It is so quiet on this misty June morning that I can hear the distant church bells ring, while the village in the green valley below our hill is slowly waking. Tilly, too, is sleepy this morning, gently snoring on the studio couch beside me....
In this hushed early morning atmosphere, only the right music will do; so I've chosen four sublime songs by Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, the classically-trained folk duo from London. Walker plays guitar like an angel, and Clarke has been described as this generation's Sandy Denny -- although as much as I loved Denny's music I'd argue that Clarke's range is larger, stretching from Early Music to folk and beyond. (Go here for Clarke's cover of Denny's "Fotheringay," a song about Fotheringhay Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned.) Clarke & Walker's most recent album is Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour, and I highly recommend it.
First, a simple and simply beautiful rendition of "Green Grow the Laurels," peformed backstage at The Cambridge Folk Festival. You can find the song on their 2013 album, Fire & Fortune.
Next, a traditional folk song: "The Banks of the Sweet Primroses." The video was filmed at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards earlier this year.
Third, a performance of "Tangled Tree," an original song by Clarke. The video was filmed for the Blue Room Sessions in the Netherlands. The song is from their 2014 album, Nothing Can Bring Back the Hour.
And last, "Anyone But Me," performed at The Courtyard, a cross-genre music venue in London which pairs emerging artists with an in-house chamber orchestra and choir. The song comes from Fire & Fortune.
Have a good morning, and an inspired week.