When we launched our singer-songwriter competition at the beginning of the year we had no idea if it would be successful or not. Would anyone enter? Would anyone vote? The answer is…YES and YES! We had more than 60 entries, all brilliant. And thousands of you voted by ‘liking’ entrants’ videos on our Tredegar Songwriter Facebook site. We originally planned to send the seven most liked videos to our panel of distinguished judges so they could decide on an overall winner and two runners-up. But we had so many entries and so many votes that we felt it only right to increase the number of finalists that went forward to judges to TWELVE. Their names and videos are listed below. The judges are now deliberating. The winner receives a main stage slot at our festival, plus £200, plus a recording session at one of Wales’ premier recording studios, the amazing Shabbey Road Studios in Caerphilly, plus four weekend family tickets for family and friends. Two runners-up each receive £100 plus two weekend festival tickets each, plus a guaranteed slot at one of our two open mic shows at the festival. Of course, when we started this competition at the beginning of the year, no one expected a worldwide pandemic or that our festival would need to move from its May 2020 date to May 7-9, 2021. But the competition goes on because great music deserves to be heard - and, while the winner and runners-up will receive the cash elements of their prizes immediately, their performances will grace our 2021 festival. And it would be remiss of us to leave this page without paying tribute to those wonderful singer-songwriters who did not make the final 12. Along with the finalists, they are the lifeblood of creativity in our community and we are grateful to every player for enriching the competition and our lives. Please remember that, while only the 12 finalists’ videos are shown here, ALL the entrants’ videos remain available under their individual names on YouTube.
AND OUR FINALISTS ARE..
Andrew Clode with his song Love Come Down. To hear him in action click the Listen Here button below.
Katherine Close with her song, The Stargazer. To hear her in action, click the Listen Here button below.
Sophie Crabtree with her song I Wish. To hear her in action click on the Listen Here button below.
John Davies with his song, There In The Quiet Love. To hear him in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
Huw James with his song, 4 South View. To hear him in action click on the Listen Here button below.
Maya playing her song, Grace Of Age. To hear her in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
Oxbowlake playing their song, Only Ghosts. To hear them in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
CHRISTIAN AARON PERRY
Christian Aaron Perry playing his song, I’m Gone. To hear him in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
JOANNA SWAN & NICK PULLIN
Joanna Swan and Nick Pullin (collectively known as Ilya) with their song, Deep Forest Green. To hear them in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
Mair Thomas with her song, At The End Of All Our Days. To listen to her in action click on the Listen Here button below.
Danny Tose with her song Gwaelod Y Gwydr. To hear her in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
Jayne Williams with her song, I Dream Of Castles. To hear her in action, click on the Listen Here button below.
CHECK BACK HERE FROM EARLY APRIL FOR THE WINNER AND RUNNERS-UP
Our award-winning judges are at the pinnacle of folk music, songwriting and performance. The Tredegar House Folk Festival is privileged to gather so many greats to judge our singer/songwriter competition. We thank them all.
THE godfather of Welsh folk music, all-round national treasure and presenter of BBC Radio Wales’ folk, roots and acoustic music show, Celtic Heartbeat every Sunday at 7pm. Frank, a member of the legendary Hennessys folk group, has also presented a range of BBC TV music series including Way Out West - tracing the roots of Cajun, Appalachian and Cape Breton folk.
The world-class singer and bassist with Show Of Hands, arguably the biggest folk band in Britain, has a career spanning 20 years performing with the greatest names and finest songwriters in the business.
One of the greatest songwriters in British folk and one third of The Young’Uns, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Group in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, their seminal album Strangers, with songs written by Sean, won the Awards’ Best Album trophy.
Singer, poet and playwright, Gwyneth is at the pinnacle of her powers. An Urdd Eisteddfod crown winner and Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate , she has sung to rave reviews worldwide. Gwyneth also featured in the album Songs Of Separation which won Best Album award at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
The internationally-renowned drumming genius and master of the kora, a type of Senegalese harp. He was crowned Musician of the Year in the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His work with the great Welsh harpist Catrin Finch also won Best Duo/Album.
Prodigious singer (in both Welsh and English) and instrumentalist with all-conquering Calan, one of Wales’ greatest folk bands and stars of the 2019 Tredegar House Festival. Bethan has appeared as a music commentator on radio and television and developed and delivered music and dance workshops for young people across the country.
One of Britain’s top music producers and lead guitarist with The Korgis, Al has worked with stars as diverse as Elvis Costello, David Soul, Bonnie Tyler, The Divas, Paul Potts and hundreds more. His cutting-edge Shabbey Road Studios in Caerphilly is generously sponsoring studio time for our winner.
THE TRIALS OF CATO
The hottest new trio in Welsh folk, the boys will judge collectively and count as one vote. Their debut album, ‘Hide And Hair’, remains a triumph, winning Best Album at the 2019 Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2019, too, they were crowned Best Emerging Artists at the inaugural Wales Folk Awards.
The Tredegar House Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition is co-sponsored by Greg and Lindsay Rowlands who say: “We’re delighted to be part of this initiative. We support live music and want to encourage songwriters and singers to give us new material in live music venues.”