In my view: Plenty of Norfolk musical treats to round off this year

Lisa Redford

Lisa Redford - Credit: Archant

It's been a really productive time this past month as I've been in the studio recording some songs which I can't wait to share with you.

Lisa Redford's album cover.

Lisa Redford's album cover. - Credit: Archant

I really love the creative process of recording and have recorded a lot of my material in the area including all of my debut album 'Slipstream' and the acoustic version of second album 'Lost Again'.

This time I've recorded a few songs with José McGill, who is the singer and guitarist of renowned local band The Vagaband.

The band have gained a big following on the UK festival scene and play a soulful mix of Americana, blues, jazz and rock and José has been adding some lovely subtle instrumentation.

Noel Dashwood, who recently performed with me at OPEN when we supported Eliza Carthy, has also contributed his wonderful dobro as well as ukulele, harmonies and harmonica.

The mixes are already sounded great and I've posted some little video clips from the studio on my Instagram www.instagram.com/lisaredfordmusic and Facebook www.facebook.com/lisaredfordmusicWith the holiday season fast approaching, it provides an opportunity to share festive songs and I have an original Christmas single 'St Benedict's Christmas Fair' out which is available on iTunes and at Bandcamp http://lisaredford.bandcamp.comThe song is a bittersweet acoustic ballad about how hard it is saying goodbye during the festive period. I had the song written for awhile and it's a really personal one, all the mixture of emotions felt when I was leaving home to embark on a new adventure. It's the first single where I've recorded all the guitars, percussion and vocals and mixed myself which was a rewarding experience.

The song has already earned some lovely reviews and airplay including from BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris, Future Radio and BBC Radio Norfolk and it's made many festive playlists.

There's also a music video for the single, filmed around the city centre, including of course along St Benedict's Street! The video is at my YouTube channel as well as some live performances of the song: www.youtube.com/lisaredfordmusic

It's the time of year for Christmas shows and there's a few great music gigs coming up this month. Charity Musical Keys, who I've written about before and who provide services across Norfolk to people with special and/or additional needs, celebrate their 25th birthday with a special Christmas gig.

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Headliner is singer/songwriter Kal Lavelle, who I have seen perform at The Bicycle Shop. Kal has a love of Norfolk ever since she supported Ed Sheeran at Thetford Forest and support comes from Norwich-based Lee Gordon, plus Soham De from King's Lynn.

The gig takes place on Friday, December 18 at St Andrews Church, St Andrews Road in Norwich, with doors open at 7.15pm. Find out more at the Musical Keys website at www.musicalkeys.co.uk.

Other music highlights include acclaimed folk musician Martin Simpson at the Octagon Chapel this Thursday. Nominated for Musician of the Year and Best Album with 'Vagrant Stanzas' at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, this is a must for folk fans.

Norwich Arts Centre have an impressive array of artists coming up to round off the year.

On December 5 Folk East, who have been promoting some lovely gigs, presents Blackbears Tea Party, a formidable live act who play a mixture of traditional songs and folk tunes with a heavy rock edge.

Incredible musicians The Blockheads, formerly Ian Dury and The Blockheads, play on the 11th and for huge Neil Young fans, like myself, Don't Spook the Horse are on the 17th. The band take you on a musical journey through Neil's eclectic and inspiring career. On December 21 it's the Midwinter Moonshine featuring a great line up of The Vagaband, The Midwinter Players, Jess Morgan Trio and DJ Hank Jd Sleek.

At OPEN a real must-see is a solo intimate acoustic show in the club room on December 10th by the former lead singer of Supergrass, Gaz Coombes ,whose critically acclaimed recent album 'Matador' was deservedly nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. On December 11 festival favourites Coco and the Butterfields, who I've shared the bill with at a couple of summer festivals, will be headlining a special evening from local promoters Festival Asylum.

Coco and the Butterfields are an energetic band from Canterbury combining folk, pop and hip hop. Support is from London based alternative jazz-funk/soul-dub fusion collective, Lit Fm and highly rated local folk band Addison's Uncle. The event will also have a fancy dress theme to really get you in the festive sprit.

Thanks so much for reading my music column these past few months and I really appreciate the kind comments I've received. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!

For all my upcoming gigs, music videos and teaching information, please take a look at www.lisaredford.com. I'm also on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisaredford and Facebook www.facebook.com/lisaredfordmusic

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