This month’s headliners found their sound when the world fell silent. In 2020, these three singer-songwriters were selected to take part in a virtual global music sharing experiment called Global Music Match. Teamed up together, they spent several lockdowns turning their stories into soft harmonies and intricate melodies.
This year, WARD KNÚTUR TOWNES cashed in their stagnant travel points and started recording new material in Iceland.
Lucy Ward, from Derbyshire, is an acclaimed singer-songwriter and powerhouse performer with a unique ability to inhabit the heart of each song she sings. A BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner, her songs are a mixture of evocative imagery, quiet beauty, passion, protest and tradition all rolled into one.
Iceland’s Svavar Knútur is a gentle but coarse, decadent troubadour. He summons his inner demons and outer storms to reflect upon the existential crises and frolicking joys of modern day rustic fjord dwelling folk. Recipient of the Anna Pálína Árnadóttir memorial award for folk music excellence in Iceland, Knútur is a humorous storyteller and avid diver into the murky waters of the human condition; a fitting mixture of art and entertainment.
Adyn Townes, who hails from New Brunswick in Canada, is an award-winning alternative folk artist who uses self-deprecating banter and heartfelt lyrics to disarm any audience. A five times International Songwriting Competition finalist, Townes’ unique voice and honest songwriting set the stage for a show that is high energy yet intimate, beautiful yet clever.
With more than a dozen albums between them, Ward Knútur Townes are touring their highly-anticipated debut album, Unanswered.
Opening the evening will be BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner MADDIE MORRIS, who is an artist who strives to make a difference in the world. Bold, insightful and refreshingly unique, she takes traditional song in new directions to shine a light on contemporary issues.
Folk songs have always told stories, but how Maddie makes her mark is by turning this storytelling into action. Described by our Patron Jim Moray as “leading the next generation of socially conscious songwriters”, she uses her work to highlight inequality, challenge viewpoints and provide an inclusive space for shared experiences.
Whether she’s turning a centuries-old ballad on its head or writing something new, Maddie places her focus on drawing out true meaning rather than being true to tradition. Her first studio release, Upstream, a beautifully crafted collection of songs which amplifies the stories of those often marginalised by society. Passionately political, yet gently understated, this is music that deftly treads the path between art and activism.
Tickets for the concert, which takes place at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND on Friday 17 November 2023, are available online at downendfolkandroots.com and from MELANIE'S KITCHEN in Downend (cash only). They are priced at £14 each in advance or £16 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm and the entertainment starts around 7.45pm.