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Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 17:29 UK
Furrow Records folk label launches in North East
Emily Portman. Photo: Rosalie Portman
Emily studied folk and traditional music at Newcastle University

A new music label has been launched in the north-east of England for local artists making folk-inspired music.

Furrow Records is the work of Newcastle-based singer and concertina player Emily Portman, a former nominee in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

She's started the label with two other North East-based performers - Christi Andropolis and guitarist David Newey.

The region has a strong folk tradition, that's been reinforced by the Folkworks programme at The Sage Gateshead.

Emily herself is a graduate of the folk and traditional music degree at Newcastle University and now teaches singing there.

She said setting up the label had been an all-consuming task:

If we see an artist who catches our eye we can help them with things - they just have to be right
Emily Portman

"It's been a real learning curve for us - hopefully it will be more straightforward next time!

"But what's amazing is that we've done it all and it's actually worked - it just goes to show people can do it themselves.

"We're not a big enterprise, it's done on a shoe string, but I would encourage others to give it a go."

Emily added that owning her own music felt great - and gave her a chance to veer away from traditional songs to a more contemporary sound.

'Starting humbly'

According to Emily, one of the main reasons for setting up the label was impatience.

Realising they could be sitting around waiting for their "big break" forever, the friends decided to take things into their own hands.

Emily Portman. Photo: Rosalie Portman
Emily said she is inspired by the stories and atmosphere of old folk songs

For now it's just the three of them - Emily said they are "starting humbly" and not looking for huge stardom.

But she is open to the idea of expanding in the future and helping other artists to get their music released:

"If we see an artist who catches our eye we can help them with things - they just have to be right."


Emily's album, The Glamoury, has already received positive reviews from the likes of The Observer as well as airplay on BBC Radio.

There will be a concert at The Sage Gateshead on Monday 17 May to officially launch Furrow Records. Emily, Christi and David will all be performing.

Emily will also be appearing at the Hexham Gathering at the end of May 2010.

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