Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Bragg to get folk music honour

Billy Bragg will be honoured at the folk event
Billy Bragg will be honoured at the folk event

Billy Bragg is to be honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for his contribution to traditional music.

The musician and activist, who began his musical career in a punk band Riff Raff, will be presented with the "roots award" at the event to be staged in Glasgow.

Billy - often referred to as the "Bard of Barking" - will also perform at the show, which will be broadcast live by the station on January 30.

The singer-songwriter has long had elements of folk in his music, from his early days as a solo act in the early 1980s when he performed with just an electric guitar. In 1996 he brought unrecorded lyrics by US folk singer Woody Guthrie to life by setting them music, along with the band Wilco.

The roots award is given to recognise "an outstanding contribution to folk music from a grass-roots level upwards".

Other honorary award recipients include Shetland fiddle player Aly Bain and songwriter and guitarist Roy Harper, who will be given lifetime achievement awards.

And Dougie MacLean, the author of one of Scotland's most loved songs, Caledonia, will receive a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to songwriting.

Mark Radcliffe and Julie Fowlis are to host this year's event after the station axed regular presenter Mike Harding from the schedule late last year.

He was ditched after hosting the awards since their launch in 2000 and after 15 years of presenting Radio 2's folk show, but he has gone on to build a following producing a regular podcast.

Mark has taken over the station's folk programme.

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