Anyone that has listened to Bob’s Folk Show on Folk Radio UK will be familiar with the name Benjamin Folke Thomas who regularly featured on the show. The good news is that he is about to release his debut album Too Close To Here on Bucketfull Of Brains (also home to Jack Day who is in the main image above with Ben) on September 23rd. To call this an eagerly anticipated release would be under selling the excitement I feel about this release. When I first heard Benjamin Folke Thomas it was like stepping back to the heyday of the 70’s folk boom. He has a timeless quality that will hit you on first listen….and here’s a taster:
Too Close To Home is a stunning collection of songs that echoes that of 70’s Dylan in its attention to lyrical detail and sonically pervades a road somewhere between country folk and acoustic driven rock. Thomas is a wordsmith, pure and simple, a conjurer of tales that reference all manner of things – literature, mythology, and religion. Driven along by his top class Swedish band Thomas underlines here what many of us already knew. He is one of the finest young talents out there and surely on a journey to the stars.
It is five years since Thomas left the southern Swedish archipelagos to make his name on the London live circuit. He quickly found his feet; and his sound: An astonishing, explosive brand of Americana, delivered through supersonic guitar picking offsetting moody baritone vocals, like a cross between Robert Johnson and Warren Zevon.
Folke Thomas’s live ability has attracted a dedicated fanbase and rave reviews, including Q Magazine (“stunning playing… his finger-picking is the best you will ever hear”) and The Guardian (“stands out like Oliver Reed at an AA meeting”). In an attempt to capture his talent on record, cult-label Bucketfull Of Brains released the eponymously titled EP in 2010, described by the Sunday Times as “a convincing called card…reminiscent of Greenwich Village circa 1965.”
Tours followed (including support slots for with folk duo Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou and a.h.a.b.) and a string of festival appearances including Glastonbury, Green Man, Larmer Tree and No Direction Home. Growing acclaim led to interest from high-profile music charity Strummerville (instrumental in the careers of many established musicians including Bastille, Anna Calvi and Frank Turner), who in 2012 organized the release of the showcase live album “Equinox…Live at the Hawley Arms”.