The Parrot, Carmarthen, Fri 17 Mar; Noah’s Yard, Swansea, Sun 19; Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Sat 25
Splendid Scottish folk balladeer Alasdair Roberts returns to Wales this month, part of a UK wide tour to promote his new album Pangs, released on Drag City. It features 10 new songs recorded by the power trio of Alasdair (guitars, voice), Stevie Jones (bass, keys) and Alex Neilson (drums, percussion). Added to multiple releases as Appendix Out and a long list of albums under his own name he’s got a huge back catalogue to explore.
At Chapter, he will be delivering a unique pre-show masterclass before the gig, offering a chance to learn from the master of his innovative finger style guitar playing. Roberts is a musician’s musician, having collaborated with a broad cast including Will Oldham and Isobel Campbell. He’s covered and rearranged folk standards, as happy doing stripped down acoustic as he is electric and not scared to experiment.
The last time he graced south Wales was as part of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-nominated Furrow Collective. It was an exploration of the obscure world of folk balladry at its darkest and quirkiest; An Alasdair Roberts gig always has an intimate quality. Expect dense lyricism, melodies that will work their way into your psyche and an exploration of the rich folk tradition of his native Scotland with a good measure of electric experimentation.
Tickets: £10 (Carmarthen); £6/£5 (Swansea); £10/£8 (Cardiff). Info: 01267 231012 (Carmarthen); 01792 447360 (Swansea); 029 2030 4400 (Cardiff)