Roll up for Maddy's eclectic new sound and a bit of clog dancing
Maddy Prior is a folk musician who has built her career on exploration and collaboration, and her latest partnership is no exception.
Perhaps best known as the voice of Steeleye Span, she has teamed up for new album 3 For Joy with multi-instrumentalist and singer Giles Lewin from the Carnival Band and young accordion player Hannah James, known for her work with Sam Sweeney. And the trio are coming to Lyme Regis and Exeter this month as part of a UK tour.
"The combination of myself, Hannah and Giles has turned out to be a delightful box of surprises," says Maddy.
"Giles is a member of the Carnival Band whom I have worked with for over 20 years. "He is a talented fiddle, bagpipe and recorder player (well, that's all he plays on this outing) and also a very accomplished singer.
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"Hannah is one of the up-and-coming bright sparks who plays piano accordion to a superb standard, is a world class clog and step dancer and also a fluid and sympathetic singer.
"We have applied ourselves to a variety of material, from English traditional music and songs through Georgian, Bulgarian, klezmer, American and back to Medieval English. The harmonies are tight and very effective, bringing in different vocal styles and techniques.
"The clog dancing brings the house down," adds Maddy, one of the most enduring, influential and respected artists in British folk music.
Still in love with her medium, still pushing at the boundaries, she is still fascinated by the possibilities that music has to offer.
"We have been greatly satisfied by the response of the audiences so far, who have been impressed by the freshness of material and approach," she adds.
For those with a love of dance, it's worth noting that Hannah has previously entertained 25,000 people at Cropredy with a solo clog dance, so be prepared to be impressed.
Maddy Prior, Giles Lewin and Hannah James will perform at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis on September 29 and Exeter Corn Exchange on September 30.