January 29th

Gainsborough ticketing should now be back in action. Thank you for your patience.

In response to several enquiries, there is no reservation option for camper vans. There’s a reasonable amount of space (the school field) available as long as the weather doesn’t play havoc with it.

And yes I do know the poster from the last entry has the wrong year on it!


The Littlest Birds are a nationally touring cello and banjo duo from the Eastern Sierra of California featuring David Huebner on cello and Sharon Martinson on clawhammer banjo. Together since 2010 they’ve taken their unique Americana sound across 34 U.S. States, and Canada and now they are coming to Europe.

Wed 29th Apr Stag and Hounds, 74 Old Market Street, Bristol BS2 0EJ
Fri 1st May Spilsby Theatre, Lincolnshire
Sun 3rd May (afternoon) Union Chapel, Islington, London

Any sensibly located suggestions for Saturday 2nd May gratefully received (not sure if Thursday 20th is also open). Contact them on info@littlestbirds.net



There’s a new old time session on the FOAOTMAD website for Buckinghamshire. Its at The Swan, Great Kimble,HP17 9TR. Its the first Monday evening of the month, contact 01844 238203.


The Big Appalachian – invitation to an Appalachian music and dance weekend in Durham, UK Saturday 27th Sunday 28th June 2015.


Step This Way Appalachian dancers and the Bones Creek Band would like to invite Appalachian dance teams and musicians to take part in a weekend of music and dance in Durham in June 2015. We would like to showcase old time American music and dance and would like your team to join us! Durham’s historic city centre market place attracts large numbers of shoppers and tourists all the year round and is an ideal venue for outdoor performing (see the photo below of Step This Way and the Bones Creek Band performing in Durham market place in 2012).

If your team would like to be part of this event we would like to know whether you would like to perform on one day or both. There is no cost to you apart from your own travel and accommodation.

The performances will be out of doors unless the weather is wet in which case we will have a number of pubs lined up for indoor dancing. We will have a venue for musicians to meet up and play together and will organise a venue on the Saturday night for all teams to meet up and dance/play music.

Details of parking in the city and accommodation will be posted to teams in advance of the weekend. Dance boards can be shared amongst teams if required.

We very much hope you and your dancers/musicians will come along for this exciting weekend and look forward to hearing from you.


So Last Century Stringband gigs:

2 Feb Brighton Acoustic Club The Lord Nelson, 36 Trafalgar St, BN1 4ED Get there early for a comfy sofa!
6 Feb Seaford Folk Club Legion House, Claremont Road, Seaford BN25 2BJ



Saturday 7th February
TAPPALACHIAN are performing in the interval slot at Haddenham Ceilidh. Come and enjoy a lively evening of dance, music and song. Doors open 7.15pm. Further information on www.haddenhamceilidhs.co.uk


Saturday 21st February
UK AUTOHARPS are running an Autoharp Day at Pattishall Primary School, Northants NN12 8NE from 10am to 6pm. We offer a full day of workshop tuition for complete beginners to advanced players. Loaner harps will be available. For programme information and booking details visit ukautoharps.org.uk


Tuesday 10th Feb – Pharis & Jason Romero
Down-home sounds from the backwoods of British Columbia – In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes
Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

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

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Gainsborough Festival

Well, time to focus your minds on the forthcoming festival which takes place from 13th to 15th February at Queen Elizabeth’s High School, Morton Terrace, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, DN21 2ST

For FOAOTMAD members only – the Annual General Meeting of the Society will take place on the Sunday morning. As usual we hope that as many members as possible will attend. Committee positions for Chairman, Treasurer,Publicity Officer and Dance Representative will be open for election (the current encumbents will not be standing for re-election) so get thinking about your committments or lean heavily on someone you know who might be interested in taking on one of those roles. Nominations will be accepted up to midday on the Saturday or a nomination form can be downloaded here:Committee Nomination form 2015 Any matters for discussion to be raised with the Secretary – address details are on the nomination form or by email to secretary@foaotmad.org.uk to be received by Wednesday Feb 11th.

As mentioned in last week’s blog – for technical reasons it will not be possible to process further advance tickets until Tuesday 27th, That shouldn’t stop you applying but you won’t get the normal turnaround. And please, if you are applying by post, don’t forget the all important stamped addressed envelope that we ask for on the booking forms. Tickets will also be available on the day although pre-booking helps with planning. There is no facility to pay by card – cash or cheques only please!

Here is the poster and it is followed by all sorts of useful information for attendees:

Gainsborough 2015

And now for the more mundane stuff:

As usual we point out that there is supposedly no admission to the school site until 5:30 (it’s a school request!). It is amazing how many people are unable to tell the time… Even the organizers will only be there a few minutes before you! Please time your journey there to suit or explore the revitalised centre of Gainsborough for a while. Or there’s always Tesco’s cafe!!

Dogs are not allowed – again it’s a ‘school thing’.

For those of you who haven’t been before, there are evening concerts on the Friday and Saturday, a wide range of workshops on Saturday and Sunday morning and opportunities to perform in an Open Mic situation. There are also seemingly never-ending sessions around the school although around 1am you will be moved out of the main school area to allow the security systems to be activated. At that point those late night musicians will end up in the changing rooms.

There is food available through most of the weekend and also a bar but you are welcome to bring your own. Showers – admittedly basic – are available in the school sports changing areas.

There will be FOAOTMAD T-shirts ( a limited stock) and logo-embroidered baseball caps for sale. Also copies of banjo & fiddle tutors by Mary Gordon and Hilary Dirlam. Space permitting there will be copies of Clare Milliner & Walt Koken’s mighty tome ‘American Fiddle Tunes’. Many of the guest artists will be selling cds and there are likely to be sales of musical instruments (mainly banjos?). Bring your wallet – although there is no cash machine facility on site and you’ll have to nip down into town for the bank!

Gainsborough is NOT well supplied for accommodation. Many people take advantage of the FREE camping – outside in tents for the hardy or inside on the communal gymnasium floor. Note that tents and shelters are not allowed inside, just bedding and camp beds. February can be cold so be prepared and also consider bringing earplugs to counteract the snorers if that sort of thing affects you.

There is space for caravans and motorhomes but no hook-ups. Again this is free. Parking for cars and large vehicles is at a premium so please take note of any instructions you may be given about where to leave your car or van. Generally, large vans go on the school field to the far left of the entrance and smaller vans may be directed to use an area beyond the sixth form carpark which is at the southern end of the site, nearest the town.

For those wishing to get B & B, the Tourist Information Centre can be contacted at 01427 676666 or try www.visitlincolnshire.com or use your favourite search engine on the internet.

Gainsborough has two train stations, the Central Station, logically near the centre, and Lea Road which is just over a mile further south. The school is a little under 1 mile north of the centre on the Scunthorpe road.

Buying tickets may be done by through our website www.foaotmad.org.uk using Paypal or electronic banking using the details available there or by downloading a form and sending a cheque. E-tickets or a receipt will be supplied as soon as possible (see above). Current FOAOTMAD members (and current members of the BBMA) are entitled to a discount – bring your membership cards to show when you arrive! You can always join on arrival to take advantage of the reduction (but join first). Pre-booked receipts will be exchanged for a wristband on arrival.

Booking in advance is not essential but it certainly helps the organisers and caterers in their planning.

Finally, please be aware that the Festival is run by volunteers and some of us spend large amounts of time throughout the year to give you what we hope is a great weekend. The organisers only get the benefit of seeing the festival run well and people enjoying themselves. It can seem to be a thankless task at times. Also we are on a limited budget which we prefer to spend mainly on the artists, so we don’t necessarily have all the little luxuries you might think you deserve. Please don’t be offended if we say ‘sorry, it’s just not possible’.

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8th January

GAINSBOROUGH TICKETS – please note that if you intend buying these in advance that there will be no-one available to process these from next Tuesday January 13th to Tuesday 27th. Even though you may get an automated message to the effect that ticket receipts will be provided by return, there will be a delay. Please be patient.


As usual there is an option of a reduced price at Gainsborough in return for stewarding. Please contact Tim Rooke who is in charge – festival@foaotmad.org.uk – for more details


Thursday 29th January – In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

David Greely provides swampy syncopations from French Louisiana with some cajun music.

Tickets £10 :  Doors open 7:30pm : On Stage 8:00pm : Finish by 10:15

Contact Mark Wallace: musicallymonstrous@talktalk.net


Jeff Warner tour dates:

Thu 19 Duton Hill Folk Club, Essex
Fri 20 Ram Folk Club, Surrey
Sat 21 Wychwood Folk Club, Oxfordshire.
Wed 25 Bromborough Folk Club, Wirral
Thu 26 Clydesdale Folk Club, Biggar
Fri 27 Partick Folk Club, Glasgow


Sun 1 Edinburgh Folk Club
Mon 2 Stockton Folk Club
Tue 3 Kiveton Park Folk Club, Sheffield
Wed 4 Spalding Folk Club
Thu 5 Lyceum Folk Club, Newport
Fri 6 Bodmin Folk Club
Sat 7 Acorn Folk Club, Minehead
Sun 8 Abbots Langley Acoustic Concerts, Herts
Tue 10 Dartford Folk Club
Thu 12 Islington Folk Club
Fri 13 Bollington Folk Club
Sat 14 Canon Frome Court, House concert
Sun 15 Poppy Folk Club, Notts
Wed 18 Baldock & Letchworth Folk Club, Herts
Thu 19 Logboat Sessions, Poole, Dorset
Fri 20 Fo’c’sle Folk Club, Southampton
Sat 21 Cube Cinema, Bristol
Sun 22 Brackley Folk Club, Northants
Mon 23 Devizes Folk Club
Wed 25 Willows Folk Club, Preston
Thu 26 Loughton Folk Club, Essex
Fri 27 Black Diamond Folk Club, Birmingham
Sat 28 Bowerhouse, Maidstone, Kent


Stompin’ Dave Allen’s upcoming gigs

In various line-ups – see www.stompinstore.com or www.stompindave.com for more details:

Tue 13th Jan, Ringwood Folk Club, The Elm Tree Inn, Hightown, Hants
Fri 16th Jan, CAMRA Beer Festival at Exeter City Supporters Club
Thu 22nd Jan, Platform Tavern, Southampton, Hants
Sat 7th Feb London Remix Festival, London
Fri 27th Feb, The Dolphin Hotel, St. Deny’s, Hants
Sun 1st Mar, Durnovaria, Dorchester, Dorset
Mar 11th-13th, Cheltenham and surrounding area
Thu 26th Mar, The Sunray Folk Club, Broadmayne, Dorset
Sat 4th April, Green Note, London
Tue 28th April, The Wrotham Arms Blues and Roots Club, Broadstairs, Kent
Wed 29th April, Blues with Bottle Club, The Anchor, London Rd., Sevenoaks, Kent
Thu 30th April, The Lighthouse, Walmer, Deal, CT14 7DX, Kent


From February onwards, the old-time sessions on Tyneside will be

2nd Monday, Cumberland Arms, Byker
4th Monday, Central Bar, Gateshead

Continue reading

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December 31st

Well that’s another year gone. Here’s to the next!!


Old Time Fiddle Workshop & Gig with Emily Schaad

5:30pm – 7:30pm, Sunday 04 Jan 2015
Workshop only – £15 Workshop and gig – £20
(email thetradacademy@gmail.com for information about concessions)
The Harrison Pub, Kings Cross



I’m guessing it’ll be the last call for the beginners/improvers banjo & fiddle workshops. Get in touch if you are interested – details here:


Events at The Milkmaid Folk Arts CIC, Bury St Edmunds start in the new year on Friday 9th January with a Traditional America evening. This features the mandolin maestro Daniel Nestlerod.

Milkmaid Folk Arts CIC, 4 Baxter Court, High Baxter Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 1ES
Tel: 01284 488279
Mbl: 07749 299377

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December 24th

Happy festivities folks!


Old Time Sessions at The Head at Middleton, in South Cumbria.
Fri 2nd Jan and Fri 16th Jan. 9pm onwards.


WOTMAD – the Windermere picking weekend will be 24th – 26th July. Details to follow but same format as previous years.


Griffin Banjos now has its own website – www.griffinbanjos.co.uk


Cahalen Morrison & Eli West


Jan 15 Green Note, Camden, London
Jan 17 Assembly Rooms, Presteigne
Jan 20 St. Ishmael’s Sports and Social Club, Haverfordwest
Jan 22 Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
Jan 23 Caroline Social Club, Shipley
Jan 24 The Greystones, Sheffield
Jan 25 Band on the Wall, Manchester
Jan 27 Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham

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18th December

The ticket booking details for Gainsborough Festival can be found at http://www.foaotmad.org.uk/gainsborough.html

Ticket prices remain the same.

Alternatively you can download the order form here:


Buying your ticket in advance helps the committee with their planning – and makes it quicker to get your wristband when you arrive!

As previously mentioned, Jason and Pharis Romero will be joining us on the Saturday as part of their UK tour.


Next sessions at the Union Hotel, Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall are Thursday, 18th and Friday 26th December, at 8:30


There’s a new Old Time session starting in January in Nottingham. Everyone welcome.

The Star Inn, 22 Middle Street, Beeston, Notts, NG9 1FX https://sites.google.com/site/starbeeston/

2nd Wed of every month, starting 8pm. The first few dates are:

14 Jan
11 Feb
11 Mar
15 Apr (note for Apr only it is the 3rd Wed)
13 May
10 Jun
8 Jul

Join the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1662690087291079/ or email Jo on beestonoldtimesession@gmail.com


Tamworth Bluegrass Festival – complete with FOAOTMAD stage:

We are again giving a discount to paid up members of the BBMA. This will now also include FOAOTOMAD members.

Weekend ticket – Friday – Sunday inclusive. – £45
BBMA Weekend ticket. £40
FOAOTOMAD Weekend ticket £40

Selling tickets from our email address tamworthbluegrass@gmail.com
Which is now responding to booking enquiries.

The site will again be open from noon Thursday 11th June – noon Monday 15th June. The bar will open 5;00pm on Thursday 11th June and there will be picking sessions in the bar and FOAOTOMAD stage room until the early hours of Friday. As last year, there will be a £2 charge on the door for everyone who wants to join us, you do not have to have a weekend ticket to join in.

All proceeds for that night will be donated to Jessie’s Fund, our sponsored charity. We have raised £1500 in the last 2 years for this wonderful charity, who use music therapy for poorly children. Please take a few minutes and have a look at their website.

As again, the weekend ticket includes camping, but it is limited and on a first come first served basis only.

For those who have not been before, the festival site is just a few minutes walk from Tamworth town centre and there are many choices of reasonably priced hotel/B&B accommodation, all within easy walking distance. Last year, The Travelodge, Tamworth Central, was very popular with festival goers, offering a double room for less than £29 a night!

Band lists will be published soon.


The Appaloosas, in partnership with the South West Lakes Trust would like to stage an event during the summer of 2015 to celebrate
American Old-Time and Appalachian music and dance in the picturesque surroundings around Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor Devon. PL20 6PE. The scenery closely resembles the Appalachian regions of the USA providing a perfect atmosphere for such a gathering.

1st South West American Old-Time Music Gathering
Weekend event 10th to 12th July 2015
Camping in tents will be on the main site.
Main Car Parking area and RV’s and Camper van site, only 3 min walk from the main site, through main gate entrance.
Sorry no hookups available.
Toilets and drinking water available on site.
Plenty of sheltered cover including two marquees.
Bring your instruments and join in with countless old-time sessions. Workshops, Dance displays, Bush craft demonstrations
Saturday evening concert. On site Bar from Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime serving the best local beers and ciders. Continuous on site catering, breakfasts and more, with a special hog roast for the Saturday evening. Central Campfire plus more.

Weekend cost £20 which includes free camping
Initial response and commitment from enough people is essential to cover set up costs and before any major advertising takes place.

If you think you would be interested in attending this event or have any other questions or suggestions please email:


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11th December

A reminder about the January fiddle and banjo workshops (see 20th November posting). Requests for places are coming in steadily so if you are thinking about going please get in touch with the organisers as quickly as possible.


Advance notice of the FOAOTMAD Gainsborough Festival which takes place from February 13th to 15th.

Confirmed are:
Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones
Howard Rains and Tricia Spencer
Jason and Pharis Romero (Saturday night only)
Little Hoedown (Friday night only)
The A & E String Band
Legs Levens with the Limestone Cowboys
Issy Emeney (Clogging)
Old Time Singing workshop with Roger Jackson
Sacred Harp singing with Cath and Phil Tyler
Ukulele workshop with Cathy Mars and Colm Daly
Plus workshops from Erynn, Carl, Howard and Tricia.

Ticket details to follow shortly.


Carol Chant says the Big Old Time Jam will be aired this Friday, 12th December on Sound Out from 14:00 to 14:45. Listen live on Resonance 104.4 fm in London or www.resonancefm.com

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November 27th

Another date for Jason and Pharis Romero:

Thursday 19th February at Snail’s Deli, Cardiff



Bluegrass and Old timey. Headline band FOGHORN LEGHORN http://www.foghornleghornmusic.com/
Meet in cocktail Fin Bar upstairs from 6.30 for 7.30 pm start of shenanigans….

Tickets £8

More information at www.littleopryattomthumb.webeden.co.uk, or contact us directly on 01227 770840 or 01322 228802. Best wishes


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November 20th

Well, as some of you think about what to pack for the intermediate/advanced workshops in a week’s time, it’s an opportunity to remind beginners and improvers in banjo and fiddle of the workshop weekend in January. Details below but early booking is highly recommended as these are popular events:


Pharis and Jason Romero are on tour in 2015:

Fri Jan 30 Celtic Connections, Glasgow
Wed Feb 4 House concert, Rothbury
Thu Feb 5 Jumpin Hot Club, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Fri Feb 6 The ‘Live’ Room, Saltaire
Sat Feb 7 The Harland Café, Sheffield (see below)
Sun Feb 8 Venue TBC, Southwell, Notts
Tue Feb 10 Three Horse Shoes, Towersey
Thu Feb 12 The Green Note, Camden, London
Fri Feb 13 Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable, Kent

and what isn’t currently listed is that (if all goes to plan) they will appear on the evening of Saturday 14th at Gainsborough Festival.



The Corn Potato String Band perform in “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes, Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tuesday 2nd December

Tickets £10 Doors open 7:30pm : On Stage 8:00pm : Finish by 10:15

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


Pharis and Jason Romero will be entertaining the Steel City Opry punters in Sheffield at the Harland Cafe.

Tickets now available from steelcityopry@gmail.com

Give yourself something to look forward through the encroaching dark. Don’t leave it too late – you know we always sell out!
Workshop: 2.30 – 5 pm. £10/8. Pre-booking only
Concert: 7-11 pm. £10/8. Advance booking recommended to be sure of a ticket.
Workshop + concert ticket deal: £18/


Check out the ‘classifieds’ link for details of banjos from Bob Ward and Dave Stacey

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November 13th

Check out Dust to Digital for an interesting selection of ‘un-archived’ material:



A reminder that on Saturday 15th, Bruce Mosky is appearing in In “The Barn” at The Three Horseshoes Towersey, Oxfordshire, OX9 3QY, 01844 212322

Tickets £10 Doors open 7:30pm : On Stage 8:00pm : Finish by 10:15

Email Mark Wallace at musicallymonstrous@talktalk for more details


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