Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Irish and Texan Sounds at Fore; ALAN NICHOL Brings You All the Latest News on the Roots Music Scene in the Region

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Irish and Texan Sounds at Fore; ALAN NICHOL Brings You All the Latest News on the Roots Music Scene in the Region

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

HIGHLY successful Irish folk band Altan are back in the region next week for a show in Sage Gateshead's Hall 2 on Wednesday night.

Over a four-decade career the band have made the transition from the traditional folk scene in their native Donegal to major label stars.

They've collaborated with everyone from Dolly Parton to Bonnie Raitt and The Chieftains - and the band's last album The Widening Gyre was recorded in Nashville.

Their 12th studio effort nods at the nearinseparable DNA which links Irish/British music and its slightly mutated, younger cousin from Appalachia.

The Altan line-up has changed, as one would expect, over the group's lifetime but the current band retains most of the originals in their current sextet format: Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (fiddle/vocals), Ciaran Curran (bouzouki), Ciaran Tourish (fiddle), Daithi Sproule (guitar), Mairtin Tourish (accordion) and Mark Kelly (guitar). It's a potent, top-class outfit by any yardstick.

Saturday night sees the arrival at Cluny 2 of the influential yet largely undiscovered folk singer Kath Bloom. Born in Connecticut, her first instrument was the cello as a pre-teen before she adopted the acoustic guitar a few years later. Her late father was the celebrated internationally renowned oboist, Robert Bloom.

Kath Bloom has recorded since the late 70s and her wispy work of finger-picked folk-filigree has been an inspiration to artists like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. Her U L A r last album, Pass Through Here, was released last year but she received some long-overdue recognition prior to that when her song Come Here was used in the film Before Sunrise, which starred Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

Down in Durham City, the multi-awardwinning Teesside trio The Young 'Uns play the Gala Theatre on the same night. The threesome - Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes - have created a real stir on the folk scene over the last couple of years, winning accolades galore including the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Group. Expect a show replete with lively banter from the trio.

Sunday night offers a change of pace and style when Jess & the Bandits up the tempo in Sage Gateshead's Hall 2. …

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