New Roots finalists appear online at Folk at the Maltings concert

Robbie Sherratt - Taken by Mikko Malmivaara

Robbie Sherratt - Credit: Mikko Malmivaara

This week's Folk at the Maltings online concert will feature Watford Folk Club introducing four New Roots 2020 finalists.

Folk at the Maltings welcomes Watford Folk Club to host its online concert on Friday, April 23 at 8pm.

Every year the club selects finalists from the annual New Roots event and invites them to perform at a special New Roots night at its venue, the Pump House in Watford.

With the Pump House still closed, Pete Nutkins will be hosting an online gig featuring his club’s selected finalists – Lilian Grace, Robbie Sherratt, Cathy Bennett and Callum McKellar – as part of a series of online concerts featuring New Roots finalists.

Lilian Grace

Lilian Grace - Credit: Supplied by Folk at the Maltings

Who are the performers?

Lilian Grace is a young singer-songwriter who specialises in unaccompanied traditional English folk song.

Her songs are full of haunting vocals and rich harmonies and are, on occasion, augmented by her minimalist use of concertina.

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Although still only 21, she has already self-released an EP of protest songs and has performed extensively as a solo artist.

Robbie Sherratt is a fiddle player from the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Robbie Sherratt - Taken by Mikko Malmivaara

Robbie Sherratt - Credit: Mikko Malmivaara

His debut album Provenance draws from traditional music and melodies in and around his home county.

Currently, Robbie is studying for a Master’s degree in folk music at Sibelius Academy, Finland, where he is honing his fiddling, teaching, and composing skills.

He performs regularly in concerts and dance events in Finland, England and Estonia with duo Eva Väljaots and Robbie Sherratt and with the Helsinki Ceilidh Band. 

Cathy Bennett has been part of the Cornish folk scene all of her life and for the two years before the pandemic, she did lots of gigging all over Cornwall and beyond with her band Black-Eyed Nancy.

She has now moved to Sheffield and New Roots was her first endeavour as a soloist.

She sings a mixture of traditional and recently composed songs in both Cornish and English and also plays the viola, sometimes using it to accompany her singing. 

Callum McKellar is a singer from Cornwall now living in Devon with a repertoire of unaccompanied songs focussed around the south-west and the West Midlands.

He grew up attending folk festivals and began making music when he was around 15, when he joined a Morris side and began getting involved in singing in pub sessions

Arbrevyn - Callum McKellar, Cathy Bennett and Katy Coope

Arbrevyn - Callum McKellar, Cathy Bennett and Katy Coope - Credit: Supplied by Folk at the Maltings

The evening will end with a set from a new vocal trio Arbrevyn, in which Cathy Bennett and Callum McKellar sing with Katy Coope. The trio’s name comes from a Cornish word which means ‘We experiment’.

What is New Roots?

New Roots is an annual event at which young musicians and singers get feedback on their performance and win opportunities at folk clubs and festivals.

With folk clubs closed and 2020 festivals cancelled, this concert is part of a series deigned to give 2020 New Roots finalists opportunities to perform online.

Details of New Roots 21 are at and the closing date is August 31.

How do I buy tickets for the online concert?

Tickets for the online concert are £10 for individuals, £15 for two people using the same device, and £20 for three or more people using the same device.

Concessions are £8, £12 for two people sharing the same device and £15 for three or more.

To book go to