London Folk Magazine and News
Square Roots Productions Launch This Spring
Music is a common language. A language that can span a great distance and still convey a message, emotion, or thought as clear as it would be had it passed a few inches. For centuries, music has sailed its way to and fro across the Atlantic, fixing two countries together with a net of creativity.
The British and American link via music is an obvious one. A tie that remains well intact, influencing the culture of each country, pushing and pulling at either end. Britain and America share a history in folk music, filled with outstanding artists, heart wrenching songs, and lasting influence. Such a relationship deserves to be preserved.
This is what Square Roots Productions aims to do.
Square Roots Productions is a UK-based charity whose objective is to curate events and projects that celebrate the folk music heritage shared by Britain and the United States: the people, the places, the history and the music itself. Folk music arguably reached its creative peak during the 50’s and 60’s, with the emergence of many vastly prominent figures such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Martin Carthy. This year, these artists turn 75, a juncture that Square Roots sees as significant.
Folk music is, and has been, going through an exciting revival, with musicians reaching the mainstream and folk scenes growing all over the country. In the midst of this resurgence, Square Roots aims to give a platform to unsung folk musicians, and to the equally influential contemporaries of those figures of the 50’s and 60’s, to aid their urgent rediscovery. Through this rediscovery, their legacy can be shared with today’s audience and preserved for future generations.
Square Roots makes its public debut this Spring, with three gigs at the award-winning Green Note in Camden Town, London.
The first event on 22nd February is a celebration of the inspirational Appalachian singer and song-collector Jean Ritchie, who traced the links between American ballads and songs from the UK and Ireland. Performing at the celebration is acclaimed dulcimer player Dan Evans, along with singer-guitarist Virginia Thorn.
On March 23, Square Roots celebrate the life and work of guitarist Wizz Jones, whose career began in the coffee bars of 1950s London, and to who Clapton and Springsteen have paid homage. Simeon Jones and Dariush Kanani will take the stage for the evenings music.
Lastly, April 13 promises something very special, with Bonnie Dobson, a key figure in the 1960s New York folk revival whose song ‘Morning Dew’ is now a classic, covered by Fred Neil, the Grateful Dead, Jeff Beck and Robert Plant among others. A relatively unsung contemporary, Bonnie’s remarkable story began on the same Greenwich Village stages as Dylan. Bonnie will be supported by Harry Phillips.
Square Roots will also be hitting the states, with another concert celebrating Jean Ritchie, featuring her son Peter Pickow on guitar and dulcimer player David Massengill on 6th March. The event marks the opening of an exhibition at the New York State Library of Ritchie’s life and work.
The relationship between the folk music of Britain and America is a bridge that needs to be maintained and well-travelled. Fortunately for us, this exciting project from Square Roots Productions is just what’s needed, and we look forward to all they have in store!
For more information visit the Square Roots website!