Cumbrian songwriter releases book of new folk songs celebrating region

A Cumbrian songwriter has launched a new songbook containing folk songs telling stories about Cumbria and its landscape.

Contemporary Cumbrian Folk Songs (and how to write them) is an inspiring collection of songs written by Steve Wharton.

The book features melody notation, with guitar tab, chords, lyrics and comprehensive background notes for the sixteen songs, thirteen of which are originals and three are settings of 19th century Cumbrian poems by William Wordsworth, Robert Anderson and John James Lonsdale.

News and Stars: The book is packed with folklore, history and notes about the songs’ writing process and life in front of audiences and there are also chapters about the evolution of folk music and collecting of folk tunes by Steve Wharton and Ally McGurk.

Steve created a unique repertoire of songs and stories which celebrate the county and dig deep into its history and ‘unique heritage’.

Stories covered within the book are from across the region’s history with more modern examples including the tragic deaths of four railway workers near Tebay in 2004.

News and Stars: “After living abroad in Finland and China, I realized how proud they were of various cultural performances,” said Steve.

“Coming back to Britain in 2015, I thought we don’t have the that and we’re not proud of what we’ve got, especially in Cumbria.

“Cumbria is a unique part of Britain. It’s a crossroads of different cultures and that comes across in our dialect, so I set out putting together a show of Cumbrian songs.”

“After a while I realized that I had a lot of material that went down really well with audiences but could have an extra life in written format so that’s when I began to think about the book.

Steve is taking to the road in January and February to perform a series of book launch concerts and songwriting workshops around Cumbria including Maryport and Carlisle.

Full details of concerts, ticket links and book stockists can be found on his website and his social media pages.

READ MORE: Look ahead to the great music acts coming to Carlisle in 2023.

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