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Published on June 21st, 2018 | by Gareth Allen

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Underneath The Stars Festival Preview

The Underneath The Stars Festival, takes place from the 20 to 22 July, in rural South Yorkshire, at Cinderhill Farm, Cawthorne, near Barnsley; and this year this diverse and family friendly Festival will reach its fifth birthday.

In part curated by Mercury-nominated folk singer-songwriter Kate Rusby, it covers a wide and exciting range of music genres, with a line-up this year of established and emerging talent across the folk, jazz, roots, bluegrass, fusion and Americana music worlds. In addition, the Festival showcases a number of innovative and creative collisions between literature and music and autobiography.

Here at Sonic Bandwagon we would particularly highlight, from a stellar line up, some highly anticipated performances.

Steve Earle and the Dukes performance will without doubt be a major highlight of the Festival. Steve Earle is a pioneer of country rock on the edge, and alongside his music, is an actor, writer, radio host, and social and political activist. His latest album with the Dukes ‘So You Wannabe an Outlaw’ is a fabulous album, ranging through growling country rockers like ‘Fixin to Die’ to lovely lilting ballads like ‘The Girl on the Mountain’.

The incomparable Lau last year released ‘Decade: The Best of Lau”, a really nice run through of the musical story to date of this great band. Lau combine folk and electronics in the most intoxicating musical mix, where heartbreaking poignancy meets modern beats and traditional reels. They played a storming set at last year’s Cambridge Folk festival, and the Underneath the Stars Festival has chosen incredibly well, to secure Lau for this year’s festival.

Grace Petrie is a wonderfully talented singer songwriter, who articulates a political vision of social justice, liberation and peace, that is both inspiring and very moving in its emotional impact. If you doubt this, search out Grace singing ‘If there’s a fire in your heart’ as part of Coven.  You absolutely won’t want to miss her set!

A really interesting set at the Festival, which illustrates the Festival’s boundary breaking approach, is the appearance of best-selling author Joanne Harris, well known for her novel ‘Chocolat’. She will be presenting, with the Storytime Band, an exciting audio-visual show, combining music, songs and stories.

There is also ‘The Adventures of Andy Kershaw’, a one-man show from the legendary broadcaster and correspondent. It’s going to be both intriguing and fascinating.

And of course, the Festival has Kate Rusby, one of the best folk singer songwriters this island has produced. Listen to the title track of her 2016 ‘Life in a Paper Boat’ album, and experience the most beautiful and expressive of voices, and the most compelling of songwriting.

So a great Festival is in store, with stunning music to be experienced, underneath the twinkling stars of South Yorkshire.


About the Author

A committed metal head with a love of jazz, soul, and folk. Living in Central Scotland and attending gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with it's really amazing venues. My iconic moment... being invited on stage at the Glasgow Garage, by DevilDriver's Dez Fafara!



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