News Column

Precious gift for folk of the future ; Blair Dunlop Nottingham Playhouse Peter Palmer

July 6, 2013


AMONG John Neville's directorial and acting successes at the Playhouse was Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus.

Playing the Neville Studio, folk musician Blair Dunlop stood up for that rival to Shakespeare with his self-penned song Secret Theatre.

A piece by Blair's dad Ashley Hutchings, of Fairport Convention, also had a place in the show, along with musical father figures Nic Jones and Richard Thompson. But a broad selection from Dunlop's album Blight And Blossom took up much of the evening.

Not long out of his teens, he writes and performs in a way that manifestly appeals to his contemporaries - a precious gift when folk is not widely regarded as cool.

His version of the traditional Black Is The Colour didn't win him a BBC Young Folk award. All the same, it furnished an original and arresting arrangement, involving the electric guitar of Mark Hutchinson and the exquisite skills of fiddler Angharad Jenkins.

As two instrumental suites illustrated, Blair is a finger- picking guitarist of unusual dexterity. He also sings a-cappella to telling effect. One of folk music's brightest stars in the making.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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