Shire Folk
Album of the Year

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Shire Folk is a free, A5, bimonthly magazine covering folk, roots and acoustic music in and around the South Midlands. It has been produced for around 25 years on a not-for-profit basis, paid for by advertising revenue. Each issue includes news items, both local and national, artist interviews, festival and gig reviews, as well as reviews of about 30 new CDs.

From our base in Oxford, we distribute 1800–2000 copies through an intricate network of folk clubs, record shops, libraries, music venues, pubs, morris dancing teams, festivals and individuals. Click here to see a list of places that receive bulk copies of Shire Folk. We think you can safely assume that well over 4000 people read each issue.

If you want to make sure you get a copy of the magazine , then you can have it delivered at a charge of £12 for the next six issues. Full details are on the Subscribe page.

We accept advertising on all folk-related subjects; rates and copy dates can be found on the Advertise page. If you wish to see a sample copy please email us or write to us using the details on the Contact page.

Graham Hobbs & Jonathan Roscoe
Co-Editors, Shire Folk



Being people of great sense and taste, I suspect few Shire Folk readers allow themselves even the most cursory glance at the UK Top 40 singles chart, but if they did they would see that it appears that British music is awash with R’n’B (not proper R’n’B like Wilson Pickett or Otis Redding, but that strange, synthetic, ersatz version produced nowadays) that apparently no artist is able to make on their own, for every single ‘features’ two or three other artists. As I write this Kendrick Lamar ‘feats’ (as the chart would have it) on two of the top 10 and the number 1 ‘feats’ Sean Paul on a single that already has two artists on it (Clean Bandit and Anne-Marie – no me neither).

It struck me though that despite appearances to the contrary, R’n’B isn’t the most collaborative music genre. That distinction must go to folk music. Folk musicians appear on each other’s material with a promiscuity that would embarrass a Surrey swingers club. And if they’re not playing on it they’re producing it (hello Stu Hanna and Jim Moray!) One of the most collaborative artists must be the uniquely gifted Nancy Kerr. Uniquely gifted because every project she’s involved with, whether it’s her own, her duo with James Fagan, someone else’s or a collaborative project like the Elizabethan Sessions or Sweet Liberties, is enhanced by her presence to be the very best it can be.

Which is why the readers, advertisers and reviewers of Shire Folk have voted Nancy Kerr’s latest album Instar as the best album of 2016. And who would argue with people of such great sense and taste.

Jonathan Roscoe