WHEN a man like Bob Harris decides to host his own festival, you know you’re in for a good time. And this week’s announcement of the headliners for his inaugural Under The Apple Tree Roots Festival, only confirms that.

New Yorker Gretchen Peters tops the bill on the Friday, with Grammy Award-winning artist Mary Chapin Carpenter doing the honours on Sunday.

The pair join a bill which also includes Ethan Johns, Squeeze’s Chris Difford (who headlines on Saturday) Gemma Hayes, Danny & The Champions of the World, Hunter & The Bear, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Boo Hewerdine, Scott Matthews, Sonia Leigh, Keston Cobblers’ Club, Judith Owen, Liam Bailey, Nell Bryden, Martyn Joseph, Ward Thomas, Judie Tzuke, Kimmie Rhodes and Oxfordshire’s Thea Gilmore and The Dreaming Spires.

More names are yet to be announced.

Steventon villager ‘Whispering Bob’ who is holding his new bash at Silverstone, Northants, over the Spring bank holiday weekend May 27-30, said he was delighted to have Mary Chapin taking to the main stage to launch her latest album, The Things That We Are Made Of. Mary Chapin is a highly respected artist, best known for her album Come On Come On, which includes seven country chart-topping singles, and for which she was awarded a platinum disc.

“I have played both Mary Chapin and Gretchen’s music on my shows for many many years,” says Bob. “We have warm friendships and I am absolutely thrilled they have agreed to play at my first festival. Their respective sets will be beautiful. Country music royalty is coming to the UK.”

The Oxford Times:

Star billing: Mary Chapin Carpenter

Gretchen, who won prizes for International Album and International Song of the Year at this year’s debut UK Americana Music Association Awards, returned the compliment, saying: “I can’t think of anyone better qualified than Bob Harris to curate a music festival, and I’m honoured to be headlining at the first of what I’m quite sure will be many.”

For tickets and line-up go to undertheappletreefestival.com

The Oxford Times: