JOSIENNE CLARKE & BEN WALKER
Genre: Folk, Blues, Americana, Country
Location: London, England
Discography: One Light is Gone (2011), Homemade Heartache (2012), Fire & Fortune (2013), Midwinter (2013), Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour (2014), Through The Clouds EP (2016), Overnight (2016)
Record Label: Rough Trade Records
Awards: Isambard Folk Award (2012), Fatea Female Vocalist of the Year (2013), Spiral Earth Award for Best Duo, Fatea Album of the Year (2014), BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Nominations- Horizon (for best newcomer) and Best Duo -2014, Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo
The first time I saw Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker perform live back in May 2013, I knew I was watching something very special. Since then they have gone from strength to strength winning this years (2015) BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo held in the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. They also performed a song on the night of the Awards called 'The Banks Of The Sweet Primroses'
Hailed as the ‘the green shoots growing from the very top of the English folk family tree' Josienne and Ben infuse ageless stories of love and loss with their exquisite command of many instruments. Whether interpreting words centuries old or singing her own authentic lyrics, Josienne's jewel-like voice finds the nuance in the simplest phrase and sends it, effortlessly, straight to your heart. Ben's great musical tact and flair for arrangement provide the perfect setting, allowing the song centre-stage.
Josienne was born in Sussex and Ben, in Evesham. It was after studying in London,and utterly by chance, she met Ben in July 2009. Together they have resolutely forged their own path through traditional music. Critical recognition soon followed, along with the Isambard Folk Award, and the FATEA Award for Best Album and Female Vocalist of the Year, and the Spiral Earth Award for Best Duo, as well as coveted Radio 2 folk award nominations for Best Newcomers and Best Duo. The live performance is a thing of delight - enchanted reviewers have spoken of shimmering cathedrals of sound - and its purity will stay with you long after the last note fades.
Their first major album together 'Fire and Fortune' confirmed their place among the very best folk musicians of their generation and reached No. 1 on the UK Amazon folk chart.
Their new album ‘Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour’ brings together music that looks forward as well as back. They bring together honest, uncompromising songwriting with the masterpieces of a tradition to give you something audacious and assured. You might hear a medieval madrigal followed by a soundscape of layers of Josienne's flawless voice. You might hear Ben's signature fingerstyle guitar paired with laconic, meandering jazz trumpet. This duo is driven by what feels true to the song, however bleak, however exposing, however technically difficult.
New audiences from other walks of life aren’t quite prepared for the realisation that they just fell in love with a folk song. But audiences everywhere are falling for this duo because this is musicianship of the highest calibre. And while you never know what you will hear next, you can always count on that.
Josienne and Ben are currently touring in the UK, continental Europe and America.