An exciting couple of weeks await award-winning Hertfordshire songbird Kelly Oliver.

The Comet: Kelly Oliver RIO artworkKelly Oliver RIO artwork (Image: Archant)

Stevenage born and bred, Kelly is setting the acoustic folk world alight with her original songs accompanied by superb guitar playing and Hohner sponsored harmonicas.

Having just gained her tenth BBC Radio 2 play for her forthcoming single RIO, which is out just ahead of the Olympics on July 29, Kelly will appear at a few prestigious festivals in the region.

Fresh from the hugely successful first Kimpton Folk Festival, she has been invited to perform at Folk by the Oak, a one-day music event at Hatfield House on Sunday, July 24, which sees the cream of the scene descend on the beautiful grounds of the Hertfordshire stately home.

With thousands of regular festival-goers attending, her showcase on the Acorn Stage is going to further enhance her reputation.

The Comet: Kelly Oliver will appear at Folk by the Oak at Hatfield HouseKelly Oliver will appear at Folk by the Oak at Hatfield House (Image: Archant)

A week later Standon Calling awaits, the popular annual event which has put the Hertfordshire venue firmly on the musical map.

Then, on Sunday, July 31, Kelly is one of five acts handpicked for a coveted showcase slot at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Revellers will be treated to a developed sound as the usually solo artist will be joined by her band, Lukas Drinkwater on double bass and Niall Murphy on fiddle.

For those who have not yet come across the Herts star in the making, Kelly Oliver is “fabulously gifted, something special”, according to Chris Hawkins at BBC 6 Music.

And BBC Radio 2’s ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris described her as a “vital voice in British folk”.

Following up her debut album This Land, for which she received a 4* review from The Telegraph, Kelly released her second album Bedlam earlier this year.

Kelly’s new single RIO, taken from Bedlam, features Thea Gilmore on backing vocals.

Produced and co-written by Nigel Stonier, it is released on Folkstock Records on Friday, July 29.

• See Wednesday’s Welwyn Hatfield Times for Kelly Oliver’s preview of her fellow Folk by the Oak Acorn Stage acts.

• For more on Kelly Oliver, visit her website at