The mighty Rhythms of the World is only three weeks away, so here we begin our countdown with a look at some of the best of the fest.

Hailing from Australia, singer and guitarist CW Stoneking is a fabulous catch for the 20th Hitchin celebration of world roots music.

His 1920s New Orleans swamp jazz style, as performed on his magnificently addictive 2010 Jungle Blues album, will undoubtedly be a highlight of this year’s festival.

Backed by The Primitive Horn orchestra who evoke a sound straight off the pre-war porches of a Mississippi moonlit night, Stoneking drawls like a Tom Waites bullfrog. The young skinny white man in a boater has the voice of an old man who has loved, lost, fought, got drunk, and loved all over again.

If you haven’t heard it yet, get his album. Then get along to the Main Stage at 6.45pm on Saturday to be taken on a joyful, sombre, magical, celebratory time-travelling steamboat ride.

Formed in Edinburgh in 2003, Moishe’s Bagel combine the energy and passion of Eastern European folk music with Scottish ballads, Latin dance and jazz.

These are virtuoso musicians who will knock your homburg off with their intricacy, movement and joyful improvising. LOTS of fun.

Catch them oni the Main Stage at 9.45pm on Saturday.

The festival takes place on July 9 and 10 at Hitchin Priory. To book your tickets at �7 for adults and �3 for youths (under sixes go free) go to