Paula Gómez

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Paula Gómez is a singer-songwriter originally from Spain but based in West Cork (Ireland) for the last four years.

Her compositions were noted as highly original and their lyrical imagery ties together a strong melodic sensibility with the wide range of her vocal, it is this style combined with powerful delivery that is attracting attention among audiences worldwide, including Mary Black, Bill Shanley, Stephen Housden and others.

After several EP and promo releases, Paula released her first complete album in 2013, ‘Love & Hate’. It recorded at Cauldron Studios, Dublin. Produced by Bill Shanley (Mary Black, Ray Davies), Andrew Holdworth, bassist Rob Malone (David Gray), drummer Paul Brennan (Waterboys) and Liam Bradley (Van Morrison). Also featuring Little River Band guitarist Stephen Housden.

Paula Gómez has collaborated with many well known musicians. Her last single released is a poem by Irish Poet Laureate Paula Meehan, music by Tim Goulding and mastered by Brian Masterson. It’s called ‘Rivermouth’ and it was released in December 2014.

Kees van der Poel

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Kees van der Poel was born in Hilversum in 1947. At early age his family lived in Texas USA. After returning to the Netherlands, Kees found the guitar the best instrument for the music he loved. Classical lessons around the age of 10 soon became boring and Kees played in rockbands covering Shadows and Rolling Stones.
A major shift came when Pete
Seeger on his tour in 1964 played at Kees´ high school. Acoustic 12-string, what a sound! After studying 12-string and 6-string fingerstyle guitar, Leadbelly, Blind Blake, Doc Watson, John Hurt, and medicine in Utrecht in the early 1970’s, Kees toured as a solo artist and later joined the group Wargaren. Inspired by Martin Carthy, he turned to Dutch traditional folk music and studied with Rob Smaling at the Meertens Institute in Amsterdam. This became the basis for the later legendary Dutch folk group Wolverlei.
Dutch traditional music was also the reason to study diatonic harmonica with Frans Tromp and Carel Kraayenhof. In 2007 Carel asked Kees to join him with his guitar for a concert at Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
So Kees retired from medicine and presently takes a solid daily dose of guitar.

Steve Poltz

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To suggest that Steve Poltz isn’t normal is about as safe a statement as one could make. You would basically require the powers of the Hubble space telescope to locate Steve Poltz from any region of normalcy.
For music fans on both sides of the equator, this is a very good thing.

Born among the hearty seafaring folk of Canada’s Halifax, Nova Scotia, Poltz has lived most of his life in Southern California, where the sun treated his rocky Canadian DNA like clothes in a dryer. Naturally a spectrum of cultural and emotional tensions arose and he eventually sought refuge in the art of songwriting, where he tapped into an unforgettable and often horrifying depth of unhinged genius.

Among the music cognoscenti, Steve Poltz is regarded as one of the most talented and prolific songwriters of our time. His songs have been among the longest running ever on the Billboard Top 100 and they regularly appear in movie soundtracks, television shows, and even the odd commercial. His touring schedule is ferocious, ping ponging between continents with enough frequency to earn him manic followings in scores of different accents and languages.

Any musician who has traveled as extensively as Poltz will have their share of colorful road stories, but Poltz’ adventures read like a bucket list. Starting out auspiciously, Poltz recalls meeting Elvis Presley at a small airport and beaming proudly as The King hugged his sister for an inordinately long time. Growing up in Palm Springs, California, he trick-or-treated at Liberace’s house and was Bob Hope’s favorite altar boy. In an alcohol-soaked haze, he infamously accosted David Cassidy, who had summoned him to Las Vegas to write a hit song for the aging Tiger Beat cover boy.

His rich and colorful legacy is the stuff of legend, but it is his distinctive style of songwriting that has caused the world to offer up its stages, clubs, and alleys. Poltz’ sound is entirely unique- from his inhuman fingerstyle techniques to the inimitable melodies that roll from his guitar like cool waterfalls, you know a Poltz song as soon as you hear it. To see Steve to perform live is one of the most entertaining shows a human could ever see. Frenzied, aggressive, hilarious, and heartbreakingly sincere, his live performances have become bona fide events, with sub-cultures popping up all over the globe to entice him to come and tour. As relentless as he is in concert, he is also the guy who famously co-wrote the timeless ballad “You Were Meant For Me” with platinum-selling songwriter Jewel. Of course, because we’re talking about Steve Poltz, it should surprise no one to learn that the song was written on a lazy Mexican beach, where Poltz and Jewel were soon snapped up and sequestered by Mexican Federales and required to witness and eventually assist in a large marijuana bust on the beach. Don’t believe it? See for yourself in the pictures on his web site.

Poltz, an ex high school wrestler (98 pound class), is also an obsessive baseball fan, a die-hard yoga practitioner, a hopeless romantic, a smart-ass philosopher and a child-like adventurer with an absurdist’s view of the planet and all of its curious life forms.

Music fans have adored him since he first fronted the hallowed punk-folk legends, The Rugburns, whose live shows earned the band a following that is best described somewhere between the terms “cult” and “crazed substance-abusing fanatics.” Once touring over 300 days a year, the Rugburns occasionally reunite for wildly popular sold-out shows.
Poltz’ solo body of work is an impressive collection of ballads, rockers and uniquely melodic acoustic numbers that reflect his incomparable style of alternate tunings and savage finger picking techniques. Guitar geeks fall prostrate at his feet trying vainly to learn how to play his stunningly gorgeous and deceptively complex songs. To see him play guitar is a visual feast so frenetic that close proximity to his playing exposes one to risk of seizure.

His live shows have captivated audiences far and wide with a mix of singing, storytelling, shredding, and the occasional spoken word rants which have been known to incite riots. He can take an audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of the same song. Steve Poltz transcends the word “talented.” He is unforgettable in all the right ways.

The Mae Trio

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The Mae Trio are a young, contemporary folk band from Melbourne, Australia. Since the release of their critically acclaimed album “Housewarming” in 2013, they have made a vibrant splash in the international acoustic music scene across Australia, UK and America. This has included appearances at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Americana Music Festival in Nashville, Cambridge Folk Festival in England, Perthshire Amber Festival in Scotland and Woodford, Port Fairy and The National Folk Festivals in Australia.
Humbly authentic, dynamic and striking, the trio write powerful original songs, accompanying them on cello, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and ukulele and stunning three part harmonies. Their disarming on-stage presence and originality makes for a spellbinding and refreshing live experience.
2016 sees The Mae Trio embark on their first tour of Canada as well as the upcoming release of their Nashville-recorded, second full-length album.
So Far
When sisters Maggie and Elsie Rigby asked Anita Hillman to play the cello on an album they were recording with their family band in 2011, little did any of them know they were embarking on an adventure which would change their lives, cut short their university education and take them all over the world. One blackboard gig at the National Folk Festival led to another and before long they were playing at festivals all over the country.
In 2014 the girls made the decision to throw in the towel of their regular jobs/degrees/lives and pursue music full time. They started the year in spectacular fashion with a trip to Glasgow for Celtic Connections festival, followed by an appearance at MIDEM festival in Cannes and then finishing up with a visit to Kansas City for the Folk Alliance International Conference.

Awarded the National Film and Sound Archive Folk Recording of the Year and nominated for the Age Vic Music Award, their debut album “Housewarming” released in August 2013, produced by Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty) received remarkable attention both locally and internationally and has only further skyrocketed the band on the Australian and international stage.
The Trio have since released their EP, ‘September’ in 2015, complimenting their critically acclaimed first release and exploring their musical roots with covers of Dougie Maclean, The Wailin Jennys and Lorde mixed in with their original songs.
They have toured extensively across Australia both in cities and small towns including a three-month stint in regional QLD with Woodford Folk Festival’s, “The Festival of Small Halls.”

The Trio
Maggie Rigby
Banjo, guitar, ukulele, vocals and songs
Elsie Rigby
Fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, vocals and songs
Anita Hillman
Cello and vocals

Winners of the NFSA Folk Recording of the Year 2014
Winners of the Maton Class Act Award 2014
Winners of the Folk Alliance Australia Youth Award 2013
Lis Johnston Award for Vocal Excellence 2011
Nominated for The Age Music Victoria Awards Folk/Roots Album of the Year 2014 & 2015

“spine-tingling harmonies”
The Scotsman
“a delightful Australian girl group whom it is hard to fault…theirs is an innocent, clear-skinned sound that’s long on banjo, fiddle and ukulele”
Metro (Glasgow)
“The Mae Trio has made a meteoric mark on the national acoustic music scene”
“they belied their apparent youth with some fine songs and dry wit”
Americana UK
“The Mae Trio were easily the break-out act at Folk Alliance”
The Bluegrass Situation
“A favourite on the Aussie folk scene… definitely a trio to keep an eye and an ear (or two) out for”
Songlines UK

Leo Wijnkamp Jnr.

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Leo lives in Antwerp, Belgium. As well as performing alongside the best of solo fingerpicking guitarists, he has taught a lot over the years. He has made some of the best arrangements of ragtime music in the world.

Leo Wijncamp was part of the 1970’s Kicking Mule Label which has been instrumental in promoting and preserving the best in blues, ragtime and contemporary picking. He featured alongside artists such as Dave Evans, Ton Van Bergeyk, Happy Traum, Duck Baker, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Davy Graham and of course Stefan Grossman one of the co founders of Kicking Mule Records. He toured along Grossman, Marcel Dadi and Dale Miller.

Leo, born 1951 in Amsterdam, Holland, started playing the guitar at the age of 10, taking lessons for half a year, got bored with it and put the instrument in a closet. But when the Beatles, Kinks, Byrds etc started the pop music it was quickly taken out of that same closet. In the late 60’s musical taste twisted towards the Cream, Jimi Hendrix and the white blues and he picked up the electric guitar. Passing to the black Chicagoblues he discovered one day the acoustic blues: Robert Johnson was a strike of lightning: that was it ! And the next years were spent with learning by ear from the records the old blues from the 20’s and 30’s. He started to fingerpick. An instrumental guitar record by Stefan Grosmann had a strong influence on Leo; the discovery of Ragtime music. Originally composed for piano it could perfectly be adapted on the guitar, using the fingerpicking style, learned from the old bluesmen. So the early 70’s were filled with making arrangements from piano rags to the guitar. In the same period he started preforming in Holland; cafe’s, youth centers in the –those days existant- “folkcircuit”.

In 1974 or so, Stefan Grosmann made him an offer he couldn’t refuse; to record some of the guitar rags on a just started American label “Kicking Mule Records”. The first rags appeared on a sampler record “Contemporary Ragtime Guitar” with other guitarists from USA.
From 1974-1978 he followed a classical guitar education at the Conservatory in Utrecht (mind : till so far Leo was an autodidact !), but quit with dignity before getting kicked out. The release of his first solo lp “Rags to Riches” came out in 1975, and started a period of touring in Belgium, France, England and Italy, often together with other guitarists of the KM label: Stefan Grosmann, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Davy Graham, Marcel Dadi, Duck Baker, John James and others. Slowly other influences slipped in; the classical piano music of Debussy and Ravel (the so called musical “Impressionism”), he started to transcribe their- as well as others – music on the guitar, without the aim of being a “classical” guitarist, using steel strings instead of nylon, and using his Gibson guitar. He also started to write pieces himself. Another few tunes appeared on 2 sampler records, before the 2nd solo album came out in 1980: “the Return of Dr Hackenbush”.
Leo moved to Antwerp, Belgium, in 1988, as the musical leader of a theatergroup, the “Internationale Nieuwe Scene” (now defunct) 4 years of lenght and did a lot of teaching at various music schools.

These days he is playing solo again as well as duets with an oldtime mate Cees van der Poel, who played in the legendary duo “Wolverlei” preforming old Dutch folkmusic in new arrangements.

Now the lads joined together after a 40 years lapse in the duo “Ragtime Guitar Parlour” Their repertoire goes from old blues (Blind Blake and others), to Ragtime to Jazz standards and even O’Carolan’s Celtic harppieces to end up with the strange music of a Czech composer from the 1920’s. Instrumental and vocal, solo and duets.

As a duo they released an EP-cd, last year, and Leo is preparing a solo cd with some live recordings and others, hopefully ready for september!

Tony McManus

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“a masterpiece” John Renbourn
“beyond beautiful… it’s PERFECT!” Tommy Emmanuel

To find a unique voice on so ubiquitous an instrument as the acoustic guitar is quite an achievement: to do so within a centuries old idiom where the instrument has no real history is truly remarkable.

Tony McManus has come to be recognised throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic Music. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony’s hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music.

Self taught from childhood, initially through listening to the family record collection, McManus abandoned academia in his twenties to pursue music full time. The session scene in Glasgow and Edinburgh provided the springboard for gigs around Scotland and a studio set for BBC Radio, frequently rebroadcast, began to spread the word.

Tony’s first self titled recording in 1996, followed by Pourquoi Quebec in 1999 led to worldwide recognition. However, it was with the release of Ceol More in 2002 that Tony’s stature as a first class musician reached a new level. Critics hailed the focussed, spell-binding nature of the music, from the plaintive Jewish hymn “Shalom Aleichem” to the ingenious arrangement of the Charles Mingus classic “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”. Having been nominated as Musician of the Year by both the BBC Folk Awards and The Scottish Traditonal Music awards, in 2002 “Ceol More” hit the Critic’s Album of the year list in Acoustic Guitar magazine and named “Live Ireland Awards” Album of the Year.

Tony’s work has come to represent Celtic music in the guitar world, making regular appearances at guitar specific events where just a few years ago jigs and reels would be unheard of. He is invited annually to the Chet Atkins Festival in Nashville, has appeared at Guitar Festivals in Soave and Pescantina, Sarzana and Francacorta Italy; Frankston, Australia; Issoudun and Bordeaux France; Kirkmichael, Scotland; Bath and Kent, England; Bochum and Osnabruck, Germany. In 2004 he appeared at the famous Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in the “All Star Guitar Night” featuring Steve Morse, Bryan Sutton, Muriel Anderson, Béla Fleck and Victor Wooten and headlined by the legendary Les Paul.

His ability to reach audiences unfamiliar with traditional music is remarkable- he is quite comfortable at predominantly classical events such as the Dundee and Derry Guitar Festivals (appearing six times between the two) the Uppsala Guitar Festival and even The Bogotá International Guitar Festival where he followed virtuoso Eduardo Fernandez.

Today his live work ranges from intimate solo performance through his trio with brothers Gary and Greg Grainger to the quartet Men of Steel (with fellow guitarists Dan Crary, Beppe Gambetta and Don Ross). He is an enthusiastic collaborator both as a leader and as a sideman having worked with, among many others Dougie McLean, Phil Cunningham, Mairi MacInnes, Liam O’Flynn, Martin Simpson, Kevin Burke, Alison Brown, Martyn Bennett, Natalie MacMaster, Patrick and Jacky Molard, Mairead ní Mhoanaigh and Dermot Byrne, The Nashville Chamber Orchestra, John Jorgenson, Jean Michel Veillon, Catriona Macdonald, Seikou Keita, Xosé Manuel Budiño, Ewen Vernal and Andy Irvine.
He is also in great demand as a studio musician having contributed to over 60 albums. In addition to his solo output Tony has worked with both singers and instrumentalists providing his distinctive sound on many successful projects.

His 2009 release “The Makers’s Mark” saw him showcase 15 of the finest luthier built guitars available. Recording a solo piece on each instrument, the project caught the attention of the mainstream rock guitar press in a way that acoustic work rarely does.

The following year, a chance hearing on Irish radio led to an invite to contribute music to the soundtrack of Oscar winning director Neil Jordan’s film “Ondine” starring Colin Farrell.

Never one to be typecast, Tony’s new album “Mysterious Boundaries” is his most ambitious to date. An encouraging challenge from mandolin virtuoso Mike Marshall to learn the Bach E Major Prelude on guitar led to an exploration of classical and baroque music – seemingly very different to the jigs and reels that he grew up with. By examining the boundaries between genres and sticking to his steel string guitar (rather than the conventional classical guitar) McManus has produced a work of great originality and beauty, hailed by his peers as
“a masterpiece” (Renbourn), “beyond beautiful… it’s PERFECT!” (Tommy Emmanuel) and which contains a truly remarkable rendition of Bach’s colossal Chaconne in D Minor – one of the greatest compositions of any age.

Whatever work McManus brings within his scope the listener is assured a journey into the depths of the music in the company of a great talent.

My Fellow Sponges

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My Fellow Sponges come from Galway on the salty west-coast of Ireland. The band is the creative union of two singer-songwriters. Donal McConnon with his lyrically-led folk ditties and Anna Mullarkey with her lush and elegant synth-pop sound. The two started a band together after performing together as actors on a number of theatre shows in university. They were later joined by David Shaughnessy (drums) and Sam Wright (bass). 2013 saw the release of their debut album Bonne Nuit. Mostly focused on a more rural sound, the single from it which received the most attention was This Dream Song, mainly for the highly-ambitious, surrealist backwards video which accompanied its release. The follow up Something Like Light (2014), displays a much more reflective, piano-driven sound from a band ever-willing to explore new possibilities with sound. Last year’s single, The Cold Hand, has been the band’s most successful release to date, gaining nationwide radio-play and convincing music lovers to flock to their shows during the festival season.

My Fellow Sponges have collaborated with story-tellers, comedians, dancers and brass-ensembles. They have played entire shows improvised, under the moniker, Community. Their live concerts are lively, unpredictable and intimate. They comfortably switch from eerie-electronica to hip-shaking-bossa-nova all with a dramatic flair that stay with Donal and Anna from their theatre days.



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Mathy pop punk with Cork accents and a serious case of the jerky jangles. For fans of noodley guitar parts, gang vocals and songs about vegetables. Together for just over a year, Ganglions have been making modest waves in the DIY scenes of their adopted cities of Sheffield and Leeds. Eimear O’Donovan (ex-KVX), Brian Scally (B Positives, ex-Spitvalve), and Chris Saywell (ex-cellent guitar player) self-released their debut EP FETCH! in August 2016, which has seen them tour the length of the UK. With a second release due in September 2017, the trio are set to bash you with their bible of bangers at CIGF17.
“Rapid-fire math-pop, intended to induce shit-eating grins and dancing feet for all who listen!” – Andy Hughes, Birthday Cake for Breakfast
“Your guitar playing reminds me of my ex-girlfriend’s Dad” – Random punter, Sheffield
“Now that is upbeat” – Father of two, The Forest of Dean


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LUMINOS take a no holds barred assault to the deafening soundscape of rock! Surrender your ears and witness the revelation that blurs the line between intoxicating music and criminal intent.


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its been a long year for LOWmountain , slowly & meticulously gathering inspiration for their next album, & now its time for them to offer a peak at their findings…