Artists: 2012

The Drystones

The Drystones are our very own home grown band who have gone on to great things. Their first ever performance was here at Priddy. They are a young (just started University) lively folk duo from Priddy playing violin, guitar and whistle, who have made a big splash since they formed in July 11. In 2015 they played the Glastonbury extravaganza supporting Ray Davis and The Shires, they won the Larmer Tree Break Through Music Award 2015, and have played festivals all over the West Country (including Sidmouth, Village Pump  and Purbeck). At their 2013 Glastonbury Festival performance they were highlighted by Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 as his “recommendation of the day”. They have just completed their second album. which had a great review from FATEA Magazine and The Living Tradition said “To describe their instrumental style as spirited and animated would be akin to asserting that Bellowhead can be quite an energetic band”

For just two people they make a lot of sound, you will not be bored!


Belshazzar’s Feast

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2010 – Nominees for the Best Duo Award

In 1995 Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe, violin and vocals) shared a musical passion borne out of the desire to earn sufficient money to support their extravagant lifestyles. Their amazing musicianship coupled with wry humour stunned audiences around Europe and the States.

Paul Sartin is a member of the multi-BBC Radio 2 Award-winning big band Bellowhead and of Faustus. Consultant and Director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers, he is an Artist in Residence with Bellowhead at the Southbank Centre, an editor of music publications, and a BASCA-nominated composer whose commissions include works for the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Choir of Somerville College, Oxford, and Streetwise Opera.

Paul Hutchinson is the founder member of the innovative and progressive folk band, The Playford Liberation Front. His highly successful folk trio Hoover the Dog has recently morphed into the quartet Pagoda. Paul’s own compositions were published in 2012 (Food For Thought) and a second volume is in the pipeline. He is the resident accordion tutor at Cecil Sharp House and is a seasoned tutor at Folkworks and Halsway Manor and leads ensemble workshops far and wide.

Belshazzar’s Feast start with traditional folk music, add a touch of classical and jazz, throw in a bit of pop and music hall, and top it off wry humour for a unique live experience. Belshazzar’s Feast received a coveted nomination for the Best Duo Award at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards. Their latest Christmas-themed album titled ‘Stocking Fillers’ (Unearthed Records) was released in November 2012.

‘Amidst the jesting and hilarity, they sit as fine an example of traditional English folk music as you’re likely to hear.’ Mike Ainscoe, Bright Young Folk

‘Duo known for their sense of humour as well their impressive musicianship’ Guardian
Three Cane Whale

Three Cane Whale

Three Cane Whale

A multi-instrumental acoustic trio based in Bristol, UK, featuring members of Spiro, Get The Blessing and Scottish Dance Theatre. As intricate as a team of watchmakers, as spare as a mountain stream, the music encompasses both a cinematic sweep and an intimate delicacy, in which “the aroma of muddy leaves and old nettles is almost tangible” (The Observer)

Their eponymous debut album was chosen by Cerys Matthews as one of her Top Five Modern Folk Albums; second album Holts And Hovers was fRoots Editor’s Choice Album of 2013, one of The Observer’s “Hidden Gems Of 2013”, and one of Acoustic Guitarist magazine’s 20 Essential Folk Albums.

The band’s third album, Palimpsest, was recorded at Real World Studios in Wiltshire, & produced by Adrian Utley, with artwork specially designed by Dorset’s Little Toller press, and accompanied by a UK-wide, Arts Council supported, album launch tour earlier this year. Palimpsest was chosen by The Telegraph as one of the ‘Best Folk Music Albums Of 2016″, by fRoots as one of its 5-star Playlist Albums, and by The Guardian for its Folk World Music Playlist.

‘Exquisite, elegant, atmospheric and charmingly quirky. 4 stars’ (The Guardian)

‘Quiet but compellingly emotional music that is richly-textured and containing melodies of real beauty. 5 stars’ (fRoots, Playlist Album Choice)

‘their delicate acoustic constructions combine ancient folk and contemporary classical ideas to weave an entirely original new musical tradition’ (Bristol 24/7)

Brooks Williams

Brooks has gigged with Taj Mahal, John Hammond, Paul Jones, Billy Bragg, Little Feat, Maria Muldaur, Shawn Colvin, and Leo Kottke, to name but a few. He is also half of State Of The Union with singer-songwriter Boo Hewerdine. Thousands of gigs over thousands of miles, Brooks Williams now tours from his home in Cambridge, England where he lives with his wife and three cats.

Brooks is a great favourite at Priddy and we’re delighted to invite him back for another Blues afternoon.

The Young ‘Uns

Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes sing traditional a cappella music with astonishing verve and energy. They’ve worked with Eliza & Martin Carthy, Jon Boden, Jim Moray and been involved in projects with Aardmans Animation and The Sage Gateshead. They combine wonderful singing with irreverent patter, all that you’d want in a great live act.

On Sunday morning we have a very special huge singing workshop in the main marquee – Swildons. The Young ‘Uns are leading this workshop starting at 10:30 – this promises to be a really special event.

Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are two folk musicians who are “fast becoming hot property on the folk scene” (froots July 2011). The duo have been touring with Show Of Hands and have received great reviews of their debut album, “Singing The Bones”

Phillip is fast becoming recognised as one of the finest slide guitarists in the UK and is also a virtuoso on the harmonica. He brings together folk melodies of the British isles, blues, gospel and Indian music in his moving and original compositions and arrangements. His incredible harmonica technique is legendary on the festival circuit, and never fails to get the crowd on their feet and jumping.

Hannah Martin is a singer, songwriter, fiddle-and-banjo player from Devon. Her songs weave folklore and legend old and new with beautiful melodies, while retaining a strong sense of the living tradition. Together they create a sound that is original, traditional and totally absorbing

The Backroom Band

Freshly Ground

Freshly Ground is a choir of eleven of the South West’s finest folk singers performing traditional English and original songs in glorious harmony. There’s nothing quite like them on the folk scene today, with wonderful vibrancy and beautiful arrangements this is one of the best choirs you’ll ever hear.

Sandy & Graham Ball

Sandy & Graham Ball perform a broad repertoire of traditional and contemporary songs, as well as songs that Sandy herself has written. Graham is renowned for his subtle accompaniments on guitar, mandolin and cittern, and Sandy is a highly regarded singer. Together they create a spellbinding musical experience that appeals to a wide range of audiences.


Tatterdemalion are an up-and-coming band from Somerset that play an energetic mix of European folk music inspired by Klezmer, Balkan and Celtic traditions. Exciting melodies, evocative harmonies and great rhythms from flute, fiddle, guitar and percussion create a vibrant sound that will set you dancing.

Heidi Talbot, John McCusker & Boo Hewerdine

Heidi Talbot came to prominence as lead singer with the Irish-American supergroup Cherish the Ladies. She has since attracted wide critical acclaim for her album “In Love and Light” and her most recent album ‘The Last Star’ which was produced by John McCusker and features Ian Carr, Ewen Vernal, Kris Drever, Roy Dodds, Eddi Reader, Andy Cutting, Phil Cunningham and more.

Celebrated fiddler John McCusker formed his first band, Parcel O’Rogues at fifteen, and later joined top Scottish folk act the Battlefield Band.
He also began a twelve-year partnership with celebrated Yorkshire folk-singer Kate Rusby, producing several of her award-winning albums and playing in her live band. In 2007, John was jointly commissioned by the Celtic Connections festival and Cambridge Folk Festival to compose Under One Sky, uniting Scottish and English musicians of different genres, from Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis to ex-Blur guitarist Graham Coxon. John has also toured with Michael McGoldrick and John Doyle, with Kris Drever and Roddy Woomble and with ‘Transatlantic Sessions’

Boo Hewerdine is a prolific singer songwriter whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Eddi Reader, Clive Gregson and Christine Collister. His work includes lead singer and creative force behind The Bible in the 1980s, as well as solo recordings and work for film. Boo has recently been touring with Brooks Williams as ‘State of the Union’.

The Home Fires

The Home Fires were formed in 2010. The core of the band consists of Nikki Capp (vocals, penny whistle and flute), Will Lawton (vocals, piano and hang) and Neil Muttock (guitars). Bethany Porter (cello, vocals and ukulele) regularly joins the band on live performances and at times helps contribute towards the song-writing.

Jamie Smith’s Mabon

Jamie Smith’s Mabon is led by Jamie Smith on accordion, Oli Wilson-Dickson on fiddle, Paul Rodgers on guitar, Matt Downer on bass guitar and upright bass, and Iolo Whelan on drums and percussion.

These six highly accomplished musicians, draw inspiration directly from the traditional folk music of the Celtic countries. This is not Welsh music, nor Scottish or Irish; this is Interceltic music, a true exploration of forms and styles found in Celtic music forged into something bold and new.

“A top band led by one hell of an accordion player and arranger” Mike Harding

Stompin’ Dave

Stompin’ Dave Allen performs on guitar, five-string banjo, fiddle, piano, harmonica, vocals & tap dancing. Dave specializes in American roots music including old-time, bluegrass, blues, & vintage country. Stompin’ Dave has appeared at festivals across England including Glastonbury Festival, Maverick, London Remix, Wilderness Festival, The Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Folk Festival, Wadebridge Folk Southsea Folk & Roots Festival, Boogaloo Blues Festival and Ealing Blues Festival.

“A master… a formidable musician and a true original.” The Daily Telegraph

Hopping Mad & Tony Slinger

Hopping Mad has been working as a ceilidh band for over twenty years. Their repertoire ranges through Celtic tunes, American reels, Breton dance tunes and English Playford tunes. The band have appeared have also appeared at a wide range of festivals including Trowbridge Village Pump Festival, Sidmouth International Folk Festival and Bath International Music Festival. They are also the only band to have played ceilidhs in Bristol’s prestigious Colston Hall.


Jaywalkers are one of the most exciting young bands on the UK folk scene at the moment. They combine fast, exciting instrumentals with carefully crafted songs, three part harmony and humour.

Jaywalkers are Jay Bradberry on fiddle, lead vocals, guitar Michael Giverin on mandolin, guitar, harmony vocals and Lucy Williams on double bass & harmony vocals.

Kevin Brown

According to Martin Simpson Kevin Brown is ‘one of the most under –rated acoustic players in the country’.

Kevin has been a highly respected professional recording artist, songwriter and performer for over 30 years standing and has been inspired from an early age by the blues and its related genres. He has ten solo albums to his credit and countless international live performances from the Main stage at Glastonbury to the many beer joints of Texas where he once lived.

The Willbees

The Willbees are a harmony duo, and are legendary around the Bristol and Somerset scene. Their repertoire includes folk, country, ballads, comedy, and just about any old style, selecting songs mainly on the basis of really good harmonies. Both are excellent solo artists, but over the last few years they have developed a ‘double act’ which is musically perfect, creating beautiful harmonies and on occasions delivering comedy songs like a couple of pros.


Djambo is a six-piece Bournemouth-based acoustic roots music band playing an acoustic danceable fusion of celtic and latin music. With influences of folk, rock and jazz, this is a party band for revellers and dancers.

The notorious Burke family make up the front line with Paul (vocals, saxes, mandos), Catherine (vocals, whistles and flutes) and Bob (harmony vocals and guitar). The back line is drawn from Tumbau salsa percussionists Darren Shaw and Martin Common and bassist Steve Perring.

Djambo, resident band at Centre Stage in Bournemouth, gig at summer festivals and for Tourism on Poole Quay during Summer. Dancing shoes, folks!

Darren Shaw, Martin Common, Steve Perring, Paul Burke, Catherine Burke, Bob Burke

Florida Ceilidh band & Phil Bassindale

Florida is a band with a unique sound – ‘Good time jazz meets English country’. The fusion of swing, jazz, traditional folk, folk rock, and much else besides, has become a distinctive trademark. Nobody plays English dance like Florida.

Florida’s sound is a unique brassy collision of traditional English country dance and good time jazz, underpinned by dance rhythms. The tunes are mainly English, but the band also draws on other European traditions and the compositions of fiddler/guitarist Gavin Atkin.

Phil Bassindale used to dance with a morris dancing team in London before getting in contact with the Bristol Morris Men when he moved to the city. Fresh faced, with plenty of enthusiasm – Philip promises to deliver a lively and energetic ceilidh whatever the weather. He can be found regularly calling on the folk circuit, dancing or in the pub.

James Findlay Alex Cummings & Beth Orrell

James was the Radio 2 Young Folk Awards winner in 2009 and since then his singing, guitar & fiddle playing has grown in maturity and skill.

James is joined here by Beth Orrell on vocals and Alex Cumming on accordion in an exciting new collaboration.

Alex Cumming is a multi-instrumentalist with an interest in traditional dance, and has been a caller at many festivals and dance workshops. As a member of the Dyer: Cummings band Alex’s musicanshio and stage presence are well known at Priddy – we feel he’s almost a part of the festival family.

Beth Orrell has been singing regularly with James at festivals and folk clubs during the last year and with her jazz/big band background she brings an original sound to this folk trio.

The Incontinentals

If you hadn’t sussed it already, The Incontinentals is a highly entertaining manic group who play all types of music (jazz, rock, folk, blues, Irish reggae (Oh yes!), etc….) in a style that is a luvverly mixture of Spike Jones, Bonzo Dog, Monty Python, The Goons and so on – but with a lot of originality.

Clint Backward (8), Peregrine Cax (2345-2322), Georges Brasserie (3-0), Curly Codpiece (.733r), Otis Scunthorpe (1846 –1903), Aged Swill (93).

Walsh & Pound

Will Pound and Dan Walsh are two of the most exciting and unique young musicians on today’s music scene. Labelled respectively as ‘one of the most original harmonica players in Britain’ and ‘the UK’s top Clawhammer banjoist’, the two have joined forces to create a highly entertaining and astonishing live set.

Jackie Oates Band

Originally a member of The Unthanks (then Rachel Unthank & The Winterset), Jackie has since developed an astonishing solo career working alone, with other artists, and in outstanding collaborative projects such as The Imagined Village and the Cecil Sharp project.

The Jackie Oates band is a great collaboration with Mike Cosgrave on keyboard and Tristan Seume on guitar & James Budden on bass.

Will Kaufman

Will Kaufman’s Woody Guthrie: Hard times and hard travellin’ is a captivating “live documentary” that sets the songs of Woody Guthrie in the context of the American 1930s – the Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal and the state of popular music itself. The show highlights the blending of music and radical politics that marks Guthrie’s most powerful work.

Will Kaufman is a professor of American literature and culture at the University of Central Lancashire, England.

According to MOJO his latest book – Woody Guthrie, American Radical is “A fascinating look at Woody Guthrie’s politics.”


Spiro’s music defies categorization. With a line up of violin, acoustic guitar, mandolin and accordion you might expect a real folky sound but it’s so much more. Their music has been likened to the work of Steve Reich, Michael Nyman and the Penguin Café Orchestra.

Spiers & Boden

Spiers & Boden are celebrating their 10th year as a duo and have played a major part in making contemporary folk music vibrant & inventive. They’ve been involved in many diverse bands and projects including the astonishing Bellowhead & Eliza Carthy & the Ratcatchers.

Colum Sands

Colum Sands has performed in over thirty countries around the world, confirming the universal appeal for the songs and stories with which he observes the minute and often humorous details of life.

A member of the internationally renowned Sands Family from County Down, Colum established his reputation as a songwriter with the release of his first solo album, Unapproved Road in 1981. Songs like Whatever you say, say nothing, and Almost every circumstance were soon in the repertoire of artists from Billy Connolly to Maddy Prior and June Tabor.

Rory McLeod & the Familiar Strangers

Rory Mcleod – ex-circus clown and fire eater. A one man soulband, poet and storyteller, singing his own unique upbeat dance stories. A modern travelling troubadour using tap shoes, acappella, harmonica, guitar, trombone, spoons, finger cymbals, bandorea, djembe and various percussion instruments.

The Familiar Strangers are Bob Morgan on clarinet and sax. Richard Sadler on double bass and Diego Laverde Rojas on Columbian Lowland harp and quattro.

This combination of Rory and The Familiar Strangers takes you to a world of far away places, familiar feelings and is simply entrancing and absorbing.

Urban Folk Quartet

The phenomenal Urban Folk Quartet is made up of Joe Broughton, Paloma Trigas, Frank Moon and Tom Chapman and have individually played with some of the worlds biggest names in folk: The Chieftains, The Albion Band and Carlos Nunez to name a few. Formed in 2009, UFQ have already developed an amazing reputation and have a sound that combines world influences with folk.

John Mc Cusker, John Doyle & Mike McGoldrick

Master of flutes, whistles and Uillean pipes Mike is a founding member of Flook , and Lunasa and is a current member of Capercaillie. Regarded as one of the greatest flute players of all time, Mike spent 2010 on a worldwide tour with Mark Knopfler, has toured with The Afro Celts, RTE Orhcestra and Kate Rusby and collaborated with the likes of Jim Kerr, Youssou N’Dour, John Cale and Zakir Hussian amongst many others. BBC Radio 2 folk Musican of the year 2006, he was again nominated this year and has just completed his first soundtrack for TG4 and the Smithsonian channel.

John McCusker’s unique fiddle playing has earned him a worldwide reputation as one of the most gifted and versatile musicians of any genre. Joining the Battlefield band at just 17 John spent 11 years touring the world with the now legendary folk outfit. Renowned for his skill at transcending musical boundaries he has worked with artists ranging from Paulo Nutini and Jools Holland to Steve Earle and Rosanne Cash and has recorded with Paul Weller, Mark Knopfler and Ocean Colour Scene to name but a few.

John Doyle’s gifts as guitarist, songwriter and vocalist have played an essential role in the ongoing renaissance of Irish traditional music. Now living in the states, John was the recent musical director for Joan Baez and toured with her for 2 year. One half of the stellar duo Liz Carroll and John Doyle, he is also a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Irish group Solas.

Dick Stephens

Dick Stephens began singing in the mid 1980s at Cheddar Folk Club and, with John ‘Jingles’ Williams formed a duo called the Belfry Boys. They performed scurrilous speleological parodies of existing folk songs at Priddy Folk Fayre and local folk clubs.

Mick Ryan heard the Belfry Boys at Cheddar Folk Festival in the early 1990s and as a result the four-part harmony group Cantoris were formed.

Dick now performs occasionally to folk clubs around the country where his rich, bass voice is much admired. Dick will also MC the great line up in Eastwater on Friday night.