Rachael McShane was the only female member of folk phenomenon, Bellowhead. You probably knew that. If you never saw Bellowhead live or on the TV, you’d have been able to find that much out from the internet. It’s probably why you’re here, reading this article. “Rachael McShane”, you’ll have thought. “She was in Bellowhead. I’ll have a read of that.”
Typical, isn’t it? You sit around months waiting for another selection of traditional British folk songs to try, and then seven turn up at once. Well, that’s what comes of spending a day with Martin Carthy.
Jon Boden needs no introduction for most of the people reading this blog. Front man to Bellowhead, with whom he sold somewhere around a quarter of a million albums, and bagger of 12 Radio 2 Folk Music awards, he has also knocked up a string of accolades with bands and projects that have included Spiers & Boden and The Remnant Kings.
If you’re a fan of the contemporary folk scene, the chances are that you’ve been listening to Andy Bell’s work for some time. A kind of unsung hero, he has been working with some of the genre’s biggest artists for a decade or more, and his relatively new label – Hudson Records – is home to The Furrow Collective, Jon Boden, The Transports and an ever-growing roster of well-loved artists.
This week’s folk conversation is sprawling to say the least, but that’s to be expected when your chatting with a man who has been a fiddle and oboe player in Bellowhead, a musicologist, one of the blokes in Faustus, one of two Pauls in Belshazzar’s Feast and the musical director of the triumphant recent production of The Transports. Suffice to say, it’s a wonder Paul Sartin ever has time to sleep, let alone time to sit down and discuss it all. Best that we get down to it immediately then, before he ups and starts a new project.