Josienne Ben Robert Portrait Unframed New Roots presents THE NEW ROOTS SESSIONS, A series of Friday and Saturday night events at the Harrison in Kings Cross featuring three superb headline solo artists on a triple-bill. Fully seated, tickets limited to 40 only- advance purchase advised. When Josienne Clarke signed to the illustrious Rough Trade Records, its founder Geoff Travis told The Guardian that she ‘writes songs that rearrange your internal emotional landscape, reinventing the popular song structure’. With a rare gift for poetic melancholy, the songs Josienne has recorded with the guitarist Ben Walker have also been described as ‘extraordinary’ (Mojo), ‘gently exquisite’ (The Observer) and ‘full of depth’ (The Telegraph).In 2015 sghe won the BBC Folk Awartd for Best Duop wiutrh Ben Walker, and in 2016 American Songwriter magazine named her as one of the best songwriters of the year. With an elegant, nuanced and emotionally affecting singing style (Cerys Matthews described her as having ‘a voice that can trickle back over centuries’) she has frequently been compared to the great Sandy Denny, but present too are elements of Nina Simone and Gillian Welch; all three are important influences on her work. With new recordings from her Rough Trade-signed four piece project PicaPica, featuring Samantha Whates, Adam Beattie, and Grammy nominee Sonny Johns, and a debut solo album on the way, Josienne Clarke continues to be one of the most impressive, accomplished and downright heart-breaking singers, lyricists and composers of her generation.
Benedict Benjamin is Ben Rubinstein, formerly of The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue (Wichita Records). Benjamin is first and foremost a songwriter versed in the classical traditions of the form, capable of crafting both operatic crescendo and lullaby-like stillness, shot through with the heartbreaking swoon of Roy Orbison, the soothing harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the honesty of Jeff Tweedy. His songs undercut the dream-like beauty of early 60s pop music with lyrics both frank and poetic.A rising star on the London folk scene, American singer-songwriter Robert Chaney counts Townes Van Zandt, Hank Williams and Judee Sill as influences. A remarkable songwriter with a voice to send shivers down your spine, sown deep into his songs are threads of the dusty shellac blues of the 20s and 30s, pulp noir tales of the 40s, the cable-knit folk revival of the 50s, and the French celluloid new wave of the 60s. His debut album ‘Cracked Picture Frames’ garnered high praise in the music press, with Folk Radio UK making it their featured album of the month. With his guitar as the barest of accompaniments, Chaney propels the listener through time, space, and story with a dexterity that truly sets him apart from worthy contemporaries. ‘Sharp, intelligent, thoughtful and moving’ Folk Radio UK
Tickets £8.50 HERESource: The Harrison website