Here are the artists confirmed for Halfway to Seventy-Five 2018:
Speedbuggy USA tore up the tranquillity of the Thames when they appeared at Halfway to Seventy-five in 2016, and they’re back to create more havoc with their hi-octane country! On their last visit the Oxford Mail described them as “a sweat-drenched ball of furious energy with all the force of an out-of-control Mustang flying through Death Valley”. That Mustang ain’t running out of gas any time soon…
Equipped with an impressive and varied array of instrumentation (pedal steel guitar, flugelhorn, mandolin, fiddle and clarinet all blend with unexpected ease), the Vagaband draw inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic to incorporate Americana, Celtic folk rock and vaudeville into an unmistakable sound of their own.
“Exceptional…a rich concoction of Americana, swing, ragtime, blues and rock” – Folk Radio UK
Rachel Laven grew up in a musical family in San Antonio, Texas. She performed with her parents’ cover band at the age of 5, started songwriting at 10, and recorded her first full length album at 13. Now with 3 albums with her family band (The Lavens), 2 solo albums, and 1 EP with her bluegrass project band (Sweet ‘Shine & Honey), she’s setting her sights on an international following.
We loved Rachel’s set at last year’s Halfway to Seventy-Five so invited her back and promised that this time around we’d bring the sunshine!
“A brilliant band and a good example of that crossover where Britain meets America and it makes a very special sound indeed” Ralph McLean – BBC Radio Ulster
In 2015 The Rosellys signed to Clubhouse Records (Redlands Palomino Co, Cale Tyson, Don Gallardo) and released their first full band album ‘The Granary Sessions’, gathering praise from musicians, critics and audiences alike. They have toured extensively across the UK, Australia and America – notably the Southern States where San Antonio (Texas) has become their second home. Influenced by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, it is clear The Rosellys have an absolute love for Americana music, and we’re delighted to have them back at Halfway to Seventy-Five.
Coming to us all the way from East Nashville USA, we’re delighted to be joined by one of Americana’s true stalwarts. Her album ‘Home Sweet Hotel’ featured in the Telegraph‘s ‘Best Country & Americana Albums of 2016’ alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt & Sturgill Simpson, while last year’s follow-up ‘Rhythm of the Rain’ has been hailed by Rock ‘n’ Reel as “Sassy Americana at its best”.
The August List
This will be the third time at Halfway to Seventy-Five for the incredibly talented husband-and-wife duo the August List. Comparisons are inevitably made with the likes of the Handsome Family and the White Stripes, but the August List have a sound and a style that’s all their own, as BBC 6 Music‘s Tom Robinson notes: “It’s a rare…duo that can pull off the knack of sounding simultaneously like a vintage Louisiana jug band and at the same time very much like themselves.”
Country for Old Men
In their own words, Oxfordshire’s Country for Old Men offer “good down-home fun, farmyard funky and a musical experience not to be missed” and who are we to argue?! An authentic Americana sound effortlessly blending country, blues, and Tex-mex, and a brilliant live act who join us for the first time at Halfway to Seventy-Five.
The Holy Fools
Oxford meets Tennessee in the form of this transatlantic trio whose music is influenced by American folk and blues traditions.
Bennett Wilson Poole
Danny Wilson (Danny And The Champions Of The World, Grand Drive), and Robin Bennett (The Dreaming Spires, Saint Etienne) join forces with Tony Poole (Starry Eyed and Laughing), producer extraordinaire, and King of the electric twelve-string Rickenbacker. Combining their voices, guitars, and songwriting to marvellous effect in a collection of songs that began as uplifting acoustic music and just grew into something far more wide-ranging and transcendent, providing balm, inspiration and succour for these troubled times.
The Deadbeat Apostles
Take a pinch of Southern soul, add some rhythm, blues and a full cup of country. Beg, steal and borrow but pay it back in full. Shake some voodoo bones to season add a twist of dirty funk and bake in the Delta sun. Pick it up, throw it in the dirt and don’t worry about wiping it clean-it tastes better that way. Take it to the bridge, douse it in kerosene, set it ablaze and send it careening down the canyon, a whooping and a hollering, trailing carnage in its wake. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. I GIVE YOU THE DEADBEAT APOSTLES. And they’re bringing their own brand of white hot incendiary country with them.*
*We didn’t write this stuff, the band did, but if you’ve ever experienced a ‘Day of the Deadbeats’, you’ll know that they aren’t making it up!
The Goat Roper Rodeo Band
R2 Magazine describes the Goat Roper Rodeo Band as “wonderfully executed acoustic country blues with two guitars, a double bass and plaintive striking harmonies, a musical landscape driven by old timey sensibilities”, while Bob Harris simply calls them “amazing”. We’re delighted to finally welcome them to Halfway to Seventy-Five so you can hear what all the fuss is about.
We’re pretty sure that Ags was the first person we ever approached to play at the first Halfway to Seventy-Five back in 2013, and since then he’s released two albums, been hailed as “the English Willie Nelson” and has become a good friend. We’re thrilled to have him back again in 2018.
Jonas and Jane
“Brilliant! Some serious tricky finger picking!” (Chris Evans)
“Seamless harmony vocals, sweetest of sounds” (Americana UK)
“One of the must-see acts in the UK’s thriving Americana scene” (The Local Music Scene Blog)
Just some of the praise that has been heaped on this incredibly talented duo, who blend Americana and folk to beautiful effect. We have a hunch they’re destined for big things.
The Lost Notes
Formed in 2014, The Lost Notes are a 5-piece band based in Moseley, Birmingham. They write songs for chin-strokers, foot-stompers, head-nodders and those who like to partake in the dark art of inarticulate dancing and hollering. All delivered in glorious 3 part harmonies.
“One of Birmingham’s finest emerging bands, [they] fuse bluegrass, folk, jazz, blues and pop to produce a sound as compelling as it is entertaining… Their catchy songs are so addictively good they’ll have you singing along by the time they’ve got to the first chorus.” (Birmingham Mail)
“When it comes to long car journeys, Nick has saved our sanity…if only all music for under 5s was written by indie-pop geniuses!”
“It’s such a pleasure to find a children’s songwriter and performer whose music I can actually bear to listen to!”
Just two of the many reasons why Nick Cope is adored by parents and children alike for his delightful songwriting and performances which engage and enthrall the whole family. We’re delighted to welcome Nick back to Halfway to Seventy-Five once again to entertain music lovers of all ages.
Carousel are a four-piece Indie Americana music collective are based in Southend-on-Sea. They fuse Americana, country, folk, rock’n’roll, blues and roots music into their own unique approach whilst taking full advantage of having 4 accomplished vocalists at their disposal.
“When these guys and girl put their voices together something magical happens” (Pennyblackmusic)