TIPPED as the UK’s ‘hottest roots collective’ Southern Tenant Folk Union will play the Riverbank Arts Centre on Saturday, May 12 at 8pm. The Scottish bands fourth album ‘Pencaitland’ was released in Ireland in November.
Edinburgh-based Southern Tenant Folk Union is described as ‘one of the most highly rated folk and bluegrass outfits in music today’. The group was formed by Belfast born five-string banjo player Pat McGarvey in 2006 and take their name from the groundbreaking multi-racial union of sharecroppers and non-landowning tenant farmers founded in Arkansas in the 1930’s (the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union).
“Its all our own stuff,” said Pat. “It is an interesting mixture of scottish folk, funk soul sound with fiddle, banjo, mandolin and humming vocals. It is a seven piece band full of up tempo songs and there is something there for every body.” There is even a WB Yeats poem thrown into the mix as part of their experimental approach to literature and music. “We do a WB Yeats ‘An Irish Man Foresees his Own Death’ to music,” he said. “We try to experiment - folk music seems to be pushing boundaries. We’ve been on the View on RTE and even had standing ovations at gigs in the past but I don’t want to tempt fate.”