2019 is going to be an exciting year for Amy as it see’s the release of her debut album “Solo” featuring her own compositions played on solo accordion. Amy will also be appearing on Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening’s first album and she’ll be working on Monster ceilidh Bands latest akbum set to see release at the end of the year.
For those that don’t know, Amy Thatcher is a professional accordionist based in the North East of England. Her reputation as one of the UK’s leading folk accordionists is garnered from working with legends such as Kathryn Tickell, Sting and the Royal Northern Sinfonia.
“[Amy has become] my right hand woman” is how Tickell describes their working relationship over the last ten years. A relationship they continue next year with the exciting new ‘world music’ sextet The Darkening featuring Cormac Byrne on percussion, Kate Young on vocals and fiddle amongst others.
She is also involved in creating experimental new electrofolk music with Monster Ceilidh Band and Scottish Traditional Music Award winners The Shee. Who have both appeared on national TV and radio in the UK and have enjoyed much longevity in the UK and European festival scene.
Her excepetional accordion playing has taken her across the world from The Royal Albert Hall to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia performing with small instrumental groups to full orchestras. In doing so playing a diverse range of music from Leonard Cohen Tribute gigs to contemporary avante guarde composer Terry Riley’s compositions.
In 2009 Amy had the pleaseure of collaborating with Sting on his winter song book DVD and following that contributed to his musical Broadway show “The Last Ship”.
Amy’s early years and Musical education
Amy’s musical upbringing owes a lot to Stockport’s famous “Fosbrook’s Folk Education Trust” with whom she trained from the age of eight on accordion, fiddle, piano and clog dancing. Her education there concluded at age 18 but not before having been taught by, and recording with, accordion virtuoso Murray Grainger. That first now infamous album, entitled “Paper Bird”, was recorded when she was just 16 years old.
From 18 onwards she continued her musical education in Newcastle on the prestigious Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University.
Amy has been lucky to be able to remain in Newcastle and build a career as a professional world travelling musician after graduating from the course.
Praise for The Shee
“The Shee have already made a considerable mark on the folk landscape, but this excellent album takes them to another level.” ★★★★★
“Continuum is a stunning piece of work on every level, finely expressing a mix of musical mood and character to create something individual and distinctive”
“a thoughtful and emotional collection of songs and instrumentals, showing off the exquisite musicianship and intuitive interplay gained from their 10-year collaboration”
Praise for Kathryn Tickell & The Side
“musical exuberance and regional rootedness… music with originality, power and joy.”
“organic, natural and utterly glorious.”
“blissfully intuitive… Magnificent.”