Music reporter Vicki McCarthy interviews the people behind Forest Folk and Roots about the success of their monthly gigs in Cranfield.
So what do you think of when you hear the term ‘Folk music’?
Does your mind wander to the obvious (and unfair) stereotypes of acoustic guitars, fiddles, sandals and men with beards?
Or are you one of the music-lovers that have been turned onto Folk, following its most recent resurgence, with the likes of Mumford and Sons and Bellowhead making an impact on mainstream radio, TV and festivals?
Either way, Folk has been around for hundreds of years and looks set to be here for many more to come. Encapsulating many musical styles, the genre evolves beautifully with modern times.
Recently I caught up with local promoter Trevor Dove, who alongside his wife Helen, runs a successful promotion called Forest Folk and Roots.
He’s been putting on Folk gigs in and around MK for three years and is preparing for the next one, later this month. So what is Forest Folk and Roots all about, how did it start?
“Well, I’ve been on the committee at Cranfield Football Club and involved with events there, as well as CranFest too,” said Trevor. “I’ve always had a love for Folk, Roots and Indie and fancied putting on specific Folk gigs.”
Trevor continued: “Folk’s a really wide genre, overlapping and including sounds such as Blues, Country, Americana, Indie and Punk! I felt there was a gap for a night like this.”
Putting on a monthly gig (with breaks for summer and Christmas), Forest Folk and Roots has been a draw for local gig-goers, but what are Trevor’s highlights?
“Too many,” he laughed, “But personal favourites include Gerry Colvin, Sicknote Steve (Seasick Steve tribute) and Stables. But this year is looking amazing too.”
Bringing us to April’s gig… The College Arms plays host to Norwich-based trio Alden, Patterson and Dashwood.
Taking music from Folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic, their selfpenned songs depict tales of travellers, the sleepy seas and tales from home.
With Trevor booking well-known, national bands to headline, he often opts for home-grown artists as support and this gig sees local acoustic duo Natalie and Jeremy step up to warm the stage with their rich sounds.
So what’s next? “The rest of the year’s booked up,” Trevor grinned, “It’s a great line up, something for all.”
Which leads me to a great quote by Louis Armstrong: “All music is Folk music. I ain’t never heard a horse sing!”
Catch the gig on April 20, 7.30pm, at The College Arms, Cranfield, £8 adv. Learn more at facebook.com/ forestfolkandroots