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Chicago-born and Sheffield-based folk outlier Jon Boden has announced his fifth solo album and the final album in his post oil trilogy, ‘Last Mile Home’, due to be released on Hudson Records 5th March 2021.
‘Last Mile Home’ describes a journey from moor to coast in a landscape empty of human life but overflowing with nature. A meditation on solitude, memory and nature, the album was recorded during the spring/summer of 2020 and is full of the sounds and images of nature reclaiming an abandoned world. Songs such as Old Straight Track, Into The Garden and Flash Flood function as a travelogue through moor, mountain and coast, while the more meditative Dream of the Ocean and Under The Bough draw the listener deeper into the character and history of the nomadic protagonist. In this third part of a trilogy of post-climate change concept albums, Jon returns to the more acoustic sound-world of 2009’s, Songs From The Floodplain whilst retaining the narrative drive of 2017’s, Afterglow. ‘Last Mile Home’ was recorded with producer Andy Bell at Jon’s storage unit, next door to a Sheffield steel fabricators. Edith and Eric the Edison “Standard” Model B Phonograph wax cylinder machines feature throughout the album with new field recordings and backing vocals.
The Last Mile Home tells a story about a walk – from moor to coast- the edge of Sheffield (where the trilogy of records originates) to Cleethorpes is about seventy miles – walking evokes so much, of nature & birds, of pilgrimage, of company along the way – aloneness, and indeed togetherness – the metaphors for walking run strong throughout, one can’t help but feel – as well as the future – the album is really very much about today.
Boden is best known as the lead singer and one of the founding members of recently re-formed, Bellowhead, whilst also fronting his own band, The Remnant Kings. He is also widely respected as a solo performer, songwriter, composer and interpreter of traditional song – not to mention, being one half of the notorious and much loved Speirs & Boden. It is through his solo live shows that he has truly been able to showcase his instrumental talents, on fiddle, guitar and concertina. Playlisted on BBC Radio 2, numerous times, winner of multiple Radio 2 Folk Awards – he is also the voice of the Mark Radcliffe jingle on BBC Radio 2 – making his distinct and much loved sound even more instantly recognizable.
“It’s been twelve years since the first of these songs made itself known to me and started me off on the road to Songs From The Floodplain. Since then it’s been a process of constant but gradual unfolding for me, even when my focus was elsewhere. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey too and are able to find your own stories on Songs From The Floodplain, Afterglow and Last Mile Home.”
Jon Boden is best known is the lead singer of the progressive folk juggernaut Bellowhead who sold 250,000 albums, had seven singles playlisted on Radio 2 and sold out hundreds of venues including The Royal Albert Hall. Since Bellowhead split up in 2016 Jon has continued his development as one of the foremost names in English folk music.
Solo, Jon performs his albums ‘Songs from The Floodplain’, ‘Painted Lady’ & ‘Afterglow’, the self-penned songs of material from Bellowhead, Spiers & Boden and his ‘A Folk Song A Day’ project in which he recorded 365 folk songs in one year, material from his latest album Rose In June (Nov ’19, Hudson Records) and more.
Youtube channel: Jon Boden
Photo credit David Angel