Richard Grainger -
A prolific and diverse artist, Richard is a singer, songwriter and musician who has been performing on the British Folk Scene since the 1980's.
35 years have elapsed since he made' Herbs on the Heart', his first recording, and this was celebrated in his 30th Anniversary Concert in Middlesbrough Town Hall in 2015. Among those on stage were Dick Miles, Chris Parkinson, Flossie Malavialle, Steve Dawes & Helen Pitt, John & Joy Rennie, John Lawson, Moira Clarke ,Graham Brotton and The Wilson Family.
'Widely respected songwriter and guitarist with a clear and 'captivating' vocal style'. His songs are performed widely by performers at home in his native England and abroad. including MEGSON (Land & Sea), The Teesside Fettlers (Whitby Whaler and Teesside &Yorkshire , Baldricks Plan (Death of Nelson),The Wilson Family (Death of Nelson), Flossie Malavialle (Mary of the Dale & My Love is on Board, GU4 (Evergreen), John Morris (Whalermans Lament), Dick Miles (Whitby Whaler), Monkeys Fist ( Whitby Whaler) , KImbers Men (Death of Nelson), Derek Gifford (Land & Sea) in the USA Holdstock & McLeod (Death of Nelson)and Peter Kasin & Richard Adrianocowiz (Scarborough Fishermen) and many more...
Born in Middlesbrough,, an industrial town, on the North East coast of England, he was brought up in a musical family, and sang with them from a very young age. He left Teesside some years ago and after a a 12 year stint living in the North York Moors, he now lives with his wife and family in Whitby, North Yorkshire.
From his early days, Richard was regularly heard in the folk clubs of north east England , forming a duo with Charles O'Connor ( who would later lead the ground breaking Folk Rock band HORSLIPS) and in 1981 joined the popular 'Teesside Fettlers', following in the footsteps of Graeme Miles, Vin Garbutt, and his 'mentor' Ron Angel.. Richards songs achieved wider recognition in the process.
In 1984 his first solo album was released by FELLSIDE. Produced by Paul Adams, it received great reviews – some comparing him to the ‘incomparable’ Nic Jones and Martin Carthy.
Before long, Richard was touring throughout the UK at folk clubs and festivals becoming a frequent guest ‘live’ and on record, on BBC’s Folk Show on Radio 2.
During the 1990’s Richard performed with singer and concertina player Dick Miles resulting in a duo album on BREWHOUSE titled 'Home Routes'. Later on, he teamed up with accordion 'sultan', Chris Parkinson. The musical partnership with Chris produced some of his best songs recorded on the 1994 Folksound album 'Thunderwood' . The musical friendship between Richard & 'Parky' has endured the years and they still get together for occasional concerts.
Since 1995 Richard has been filling the role of artistic director to several festivals and has worked as a consultant to local authorities and arts organisations to help develop new events. He is always eager to promote the music he has carried with him all of his life.
In recent years he has also added several musical plays to his repertoire. Among the most notable of these is ‘The Journey Home’ – an adaptation of Homer’s ‘Odyssey’, which was premiered in Sicily at The University of Catania, in 2003.
That was preceded by the folk-opera 'Eye of the Wind' telling the tale of the world renowned navigator, James Cook. The play was also produced for radio by the BBC with Sir David Attenborough narrating.
Another of these productions, 'The Moorland Whalers’, was inspired by Richards long association with the Yorkshire Coast town of Whitby, and a project with The Ryedale Folk Museum in North Yorkshire . It tells a love story at the height of The Yorkshire Whaling Industry through the eyes of a young man who left his farm in Bilsdale, tramping over the moor to Whitby where he was 'lucky' to be signed on for his first voyage aboard a Whitby Whaler.
Richard produces 'WASSAIL', an annual show featuring many voices from the local and national folk scene performing traditional and contemporary Christmas Songs and Poems, Drama and Dance.
His 11th album ‘WAR HORSE’ (no relation to the musical of the same name) released in January 2008 was described by folkradio.co.uk as: “a classic folk album that will stand the test of time”.
Richards latest theatre project is 'STORMBOUND' telling the dramatic story of the "Rohilla" Disaster in Whitby in November 1914. Written to commemorate the disaster and performed in Whitby to a capacity crowd one hundred years to the day on November 1st 2014.
The project titled 'Flithers & Swill" , so far unfinished, focuses on the unique dialect of the Yorkshire Coast village of Staithes..
Richards new 'studio' album titled 'Hard Road To Prospect Hill' was released at the end of 2015. It has been well received and you can read some of the reviews on the website.
In 2021 his first compilation album was released. Titled 'Blood of the Land ' It is now available from the online store.
Richard tours frequently from his base in Whitby, North Yorkshire
Lovely quote from a recent gig '' her favourite song before the festival was Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold”, now I wake up every morning to the strains of “Here’s to the fisher lad...”
Festival appearances in UK and abroad include the following
Alkantara Festival (Sicily) - Alcester Folk Festival -Alcester Winter Warmer Folk Weekend - BAA Fest - Banbury Folk Festival - Bei Daip ( Holland) - Bedworth Folk Festival - Birmingham Folk Festival - Bremen Vegesack (Germany) - Broadstairs Folk Week - Bromyard Folk Festival - Captain Cook Festival - Chippenham Folk Festival - Coniston Folk Festival - Cook250 Festival - Dadizelle Festival (Belgium) - Deal Maritime Folk Festival - Deventer River Festival (Holland) - Dranouter International Festival (Belgium) - Edale Folk Festival - Edinburgh Festival Fringe - Ely Folk Festival - Endeavour Festival -Fastnet Maritime & Folk Festival (EIR) - Festival Fagot (Belgium) - Festival Do Fado (Portugal)- Festival Of The North East - Festival Of Yorkshire - Festival On The Moor - Filburg Festival ( Canada) - Filey Folk Festival -Fish & Ships Festival - Fleetwood Folk & Blues Weekend- FolkEast - Four Fools Folk Festival -Full Head of Steam Railway Festival - Fylde Folk Festival - Great North Folk Festival- Hartlepool Marina Festival - Headland Folk Weekend - Holmfirth Folk Festival - Hull Shanty Festival - International Festival Of The Sea - Islands Folk Festival ( Canada) - Kendal Folk Festival - Langesund International Shanty Festival ( Norway)- Lancaster Maritime Festival - Lancaster Music Festival - Liverpool Shanty Festival - Lowestoft Winter Warmer Folk Weekend - Luton Folk Festival - Meltin Folk Festival ( Sicily)- Middlesbrough Mela - MIll Race Folk Festival ( Canada) - Mystic Seaport Festival (USA) - Oakland Bay Festival (USA) - People, Pits and Politics Festival - Port Dover Maritime Festival (Canada) - Partick Folk Festival - Poynton Folk Festival - Priddy Folk Festival - Redcar Folk Festival - Rochester Sweeps Festival - Roots North - Saltburn Folk Festival - San Francisco Maritime Festival (USA) - Scarborough Seafest - Sea Ilfracombe - Sheffield Sessions Folk Festival - Sidmouth International Festival -Stainsby Folk Festival - Staithes Festival Of Arts & Heritage - Swansea Maritime Festival - Swinton Folk Festival - Tenterden Folk Festival- Upton On Severn Folk Festival - Vancouver Festival Of The Environment (Canada) -Warwick Folk Festival - Wath Folk Festival - Weybourne Folk Festival - Whitby Folk Week - Whitby Sea Festival - Whitchurch Folk Festival - Withernsea Pirate Festival - Woolpack Folk Festival.
Whats been said ' a brilliant performance at Folk Threads, Manchester' - Alice Bester 'Folk Threads'
'' he makes the audience appreciate the sort of skills in song-writing that most of us can only dream of ' G.Searle-Devon'
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