John Spiers and Jon Boden, the revered duo known as Spiers & Boden, have made an indelible mark on the folk music scene since their emergence in 2001. Garnering acclaim as “the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene” by The Guardian, their journey includes a successful stint with the folk big band Bellowhead. After a hiatus, they made a triumphant return in 2021 with their new album ‘Fallow Ground,’ a project born amidst the challenges of the pandemic and recorded between lockdowns. This album, a blend of traditional folk melodies and ballads, showcases their distinctive mix of morris tunes, historic pieces, and original compositions. Their ability to breathe new life into traditional songs is evident in tracks like Funney Eye, Bluey Brink, and Butter and Cheese and All, while also introducing original works like Bailey Hill / Wittenham Clumps and Giant’s Waltz / The Ironing Board Hornpipe.
Reflecting on the album, Jon Boden notes their focus on joyous, lively songs, a departure from traditional themes of death and sorrow, adding a light-hearted touch to their repertoire. This approach aligns perfectly with their upcoming headline performance at the Bromyard Folk Festival, where audiences can expect a blend of spirited traditional tunes and the duo’s unique, engaging style. Their anticipated appearance at the festival is a testament to their lasting appeal and ongoing contribution to the folk music landscape.