This year on Sunday 9 April at 10.00pm, BBC Four will broadcast an hour-long highlights programme of the Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017, which took place on Wednesday 5 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall (see list of winners below).
The awards are hosted by Radio 2 Folk Show host, and Radio 6 Music presenter, Mark Radcliffe and Scottish singer Julie Fowlis, and celebrate the UK’s thriving folk scene with performances from Ry Cooder, Al Stewart, Billy Bragg, Shirley Collins, Jim Moray, Fara, Daoirí Farrell, and Afro Celt Sound System. The Radio 2 Folk Awards, now in its 18th year, is one of folk music’s annual highlights and shines a light on the most exciting and interesting artists on the British scene and beyond.
This year, American roots rock legend Ry Cooder makes a rare UK appearance as he receives a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 50th year of his career. Platinum-selling songwriter Al Stewart, known for a narrative brand of folk-rock will be playing and will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Billy Bragg performs a special tribute to influential US folk icon Woody Guthrie, who died 50 years ago. Activist and songwriter Guthrie, who sang with Pete Seeger and mentored Bob Dylan, is inducted into the Folk Awards Hall of Fame. English traditional singer Shirley Collins MBE performs a track from her remarkable comeback album, Lodestar.
Plus, performances from cross-cultural musical group Afro Celt Sound System; Orkney group Fara; Dublin singer Daoirí Farrell; and singer and instrumentalist Jim Moray with his full-blooded Upcetera band. There will also be a specially curated performance from The Ballads of Child Migration, which will feature the voices of former child migrants, narration by Barbara Dickson, and original songs performed by Kris Drever, Jez Lowe, While & Matthews, Boo Hewerdine, O’Hooley and Tidow, John McCusker, Andy Cutting and Mike McGoldrick.
Prizes handed out to celebrate the best in folk and acoustic music include Folk Singer of the Year, Best Group, Best Traditional Track, Best Original Track, Musician of the Year, and the Horizon Award for the best emerging act. The 2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award is also presented to one of four nominees, all of whom are UK-based musicians aged 16-21.
Presenters: Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis
Producer: Serena Cross for the BBC
Folk Awards 2017: Highlights airs on Sunday 9 April from 10.00pm-11.00pm on BBC Four
Full list of winners
Folk Singer Of The Year presented by Sharleen Spiteri: Kris Drever
Best Duo presented by Peter Lord of Aardman Animations: Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton
Best Group presented by Sir Ray Davies: The Furrow Collective
Best Album presented by Mark Kermode: Songs Of Separation by Songs of Separation
Horizon Award presented by Rachel and Becky Unthank (of The Unthanks): Daoirí Farrell
Musician Of The Year presented by Gus Unger-Hamilton from Alt-J: Rachel Newton
Best Original Track presented by Susie Dent: If Wishes Were Horses by Kris Dreverz
Best Traditional Track presented by Pauline Black of The Selecter: Van Diemen’s Land by Daoirí Farrell
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award presented by Simon Nicol of Fairport Convention: Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente
Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Tony Blackburn: Al Stewart
Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Nick Lowe: Ry Cooder
Hall Of Fame Inductee: Woody Guthrie