Applestump Records in Nantwich

The new Nantwich Roots Festival begins tomorrow celebrating folk, roots and Americana and bringing internationally known names to Nantwich, writes Jonathan White.

It is also giving a stage to new, emerging acts in the town from May 11-15.

The event – a “sister” festival to Words & Music and organised by the same team – will take place at Nantwich Civic Hall and The Crown Ballroom with headliners including folk legends Fairport Convention, Ralph McTell and Seth Lakeman.

There are also three free fringe concerts at Applestump Records on Barker St and Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin Bar on Castle Street.

The free fringe concert at Applestump Records is Manchester singer-songwriter Little Sparrow (Sunday May 15 at 1pm).

Little Sparrow
Little Sparrow

The free fringe concerts at Ebenezer’s are Sapphire Storm performing a mixture of Country, Bluegrass and Americana on mandolin and double bass (Wednesday May 11, 8pm) and soloist Kirk McElinney performing urban folk (Sunday May 15, 2:30pm).

Steve, from Applestump Records, said: “I’ve always been a big fan of the Words and Music Festival and what it brings to the town.

“So, when Nantwich Roots was announced by the same organisers, I was obviously very keen to support the event by selling tickets and t-shirts in the shop.

“Being lucky enough to host a fringe event is very exciting. Our shop is such an intimate venue, Little Sparrow’s intimate and heartfelt music will suit it perfectly.

“It really is going to be special! The music starts from 1pm on 15/05 but we really do advise getting down early to get a good spot.”

Nicholas, from Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin Bar, said: “Sapphire Storm approached us last year to film some music videos in our little bar.

Sapphire Storm
Sapphire Storm

“Getting a behind the scenes look, I was impressed with Eleanor and Leanne as a duo.

“Seeing what they could do, I was determined to get them to do a gig for us. They were very busy doing their thing and releasing their first album of original material ‘Two Hearts & A Double Shot Of Whiskey’.

“When I saw that the team behind the Words & Music festival were organising a sister festival, ‘Roots’ dedicated to folk, roots and Americana, I thought this was a great opportunity to get Ebenezer’s involved with some free ‘fringe’ shows to kick things off and to get the Country/Bluegrass duo to play.

“Our second gig for the festival is Rochdale-born folk virtuoso Kirk McElhinney.

“A passionate singer/songwriter bringing his own unique sound dubbed as ‘urban folk’ with a fingerpicking style reminiscent of Bert Jansch, Kirk even appeared alongside the folk legend.

“We’re thrilled to be involved with the Words & Music festival and we’ve not had any live music since before the pandemic so we’re really excited to be hosting these two artists.”

Tickets can be purchased from Nantwich Civic Hall and

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