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The Willows are a folk roots family band from Cambridge. Fronted by the breathtaking voice of Jade Rhiannon, supported by rich vocal harmonies and sensitive acoustic musicianship the band draw inspiration from the British Folk and Americana traditions in equal quantity. Debut album Beneath Our Humble Soil was released in 2013, has been championed by the likes of Mike Harding and Bob Harris and was nominated for Best Debut Album in the Spiral Earth Awards 2014.
Husband and wife, Cliff and Jade Ward, sister Prue Ward, housemate Steve Maclachlan and an unexpected find in the free-ads, Ben Savage began singing and writing songs together in the spring of 2010. Within a few months The Willows were plying their trade in numerous folk and acoustic clubs across the UK, supporting the likes of LAU, Uiscedwr, Seth Lakeman, Peatbog Faeries and Lucy Ward along the way. Favourable reviews of their 2011 self-titled EP were followed up with standout festival performances at the likes of Cambridge Folk Festival, Folk By The Oak, FolkEast, Towersey Festival and Secret Garden Party, helping build a reputation as a compelling live act.
Debut album Beneath Our Humble Soil was released on 11th February 2013 on Elk Records. Recorded in a selection of living rooms, hotels and garages, the record was recorded soley by the band themselves and produced in conjunction with BBC Folk Award Winner Stu Hanna (Megson, Lucy Ward, Show of Hands, Faustus). The release caught the attention of BBC Radio 2ís Bob Harris, who having already played a number of tracks from the album invited the band in for a live session midway through their UK tour. The band have also featured on The Mike Harding Folk Show, Folk Radio UK, BBC Introducing, BBC World on Three, Genevieve Tudor, Iain Anderson, Bobís Folk Show and received numerous enthusiastic reviews, including 4Ĺ stars from Maverick Magazine.
The band's love of writing about people, their lives and their stories is abundantly clear throughout the record: The banjo-driven stomper Bella's Fury tells of a remorseless woman who kills her husband; the beautiful stillness of This Book of Ours depicts two childhood sweethearts nearing the end of their time together; while Worker's War (written for Jade's father) tells of a loyal man unfairly stripped of his employment. Despite covering so many of the darkest places possible, Beneath Our Humble Soil is by no means a depressing listen; the band have a knack of conveying human spirit through their music, and perhaps most notably, this spirit remains at the heart of the album.
Following the release of EP Bella in September, the band returned to the studio to embark on their 2nd full-length release.
BOB HARRIS, BBC Radio 2 "...Absolutely gorgeous sound, a lovely album..."
MIKE HARDING, Mike Harding Folk Show "They sort of straddle the worlds between Americana and English roots music and do it in a very very deft way for such a young band; I think they're really really interesting! Bella's Fury has got a sort of feeling of old timey noir about it... I think it's really amazing!"
MAVERICK MAGAZINE "...The Willows are a breath of fresh air to the folk music community... "
KERRY DEVINE, BBC INTRODUCING "Beautiful... I have a lot of love for this band!"