Underneath The Stars Festival, Barnsley

Beth, Shaun And Haiku Salut Are Headed to 'Underneath The Stars' Festival This Month

Underneath the stars I'll meet you. Underneath the stars I'll greet you...
July 8, 2023

There’s less than a month to wait until one of the UK’s coolest boutique arts and music festivals is back at Cinderhill Farm near Barnsley.

Started in 2014, ‘Underneath The Stars Festival’ was the brainchild of a very special South Yorkshire Folk family – that includes one Kate Rusby – however Kate will readily tell you that it was her little brother Joe who turned an idea into the reality that’s now an essential component of the annual folk festival calendar.

This year’s festival runs from 4 – 6 August and the line-up is quite possibly the best yet. With artists including Newton Faulkner, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, The Magic Numbers – and particular Mag North favourites Haiku Salut – together with Ms Rusby herself, as one of the (essential) Sunday night headlines.

Haiku Salut

And if all that wasn’t enough, can you believe there’s also ‘An Audience With Shaun Dooley’ landing on the Planets Stage on Sunday 6 August? No? Neither could we.

In case you didn’t know, Shaun is the bloke with the voice that makes you want to systematically disassemble a Hayter Harrier Rear-Roller Petrol Mower piece by piece, only so you can hold its Briggs & Stratton 850E I/C engine in your hands, while you imagine him whispering in your ear that it was this very piece of mechanical genius that kept the Nazis at bay in 1940. Or perhaps is the beating heart of a North Sea Wind Turbine. Or maybe the very first engine that Guy Martin welded to his school shoes aged 6? (I do apologise. Where am I?)

Anyway…Dooley is the man. Fact. If you do nothing else this summer – get along to this Barnsley creative’s turn on the Cawthorne stage.

Shaun Dooley (Image: Rankin)

But there is more: (Paraphrasing Jimmy Cricket.) (Ask your dad.)

Also making her way to the ripening arable landscape of South Yorkshire on 6 August is the song-writing legend Beth Nielsen Chapman, who comes complete with two new singles and some select UK dates throughout August.

Following last year’s album CrazyTown, (which charted at Number One on the Official UK Country Chart and won praise from the likes of Record Collector, Maverick and RnR Magazine), the acclaimed songwriter is making her return with fantastic new music for 2023.

Beth Neilsen Chapman

Nielsen Chapman’s five dates in early August are: 2nd – Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, 3rd – Acapela Studio, Cardiff, 4th – Nell’s, London, 6th – Underneath the Stars Festival, Cawthorne, and 8th – The Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh.

Her first new single ‘Back To This Moment,’ co-written with Michigan singer-songwriter May Erlewine towards the end of the pandemic is a sprightly Americana-bluegrass tune with a kick-ass backbeat, reflecting on and longing for better days gone by. In lines such as ‘waiting for the sun to shine through’, Beth skilfully taps into the collective mindset of those who would love for the good times to return.

Beth explains: “Back to This Moment is a song about resilience in the face of the world coming through chaos and pain” says Beth. “The rhythm helps to offset some of the pain in the song, we wanted it to be entertaining and uplifting musically but also talk about that stuff life puts us through. It’s got to have that depth of field which I think we all need to acknowledge.

“Boy I can relate to that now in a totally different way than I was relating to it when we were actually writing the song. I went through a big loss this past December when my husband Bob died of cancer. This song came back into my mind and I thought - “I really want to put this song out.

"It tells the truth but it also carries the feeling that we’re gonna keep going because that’s what we do and I really love that it has that energy of hope in it. We’re all in this together and it’s music that is keeping me going moment to moment.”

Beth Nielsen Chapman is an artist with many accolades to her name: mega-hit ‘This Kiss’, sung by Faith Hill, was ASCAP’s 1999 Song of The Year, garnered a Grammy nomination and Nashville NAMMY’s 1999 Songwriter of the Year. Beth also received a special award by The Alabama Music Hall of Fame and was the recipient of The Distinguished Artist Award from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2009 and in October of 2016, Beth was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, one she considers to be the highest honour she’s ever received. In 2019 Beth was invited to become an Ambassador for the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Recently Beth’s collaboration with her friend Olivia Newton John was included on ‘Olivia – Just The Two of Us’ – a special collection released to celebrate Olivia’s career. Their song Stone In My Pocket, which originally appeared on 2016’s ‘Liv On’ - Olivia’s album with Beth and Amy Sky - is part of 17-track album celebrating Olivia’s duets. Other artists featured include Dolly Parton, Mariah Carey, Barry Gibb, John Travolta, Sir Cliff Richard and more.

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