John Smith’s honey-on-gravel vocals have brought crowds the world over to pin-drop silence and rapturous applause. For him, it’s all for the love of the guitar. John plays a rumbling acoustic fingerstyle, and sometimes uses a slide or plays the guitar on his lap.
His uniquely intimate take on love, loss or even a mythic murder ballad, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following. John Smith tours relentlessly with his guitars, performing to audiences all over the world in festival tents, living rooms and sold-out concert halls, looking to communicate through a song and to share something intangible with those willing to listen.
John has opened shows for Iron and Wine, John Martyn, Tinariwen and Gil Scott-Heron, and has performed alongside the likes of Jackson Browne, Jerry Douglas, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Rodney Crowell.
Hailed as the best voice to emerge from the English folk scene in recent years, Georgia Lewis embodies a glorious cocktail of modern folk influences. With stories of love, conflict, betrayal, she seeks the timeless themes in old words. Much of her material is traditional; in her début album, The Bird Who Sings Freedom, Georgia explores ballads of childhood, courtship, marriage and motherhood. Well-worn traditional songs sit alongside two originals: an AE Housman poem and, opening the album, a setting of the words of Maya Angelou.
Nina Harries’ music straddles folk, punk, jazz and classical, incorporating narrative songs with experimental improvisation. Classically trained at the Royal College of Music, her Double Bass takes centre stage along with her voice, in pared-down perfection.
This event is part of Manchester Folk Festival – a celebration of English folk in all its forms, from indie to traditional, familiar names alongside exciting new voices. From 19-22 October in and around HOME, the whole festival takes place in one area of Manchester over one weekend. The Festival presents an incredible music line-up, as well as craft workshops, film, a proper pub singaround, artists in conversation and a relaxed Festival Hub where you can watch the world go by. Friendly, inclusive and full of opportunities for discovery, it will have the spirit of a festival in a field, in the heart of the city.