Saturday, 8 June 2013

Maverick Festival Preview Part 3 - UK Artists

As well hosting a wealth of great talent from the USA and Canada, the Maverick Festival is gaining a reputation for providing a platform to showcase many UK artists who are keen to add a transatlantic flavour to their musical influences. In the concluding feature of this three part series, attention turns to the home grown performers gracing the authentic agricultural surroundings of Easton Farm Park on the first weekend of July.

Over the last twelve months many of these British artists have been covered on this blog, either via a release or live review, and a wonderful opportunity has been presented to catch up with them all in a single location. Some of these are no strangers to Maverick and there is no finer starting point than to check out the progress of old time influenced roots band Hatful of Rain.Since witnessing their festival appearance last year, this four piece combo who  effectively fuse folk and bluegrass with a sprinkling of Appalachia essence have continued to win many plaudits and will use their slot to preview a whole batch of new material which is subject to an upcoming release. After gaining the approval of the influential Bob Harris via a weekend session,  the band are looking to take their live show further afield from their south coast base and this will be another opportunity to connect with new admirers.

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While still on the subject of the sole champion of Americana music on national radio, Porchlight Smoker also benefitted from getting some Bob Harris airplay over the winter, this time on the country show. Their album ‘2’ received approval here with a favourable review and its good mix of original, traditional and well known cover songs will no doubt enthuse a festival audience. Apart from sharing a geographical similarity with Hatful of Rain, both bands utilise the skills of Fred Gregory who is up for a busy weekend.

It is great that Maverick have been able to capture a more nationwide feel to their line up by inviting the David Latto Band down from Scotland. The self titled debut release from the band won plaudits from this review and their brand of Americana will very much comply with the ideals of the festival. The review closed with a hope that they would venture south and it is great credit to the organisers that the opportunity to hear their original material live has been arranged.

Danni Nicholls
In the review of Danni Nicholls’ excellent debut album A LITTLE REDEMPTION the Maverick Festival was referenced as the source of her discovery and it is with immense delight that she returns in 2013 to give this fine release a further deserved plug.  It will be interesting to see how Danni interprets this record which had such a good band support during its Nashville recording, However the strength of the songs will no doubt ensure they will flourish in any format.



This UK review would not be complete without acknowledging the innovative festival move of allowing Clubhouse Records to take over the Peacock Café on Friday evening and present a revue of some of their acts. Amongst these include Redlands Palomino Company who have been firm live favourites for me over the years, re-enforced with their recent excellent set at Palmfest. The same applies to Mad Staring Eyes who despite being an unknown quantity to me also impressed on the same bill. The revue also contains several other acts which are eagerly awaited to be caught live including The Cedars and Troubadour Rose. These artists represent a different take on UK Americana and their acclaim has been growing from many trusted sources.

Carrivick Sisters
It has been admitted that the set of perennial Maverick invitees Police Dog Hogan always seems to have been missed on previous visits to the festival but having reviewed LAND OF MIRACLES towards the back end of last year that must be corrected this time. On the other hand there will be an opportunity to catch a number of acts that have only recently been witnessed live but all warrant an extra viewing, subject to clashes, on this busy weekend. The Carrivick Sisters gave an exceptional performance of old time folk and bluegrass roots music when co-headlining with Blair Dunlop in Birmingham in March and add Maverick to their string of in-demand festival appearances. On the back of their impressive slots at Palmfest earlier this month, both Jack Day and Danny George Wilson will surely meet the approval of festival goers with their solo sets, although the latter will have fond memories of playing the outside stage a few years ago with his Champions of the World band.

So that concludes this three-part series, although in addition to the Canadian, American and UK artists featured there are numerous other acts appearing of which details can be found at www.maverickfestival.co.uk. Just prior to the launch of the festival on the Friday evening, the newly formed American Music Association UK organisation will hold its inaugural conference on the site thus giving the members an opportunity to discuss the potential for genre growth. This bold move to replicate the success of the original US model aims to draw on the expertise and passion from different facets of Americana music to help formulate a strategy. The high quality of acts on show at this year’s Maverick Festival suggests a healthy product is already in place to be promoted.

Artists listed are scheduled to appear as per the festival website at time of posting. This may be subject to change.

Maverick Festival Preview Part 1 Canadian artists

Maverick Festival Preview Part 2 US artists

Americana Music Association UK

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