Julie’s album Blackbird wins more stunning reviews

Get Blackbird from Bandcamp here: https://gavinatkin.bandcamp.com/album/blackbird

Veteran South Wales singer, musician and Folk Wales editor Mick Tems penned a review that almost rendered Gav speechless:

‘Julie Atkin lives with her musician husband Gavin in the village of Marden, Kent; both she and Gavin have amassed 15 well-known and less well-travelled traditional songs, and the album is a welcome treasure trove and reference point for any eager enthusiasts who have embarked on the magical journey of folk discovery. Julie trained as a classical singer, and her bright and clear soprano voice sparks and energises ancient and venerable songs; like a curator restoring an old portrait, she polishes off the dust and grime and gives the melodies a new, proud shine. Gavin accompanies her on acoustic guitar and diatonic accordeon, and his minimal empathetic playing is just enough to let her songs grow and blossom. In short, it’s exquisite.’

Regular CD reviewer David Kidman wrote:

‘This is an album of traditional songs…performed purely and simply by Kent-based singer Julie Atkin. Julie’s husband… provides some wonderfully complementary, beautifully contoured accompaniment on guitar (eight tracks) or deft and sprightly melodeon (two tracks). His guitar playing is accomplished and stylishly configured, and its measured precision perfectly matches that quality in Julie’s singing… the Atkins’ musical partnership makes for some delightfully simpatico music-making… Julie lacks nothing in her understanding of her chosen songs, and she clearly feels their emotional import, this being clearly evident in her stylish expression.’

Around Kent Folk’s own Bob Kenward added: ‘Now this is a truly beautiful collection of traditional song. Julie’s delightful voice is discretely accompanied on guitar or melodeon where called for by Gavin Atkin and every arrangement augments and supports both melody and story… seek out this CD and give your ears a treat’

Julie’s album Blackbird is available online and to order!

Julie’s new album Blackbird is now available on Bandcamp, and on CD either from us or from Bandcamp, and it’s receiving some very nice compliments!

Here’s how Mike Norris of the EFDSS Classic Folk podcast introduced it on his show:

I must say this is a very welcome addition to our folk music scene. Julie’s fine singing of our traditional classics accompanied on many by her husband Gavin is a real pleasure.

The lovely Keith Kendrick had this to say:

Julie has a fine voice that could sing any kind of song but this CD shows off her particular and truly amazing skill for interpreting traditional songs and ballads. Of her generation she has surely emerged as one of the best.

Paul McCann writing in Essex Folk News adds:

Julie trained classically when she was young… her classical trained background shows in her perfect diction and the exquisite timing and phrasing… Gavin’s guitar style is thoughtful and precise, and complements the voice perfectly, while his melodeon accompaniment on two songs from children’s song collections is playful and also sympathetic… Lovers of traditional song will enjoy this album very much, and it will bear many further listenings.

And this from Steve Vernon and Barry Lister of the Sidvalleyradio Folkshow:

Well, that was lovely. Thank you for sending it in Julie and we’re looking forward to playing more.’

[Of the track Lavender’s Green]’This track I really like. It shows off Julie and Gavin’s interest in old songs – not just folk songs but old songs generally. You’ll recognise this song as you’ve heard it before, but you might not have heard it sung as nicely as this.’ – James Fagan speaking on the Sheffield Live radio programme Thank Goodness it’s Folk

Here are a couple of samples!

The Old Garden Gate

A song collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams, this time from a Mr. Broomfield, in the village of East Hornden, Essex. It’s a poetic song describing a young girl’s disappointment, and the tune is surely one of the great glories of English folk song.

Green Broom

Green Broom, sung by Julie and Gavin Atkin. We learned the song after listening to traditional singer Sam Larner’s excellent performance of the song.

Raking the Hay

Raking the Hay, sung by Julie Atkin. This is her interpretation of a song, which she was inspired to learn after listening to a CD of
the wonderful traditional singer Phoebe Smith.