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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cambridge Folk Festival – But It’s Not All Folk

The Cambridge Folk Festival is held, this year, from July 26 to July 29 (Thurs-Sunday) in the grounds of Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, and the guest list indicates there’s stuff of interest to jazzers as well. The publicity mentions blues, soul and R&B from the US; Keb Mo Band; jazz, folk and American hoe-down from a band called Steamchicken; and the UK quintet The Moulettes, who are influenced by jazz and just about every other genre. Jazzers may also be interested in Billy Bragg’s celebration of Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday.
I used to go to this festival in the 1980’s and have wonderful memories. In fact the memories are so wonderful that I cannot report many of them on this blog! I recall lots of cider and pernod from the pernod concession van, but that’s another story. The music has always been very American influenced, with many blues artists, and people such as women’s group The Roches, who did an unbelievably dissonant version of the Hallelujah Chorus. Then there was Taj Mahal and John Cooper Clarke, whose fast fluent poetry was interesting. Local (north east) western swing band The Hokum Hotshots (Jim and Pete are still going strong) did a good set, as did the comedy duo, Maxi and Mitch (These two now do a pantomime in Newcastle each Christmas). I was introduced to Cajun music at Cambridge, I think the band was called Rockin Dopsie and the Cajun Twisters. Ever since that day I’ve wanted to play the triangle in a Cajun band. I remember that Lonnie Donegan’s Band went down a treat with some punks who were near me in the crowd.
Folk artists for this year include singer-songwriter Steve Tilston; June Tabor; Clannad; and local much-hailed band, The Unthanks. Tickets for the full festival are only £120, which seems like good value for a large festival. More information at (http://www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk/)
Ann Alex

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