Old and new are keeping the folk tradition alive

Folk musician Jon Budworth
Folk musician Jon Budworth

A LEIGH musician is giving the traditional British folk song a contemporary twist with the release of his second solo EP.

Jon Budworth has released Trees Turn To Fire as the follow-up to Time Machine, having returned to his roots in folk music after playing in rock bands such as Strange Weather.

The EP sees Jon mix his own arrangements of two traditional songs with four self-penned tracks, which contrast between narrative storytelling and more personal reflections on life. Jon, who combines making music with instrumental teaching borough school pupils, says he draws inspiration from the folk musicians he grew up listening to and more modern practitioners of traditional song.

He said: “When I was growing up and playing the guitar it was always stuff like Simon and Garfunkel or Ralph McTell, but now I’ve discovered artists who inspire me such as Richard Thompson, Nic Jones and John Renbourn. I love this music and the old traditional songs but it’s also great to be able to write new ones.”

Trees Turn To Fire, which takes its name from autumn changing the colour of trees’ leaves, sees Jon’s voice and guitar joined on some of the songs by Bernard Cromarty’s accordion and the violin and viola playing of Elliot Moore.

The songs cover a wide range of subjects, from waking up in the middle of the night worrying about bearing a heavy burden to the tale of a young Irishman drafted into an army in America to the effect of the English Civil War on Wigan 400 years ago.

He said: “A lot of my songs are quite personal rather than about telling stories, with 3am being about that insomniac feeling of having the weight of the world on your shoulders, which seems to happen to me quite often.”

The EP can be heard on Spotify and SoundCloud. Digital downloads are available from iTunes and Amazon, and the CD can be bought from Jon’s website www.jonbudworth.co.uk