Luke Daniels developed a passion for Irish traditional music in his early teens, learning to play the button accordion whilst working in an Irish bar owned by a six-time Connaught champion but also remembers being enthralled by the songs and tunes of his own Scottish and English parents who played wooden flute and concertina. His abilities as a finger style guitarist and singer flowered in his late teens via a love of acoustic songwriters such as Nick Drake and John Martyn. In his early twenties whilst touring as a member of the Riverdance band he also taught himself to play piano on the concert grand Steinways he found stored in the bowls of large theatres across Canada and the US.
Over twenty years Luke has recorded and produced nineteen acclaimed records, had numerous live sessions and airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 3, and performed at many the UK’s top festivals. The Guardian describes him as “a musical force to reckon with.” Originally from Oxfordshire, though now Glasgow-based this folk singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist was featured in fRoots and hailed as “a genius” whilst his songs have been described as “future classics” by Songlines magazine.
His passion for folk/acoustic music and a voice described by Acoustic Magazine as ‘honey coloured’ has led Luke to produce some of the most interesting and innovative music on the British folk scene in recent years. With folk luminaries such as Lau and Cara Dillon both strong supporters of his music, alongside past work with The London Philharmonic Orchestra and the composer Howard Shore on the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit soundtracks it was no surprise when he was awarded an official showcase at the International Folk Alliance conference in Kansas city in 2016.
In addition to a busy festival season and two concert tours this year to promote his latest album “Singing Ways,” Luke has found time to design and build a brand new musical instrument – the ‘electrophon,’ a 20” diameter steel disc-playing device that combines original 19thand 21stcentury music technology. With a beguiling blend of heartfelt lyrics and instrumental virtuosity, Luke breathes new life into traditional music, letting it mix with contemporary originals and even the occasional rock cover. Expect haunting vocals, tunes and songs, endearing anecdotes and instrumental performances of the highest quality led by a unique musical voice and imagination.
Special guest Emma Sweeney is a fiddle player from Manchester whose unique style combines her traditional Irish background with a fusion of world influences, drawing on her experience of teaching music in India.
A distinguished and experienced live performer, Emma has played alongside a whole raft of traditional musicians, including Mike McGoldrick and John Doyle. Emma has also recently supported Paul Weller in a guest appearance with The Rails. In a review of one of her live shows, Songlines said that “Emma’s control of the fiddle was enviable, and it really seemed an extension of her arm as she played through speedy, intricate phrases and slides with gentle ease”.
Dates & Times
“Daniels is a musician with his finger on the pulse and an uncanny ability to impart genuine warmth through his songs. The man is clearly a bona fide original”Folk Radio UK
“A melodeon virtuoso”Mark Radcliffe, BBC R2 Folk Programme
“An enthralling combination of the aural tradition with the digital and mechanical ages”Acoustic Magazine