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April 2017
Main Stage at MerleFest

It’s one of those events that everyone wants to play. When you get the invitation to appear at Doc Watson’s MerleFest in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, it’s such an honour that it’s difficult not to brag about it.

We are bragging, then, as two of our favourite Brookfield-Knights artists, The Stray Birds and Front Country, each have main stage appearances this year. Congrats to them – so well deserved!

Best of The Bunch!

The first of the month may be known as April Fool’s Day but there was nothing crazy about the result of the hugely prestigious Juno Awards held in Canada on that date when The Fretless emerged winner of the Instrumental Album of The Year category to add another trophy to their collection.

Might stick that as a feather in our cap too – it’s nice to have another “best of the bunch” on the roster!

March 2017
SOLD-OUT Signs Come Out For Bronwynne's Latest UK Tour

It's said that March "comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb" - a reference to how the weather can be wild at the start of the month then turn Spring-like. ...and what a start it was for Bronwynne Brent on her latest visit here when she kicked off her 2017 tour in fantastic style as a guest of presenter Roddy Hart who hosts the popular Quay Sessions "live" from BBC Radio Scotland.

Some two thousand eager hopefuls applied for a chance to be in the studio audience for the broadcast - all chasing one of the precious 150 tickets.

Bronwynne's performance confirmed her place at the top table of American singer-songwriters and attracted a huge amount of positive online comment as she then set off on tour with a large number of the shows sold-out events, including the final date at the Top Secret Blues Festival. Good news is that she'll be back again - same time next year.

February 2017
It’s been a Great Start!

What a dream start to 2017 – let’s hope the trend continues as the year unfolds. After their triumphant appearance at Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow, where Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys ended up being featured in the BBC2 TV Highlights coverage, the band embarked on what was to be a run of sold-out shows at some of the best venues in England. On their return to the USA, No Depression magazine listed the band as one of six acts “on the verge” or making a major breakthrough.

Meanwhile, The Fretless were making an impact with a nomination in the 2017 Juno awards and their Bird’s Nest CD featured as a Top Album of 2016 at Folk Radio UK. Connla picked up a 5-star review in The Scotsman Nathan Bell made a huge impact at Celtic Connections where he silenced a packed Oran Mor in a room renowned as one of the rowdiest performance spaces in town and in the process, received a glowing review from Paul Kerr at AmericanaUK, who said he was “the real deal” and urged readers to make a point of catching him in action. 3hattrio, made such a big impression when they flew in for the own headline show at Celtic Connections that they were invited in to the BBC studios to play ‘live’ on Ricky Ross’s Another Country radio show. “Brilliant, absolutely brilliant,” was what he had to say.

The year started well, too for Front Country, who have a killer new album about to get its UK launch, with lead vocalist Melody Walker singled out by Paste magazine as one of the most potent female voices in modern Bluegrass

January 2017
Lindsay Lou and The Gang Take Celtic Connections by Storm

It was our busiest ever Celtic Connections festival with nine acts involved, and the opening weekend could not have got off to a better start with sizzling hot Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys wowing the crowds who turned out in Glasgow.

The band played to a capacity 2500 from the main stage of The Royal Concert Hall on the first night, filmed in the process for the BBC2 TV Highlights programme, went on to appear in front of 1800 at the iconic Barrowland Ballroom, and finished off the run with a sold-out show in the Strathclyde Suite of the Concert Hall, followed by a ‘live’ in the studio broadcast from BBC Radio Scotland’s Pacific Quay HQ on the popular Travelling Folk Show presented by Bruce MacGregor.

Best Album award for Connla

Northern Ireland’s Connla continue to make an impact on both sides of the Atlantic and pick up the Vocal/Instrumental Album of The Year trophy in the prestigious ‘Live’ Ireland awards. They are set to create a big impression when they make their Celtic Connections debut this month.

Seven acts in Top Selection

Reasons to be cheerful again...: Reviewer Mike Morrison is widely acknowledged as someone with great taste. He runs the American Roots UK website and is regarded as someone with a sound understanding and appreciation of the genre. We were thrilled, therefore, when he unveiled his Top Albums of 2016 list and it featured no fewer than seven Brookfield-Knights acts including 3hattrio, The Way Down Wanderers, The Lowest Pair, The California Feetwarmers, Red Tail Ring, The Honeycutters and Nathan Bell. Yes, we were grinning from ear to ear when that one emerged!

ISimply The Best!

What a way to kick start a New Year – with six of our acts all featuring in the “Best of 2016” Readers’ Poll at the influential AmericanaUK website.

We must be doing something right and the general public voted in their droves to send us that message.

The Stray Birds carried off the Best Band title with The Mike + Ruthy Band just behind them in runner-up position. The Stray Birds also took the Best Album title for their Magic Fire CD, with Red Tail Ring a runner-up in that category for their Fall Away Blues album.

For the second year running, Bronwynne Brent is named Best Female Performer with Laura Cortese close behind as a runner-up, (alongside Lucinda Williams) in that category.

Cam Penner and Nathan Bell were both in runners-up position in the Best Male Performer section and The Stray Birds and The Mike + Ruthy Band were joint runners-up in the Best Live Act category.

…and, just to emphasise that those who voted really DO know what they are talking about, they made Bernie Sanders their Hero of 2016.

December 2016
In the running for Album of The Year

Respected broadcaster Mike Brocken has singled out two Brookfield Knights’ acts for recognition in his Best of 2016 feature at BBC Radio Merseyside.

Red Tail Ring and Connla are contenders for his Album of The Year award on the Folkscene show which is the longest-running programme at the station with a big weekly audience.

The winner will eventually be revealed in his broadcast on January 1st.

November 2016
Two of The Best are MerleFest-bound

It's rightly recognised as one of the best roots music festivals in the world and so we are real proud to announce that two of our favourite Brookfield-Knights acts, The Stray Birds and Front Country, have just been confirmed among the main highlights of the MerleFest 2017 programme.

Album of The Year Contenders

Micheal Brocken at BBC Radio Merseyside announces his Album of the Year contenders and two acts we have loved working with - Sheesham & Lotus & Son and Red Tail Ring - are each in his final countdown.

October 2016
Best, Best and Best chance for The Danberrys

Brookfield-Knights act The Danberrys have been nominated in three different categories in the prestigious Independent Music Awards – Best Americana Album, Best Bluegrass Song and Best Country Song.

It is a tremendous accolade for an act that has been building a serious following on both sides of the Atlantic following the release of their superb album, Give and Receive, earlier this year.

The winners will be announced at the Lincoln Centre for the Performing Arts in New York City on November 12th.... and we can look forward to seeing them 'live' in the UK in 2017.

Lizabett is "utterly enchanting" says BBC's Bruce

What a great way to start a new month with a terrific radio session from one of our favourite performers - Lizabett Russo - for Bruce MacGregor's Travelling Folk Show at BBC Radio Scotland. Last month, reviewing her latest album, fRoots magazine praised her “astonishing vocal range” and added: “This is an artist who is well worth investigating.” After her latest studio session, Bruce told listeners it had been "utterly enchanting."
Watch out for Lizabett on tour in 2017. Not to be missed!

September 2016
Great Honour for Two of The Best

Two of our most popular touring bands from the USA - Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and Front Country - were each honoured with members receiving nominations in the 2016 Momentum Awards at the prestigious International Bluegrass Music Association conference in North Carolina.

Lead vocalists Lindsay Lou and Melody Walker were each singled out for their contribution in Best Vocalist category (along with three others) to "provide them momentum to continue to climb."

It was Melody who emerged triumphant when the winner was announced at the event in Raleigh, and we congratulate her on a momentous achievement. Must have been a close-run thing as they're both so great!

Three of The Best

Three artists that we are proud to be working with have all received nominations in this year’s prestigious Canadian Folk Music Awards. The winners will be announced at the glittering CFMA Awards Gala at Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre on December 3.

Acts being honoured this year include Ozere (The Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award), The Slocan Ramblers (Traditional Album of The Year - for Coffee Creek), and Lotus Wight (Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year – Ode To The Banjo).

Film Star Steve Martin is Front Country’s latest fan

Front Country made huge impact when they toured here earlier this year and wowed the crowds at Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, Devizes Street Festival and Didmarton, where they were the headline act.

It’s always great to hear well-respected individuals saying good things about our acts and when Bob Harris showered them with praise, there’s no doubt that meant others at that level began to pay attention.

On their return to the USA, another big-name star (and banjo aficionado) - Steve Martin - sought them out when they played the Mountain Song Festival in Brevard, North Carolina, presenting the band with a very special photo opportunity.

The Stray Birds soar once more...

As excitement levels rise ahead of The Stray Birds’ latest visit to these shores, the band’s new album, Magic Fire, has been creating a huge impact and attracting a lot of media attention.

The Daily Express called it "something really special" while Acoustic magazine predicted it would "blast their music to a wider audience." Writing at Americana UK Jeremy Searle called it “an outstanding third album from one of the best bands out there."

When the September Euro Americana Chart was published, it showed the band perched at the Number 9 position.

August 2016
Two Of The Best

Two of our most popular touring bands from the USA - Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys and Front Country - are each honoured with nominations in the latest 2016 Momentum Awards just announced by the International Bluegrass Association.

Lead vocalists Lindsay Lou and Melody Walker have been singled out for their contribution in that category to "provide them momentum to continue to climb."

Front Country had a triumphant UK tour this month and are the headline act at the Didmarton Bluegrass Festival which takes place in The Cotswolds at the end of August. They earlier wowed the crowds at both Purbeck Valley Folk Festival and Devizes Street Festival.

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys have previously enjoyed successful visits to these shores and emerged as one of the most outstanding visiting acts when they appeared at Shetland Folk Festival and HebCeltFest last year - as well as Edinburgh's TradFest event. Both bands are scheduled to return to the UK in 2017. The IBMA winners will be announced at a presentation in North Carolina during the World of Bluegrass Conference there on September 28.

May 2016
May this long continue!

May has been a great month for many of our acts with Russell deCarle, Steve Briggs and Denis Keldie enjoying an amazing reaction following ‘live’ dates in the UK and Ireland; Sheesham & Lotus & Son, The Railsplitters and Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards all picking up rave reviews from appearances at Shetland Folk Festival; Front Country attracting a lot of attention for their superb EP of cover versions and Pharis & Jason Romero winning a 2016 Juno Award for Traditional Roots Album of the Year.

Album of The Year joy for Pharis & Jason

When Pharis & Jason Romero came over to the UK to appear at Celtic Connections festival and take their music on the road, they made the biggest impact – and won many new fans after their guest appearance on BBC’s World on 3 show with Lopa Kothari.

Now, the couple have been honoured on their home patch by winning the Traditional Album of The Year category in Canada’s prestigious and hugely-influential Juno awards - a major and very well-deserved achievement.

March 2016
“Simply superb” and “totally glorious” - that’s our Cam!

Cam Penner continues to pick up glowing reviews for his Sex & Politics album, with leading music writer Jonathan Aird awarding the record a 9/10 rating at AmericanaUK and calling it a “rough-hewn masterpiece.”

He praises the new release, as many others have done, and concludes: “This is an album that'll be making more than a few end of year best of lists. Simply superb.” Writing in Acoustic magazine, top scribe Julian Piper made similar observations, stating: “It’s all totally glorious, totally unique, and maybe as fine as music’s likely to get in 2016.”

He’s Sitting On Top Of The World…

We are pleased to see Lotus Wight (of Sheesham & Lotus & ‘Son) getting some well-deserved support from Songlines magazine in the latest issue to hit the streets, his solo album, Ode To The Banjo, picking up a coveted Top of The World recommendation with a track included on the “Best New Releases” cover-mount CD that comes free with the publication. “It’s music we love,” they declare, with reviewer Doug Deloach saying that Lotus’s “imaginative take on traditional repertoire makes for extraordinarily compelling listening.”

February 2016
Folking Amazing!

Folk Alliance International is recognised as one of the biggest and best annual gatherings of acoustic music makers from all over the world who convene each February for showcases in Kansas City.

This year, delegates will get the chance to catch some of the best Brookfield-Knights acts in action including Front Country, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, The Railsplitters, Taarka, Fish & Bird, Jenny Ritter, 10 String Symphony and The Jellyman’s Daughter – now THAT’s a line-up that would make an impressive festival bill!

It’s the biggest - they’re the best!

It’s widely regarded as one of the biggest and best events of its kind in the USA and the line-up for the 2016 Grey Fox Bluegrass festival, just unveiled, reveals no fewer than five Brookfield-Knights acts included - Elephant Revival, The Stray Birds, Front Country, The Mike & Ruthy Band and The Railsplitters . Excuse us if we feel that might deserve a quick holler of yee-haw!

Brookfield-Knights acts with Best Song of 2015 Nominations

We are bursting with pride and excitement to have two acts both nominated in the Best Song of 2015 category at the Folk Alliance International awards - The Stray Birds and Pharis & Jason Romero. Winners to be announced in mid-February.

More Praise for Pharis & Jason Romero

Pharis & Jason Romero have picked up many accolades over the past twelve months, and deservedly so, following the release of their fine album, A Wanderer I’ll Stay. To top it all, they have just been nominated for a Juno Award in their native Canada in the Traditional Roots Album of The Year category. Winners will be announced at the star-studded event in March. We wish them well.

January 2016
Another Busy Celtic Connections

With six acts involved in the 2016 Celtic Connections festival, it was a busy start to the year but all very worthwhile for the B-K team, thanks to sold-out shows, amazing feedback and terrific reviews from writers such as Paul Kerr, Mike Ritchie and Neil McFadyen.

It seemed like The Mike & Ruthy Band and Cam Penner & Jon Wood were the talk of the town following their shows and Jenny Ritter and her band made a huge impact both from opening for Lucinda Williams and their own headline event.

Elsewhere, Greg Trooper won a well-deserved standing ovation from a very loving and appreciative audience and Tim Dalling turned in his usual stunning performance, to emphasise why many of his contemporaries are more than happy to sing his praises from the rooftops.

We brought in frontman from The Fretless, Karrnnel Sawitsky with Daniel Koulack and Trent Freeman too and they went down a storm. We thank everyone who helped to make this such a memorable year.

December 2015
Seven of The Best

The Telegraph’s Culture Editor, Martin Chilton is someone who is widely regarded as a finger-on-the-pulse leader when it comes to roots music and Americana.

Excuse us while we take a bow, then. For, 2015 was a year in which our sister operation, BloodygreatPR presented no fewer than five new releases that ended up on his Best Country Albums of The Year list.

Mr Chilton loved albums from The Mike + Ruthy Band, Pharis & Jason Romero, Jenny Ritter, The Honeycutters and Karrnnel Sawitsky & Daniel Koulack…AND his Best Folk Albums of 2015 also included Findlay Napier and Ballad of Crows, two other superb acts with albums we were proud to put our weight behind.

Bronwynne Named Best Female Artiste of 2015

What a delight it was to see one of our favourite Brookfield-Knights' acts - Bronwynne Brent (Bob Harris loves her too) named Female Artiste of The Year - voted by the public - in the AmericanaUK 2015 poll. Catch her on tour in the UK in April, and prepare to fall under her spell: http://www.americana-uk.com/feature-articles/visitors-best-of-2015

Folk Alley Four

We have great admiration for Folk Alley as a serious hub where good stuff comes together, and it filled us with joy, therefore, to find that those who feel the same way about it also share the same tastes as ourselves.

There were no fewer than four great Brookfield-Knights acts featured in the Best of 2015 Listeners' Poll: Pharis & Jason Romero, The Mike + Ruthy Band, Elephant Revival and Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys. What a truly great way to end an amazing year.

Top Ten Favourite

The Mike & Ruthy Band are all set to make their UK debut at Glasgow's Celtic Connections festival on January 17 with a big show at The Old Fruitmarket with Karrnnel Sawitsky, Daniel Koulack and Trent Freeman opening proceedings to provide an extra dash of sparkle.

The band has made a huge Stateside impact in 2015 and ended the year in spectacular form with a string of 'live' events that had everyone raving about the shows. Raving about them too, were the good folks at NPR/Folk Alley who picked their Bright As You Can release as one of their Top Ten Favourites of the year.

November 2015
Next Stop, The Moon!

10 String Symphony have been making waves on both sides of the Atlantic, where their Weight of The World album is picking up rave reviews and racing so fast up the charts that in reached the Number 3 slot on the hugely-influential Billboard Bluegrass listings – from nowehere – to indicate that they have taken off with rocket boosters attached. In the UK, various publications have carried glowing reviews, the latest in R2 magazine giving the album a 5-star rating.

The Stray Birds still flying high…

We've heard it said over and over again by many of the leading commentators, that The Stray Birds stole the show at Cambridge Folk Festival back in July and, reviewing the event for R2 magazine, writer Kevin Bourke keeps the theme intact, stating: "The Stray Birds were the deserving grassroots hit. Their spirited bluegrass/ragtime fusion won them more and more fans over the weekend until their Sunday afternoon show on Stage 2 somehow felt like a triumphant homecoming."

October 2015
Two Of The Best Featured On Sampler Albums

Two of our favourite Brookfield-Knights acts – Hillfolk Noir and Woody Pines – each have great new albums out and both are featured on free complitaion albums being issued by music magazines this month. Featuring a track from Hillfolk Noir’s Pop Songs for Elk CD, fRoots editor Ian Anderson says: “Their roaring good-time old-time country blues has few equals anywhere these days.”

Including a track from Woody Pines’ This Train Rolls By, Acoustic mag says: “This is gonzo folk – serious music that isn’t for dabblers: you gotta feel it in your bones!”.

Stray Birds were flying out the door!

So, which acts were the most popular at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival?

Well, if CD sales are to be held as a true indicator of mass appeal, it seems The Stray Birds qualify as a fave rave. Mark Radcliffe told the Sky Arts audience they had come close to stealing the show when he introduced them on their festival highlights programme, now Cambridge Folk Festival confirm they were a hot ticket act in publishing this Top Ten sales chart.

Brookfield-Knights at 2016 Celtic Connections

We are delighted to announce that Brookfield-Knights acts will feature prominently once again at Celtic Connections festival in January.

Proud to have presented artistes of the calibre of The Stray Birds, The Wiyos, The Hot Seats, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West, Pharis & Jason Romero, Jenny Ritter, The Wilders, Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three, The California Feetwarmers, The Wilders, Furnace Mountain, The Hot Seats, Bronwynne Brent, Fish & Bird, Woody Pines, Meschiya Lake & The Little Big Horns, Zoe Muth & The Lost High Rollers and The Mountain Firework Company, at previous events, this year, we bring another cracking line-up in to keep the momentum going.

The 2016 festival – from January 14 to 31, will feature the usual stunning line-up of acts from just about every corner of the world.

This time, we are pleased to have The Mike + Ruthy Band in a terrific Old Fruitmarket show with Karrnnel Sawitsky, Daniel Koulack and Trent Freeman, while Cam Penner & Jon Wood, Jenny Ritter and Band, Greg Trooper and Tim Dalling all have their own shows. Tickets on sale now – see www.celticconnections.com

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