Seasick Steve and folk favourites announced for annual Hatfield House music festival

PUBLISHED: 12:01 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:23 19 December 2019

Blues musician Seasick Steve will headline Folk by the Oak 2020 in Hatfield. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the Oak

Blues musician Seasick Steve will headline Folk by the Oak 2020 in Hatfield. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the Oak

Supplied by Folk by the Oak

Three big names including bluesman Seasick Steve have been announced for an annual Hatfield music festival.

Kate Rusby will play music festival Folk by the Oak 2020 at Hatfield House. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the OakKate Rusby will play music festival Folk by the Oak 2020 at Hatfield House. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the Oak

Folk by the Oak will return to Hatfield next summer on Sunday, July 19, 2020.

Organisers have confirmed the first acts playing the all-day festival in the grounds of Hatfield House, with Seasick Steve joined on the bill by international folk legends Richard Thompson and Kate Rusby.

The perfect combination of gifted songwriting, deft fingers, easy-going charm, sharp wit and gravel voiced blues, Seasick Steve's popularity is no doubt partly thanks to his attitude to live performances.

He says: "I live in the world of going out and rocking, you know. We do our best, every night.

"If someone has taken the trouble to spend their money to come and see us play, then we owe them to deliver. They're my boss!"

Seasick Steve has had a busy 2019 writing songs for his next album, which is due for release in the spring.

Folk by the Oak organisers told us they were "over the moon" that he had agreed to join them to close their one-day festival at the Hertfordshire stately home.

Steve's long-time drummer Dan Magnusson - aka Crazy Dan - will, of course, be with him on the tour.

Guitarist Richard Thompson will return to Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House next summer. Picture: Vincent DixonGuitarist Richard Thompson will return to Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House next summer. Picture: Vincent Dixon

Seasick Steve can't wait to get out on the road, and is quoted as saying: "We rock. That's what we do.

"When I see a club full of people, or a field full of people, they're just with us and ready to get down in the mud - sometimes real mud! We love it, and we love them."

Also gracing the FBTO main stage next summer will be Ivor Novello Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated Richard Thompson.

One of the world's greatest guitarists, Richard last performed at Folk by the Oak in 2014, receiving rapturous applause.

Seasick Steve will close next summer's Folk by the Oak music festival in the grounds of Hatfield House. Picture: supplied by Folk by the Oak.Seasick Steve will close next summer's Folk by the Oak music festival in the grounds of Hatfield House. Picture: supplied by Folk by the Oak.

His easy rapport with his audiences combined with his exceptional songcraft and guitar playing ensure that he remains one of the most influential artists on the music scene today.

Indeed, everybody from Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Don Henley, and Elvis Costello to REM, Sleater-Kinney and David Byrne has covered his music.

Festival director Adam Slough said: "Richard is an esteemed icon of the festival world and we receive so many requests every year for his return.

"We are beyond delighted he has agreed to join us again this summer."

Folk festival favourite Kate Rusby will return to Hatfield House for Folk by the Oak 2020. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the OakFolk festival favourite Kate Rusby will return to Hatfield House for Folk by the Oak 2020. Picture: Supplied by Folk by the Oak

Richard's career has been powered both by his ability to compose the most evocative of songs and his simply incredible guitar playing.

He holds a coveted spot on Rolling Stone's '100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time' and counts a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Americana Music Association in Nashville, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Folk Awards among his many accolades.

His anthem, 1952 Vincent Black Lightning, sits proudly on Time Magazine's '100 Greatest Songs Since 1923' list.

Another artist who is back by popular demand is Folk by the Oak favourite Kate Rusby.

Katherine Priddy has been announced for the Acorn Stage at next summer's Folk by the Oak festival in Hatfield. Picture: supplied by Folk by the OakKatherine Priddy has been announced for the Acorn Stage at next summer's Folk by the Oak festival in Hatfield. Picture: supplied by Folk by the Oak

She last performed in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field in Hatfield in 2017, the year that marked Folk by the Oak's 10th festival and 25 years of Kate's exceptional music making career.

Renowned for being a remarkable interpretive singer, at her last Folk by the Oak appearance audience members were thoroughly entertained by Kate's warm Yorkshire wit and her choice of much-loved classics from her back catalogue stretching over her two decades of music making, together with a selection of then new songs from Life in a Paper Boat (2016).

Next summer Kate will be enchanting festival-goers with numbers from her more recent albums Angels and Men and Philosophers, Poets and Kings.

She will be joined on stage by the cream of British folk musicians who form her select band - Damien O'Kane on guitar, electric tenor guitar and banjo, Steven Byrnes on bouzouki, Nick Cooke on diatonic accordion, and Duncan Lyall on double bass and moog.

Ye Vagabonds will play the Acorn Stage at Folk by the Oak 2020 in the grounds of Hertfordshire stately home Hatfield House. Picture: Myles O'ReillyYe Vagabonds will play the Acorn Stage at Folk by the Oak 2020 in the grounds of Hertfordshire stately home Hatfield House. Picture: Myles O'Reilly

Folk by the Oak organisers have also announced the first two names for their smaller second stage in Hatfield Park.

The Acorn Stage is billed as the festival's "platform for a new generation of folk artists" and the first acts announced are Ye Vagabonds and Katherine Priddy.

Super early bird tickets for Folk by the Oak 2020 are on sale for £35.50 for a limited period at www.folkbytheoak.com

Children's tickets cost £18.

Kate Rusby performing at Folk by the Oak 2017 in the grounds of Hatfield House. Picture: Alan DaviesKate Rusby performing at Folk by the Oak 2017 in the grounds of Hatfield House. Picture: Alan Davies

Related articles

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Welwyn Hatfield Times