sun. 19th July, Jurassic Fun Centre, Burton Bradstock, Dorset, 2pm-4pm
Thu 23rd July, The Tavern, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 8pm
Fri. 24th July, Summer Of Love Party, Hawchurch, Kent, 4pm-5pm
Sun. 26th July, White Cliffs Blues Festival, Coldred, Dover, Kent, 3.30pm
Fri. 31st July- 1st Aug., Port Eliot Festival, Cornwall (Black Cow Vodka Piano Bar Stage?)
Sun. 2nd Aug, Camp Bestival, Dorset
Thu. 6th Aug. The Blackmore Theatre, Exmouth, Devon, 7.30pm
Sat. 8th Aug., Wilderness Festival, Folk Barn, Oxfordshire, midnight
Sat. 15th-16th Aug., River Cottage Food Fair, Devon, 11am-1pm
Tue. 25th Aug, Hungerford, Berkshire
Sun. 30th Aug., Foxstock Festival, Oxfordshire, 8pm
Wed. 2nd-3rd Sep. The Great Dorset Steam Fair, The Black Bull, Dorset, 1pm-3pm
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, 8pm


If you are in Taunton on the evening of 9th August, then some of the local old time crowd are giving a short performance during an evening of local music when The Rivertones Harmony Chorus present an evening of musical variety in The Big Marquee, Vivary Park, Taunton at 7.45pm. Bar and refreshments available from 6.30pm

TICKETS £10 (children £5, no other concessions) available from the Taunton Ticket Centre, Taunton Visitor Centre (Library TA1 3XZ until mid-July, Market House TA1 1JD from mid-July) 01823 336344 or from the Wellington Community Office, 30 Fore Street TA21 8AQ Tel. 01823 663379

More details –


Posted in News | Comments Off on 16th July

9th July

Ukulele virtuoso Del Rey is appearing at Bridgwater Arts Centre in Somerset on Friday September 4th, supported by Acorn Shakers. See here:

Del Rey is also appearing as below:
August 22-23 Dublin, Ukulele Hooley
August 28-30 Fishguard, Jazz and Blues Festival with Adam Franklin
September 3 Sudbury, Suffolk Quay Theatre with Adam Franklin
September 4 Bridgwater Arts Centre, Somerset with the Acorn Shakers
September 5 Didmarton Festival, Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire
September 6-7 Oxford
September 10 London
September 12 Bournemouth, Southern Ukulele Store workshop and concert in the afternoon with Adam Franklin
September 12 Milford evening concert with Adam Franklin
September 13 Rye workshop in the afternoon (location TBA) and evening concert at The George both with Adam Franklin


Debby McClatchy’s last solo UK tour!

Aug 15: Concert, the Zennor Village Hall St. Ives, Cornwall 8pm
Aug 17: Session catalyst “Out of the Blue” pub, Porthleven, Cornwall 8pm
Aug 21: The Bodmin Folk Club – Bodmin, Cornwall
Aug 22: Pack O’cards Pub – High Street, Combe Martin, North Devon
Aug 25-26: Whitby Folk Festival, Yorkshire info –
Aug 28: The Barn Towersey, Oxfordshire (not part of the festival, but a concert in the old venue from past festivals)
Sept 3: The Black Swan Folk Club, York
Sept 4-5: Sweet Sunny South Festival, Hastings
Sept 6: Bothy Folk Club – Park Golf Club, Southport, Lancs
Sept 8: Dartford Folk Club – Dartford, Kent
Sept 11: Busking in Bath look for Debby on the High Street above the Baths probably between 11am-1pm
Sept 13: Walthamstow Folk Club – Ye Old Rose and Crown Pub, London

Note that Debby is also selling off some of her instrument collection – see the tour dates page of her web site for details.

Now for Sale:
1917 Bacon Grand Concert banjo
1880s Henry Clay Dobson lady’s size Silver Bell banjo
1960 LG1 Gibson guitar with lovely sunburst
1890s Buckbee Hoseos Reed banjo (only one that needs work)
Harmony Monterey mandolin

For Sale this fall:
1920s ladies size Tubaphone banjo with Wyatt Fawley neck
newish Recording King banjo


Coming up – don’t forget:
Burrator weekend on Dartmoor
WOTMAD weekend on the shores of Windermere
Summer Camp at Sacrewell
Sweet Sunny South in Hastings

Posted in News | Comments Off on 9th July

2nd July

A temporary change to the session at Ide (near Exeter) this Sunday – it will be be at the Bridford Inn, Bridford in the Teign Valley. Postcode EX6 7HT.

8 miles / 20 minutes from Ide. 7.30 start, and they are open until 11.00.


John Grimm and Beverly Smith have their European dates nearly complete:

Sept 26-Oct 2 La Fuente de Musica Spain
Oct 7 What’s Cookin London
Oct 9 Musically Monstrous Towersey
Oct 10 TBA London
Oct 13 Dartford Folk Club Dartford
Oct 15 The Wolf Folk Club Wolferton
Oct 17 TBA Powys
Oct 19 The Caledonia Liverpool
Oct 20 Dundee Acoustic Music Club Dundee
Oct 21 Edinburgh Folk Club Edinburgh
Oct 22 Kirkcaldy Acoustic Music Kirkcaldy
Oct 23 The Milkmaid Folk Club Bury St Edmonds
Oct 24 TBA Cardiff


The FIFTH SCOTTISH AUTOHARP WEEKEND will be returning to the lovely Festival Village of Moniaive in Dumfriesshire… but THREE WEEKS EARLIER than in previous years.

Events are scheduled to begin with an evening session on Friday 24th June, with a full day of workshops and concert on Saturday the 25th followed on the 26th by a Sunday Autoharp Gospel Service in the Kirk and a Sunday afternoon session for all who will.

For full details (including programme, tutor biographies an booking) see the UK Autoharps website at:

The Festival Village of Moniaive is a wonderfully supportive venue for this event – as it is for other music weekends, including the Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival in September.

More details: Nadine White


And staying in Scotland:

The summer Music Sessions will be starting again in Coigach Community Hall 7.30pm – 10.30pm The Hall will be running a Bar at these sessions.

JULY – Tues 7th July with Kevin MacLeod leading followed by Tues 14th July with Dave Godden, Tues 21st July with Bob Massie then on Weds 29th July with Alan Roy.

AUGUST – Tues 11th August Kevin, Tues 18th August Alistair Turner, and the final session Tues 25th August led by Bob.

Then of course its the Summer Isles Festival Saturday 29th August when they have a session in the afternoon.

More details : Midge Drake


Bluegrass & oldtime picking weekend
26-28 June at Clyro Court (aka Baskerville Hall), Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye HR3 5LE

Details on the facebook page for Black Mountain Bluegrass and on the BBMA website or Christine Cleaton

There’s camping for tents and RV’s.


Complete Musical Traditions Records’ downloads:

With the addition of the 13 albums in the American 500 Series releases, all the current MT Records’ downloads are now online – a total of 57 CD sets, many of which are doubles, and two are trebles, making a total of 80 actual CDs. Be aware that the Gallery page can be quite slow to completely load, as there are so many items to display now.

MT’s Rod Stradling would like to particularly draw your attention to Morgan MacQuarrie : Over the Cabot Trail (MTDL511), a wonderful collection of Cape Breton sets, played in the old style, rarely heard these days and also to Meeting’s a Pleasure Volumes 1 & 2, and Volumes 3 & 4 (MTDL505-6 and 507-8). These Kentucky recordings are absolutely the equals of Mike Yates’ Far in the Mountains sets.

You can find them all via the Downloads page on the MT Records website


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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

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
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.


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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 for more information and enrolment. Or, you can always simply contact me at

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.


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


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.

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