Kelly Oliver's West Country Odyessy

These days getting out on tour isn't just about playing the dates, it's also about making yoursef available to local media.

TV Chef Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall's award winning restaurant, River Cottage, have invited their first solo female music act to entertain diners at their prestigious Axminster HQ this summer. It seems fitting that the act in question, Kelly Oliver is also an award winner - having gained a Help Musicians UK financial award to fund her debut album, which went on to gain 4* review from The Telegraph and an Album of the Year Award, in addition to being finalist in our Debut Album of the Year Awards at the turn of the year.

Kelly is a now familiar face on the acoustic folk scene and if you listen to BBC Radio 2 or 6 you might have heard her songs. Whispering Bob Harris was heard on national radio proclaiming "brand new, beautiful music, it's lovely isn't it? It REALLY is....' and hailing Kelly as 'an emerging voice in British Folk Music' and The Times reviewed her 'fine' live set earlier this year and remarked that she was successfully "blending traditional values with bold indie pop sensibility".

Kelly has had three plays on BBC 6 Music and Chris Hawkins remarked "fabulously gifted..something special...delightful fresh new talent with a future take on traditional folk". However, it's still early days for Kelly Oliver and she is not exactly a household name. So it's a testament to the ethos of River Cottage that they have booked an emerging artist alongside BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners for their popular music evenings, and are keen to nurture creativity to inspire and empower fresh talent, reminiscent of the approach which was recognised with their recent Vocational Qualification SME Employer of the Year award.

The booking sparked a two week tour of the southwest and a number of other gigs, festivals, 'live' video sessions and radio show features have been fitted in between 16th and 30th July in what is for Kelly, her first immersion in the south west music scene. Kelly is currently working on her second album and will be performing her new material on the tour. It will also be promoting her next double A side single Rio/Same World, which is due out at the end of August with tracks produced by Nigel Stonier and Stu Hannah respectively.

Free downloads will be available for the more heavily produced song Rio, which has Thea Gilmore on backing vocals ! The tour incorporates two gigs with new, soon to be released Folkstock artists, both with their debut on the label. Sandtimer are a Hampshire based male duo and Kelly will be special guest at their single launch for If I Were A River/ Cold Shoulder on 16th July at The Willow Tree, Winchester.

25th July sees Devon based singer Rosa Rebecka open for Kelly at Kingskerswell Parish Church ahead of the release of her song Be Mine, recorded by Lauren Deakin Davies and a joint session with both acts as live guest on Phonic FM on 29th July.

Tour dates are here : 16th July The Willow Tree,Winchester special guest for Sandtimer
17th July Frome Fm - Recording session for Homely Remedies
19th July Larmer Tree Festival
21st July Interview and session with Kate Dimbleby
21st July Live session on BBC Radio Bristol
22nd July Session with Songs from the Caravan
22nd July 10 Radio Taunton - Trevor Lloyd show 5pm
23rd July Wheelwright Inn Colyford, Devon
24th July Balcony TV Exeter session
24th July BBC Radio Cornwall, David White Show 10.15am
24th July Mill House, Polperro, Cornwall
25th July SoundArt Radio - live interview and session with Steve Baldwin
25th July Kingskerswell Parish Church with support from Rosa Rebecka
26th July Village Pump Festival, performance in The Hall 4.30pm
29th July Phoenix FM, Exeter - live interview/session with Rosa Rebecka
30th July Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Restaurant, Axminster, Devon

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