Band members    

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Katie Howson

    Katie Howson (www.katiehowson.co.uk) was born in Ilford, Essex and has lived in Suffolk for over thirty years. She is an internationally known melodeon player and teacher who has recorded extensively as well as a researcher and writer on traditional music.
    In 2000 she founded, with her husband John, ‘The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust’, which aims to increase awareness of traditional folk arts in the Eastern counties. In 2010 she was awarded the gold badge of the ‘English Folk Dance and Song Society’.
    Over the years she has played in many local and nationally known ceilidh bands including: ‘The Suffolk Bell & Horseshoe Band’, ‘Old Hat Dance Band’ and ‘Katie’s Quartet’. Currently she plays English style music with ‘PolkaWorks’ and ‘The Valiant Dance Band’ and Irish music with the ‘Michael Sheehy Band’.

 

Roger Digby

    Roger Digby was one of the founding members of the London ceilidh band ‘Flowers and Frolics’ who ran the seminal folk club at the ‘Empress of Russia’ in Islington. The band were at the forefront of the 1970s revival of English Country Music and helped shape the sound of the many bands that followed.
    Roger has been playing anglo concertina for over forty years, and he extends the instrument’s range far beyond its assumed limitations, stretching it most fully when accompanying the wide repertoire of internationally known singer Bob Davenport.
    In recent years, after a move to the Essex countryside, he has joined forces with fiddle player Liz Giddings.  Currently he plays English style music with the ‘The Valiant Dance Band’ and Irish music with the ‘Michael Sheehy Band’.

 

Liz Giddings

    Liz Giddings hails from Essex and began playing fiddle as a teenager for the ‘Blackmore Morris Men’ and in local ceilidh bands. She is also a very talented melodeon player.
    In her twenties she met Roger Digby of ‘Flowers and Frolics’ fame who introduced her to archive recordings and English Country Music. She then began to develop a more traditional style and greater appreciation of this style of music. They now play as a duo and have played at festivals all over England and in Ireland, and together they recorded their highly acclaimed fiddle and concertina CD ‘The Passing Moment’.
    Currently she plays English style music with the nationally known ‘English String Band’ and ‘The Valiant Dance Band’ and Irish music with the ‘Michael Sheehy Band’.

 

Rob Neal

    Rob Neal was brought up in north Suffolk in Oulton Broad and Bungay and has been singing and playing traditional English music since the late sixties. He was in the East London band ‘Tickler’s Jam’ and played folk clubs and festivals all over the country.
    He returned to Suffolk in 1990 and joined ‘Katie’s Quartet’ on cello, helping to develop the band’s distinctive style. He now also performs humorous music hall songs as well as playing English and Duet concertinas with ‘Shipshape’, ‘Proper English’ and the ‘Harbour Lights Trio’.
    His bouncy ‘traditional’ cello playing forms the back bone of both the nationally known ‘English String Band’ and ‘The Valiant Dance Band’.

 

John Howson

    John Howson is a folk music collector, researcher, writer, musician, broadcaster and designer. He was born in Liverpool and has lived in Suffolk for over thirty years.
    In 1984 he founded the Veteran recording label which is internationally recognised as a leading specialist in the traditional music and song of the British Isles and in 2000 he founded, with his wife Katie, ‘The East Anglian Traditional Music Trust’. In 2010 he was awarded the gold badge of the ‘English Folk Dance and Song Society’.
    Over the years he has played banjo in many local and nationally known ceilidh bands including: ‘The Suffolk Bell & Horseshoe Band’, ‘Old Hat Dance Band’ and ‘Katie’s Quartet’. Currently he plays English style music with ‘The Valiant Dance Band’ and on guitar, Irish music with the ‘Michael Sheehy Band’.