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Bill and Meg are back for a fifth year to host a weekend of traditional song for experienced singers (non-singing partners welcome)! Join them, and friends old and new, for a weekend of singing, archive film and talks. This year Bill & Meg are joined by guests Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster, and Arthur Knevett. Bring your voices, instruments and walking boots for an optional circuit of the ‘Halsway Loop’ to blow away the cobwebs! A weekend of sharing memories, songs, and having a wonderful time revisiting those good old days!
“It was a wonderful weekend. The house itself feels like a warm welcome. The staff are friendly and efficient. A relaxed weekend with others who share my interests is just the best.” 2017 Participant
Optional Sunday night survivors’ session, with supper B&B available, £35 per person.
Who’s it For?
Experienced singers of all ages (non-singing partners are welcome). Bring your songs and experiences to share, and have a wonderful time celebrating traditional song with like-minded people in the lovely setting of Halsway Manor.
Bill Crawford was in a folk club the night Kennedy was assassinated – and on a great many more nights too! An Exeter Folk Club stalwart from the early days, Bill has run clubs and sessions across the South West, and he’s a regular MC at Sidmouth Folk Week. A fine singer with a broad repertoire, Bill currently sings with accapella group The Claque.
Meg Rose is from a family of keen folk dancers, and grew up going to Bill Rutter’s Folk Camps and Sidmouth Festival in the early years. She even worked at Halsway Manor in school and college holidays! Discovering folk song in her teens, Meg attended regular events at Halsway, including the South West Folk Club Federation meetings as a member of Yeovil Folk Song Club, meeting one Bill Crawford along with many other fine singers! Since then, her interest and love of folk songs together with an enthusiasm for singing in company has never ceased.
Bára Grímsdóttir is thought by many people to be one of the best traditional singers in her native country of Iceland, and is widely respected as a composer, especially of vocal music. She grew up surrounded by folk songs, hearing her parents and grand parents singing at the family farm Grímstunga in Vatnsdalur in the north of Iceland. Bára has a special interest in the old rimur and kvæðalög styles of song, but she is also knowledgeable about and performs songs in a range of other traditional forms, both secular and religious. She has performed widely in Europe and North America with Sigurður Rúnar Jónssonn and Njáll Sigurðsson and as a member of the group ‘Embla’, of which she was a founder member.
Chris Foster grew up in Somerset, where he first heard and started singing folk songs. He takes tales of romance, magic, murder, liquor, love, adultery and cross-dressing; shared experiences of the human condition that are instantly recognisable to all audiences, crossing boundaries of urban and rural experience, of past and present. On stage his fine musicianship is underpinned by his urbane wit and engaging enthusiasm for his music that draws the audience into his performance. Over the past 30 years he has performed and recorded throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, and is increasingly in demand as an accompanist on other people’s recording projects.
“Chris Foster merits legend status, one of the very best in the second wave of the Brit folk revival, as important as Martin Carthy, Dick Gaughan and Nic Jones in the way he modernised and invested traditional songs with inventive guitar arrangements and potent vocal delivery.” Colin Irwin, fRoots
Arthur Knevett came to singing traditional songs – via skiffle – in the thick of the 1960s English Folk Song revival, going on to run The Fighting Cocks club as a traditional song club with Drew Lees and Rod Stradling. A well respected and fine interpreter of traditional song, Arthur has maintained his presence with guest appearances at folk clubs, festivals and traditional song gatherings as well as engaging in academic research on traditional song. His recent CD ‘Simply Traditional’ – an eclectic mix of 13 of Arthur’s favourite songs and ballads – was long overdue and very welcome.