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Moseley Folk Festival 2014 - workshops

Saturday 30 August | Sunday 31 August | Storytelling (both days)

During Saturday: Cigar box guitar making workshops with Chickenbone John: If you've heard of Seasick Steve, then you'll probably have seen him playing a curious instrument called a cigar box guitar.  This is your opportunity to learn how to play just like that, with Chickenbone John, ‘The Godfather of the cigar box guitar’!  Direct from the Bearwood hill country, he will be bringing his cigar box guitars all the way to the swamps of Moseley.  Chickenbone John will be running workshops for absolute beginners all the way up to expert players.  And you don’t have to make your own cigar box instrument first – there will be lots of magnificent guitars produced by Chickenbone himself to use, free of charge.  It's an offer from The Godfather that you can't refuse!

1-2pm, Centre Court Stage - Zulu Music workshop, with Count Drachma
The Maskandi guitar style of South Africa is a fast traditional Zulu pattern from the coastal villages of the South-East and involves a 2-part call-and-response played using fingerpicks.  The guitar accompanies a singer addressing political songs or marriage songs, joined by accordions, drums & bass.  This is an opportunity to learn the Maskandi style, originally performed by mineworkers and travellers in the shebeens of Johannesburg.  The band are performing on Friday 29th so you can see Maskandi in action, then learn how to play it the very next day.  This workshop is suitable for anyone.

3-4:30pm, Tennis Hut - Songwriting, with Dan Whitehouse
An interactive and inclusive songwriting workshop open to anyone with an interest in songwriting and lyrics, featuring elements of 'The Full English' folk archive.  You do not need to play an instrument, just a willingness to be creative and immerse yourself in the beautiful art form of song. As an independent singer-songwriter, Dan Whitehouse has toured extensively across UK, Europe and North America.  In 2010 he founded the Songwriting Circle at mac Birmingham - a writing group that meet weekly to share ideas, skills and experiences.  This is an environment in which to be inspired, receive feedback and feel the benefit of a support network of like minded folks.  

5:30-6:30pm, Centre Court Stage - Rapper Dance Workshop
Whip the Cat Rapper & Clog are a lively women's Rapper team from Nottingham with a pleasing blend of youth and experience.  They perform a number of exciting Rapper dances, both traditional and of their own compilation, together with some lovely step clog routines.  They are a regular folk festival side and premier Rapper team, having been placed third in the top class at this year's DERT competition.  Kit: black shirts, black skirts and yellow sashes, with the odd bit of cat-print if you look closely!

Sunday 31 August

1-2pm, Centre Court Stage: Barn Dance Workshop with Cut A Shine
Preserving, promoting, reinterpreting, and propagating traditional folk music and dance, Cut a Shine is a troupe of very talented and passionate musicians, dancers and singers.  They make folk dancing accessible and enjoyable for people who may never have experienced it before, and for many who have too.  Encompassing all genres of UK, Irish and American dance, while individually being faithful to each form, they perform at all manner of dances, from local community halls to large festivals, and of course the old barn too.  Suitable for anyone who wants to have a good time!

2-3pm, Centre Court Stage - Bones workshop with Louisa Davies-Foley 
Louisa is the daughter of the late Len Davies, an amazing bones player who played from the age of 5 until he died, delighting folk festival audiences up and down the country.  The bones are an ancient percussion instrument, similar to spoons.  There are bones from Egypt in the British Museum dated 2000 BC.  Louisa learnt to play from her father and is now keen to keep up this family tradition.  This is a great workshop that anyone can try - whether you have prior experience of the bones or not!  She will be teaching how to hold the bones, playing single beats and ornamentation, and playing to music.  A limited number of sets of bones will be available for participants to use, but please bring your own if you have them. 

3-4pm, Centre Court Stage
Penny whistle for beginners, with Belinda Hutchings
Whistle a Happy Tune!  Learn basic fingering and a tune (or two) by ear on a penny whistle, the most portable of musical instruments!  Whistles provided.  Minimum age 9.  Belinda Hutchings plays for ceilidh dancing and at Irish sessions in Birmingham.  She teaches whistle at the Irish Centre in Birmingham.

4:45-5:15pm - Barn dancing for all with Cut A Shine
Now's your chance to enjoy the dances you learnt earlier!

SATURDAY & SUNDAY, Pop Up Storytelling, with Graham Langley and friends
The traditional art of storytelling is alive and well at Moseley Folk Festival.  This year we will have our own Storytelling Canopy where you can sit back, relax and enjoy a story by award winning storyteller Graham Langley and storytellers from the Storytelling Gymnasium.  Stay for one story or stay all day, come back and visit as often as you like.  We have a host of stories suitable for every age, mood or disposition.  Bring a drink along if you wish for a different sort of relaxed listening.  
If you have a story to tell yourself then there will be plenty of floor spot opportunities - or just sit back and chill out.

More information about the Moseley Folk Festival