Big names in folk music to play Aslackby stage

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Four outstanding folk acts have been lined up for a series of shows in a village hall.

Richard Digance, Phil Beer, Martin Simpson and award-winning duo Chris While and Julie Matthews have been lined up for concerts at Aslackby.

The season of shows starts with Richard Digance on March 22.

Digance is both an accomplished musician, rated as one of Britain’s greatest acoustic guitarists, and an entertainer who many younger comedians claim as a major influence.

Beginning in folk clubs, his evergreen career has brought numerous awards, from a BAFTA Nomination as a TV entertainer to a Gold Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.

On his own ITV Saturday-night show Richard played guitar with Queen’s Brian May, The Moody Blues, and Status Quo, but he does not rest on his reputation and in the last two years has returned to his musical roots through major music festival appearances.

Phil Beer will play a solo set on Friday, May 30.

He is one of the most popular ambassadors for acoustic roots music and is perhaps best known as a top flight fiddler with the all-star line-up, Feast of Fiddles.

But his skills don’t stop there, and he also plays slide, Spanish and tenor guitar, mandocello, viola, mandolin and South American cuatro, not to mention contributing rich vocals.

Phil, who also has his own Phil Beer Band, famously guested on the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels album and is part of acclaimed folk act Show of Hands.

Martin Simpson will take to the Aslackby Village Hall stage on Saturday, September 6.

After 35 years as a professional musician, Simpson is widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world.

His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Steve Miller, and many more.

Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.

Chris While and Julie Matthews, who are scheduled for Friday, October 10, were winners in the best duo category at the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Their musical partnership began in 1993 when they were key members of the legendary folk super-group The Albion Band.

In 1997 they left to concentrate on their work as a duo which has seen them tour throughout the world.

Both multi-instrumentalists, Julie plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and accordion while Chris plays guitar, bodhran, banjo, dulcimer and percussion.

All the concerts start at 8pm and tickets can be reserved by calling 01778 440974, or 07740832750. Prices have yet to be confirmed but will be a maximum £12 each.