What Is Folk Music? Well I don't know about you but I'm not in the least bit confused. 

What is folk music?
There are two types of what nowadays we call 'folk music'. Neither is a true, identifiable music genre, like blues or jazz or classical music.

The first type is what I call "Folk Heritage Music" and what Neil Colquhun (Kiwi author of "Song of a Young Country") calls simply "Heritage Music".
My feeling is that "folk-heritage' music better differentiates it as music of the common people as opposed to more highbrow forms of heritage music.
Neil attended a concert I did at Wellington Folk Club…Read more

English Accents and Dialects - The Anglo Files Radio Show - Final Episode (2007) 

Digging through my archives recently I found a recording of the final episode of “The Anglo Files” dated March 2007.
Now that Facebook enables access to the world, I thought it would be a fun to share it , since it features ordinary English people talking about themselves in some of the wonderful regional English accents and dialects that I have known all my life.
So I added a few vintage pics and made it into a video. The opening tune is The Hesleyside Reel played by Tim Van Eyken.
<<Click Here>> to play theRead more

Champions of 'Live' music - The Bent Horseshoe Cafe, Tokomaru, NZ 

Must make mention of The Bent Horseshoe Cafe in Tokomaru near Palmerston North, NZ where I performed last night and and the owners Steve and Robyn Tolley. Not only is it located in the most beautiful place (on a bend in the river known as Horseshoe Bend, hence the name) - this little gem of a venue has wonderful charm and atmpsphere. Steve and Robyn are true champions of 'live' music and their programme over the next few weeks is as eclectic and hectic as you're likely to find at much larger venues - the…Read more

NEW RELEASE - THE BEST ENGLISH SINGALONG FOLKSONGS AT WWW.PHILDRANE.COM 

If you’re someone who likes down-to-earth, rollicking, sing-along songs with beefy choruses then
The Best English Singalong Folksongs Volume 1
is just the thing for you.

The Best English Singalong Folksongs Volume 1    features 22 contemporary & traditional English folksongs (newly arranged and recorded) and an accompanying 48-page Songbook with lyrics, musical notation, and song bios.
It can be purchased either in CD format (2 CDs with printed songbook) or in mp3 Downloadable form (165Mb including MS…Read more

Manchester Sports Guild Reunion Concert 

Absolutely brilliant night on Sat 12th in Cheetham Hill. Great to see a couple of humdred people from the MSG old days and join such an illustrious lineup on stage including Gary & Vera Aspey, Alan Bell, John Howarth, Tony Downes, The Hometowners, Pete Ryder and Marie Little. A bit spooky meeting some folks I haven't seen for 40 years, but what a really great 'Lancashire neet'. Grand job by Stanley Accrington putting the whole show together, and wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Durham Miner's Gala 

Attended the Miner's Gala on 10th July thanks to an invitation from Marie Little & Pete Smith. I was absolutely blown away. We walked under the National Union of Mineworkers banner with Jim Bainbridge and John & Jill Prentice and others all the way to Durham Cathedral, along with countless other banners/ supporters and brass bands from othe mining pits and communities and unions where we witnessed the blessing of 7 new banners. What a moving experience. I'm a sucker for a brass band anyway since it's a…Read more

About Pokarekare Ana 

This love song began life in the north of Auckland at the start of World War One. It then drifted to the East Cape, where it was modified into an action song telling of Paraire Tomoana's 1912 courtship of Kuini Raerena. I decided to return the song to its original 3/4 time, as befits the love song that it originally was. Most often these days only the first verse and the chorus seems to get sung, so I went a little further and included the second verse which has lots of alliteration, and is great to sing.
Read more

Girvan Folk Club Gig 

Arrived at The Queen's Hotel, Girvan after our SATNAV sent us on the most wobbly circuit imaginable. For some inexplicable reason a 3.5hr journey turned into a 6 hour epic, with only the lovely Ayrshire countryside to admire. On reflection, the A75 is a road to be avoided. We phoned Maggie Millar the organiser as instructed and she came down to the pub to say hello and show us the clubroom which is a really great dining room at the back of the hotel. Even for a soloist like me, acoustic performance is…Read more
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