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Singing guitarist

James McCafferty

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(4.9)Read all 11 reviews
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About James

Traditional music on acoustic guitar, cittern, dulcimer and melodeon. James also calls for ceilidhs: "Just me and my sound system!"
Singing guitarist
Milton Keynes
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James McCafferty first picked up a guitar in his teens and discovered a lifelong passion for the traditional folk music of the British Isles and Ireland. He taught himself to play the recorder and slowly built up a collection of reconstructed early instruments from the Medieval and Tudor periods, including cittern, dulcimer, crumhorn, cornamuse and psalteries. He founded the unaccompanied folk song group Solstice and the early music group Milady Clare's Musicke, with whom he recorded the albums Minstrels Gallerie and Pastymes. He danced with Winchester's international folk dance display team Woodfidley, played melodeon for King John's Morris of Southampton and founded the boys' morris dance team the Fryern Morris Minors. Under the banner of Early Music in Schools, he continues to take his demonstrations of early musical instruments to schools and community groups. He is the author of Live Recorder, a series of three workbooks and CDs designed to teach basic musical literacy to complete beginners. James uses acoustic guitar, cittern, dulcimer and melodeon in his traditional music performances. He is also an experienced ceilidh and barn dance caller, working under the name of Barn Dances for Everyone and bringing to life the traditional dances of the English countryside.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I require car parking close to venues
I can perform while walking around a venue
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Encore awards
3rd Encoreversary
Traditional English folk, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Folk, Ceilidh, Ceillidh, Early music, Medieval music, Renaissance, Christmas
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Event types:
Private event, Wedding, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Corporate event, Concert, Cruise, Christmas party
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Other skills:
Animateur, Instrumental teaching, Actor, MC
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Song list

The Parting Glass
The Fields of Athenry
Scarborough Fair
Loch Lomond
The Skye Boat Song
Ye Banks and Braes
The Water is Wide
The Sweet Nightingale
The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies
Wild Mountain Thyme
Over the Hills and Far Away
High Germany
The Bard of Armagh
The Trees They Do Grow High
Martin Said to His Man
Twa Corbies
The January Man
The Banks of the Sweet Primroses
The Ash Grove
Dancing at Whitsun
Battle of the Somme
Just as the Tide Was a-Flowing
The Shores of Avalon
Down in Yon Forest
The Marigold
I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say
How Can Ye Gang, Lassie?
Little Red Bird
The Massacre of Glencoe
Bread and Roses
Softly Come Morning
Adieu, Sweet Lovely Nancy
Serving Girl's Holiday
The Boar's Head Carol
Bread and Roses
The Chastity Belt
Long Lankin
The Rose
Lady Mary
Amazing Grace
Farewell to Tarwathie
The Old Boys
The Greenland Whale Fishing
The Dark Island
Noël Nouvelet
The Streets of London
Pleasant and Delightful
The Seven Joys of Mary [instrumental]
Balance the Straw/William and Nancy [instrumental]
In Dulci Jubilo/The Sussex Carol/I Saw Three Ships [instrumental]
I Live Not Where I Love
Gifts of the Shepherds
Good King Wenceslas
O Little Town of Bethlehem
O Come, All Ye Faithful
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Stille Nacht/Silent Night
The First Nowell
See Amid the Winter's Snow
In The Bleak Midwinter
What Child is This?
Candlemas Eve
The Sans Day Carol
Carol of the Universe
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
To Drive the Cold Winter Away
The Coventry Carol
Away in a Manger
The Wiltshire Carol
We Three Kings
The Winter King
Song for Loders
Lord of All This Revelling
Judas and Mary
As I Kneel Before You
Customer questions

What do your clients love most about your performances?

I think you'll enjoy my song and ceilidh performances. You'll definitely encounter new and wonderful songs and dances, and you might learn some things about the traditional songs and dances of the British Isles that you didn't know already. But most of all, I pride myself on the fact that the sets are always relaxed, informal - and FUN!

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Tower of London Stowe Landscape Gardens (National Trust) Lots of Village Halls!

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Judith Durham Martin Carthy Tim Hart Maddy Prior Ashley Hutchings

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

The Tower of London!

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try to be flexible to make sure your event runs as smoothly as possible, so if timings need to change slightly in the run up to the event just let me know.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?


How much time do you need to set up?

Once I've got access to the performance space, it usually takes about 45 - 60 minutes to set everything up, partly depending on whether I'm using my sound system or just performing acoustically. It takes about the same time to pack everything away after the set.

Can I pick the songs you play from the set list?

Yes, of course. If it's on my song list, I'll include it in my set.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Absolutely! I bring everything I need with me. I just need a power supply and somewhere close by the performing space to park and unload my car.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

That's sometimes possible - just ask!


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£150
Up to 1 hour£180
Up to 2 hours£250
Up to 3 hours£275


Barn Dance


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10 verified reviews
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From Encore customers:

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Sophie B, 2 years ago

James had a fantastic calm manner and create a great atmosphere for the evening.

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Jenny C, 2 years ago

Thank you for the fun and music James - such a lovely end to an extraordinary day when we said goodbye to mum at the Crematorium and danced at her wake. BRAVO!

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Karin R, 2 years ago

Thank you both so, so much for such a super evening. Really put one in the mood for Christmas and such a welcome relief after the ubiquitous White Christmas, Santa Claus is Coming to Town etc.

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