Black Deer Festival is thrilled to reveal even more names for the return to the picturesque Eridge Park this June. Billy Bragg, Yola, Ethan Johns and many more will join Band Of Horses, John Butler Trio, The Staves, Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers, The Mavericks and Neko Case for a truly unrivalled celebration of the Americana way of life.
With a career spanning over three decades, Billy Bragg is an icon of stripped-back storytelling and fearless political activism. His ongoing punk-charged documentation of British life saw Bragg honoured the PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award at the Ivor Novello awards last year as he continues to be a valuable and relevant force in contemporary music; his appearance at Black Deer Festival will be a true festival highlight.
With a voice like no other, the ever-fierce Yola is set to captivate the Black Deer Festival audience this summer with surefire hits from her debut album ‘Walk Through Fire’. Recording her debut release with Dan Auberbach of The Black Keys, Yola is one of the UK country’s fast-rising stars, overcoming adversity with a tenacious spirit and an undeniable passion for music, sparking inspiration with her unique country-soul sound.
2012 Brit Award winner Ethan Johns is playing not only solo sets but also with Black Eyed Dogs for what is expected to be a stand out performance from across the weekend. Famed for his world class engineering, production and mixing work with the likes of Paul McCartney, Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne and Tom Jones, Ethan released his fourth EP ‘Anamnesis’ in September 2018 which was met with glowing reviews world-wide. Written over two weeks in Ethan’s London home, the legendary producer described the experience as “legitimately one of the best times I’ve ever had making a record.”
London folk rock outfit Treetop Flyers have truly stamped their mark on the international folk scene since winning the Glastonbury Festival Emerging Talent Competition in 2011. With three studio albums to their name, the five-piece’s most recent self-titled record serves as a poignant turn within their musical self-confidence, whilst staying true to their 60s West Coast and psychedelia style. Elsewhere, Treetop Flyers’ Soulful vocalist Sam Beer will also make a solo appearance at Black Deer, bringing his American delta blues-inspired songs from his ‘Great Barr Colony’ EP to Eridge Park.
Husband and wife duo Ida Mae, a.k.a Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean, are rapidly becoming the hottest names in alt folk rock. Fresh from touring the states and armed with their latest single ‘If You Don’t Love Me’, the duo’s beautiful simplicity never fails to demand attention. With their debut album ‘Chasing Lights’ expected in July, Black Deer Festival offers the opportunity to get a taste for their material first. Storming to Eridge Park will be Tennessee-born Grammy Award-winning Mike Farris. Coming up in Nashville after founding Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies, Mike Farris is an unmistakable voice within blues rock and recently been working with the likes of Dave Lancio, Reese Wynans and long-time collaborator Paul Brown on his latest album ‘Silver & Stone’. His performance is set to deliver a musical masterclass straight from Nashville.
Drawing influence from the likes of Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss, UK starlet Emily Mae Winters won last year’s Guardian Songwriting Competition for her beautiful track ‘Anchor’ and went onto work with iconic producer Ben Walker on her self-penned debut album ‘Siren Serenade’. Flying in from Los Angeles, Sam Morrow will journey through his myriad influences from Texas country to old-school funk as demonstrated on his defiant third record ‘Concrete and Mud’, produced live with Eric Corne. These two artists are famed for passionate live performances, making for unmissable sets at Black Deer.
Dynamic singer-songwriter Amy Montgomery has been likened to Janis Joplin, Grace Slick and Alanis Morissette with her fierce and passionate voice resonating with audiences further afield than her native Northern Ireland; joining her at Black Deer will be Scottish songstress Roseanne Reid. Enjoying the success of her recently released debut album ‘Trails’, Roseanne will deliver delicate folk-roots music in June. Hotly-tipped by tastemakers Lauren Laverne and Ricky Ross, the soft vocals of Spanish-native Joana Serrat are sure to compliment the gorgeous Eridge Park scenery when she steps on stage to perform fan-favourite tracks from her latest album ‘Dripping Springs’.
Recognised by country superstar Vince Gill as one of the ‘Top 5 Best New Guitarists’, Arielle, the self-proclaimed “hippie traveling, guitar-wielding, song-writing, flowy clothes wearing lady” has toured with the likes of Joan Jett, Billy Rae Cyrus, Guns N’ Roses and Graham Nash. With a new LP, ‘Suspension / Dimension’ in the pipeline, Arielle’s emotionally drenched, classic folk melodies are guaranteed to win over the hearts and souls of audiences at Black Deer.
Formed from a collection of the finest UK session musicians and fronted by singer-songwriter Darren Hodson, The Southern Companion recently released their stunning new record, ‘Shine A Little Light’ which preceded a storming first UK headline tour. Having penned an exclusive track for the upcoming hit movie ‘Wild Rose’, the British CMA Award-winners are sure to treat Black Deer audiences to special live performance.
Praised by the likes of BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music to name a few, the politically-inclined humanitarian offerings of Hannah White & The Nordic Connections stay fresh as they reinvent 70’s Americana with a Nordic twist. Elsewhere, multi-instrumentalist act Hot Rock Pilgrims will be rip-roaring through their set at Black Deer Festival with melodic vocals, flatpicking guitar work and irresistible energy.
BLACK DEER DJS
Alongside these incredible live acts, it has been revealed that eclectic Americana selector Hank JD Sleek, dynamic duo Shamblin Sexton and Senor Mick AKA Whiskey Preachin’ and award-winning globetrotting broadcaster Big Steve Arlene will be DJing at Black Deer – serving up the all-things Americana to continue the party. Country, southern rock, swampy blues, outlaw boogie, rockabilly and hillbilly, cajun – you name it, they’ve got it. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to get your the Texas Two Step moves on.
UNDER THE APPLE TREE
In addition to the awe-inspiring musical artists set to appear across the June weekender, Black Deer Festival is proud to announce the return of the Under The Apple Tree sessions as founded and continually curated by BBC Radio 2 and The Old Grey Whistle Test’s “Whispering” Bob Harris OBE. Springing from Bob’s very own Apple Tree studio in a rural Oxfordshire orchard, the sessions will come to life on Black Deer’s SupaJam Stage where musical minds are set to perform and discuss their heartfelt musical influences.
Kicking off proceedings on Friday 21st June, Bob Harris will host the weekend’s first highly-anticipated session featuring Ethan Johns, John Smith, Irish Mythen, and Ferris & Sylvester. For the remainder of the weekend, Bob’s right-hand-man Marc West will step up to the SupaJam stage to host an interactive meeting between Ryan Bingham, Chance McCoy and Roseanne Reid on Saturday. Marc will then round-off the festival with a closing assembly with Billy Bragg, Larkin Poe, Worry Dolls and Paul Cauthen.
SMOKIN’ DEEP SOUTH DELIGHTS
Alongside a wholehearted musical program, Black Deer Festival will yet again be cooking up a storm in their Live Fire Arena. Promising even more mouth-watering delights than were served up last year, Jon Finch and Ben Merrington – founders of Grillstock, the largest authentic BBQ festival outside of the US – are back, pioneering the Americana barbecue scene in the UK’s festival fields once again.
Set to transport Black Deer attendees to America’s deep south, Live Fire will see the very best chefs, pitmasters, butchers and woodsmen appear in their own fiery performance of cooking demonstrations that’ll both educate and inspire. As well as demos, Live Fire is set to host blazing BBQ cookout competitions where the best pit teams will go head-to-head in a series of fast paced challenges exercising their meat expertise as well as testing their know-how in new vegan and fish rounds.
This year, Black Deer Festival’s Live Fire Chefs include US BBQ pitmaster and TV personality Ray ‘Dr BBQ’ Lampe, Temper owner Neil Rankin, NZ BBQ export Matt Burgess, foraging and game butchery guru Nick Weston, Co-Chair of The Guild of Food Writers Genevieve Taylor, food writer and stylist Gill Meller, award-winning beer & food journalist Melissa Cole, Matt Williams, Countrywoodsmoke’s Marcus Bawdon and SMOKESTAK founder David Carter.
More than just a music festival, Black Deer Festival is a complete appreciation of the rich cultural heritage attached to Americana – all the raw passion and grit of the movement is here.
This year, Black Deer have joined forces with director Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson, The Neon Demon) to bring a unique cinematic experience to Eridge Park. The byNWR Expressway is set to show a specially-curated trilogy of unearthed gems for the first time in a new form. Showing Forty Acre Feud as a world exclusive, all three films including Wild Guitar and Cottonpickin’ Chickenpickers all hark back to a time of the American drive-in cinema at its peak, and have been beautifully and meticulously restored to serve as a visual reimagining of early Americana, adding to the immersion at Black Deer.
In another exciting partnership, Desertscene will be taking over this year’s Roadhouse stage with heavy blues, desert rock and whiskey-fuelled riffs galore. With Left Lane Cruiser and Brant Bjork spearheading the proceedings, gearhead festival goers will be able catch the curated custom motorcycle display at the Roadhouse, Black Deer’s beacon of counter culture.
Set to open for business over the June extravaganza, the Mercantile will return for another year. The home to thoughtfully-crafted and ethically made artisan wares which strike the perfect balance between functionality and design. With traders soon to be revealed, get saving for ornate rustic items such as authentic leather, denim, homewares, handmade knives, original printed art, vintage clothing, handcrafted surfboards and much more.
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