FOLK COLLECTED: Your weekly folk round-up

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I’ve had a request from a prominent local performer enquiring if there is any interest in setting up a regular shape note (sacred harp) evening at the Collective.

Of course I am happy to gather names, set it up, advertise and book the room but I would require a minimum of say eight singers to commit themselves as this form of singing is a communal activity and only works when there are more rather than fewer performers as it is choral singing.

I have included below an extract from Wikipedia that should explain the basics of the art of singing shape note. It is an a capella art form so no need to be an instrumentalist. Just come along and sing. There will be a tutor/instructor. Contact the email address above if you are interested.

“Sacred Harp singing is a tradition of sacred choral music that originated in the south of the United States. The name is derived from The Sacred Harp, a ubiquitous and historically important tunebook printed in shape notes. The work was first published in 1844 and has reappeared in multiple editions ever since. Sacred Harp music represents one branch of an older tradition of American music that developed over the period 1770 to 1820 from roots in New England, with a significant, related development under the influence of ‘revival’ services around the 1840s. This music was included in, and became profoundly associated with, books using the shape note style of notation popular in America in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Sacred Harp music is performed a cappella (voice only, without instruments) and originated as Protestant Christian music.”

-- Wikipedia

Tickets for the first Bury Folk Festival are now on sale online at They will be limited, so it may be best to purchase sooner rather than later. The performers list will be posted soon and I have to say that had I chosen them myself I couldn’t have done better. What have we got? Here is a taster: Gothic folk, metal folk, trad folk, Irish, contemporary Appalachian, oldtime, bluegrass, a capella , cajun . . . and so it goes on. Not to be missed.

On April 26 we have a treat at the Collective in that the Tin Heart Troubadours are performing an extended slot, as are Nobodaddy, Robert Cross and Bex and Freda. Great stuff. Have a look who’s on at Long Melford. Chloe Hawes, a young singer-song-writer from Essex who is on the road to the top. It’s a free evening so nothing lost. She will be at the Collective soon so keep an eye on the calender. If you are a traditionalist, a super line up awaits you in the upstairs room at Oakes Barn on April 15. Pop in and have a listen or, indeed, a sing – you won’t be disappointed. Arguably one of the best line ups you will see free of charge anywhere.

If you would like your club, event or session included in the calender please let me know at the mail address above.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10 – Melford folk: Cock and Bell, Long Melford, 8.30pm, free. A Melford special with a visit from Chloe Hawes – Everyone welcome. Stage format.

Milkmaid Folk Club: Constitutional Club, Bury. 8pm. Trad. American. The Jigantics. Support tba.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15 – Bury Folk Collective: Oakes Barn, Bury. 8pm, free. Atmospheric, super acoustics, top room. Real ale. Foxearth, Paddy Butcher, Bob Goodall, Richard Byers, David Rumble.

THURSDAY, APRIL 16 – Horningsea Folk Club: Plough and Fleece. 8-11pm.Contact Phil 01638 741743.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17 – Milkmaid Folk Club: Constitutional Club, Bury. 8pm. Concert. Kevin Dempsey and Harriet Bartlett. Support tba.

-- Written and compiled by Brian Kew