Mill Race Folk 2019

We’ve got some great folk acts booked for 2019 at Moot Hall in Elstow, Bedfordshire and at a new venue in the heart of Bedford town (details to be revealed in Spring). We have more podcast episodes planned, more trips aboard the John Bunyan Community Boat and Marisa Jack and Davy will be releasing a new record too. We will announce details of that later in the year.


Cohen Braithewaite Kilcoyne
Saturday 19th January at Moot Hall
The perfect way to shake off the post Christmas blues!
Cohen took to squeezeboxes in his teens and has since developed into a fine player of both the melodeon and anglo concertina. 

His charming solo repertoire consists mainly of traditional songs, tunes and the occasional un-accompanied song. Expect ballads, industrial songs, sea songs and shanties all firmly rooted in the English tradition, with a fair amount of material linked to the West Midlands where Cohen has lived for much of his life.

Support comes from Marisa Straccia. She is one of the organisers of Mill Race Folk and one third of folk trio, Marisa Jack and Davy. She’ll be singing traditional British songs on banjo and guitar.Tickets are only £10. 
Buy tickets now>>>

Ewan McLennan.
Saturday 9th March at Moot Hall
Ewan’s last gig with Mill Race Folk was cancelled due to snow!
We have finally managed to get him back, and this time it will be at the incredibly beautiful Moot Hall in Elstow.

Ewan’s music has depth of feeling & sincerity. Whether singing haunting traditional Scottish ballads or weaving the powerful stories that make up his own songs, Ewan’s unique, moving and earthy voice is always compelling. His guitar playing is outstanding and forms an essential part of his music. Ewan’s project, entitled Breaking the Spell of Loneliness, was a collaborative tour and album with renowned author and journalist George Monbiot, seeking to use music and word to open up the issue of loneliness and community.

Support comes from Davy Willis. He is one of the organisers of Mill Race Folk and one third of folk trio, Marisa Jack and Davy. He’ll be singing traditional British songs on guitar.Tickets are only £10. 
Buy tickets now>>>

Marisa Jack and Davy’s aim with Mill Race Folk is to create an intimate, cosy acoustic folk night with the best folk artists from around the country. Since 2015 we’ve been meeting all these great singers and players such as The Askew Sisters, Martin Carthy, Stick In The Wheel and John Kirkpatrick (to name but a few!) and we felt it would be great to share that in a podcast format.Find out more about traditional folk songs and learn straight from the people who sing them. In the podcasts we ask the performers at Mill Race Folk to choose a song to play as a session, then we have a little chat about it. Listen now >>
Folk On The Boat will return in Summer 2019. Acts to be announced soon. Dates for your diary are:
Thursday 23rd MAY 2019
Thursday 25TH JULY 2019
Thursday 26TH SEPTEMBER 2019
As soon as tickets are available we’ll let you know. Folk on the boat is a unique and beautiful way to experience traditional tunes on the water. Sit back, watch the world drift by as you cruise on the Ouse with drink or two. Ahhh, perfect!

Fur Appeal


Our cat is doing his best on instagram to help promote Mill Race Folk. He he!

If you’d like to follow us on instagram you can find us here at marisajackndavy

We’ll be using the hashtag #millracefolk tomorrow at our first show of the new season. Wondering what to do in Bedford this weekend? Come to the historic Moot Hall, Elstow, Bedfordshire at 7pm for a double bill of acoustic folk music with Thom Ashworth and Jack Sharp. We’ll have a little bar and Rachel is going to be selling some mini quiches too. Mill Race Folk is back!

Photos of Campfire Club

Wow! We had a wonderful time playing at this venue in Tower Hamlets in London. We we so surprised to discover a gorgeous little bundle of sheds and a cute little stage surrounded by candles for our performance. The beer was delicious (served from a bar that was fashioned from an old player piano) and the headliners, Cath and Phil Tyler were amazing! Do go and see them live if you get the chance.

TONIGHT- Ewan McLennan Gig Postponed



We are really sorry to say that we have had to cancel tonight’s concert due to the bad weather. Ewan was really gutted and we left it until this morning to make a decision as we hoped the thaw would happen a little sooner. Unfortunately the snow is particularly bad in Bristol and Ewan wouldn’t be able to make it to us in time.

We will be refunding all tickets bought through eventbrite for this event, and we hope to reschedule a gig for Ewan as soon as possible. If you have any questions please let us know. 

Apologies. We are really gutted.


Stay informed by signing up to our newsletter. Ewan and everyone at Mill Race Folk are gutted that tonight has been cancelled but we look forward to seeing you all soon x

Events at Mill Race Folk 2018

MarisaJack&Davy started Mill Race Folk in the summer of 2015. Our aim is to create an intimate, cosy acoustic folk night with the best folk artists from around the country. Shows are held in various locations around Bedford. Some are traditional music venues, others are in rather strange and unusual places. Please contact us for more details.


Saturday 5th May 2018 -Anna and Elizabeth At Moot Hall, Elstow Bedfordshire. Tickets £16

anna-elizabethSublime genre-bending storytellers from The USA. Widely loved for their moving minimalist arrangements, the duo present old songs & stories to modern audiences. Their new album, ‘The Invisible Comes to Us’ is released on Smithsonian Folkways on 30th March 2018. We are so fortuneate to have them at Mill Race Folk this season. Seriously, they are not to be missed! Get tickets from eventbrite

Thursday 14th June 2018 – Bryony Griffith & Will Hampson on The John Bunyan Community Boat Ticket £17.50

Bryony Griffith & Will Hampson 10/10/2015

We’re so happy to have Bryony and Will back at Mill Race Folk with the first FOLK ON THE BOAT on The John Bunyan Community Boat. Expect powerful vocals, deliciously rustic fiddle playing and driving yet sensitive box playing. They have a distinctive repertoire of dark ballads, chorus songs and dance tunes all delivered with good-humoured Yorkshire banter.


The Mill Race Folk Podcast

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Yeah! Our pilot episode is out now. You can click here to download and listen now.

It’s all about traditional folk songs by the people who perform them.

In our trial episode we spoke to Laura Smyth and Ted Kemp when they played at Mill Race Folk in Bromham Mill in November 2017. They performed their version of ‘Murder in the Red Barn’ for the podcast. This song features on their fantastic debut album, ‘The Poacher’s Fate’. We had an extensive conversation about where they found the lyrics, where they found the tune for this folk song and their approach to arranging and performing. We chatted about the broadside printer, Catnach and other versions of this ballad. We talked about murder, executions and gruesome artifacts too.

Like the music? Come to Mill Race Folk in Bedford and experience the night for yourself. The next show is on Saturday 20th January with The Foxglove Trio. We would love to see you there. Find us on FacebookTwitter and keep checking our website.

Seek out our new page on Podbean. Hopefully within the next few days you’ll be able to hear it on iTunes too.


The Poor Shod


If you wanna see us perform, and you don’t live too far from Romford, then make space in your diary on Saturday 2nd September. We’re off to The Sun Public House in Romford, Essex* to play at The Old Shod Folk Night. It’s only a fiver. We hope to see you there x

*Edit: Tymon Meanz very politely pointed out that Romford ain’t been part of Essex for over half a century. Soz! Here’s a wikipedia article if you need to read up on geography (because we certainly do!)


Mill Race Folk Poster Work in Progress

Today has been a sunny day here in Bedford, but I’ve got a lot posters to design. Instead of frolicking in the park, I’ve been making some progress on the next Mill Race Folk poster that we’ll need for November. It’s not a bad likeness of Laura Smyth & Ted Kemp. I hope they like the illustration. We’re looking forward to welcoming them back at the Mill on the 18th November. You can buy a ticket now here. Marisa x