Jon Boden announces new album

Jon Boden And The Remnant Kings

Chicago-born and Sheffield-based folk outlier Jon Boden has recently announced his fourth solo album, Rose In June, which is due for release November 1st on Hudson Records, and is now sharing the second single from the album, ‘Leviathan’. In support of the album, Boden will play six UK live dates, commencing at Bristol’s St George’s on November 20 and including London’s Union Chapel on November 21.

Rose In June, which follows 2017’s post-apocalyptic concept album Afterglow, sees Boden back in the studio with his trusted band, The Remnant Kings. He says of the album, recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios:

“Since this band was debuted live at Cambridge Folk Festival on the main stage in 2016 we’ve been able to tour the UK and play many festivals in this bigger line-up so it felt very important to get into the studio and record lots of the stuff that is central to the live set, but has never been committed to tape.”

As such, live favourites have all been lovingly rendered here by producer and long-time collaborator, Andy Bell. Across twelve tracks, the new album is comprised of traditional songs (‘Rose In June’, ‘All Hang Down’, ‘Seven Bonnie Gypsies’, ‘Rigs of the Time’), alongside Boden’s own arrangements (‘Leviathan / Tombola’, ‘Going Down To The Wasteland’, ‘Ruin Reel’) and covers of Ewan MacColl (‘Sweet Thames Flow Softly’) and Kate Bush (‘Hounds of Love’).

Despite the many projects he’s been involved in, Jon Boden is no doubt best known as the lead singer and main arranger of Bellowhead. After twelve years, a quarter of a million album sales, seven singles on the Radio 2 playlist and selling out hundreds of venues throughout the land and beyond. Widely respected as an interpreter of traditional song, it’s been through his solo live shows where he’s truly been able to showcase his instrumental talents on fiddle, guitar and concertina, as well as his trademark ‘stomp box’ which he and John Spiers introduced into to the world of traditional music in 2001. Through his solo work and his work with Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden, Jon has won eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

His most recent album Afterglow was released in October 2017 and continued Jon’s explorations of a post-oil world (a theme first explored on 2009’s Songs From The Floodplain), this time following the course of two lovers over the night of a fire-lit city carnival. The first single from the album ‘All The Stars Are Coming Out Tonight’ was playlisted on BBC Radio 2. The release was followed by the launch of the 11-piece Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings which toured the UK in autumn 2017 and spring 2018. Summer 2018 saw the big band in demand for major folk festivals including Wickham Festival, Beautiful Days, Snape Proms and Shrewsbury Folk Festival. 2019 saw Jon touring with the three string players from the band and performing in both the 6 piece and 11 piece versions of the Remnant Kings.

Following months on the road, Rose In June captures Boden’s inimitable folk storytelling backed by The Remnant Kings after they’ve been hardened by touring, the songs constantly evolving as they were performed by a rotating cast of members. The resulting album finds both Boden and band at the top of their game.

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‘Leviathan’:

SINGLES BAR 28 – A round-up of recent EPs and singles

Singles Bar 28Leviathan! by BLACKBEARD’S TEA PARTY is an energetic and accomplished recording by these York-based folk-rockers that did strike some nostalgic (power) chords, with electric guitar, bass and two drummers driving the folkier fiddle and melodeon. There are versions of two traditional songs – ‘The Bonny Ship The Diamond’ and ‘The Weary Whaling Grounds’ – that you may remember from Bert Lloyd’s similarly entitled whaling song collection from 1967, but the tone here is very different. Also featured are two home-brewed instrumentals – ‘DFLN’ and ‘The Lost Triangle/The Lone Pancake’, both highly reminiscent of 60s-70s folk rock – and the very effective song ‘Leviathan’, based on the story of albino sperm whale Mocha Dick that partly inspired Moby Dick. Not for purists, but well worth a listen.
www.blackbeardsteaparty.com

Brother WindGNOSS, once a duo, is now a four-piece hailing from Glasgow’s fertile hotbed of fine musicians, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Their four-track EP, Brother Wind, provides a pleasingly versatile balance of two songs and two tunes. The title track hits with an immediate Disney-soundtrack catchiness before opening up its folky heart with some terrific harmonies. From the snaking groove of ‘The Closet Bodhrán’ to the vigorous reels of ‘Moul Head’ via the sensitive rendering of ‘My Ship’, it’s very easy to understand why this band is being so hotly tipped as one to watch.
www.gnossmusic.com

Amy GoddardA self-released EP of songs connected to mining, at the heart of Welsh singer-songwriter AMY GODDARD’s Green Is The Colour lies her six-minute Remembering Aberfan, a charity single released in 2016 to mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster when a slag heap in the Merythr valley slid killing 116 children and 28 adults in the nearby school and neighbouring buildings. A stark, acoustic number with a mournful backing choir, it’s a haunting listen.

However, the tracks that surround it are no less strong. Initially sung unaccompanied, the title track was inspired by the arsenic mines of Devon and Cornwall, the biggest of which was owned by the family of William Morris, its poisonous green pigment used in his iconic wallpapers. There’s a brace of well-known covers, the first being ‘North Country Blues’, an early Dylan number about the closure of the iron ore mines and the effect on the mining community, a history repeated in Wales in the 1980s, the other a chiming acoustic guitar waltz through Merle Travis’ ‘Dark As A Dungeon’.

The perils of working underground inform the sprightly self-penned folksy strum ‘Underground Road’ which, featuring Hannah Fisher on fiddle, charts the life of a mining community. Sharing a poisoning theme with the opening number, sung with just hand percussion accompaniment, the final track has Goddard has duetting with Andy Adams on ‘Blue Murder’, an Alistair Hulett song about asbestos mining.
http://www.amygoddardmusic.co.uk/

Al ShieldsNow backed with The Delahayes, Edinburgh-based troubadour, AL SHIELDS returns with a new collection of freshly squeezed Americana, in the form of the Fire On Holy Ground EP, due for release on Shields’ own label, Al Shields Music (ASM004), on April 30th.

The band-backed electric sound is a slight deviation from Shields previous all-acoustic efforts, but with the same old glimmers and shades of Ryan Adams and co. it is a most enjoyable listen. From the disc’s half-dozen numbers, ‘Counting the Hours’, ‘Kick Your Feet Up’ and ‘The Boys in the Band’ are among the stand outs, but then, there is very little to dislike about this record.
https://www.alshields.com/

Rag’N’Bone (And The Coal Rippers Daughter) is an upcoming EP from singer-songwriter NEIL BROPHY. So far only a single comprising two versions of the title track has been released. The song is set in 19th century London: Rag’N’Bone is obvious and apparently a coal ripper is or was a man who dug out the rock above a coal seam and shored up the walls and roof. Who knew? The story is of a love story set among the squalor – “my dog died, too, and you can have his bones” – as two young people set out for a life among the mudlarks at Blackfriars. The acoustic version features Neil on guitar, harmonica and kick-drum while the radio edit is a full band version with a Levellers feel about it.
www.neilbrophy.co.uk

KIM LOWINGS & THE GREENWOOD have a new single in the form of the five-minute plus ‘New Moon’, a track that doesn’t feature on the recent Wild & Wicked Youth album,. Driven by a persistent repeated drum pattern from Tim Rogers and Dave Sutherland’s throbbing upright bass with a hypnotic circling guitar line by Andrew Lowings and Kim on dulcimer, it’s a nod towards late 60s/early 70s progressive folk rock of outfits like The Trees, Bread Love and Dreams and the pre-epic Renaissance rather than the more traditional inclinations of her other material.
https://www.kimlowings.com/

Jake AaronThat’s a great cover picture. ‘Give Me Your Horse’ is the new single from genre-bending guitarist JAKE AARON. The guitar is somewhat submerged here with Steve Lodder’s Hammond and Steve Waterman’s trumpet taking the lead over the bass and drums of Guy Pratt and Marc Parnell. You’re forever expecting a vocal line to appear but for all that it remains resolutely instrumental.
www.jakeaaron.com