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Folk on Foot

Author: folkonfoot

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Matthew Bannister goes walking with a leading folk musician in a landscape that has inspired them. They sing and play exclusive acoustic songs on location.
20 Episodes
Every winter, Rachael and Becky Unthank and their extended families invite their fans to join them for singing weekends in their native Northumberland. Some fifty people stay together at a bunkhouse where pianist/producer Adrian McNally does the cooking, and Rachel and Becky lead singing workshops. The weekend includes a session in the atmospheric local pub, where Matthew joins the group for a singalong. Then Rachel takes him for a walk on her favourite beach at Low Newton By The Sea, where she sings “The Flower of Northumberland” and “Here’s The Tender Coming”.
Martin Simpson in Scunthorpe

Martin Simpson in Scunthorpe


Regularly voted one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Martin Simpson has been nominated for an astonishing 23 Radio 2 Folk Awards – and won artist of the year twice. He was brought up in the North Lincolnshire steel town of Scunthorpe and takes Matthew on an emotional journey back to his childhood home, explaining how he hid from his formidable mother in the apple tree in the garden, went on imaginary expeditions through a pile of maps he found under a work bench in the garage and was introduced to the natural world on rambles through the local woods with his father. He sings his heartfelt tribute to his Dad, “Never Any Good” as well as “Toy Soldiers” and “Creeping Jane”.
The beautiful Lost Words book by artist Jackie Morris and writer Robert Macfarlane has become a cultural phenomenon, raising awareness of the importance of nature words in our lives. It has also spawned the Spell Songs project featuring some of our top folk artists. In this special edition of Folk on Foot, Matthew walks with Jackie and the singer, cellist and ukulele player Beth Porter (The Bookshop Band) on the hill near Jackie’s cottage in Wales. Beth sings and plays as Jackie creates an otter painting in her studio. We also hear music from Julie Fowlis and Kerry Andrew/You Are Wolf.
Season 3 Trailer

Season 3 Trailer


A tantalising taste of all six beautiful episodes of Season 3, featuring The Lost Words Spell Songs: Jackie Morris and Beth Porter in Pembrokeshire; Martin Simpson in Scunthorpe; The Unthanks on the Northumberland Coast; John Smith in Brixham; Lisa Knapp in Tooting and Duncan Chisholm at Sandwood Bay.
Six unique performances of complete songs by all the artists featured in season 2: Seth Lakeman: Kitty JayKerry Andrew/You Are Wolf: As Sylvie Was WalkingJon Boden: Dancing In The FactoryStick In The Wheel: All The ThingsFisherman’s Friends: First And LastJulie Fowlis: Biodh an Deach Sea’n Laimh Mo Ruin (The Drink Would Be In My Love’s Hand) Enjoy!
The Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis takes Matthew Bannister for a snowy walk on the dramatic shores of Loch Ness near her home in the Scottish Highlands. Accompanied by her husband Eamon Doorley, we hear Julie’s beautiful clear voice singing a song linked to the area and a love song that brought the couple together for the first time.  As they head to the spectacular Foyers Falls, Julie explains that understanding the Gaelic language is the best way to form a true connection with the landscape. A red deer and a group of ducks are charmed by Julie’s singing.
Stick in the Wheel’s music has been described as “precision folk with anger, lust and blood.” The band’s founders Nicola Kearey and Ian Carter take Matthew Bannister for a walk through their East London stomping grounds, starting in a Victorian weaver’s house in Spitalfields, taking in Walthamstow Market and ending up in Epping Forest where they’re joined by fiddle player Ellie Wilson. Along the way they sing songs that reflect the chequered history of the East End of London and it’s more recent past.
Jon Cleave and Billy Hawkins of Fisherman’s Friends take Matthew Bannister for a walk around their beautiful home village of Port Isaac in Cornwall, telling tales and singing songs inspired by the seafaring history of the area. They invite us to fall in love with “The Maid of Madeira”, marvel at two ‘doubloons’ picked up in the harbour by Jon’s Uncle Andy, pay tribute to the fallen Cornish lads of the First World in “First and Last” and shed a tear with “The Last Widow”, as she bemoans a tragedy that struck the Port Quin herring fleet. They also reflect on their unlikely route into the charts and discuss the feature film telling their story which is about to hit our cinema screens.”
Kerry Andrew has been described by Robert Macfarlane as “a writer and musician of frankly alarming talent”. She is a composer, novelist and vocalist who performs alt folk under the name You Are Wolf. In this episode she takes Matthew for a walk from her flat in South London, through surprisingly green parkland, to the historic Brockwell Lido where she persuades him to take a dip. Along the way she demonstrates her multi layered vocal technique and sings songs from her albums “Hawk to the Hunting Gone” and “Keld” (fRoots Magazine editor’s choice album of the year 2018).  
Seth Lakeman on Dartmoor

Seth Lakeman on Dartmoor


Seth Lakeman is the Mercury Music Prize nominated singer, fiddle player and guitarist who will forever be associated with Dartmoor. He grew up in the village of Buckland Monachorum with his two brothers Sean and Sam who are also key players on the folk scene. In this episode Seth takes Matthew to the village church to re-create his 2004 recording "Cape Clear", to the local school to sing “An Educated Man” and to the hills above the Burrator Reservoir where he performs “Kitty Jay”, “The White Hare” and “The Courier”. Along the way he reflects on sibling rivalry, the myths and legends of Dartmoor and his experiences of touring the world with the former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.
Comments (2)

jimmy manley

awesome series, well fone

Feb 22nd

Seamus Quaide

A wonderful podcast that paints images of beautiful landscapes in the mind along with some sumptuous music performances.

Nov 25th
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