The Living Tradition



The Sidmouth International Festival, the oldest folk festival in Britain celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

To mark its half-century, this year's theme is generations, celebrating the fact that so many of those artists who performed all those years ago now have children who carry on the tradition.

Mike Harding, himself the father of two talented musician daughters, hears from a number of folkie families who managed to imbue their offspring with a love of English folk music, and ensure that the tradition lives on.

Among those contributing are English folk music's first couple Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson with their daughter, twice Mercury Music Prize nominee Eliza; the "Nightingale Of Barnsley" Kate Rusby with her parents Steve and Anne; winner of best newcomer at this year's BBC Folk Awards Jim Moray with his parents Colin and Jane and king of the English melodeon John Kirkpatrick with his singer/guitarist son Ben.