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Singer-songwriter Joshua Burnell to bring his brand of folk to the Portland Arms in Cambridge

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Joshua Burnell. Picture: Elly Lucas
Joshua Burnell. Picture: Elly Lucas

The young York-based musician put out his latest album, Songs from the Seasons, on May 4 and is touring in support of it.

The Joshua Burnell Band. Picture: Elly Lucas
The Joshua Burnell Band. Picture: Elly Lucas

In late December 2016, Joshua Burnell embarked upon an ambitious project to release his own arrangement of a traditional song or tune digitally each week, reflecting the seasons as the coming year progressed.

For the album, he chose 14 favourites from the 52 tracks he created. The tracks for the original project were chosen from material mainly from the British Isles, along with some European folk music, including translations of ancient Danish ballads and Breton music.

The songs were divided into four groups to follow the changing of the seasons and to celebrate any significant events in the traditional calendar.

Following the release of Songs from the Seasons, Burnell and his six-piece band embarked on a UK tour in the spring. It will stop off in Cambridge on Thursday, August 16.

Joshua, whose debut album, Into the Green, was widely praised on its release in 2016, told the Cambridge Independent that he believes folk music is more popular now than it was, say, 10 years ago.

“We’re sort of going through another folk revival,” he said. “I think people like Mumford & Sons brought in that latest wave of interest...

“It’s all cyclical, isn’t it, so the last official folk revival was in the 90s and then it dropped down in the early 2000s.”

Joshua hopes to appear at next year’s Cambridge Folk Festival as he has a history of performing in Cambridge.

“I used to go there busking quite a lot when I was just starting out,” he recalled, “and I would get emails almost every time I went down from people who’d seen me saying, ‘Where’s your gig tonight?’

“So I’ve actually become quite good friends with people who I met that way. The folk scene in Cambridge is so much more vibrant and healthier than anywhere else I’ve been.”

Joshua Burnell will be appearing at the Portland Arms on Thursday, August 16 at 7.30pm. Support comes from Ward & Parker.

Tickets: £8.50

For more information, or to book tickets, visit theportlandarms.co.uk.

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