St George’s Day Special with Odette Michell + The String Section

Odette Michell is an award-winning British singer-songwriter, guitarist and bouzouki player with rich foothold in the folk tradition.

A dynamic live performer, Odette has performed alongside the likes of Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman, and has opened for folk legends Martin Carthy, Phil Beer, Boo Hewerdine, Nancy Kerr, Reg Meuross and BBC R2 Folk Award nominees Ninebarrow amongst others. Odette’s highly anticipated second studio album is due for release in early 2023.

​Born in Yorkshire with an Irish heritage, Odette grew up in a musical household and first picked up the guitar at fifteen. Inspired by the resurgence of folk and acoustic songwriters at the time, she began writing her own songs when she was just sixteen years old. Growing up in the vibrant city of Cambridge allowed Odette to take advantage of the many stages and performance venues there, including two early club stage appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival – her first appearance there being when she was just 22 years old. Having been recently based on a rural 18th century dairy farm in the English countryside, Odette draws on these rich influences and life experience and weaves them together to form the basis of many of her songs.

In January 2020 Odette won Female Artist Of The Year at the FATEA Awards, following in the footsteps of previous winners Kitty Macfarlane and Cara Dillon; and in May 2020 Odette was nominated for a Rising Star Award at the 2020 Folking Awards. In January 2021 Odette was invited to perform at Celtic Connections as part of the legendary Danny Kyle Open Stage.​

The String Section is a Cambridge based trio of musicians – Denise Neapolitan, fiddle and vocals; Mike Thompson, guitar and vocals; and Philip Rundall, mandolin, guitar and vocals. They play traditional and bluegrass fiddle tunes and songs from the country, blues, and Americana genres. Recently the trio has begun to include several original fiddle tunes, written by both Denise and Philip.

Denise is a US born classically trained violinist who fell in love with folk music and eventually caught the bluegrass bug. Mike, also originally from the US, is an ‘old rocker’ who now mostly plays acoustic guitar. Philip was a founder member and lead guitarist of two popular Cambridge bands from the last century, The Backyard Band and Free Agents. In 2012 he began to study acoustic bluegrass flatpicking guitar and this led him to the mandolin, which is now his main instrument. The trio performs regularly, mainly in folk clubs and in 2019 played at the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Ely Folk Festival in 2021.

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