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Various Artists - Folk Awards 2015 (Proper)

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The annual Folk Awards hosted by BBC Radio 2 has become something of an institution amongst the British folk community, a chance for the established as well as the up and coming folk singers, musicians, record company personnel and PR groups, together with radio presenters and music journalists to shake off their muddy wellies and pop on their glad rags for an Academy Awards-styled red carpet event, albeit with a broken wooden pallet backdrop rather than a velvet curtain; this is folk music after all. To supplement the awards, the BBC also compile together a two disc CD set bringing together some of the music from the artists involved. Because each of the artists on the compilation have been nominated for one thing or another, it almost guarantees a hugely enjoyable CD and this year's compilation is no exception.

Not every winning song is present on the album. It has to be pointed out that this collection was compiled prior to the event and therefore it may seem odd that of the four nominated songs in the Best Traditional Song category, the only one that is missing here is the winner! The Rails may have also been included as recipients of the Horizon Award. However, this aside, the collection is packed with goodies such as Best Duo Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker's It Would Not Be a Rose, Peggy Seeger's Swim to the Star, which won in the Best Original Song category and Best Band The Young'uns John Hill.

The songs here have been lifted from twenty-three album releases, some of which may well be sitting on top of your current listening pile. The additional bonus of four live tracks at the end of the second disc, each recorded at the Young Folk Award Weekend, demonstrates the high standard of musicianship in today's folk youth. Talisk, Wildwood Kin, Roseanne Reid and Cup O'Joe, could quite easily be the artists we find on Folk Awards 2016. If you missed out on the ceremony itself, or didn't catch the radio broadcast or the stream on iPlayer, then this CD will more than compensate.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky

Airplay: Bedlam - Stick in the Wheel (Show 375/10.05.15)
Release Date: Available Now
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