Blair Dunlop

Blair Dunlop has quite the musical heritage; as the son of Ashley Hutchings (founder of the Albion Band and co-founder of Fairport Convention), and a singer and guitarist by trade, it is hardly surprising that, at the age of 20, he is already taking the folk world by storm.

Dunlop decided to pursue music professionally after leaving school, releasing an EP of some of his recordings on Talking Elephant Records and embarking on an extensive summer tour schedule during which he played at some of the biggest UK festivals. 2011 saw the release of his second EP ‘Bags Outside The Door’ as well as his nomination for the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, and since then, Dunlop’s star has continued to rise. In October of this year he released his first debut solo album, entitled “Blight & Blossom”, a collection of original songs interspersed with one of two re-workings of traditional folk tunes, and a record that has been on repeat on my Spotify account for several days.*

In 2011, Dunlop took over the reins of the Albion Band from his father. With the help of five other young folk musicians, he has succeeded in reinventing the band, maintaining its folk-rock traditions whilst at the same time demonstrating the flair of folk’s next generation. Any doubts about a Hutchings-free line-up were instantly dispelled by 2012’s ‘Vice Of The People’, with the Albion Band’s first studio album in its new format being met with great critical aplomb.

Dunlop has been hailed in signalling a “new dynasty” in English folk tradition, and for good reason. An accomplished singer, musician and song-writer, his impressive style is beautifully varied and distinctive. Precise musicianship coupled with a vocal and lyrical maturity mean that Blair Dunlop is definitely one to watch, both in the folk world and beyond.

– Georgie

* Interestingly, the artwork for the album was created by Elly Lucas, one half of “David Gibb & Elly Lucas”, whom you can read more about on one of my earlier posts.

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About Georgie Beardmore

I’m Georgie, a Creative Writing masters student at the University of Sheffield. As might be expected from someone who studies creative writing, I love writing (I write a lot -seriously, a lot), and write a variety of fiction and non-fiction things for various online and printed publications. As well as fiction, I most enjoy writing about music, the arts and student living, but I've also written things about living abroad, travel and local projects and events, as well as waffling about whatever takes my fancy on my blog. I am also heavily involved in student radio; I've been part of Forge Radio (the University of Sheffield's student radio station) for nearly four years now, helping run the station over the last two first as Secretary and then as Assistant Station Manager. Every week I present my own weekly specialist folk music show 'What The Folk?' (the show is as pun-filled as its name would suggest), on which I aim to promote new and exciting folk musicians from across the UK, and this year I've also been a part of organising some gigs as part of 'Forge Presents...', Forge Radio's series of live music events. I'm incredibly passionate about both music and the arts, and so am really excited to be part of the Born In Britain campaign and the opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent both Sheffield and the UK has to offer.

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