2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Lucy Farrell is at last embarking on the solo career so many have been hoping for, since first hearing her exquisite renditions of traditional ballads and quietly moving original songs.
As one fourth of The Furrow Collective, Lucy is the current recipient of the Best Group prize following the release of their widely acclaimed Wild Hog LP, earned during an immensely busy and creative time in which she contributed to the raved about return to form that was the Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band’s Big Machine album and tour, and also saw her final shows with the Emily Portman Trio with whom she’d sung, sawed and played viola for many years.
An inveterate collaborator, the news that Lucy is to take centre stage in her own right comes as a welcome surprise to all those who’ve been entranced by her haunting and quintessentially English voice, subtle and instinctive musicianship and her ability to connect emotionally with an audience while adhering to the great Shirley Collins’ adage that in folk music the singer should never get in the way of the song.
Lucy Farrell first enchanted fans of traditional music when she began performing as a duo with fellow Newcastle Folk Degree graduate Jonny Kearney. Invited to become the regular opening act for The Unthanks, Lucy & Jonny’s blend of wry and lovelorn tales with exquisite interpretations of English, Scottish and American ballads saw them frequently outselling the headline act at the CD stall. As well as Lucy’s fruitful partnership with singer and songwriter Emily Portman and the award winning harpist and singer Rachel Newton, she has also written, performed and recorded with numerous bands and projects including Dark Northumbrian, Gluepot, a star-studded live tribute to Norma Waterson, and also formed her own group Ogres. Although she’s rejected the conventional career path, Lucy has become one of the most in demand musicians and vocalists on the young folk scene.
Signed to the impressively visionary Hudson Records, Lucy Farrell has returned to the traditional folk songs that have remained at the heart of everything she’s done. These are the ballads that inspire her own compositions, but in their own handed-down beauty and strangeness tell fantastical stories beyond our imaginations. And in her voice they bewitch anew.