We are thrilled that Tom Robinson is going to play at least one track from the album on his BBC Radio 6 Now Playing show on Sunday at 6pm
“The compilation speaks of all women, the untold and the exposed, the strong and the fragile, the partner and the potential partner, the expectant and the fulfilled, the mother and, in more ways than one, the creator… and more. This could not be more appropriate for the celebration of women’s day and for the upcoming mother’s day.”
Click here to read the full review from Folkall
“Folkstock have pulled off quite a coup with the highly respected Peggy Seeger taking part..But then it’s not entirely a surprise when you consider she was involved in their Armistice Pals album; the label is allying itself to International Women’s Day and of course the tracks are all from femmes..There isn’t a weak track on this album and if there is a better album around to encompass the ideals of IWD then it would be interesting to know what it is.
Judging by this and the last album from the Femmes Fatales stable then you have to face the fact, all the fillies are thoroughbreds”. Danny Farragher, Folkall.
In case you are not aware, CAFE 1809 HILDENBOROUGH is DAME KELLY HOLMES’s establishment and we are honoured to have been invited to perform tracks from our album at her Secret Sunday Brunch in Kent on 15th March from 11 am – 3pm.
“Femmes Fatales” is opened by a veteran performer, Peggy Seeger, with “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are” and who brings a certain gravitas to the recording, letting you know that this is going to be an album that is rich on purpose and that the artists aren’t just hear because of gender, they are all linked by being songwriters with something to say.
Some of the songs are more of a personal expression, whilst other songs touch on wider experiences bringing in subjects such as war and inequality of a damned sight more things than gender, such as social justice and striving for a society that is based on merit. The things that the songs have in common, no matter the writing style and content is strength, that’s strength in both how the songs are put together as well as presented.
This is an album that celebrates standing up for and being yourself, no matter how much effort that takes. More importantly it does so in a way that not only makes you think, but also entertains. It’s very easy to relate to the themes and characters that are delivered by the ten artists on this compilation.
You can see the mother looking wistfully at the photograph of her soldier son, the simplicity of faith overcoming the oppression of slavery and the suppression of cultures. This is an album of tales and stories. It’s rich in symbols and high in inspiration, both absorbed by the performers and the way they’ve taken those influences and turned them into something special.
In someways I’d like to give you a track by track breakdown of the ten exceptional artists that make up this compilation, but the reality is, I’m just going to point you in the direction, it’s down to you to make the discoveries, all I’ll say is that it’s a journey well worth the effort.
Neil King, FATEA Click here to read the full review in FATEA Magazine
THE F SPOT FEMMES FATALES – VARIOUS ARTISTS
RELEASED ON FOLKSTOCK RECORDS
MARCH 8TH 2015
INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY
The stunning album was conceived by Helen Meissner from Folkstock Arts Foundation and produced in the main by her daughter Lauren Deakin Davies, ( the exception being Peggy Seeger’s track). All the female singer songwriters have penned and performed their own material on this classy compilation, including two BBC 2 Folk Award nominees for 2015 – Maz O’Connor and feminist folk icon Peggy Seeger as well as Kelly Oliver who won FolkWords Album of the Year from a female artist for 2014.
Gorgeous artwork, a four page booklet and a sturdy jewel case presentation make this an outstanding release and the perfect Mothers Day gift ( 15th March this year), not to mention the groundbreaking selection of original material from singers ranging from those just starting out to those at the top of the game.
This is not just any album full to the brim with female singer songwriting talent.
The F Spot Femmes Fatales has been lovingly conceived, curated and produced to show many different aspects of the feminine psyche.
Lose yourself in the songs and let this album challenge your assumptions about women, whether as musicians, producers of music or consumers of music.
The F Spot Femmes Fatales
Strong, sensuous, fascinating and feminine, this compilation of ten compelling self penned songs from women is being released on Folkstock Records on International Womens’ Day March 8th. Performed by some of the talented female singers we have had the pleasure of working with in the past year and spanning four generations, this distinctive selection hopes to enlighten and inspire with its diversity and be distinguishable from other compilations by its raw honesty and emotion. We thank all the singers for laying bare their soul in this stripped back showcase of their undeniable talent.
Have you considered how sultry a singer in her 80th year can sound ? track one on this stunning selection will make your jaw drop. Delivered with panache and humour this track was the one which stood out for us on Peggy Seeger’s recent album Everything Changes, and it was our mission to entice Peggy to let us use it to open this compilation ! so you can imagine how thrilled we are to have You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are as the first track on the album.
Lyrics such as “I am not just any woman, looking for any man, and I don’t intend to change me to fit into your plans. I’m a hell of an angel and you’d better give a damn, you don’t know how lucky you are”
Have you ever heard the story of the Mississippi woman ? this strong and wryly observed alternative creation story by Maz O’Connor is the penultimate track on the album and delivered with purity which belies the message, Maz’s beautiful voice captures your heart and lyrics such as these capture your mind.
“She made clothes from the rushes and a bed down by the willow
And when darkness came the riverbank made for her a pillow
Then the angel of the lord came down and said “now you are free”
And she said “lord, make a man out of me, lord, make a man out of me”.
I have not used pluggers. I have curated the album myself, been the Executive Producer on the album – our 12th release in the first year of operating – are completely self funding (ie I am putting my hand into my own pocket, no investors) with no background in the music industry or in music recording.
Just using my instincts and my ear.
I hope you feel this is something worth reviewing to inspire other women to get out of the shadows and get stuck into the creation and promotion of music they love. I am not only interested in inspiring women, I am a great supporter of the music of many men too – and for the record, I am not ageist, the artists I help range in age from 17 to over 70, male and female, but the statistics for female record label managers and female producers could do with a bit of balancing perhaps? It might seem like a man’s world, but you are only limited by your imagination and drive. I believe that glass ceilings are excuses. We just need to smash them. There are no limits. Except the ones inside your head. There is no ‘path to follow’ especially if you are doing something trail blazing or risky. Just get on and do what works for you and the people around you.
I have put every ounce of my energy and time, as well as personal financial investment into this label and I can see the tide starting to turn, which is very exciting. I am also looking forward to breaking even financially on my projects from now on!
I firmly believe that if you only do something half heartedly, you will only get half the results.
I hope you feel you can embrace this album and help me get it out there to a greater audience.
I am hoping this album will demonstrate the diversity between female singer songwriters even within the narrow spectrum of ‘folk/acoustic’. Let alone any other genres. Especially for those who have said to female acts in the past, ‘we’ve already got an all female act on the line up’. Time for action and this album is part of that action. Hope you agree.
WHO IS ON THE ALBUM ?
Here are the contributors in order. With the information which is presented in the 4 page booklet of the jewel cased CD.
Peggy Seeger – A free thinking pioneer, Peggy Seeger has paved the way for generations of female singer songwriters the world over. Peggy was awarded ‘Most Inspirational Female’ by Music Week in 2014 and we are honoured to have permission to release a song from her recent much acclaimed album ‘Everything Changes’ thanks to Red Grape Music Ltd.
Roxanne de Bastion tours throughout the UK, Europe and the US, all on trains and busses. The young troubadour self-released her debut album in 2013 and has since then been championed by Tom Robinson on BBC6, John Kennedy on XFM, Ruth Barnes on Amazing Radio. Roxanne’s compositions are routed in the 1960’s, but the tone of voice is very much her own.
Zoe Wren is studying music at Cambridge University and having released her debut EP Pandora’s Box with us in the middle of last year is now working on her debut album. Picked to perform on Stage 2 at Cambridge Folk Festival last year, Zoe is certainly attracting attention and we hope you enjoy this track which is also available on her EP, which can be found on Folkstock Records bandcamp.
Marina Florance is a prolific and revered singer songwriter based in Norfolk. A darling of the East Anglian BBC Stations, Marina has also had her music chosen by Soundcloud as Track of the Day ! Coming to performance of her own material later in life than most, Marina’s sultry ‘chocolate’ voice wins hearts the world over and captivates from the first note. Enjoy !
Minnie Birch has been played on BBC Radio 1 and has caught the eye of that legend that is Joan Armatrading, supporting her on four gigs over the last two years. Her debut album is due for release this year and will no doubt build on the success of her beautiful EP Settled and consolidate her reputation and take her career to the next level.
Kaity Rae is our youngest contributor and is studying songwriting at The Institute in N. London. Recently awarded ‘Student of the year’, Kaity is on the prestigious resident artist RoundHouse programme, was a finalist in the GIGS:Big Busk song awards, won her category of Love Folk Live & has released her debut EP Spark Nov 2014. This is an acoustic version of one of her EP tracks.
Kelly Oliver gained a 4* review from The Telegraph for her debut album This Land, which was funded by an Emerging Excellence Award from Help Musicians UK. It also won best female album from FolkWords and was shortlisted by FATEA. With BBC Radio 2 airplay and a video session with Whispering Bob Harris helping to sell out headline gigs, the future is looking bright.
Daria Kulesh’s cut glass vocals conjure an exotic elegance which is prevalent in her songs. Aided by her Russian heritage and ruthless lyrics, her dramatic delivery excites and entices you to carry on listening. This track is from her debut album Eternal Child which is gaining exultant reviews and looks set to provide her with the showcase needed to establish her musical career on a firm footing.
Maz O’Connor is one of Folk’s rising stars and attracted a BBC Radio2 Folk Award nomination as well as a Creative Fellowship from the BBC Performing Arts Fund. 2014 brought a rapturous reception for her acclaimed second album ‘This Willowed Light’ and we are thrilled that Wild Sound Recordings kindly gave permission for us to re-record a stripped back version of this stunning ‘alternative creation’ story.
Fay Brotherhood is an enigmatic artist in many senses of the word. Her creative outpourings are at their most visceral in her live performance and her distinctive voice and almost paganistic delivery has attracted much interest and acclaim. Her music transports to the heady, trippy days of the 60’s and brings you bang up to date with a modern twist in the tale.
THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT
“Not a hint of yuletide treacle on this atmospheric, no frills compilation from a label that is nurturing some of our most promising folk talent. Balancing the religious and the secular, the playlist goes gently on it’s way. Minnie Birch’s Snowman and Kaity Rae’s Red Paper Wrapping tap into the spirit of midwinter; Kate Rouse’s Hammered Dulcimer underpins Daria Kulesh’s I Watch the Snow, Dave Swarbrick, a member of folk’s old guard helps out on John Farndon’s elegiac Peace in My Heart. There isn’t a weak link to be found” Clive Davis, The Sunday Times “Essential Christmas Releases” 14.12.14
“As someone wholly dedicated to both the spirit and season of Christmas in all its atmosphere and substance, the words ‘Christmas album’ often fill me with a desperate foreboding. They usually herald another collection of pointless, sugary-sweet pop-pap or a turgid regurgitation of ancient songs better consigned to history. That means I treat every Christmas compilation with a massive degree of suspicion. However, the latest Christmas offering to come my way is ‘The Christmas Present’, a sparkling compilation from Folkstock Records. And with the unerring certainty of recordings received from Folkstock, this is an album definitely worth its turkey and trimmings. No socks, bath salts and hankies here – this is a feast you’ll want to savour. However you take your Christmas, traditional or contemporary, secular or sacred, this album will touch some part of you. And you’ll feel all the better for it. Folkstock launches ‘The Christmas Present’ at The Southbank Centre on Friday 28 November 2014”. To read the full review from Tim Carroll at Folkwords, click here
“If you want something that’s just that little bit different to listen to or give as a stocking filler this Christmas then it’s well worth having a listen to this collection of fairly new artists who are in the Folkstock stable”. Who’s “strong and emotive voice brings a genuine warm feeling to the sad song which wouldn’t be out of place as the John Lewis Christmas ad for next year”? Whose child like voice evokes this image ? “you can almost see the steam from this gentle and breathy voice dissipating in the cold festive air” Which Someone “is well on her way to being one of the most sought after performers on the folk circuit” Who might this be ? “It has just that hint of mischief and bawdiness and is one of those songs which should be brought out when everyone has been fed and has sunk more than a couple of sherries with Aunt Maggie.” Which track has “The absolutely wonderful opening of the dulcimer which evokes visions of the individual snowflakes falling, is the silver sixpence in the Christmas pudding….” which is embellished by a “refined and cut glass crystal voice which is a pure delight who provides us with “a really thought-provoking ballad that does have a feel of a hybrid between a carol and a traditional music hall song”. There might be a clue here “have a wonderful set of voices which harmonise like they were triplets.” and finally, whose voice did Danny feel could have done with any accompaniment ? “he could have sung this gentle and undulating traditional hymn a cappella and it would have been just as good if not better”. “Among all the festive compilations and rehashed Christmas songs, if you want something different, that little bit alternative and which has been given a little more thought then you could do a lot worse than The Christmas Present which, once unwrapped, has some traditional tunes song by some fresh and delightful voices.”Danny Farragher To read the full review from Danny Farragher, click here
We had a blast at The Southbank at the end of November when were invited to showcase some of our artists on The Christmas Present. Here’s some pics and a preview write up MINNIE BIRCH
KAITY RAE AT SOUND CHECK
KELLY OLIVER OPENING THE SHOW
KAITY RAE ON STAGE
A TRIUMPHANT DARIA KULESH