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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Jamie Smith's Mabon and all things Welsh

Iolo Whelan, who plays percussion with Jamie Smith's Mabon, was having a bit of a tidy up, he says, and found a copy of their recent album, Windblown, in an envelope with my name on it, so he stuck it in the post.


I can see from their website that they've already had some great compliments for Windblown: by my reckoning it came out about six months ago. The thing about this lot, though, is that they're completely magic live and any album that gets even halfway there will consequently be good. They're the real deal: confident, charismatic, world-class folkies with a sense of humour. And they're from Wales.

So, in honour of the envelope (and the album), and after a conflab with Iolo about who to include, here's a celebration of all things Welsh and folky.

First off, it's Fernhill, named after a poem by Dylan Thomas but far less likely to get drunk and fall down your stairs or attempt to sleep with your sister (this is based on a balance of probabilities, rather than in-depth knowledge of Fernhill's social habits.)

And 9Bach. A tiny bit like Portishead but in Welsh.

And this is Calan, who among their other plus points have the potential at any moment to do clogging in sequinned silver dresses. 

More in the singer-songwriter vein, this is Sion Russell Jones, who's a hell of a guitarist. Nice video too. 

And Gareth Ponello, who styles himself The Gentle Good. That's a link to his blog.

And finally - but by no means least, very far from it - this is Catrin Finch, aka Queen of Harps, who is in the ancient tradition of the Welsh harp, though to say that doesn't really do her justice: she's been royal harpist to the Prince of Wales, a post that was revived especially for her. Read her full bio here. And then have a listen: it's like being transported to a different dimension. 

Y Ddraig Goch ddyry gychwyn. Oh yes.

* You can catch Jamie Smith's Mabon on the second leg of their Windblown tour from next month. 

* If you'd like to receive posts from this blog directly into your Facebook newsfeed, you could *like* its Facebook page and then use the drop-down menu to indicate that it's one of your "interests". This will enhance the possibility that you'll get them. You could also follow me on Twitter @emma1hartley


  1. Like your blog! Really nice look and your written style is fun and informative. Provided some inspiration for my blog as well. Thanks Emma! :)


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