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Nicholas Waller Folk Bands Recommendations (72* d) RE: Folk Bands Recommendations 29 May 11

Fairport Convention's 1969 Liege and Lief is one of my favourite all-time albums in any genre. Sandy Denny was in the band at the time.

More recently, there is The Owl Service, "formed by Steven Collins in 2006 as a vehicle to explore his love of cult British films and television of the 1960s and '70s, the great outdoors, and the sound of the English folk revival". They sound a bit like older British band Pyewackett, two t's and not to be confused with US rock band of the 70s Pyewacket (one t).

A local Somerset-based band I like is Dragonsfly (with an s, so not Dragonfly), "a Celtic-Eastern-Folk Fusion band with a unique sound born from the band member's musical tastes and influences. This vibrant and original five-piece interlace instruments as diverse as bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, mandolin, tabla, electric bass, saxophones, vocals and more resulting in groove-driven music that is passionate, high-energy, tender and entrancing". Hear them on Myspace - their own website seems woefully out of date, referencing 2009 gigs, but they must still be active as they are at the Priddy Folk Festival this year and appear to be second headliners topped only by the Eliza Carthy Band. They really are local - last I heard they were based in Draycott, three miles from Priddy (and about four miles from me in the other direction).

There's also Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies; he seems to be continually on tour, with or without the Pennies. He was also part of The Darwin Song Project, an 8-artist song-writing retreat week with a live concert and a live CD celebrating the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth in 2009. Not a band as such, though the effect is pretty band-like.

For a noisy frenetic instrumental dancey band try Sheelanagig from, I think, Bristol.

All these people are on Spotify with at least one album, except Sheelanagig. Most are also on in the UK (a web-based music site co-founded by Peter Gabriel).

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