Another stunning line-up for Lyme Folk Weekend has been announced.
Once again organisers of the festival, which takes place from September 1-3, have come up with a mix of talent, ranging from one of the most innovative contemporary artists to some of the folk world’s legendary names.
Opening the festival at the Marine Theatre in Lyme Regis on Friday September 1 will be Jim Moray, nominated for two awards in this year’s BBC Radio 2 folk awards – for Best Album and Best Original Song.
For 15 years Jim has been at the forefront of a new movement in English traditional music. His debut album Sweet England changed the sound of folk song and won a brace of awards for its innovative melding of orchestration and electronica. Subsequent albums embraced everything from grime to Johnny Marr-esque guitar pop, but at their heart was always Jim’s unmistakable soulful and yearning voice; singing old songs in a new way.
His sixth album Upcetera heralds a new chapter for the producer and has received the best reviews of his career, including his two BBC nominations, and five stars from Mojo, fRoots and R2 magazines.
Saturday night headliners will be folk legends Ralph McTell and Wizz Jones, who will be presenting songs from their critically acclaimed album About Time, recorded to celebrate their 50 years of music-making together.
McTell and Jones, two distinguished musicians, join forces some 50 years after they first met and played together. Back in 1966 Ralph was just back from playing in Paris and met Wizz in a coffee bar in Croydon, when he was invited by Wizz to go to Cornwall and play guitar with him.
“It was a life-changing move for me and one of the most wonderful summers I have spent,” said McTell. They became life long friends and played together many times. In the spring of 2015 Ralph called Wizz and suggested they finally do a whole album together. They found themselves once again in Cornwall to make this album, joining a circle of music and friendship started some 50 years earlier. The album is a brilliant blend made up of their old favourites, some traditional arrangements and songs by Doc Watson, Woody Guthrie, Townes Van Zandt and Bob Dylan.
And the Sunday night finale will feature the biggest name on the South West’s folk scene, a solo gig from one-half of multiple award-winners Show of Hands, Steve Knightley.
Steve is the songwriting force behind Show of Hands, widely acclaimed as the finest acoustic roots duo in England. As a solo performer, he decided in 2016 to turn his attention to maritime venues around the shoreline of England and Wales.
He said: ‘As a West Country songwriter I have written so many songs of seafarers and wreckers, travellers and traders, pirates and smugglers. Now I‘m going to be able to sing them with the sound of the sea in the distance – I can’t wait!’
As has become the tradition at Lyme Folk Weekend, the headliners will be supported by acts who first appeared on other stages at last summer’s festival – singer-songwriter Saskia Griffiths-Moore, traditional virtuoso duo Mitchell & Vincent and the Longest Johns, the brilliant shanty group featured on the BBC programme The Choir with Gareth Malone.
Tickets for Lyme Folk Weekend are available online at www.lymefolk.com, or by calling or visiting Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre (01297 442138).