Press Release, 13 November 2014
A year’s work for the Music at the Heart of Teesdale project will come to fruition on Friday 28th November when the UK – and world! – première of Rooted: A Teesdale Suite will be performed by M@HoT’s youth folk band, Cream Tees, at a special concert to be held at The Witham in Barnard Castle.
A new CD of the piece will be released at the same time. Written by Cream Tees band members themselves, Rooted was inspired by the landscapes of the Heart of Teesdale and folk music traditions they have learnt working with their tutors. Fiddler Milly Diment, the band’s leader, thinks it’s the best thing she’s done in her three years with the band.“It’s great that we’ve written this and are now raring to perform for the first time our own piece of music inspired by where we live,” she said. The music has been arranged by Ian Stephenson and Sophy Ball, who have also provided additional material. Following on from a tour of the area back in March and a residential workshop at Langdon Beck youth hostel in the summer when they first got to play the whole piece, the band members came together under the expert guidance of Sophy and Ian again to make the recording at The Hub in October.
Cream Tees will be joined on the stage for an evening of folk song and dance by some very special guest appearances from an exceptional line up of folk and traditional musicians, young and old alike. Chief among them will be Martin Carthy, regarded by many as the greatest English folk song performer, collector and editor of them all. M@HoT’s Mike Bettison was delighted when Martin agreed to support the project by performing at the concert and said,“We feel honoured to be able to welcome to Barnard Castle one of folk music’s great ambassadors.” Martin recently received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His settings of traditional songs with guitar have influenced a whole generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, both of whom he has appeared with on stage.
Rosie Cross together with Mike will perform extracts from “Notes from Teesdale”, their entertaining mix of songs and tunes they have gathered as part of the M@HoT research project. She added, “The concert will also give us an opportunity to celebrate the first three years of the M@HoT project and to say a big “Thank you” to our many friends, supporters, sponsors and volunteers who have helped us begin to achieve our aim of reviving the folk music, song and dance traditions of Teesdale.”
Another who has promised to join is concertina player and former gamekeeper Septimus Fawcett who was born in Baldersdale and, now in his 80s, is still performing the tunes he learnt from his shepherd father Sam before most of us were born!
The concert starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£6 concessions), available in person from The Witham, by phone 01833 631107, or online at www.thewitham.org.uk. For more details of the line up, to purchase a CD retailing at just £5 or for more information about the project, contact the project co-ordinator, Neil Diment, at firstname.lastname@example.org.