The Story So Far...
Jon Boden has become the stand out performer of his generation of traditional folk artists, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of the genre.
Most recognisably he was the lead singer (and one of the principal arrangers) of the multi-award winning Bellowhead, one of the most exciting live acts of recent years. Over 12 years Bellowhead achieved a level of critical and commercial success unmatched by any other band working in English traditional music in the last three decades. In 2015 Jon announced that he had decided to leave the band and on May 1st 2016 Bellowhead played their final farewell gig. During lockdown Bellowhead reunited for a livestream performance that was released as the album Reassembled. This in turn lead to a reunion tour in Nov 2022.
Since 2009 he has also performed with his own band The Remnant Kings, performing both traditional folk music and Jon’s own work featured on his second solo album Songs from the Floodplain – a bleak but hopeful view of a post-apocalyptic world, a subject revisited on Afterglow (2017), his first new album after leaving Bellowhead. The Remnant Kings re-formed in July 2017 in an expanded 10 piece line-up to debut Afterglow at Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2019 Jon recorded and released the album Rose In June with that same line up, featuring a mix of traditional and newly written songs and tunes. 2021 saw the release of the third and final album in the Floodplain Trilogy titled "Last Mile Home". The album was launched with a live Remnant Kings tour in Feb 2022.
The links between a speculative regressed future and folk music was something further explored in BBC Radio 3's The Essay.
In addition, within the traditional folk scene, he has played in a duo with fellow Bellowhead member John Spiers for over a decade. In 2021 they resumed touring and launched a new album of traditional English songs and tunes titled "Fallow Ground".
In October 2022 Jon's long standing band mate and friend Paul Sartin died suddenly and unexpectedly leaving a huge hole in the folk scene.
Throughout Jon’s folk music there is a commitment to social singing and he’s actively promoted this via his Sheffield folk club Royal Traditions and through the development of the Colourchord harmony singing system which Jon actively promotes through workshops and schools projects as a means for untrained singers to access simple harmony singing in a social context. In addition from 24th June (Midsummer's Day) 2010 for one year, he undertook the ambitious A Folk Song A Day project in which he released a song every day, the tracks later compiled into monthly albums and made available on afolksongaday.com
Outside of folk he has composed music for both theatre and film, most notably two Royal Shakespeare productions at Stratford: Merchant of Venice (2008) and A Winter’s Tale (2012). In 2013 he was commissioned to compose a version of Little Musgrave to be performed alongside Benjamin Britten’s work of the same name at Aldeburgh. In addition he performed the Juliet Letters with the Sacconi Quartet at the Bristol Old Vic. He also appears in Richard Curtis’s film About Time and has contributed music to the score. Autumn 2013 also saw the debut of a new BBC2 comedy series Count Arthur Strong for which Jon composed and performed the signature music.