My new record Hummingbird is out today in Europe (and will be released worldwide in early 2019). It’s a record I’ve wanted to make for a long time and I can’t wait for you to hear it.
I returned to Sam Lakeman’s Somerset studio in March of 2018, two years since recording ‘Headlong’ in that same place, to commit six of my favourite folk songs to tape, alongside one cover version and three original songs.
With my guitars and notebook, I sat for a week and dug into these songs, some of which I have performed hundreds of times, but never recorded.
The tracks quickly took on their own shape in Sam Lakeman’s able hands. I invited several good friends to join me in this process: Cara Dillon, John McCusker and Ben Nicholls (Seth Lakeman, Nadine Shah). Each a giant in their own right, they offered subtle and deeply nuanced performances to what I feel are my most restrained recordings so far.
Sam and I adopted the motto ‘less is more’. We all know that a Folk Song’s clarity of purpose is exactly the reason why it has been played in pubs, living rooms and concert halls for hundreds of years.
I’ve been immeasurably fortunate to open for and even play with some of my heroes and influences in the folk world; John Renbourn, Davy Graham, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Nic Jones, Joan Baez, Wizz Jones, John Martyn, Danny Thompson, Martin Simpson and Paul Brady.
Their work and their generosity of spirit has been a constant reminder that I must keep playing, recording and touring, no matter the cost. There is always work to be done in the service of good music.
I made this record for myself, for my heroes and for you.