One of folk music ‘s most inventive and exciting line-ups is joining forces with best-selling author Raynor Winn next month for a tour which mines traditional songs and tunes from the West Country and new words inspired by the region.

Gigspanner Big Band is a sensational sextet led by Peter Knight whose singular and emotive fiddle playing has enriched the British music scene for more than four decades, for many years with Steeleye Span and more recently with his own duo, trio and big band.

In the Big Band he is joined by stand-out acoustic and electric guitarist Roger Flack, effervescent percussionist Sacha Trochet, Devon-based award-winning duo Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and John Spiers, founder member of Bellowhead, described as “one of the best melodeon players of his generation”.

Between July 8-17, the band will tour ‘Saltlines’, a brand new two hour show described as ‘a portrait of the South West Coast Path in old songs and new words’. Raynor Winn, an Ambassador for the Path, has penned vibrant and moving new words bursting with visual imagery to stir into the experience.

Rynor Winn is the best selling author of The Salt Path

Rynor Winn is the best selling author of The Salt Path

Winn, now based in Cornwall, became a celebrated first-time author with The Salt Path - her emotive account of how she and husband Moth, homeless and bankrupt and with Moth recently diagnosed with an incurable illness, set off to walk the 630- mile South West Coast Path – an unlikely decision that, against all the odds, led them back to happiness. Read by more than half a million people, the book became a Sunday Times best-seller in 2018, won the Royal Society of Literature’s inaugural Christopher Bland Prize and was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, Costa Book Awards and Stanford’s Travel Writing Awards.

Saltlines was the brainchild of Peter Knight’s wife Deborah Knight, who is also agent and manager of the Gigspanner Big Band. Having read The Salt Path she was walking a stretch of the South West Coast Path and thought such a well-trodden trail must hold many more stories of love, loss and the natural world – as well as traditional music collected down the years by people such as Cecil Sharp (1859-1924), co-founder of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Saltlines will be performed at the Princess Pavilion and Minack

Saltlines will be performed at the Princess Pavilion and Minack

Her hunch was correct and subsequent research threw up a multitude of songs and tunes, some of which (reimagined by the band) will now meld with Raynor’s hot-off-the press words, in a unique celebration of the 630-mile South West Coast Path – the UK’s longest national trail.

Says Raynor: “When Deborah approached me with the idea of the collaboration I did what you do when faced with a big decision – I thought about it or five minutes, then said yes, absolutely yes! They are an amazing group of musicians.”

One of the songs in the show is the band’s captivating take of Ten Thousand Miles, a traditional parting song which was collected by Cecil Sharp in 1904 from Mrs. Emma Glover of Huish Episcopi, near Bridgwater in Somerset.

Tuesday, July 12 sees them at Princess Pavilion, Falmouth. Tickets for the 8pm show are £26 (+£2.60 booking fee) and are available online at See Tickets

or The Box Office

On Saturday, July 16 the tour moves outdoors (weather permitting) to Porthcurno’s famous Minack Theatre. Tickets for the 7.30pm concert are available price £30 (£15 under 16s) from the box office on (01736) 810181 or online at