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. Casting across the range of what he does and has done, one is left asking the question: How does he manage it all?
Most notably he is the lead singer and one of the principal arrangers for the multi-award winning Bellowhead, one of the most exciting live acts in all of music. In addition within the folk scene, he has played in a duo with fellow Bellowhead member John Spiers for over a decade. Recently he has also performed with his own band The Remnant Kings, performing both traditional folk music and Jon’s own work featured on his 2009 solo album Songs From the Floodplain – a bleak view of a post-apocalyptic world. The links between that and folk music was something further explored in a 2011 BBC Radio 3 essay.
Throughout Jon’s folk music there is a commitment to social singing and he’s actively promoted this via his involvement in Royal Traditions and Bright Phoebus, two Sheffield based folk clubs. In addition from 24th June (Midsummers day) 2010 for one year, he undertook an ambitious project called A Folk Song A Day where he released a song every day, the tracks later compiled into monthly albums. 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’s been 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’ll be performing 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 saw the debut of a new BBC2 comedy series Count Arthur Strong for which Jon composed and performed the signature music.
Jon lives near Sheffield with his partner Fay Hield, a notable folk singer in her own right, with their two children.