New Roots presents… a rare and very special solo show from BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Josienne Clarke.
When Josienne Clarke signed to the illustrious Rough Trade Records, its founder Geoff Travis told The Guardian that she writes, “songs that rearrange your internal emotional landscape… reinventing the popular song structure.” With a rare gift for poetic melancholy, the songs Josienne has recorded with the guitarist Ben Walker have also been described as “extraordinary” (Mojo), “gently exquisite” (The Observer) and “full of depth” (The Telegraph). In 2016 American Songwriter magazine named Josienne Clarke one of the best songwriters of the year.
Having been bowled over by Clarke & Walker’s live performance at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, where the artists won the Best Duo prize, 6 Music presenter Cerys Matthews invited Josienne to act and sing in The National Theatre’s revival of Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good. In addition to performing on the Olivier stage each night – in a role specially created for her – Clarke contributed two of her own songs to the play. In their review of the acclaimed production, The Financial Times said, “Josienne Clarke sings like a haunted angel.” It became the start of several ongoing theatrical collaborations to be staged in the near future.
With an elegant, nuanced and emotionally affecting singing style (Cerys Matthews described her as having a voice that can “trickle back over centuries”) she has frequently been compared to the great Sandy Denny, but present too are elements of Nina Simone and Gillian Welch; all three are important influences on her work.
With new records from Clarke & Walker on the way, new recordings from her Rough Trade-signed four piece project PicaPica, featuring Samantha Whates, Adam Beattie, and Grammy nominee Sonny Johns, and the confident beginnings of an exciting solo career, Josienne Clarke continues to be one of the most impressive, accomplished and downright heart-breaking singers, lyricists and composers of her generation.
New Roots is committed to promoting events that shine a light on up and coming talent in the UK alt-folk scene. It’s committed to providing artists with an environment that is sympathetic to what they do, giving musicians the respect they and their music deserves – for this reason we ask for no talking and no use of mobile phones while artists are performing. Our music policy comes from the kitchen table, the roots of public performance- intimate, acoustic based, high quality musicianship with as little interference between performer and listener as possible.
New Roots Radio: https://www.mixcloud.com/RadioNewRoots/