MOJO-PRAISED AMERICANA ARTIST Rhiannon Giddens, who co-curates this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival, has just announced the artists she’s booked.
Peggy Seeger, Kaia Kater, Birds of Chicago, Amythyst Kiah and Yola Carter will play at various times during the festival, which runs across the weekend of August 2-5. Each of the artists will be introduced onstage by Giddens, a founder member of the Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Giddens plays a set in her own right on the Saturday.
“When I was asked, ‘Do you want to curate the Cambridge Folk Festival?’ I remember being immediately interested,” says the singer, whose Freedom Highway album of last year was enthusiastically reviewed by MOJO. “I didn’t really know what curating was at the time, but I loved the Festival so much I thought anything that would have me coming back is a really good thing. Then I found out I’d get to be there the whole time, I never get to do that! Usually I perform my set and am out the next day, so to have an opportunity to actually be somewhere for four days. I wanted to experience the whole thing, it’s irresistible.”
Peggy Seeger, half-sister of the late Pete and partner and songwriting foil to the late Ewan MacColl, needs no introduction to MOJO readers. But some of the up-and-comers might. Brit Yola Carter combines country, soul and gospel influences and has featured with Massive Attack. Kaia Kater is the 22-year-old Canadian breathing new life into the banjo. Birds Of Chicago are the Windy City-based husband-and-wife duo of Allison Russell and J.T. Nero, while Tennessee’s Amythyst Kiah delivers Southern Gothic alt-country blues haunted by the spectres of The Carter Family and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
It’s a very Cambridge mix of old and new.
This year’s Cambridge Folk Festival is headlined by Patti Smith, First Aid Kit and John Prine.
Also performing: Beth Nielsen Chapman, Damien O'Kane & Ron Block, Darlingside, Darren Edens & The Slim Pickins, The East Pointers, Elephant Sessions, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, Eric Bibb, Gordie Mackeeman And His Rhythm Boys, Irish Mythen, Janis Ian, John Moreland, John Smith, Kate Rusby & Friends, Marlon Williams, National Youth Folk Ensemble, Peatbog Faeries, Pierce Brothers, Rosanne Cash, The Shee, Songhoy Blues, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Tamikrest
For more information and full ticket prices: www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk