The Walton Folk Festival announces its 2022 line-up


After a festival scheduled for later last year, the Walton Folk Festival is returning to its usual May bank holiday slot for 2022. Kin of Wildwood will headline a music-packed day featuring the best in folk, roots and acoustic music, including Polly Paulusma and rising star Angeline Morrison (Rowan/Morrison, We Are Muffy). She recently appeared on Folk Radio’s KLOF Episode 11 mix with a demo song from his next project, The Sorrow Songs: Folk Songs of the Black British Experience.

The festival takes place at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Center in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey on Sunday May 1, 2021. The last three festivals have earned a reputation for showcasing the best of British folk music, and all have sold out – so a booking early is recommended.

Wildwood Kin was due to headline the festival in 2020, which was canceled due to the lockdown. The festival team is therefore delighted to finally welcome the Devonshire trio made up of sisters Beth Key and Emillie Whiteside and their cousin Meghann Loney. They will perform a mix of originals and covers; The Sunday Times described their sound as “Fleetwood Mac-like harmonies, hints of the desolate spectral acoustics of Fleet Foxes, echoes of the richly textured but ramshackle sparseness of Ben Howard…”

Alongside Wildwood Kin in the evening is Polly Paulusma, the critically acclaimed English singer-songwriter. In recent years, Paulusma has toured with Bob Dylan, Coldplay, Gary Jules, Joseph Arthur and Marianne Faithfull. Last year she released Invisible Music: Folk Songs That Influenced Angela Carter (a terrific traditional folk album and a fascinating insight into Carter’s creative process…Mike Davies, Folk Radio). As noted in Mike Davies’ Folk Radio review here, Polly had just completed a doctorate on Angela Carter. The late novelist, who specialized in feminist and magical realism storytelling, is best known as the author of The Bloody Rooman anthology of ten stories that reworked traditional folklore or fairy tales, among which The Company of the Wolfs. What is perhaps less well known is that she began her career as a folk singer in 1960s Bristol, co-founding her own club and publishing an essay titled It’s time to sing who explored the cultural significance of folk songs. Paulusma’s album drew on this background to celebrate Carter’s musicality and the songs that influenced his writing.

The afternoon program includes Angeline Morrisson, a Birmingham-born, Cornish-based singer, songwriter and arranger, whose music spans wyrd folk, traditional folk, soul and 60s beat pop. His star is rising and 2022 is shaping up to be a year decisive with the forthcoming release of a second solo album. Do not miss!

Originally from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, The outer track return to Walton Folk after their superb performance at the 2019 festival. Its five members share a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music. They mix violin, accordion, harp, guitar, flute, whistle, jig and voice with breathtaking vitality. Neil McFadyen describes their 2018 album Rise Up as “a magnificent album which resolutely puts The Outside Track back in the spotlight, as one of the most accomplished bands on the international folk scene”.

The singer-songwriter is also performing Ellie Gowers, which has made a strong impression over the past year. His songs are built from a childhood love for literature and traditional folk song and touch on today’s more modern narratives. His music incorporates a fierce energy that echoes the folk revival of the 60s.

And finally, the team are delighted to welcome a great friend of the festival, Plymouth-based guitarist, singer-songwriter and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee, Jack Cookson. Peter Shaw described his Chamfer EP as a mini-masterpiece that rewards multiple listens.

Tickets for the festival are available on the Riverhouse Barn website: £39 for full day tickets. The festival will end at 10.30pm – in time to catch the return train from nearby Walton Station.

Alongside the ticketed Sunday festival at the Riverhouse, there will be a free day of acoustic and roots music in Walton-on-Thames High Street the day before, Saturday 31 April. This will showcase the vibrant music scene in Surrey and West London. More details and the full lineup will be confirmed soon.

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