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Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk and traditional folk

Status:

Most recent release, Overnight (2016)

See also:

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker's site

Josienne Clarke's site

Josienne Clarke's bandcamp site

The Ectophiles' Guide's page for Josienne Clarke's solo work

Comparisons:

Josienne Clarke's solo album, Sandy Denny

Covers/own material:

Own and traditional

General comments:

Classically trained Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker make the same mix of Americana-influenced contemporary folk and traditional songs as—and Josienne Clarke's vocals strongly are reminiscent of—Sandy Denny. This isn't a bad thing, in fact it's a revelation and sounds as fresh as when Sandy Denny (and her various accompaniensts and bands) started making similar music in the 1960s. Ben walker is a terrific guitarist. Together, their music is gorgeous and glorious. And their traditional covers are stunning. (Neile)

Recommended first album:

Fire & Fortune is probably the easier to find, but my heart belongs to The Seas Are Deep

Recordings:


The Seas Are Deep

Release info:

2011

Availability:

See Josienne Clarke's site

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Josienne Clarke—vocals, recorders
Ben Walker—"everything except cello"

Guest artists:

Jo Silverston—cello

Comments:

A full album of traditional songs with the absolutely divine combination of Josienne Clarke's vocals and Ben Walker's guitar and mandolin = I'm in heaven. Really, I adore this. I could listen to her evocative and gorgeous voice forever, especially doing these traditional tunes. She makes them come utterly alive, as does the wonderful instrumentation. Wow. Almost painfully lovely. (Neile)

Homemade Heartache EP

Release info:

2012

Availability:

See Josienne Clarke's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Josienne Clarke—vocals, guitar (2, 4)
Ben Walker—guitars, bass, mandolins

Guest artists:

Basia (Barbara) Bartz—violins, accordion

Comments:

A four-track release of Americana-influenced country-flavoured folk. Very bluesy in tone. It pushes the limits of my interest as these just aren't my favourite styles, but I love her voice and how she uses it—and Ben Walker's instrumental talents enough that I really enjoy listening to this. (Neile)

Fire & Fortune

Release info:

2013—Navigator Records—Navigator 082

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ben Walker—guitars, fretless bass, keyboards
Josienne Clarke—vocals, recorder, saxophone, kitchen floor

Guest artists:

Basia Bartz—violin
Jo Silverston—cello
Jim Moray—piano
John Parker—double bass
Ivan Mendiola—drums
Ruairi Glasheen—bodhran

Comments:

Their first label release is a mix of their own compositions and traditional songs, and it's lovely on every level. (Neile)

Nothing Can Bring Back The Hour

Release info:

2014—Folk Room Records—FRR1401

Availability:

U.K.

Ecto priority:

Recommended for soft folk fans

Group members:

Josienne Clarke—vocals, backing vocals, entor recorder, saxophone, flute
Ben Walker—acoustic guitar, classical guitar, electric guitar, mandolins, banjo, keyboards

Guest artists:

Jim Moray—piano
Ruairi Glasheen—percussion
John Parker—double bass
Sam Brookes—vocals (2)
Samantha Whates—backing vocals (3, 5, 11)
Pete Truin, Jamie Doe—backing vocals (12)
Anna Jenkins, Basia Bartz, Jessie Moncrieff, Maya Amin-Smith—violin
Charlie Stock, Anna Jenkins—violia
Jo SIlverston, Hannah Marshall—cello
Nick Malcolm—trumpet
Jim Rattigan—French horn
Amy Tuner—oboe
Ivan Mendiola—drums (8)

Produced by:

Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

Comments:

This mostly follows the track of the Homemade Heartache EP and like that for the most part is of a little less interest to me than The Seas Are Deep, Fire & Fortune, or even Josienne Clarke's solo credited album, One Light is Gone. I enjoy the faster tracks here and love their three versions of traditional songs, and of course Josienne Clarke's stunning vocals, but on the whole this isn't my cup of tea. (Neile)

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2017-04-30 16:07:05.
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