Cornish mines to California

Rita Hosking
Rita Hosking

THE latest wave of American singer-songwriters brings Rita Hosking to Sheffield next week.

Brought up in rural California and reputedly taken under the wing of an old-time band of seasoned mountain characters, she is not the first to take inspiration from the folk, country and bluegrass traditions of her home country.

Yet she has a fine voice and her latest album, Burn, stands up with spirit and authenticity in the heavily-crowded market.

Rita Hosking has been compared to Gillian Welch and Nanci Griffith but this is a musician who deserves to be assessed on her own merits.

She is a descendant of Cornish miners who sang in the mines, which perhaps explains why she has taken the opportunity to play a few UK dates alongside English singer-songwriter and guitarist Michael Chapman.

He has been around a little longer than his American counterpart, his career harking back to the folk clubs of the 1960s, and is still remembered fondly for his Rainmaker and Fully Qualified Survivor albums, although they turned out to be only two of more than 30. Last year he toured with Bridget St John and now he has teamed up with Rita Hosking.

An intriguing night is in prospect at The Greystones in Greystones Road on Tuesday.

And there are more gritty tales of American life at the same place on Monday with the arrival of singer-songwriter Rod Picott, who is now based in Nashville and is touring the UK in support of his latest album, Welding Burns.

Peter Kay