Awaken is the energetic new album from award-winning Celtic folk-rock fusion band Roving Crows. The four-piece, who have been carving out their niche in the UK folk music scene for more than 10 years, will release their fourth record on Friday 4 March.
Founded in Herefordshire in 2009 and now based across England and the west coast of Ireland, the Roving Crows have evolved to create a unique Celtic rock ‘n’ roll sound that pushes the boundaries of traditional music – melding English folk and Irish traditional influences.
The band comprises Paul O’Neill on guitar and lead vocals, Caitlin Barrett on fiddle and backing vocals, Jim Smith on bass, guitar and backing vocals and Laurence Aldridge on drums and backing vocals. Known for their passionate and vibrant live performance, Roving Crows showcase a mix of fiery, Celtic-inspired fiddle, conscious, intelligent lyrics, thumping rhythms and driving, innovative bass.
Awaken captures all of this and more, with the band drawing inspiration from the raw beauty of Irish nature to fuel their writing and recording practice and create something brimming with untethered energy.
The album was created from both sides of the Irish Sea – recorded with Simon O’Reilly in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland and mixed by their own Jim Smith in Malvern, England. The writing and arranging was completed by Caitlin and Paul on the west coast of Ireland, in order to further encapsulate the essence of the wild Atlantic represented in the new tracks.
Awaken continues the themes and raw feel of Roving Crows’ last album, Bury Me Naked (2017), focusing on the band’s personal outlook on life. All songs are self-penned with the exception of two sets of traditional tunes, Phoenix and Rise.
‘Freedom Song’, which was released as a single on Friday 4 February, is a raucous anthem that jubilantly celebrates life with soaring vocals and a rousing chorus that listeners won’t be able to resist singing along to. It’s no surprise that this track was inspired by The Burren in County Clare and the epic vastness of the landscape in this area.
Roving Crows’ Caitlin Barrett said: “Awaken is about opening ourselves and other people’s hearts and minds to the positive changes possible in the world. It’s about questioning, observing and ultimately creating an album that people want to sing loud to, dance wildly to and celebrate life with.
“Moving to Ireland during the pandemic and finishing writing and recording the album here has been a rollercoaster ride, but it’s incredible what a change of place and perspective can bring. The west coast of Ireland is full to the brim with raw energy, and I hope we have managed to convey some of that in this recording.”
Roving Crows have performed at festivals and venues around the world, from England and Ireland to France and Australia. Their many accolades include Band of the Year at the 2014 FATEA Music Awards, Best Live Act at the 2014 Spiral Earth Awards, International Artist of the Year at the Australian Celtic Music Awards 2017 and Top Celtic Rock Band and Top Fiddle Player at the Irish Music Association Awards.
Awaken will be available to pre-order from Friday 11th February and buy on CD and stream and download on all digital platforms on Friday 4th March. The band will tour the album with live dates across England this spring taking in towns including Bath, Leicester and Norfolk.
The album was made possible with support from Arts Council England.
Artists’ website: rovingcrows.com
‘Freedom Song’ – official video;
Tour dates Friday 4 March - Malvern Cube, Malvern (Album Launch)
Saturday 12 March – Chapel Arts, Bath
Saturday 19 March – The Venue, Ross-on-Wye
Wednesday 23 March – Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham
Friday 25 March – The Lights, Andover
Saturday 26 March – The Globe at Hay, Hay-on-Wye
Saturday 2 April – Ashton Under Hill Village Hall, Evesham
Friday 8 April – Melbourne Assembly Rooms, Derbyshire
Saturday 9 April – The Canteen, Bristol
Thursday 14 April – Umberleigh Village Hall, Umberleigh
Friday 15 April – The Acorn, Penzance
Saturday 16 April – The Market Theatre, Ledbury
Thursday 21 April – Colchester Arts Centre, Colchester
Friday 22 April – The Musician, Leicester
Saturday 23 April – The Corn Hall, Diss
Friday 1 July – Brunswick, Brighton
Saturday 2 July – Beaminster Festival, Dorset
Sunday 3 July – Acapela Studio, Cardiff
Sunday 7 August – Spirit of Awen Camp
Sunday 14 August – Lakefest
Saturday 10 September – Newent Onion Fayre, Gloucestershire
Friday 16 September – West Kirby Arts Centre, Wirral
Saturday 17 September – Ashton Under Hill Village Hall, Evesham
Friday 23 September – Something Else by the Sea
Saturday 24 September – Q Room – International Arts Centre, Leicester