Folk on Foot

Folk on Foot

“Modest people, playing gorgeous music, speaking articulately about areas they love. Fabulously calming” – one listener’s description of this multi-award-winning podcast in which Matthew Bannister goes walking with top folk musicians in the landscapes that have inspired them. “A restorative breathing space in sound” – The Telegraph. “Immaculately produced” – The Times Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

May 16, 2024 52 mins

Our wettest episode ever features the wonderful duo Megson (Stu and Debs Hanna) walking, talking and playing along the River Tees between Stockton and Middlesborough. This is where Stu and Debs grew up, began making music and fell in love. Their powerful songs tell vivid stories about the industrial heritage of the area through the eyes of the people who live there. With instruments wrapped in bin bags and recording gear hidden und...

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Matthew Bannister’s guest on this month’s Official Folk Albums Chart Show from Folk on Foot is the great Martin Simpson. He’ll be telling the fascinating stores behind some of the songs on his acclaimed album “Skydancers”. There’s a live performance from This Is The Kit filmed at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, plus music from Daisy Rickman, India Electric Co., Phil Odgers and John Kettle and Dana Gavanski.

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The singer and fiddle player Jackie Oates is joined by the squeezebox maestro John Spiers for a walk along the mighty River Thames in Oxfordshire. Between a song or two from the lace making industry, and a gorgeous “Lament To The Moon” Jackie talks about her passion for folk song and her recent training as a music therapist which took her into a hospice to help those nearing the end of their lives capture memories in song. She also...

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A chance to hear one of our favourite podcasts: The Outdoors Fix, presented by hiker and journalist Liv Bolton and featuring an interview with Matthew Bannister. Liv’s aim is to inspire you to get outside and make the outdoors a bigger part of your life. An idea which – as you know – we’re very much in favour of.

Normally the Outdoors Fix is recorded – well – outdoors. But that wasn’t possible during the Covid lockdowns. So, when Ma...

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March 14, 2024 65 mins

The trans pipe and fiddle player Malin Lewis grew up on a magical island off the West coast of Scotland. There were no roads or cars and their family were the only permanent residents. Home schooled till the age of seven, Malin had an idyllic childhood roaming the forests, building dens and splashing in the shallows on the white sand beaches. In this episode this rising star of the Scottish folk scene - with a hotly anticipated deb...

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Joe Boyd and John Wood were the producer and sound engineer behind some of the greatest folk rock albums of the 1960s and 70s. They worked with Pink Floyd on their first single Arnold Layne, with Fairport Convention on Unhalfbricking and Liege and Lief and with Nick Drake on Five Leaves Left, Bryter Later and Pink Moon. John produced John Martyn’s Bless The Weather and Solid Air while Joe worked with the Incredible String Band. In ...

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February 15, 2024 50 mins

Come with us to the glorious Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland to meet the band TRÚ. Taking their name from a mythological trio of poet-musicians from ancient Ulster, Zach Trouton, Dónal Kearney and Michael Mormecha combine Irish nationalist, Ulster-Scots and British-Ukrainian heritages, crossing boundaries which have often divided Northern Irish communities in the past. In this beautiful episode they are united in creating s...

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January 18, 2024 59 mins

The beloved baggy cloth cat Bagpuss is fifty years old in 2024. We celebrate his birthday by visiting Sandra Kerr at her home in the Northumberland village of Warkworth. Sandra co-wrote and arranged the music for the series and provided some of the voices. In her cosy music room she shows us her Bagpuss souvenirs, reflects on the show’s enduring appeal and sings one of the songs. Then, on a walk along the River Coquet, Sandra looks...

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This year’s seasonal episode takes us to the village of Mallwyd in mid Wales to join the ancient tradition of the plygain carols. On a dark, cold night, local people gather in the warm and welcoming St Tydecho’s Church to sing Welsh language carols which have been handed down through successive generations of their families. They’re joined by Gwilym Bowen Rhys who unearthed his carol in a second hand book shop and by Owen Shiers (C...

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November 16, 2023 45 mins

Come to “The Edge of the Land” with the wonderful singer, songwriter and guitarist Katie Spencer. She was born and brought up in East Yorkshire. In this episode she takes us to one of her favourite places: Spurn Point, a narrow spit of land that stretches three miles out into the sea. As we head for the lighthouse at the end, she sings some of her gorgeous songs on the beach and talks about her musical inspiration, but will we be c...

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October 12, 2023 57 mins

Jon Wilks is singlehandedly bringing folk music to a wider audience, through his excellent TradFolk website and Old Songs Podcast and of course by singing and playing the music itself. In this episode, he takes us for a walk around the stomping grounds of his youth in the centre of Birmingham, sharing his fascinating insights into the history of music making in the city and performing songs on the very spot where they were original...

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September 14, 2023 52 mins

When the Scottish Burmese sound artist Fiona Soe Paing discovered that one of her ancestors was a traditional singer, she resolved to make a contemporary electronic album reflecting the music and folk tales of her home county of Aberdeenshire.

On this walk up Bennachie and then along the coast, she sings some of the songs on the very spot where they were inspired, including John Hosie’s Well (said to have sprung from the ground wher...

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August 31, 2023 88 mins

On August 4th 2023, Folk on Foot host Matthew Bannister set off on his biggest walk yet. Over two weeks, he covered 186 miles from Wickham Festival in Hampshire to Folk East in Suffolk, raising thousands of pounds for the charity Help Musicians. Every evening he was met (in a pub, of course), by some of the folk world’s finest musicians. This bonus episode treats you to the musical highlights that spurred Matthew on his way. You wi...

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August 24, 2023 74 mins

On 4th August 2023, Folk on Foot host Matthew Bannister set off on his biggest walk yet: from Wickham Festival in Hampshire to Folk East in Suffolk. Over two weeks, he covered 186 miles, took 465,137 steps and raised thousands of pounds for the charity Help Musicians. Each evening, he was joined in the pub by some of the folk world’s finest musicians, who sang and played to revive his flagging spirits. This episode tells the inside...

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This is our highest ever episode. We climbed to the top of Yorkshire’s tallest peak - Whernside - with the singer/songwriter Johnny Campbell and the fiddle player Mikey Kenney to help Johnny record a track for his forthcoming album “True North”. He’s recording each track at the summit of one of the highest peaks in the North of England. Along the way we discuss his passion for Northern folk music, his love of walking and his determ...

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June 15, 2023 60 mins

Angeline Morrison’s “The Sorrow Songs - Folk Songs of Black British Experience” was one of the most significant albums of recent times. On this walk near her home in North Cornwall, Angeline talks about her deep love for traditional music and her determination to chronicle in song the experiences of black Britons through history. By the grave of the master and slave who are buried together she sings “Slave No More” and on the beach...

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The Fife based singer/songwriter James Yorkston and the Cardigans lead singer Nina Persson teamed up with the Swedish Second Hand Orchestra to make the gorgeous album “The Great White Sea Eagle”. On this atmospheric walk through Tentsmuir Forest on the Scottish coast just north of St Andrews, James explains why he comes to the forest to find calm and space. Nina recalls her hectic time as a pop star in the 1990s and they share insi...

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Katherine Priddy grew up in the village of Alvechurch in the West Midlands, writing songs as a teenager which eventually ended up on her beautiful debut album “The Eternal Rocks Beneath”.  On a walk in the nearby countryside, she sings two of them before we move on to Tanworth in Arden where Nick Drake is buried. Katherine is part of a stellar line up of artists who’ve been invited to re-interpret Nick’s songs for a new album. By h...

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Why do rivers play such a vital role in our lives, culture and folklore? In this glorious episode, the nature writer Amy-Jane Beer, author of “The Flow”, joins the Welsh singer and songwriter Owen Shiers (also known as Cynefin) on a walk up the beautiful River Clettwr in Ceredigion. There are songs and stories aplenty and even a game of Pooh sticks.

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February 16, 2023 56 mins

Freedom To Roam is a music and multi-media project dreamed up by the flautist Eliza Marshall as a response to many of the pressing issues facing us right now. On this walk climbing the glorious Malvern Hills she is joined by Catrin Finch (harp), Andrew Morgan (percussion) Donal Rogers (piano, guitar and more) and Jackie Shave (violin) to share the exquisite music they’ve created to tell a story of migration, liberation and care for...

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