Cov & Warks Folk News

20th April 2022

Be tempted by Dempsey’s delights

Coventry’s global star brings wow-factor folk back to home territory

Guitar maestro, Kevin Dempsey headlines CVFolk’s next ‘Second Sunday’ event in June with his much anticipated solo performance.

Following the acclaimed debut appearance of the Kevin Dempsey Trio – with Joe Broughton and Urban Folk Quartet’s Tom Chapman – at the CVFolk4Ukraine event in March, the man is back with just voice and acoustic guitar on Sunday, May 8th for CVFolk’s monthly show in the Albany Theatre Studio.

Kevin Dempsey (photo John B.Smith)

A founder member of influential acoustic rock innovators in the 60s, Dando Shaft, Kevin has worked with many of the leading names in soul, folk and jazz from Percy Sledge to Alice Coltrane, and from Mary Black to Jacqui McShee. Also a founder member of 80s folk supergroup Whippersnapper – alongside Chris Leslie and the late Dave Swarbrick and Martin Jenkins – Kevin also toured widely as a duo with the legendary ‘Swarb’.

Hatstand’s duo line-up of Keith Nickless and Kate Vassalos (pictured below right – photos by John B.Smith) will also make an appearance with a repertoire that draws largely on the more obscure regions of ‘dark Americana’.

And as an added bonus, folk and roots singer-songwriter Paul Handyside (pictured above left) is on the billing. His fourth album, Loveless Town was released last year and features songs with an ever-closer resonance  with country and Americana, although one track, Hartley Pit Catastrophe – a true story from his native North East – reflects more  English folk sensibilities. Also featured on the album – and its producer – Rob Tickell will join Paul on stage with added guitar.

The music starts at the slightly later time of 7.30pm in the Albany Theatre Studio on Coventry’s Albany Road (CV5 6JQ) and admission is free – but please give generously to the ‘caddy’ banknote collection!

Looking ahead to June 12, CVFolk’s next advance ticket show features the exceptional blues guitarist and songwriter, Jack Blackman.

Jack Blackman – photo by John Wright.

He’ll be making up for his disappointment that Covid prevented him from taking part in CVFolk4Ukraine, Support acts lined up so far include authentic trad. American arrangements from father-and-son duo Clive & Mat Ryder plus a welcome return performance of some stomping guitar and harmonica songs by Steven John Birks.

The music will start at 7pm and tickets are £11, bookable soon on the Albany Theatre website. Or call 02476 998964.

Ukraine cash where it’s needed

CVFolk has now transferred £2030 to the Emergency Appeal set up by the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain.

This is a culmination of ticket money from the CVFolk4Ukraine concert that took place in the Albany Theatre on March 27 and voluntary donations through cash collection and via PayPal. The money is being spent on food, hygiene and medical packs dispatched to where they are directly needed with the help of charity and church organisations on the ground in Ukraine.

The PayPal account remains open for more donations and you are encouraged to send more money (even ‘small change’) if you wish to download high resolution photographs of the event, or simply watch the main stage performances on YouTube.

Be of good shear – the Sheep Dip is back!

The Sheep Dip Sessions house concerts are coming back – at a new address in Harbury!

Session host, Michael Luntley will be announcing the precise new location shortly but he has already confirmed his first guests appearing this Autumn.

Memphis based acoustic bluesman Doug Macleod opens the new season on Friday 2 September and Scottish duo Eilidh Steal & Mark Neal appear on Friday 7 October

Keep in touch via the Sheep Dip Sessions. Click on the link and pat the sheep!


Click here for full details of who is playing where in the CVFolk region – we’ll do all we can to keep this site up-to-date with dates, guests, support, admission and contact details, although we suggest you check with clubs and venues if you are planning to visit on spec.

Invitation to club organisers – keep the stories coming or why not have a go at writing them yourself?

Yes, you’d expect CVFolk to use this news page shamelessly to promote its own events – and we do.

But the project is about all folk-related activity in the CV postcode area. As more and more folk fans turn to this site for their regular fix of local folk revelations (the associated Facebook group has 700 followers and rising), why not put your own words on our news page and send in your news, reviews, exposés and scoops for publication, with your own by-lines!

No word limit, although the stories may be edited or tweaked to meet journalistic standards without losing the point of the story – or to weed out anything that might get someone sued! The only deadline is one week before the reported event takes place.

Photos are also welcome, although we can download some from the net to add visual appeal. And if you have any posters or flyers, send them in as well, preferably in jpg or png format and we can add them to the Notice Board and What’s On pages.

Send your details by email to, or via Messenger to Pete Willow’s Facebook page. Or phone/text Pete on 07887 552896.

Click here for archive Coventry & Warks folk news stories

For further details on these and all forthcoming folk events in the CV postcode area,, click here or here.