From love gone wrong, to Merle Haggard Tribute- Highlights from Transatlantic Sessions 2018!

From love gone wrong, to Merle Haggard Tribute Transatlantic Sessions yet again did not disappoint with their 9th year run as a touring folk express at Southbank, Royal Festival Hall.

Each year, the event has an 8-day run around the UK and Ireland celebrating the history of folk music and the legacy it has bought up throughout the years with the finest acts raging from Nashville, Tennessee to Dublin, Ireland.

Brining a mixture of the folk family assemble, from Country musicians to Americana, the event is a trip down medieval Europe to 1950’s Honky Tonk Ballroom swing.

Fronted by virtuoso fiddle player Aly Bain and dobro master Jerry Douglas along with the Transatlantic house band, this year guests included, award winning Country sweetheart Suzy Bogguss, The Secret Sisters, Shawn Camp, Daoirí Farrell and Julie Fowlis.

With 2,900 seats, The Royal Festival hall was packed with folk enthusiast of different ages all gathered to celebrate the joy of music.  As the stage light turned down low and the band marched in, you can feel people’s applause vibrate the venue’s walls.

Kicking of the night with a traditional tune “Waiting For The Federals” fronted by Douglas silky smooth dobro playing and Bain ferocious fiddle backed by a list of magnificent players who are Phil Cunningham, John Doyle, Danny Thompson, Michael McGoldrick, Russ Barenberg, John McCusker, Donald Shaw and James Mackintosh, the band were as the expression goes “On Fire” preforming a list of traditional tunes, whilst taking turn swapping and trading licks throughout the whole night.

Backed by the houseband, Arkansas born, multi instrumentalist and storyteller Shawn Camp took the stage with a sweet love tune “ Would You Go With Me” which was hit for Country superstar Josh Turner in 2007 also resulted in a Grammy and CMA nomination, leading his charismatic stage presence Camp later proved his strength in transcending stories via songs through a heartfelt performance of “ The Grandpa That I Know” and later ending his set with the iconic story of “Sis Draper”

Soon after, The Secret Sisters took centre stage. All the way from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, a town that is notably famous for the iconic sounds it had generated throughout the years, from Aretha Franklin to Jason Isbell leading one to think there is truly something special in the water. And that is exactly what the sister act duo made sure to showcase throughout their intimate yet emotional set of the night!

Brining the Honky Tonk feel, Suzy Bogguss did not hold back, the Country music sweetheart swooned audience with a beautiful rendition of “ Lets Chase Each Other Around The Room” as a tribute to the late great Merle Haggard while revisiting her 1991 classic “Someday Soon”. Leaving the best for last, Bogguss proved she’s the Queen of yodelling, in a luminous version of “Night Rider’s Lament” where audience couldn’t help but want to get up and dance while Bogguss sang her heart away.

Julie Fowlis, made one question about the origins of hip hop music upon embracing an outstanding version of “Domhnall Binn” that was featured on the singer recent album “alterum” the soft spoken, Gaelic singer was a joy to witness live with mesmerising performances of traditional ballads! But the highlight of her performance was when covering Ann Brings “Go Your Way” with every note, tears form while the tender voiced singer sings.

Daoirí Farrell, proved not only does he poses one of few stunning voices of traditional music today but also a great deal of wit! The award winning Dubliner, bought the house to outbursts of laughter before getting ready to sing, though once he stands facing the microphone and starts to sing goosebumps form as the story is being told, truly a breathtakingly set, the young singer set out.

Above and all, the show bought Country comfort by taking audiences Monday blues away, the night was splendid full of thrill and excitement from musicians to audience members everyone left happy! However, one thing, which spoilt the night where many have complained about, was the sound quality during the event, despite its large space and potential, vocals and a few instruments were hardly heard. To such same only a selective of were overpowered the rest.

Jerry Douglas returns on the 12th at King’s Place visit link _

The Secret Sisters announce UK/Europe Tour ticket information down below.

Article by Raghad.

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George Millington