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 Artists appearing

The Benny Gallagher Trio

For sheer quality and distinction you need look no further than the career of Benny Gallagher. One half of hit makers and blue chip songwriters Gallagher & Lyle; he began his career as a staff writer with the Beatles Music Publishing Co. Apple writing songs for Apple Records biggest artist Mary Hopkin. Benny has always considered his "formative" days at Apple, and, especially, the constant encouragement of Paul McCartney, as one of the most important factors in his development as a songwriter. In 1970 it was his and Graham Lyle's astute composing abilities that propelled the band McGuinness Flint to the top of the charts with their hit songs "When I'm Dead and Gone" and "Malt and Barley Blues". Then came the duo's own string of successes – the richly romantic " Heart on my Sleeve " and " I Wanna Stay With You ". Their Breakaway album was a huge success – with even more accolades to follow when the ttitle track was recorded by Art Garfunkel for his biggest selling solo Album. 

On record he has worked with: Paul McCartney - Eric Clapton - Pete Townsend - Ronnie Lane - Ronnie Wood - Gary Brooker - Georgie Fame - Mary Hopkin - Elkie Brooks - Ralph McTell - Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention, as well as Blues legends Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup (who wrote " That's Alright Mama " for Elvis Presley), and Champion Jack Dupree.

Over the last few years, in between song-writing visits to Nashville, and composing soundtracks for film and television he has toured Australia, the Middle and Far East, Europe, and the U.K. as bassist and vocalist with The Manfreds, and more recently performed at The Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival with Don Schlitz, Nanci Griffiths, and Pat Alger, played an “In the Round Concert” with Beth Nielsen-Chapman, Ricky Ross and Charlie Dore to celebrate the opening of the new BBC Scotland Headquarters in Glasgow, performed at SXSW in Austin, Byron Bay Blues Festival Australia , Canterbury Folk Festival N. Z. - as well as a couple of special guest appearances with Dougie MacLean at his Perthshire Amber Festival and at Jazz Guitar Legend Martin Taylor's string of sell-out shows during the London Jazz Festival.

Bob Wood hails from the west coast of Scotland but has long been based in London. An engaging solo singer and performer with an easy going sense of humour, he’s known also as an accomplished finger-style guitarist. Exploring a range of open tunings, his playing and song interpretations have been described as displaying rare sensitivity, lightness of touch and great technique.
Colin Macfarlane, based in Edinburgh, is much in demand as a session musician for his astounding skill with guitars (including Dobro) and bass, and his experience across a huge range of musical genres.

Benny, Bob and Colin headline our final Parish Hall concert on Saturday evening.




Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies

Jez Lowe's band, The Bad Pennies, have been one of the high points of the international folk scene for over a decade, frequently touring to the USA, Canada, Australia and beyond! Jez Lowe was recently described as 'one of our best songwriters' by BBC Radio 2 and his songwriting work for the BBC 'Radio Ballads' series was honoured by a SONY Radio Academy Award. In December 2007 he was nominated for the BBC Radio Folk Awards as ‘Folksinger of the Year’. His lively, toe-tapping melodies and bittersweet lyrics are complimented by the excellent band line-up of Kate Bramley (fiddle/ duet vocals), Tyneside champion Northumbrian piper Andy May (pipes, whistles, piano) and fretless bass supremo David de la Haye (bass/ vocals).
FJez and the Pennies headline our Friday evening concert in the Parish Hall.

Kieran Goss

Kieran Goss was born and raised in County Down, Northern Ireland. He was just nine years old when he got his first guitar. Growing up in a big family with diverse musical tastes meant that early on he was hearing the music of Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and The Rolling Stones. These varied influences fermented into the brew that gives Kieran his own unique sound. Kieran supported himself while a law student in Belfast by playing club gigs and the University Students Union, earning himself support slots for Elvis Costello, Christy Moore and Joe Jackson along the way. 
After qualifying as a lawyer in the mid-eighties, Kieran left home for France and Germany in order to avoid being drafted into the legal profession! He came back home to Ireland in 1989 to record his first album, Brand New Star. It contained the songs Brand New Star and Just Around The Corner, which came to the attention of Mary Black. She recorded both songs for her album, Babes In The Wood. In 1994 Kieran followed up Brand New Star with the album New Day, which contained his chart-topping version of The Four Tops’ Reach Out (I’ll Be There). In 1998 he released the album Worse Than Pride, which contained the Top 10 single Out Of My Head. It was the second most played song on Irish radio that year. Worse Than Pride achieved double platinum status nine months after it was released. Red-Letter Day followed this in 2000, and contained the classic Reasons To Leave. 
In the winter of 2002, Kieran released the compilation, Out Of My Head... The Best Of Kieran Goss, which was intended to act as a resumé of his work up to that point and to give him a breather while he holed up to write. His sixth studio album, Blue Sky Sunrise, was recorded in Tennessee and produced by Rodney Crowell and Peter Coleman. It was released in September 2005, and the first single from it; Clear Day, was an instant hit which was picked up by the Progressive Building Society for use in their television advertising campaign. Kieran Goss Trio Live,Kieran’s first ever live album, was released in June 2008 to great critical acclaim. His latest studio album, I’ll Be Seeing You, was released in February 2009.

Kieran will feature in our Saturday evening concert in the Parish Hall.



 Prelude are an English based vocal folk group, who in their most famous line-up consisted of Brian Hume (vocals, guitar), his wife Irene Hume (vocals) and Ian Vardy (guitars, vocals). They formed in their native Gateshead in 1970. They began to write their own material and built a following on the folk circuit and in 1973 they recorded their first album, How Long Is Forever? From it came their best known recording, an a cappella version of the Neil Young song "After the Gold Rush", which entered the Top 50 on 26 January 1974, had a nine-week stay, peaking at Number 21 and in 1980 scored their second UK hit with "Platinum Blonde".

Their appeal has continued ever since and they are to be seen performing regularly, particularly on the folk circuit.

Prelude will be performing in our Saturday evening concert in the Parish Hall.




Charlie Dore and Julian Littman

Although best known as one of the UK's most respected singer-songwriters, Charlie enjoys a multi-faceted career that includes acting in film, TV & radio, comedy-improvisation, writing for radio and composition for film and TV.

Her enduring radio classic, 'Pilot of the Airwaves' was the first of many successful songs that lead the way for a diverse list of artists to record her material, including Tina Turner, George Harrison and Jimmy Nail, for whom she wrote "Ain't No Doubt", a UK No 1. Charlie's songs have won her two Ascap awards and an Ivor Novello nomination.
She has made six albums of her own songs, the last two of which, 'Sleep All Day' and 'Cuckoo Hill', saw a return to her acoustic folk-country roots and won her excellent reviews as well as the International Acoustic Music Awards Grand Prize for her song "Looking For My Own Lone Ranger".

Julian Littman.
Playing guitar with Gerry Rafferty, mandolin with Dexy's Midnight Runners; Writing the number four stateside hit "Strut." for Sheena Easton and songs for the likes of Sister Sledge and Phillip Bailey; Playing Madonna's brother in the movie of Evita and a stint in the Queen musical," We Will Rock You."; Currently lead guitarist with folk rock pioneers, "Steeleye Span." - These are just some of the myriad facets to Julian Littman's achievements.

Charlie and Julian will feature in our Friday evening concert in the Parish Hall.




John Wrightson Band

John Wrightson has spent many years involved in music in his native North East. Initially working with bands on the club circuit he became interested in acoustic/folk music and since 1988 has been a prolific writer of excellent songs, dealing with thought provoking, contentious issues, ever since. Eight CD’s of original songs, all recorded in his own studio, are available at gigs, with many now being sung by legends of the folk world - Vin Garbutt to name but one.  
 Joan Edmundson on keyboards and vocals along with Frankie Porter on bass and vocals join John in the band. The John Wrightson Band, quite rightly, has a strong local following and are residents at the monthly Live Music Club held at Sedgefield Cricket Club. John, Joan and Bob Edmundson organise this popular local event where many of the Festival artists have recently appeared.

The band will be first on the Parish Hall stage on Friday evening to start the festival.



The Young 'Uns

 With bags of charm, talent, and an abiding enthusiasm for traditional song, The Young’uns are making a big impact on the UK folk scene. Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes bring freshness and dynamism to their arrangements of close harmony songs, both with and without accompaniment. Everything from traditional sea and working songs to more recent compositions is present in their repertoire, and is delivered with originality and flair.

Join them on Saturday for their morning workshops, and/or see them headline our Saturday afternoon concert.



Ray Thom

Ray has been on the fringes of the folk scene for many years, never pushing for bookings but always responsive when local clubs asked him to perform. His repertoire includes a wide variety of traditional, contemporary and humorous material and he is an excellent guitarist. He mainly performs round the Teesside area and a long standing resident of the Guisborough Rugby Club Folk Club.



The Seasonal Singers

The 'Seasonal Singers' are a 20 strong singing group which started four years ago. Their wide repertoire includes songs from the War years,  50's and 60's Rock and Pop, West End Musicals and Contemporary Folk Music. They donate virtually all of their income to nominated local charities, and have raised thousands of pounds since they started singing together. They do around thirty concerts each year for Care homes, W.I. groups, 'Ladies Wot Lunch' groups ... and anyone who likes tuneful melodic music!! ... The Seasonals are delighted to appear at the Sedgefield Folk festival, and promise a 'mixed bag' of songs, fun and entertainment!


The Izzy Burns Band

Izzy is one of the talented young people emerging from Newcastle University's folk degree course. Accompanied by some friends she will be performing for us on the Parish Hall Saturday afternoon concert.


Kyle James Frazer

An accomplished exponent of the ukelele, Kyle is another graduate of Newcastle's folk degree course. He will be performing in the Friday evening concert at the Parish Hall.

Andy McLaughlin

Andy is a well-known in the North-East as a renowned musician and songwriter. 
In 2009 he stepped into the Sedgefield limelight as MC for the Parish Hall concerts. Having seen him make such a good job of it once we had no intention of losing him, so Andy continues to be in charge for the three main concerts.



Marie Little

Although Marie is well known for her love of folk music and transatlantic country music, her humour, recitations and Gracie Fields impressions will play a prominent part in her performance when this "Lancashire Lass" heads up the Thursday evening Music Hall concert.

Bert Draycott

Bert came to Sedgefield last year and walked away with the World Spoons Championship (for the umpteenth time!). Can he hold onto it in 2014 ?

He will be found in Ceddesfeld Hall for much of the weekend. Almost music hall in style, songs and stories rooted in the culture of the North-East are interspersed with unashamed nostalgia. If this is your first encounter with Bert you are in for a big surprise - and you won't forget it in a hurry!

Bert will also act as MC for the Thursday evening Old Time Music Hall concert in the Parish Hall.



Stockton to Darlington Ukelele Express a fun Ukulele club in the Stockton to Darlington area, almost at bursting point at the moment! They meet at the Foresters Arms, Darlington. They are also  available to hire for events and try to do a few charity performances throughout the year.

S2D Ukelele Express will be performing on Friday evening in Ceddesfeld Hall.

Ernie Gilchrist & Peter Brookes  

 Ernie Gilchrist on guitar/vocals/percussion and Peter Brookes on guitar/vocals will play for the competitors in the world spoons championship on Saturday afternoon.

Ernie will also be on hand on Sunday to host the final singaround in Ceddesfeld Hall.



The Old Age Travellers

 The Old Age Travellers are a 3-piece band with  a wide repertoire of songs that are well loved in the folk world with  a soft spot for the music of Ireland and Scotland in particular. Their appearances are all about audience participation and "having a good time". They will be leading the Saturday evening get together in Ceddesfeld Hall from 7:45pm until the care home drags them out!



Step This Way

 Step This Way are an Appalachian clog dance team based in Durham. Their lively performances are accompanied by the Bones Creek Band. They will be performing around Sedgefield at various times throughout Saturday. Try to catch at least one of their performances!