MAY 2022: Preview from Downend Folk Club
(Support from Charlie Limm)
Friday May 20, Christ Church Downend
Downend Folk Club welcome one of the most exciting cross-genre bands to emerge in recent years to headline their May concert.
Cup O’Joe is a progressive bluegrass and folk band founded and based in Northern Ireland by three siblings, Tabitha, Benjamin and Reuben Agnew, and later joined by Tabitha’s husband David Benedict. Their unique mix of original compositions and re-imagined traditional songs paired with their lively performances has given them a growing presence in the acoustic music scene surrounding Ireland, The United Kingdom, Mainland Europe, and beyond.
Their quartet lineup features tight sibling harmonies, tasteful arrangements, compelling originals and virtuosic solos. Tabitha Benedict brings her unique style of banjo playing and delicate vocals to the group, which were both recognised by the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association). She holds the 2020 Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year Award. Her sensitive and tasteful touch on both banjo and lead vocals blends effortlessly with her bandmates. Reuben Agnew’s frenetic guitar breaks, rhythmic drive, and unwavering vocals make him another pillar of this group’s sound. Both Tabitha and Reuben are songwriters with a rare understanding of their own creations and what they want the listener to hear. David Benedict, the newest addition to the group, is a mandolin player of the first order. His leading style of playing is described as “thoughtful, elegant and tastefully complex.” Winner of the IBMA Momentum Award for Mandolin in 2018, his mandolin playing is intricately sophisticated, while also being well established in the deep understanding of the instrument's heritage and early sounds. He plays like he has been with the group since the very start, slotting in on the backbeat effortlessly. Benjamin Agnew beats out the all-important bass tones and lead vocals--oftentimes giving the impression he wandered on to stage by accident, but flawlessly holding the backbone of the music.
In January 2020 they released In The Parting which features nine original songs and one reimagined traditional song from their native Ulster. This new album embodies their fresh new original sounds of progressive bluegrass and Irish folk roots. For several tracks they are joined on fiddle by Niall Murphy (Breaking Trad, Cara Dillon, Nathan Carter) as well as Josh Clark, Dave Molloy and Eilidh Patterson. Most recently they have released their first collection of Christmas songs, in their five-track EP, Christmas Kin. This short but sweet collection displays a refreshing take on several holiday favourites including In The Bleak Midwinter and Holly Jolly Christmas, as well as the traditional carols Sussex Carol and The Holly Bears a Berry.
Opening the evening’s entertainment will be Charlie Limm. Charlie Limm is a musician, actor, composer and theatre maker who has been performing since an early age. Her passion for the arts began in Somerset in a village called Stoke St Gregory where she was born and raised, as part of her local theatre group. Charlie's has recently recorded her second EP Falling Everytime and is very excited to release it later this year.
Tickets for the event, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 20th May are available online at downendfolkclub.com and from Melanie’s Kitchen in Downend (cash only). They are £14 each in advance or £16 on the door.
There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and locally-brewed real ale from Hambrook-based Hop Union Brewery (formerly GWB). Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/mug/tankard/bucket, as well as reusable bottles for water. For further information, email email@example.com.