Folk Festival Highlights 2017

This month we speak to Louise Johnson of the Shetland Folk Festival committee. If you’ve ever wondered how this small but dedicated group manage to pull off such a brilliant event every year, then make sure you read our interview with Louise!

Here’s a glimpse of three of the festival highlights Louse mentions:

Fiddlers Bid are one of Shetland’s best known exports and are internationally respected as world class fiddlers. This year they mark the 25th Anniversary of their debut festival appearance at the Hamnavoe Hall in 1992. Described as “a musical tornado”, the magnetic four fiddle frontline of Chris Stout, Kevin Henderson, Andrew Gifford and Maurice Henderson will be joined by Scotland’s dynamic harpist Catriona McKay, a powerhouse rhythm section of ace Irish musician and guitarist Sean O Graham, and top Newcastle bassist Neil Harland to create a display of stunning virtuosity.

Making their debut UK performance at the Shetland Folk Festival, The Lonely Heartstring Band is a Boston based acoustic quintet that creates a unique blend of old and new styles. Since their beginnings in 2012, The Lonely Heartstring Band has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. This was reflected in their achieving an IBMA Momentum Award in 2015. This classic bluegrass band combines soulful instrumental virtuosity with soaring three-part harmonies to create a dynamic, diverse and heartfelt performance.

Also making their UK debut at the Shetland Folk Festival are Trad.Attack! who deliver fresh folk music from Estonia — friendly, passionate, powerful, dynamic, cheerful and true to its roots. They have been described as a “21st century Nordic turbo folk band who thrill”. Within two years of starting out they had played in 26 countries and had bagged 14 Estonian Music Awards. Their punchy and rousing shows will be performed with a more acoustic approach in smaller festival venues.

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