35th Orkney Folk Festival Line-up Announced

With little more than four months to go until the 35th Orkney Folk Festival, the full line-up of artists booked to appear at this year’s outing have been announced, alongside a handful of Orkney’s home-grown musicians already confirmed.

Joining chart-topping Scottish songstress Eddi Reader, legendary Irish/American fiddle and guitar duo, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, the much-loved English and Irish quartet, Flook, and fast-rising stars of Eastern Canada’s folk scene, The East Pointers – who were announced in December – are: two acts from the USA – Wisconsin’s Jeffrey Foucault, one of the finest singer-songwriters of his generation, and Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards, one of the New England post-folk scene’s most intriguing and captivating acts; the 2015 and 2016 winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Best Group title, Stockton’s The Young’uns; one of Scotland’s best known groups, and most prolific fiddle outfits, Blazin’ Fiddles (featuring Orkney’s own Kristan Harvey); arguably Orkney’s most prolific musical son, Kris Drever, celebrating 10 years as an acclaimed solo artist; two of Scotland’s most captivating young groups – both musical powerhouses in their own right – Elephant Sessions and Talisk; and one of...

Eddi Reader set to return to 2017 festival

Returning to the festival, following her triumphant Orkney debut in 2012, is the one and only Eddi Reader.

One of Scotland’s most prolific and instantly recognisable voices, Eddi needs little introduction. From topping the chats with Fairground Attraction in the 1980s, winning three BRIT Awards, to her heralded reworking of the songs of Robert Burns and subsequent solo albums, hers is a career like no other.

From the traditional to the contemporary, Eddi brings joyous life to all forms of song. Her rare blend of meltingly true vocals and towering romanticism combine with an astute and pragmatic nature to make her a unique and powerful figure in contemporary British music.

From island to island; PEI to Orkney – The East Pointers

From one island steeped in musical history to another… The East Pointers will be joining us in 2017!

One of Canada’s most talked about musical exports in recent years – in equal demand in Australia and the UK as they are on home shores – The East Pointers are a multi award-winning, exhilarating trio, whose music more than doubles the power of three.

Cousins Tim Chaisson (fiddle/vocals) and Koady Chaisson (banjo/vocals/step-dance) are from the seventh generation of renowned Chaisson musicians from Prince Edward Island, and here join with guitarist Jake Charron, an Ontario native also from a strong family line of musicians. With each member an accomplished performer and multi-instrumentalist in their own right, and with traditional music very much in their DNA, the trio’s union produces an easily identifiable trademark of Celtic-influenced, yet wholly modern, tunes and songs that have very quickly established them as a formidable force in many corners of the world.

“Furiously energetic yet organic, celebratory yet cool, this is an impressive calling-card for a band who are soon likely to be making waves around the world.” Songlines

Returning after 16 years – Flook

Making a welcome return to Orkney, some 16 years since their last visit… FLOOK!

One of the most innovative and exciting live acts to come from the English/Irish folk scene, Flook weave Brian Finnegan and Sarah Allen’s flutes with the guitar of Ed Boyd and John Joe Kelly’s bodhran, into one breathtaking and groundbreaking sound.

Whilst there is no shortage of virtuosity amongst the the individual members, the unrivalled impact of the group, upon audiences and critics alike, stems from the wholly intuitive, almost symbiotic exchange between the various flutes, frets and skins: a rare blend of fiery technical brilliance, delicate ensemble interaction and a bold, adventurous musical imagination.

The group reformed a few years ago after a prolonged break from live performances, and can now be seen at a few hand-picked festivals and concerts across Europe each year. Having wondered whether we might ever see them together again, let alone in Orkney, we’re delighted to be welcoming them back to the festival in May.

“Sheer musical magic… stunning technique, impossibly agile rhythm work and virtuoso flights of jazzy improvisation add up to one of the most enthralling sounds around.”   The Scotsman