What's New?

  • Recording some harmony vocals for my good friend Richard Burley (Appalachia) this week. Richard is busy working on his second solo cd; looking forward to the Stroud Americana festival on 22nd June, and Brownshill on Sat. 13th July, both of which Appalachia will be performing at. For the Stroud Americana Festival I'll be performing a set partially solo/partially with Sean Hogan of Hog Ranch. Sean and I haven't had any gigs together lately, what with Hog Ranch busy playing at EWOB and putting the finishing touching on their debut cd, so I'm really looking forward to doing a set with my banjo buddy (also known as 'Heifer and the Hog).

    New gigs on the roster include the Tetbury Fiesta on Sun., 14th July, this year to be held at the Tythe Barn just up the road, and also Minchinhampton Folk Club's 10th anniversary shindig, Minch 500, on Sat. 29th June in the Minchinhampton Market House. Colin Sillence and I will also be returning to Riverfolk (RiFF5) Festival at Lechlade on Sun., 28th July, run by Ray and Jay of Chalice.

    The main event of the Minch 500 mini-festival will be an evening concert, at which Colin and I will be performing. Open mike sessions will be held in the Barn from lunchtime till early evening – all are welcome to play or watch free of charge. There will also be informal music in the bar and outside in the garden if fine.

    Performers taking part so far either in the Market House or the Barn include local bands Blondes with Beards, Folklaw, Harpers Ferry, Mike Scott, Quietfire, Take Two, Tinkerscuss and Trouble House Halt as well as many of the folk club regulars. Prominent local singer and musician Johnny Coppin will be making a guest appearance.

    I will be getting some new photos up here soon following a recent photo session courtesy of my lovely brother and sister-in-law which are more reflective of the current look.

    Colin and I have been busy working on some new-to-us material, I've finished a song and have also been revisiting some old favourites by artists such as Emmylou Harris.



  • Enjoyed Friday evening's gig at The Village Pump Folk Club with Colin and Nicola. It really is a lovely club. Thanks to Rosie and John for having us and all who came out to hear us--especially stalwart supporters Karina and Janice. Sadly we didn't get any piccies so if anyone did please email me!

    Am putting up a few new gigs today taking place this summer in my neck of the woods--Bob Porter's annual charity event, Brownshill Festival in July--which has just gone from strength to strength--a new Americana festival being organised by my friend and fellow American Sarana VerLin in Stroud and a benefit concert in Royal Wootton Bassett in May.

    Have a fab week.



  • This being a home-grown website and me being very un-tech-y, I'm afraid I am woefully lax about updates but shall endeavor to amend that this year! This also includes getting some videos up from the launch gig and posting some more gig dates soon.

    Gig Fri., 8th March.

    I'm really looking forward to performing with my good friend Nicola Clark and regular duo partner Colin Sillence on Friday, 8th March 2013 at The Village Pump Folk Club at The Lamb Inn in Trowbridge. Here's what the lovely folks at The Village Pump had to say about me and Nicola (this was before we knew Colin would be joining us):


    Nicola is based in Gloucestershire and Heather who grew up in North-Caroline USA is now resident in the UK. Their hallmark is an eclectic mix of original songs, contemporary bluegrass and traditional folk combined with self-assured elegance and finesse. Nicola and Heather are both fine songwriters with a delicacy of touch and ability to combine well-crafted lyrics with compelling and sensitive tunes. Add to this beautiful voices and skilled musicianship and the result is sublime.

    If you can make it out to see us, here's the important info:

    Village Pump Folk Club, Lamb Inn, Mortimer Street, Trowbridge

    Friday Nights Doors open 7.30 for 8.00

    Most evenings cost £5, £3 for Open Mic Nights and £8 - £10 for the top names in folk and roots.

    Tickets generally available on the door but on major guest nights can be purchased in advance from John on 01225 707346.

    If you haven't been to The Village Pump before, I'd highly recommend it as it's a lovely, welcoming folk club with a cool room.

    FRoots Magazine Review: Thank you, Mr Atkins.

    Heather Bristow

    Ragged Souls Heifer Records HR 022012

    Another first class recording of original material from Heather Bristow. A resident of Gloucestershire but Carolina-born, Heather plays bluegrass-derived music, although the banjo is set aside for a while after the first two cuts when the recording stays as top class acoustic music. Her singing voice reminds me a lot of Kathy Chiavola, a comment meant as flattery, and wheras Kathy records and plays with Nashville's finest, this recording is as good as anything in that category. The songs are excellent, drawing on all the bluegrass/country cliches in Where The Dogwood Blossoms Bloom to a real standout country song, Fool's Gold. The minor key Raggedy Man brings back the banjo to add to some excellent guitar and mandolin, before moving over to Passport to Heaven, a gospel song that could have been delivered by any of the greats such as Rose Maddox or Molly O'Day, as Heather changes into higher gear to sing with Mollie O'Brien. This after the intriguing Blow Back the Waves where the accompaniment is stripped back to just bodhran, before another outstanding country song, Where I'm Goin'. The vocal delivery from Heather, usually duetting with herself, is always right on the note and perfectly phrased. Not naturally given to shower praise, I say this is an outstanding recording.


    John Atkins.

    That's all for the moment folks!



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