Molly O’Mahony has spent much of the last decade writing and performing with art-folk group Mongoose. She returned to her home place of west Cork in March of 2020, and against the backdrop of the unfolding pandemic, began work on her first solo collection of songs.
During lockdown, she bounced many ideas off her two musician siblings Matilda and Fiachra and collaborated on arranging a number of covers with them. This period of time and these collaborations greatly informed her own songs, which were recorded over the summer of 2021, and which her siblings played a crucial role in arranging and playing on.
Molly released two of these songs over the latter half of last year, Remember To Be Brave and Brother Blue.
Marisa Anderson channels the history of the guitar and stretches the boundaries of tradition. Her deeply original work applies elements of minimalism, electronic music, drone and 20th century classical music to compositions based on blues, jazz, gospel and country music, re-imagining the landscape of American music.
The New Yorker calls Anderson ‘one of the most distinctive guitar players of her generation’, while NPR refers to her as among ‘this era’s most powerful players’ . Her work has been featured in Billboard, Rolling Stone, NPR, SPIN, Pitchfork, the BBC and The Wire. Festival appearances include Big Ears, Pitchfork Midwinter, Le Guess Who and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival.
Anderson’s discography includes five solo records and multiple collaborations. Her latest release, Lost Futures (2021), is a collaboration with guitarist William Tyler. In 2020 Anderson released The Quickening with drummer Jim White (Dirty Three, Xylouris White). Anderson is sought after as a collaborator and composer, contributing to recordings by Matmos, Tara Jane O’Neil, Beth Ditto, Sharon Van Etten and Circuit Des Yeux among others, as well as creating music for short films and soundtracks.
Classically trained, she honed her skills playing in country, jazz and circus bands. and currently tours extensively throughout Europe and North America.
Cherished and admired in equal measure by listeners and fellow musicians, award-winning guitarist, singer, songwriter and prolific collaborator Kris Drever has been a leading light on the UK roots scene for well over a decade.
A highly skilled guitarist who adroitly blends traditional folk and flat picking with more contemporary influences – allied to a distinctively relaxed and poised vocal burr – Drever is an astonishingly fine interpreter of others’ songs, with an increasingly frequent knack for concocting seriously smart lyrical observations and earworm melodies of his own.
Drever has played and recorded with an extensive range of artists including Mark Knopfler, Jack Bruce, Danny Thompson, Eddi Reader, Bela Fleck, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Sarah Jarosz, Joan As Police Woman, Tinariwen, Karine Polwart and Julie Fowlis.
George Lowden is a luthier based in Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland. He constructs steel and nylon string acoustic guitars by hand without any UV finishing as well as solid-body electric guitars.
The Lowden Story:
In the late 1980’s George Lowden accepted an invitation to visit the main Lowden dealer for Switzerland, Servette Music in Geneva. Upon his arrival, co-proprietor Yves Imer thanked George for coming, because some of the Lowden customers he was to meet had not realised he actually existed – they thought “George Lowden” was merely the figment of some marketing man’s imagination – a leprechaun, in fact!
This served to enlighten George to the principle that an ‘information vacuum’ will always be filled – sometimes benignly, sometimes bizarrely.So, for the record, HERE is the complete story of George Lowden and his guitars.
Andy Irvine is one of the great Irish singers, his voice one of a handful of truly great ones that gets to the very soul of Ireland. He has been hailed as “a tradition in himself”.
Musician, singer, songwriter, Andy has maintained his highly individual performing skills throughout his over 50-year career.
Andy has been at the helm of legendary bands like Sweeney’s Men in the mid 60s, to the enormous success of Planxty in the 70s, and then Patrick Street, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Andy has been a world music pioneer and an icon for traditional music and musicians.
As a soloist, Andy fills the role of the archetypal troubadour with a show and a travelling lifestyle that reflect his lifelong influence, Woody Guthrie. To quote the Irish Times, “Often copied, never equalled”, his repertoire consists of Irish traditional songs, dexterous Balkan dance tunes and a compelling canon of his own self-penned songs.
Although the only singer/musician in his immediate family, Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) was introduced to the music at a very early age by his parents who shared a keen interest in artists such as Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, Frank Harte, Planxty and The Bothy Band and more. Daoirí took up music himself at the relatively late age of 16 and only started to perform at 23, but he has come a long way since then and the early release of his accomplished debut album ‘The First Turn’, which he recorded in 2009 while studying music on the Ceoiltoir Higher National Diploma in Irish Traditional Music Performance course, in Ballyfermot College of Further Education (BCFE), Dublin.
‘The First Turn, could well prove to be a winner for Daoirí Farrell’ Irish Music Magazine
Following the release of ‘The First Turn’, Daoirí took an extended break from recording to pursue a degree in Applied Music at Dundalk’s Institute of Technology, followed by an MA in Music Performance at the World Academy of Music in the University of Limerick.
Since Daoirí’s return to the stage, he has regularly performed in the many singing circles and folk clubs around Ireland, from Dublin’s famous Góilin singers club to the All-Ireland Fleadh to name but a few. He has performed alongside some of the biggest names in Irish and international folk music including Christy Moore, Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, The Young’uns, Paddy Keenan Trio, Matt Molloy, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, The East Pointers, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (Banjo), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle), Alan Burke, Lynched and more.
He became the All Ireland Champion Singer at the Fleadh in Co. Derry in 2013 and won the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in 2015 with the line-up FourWinds.
He has continued to gain in stature among the Irish folk-singing circuit, and has toured in numerous line-ups throughout Ireland and beyond, including dates in France, Germany, America, Canada and India, with his UK launch as a solo artist taking place at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival in January 2016.
Daoirí is currently working on his second solo album, due out in autumn 2016, and will tour the UK in May 2016 – including support dates for Cara Dillon and Sam Carter – and November 2016, with festival dates confirmed for this year including Moseley Folk Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week, Costa Del Folk and FolkEast.
The Acoustic Forum is an eclectic event unlike anything else you’ve ever seen which sees a selection of artists from the festival playing in an intimate and informal concert in the round, with each artist staying onstage for the duration.
Guided by the guest host, each performer gives an insight into their craft and performs a short selection to whet the appetite for the weekend ahead.
It’s off the cuff, it’s friendly and it provides the listener with a varied and spontaneous night that never fails to surprise!
This year’s event will include host George Lowden & guests Pierre Bensusan , SÍOMHA, Aaron O Sullivan & Lau Noah !
PIERRE BENSUSAN (FR)
Winner of the Independent Music Award, in the Live Performance Album category for his latest triple live album “Encore” (2014), “Rose d’Or” of the Montreux Festival for his first album, “Près de Paris” (Switzerland, 1976), “Best World Music Guitar Player ” by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine (USA, 2008), Pierre Bensusan is recognized as one of the premier musicians of our time.
AARON O SULLIVAN (IRL)
At 19, Aaron started studying the BA in Popular Music. . Between various performances & collaborations with local artists, he now plays regularly in Cork City as a session musician. He got a job as a musician out in Disneyland Florida, performed venues all around Europe, supported artists such as James Arthur & Cory Wong & played Electric Picnic in 2018.
Singer and guitarist SÍOMHA (pronounced Shee-va) dances the line between folk, jazz and neo-soul effortlessly, taking audiences on an unexpected, and unforgettable journey with her soulful melodies. Coming from a family steeped in music, SÍOMHA grew up on a diet of musical greats, with the sounds of jazz, trad, folk and soul creeping in and leaving an indelible mark on her musical tastes and influences. She started playing guitar at age 10, but it was later in her teens while attending high school in the south of France that she first took up jazz guitar
LAU NOAH (ESP)
Lau Noah’s musical tapestry is a conversation between masterful storytelling, intertwined cultures and a limitless sense of imagination that provide the audience with the capacity to time- travel between their child self and the being they will become when the last song of the show comes to an end.
Noah (1994) moved to NY at 19 years old not to pursue a musical career but to pursue the stories that come along with the difficulties and wonders of a life in a big tough city like NY.
But after her unintentional discovery of the Spanish guitar three years ago and her unschooled approach, Noah started writing songs in Catalan, Spanish, Hebrew and English that proved to touch a mostly english speaking audience beyond language barriers.
Noah has recently recorded with acclaimed producer and musician Blake Mills what will be her first documented solo work.
“Lau Noah is enchanting music lovers one song at a time” Billboard Magazine
Hanora George is baited and ready to catch some fish. Having released her debut EP in May 2016, George excited audiences to the point where she has had to undertake a ‘catch and release’ only policy for future expeditions. She is currently putting her heart and sole into her first album which will be released in May 2018.
￼At just 24, Calum Graham has already enjoyed a career that would be the envy of most artists twice his age. The Alberta-based guitarist and singer/songwriter has released five acclaimed albums, won major national music competitions, performed at the Olympic Games in both Vancouver and London, racked up some phenomenal views on YouTube, and was recently named one of the top 30 guitarists in the world under 30 by Acoustic Guitar Magazine.
Born in British Columbia and raised in High River, Alberta, Graham’s musical journey first took flight when he began playing the guitar at the age of 13. Five years later in the summer of 2010, Graham attended the Canadian Guitar Festival and entered the prestigious Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. Impressed with his original compositions, the judges awarded Graham with a first place finish; a feat no other teenager has accomplished in the history of the festival. The clip of his winning performance has now generated almost 1 million hits on YouTube.
As Calum Graham’s name continued to grow in Alberta and across Canada for his guitar work and musicianship, Graham proved that his talent was not limited to his extraordinary ability to play the guitar. In 2011, Graham won the Canada’s Walk of Fame nationwide “A Song For Canada” contest based on his poetic acuteness. His winning poem was used in the song “I’m Here, (A Song For Canada)”. The song was performed by Chantal Kreviazuk and co-written by Graham, Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace) and Stephen Moccio (“I Believe”, 2010 Vancouver Olympics theme song/”Wrecking Ball” – Miley Cyrus)”.
“Calum’s entry resonated strongly among the judges. His poem celebrates the cultural mosaic that is Canada. He has captured the diversity of this country – something that we as a nation are renowned for and proud of.” – Stephan Moccio
In the late winter of 2012, and with two albums already under his belt, Graham teamed up with iconic Fingerstyle Guitarist Don Ross. The result was an instrumental acoustic duet album titled, “12:34”. Recorded at famed ‘Metalworks Studios’ (Toronto, ON), and released through CandyRat Records, the album featured six originals by Graham, three by Ross, and a cover of the OutKast hit song, “Hey Ya!”
In November of 2013, Graham released a solo instrumental album titled “Phoenix Rising” (CandyRat Records). The title track has already generated over 2.5 million views on YouTube, with other songs also notching impressive numbers. The success of the album enabled Graham to expand his global fanbase and he soon began touring internationally, both on his own and with the likes of Don Ross and Andy McKee.
With Graham bringing an innovative sound to the industry, it wasn’t long before Canada’s top booking agency ‘The Feldman Agency’ also counted themselves a fan of Graham’s music. So much in fact, that in July 2014, they decided to partner Graham with renowned Canadian producer Gavin Brown (Billy Talent, Metric, The Tragically Hip) on his “Sessions X” series. The series was recorded at Toronto’s Five-Star ‘Noble Street Studios’ and features Graham alongside a number of acclaimed musicians including; Tears For Fears, Feist, Three Days Grace, Metric, and Ron Sexsmith.
In September 2014, Graham teamed up with IMAX composer Steve Wood to write the musical score for ‘Humpbacks’, an underwater 3D adventure documentary for IMAX and other giant screen theatres. Narrated by acclaimed actor Ewan McGregor, the film is directed by Greg MacGillivray (“The Living Sea”, “Everest”), presented in association with Pacific Life and was released February 13, 2015 to IMAX theatres worldwide.
In April of 2016, Calum released ‘Tabula Rasa’ – which features his already developed guitar virtuosity, and introduces his smooth, soulful vocals for the very first time. Produced by world-renowned fingerstyle guitarist Antoine Dufour, ‘Tabula Rasa’ was funded by a very successful kickstarter campaign from fans across the world.
Calum is currently working on releasing new videos in the coming months on his YouTube channel, and continues to tour throughout Canada, the USA, and Europe.
Northern Irish experimental folk songwriter and producer Joshua Burnside is something of a regional anomaly. With a brooding, powerful sound echoing artists of places afar and time long gone, his enthralling craft defies local comparison in striving towards an aesthetic as much as visual as it is sonic. Recorded at home in Lisbane, Co. Down, his new single ‘Black Dog Sin’ is the current distillation of his increasingly unmistakable approach; a fragile, yet ultimately commanding, chamber folk sound gloriously underpinned with unique zeal.
While 2017 wrapped up with Joshua winning the Northern Irish Music Prize , 2018 began with NPR choosing the young folk musician as ‘100 of the artists to watch at this years SXSW festival.
‘Rumbling, brooding, powerful, magnetic’ – The Irish Times
‘There’s an indefinable quality and charm to Joshua Burnside’s debut’ – The Sunday Times
‘It makes you glad to have a pair of working ears’ – Phil Taggart, BBC Radio 1
‘It is an endless adventure, a record that won’t tire, such is the depth and scope of what you hear’ – Daily Mirror
‘Dynamic and wide ranging in scope but stands as a complete and focused work. The end result is a triumph’ – Chordblossom