16 - 17 - 18  September 2011
The Artist Line Up

Austin TX-based Steve James is a well-known name among devotees of contemporary acoustic folk and blues; this notoriety based on numerous critically acclaimed recordings, a tireless international tour schedule and a sheaf of published work including articles, instruction books and videos. His instrumental versatility (on guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, guitar-banjo) also makes him a favourite at music camps and workshop programs. He's been interviewed for features in Acoustic Guitar, Guitar Player, Blues Revue and Folk Roots (to name a few), and has been heard on "A Prairie Home Companion", The House Of Blues Network and many other syndicated programs worldwide. A noted traveller, Steve James has toured extensively, playing at festivals, concerts and clubs throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Ireland, the UK Europe, Australia, Brazil and China.

Dick Gaughan was brought up immersed in the musical traditions and culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, which naturally, therefore, provide the foundation for everything he does. He has been a professional musician and singer since Jan 1970. Has been playing guitar since the age of 7 and made his first solo album in 1971. Working mainly in the areas now known as "Folk" or "Celtic" music, he has recorded quite extensively since then in many countries and in various combinations, has also worked extensively as a session musician in a wide variety of musical styles. Dick was an early member of the band Boys of the Lough and the legendary Scottish Folk-Rock band, Five Hand Reel,. In the 90s he founded and produced the short-lived but quite extraordinary ensemble Clan Alba. As well as his singing, and often politically charged song writing Gaughan is also noted for his powerful and distinctive flatpicking guitar style.

Siobhan Skates was born and raised in Sydney Australia where she grew up with her Irish born parents in a home filled with all sorts of music and musical instruments. Siobhan’s first introduction to the music scene was as a drummer in the New South Wales Ladies Highland Pipe Band. This experience led Siobhan to experiment with a local rock band as a singing drummer. She first discovered the guitar at 19 when she picked up an old dust covered acoustic during free time at her work as an Ambulance Officer. She began busking on the streets of her home city for both the experience and the craic.  Following relocation in 1991 to the birthplace of her parents in Belfast, Siobhan began to take singing in public a little more seriously. In 1993 she joined four other women vocalists to form an all-girl accapella group The Wildflowers. The group toured Germany on several occasions and released an album 'Total Vocal' in 1994. However it was the singing partnership of Siobhan and another member of the Wildflowers singer songwriter Rosemary Woods which provided acclaim in both Ireland and further afield and they appear at the Big F as part of a reunion tour.

Nick Harper, Son of the legendary UK singer-songwriter Roy Harper, Nick was born in London and raised in Wiltshire. Having played the guitar from the age of 10 and surrounded by the likes of Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Dave Gilmour as he grew up, it was no surprise when Nick made his recording debut on his father's Whatever Happened to Jugula? in 1985.
Nick's talent and energy entranced Roy's fans and it was inevitable that he would begin touring and recording in his own right. The 1994 EP Light at the End of the Kennel was swiftly followed by his powerful 1995 debut long player Seed prompting The Independent to describe him as "hugely talented".
Tim Wood

Tim Wood began playing and writing songs in the booming Folk scene of the early seventies. Always fascinated by the solo performer he set about learning the styles and tunings of the innovative guitarists of the time.
On moving to the USA he met and learned from the country blues players playing in and around New York, notably Larry Johnson, whose urban acoustic style added a new facet to the lessons already learned from such players as Bert Jansch.
On returning to England, Wood played in the folk clubs and festivals around Britain and Europe.
Many performers have recorded and performed Wood’s songs notably Kieran Halpin , Tom McConville Jon Strong and more recently, Equation.
Tim Wood is a lyricist, the various guitar styles are designed to support the lyrics. Combined with a lot of humor around (and sometimes in) the songs this makes for an enjoyable and thought provoking show. As he would say “ if you think you have something to say, people are much more likely to listen to it if you have made them laugh as well.
After a long layoff through illness and a brief foray into the world of television Tim Wood is back playing live and has a new CD, The Obvious Rhyme.

Tom Page

16 year old Classical prodigy Tom Page was born in 1995 in London. He began playing classical guitar at the age of 7 and studies with Adrian Harrison and Professor Gary Ryan at The Royal College of Music where he was a founding member of the Guitar Circus group. This year he has played at The Winchester Guitar Festival and the second World Youth Guitar Festival in Cheltenham. The BIG F will be his first appearance outside the classical world, something he is really looking forward to.

Plus Other Local Rock Bands:

Dark Stanley, Little Bay, Fluff & The Voodoo Wah, Sonic Templars


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Founder member of Canada’s highly acclaimed Wailin’ Jennies, Cara Luft is turning heads with her blend of roots, folk, rock and country music. A true Alt-Roots artist to the core, Cara honours the roots tradition, embraces the heart of the singer-songwriter, and brings in-depth instrumentation and superior musicianship to the mix. Cara will also be hosting workshop sessions  Cara Luft ( You Tube )

Henry McCullough Sideman to the stars, Henry’s long career has seen him working with Roy Harper, Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Lane, Donovan, Frankie Miller, Eric Burdon, Viola Wills, Spooky Tooth, Joe Cocker, The Grease Band, Paul McCartney and Wings, Leon Russell, Frankie Miller, Pink Floyd and many more. Henry McCullough is justifiably one of rock’s most legendary figures. Check him out live at The Big F and be convinced for yourself. Henry will be accompanied by The Alan Murphy Band.  Henry McCulloough ( You Tube )

Jim Murray and Peter Mason, AKA the Hokum Hotshots met in short pants in the late 60s and have been playing together ever since. Hokum Music is essentially ‘blues with a smile on its face’ and the Hotshots do it very well.  Both Jim and Pete are mulit-instumentalists including Steel National and Dobro Horizontal Guitars, Mandolin, Tiple (a 10 stringed South American instrument), ukulele, and acoustic 6 stringed guitars in their arsenal. That makes a total of over 50 available strings, of which most are hit in the right order.  The musical influences range from field hollers, through ragtime, vaudeville, country blues, jazz and swing, through to the urban blues of the 1940s. Add to these compositions sympathetic to the tradition and a large dash of humour and you get close to defining the music that is The Hokum Hotshots.  Jim and Pete will be hosting the Juke Joint Stage at Craigmore Bowling club.

Lee Patterson’s earthy approach to his music has won him friends and admirers all over the world. His highly acclaimed 2004 debut release “Razum Frazum” saw him gain huge recognition throughout the folk and singer-songwriter community.  However, it was when he became the first white person to receive a British Gospel Award (Birmingham 2004) for his song “Working on a Building” that music critics really started to become aware of his work. Despite the growing interest in his music, Lee clung firmly to his beliefs that if you want something done well, you should do it yourself, refusing to sign up with a larger label.  He released his second album “The Grinder’s Monkey” in 2007 and began building a solid live following throughout the country with his solo live shows and supports with the likes of Chris Smither, James Yorkston, King Creosote, Dave Arcari and Jackie Leven.

Richard and Marta Marta's voice and Richard's guitar appeal to audiences across different cultures.  From Canada, they have taken their flamenco music around the world, usually performing as a duo and sometimes as accompanists for dancers.  Among their travels as singer and guitarist they have traced the music's roots from India through the Middle East to Europe, presenting their shows to audiences in each of these regions.  They appeared as flamenco artists in a series of concerts presented by Broadway Concerts Direct of New York.   Marta is originally from Colombia, where she performed with groups in Cali, while Richard had already being playing solo flamenco guitar since leaving his native Scotland.  The two met and married in Canada in 1989, forming their flamenco duo in Calgary soon afterwards.  They now live near Montreal, Québec.

Preston Reed has virtually reinvented how the acoustic guitar is played. Reed practices a flamboyant self-invented style, characterized by percussive techniques and simultaneous rhythm and melody lines that dance and ricochet around each other, giving his music a level of excitement that is unparalleled among today's guitarists. Playing an array of guitars from acoustic to electric to classical Reed's vast range of explosively original music will forever change your expectation of a guitarist.
First-time listeners find it impossible to believe that they're hearing just the one musician, in real time. Reed attacks the entire instrument in a never-ending search for the orchestra he knows is lurking inside. At full tilt, his fingers, thumbs, fists and hands at once suggest a drummer, keyboardist, bassist and several guitarists at work.  Preston Reed ( You Tube )

The prolific David Olney infuses his live performances with an intensity that converts many new listeners into die-hard fans. Mr Olney’s intelligent compositions radiate that same intensity and have earned a place as one of the most respected singer-songwriters in the world today. His songs have been recorded by Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Del McCoury, Lonnie Brooks, James King, Slaid Cleaves, Dale Ann Bradley, Tom Rozum, Ann Rabson, Keiran Kane/Kevin Welch/Fats Kaplin, Tim O’Brien and others. He has released more than 20 albums over four decades, including six live recordings, and performs worldwide. Sergio Webb is a talented Texas-born Nashville-based guitarist, who played with Pinto Bennett and The Famous Motel Cowboys, Gail Davies and currently tours with David Olney for his live gigs