Bella Hardy & Cara Luft
A unique collaboration with two celebrated female folk singer-songwriters, following a Canada-based creative residency and tour in autumn 2013 supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and Folk Music Canada.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2014, Bella, and Juno award-winning singer-songwriter-guitarist extraordinaire, Cara, unite for a genre bending performance. Their rich blend of traditional British music and Canadian folk comes wrapped in on-stage chemistry, with an emphasis on vocal harmonies and songs with stirring narratives.
On her third trip back to Kelvedon, singer and guitarist extraordinaire Cara Luft is that rare artist steeped in traditional roots music almost from birth. Her third solo album, Darlingford, is a stunning collection of songs drawn from her recent life experiences informed by her indomitably optimistic spirit and impeccable musical instincts. Recorded primarily in old wooden churches and home studios across the Canadian prairies, the album shines a bright light on Cara’s skill at turning personal heartbreak into resonating universal themes. Cara deserves her reputation as one of Canada’s finest live performers whose engaging, down-home style comes wrapped in a warm and delicious sense of humour. A co-founder of The Wailin’ Jennys, Cara was the spark behind the group and since leaving has wowed audiences and critics across North America and Europe.
With a Masters degree in Music from Newcastle University, Bella Hardy first came to widespread public recognition when she was nominated in the Best Original Song category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2007 for Three Black Feathers – the first song she ever wrote. In 2012, she won that same award for her powerful and moving account of life as a 19th century Stornoway Herring Girl. A fixture on the festival and folk club scene, Bella has sung in at the Royal Albert Hall during The Proms, co-written with former Beautiful South guitarist David Rotheray, for his concept album The Life of Birds, and composed the music for Radio 4’s The People’s Post – a documentary on the history of the Post Office. 2013 saw the release of her latest album Battleplan and a new release with Brit folk trailblazer Eliza Carthy and friends Lucy Farrell and Kate Young and 2014 saw her crowned as BBC Folk Singer of the Year.
Paul McClure is a singer and songwriter from Rutland, England where he lives with his wife and daughters. He takes his inspiration from his world and the people in it. “I suppose it all began in the back seat with The Beatles. Then it was Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Jonny Cash. My mum was a big Roy Orbison fan and I think John Denver and The Everly Brothers came via her too. By the time I made it into the front seat I was soaking up everything I could lay my ears on – I was into Bob Dylan, The Band and Leonard Cohen with a passion by then as well as the folk revival scene – which pretty much ruined my teenage years at school as it isn’t easy being the only 13 year old in your class with a Joan Baez tape in your bag.”