Andy Cutting

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Andy Cutting
Musician of the Year- Andy Cutting (26698945536) (cropped).jpg
Cutting in 2016
Background information
Born (1969-03-18) 18 March 1969 (age 52)
Harrow, London
Genres Folk music
Occupation(s)Musician, composer
Instruments Melodeon
Years active1988–present
Associated acts
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Andy Cutting (born 18 March 1969) is an English folk musician and composer. He plays melodeon and is best known for writing and performing traditional English folk and his own original compositions which combine English and French traditions with wider influences. [1] [2] He is three times winner of the Folk Musician of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and has appeared on around 50 albums, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians. [2] He was born in Harrow, London [3] and is married with three children.



Starting playing the melodeon in his early teens, Cutting was invited to join a local ceilidh band, Happenstance, when he had been playing for only a few months.[ citation needed ] In 1988 he joined the influential and innovative band Blowzabella (which also featured Nigel Eaton, with whom Cutting has since collaborated). Cutting made one album (Vanilla) with Blowzabella before they broke up in 1990. Their repertoire, blending English traditional music with that of central France and Eastern Europe, had a great influence on Cutting. [4] Blowzabella subsequently reformed; they celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2003, with Cutting once again an official member. [4] They released the album Octomento in 2007. [5]

Andy Cutting backstage at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in 2016 Andy Cutting, Glasgow 2016.jpg
Andy Cutting backstage at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in 2016

In 1989 Cutting formed a partnership with Chris Wood, whom he had met two years earlier at Sidmouth Folk Festival. They toured extensively over several years, reuniting in August 2010 for the Towersey Village Festival and have made five albums together. Wood introduced Cutting to a wealth of Québécois music and shared his love of English and French dance music. [6] [4] Wood & Cutting, together with Karen Tweed and Ian Carr, make up the Two Duos Quartet, who have made one album, Half as happy as we.

Tweed & Cutting have also worked as a duo; they have made one album together and contributed to a live CD, Across the Waters, recorded at Cork University in 1994.

Cutting works regularly as a session musician, with artists as diverse as Sting, June Tabor and Chumbawamba. He has been a member of several bands, including Fernhill and Tanteeka. As well as the Wood & Cutting duo, he is part of the trio 1651 (with Mark Emerson and Tim Harries), the John McCusker Band, the Kate Rusby Trio and the Kate Rusby Band. [7] [8] He is also a popular workshop tutor and has taught at summer schools for Folkworks. [9]

In March 2011, Cutting was part of the Cecil Sharp Project, a joint commission between Shrewsbury Folk Festival and EFDSS that saw him and seven other modern folk musicians take part in a week-long residential project to create new works related to life and works of folk collector Cecil Sharp. [10]

Martin Simpson trio (all five of them) at Cambridge Folk Festival (Cutting, left) The five-piece Martin Simpson Trio (966566995).jpg
Martin Simpson trio (all five of them) at Cambridge Folk Festival (Cutting, left)

Andy Cutting is part of Leveret, with Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron. The trio formed in 2014 [11] and have been described by The Guardian as "magical", and Cutting as a "melodeon and accordion virtuoso". [1] In 2018 The Arts Desk named Leveret's album, Inventions one of their top 3 albums of the year, describing them as creating "strikingly new English instrumental music." [12]

Cutting also performs and records as Simpson Cutting Kerr with guitarist Martin Simpson and fiddle player Nancy Kerr. Their debut CD Murmurs was well received with The Telegraph naming it one of the best folk albums of 2015, describing them as "three of Britain’s finest musicians and interpreters of songs and tunes, each an acknowledged virtuoso in their own right". [13]

Cutting formed a new Anglo-French band, Topette!! in 2015. [14]

Cutting has won the Folk Musician of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards three times: 2008, 2011 and 2016. [15]


Cutting has composed many tunes, several of which have been recorded by other artists. Some have passed into the music session repertoire. His compositions include:

Partial discography

His recordings include: [16]

In 2009 Fulmine from Vanilla was included in Topic Records 70-year anniversary boxed set Three Score and Ten as track twenty one on the seventh CD.


Cutting contributed tunes and a biographical essay to:

Cutting contributed tunes to:

See also

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  1. 1 2 Denselow, Robin. "Leveret/Spiro review – traditional tunes and trance". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 1 2 "About Andy". Andy Cutting. Retrieved 30 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "Biography of Blowzabella" . Retrieved 7 April 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 1 2 3 Blowzabella – New Tunes for Dancing (by Andy Cutting, Nigel Eaton, Jo Freya, Paul James, Ian Luff, Cliff Stapleton, David Shepherd, Jon Swayne), Blowzabella, Glastonbury (2004) ISBN   0-9549013-0-4
  5. Blowzabella website: history Accessed 15 January 2010
  6. Fairbairn, Peter. ""Wood & Cutting Live at Sidmouth"". Retrieved 30 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. Andy Cutting's website: Home Accessed 15 January 2010
  8. Kate Rusby's website: Biography Archived 15 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 15 January 2010
  9. Andy Cutting's website: News Archived 17 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 15 January 2010
  10. "Cecil Sharp Project". English Folk Dance and Song Society. Archived from the original on 20 September 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. Cumming, Tim. "'English music is lumpy if you don't play it well': interview with folk trio Leveret". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 29 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Cumming, Tim. "Albums of the Year 2018: The Gloaming - Live at the NCH". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 21 December 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. Chilton, Martin. "Best Folk Music Albums of 2015". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 April 2018.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. Houlihan, Simon. "Introducing new Anglo-French band Topette!!". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 11 February 2019.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. BBC Radio 2 website; Folk Awards 2008: Winners Accessed 15 January 2010
  16. Andy' Cutting's website: CDs Archived 9 January 2010 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 15 January 2010