Emily Portman Trio

Emily Portman Trio

 Rugby, England, GBR

Folk singer and writer Emily Portman is hailed as 'one of the new British folk scene's most beguiling presences' (Uncut). Her acclaimed BBC Folk Award-winning album 'Hatchling' is described simply as 'Marvelous' by the Observer. Her highly original songs delve into the darker side of folklore.


Emily Portman is a singer, writer and concertina player originating from Glastonbury and hailed 'one of the new British folk scene's most beguiling presences' (Uncut).
Her BBC Folk award-winning album Hatchling is described as Marvelous (The Observer) Eerily magnificent (fROOTS) and One of the years most distinctive folk releases (Songlines).
With her debut album 'The Glamoury' also gaining her two BBC Folk Award nominations, Emily is fast gaining a reputation for her remarkable and original songwriting (The Observer). Not only has her music propelled Emily onto the front cover of FRoots, she has received widespread international radio-play and tours the UK extensively, recently supporting The Be Good Tanyas in a sell-out tour culminating at Londons Barbican. Inspired by the darker underbelly of folklore and balladry, Emily weaves harmony-rich narratives alongside Lucy Farrell (viola) and Rachel Newton (harp).


Stick Stock

Written By: Emily Portman

Stick Stock
Emily: voice, Lucy Farrell: voice & viola, Rachel Newton: voice

My stepmother slew me
My dear father ate me
My little brother whom I love
Sits below I sing above
Stick Stock Stone Dead

My stepmother was beautiful
She stole my father’s heart away
She wanted him all for herself
Wanted me out of the way

My little brother he was born
With hair as black as the carrion crow
My hair grew gold as summer corn
And She grew bitter as the sloe

We played in the shade of the juniper tree
Like a raven and a dove
Stepmother’s heart twisted like bark
Until she had no room for love

‘Come here,. Come here my sweetie pies’
Night is nearing, better beware
But before you sleep, Susie Sweet
Let me comb your golden hair’

‘Your lovely locks are full of knots
They will break my ebony comb
Fetch father’s axe and a billet of wood
I’ll cut the knots the wind has blown’

That night my brother has a dream
A white bird crying scarlet tears
In the morning when he woke
His tender heart was full of fear

My stepmother baked tender pies
Neat meat pies with crusts of gold
Father ate up every bite
Brother let his pies grow cold

In the woods they found my bones
Buried them under the juniper tree
On my grave my brother weeps
Weeps until he cannot see.

And I will sing my little song
To soothe my brother’s tears away
To ring in my stepmother’s ears
Until she turns into the clay


• Various Artists, BBC Folk Awards 2013, (Proper 2013) Featured Artist.
• Emily Portman, Hatchling (Furrow 2012) Solo Release.
• Weirdlore: Notes From The Folk Underground (Folk Police 2012) Featured Artist.
• Emily Portman, Hinge of the Year (Furrow 2011) Vinyl EP.
• Various Artists, The Rough Guide to English Folk (World Music Network 2011) Featured Artist.
• Various Artists, Folk Against Fascism Compilation (Navigator Records, 2011), Featured Artist.
• Various Artists, Oak, Ash and Thorn (Folk Police Records, 2011), Featured Artist.
• Alasdair Roberts, Too Long in This Condition (Drag City, 2010) Featured Artist.
• Emily Portman, The Glamoury (Furrow, 2010). Debut Solo Release.
• Rob Lane, Tess of the D’Urbervilles DVD (BBC Warner 2009) Featured Artist on soundtrack.
• Sandra Kerr, Hi Said The Elephant (Fellside, 2009). Featured Artist.
• Rubus, Nine Witch Knots (Wildgoose, 2008). Debut Release.
• Various Artists, BBC Folk Awards 2007 (Proper, 2007). Featured Artist.
• Various Artists, Folk Rising, The Future of Folk (PMD 2007). Featured Artist.
• Waterson: Carthy, Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man, (Topic Records 2006) Featured artist.
• The Devils Interval, Blood and Honey (WildGoose 2006). Debut Release.
• Various Artists, Song Links 2 (Fellside Records 2005). Featured Artist.

Set List

The concert will feature Emily's orginal compositions amongst traditional folk songs. A typical set could include:

Sunken Bells
Old Mother Eve
Stick Stock
Little longing
Bones and Feathers

Apple Skin
Mossy Coat
Ash Girl
Scorching Sun
Two Sisters
When You’re Weary
Hinge of the Year