Source is the new album from English folk pioneer, composer and melodeon player James Kerry. Leading an energetic four-piece acoustic band, James showcases his passion for the music with stunning arrangements of English folk classics, pieces by contemporary artists and his own compositions.
Accompanying him is a group of friends who also happen to be among the UK’s leading folk instrumentalists: James Delarre (Mawkin, Topette!!) on fiddle, viola and mandolin; Tom Kitching (Pilgrim’s Way, Alberio) on fiddle and mandolin, and Danny Tonks (Foot Down, Hilltop Ceilidh Band) on acoustic guitar.
Still only in his mid-20s, James Kerry has established a reputation for passionate, rhythmic playing rooted in folk dance traditions. He began his musical journey at a young age, and quickly progressed to playing extensively on the morris and ceilidh circuits, including major festivals such as Warwick Folk Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week and Ibiza’s Playing for Change. He is a founding member of the exceptionally popular Hilltop Ceilidh Band and alt-folk group Foot Down.
It was the Covid-19 pandemic that gave James the time and space to develop the musical ideas and pastoral themes which would eventually become Source, his first solo project. Source is inspired by James’ love of rivers, nature and the countryside, alongside his recent move with his family to live on a boat. The name relates to the beginning, the source of the river. Source is also in many ways a true representation of James’ style and passions, reflecting his huge respect for traditional music and his desire to pass it on.
We’ll start the night with fiddle songs and tunes by James Delarre, a stalwart of English folk music, before James Kerry and the band share a performance of the new album with us.
“I have been an admirer of James’ melodeon playing since I first heard him… He has developed his own style, rooted in traditional morris but merged with modern techniques learnt from the likes of Andy Cutting.” – Simon Dundas, Sandwich Folk and Ale Festival