Anna Silvers and Daniel J. Logan Go Boating

The Narrowboat Sessions – videos of acoustic performers playing original music on board a narrowboat that travels up and down the country, raising money for Cancer Research – have attracted quite a cult status over the last five years.

It’s a simple premise. Mark Holdsworth records the performances (sometimes solo, occasionally up to as many as seven musicians) on his boat, the Cariad IV, and releases the footage on YouTube and his website.

The Narrowboat Sessions have proven extremely popular and many hundreds of recordings have taken place since 2014 when Mark launched the project. Joining the ever-increasing list of performers, which includes the likes of Henry Priestman (The Christians), Nick Harper and Rob Vincent, Oak Tree Music artist Anna Silvers took to the water and recorded three songs alongside percussionist Daniel J. Logan and bassist Cameron Williams.

“Mark is fantastic and has a great platform to promote singer-songwriters like myself. The canal is a beautiful setting and it was a wonderful experience,” says Anna. The first of her videos, “Get Lost (Without You)”, will go online in mid-October, with the other two following over the coming months to help kickstart the crowdfunding campaign for Anna’s debut album, which will launch at the beginning of next year.

This is not, however, where the narrowboat story ends. In 2015, Mark enlisted the help of Daniel J. Logan to mix some of 2014’s recordings (pulled out of a hat at random) into an album. The result, a 2-CD box set, was picked up by BBC Radio’s Genevieve Tudor and played across several regional stations. This began a snowball effect that has helped make the Narrowboat Sessions a major part of the UK folk and acoustic music scene.

Songs from the subsequent albums (2015 and 2016) have been played out on BBC Radio 2 and continue to garner attention from other media outlets. “I’m amazed at the reaction we get from the albums,” says Dan, who mixes Mark’s multi-track boat recordings at Orchard Studios in Cheshire. “I always enjoy working on those releases, as I get to hear some fantastic music that I may otherwise have missed,” he adds.

Mark is continuing to record this year’s sessions, live on the boat, and will be setting sail once again next year. Click here to see the latest videos and visit Mark’s website to find out more about the Narrowboat Sessions.