A colour cd in a classic jewel case with photos and brief overview for each artist, in a cellophane wrapper. "Not a hint of yuletide treacle on this atmospheric, no frills compilation from a label that is nurturing some of our most promising folk talent. Balancing the religious and the secular, the playlist goes gently on it's way. Minnie Birch's Snowman and Kaity Rae's Red Paper Wrapping tap into the spirit of midwinter; Kate Rouse's Hammered Dulcimer underpins Daria Kulesh's I Watch the Snow, Dave Swarbrick, a member of folk's old guard helps out on John Farndon's elegiac Peace in My Heart. There isn't a weak link to be found" Clive Davis, The Sunday Times "Essential Christmas Releases" 14.12.14
"If you want something that's just that little bit different to listen to or give as a stocking filler this Christmas then it's well worth having a listen to this collection of fairly new artists who are in the Folkstock stable". Who's "strong and emotive voice brings a genuine warm feeling to the sad song which wouldn't be out of place as the John Lewis Christmas ad for next year"? Who "has a voice that is crystal clear and laser precise...The way she sings it harks back to the heady days of the sixties in style"? Whose child like voice evokes this image ? "you can almost see the steam from this gentle and breathy voice dissipating in the cold festive air" Which Someone "is well on her way to being one of the most sought after performers on the folk circuit"
Who might this be ? "It has just that hint of mischief and bawdiness and is one of those songs which should be brought out when everyone has been fed and has sunk more than a couple of sherries with Aunt Maggie." Which track has "The absolutely wonderful opening of the dulcimer which evokes visions of the individual snowflakes falling, is the silver sixpence in the Christmas pudding...." which is embellished by a "refined and cut glass crystal voice which is a pure delight who provides us with "a really thought-provoking ballad that does have a feel of a hybrid between a carol and a traditional music hall song". There might be a clue here "have a wonderful set of voices which harmonise like they were triplets." and finally, whose voice did Danny feel could have done with any accompaniment ? "he could have sung this gentle and undulating traditional hymn a cappella and it would have been just as good if not better". "Among all the festive compilations and rehashed Christmas songs, if you want something different, that little bit alternative and which has been given a little more thought then you could do a lot worse than The Christmas Present which, once unwrapped, has some traditional tunes song by some fresh and delightful voices."Danny Farragher folkall.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/the-christmas-present.html
‘The Christmas Present’ Various Artists - a sparkling compilation from Folkstock Records(November 25, 2014) " As someone wholly dedicated to both the spirit and season of Christmas in all its atmosphere and substance, the words ‘Christmas album’ often fill me with a desperate foreboding. They Christmas present Folkstock various artistsusually herald another collection of pointless, sugary-sweet pop-pap or a turgid regurgitation of ancient songs better consigned to history. That means I treat every Christmas compilation with a massive degree of suspicion. However, the latest Christmas offering to come my way is ‘The Christmas Present’, a sparkling compilation from Folkstock Records. And with the unerring certainty of recordings received from Folkstock, this is an album definitely worth its turkey and trimmings. No socks, bath salts and hankies here - this is a feast you’ll want to savour. However you take your Christmas, traditional or contemporary, secular or sacred, this album will touch some part of you. And you’ll feel all the better for it. Folkstock launches ‘The Christmas Present’ at The Southbank Centre on Friday 28 November 2014." Folkwords, Tim Carroll.
Could this be the new soundtrack to your Christmas ? From the bawdy to the beautiful, this jewel of a seasonal selection offers both a respite from and a reminder of the reality of Christmas. Something for everyone, whether classical or original, relaxing or rousing, the full gamut of emotions are presented within the nine carefully curated tracks of ‘The Christmas Present’ released on Folkstock Records, produced by Lauren Deakin Davies. Ephemeral escapism, crushing disappointment, abundant social injustices, the serenity of peace, the emergence of hope, the support of friends old and new, are all here in a Christmas collection which we are proud to present this wintertime.
Engaging and thought provoking songs, ranging from the familiar to fresh classics of the future.
Thank you to Kaity Rae, Zoe Wren, Minnie Birch, Pete Guy, Kelly Oliver, Garry Smith, Daria Kulesh, John Farndon (ft. Dave Swarbrick) and Said the Maiden for offering to be part of our first Christmas release. credits released November 21, 2014
Produced by Lauren Deakin Davies Executive Producer Helen Meissner
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Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
"John Fardon has an unusual voice, it's not powerful or particularly lyrical but it is full of emotion and is held up wonderfully by master fiddler Dave Swarbrick for what is a really thought-provoking ballad that does have a feel of a hybrid between a carol and a traditional music hall song." Danny Farragher
John is an author and songwriter and Royal Literary Fellow at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, and runs the Cauldron events in the capital, an exciting melting pot of musical and literary talent
"John Farndon's "Peace In My Heart" which is the most political song on the EP and emphasises folk as a platform for campaigning for social justice and fairness. It's a track that really shows how empathetic the fiddle is, giving weight to the heartstrings being tugged at, fuelling the passion behind the lyrics" Neil King, FATEA.
"Peace in my heart by John Farndon. This grabbed me from the start. There is a poignancy in this song as sung by John that moves me, even more so because it’s sung by what sounds like an older man reflecting on the terrible things he sings of. Well done John, it’s a masterpiece". Dave Swarbrick
"In my eyrie in the heart of London, home to blackbirds and squirrels and wonderful Russian paintings, I write songs and books, plays and poems, and spin tales. Over two decades I’ve written hundreds of books that have been bestsellers everywhere from Korea to Canada, on subjects from geology to genetics, and I’m now grandly titled a Royal Literary Fellow. I’ve written plays and musicals, too, that have been staged in places from the Donmar London to Edinburgh, and I’ve translated Russia novels and Spanish verse dramas. So I have a head full of ideas from all round the world, which is why the book I’m writing right now is daftly is The Omnipaedia, a book about how to know everything...
But over the years I’ve been quietly writing songs, mostly for others to sing – from Russian folk group Koleso to west-end singing stars. And now at last I’ve realized it’s ok to venture out from into the big world to perform them myself. My songs are often steeped in the folk sounds, rich in story and image, that have been with me since I was a child, but they take influences from just about every kind of music going.
My break out into performance began last year, when author Rebecca Stott and I started hosting the magical Cauldron events at our local pub that mix all genres of music, poetry, books and idea, and have brought in such rising music stars as Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Eliza Shaddad and Kelly Oliver, wonderful newcomers such as Emmie Ward, brilliant performers such as Frank Biddulph, Malene Mortensen, Igor Outkine, Anthony Cable and Roseanne Phillipens not to mention amazing thinkers and actors – and writers such Don Patterson and Christopher Reid and Sarah Dunant. Among such wonderful company, how could I not find my own voice"
from The Christmas Present,
released November 21, 2014
Kelvin Thomson on piano, John Farndon on vocals. Dave Swarbrick on fiddle.
Boutique label releasing handpicked singer songwriters from the Folkstock fold. Most engineering, mixing and mastering
by Lauren Deakin Davies. Except Bright Season by Bright Season - released 31st May 2014 The F Spot by Friends of Folkstock - release date 17th May 2014 Passing the Baton - Swarb and Folkstock friends - 5th April 2014 Debut EP release from Kelly Oliver on 26.11.13. Far From Home...more