The Haley Sisters
Firm favourites at Sedgefield, sisters Becky and
Jo-Ann support their award-winning vocals with powerful rhythm
and fingerstyle guitar and rock- solid bass. Brian adds his
dazzling flat picking and slide guitar to the mix to give
performances that have audiences coming back for more time and
time again. They play a range of music, including Americana,
Country, Folk, Blues and good old Rock & Roll .... if it's a
good solid song that can do justice to their magical harmonies
and top-notch musicianship it's in their repertoire!
The Haley Sisters have performed at many
theatres, events and festivals across the UK and abroad and have
appeared alongside artistes such as Freddy Fender, George
Hamilton IV, Daniel O'Donnell and Nathan Carter. They headline
our Saturday evening concert.
The Coal Porters
THE COAL PORTERS were formed in the 1990s by ex-Long Ryder
Sid Griffin. Relocating from Los Angeles to London the band left
its electric instrumentation behind and slowly mutated into the
acoustic act they are today. In fact, the Coal Porters claim to be
the world’s first “alt-bluegrass” act, given as they take
old themes and melodies and soup them up for the 21st century and
their expanded listening audience.
The band has demonstrated the power of fiddle, mandolin, banjo,
acoustic guitar and doghouse bass when matched with three and
four-part harmonies and memorable melodies – and taken this
sound around the world. They have wowed audiences at numerous UK
and European arts centres, done no less than four North American
tours and performed to tens of thousands at festivals such as
Glastonbury, HebCelt, Stagecoach (USA), Larmer Tree, Didmarton,
LaRoche (France), Cork Midsummer Fest (Eire), Wombwell and
The current line-up is Griffin (a native of Kentucky),
long-term sidekick Neil Robert Herd from Scotland, fiddle virtuoso
Kerenza Peacock, bassist Tali “Dr. Funk” Trow and ace banjo
guru Paul Fitzgerald. Griffin sums it up by saying ‘The Coal
Porters are five musicians who play four chord songs from three
countries for two good reasons; for health and for happiness’.
They headline our Friday evening concert.
Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
and James are a long standing, well loved Anglo-Australian duo.
They are multi BBC Folk award winners including the inaugural
Horizon award and Best Duo 2003 and 2011, and this year
Nancy carried off the award for Best Folk Singer.
"The sheer abundance of distilled poetry on display is
inspiring. And when it unravels in such a moving lyrical way,
such as this, it will remain in the audience's minds for a long
time. James Fagan is more than happy to regale his audience with
stories of his homeland, and he's quite capable to place us
straight at the heart of a drove across Queensland ('Red Gum')
or amongst the drama of Ned Kelly's final days (Jerilderie'). It
takes a special passion and skill to achieve this. Nancy's new
original material is sprinkled throughout the set and she brings
us back to this country with 'Queen Of Waters' Then there's a
new seafaring singalong, 'Keep Hauling On'. With melting vocal
harmonies it reverberates around this beautiful hall as if it
has always been here."
They headline our Saturday afternoon concert.
Flossie Malavialle is a French singer
who started getting involved in the British folk scene in 2000-2001 while she
was on a teacher exchange in the North East of England.
After 12 years of teaching English full time in secondary schools in the South
of France, she decided to apply for a job as a French teacher in England, as she
felt it would boost her English to live abroad for a year.
She got one in Stockton-on-Tees and was living in Darlington at the time (great
part of the world to improve your English, like!)
She had also been singing for years in
France before that and that’s why she found it quite natural to turn up at the
Darlington folk club one night to meet the locals and
sing a song... She didn’t realise then that this was going to be the
beginning of a new life in England for her.
She has released 11 albums since
September 2002, while
2015 will see another 2 albums added to her discography, one
with Keith Donnelly as their second Dark Horses album called
"Under the Rainbow", and a solo album entitled
"If I Have to Go".
See Flossie in our Friday evening concert.
in Manchester, England in 1961, Pete picked up a guitar for the first time at
the age of 10. It belonged to his older brother Terry, but as soon as Terry
was out of the door Pete would grab the guitar and disappear for hours. The
songwriting began almost immediately, it seemed the natural thing to do, and
the very first song was a tear-jerker about the tragedy that struck his
favourite football team, Manchester United, in Munich 1958... at 11 years old
he wrote a lyric that made his big sister cry... typical!
Pete was gaining recognition on the folk scene his name became known to John
Wright, a legendary singer who sold out concerts wherever he played. After
attending one of Pete’s solo concerts, John soon invited him to join The
John Wright Band, touring in the UK and several European countries... he
didn’t need to ask twice! This was the big break for which Pete will be
John died suddenly and prematurely in February 2008 it seemed that the dream
was to be short-lived, but John had a lot of concerts booked for that year, so
after much consideration Pete and Gregor Borland, John’s other
band member, decided to honour those commitments by performing tribute
concerts to their lost friend. Joined by Dave Walmisley they
embarked on a year of concerts under the name of John Wright’s Band with
Pete leading the band. The astounding success of these concerts and the
requests for return appearances meant continuing to tour was assured, and
‘Other Roads’ was born.
own reputation as a singer, songwriter and performer has grown with the band,
and several of his songs are now covered by other well-known artistes
including Anthony-John Clarke, Flossie Malavialle and Bram
Pete features in our Saturday afternoon concert.
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.
The Young 'uns have been Sedgefield regulars for some
years now, and we consider ourselves lucky to have secured them yet again
despite the ever increasing demands on their time. This year we
congratulate them on winning their Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Group.
Join them on our Saturday evening concert.
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. Several 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's keyboards and vocals along with Kenny
Jobson's guitar and vocals, and 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
The band will be first on the Parish
Hall stage on
Friday evening to start the festival.
A few years ago John popped into one of the Club nights at
Sedgefield, liked what he saw and kept coming back. When he performed a
floor spot the regulars liked what they saw and kept asking him back!
Since then John has become a familiar sight at several local venues, has
put his own stamp on an extensive repertoire of songs and developed the
audience rapport that only comes with experience.
We are delighted to have John on main stage in our Friday
Whiskey Dogs play authentic, good time Americana. Old time mountain music,
hillbilly blues, dust-bowl ballads and jug band hokum are all played in
the crazy exhilarating spirit of the 1920s and 30s.
the trio with his powerful, soulful vocals is Pete Bolton. Pete’s
rhythmic and expressively intricate guitar style, along with his driving
banjo playing, create a charismatic and compelling musical presence that
gives the band its distinctive and authentic sound. Polly Bolton, joins
Pete on double bass, mandolin and banjo mandolin, and playing a weird and
wonderful array of instruments including banjolin, fiddle, mandolin and
phono-fiddle is the talented multi-instrumentalist Brian Swinton.
true string band style, kazoos, whistles and horns add a zany twist to
their up-beat performances, lending a driving energy to the music of the
period. The Whiskey Dogs promise you real, sparkling and vivacious
Americana in our Saturday evening Parish Hall concert.
Babs Thow & Bobby Surgeoner
Babs has a well-earned a reputation as a fine singer, at
one time honing her skills professionally on the northern club circuit.
Nowadays she is to be found in the local folk clubs equally at home
singing the old standards, pop classics or traditional folk songs,
especially from her native Scotland.
Bobby is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist equally at home
performing solo or as part of a duo or bigger band. Indeed many of you
will remember him as one of Jez Lowe's "Bad Pennies" some years
ago. A chance pairing at a Newton Aycliffe open mike night was so
successful that they have since performed together regularly, always to a
We are delighted to have them start our Saturday evening
Angie Archer, Martin Bradburn & Phil Summers. The band's name reflects
the range of the music they play, from folk ballads to more modern
contemporary songs. The band has an innate sense of fun which they try to
inject into the music they play, along with huge repertoire to
delight any audience. After a bout of serious illness, the band
“regrets” to announce Phil has returned to the band & is back to
“Normal” (Oh No!!!) In Oct 2010 the band took over running of
the Pot & Glass Folk & Acoustic Club, Egglescliffe Village
They will be hosting the Friday night singaround in The
Social Club, Kirkgarth and appearing on the Festival stage in the Saturday afternoon
Marske Fishermen's Choir
Marske Fishermen's Choir are a group of people (currently all male
although there has been a female member in the past) who enjoy singing and
are willing to give their time freely to practise weekly and give concerts
during the spring and autumn seasons. They raise funds principally
for the RNLI and other worthwhile causes, and entertain at care
homes, village halls, churches and chapels, pubs & clubs or even out
in the open.
will start our Saturday afternoon concert in the Parish Hall.
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 has continued to be in charge for the three main concerts each year.
Bert came to Sedgefield last year and walked away with the
World Spoons Championship (for the umpteenth time!). Can he hold onto it
in 2015 ?
He will be found in Ceddesfeld Hall for much of the
weekend and will be running a spoons workshop on Saturday morning. 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!
Ernie Gilchrist & Peter Brookes
Ernie Gilchrist on
Peter Brookes on guitar/vocals will play for the competitors in the world spoons
on Saturday afternoon.
will also be on hand on Sunday to host the final singaround in Ceddesfeld
The Old Age Travellers
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 7:30pm
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!