Over the course of his career, Jon Boden has become one of the outstanding performers of traditional music of his generation. In one capacity or another, he has won eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, more than any other artist. Though he is widely respected as a highly accomplished interpreter of traditional song, Jon has a musical repertoire which extends far beyond the boundaries of just one genre.
In complete contrast to fronting Bellowhead for the past 12 years; the eleven piece, multi-award winning progressive folk juggernault, this summer will see Jon Boden embark on some very special solo dates. These will be the first significant solo performances that Jon has ever made.
Though much of the material Jon intends to perform will be traditional, some of this new solo set will include original material too. This is not an entirely new departure for Jon. In his early teens he fronted an indie rock band and later, went on to release two acclaimed self-penned albums – ‘Painted Lady’ (2006) and ‘Songs from the Floodplain’ (2009); songs from which we still feature in our extensive Folk Radio UK radio playlist.
Best known as the lead singer and main arranger of Bellowhead, after 12 years, a quarter of a million album sales, seven singles on the BBC Radio 2 playlist and selling out hundreds of venues and festival stages throughout the UK and beyond, Jon Boden announced in 2015 that he wanted to move on. The rest of the band decided they didn’t want to continue without him – and so Bellowhead will perform their final show on 1st May 2016.
Throughout Jon’s musical career he has remained committed to social (communal) singing and to encourage this undertook an ambitious project called ‘A Folk Song A Day’ (2010) where he released a different song every day for a year, providing a source of inspiration for anyone who didn’t know where to start. Jon, who as well as a singer is also a skilled fiddle player and finger-style guitarist, has also composed music for theatre and film, most notably two Royal Shakespeare productions at Stratford: Merchant of Venice and A Winter’s Tale. In 2014, Jon appeared in Richard Curtis’s final film ‘About Time’ and contributed music to the score (listen to his cover of The Waterboys’ ‘How Long Will I Love You’). The hit BBC2 comedy series ‘Count Arthur Strong’ features theme music written and performed by Jon.
Jon Boden Solo Performance Festival Dates
28 Jul – Cambridge Folk Festival
01 Aug – Snape Proms, Aldeburgh
04 Aug – Sidmouth FolkWeek
Photo Credit: Judith Burrows