Wednesday, 20 April 2016

London’s Coffee & Country Festival confirm April 28th lineup

A brand new country music festival, Coffee and Country, is due to take place on Thursday 28th April 2016 across multiple venues in Fulham, London.

Organisers of the new Coffee & Country Festival, taking place in Fulham this year, have confirmed the final details of their one-day festival:

Artists appearing: Anna Jay, Backwoods Creek, Elliot Joseph, Fifth Floor, 
Katy Hurt, Lisa Wright, Liv Austen, Rett Russell, Southern Junction, The Southern Companion.

Hot on the heels of the success of Country to Country festival, the unique one-day festival will see rising country stars primarily from the UK perform to fans across two South West London cafes. In a bid to replicate the vibe of the world-famous Bluebird Café in Nashville, the handpicked line-up of ten artists will perform acoustic sessions in The Lekkerbek and the Labis Deli, Fulham.

The Lekkerbek: 25 Effie Rd, London SW6 1EL
Labis Deli: 609-611 Fulham Rd, London SW6 5UA
MAP [PDF File] FACEBOOK Event Page

Easiest way to there is the District Line to Fulham Broadway.

Founder of Coffee & Country, 24-year old Ida Ahlbom said: 
“The driving purpose behind Coffee and Country is to continue to raise awareness of this increasingly popular genre in the UK and to champion the excellent British country talent that doesn’t always have a platform to showcase their talents.  
By hosting the festival in The Lekkerbek and Label Deli cafes in Fulham, we hope to capture the ambience and atmosphere of Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café and introduce members of the public to a host of rising stars.”

Presenter for the new country music channel Keep It Country TV (Sky 389 and Freesat 516), Lynne McDowell (Facebook Photo), added: “Festivals and events like Coffee and Country keep the love for the genre alive in between heavy-hitting national shows like C2C and the forthcoming UK tour of the Nashville TV series. There is a growing passion for country music in the UK and a demonstrable wave of support for initiatives like this one.  I hope this festival will create an even higher demand for country music in the UK and encourage the creation of similar events nationwide.”

The full line-up: Anna Jay, Backwoods Creek, Elliot Joseph, Fifth Floor, Katy Hurt, Lisa Wright, Liv Austen, Rett Russell, Southern Junction, The Southern Companion.

16.00 Katy Hurt
16.40 Elliot Joseph
17.15 Fifth Floor
18.00 Southern Junction
 19.00 The Southern Companion

16.20 Anna Jay
17.00 Rett Russell
17.45 Backwoods Creek
18.30 Lisa Wright
19.15 Liv Austen

The FREE festival will kick off at 4pm and wrap up at 8pm and more information can be found at Donations at the door will be welcomed with all proceeds going to The Haven – a national charity providing personalised care and support for people with breast cancer, helping them to achieve the best possible quality of life. Details about the charity’s work can be found online at

Please connect with Coffee & Country on social media: TWITTER / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM


About Katy Hurt:
London based Country Singer/Songwriter.
This lovely young lady is part of the W21 Music artist roster.
She was nominated for Horizon award at the British Country Music Awards in 2015.
She is described by w21 Music as being "one of Britain’s brightest young country singer-songwriters" and was a winner of the Battle of the Bands at the 2014 Rockfield Country Music Festival.
As a sweet looking teen she released a Pop single “Wait for You” (Mu Recordings) back on 16th Jun 2013 (Amazon)
In her "breakthrough year" she released her debut EP, BLUE SNAKE on June 23, 2014 (Amazon UK) with regular performance slots, while she was still at school.
Katy lived her early years in New York, gaining an understanding and appreciation of the country sound, subsequently moving with her family to the UK.
F.Y.I The sleeveless scoop neck
printed dress in this photoshoot
was by Calvin Klein, the boots were by
Cowboy Pro 'Alexa Turqueza' from
Crocodile For You, Anaheim, California.

One of her earliest singing successes came in the Live and Unsigned competition with a Final performance at London’s O2 Arena.
A couple of years ago she returned to America, spending time in Nashville, making one of her first recordings at the legendary Sun Studios. An experience guaranteed to steal the heart of anyone with a love of country music.
Back on June 16, 2013 she released a single “Wait for You” (Amazon UK)

On 23 Nov 2015 she released a single "Part Time Girlfriend" (Amazon UK - UK iTunes - with a debut #2 UK Country iTunes Singles Chart (#464 Overall UK iTunes Chart; peaking at #359) behind Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers with Islands in the Stream at #1 (#232 overall UK iTunes). On Nov 25 it slipped to #776 (#8 UK iTunes Country) then fell of Top 1500 (#17 Country) and by Day 4 was at #65 UK iTunes Country.

Katy shared: Seeing my name on the chart among some of my greatest idols made all the hard work and long days feel so worthwhile. I walked into class on Friday to the applause of my classmates. I cannot put into words how proud I felt. The realization of almost 5-years work. It was like Christmas, my Birthday and the CMAs all-at-once! I am so grateful for all the support the team at ACM (The Academy of Contemporary Music UK) have given me throughout.
Watch her perform "She Can't Love You" written and performed by Katy at Metro Acoustic, Metropolis Recording Studio, London.

CONNECT with Katy Hurt:
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About Elliott Joseph:
Is a Country, Rock, Folk, Gospel, Christian singer-songwriter and musician inspired by the likes of Eric Church and Tim McGraw. He hails from Chichester, UK and is based in Fulham.
Blurb: Brings a new light to the warmth and positivity of the country music. Stepping forth from the likes of Springsteen, Eric Church and Kip Moore, his music resonates with nostalgia, life stories, energy and world experience. With an unrelenting artistic use of warm and unwavering melodies, down to earth lyrics and home grown, farm boy charming style, his music is a direct look into honest storytelling and life occurrences that anyone can experience.
- "My love of music comes from my experiences, my music, these songs are the means by which I sing my memories and look forward to the feature. They are my life, my hometown, my travels, my friends, my family, my passions, all written into chords and melody"
Having picked up his first guitar at the age of six, the love for music, passed down through each and every family member has grown in him to current date. Having spent a considerable amount of his life in the United States, Joseph has taken on the southern sound of the Georgia and Tennessee landscape and continues to shape it with his own personal take on modern American country music.
He has a single “One Of A Kind” released on UK iTunes May 31, 2015)
CONNECT with Elliott Joseph: 
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About Fifth Floor:
They are a Swedish singer/songwriter duo with modern pop, rock and country influences.
After meeting at university in London, Moa and Matilda began writing songs together and eventually made the decision to form a duo in the summer of 2014.

Blurb: Two lead vocalists, strong harmonies and a knack for writing songs that stay in your head is what makes Fifth Floor a breath of fresh air on the London music scene. With influences from artists like Miranda Lambert, McFly and Little Big Town, they are on a mission to further push country music and strong female fronted acts into the spotlight.
They aimed to have their EP finished in April. It was crowdfunded using platform (£725 raised of a 700 goal; raised by 40 people in 2 months)
Watch them cover Dierks Bentley's "Somewhere On A Beach" >> YouTube  
CONNECT with Fifth Floor:
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About Southern Junction
The group is composed of Katie Jayne (Vocals; From Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia), Carlos Heath (Vocals, Guitar; born Ferndown Dorset; 1999 - 2002 Ferndown Upper School) and Harrison Perks (Vocals, Guitar and Piano; born in Midlands U.K).

The original trio performed their first live performances at the Isle of Wight festival playing four stages over the entire weekend (Boheminan Stage & Zebra Champagne Bar & Ace Casino) and were slated to release an E.P in the near future
Southern Junction blend Contemporary Country Music with Pop, Rock and Classical Roots for an energetic and soulful sound.
The Trio's self-penned songs incorporate their individual musical backgrounds joining them together to create a fresh original sound with rich harmonies and honest content.
The Bournemouth based outfit self-released a country/ pop single "I Want To" on May 20, 2015 (Amazon UK MP3 - UK iTunes)

Later in 2015 due to visa restrictions Katie was informed she had to go back to Australia when her working visa ended. Immigration were unlikely to let her re-enter the UK for 6 months after her visa ended.  They working hard on their forthcoming E.P and added a few music videos into the mix allowed them to still be able to present their product even though they are apart. 
They were in Nashville in October 2015 and on the 29th Katie posted “Had a great day shooting part one of the Southern Junctions EP Cover! They shared some great sneak photos on Facebook taken by the talented country go-to photographer Get Flex'd, the CMA official photographer Anthony D’Angio (aka Flex The Frog; Website) who was shooting for pending EP. The fabulous shots were taken at the Radnor Lake State Natural Area in Nashville.

In early 2016 they went to Australia playing some shows. Using an entertainment visa they were able to play 2 days (March 12 & 13, 2016) at the C2C Country to Country Festival performing on the Big Entrance Stage.
CONNECT with Southern Junction:
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About The Southern Companion:
Genre: UK Country/Americana | Home Town: Lymington, Hants
A band and brainchild of Darren Hodson, a musician and songwriter from Hampshire, England
Members: Darren Hodson (Vocals / Guitars), Simon Johnson (Guitars / Backing Vocals), Stuart Ross (Bass / Backing Vocals), Olly Richmond-Jones (Drums / Backing Vocals) & Lee Maycock (Keys)
The Southern Companion are a band fronted by singer/songwriter Darren Hodson. It's a collaboration with his band of best friends and talented musicians. Since honing his craft from his early teens, Darren has now been working on his music for a good twenty years, even though his new album 1000 DAYS OF RAIN was only his second record. The band’s genre-bending sound was described by For The Country Record as being "situated somewhere in the midst of country, folk, blues, rock and even pop – to create songs that are catchy without sacrificing the musicality or substance.
The lead single from ‘1000 Days of Rain’ was “Feels Like Years” and had an impact date set at May 25th 2015. It begins quietly with minimalist electric guitar and rhythmic mandolin, as Darren’s scratchy, husky vocals come in only to be followed by drums, piano, fiddle and acoustic guitar. Although strong and commercial, the band deliberately steer away from the pop polish of their contemporaries to retain a certain rawness, falling into a country folk jam towards the end. “It feels like years since we’ve had a good time,” Darren sings passionately and throatily on the chorus, looking back nostalgically on good times and hoping to replicate those in the present.
In 2015 The Southern Companion embarked on a UK and European tour opening for Radio 2 favourite Rumer with Darren Hodson additionally playing guitar in her band. Dan also opened for her in Nashville at The City Winery.
In January 2016 Maverick Magazine featured them on their Maverick Music Volume 19 CD.
Darren Hodson and his Southern Companion opened shows for Lulu on her 7-week March/April 2016 run British tour. Darren Hodson played in her band and was in bands years ago, before packing it in. With the UK enjoying a renaissance in country music, with the C2C Festivals and The Shires and Ward Thomas heading the pack of Brit acts, it seems the urge was too strong to resist and he headed for a modern country / Americana direction drawing on his influences covering the likes of The Black Crowes, The Allman Brothers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Ryan Adams and others.

On Friday 11th March 2016 The Southern Companion appeared at and kicked things off on the Big Entrance Pop Up stage at C2C Country To Country Festival at London's iconic O2 (North Greenwich) Arena.
On 23rd Feb 2016 The Southern Companion's 10 track album 1000 DAYS OF RAIN (Streets Productions Ltd) dropped. Darren incorporated elements of southern rock, country, blues folk, soul and Americana into his music, grounding the songs in earthy guitars and husky vocals. The effect was described in review as having "a cohesive musical style that is apt for starting a party in true roots fashion, but that is also not a stretch to drop down into stripped-back ballads. Although most of the songs are up-tempo and mid-tempo foot-tappers with a cheery sensibility, The Southern Companion spend the majority of their latest album ‘1000 Days of Rain’ dealing with emotions, and what sound like Darren’s own very personal experiences"
CMP Review Click to
It was awarded 5 STARS by Country Music People's reviewer Chris Smith in the April 2016 issue who said "quality oozes from this album right away and you would expect it to given the musicians involved" and that it’s an album which "sets the tone of tight arrangements, strong vocals and well written new songs" and urged readers to "have a listen and be prepared to change your mind"

(Review: The Rocker65) He tackles themes of love, emotion and mortality. It’s certainly as good as anything else in this genre right now, and with a very listenable voice, and strong musicality, he may well tap into the zeitgeist." He rarely gets out of second gear, instead concentrating on feel and emotion, and there is a strong set of songs here. ‘Letting You Go’, ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘The Leaving Kind’ all get you hitting the repeat button, and there are even a couple of songs here that would sit comfortably on modern Radio 2.   It’s more for the Mojo crowd than the out and out country fans, but it’s certainly worth a listen.

Baylen Leonard the Nashville Nights DJ, Amazing Radio and BBC Radio 2 Country presenter has been championing the music and the band were featured in a special Front Porch session (April 2) recorded in the Newcastle studios.

The Southern Companion performed "Driving With The Brakes On" (Del Amitri cover) for a Under The Apple Tree (WhisperingBobTV channel) live session, curated by Bob Harris (OBE) himself. The video was published on April 7, 2016.

CONNECT with The Southern Companion:
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About Anna Jay:
Anna Jay (Anna Josefine) is a Swedish singer/songwriter loving life in the UK.
She has 5 songs on Soundcloud

Listen to her song "Beautiful":

CONNECT with Anna Jay:
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About Rett Russell:
A British country influenced singer/songwriter/guitarist based in Oxfordshire, England.
Following a career playing in country rock and blues based bands in the North of England, Rett moved to Oxfordshire and, in recent years has been writing, recording and performing across the Southern England.
THE ROAD TO HAVING FUN (released 13 Oct 2015), is his first solo album. The 14 original songs draw on traditional and modern day country influences, as well as a wider range of contemporary music.
14 Tracks/ Time: 54:36 Country Amazon UK - UK iTunes

'The Road to Having Fun!' was recorded at Appletree Studios in Buckinghamshire in the first half of 2015, with Rett singing and playing acoustic, electric rhythm and bass guitars, supplemented by Tony Collins on lead guitar, Phillip Goss on drums and percussion and Nancy Sawyer on backing vocals. The album was engineered and produced by Phillip Goss and is available from iTunes, Amazon and many more online music sites.

His current self-penned European single “Country Boy”, which rather plods along, is however quite pleasant. It was promoted across the UK & Europe via the March 2016 #207 Hotdisc promotion CD. It made a debut at #27 and thanks to good scores from the DJs and media right across Europe climbed the chart with a highest rank to date of #7 (Chart date April 10, 2016)
On entering the top 20 the >> official video qualified to receive TV coverage on the HotDisc Top 20 chart show and was aired on Keep it Country TV (Phil Mack Productions) on Sky channel 389 and Freesat 516
Rett shared that "Country Boy", is a rye take on the life as a British county music lover who has 'never been to Nashville', chronicling some of the more off-beat 'language barriers' between English and American culture. Songs “Locked Down in Paradise” tells the true story of a Scandinavian road trip, whilst the album's title track “Road to Having Fun” re-lives a camping adventure closer to home in North Wales!
On 8th April he took part in an hour long interview with internet station (the station which claims to play "The Hottest country music in the UK"). He talked about the stories behind the songs on his new album and playing some exclusive live acoustic versions in the studio.
You can listen to a >> radio interview and artist spotlight with US country music radio station:

CONNECT with Rett Russell:
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About Backwoods Creek
They are a UK based Country band, hailing from Guilford who comprise:
Jamie Wood (Vocals, Guitar), Yannick Van Riet (Guitar, Backing Vocals, Mandolin), Jake Rigden (Guitar), Jacob Stirrat (Fiddle), Tom Gatens (Banjo, Backing Vocals), Jack Densley (Bass) and Kamil Bartnik (Drums)
They are said to "bring a touch of the Southern States over to the UK, touching the traditional and modern aspects of the genre in their songwriting".
The band's debut 4 track EP STORIES FROM THE DIRT ROADS (Backwoods Creek) was released on June 19, 2015 and is available at: Amazon UK | UK iTunes
CONNECT with Backwoods Creek:
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About Lisa Wright:
Genre: Country/Pop  |  Home Town: Essex
Short Description: Country singer-songwriter.
Long Description: Tempting the UK to country/pop music
Influences: Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Alison Krauss.

Lisa Wright, 23, is your not-so-typical Essex girl (from Harold Wood, a suburb in NE London)
A country enthusiast at heart, she began singing and song writing at an early age and dons Alison Krauss as her idol.
In 2012 she was given the thumbs up at the auditions of the Open Mic UK competition and performed at Towngate Theatre in Basildon in the live regional stages of the UK competition. She performed in front of hundreds of audience members and a professional judging panel for a place in the national final at the O2 arena in London.
The former Redden Court School pupil, was then in her second year studying drama at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA), and hoped the competition would be a launch pad for a career in singing – her preferred style is Country!
A musical vocation wasn't always a goal for Lisa – she never thought she could sing when she was younger. She shared "I had a singing teacher who was really good for me, she said I could do it. At university I've joined a band and perform in clubs and pubs in Liverpool. It's a great town to be a musician in."
Lisa has since graduated from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, studying an Acting degree although it was there that music really started to develop.
If she's not performing, then you can probably find Lisa watching and swooning over Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.
After supporting Nashville artist, SaraBeth, on her UK tour, Lisa released her first single, “Faith”, which she was awarded 'Song of the Year 2014' by W21 Music and then follow up single "Home" as a
She spent 6 weeks in Nashville and although she wished for longer, Lisa met some fantastic and funny people; saw incredibly inspiring musicians at work and recorded her EP that she is very proud of.
The 4 track BEFORE I DIE (EP) was self-released on 17th Sept 2015.
We reviewed this lovely upcoming UK artist’s EP here
If gentle tuneful acoustic flavoured styled country is up your country road then this EP is well worth checking out.
Essential Download: Here We Go Again

CONNECT with Lisa Wright:
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About Liv Austen 
Liv grew up in Norway and trained as a musical theatre performer. In her final year of training she was simultaneously performing in Jesus Christ Superstar at DNT (The Norwegian Theatre, 2009-2010). She moved to the UK in 2010 to train at the Guildford School of Acting. She graduated in 2013 with a first class honours degree and is now based in London.
Since graduating she appeared in the musical Scandinavian Heart, written by Dike Okoh, as the passionate and idealistic Swedish student Brigitta Häggström who gets involved with the occupy movement in London, it was first put on at the Tristan Bates Theatre in 2013 and then recast and performed Upstairs at the Gatehouse in 2014.

Liv Austen grew up in a musical home and sang from a very early age. As a teenager she started writing her own songs, but it wasn't until August 16, 2014 that she released her first record, the four track EP "WORKIN' MAN'S DREAM".
Why the wait? Five years of acting and musical theatre training caused that. Liv graduated from drama school in 2013, and was combining acting and singing. She teamed up with the website Pledge Music to raise the funds to record her debut EP, and approached producer Sean Kenny at Ten21 Studios to record the songs. The result is an EP with great production value, pop/country songs that have a girly singer/songwriter feel to them but with an edgy production, with drums and guitar giving it that great country feel of the artists that have inspired Liv over the years. Following on she has performed at venues around London and continue to expand into 2015.
She and her band played a terrific set on the Brooklyn Bowl stage at Country To Country Festival in March 2015 which included a memorable performance of "The Guts You Always Had", from the EP, a piano driven ballad inspired by Liv's relationship with her sister - a song about learning to respect and love the people in your life and understanding the struggles they have gone through. When performing live, this song has had enormous response from the audience.
In Jan 2015 the talented newbie artist promoted her engaging self-penned single “Rain On My Side” across Europe under the name Liv Austin & The Banned via the promotional Hotdisc. The single was promoted by CMR Nashille CEO and BCMAwards president Lee Williams’ Django Promotions. Her supporting band “The Banned” (who played with her at C2C) are the former members of the Hayley Oliver Band who split with lead singer Hayley Oliver in July 2014. The single made a debut at No.28 and climbed to #13 (#2 British & Irish Chart).  

On Oct 27 2015 she released a single "Don't Regret a Single One", which she had played previously at gigs. It was slated to get a big crowd reaction with its "Taylor Swift-like subject matter, it’s fun, upbeat nature and catchy hook". A song with a 90s female country vibe with a modern twist, featuring a driving drum beat, polished rock guitars and the twang of a fiddle. It was described by the excellent blog For The Country Record as "a great empowerment anthem that paints dating plenty in a positive light and also advocates being glad for all life experiences, no matter how horrible in the end".
The very likeable Liv has gone on to perform at a lot of prestigious venues around London, including Camden Barfly, The Troubadour and The Bedford, joining other great UK country acts like Gary Quinn, Luke & Mel, Dexeter, Megan O'Neill and Lucy May (Source W21 Music)
CONNECT with Liv Austen:
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1 comment:

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