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Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings - 'Rose In June' Album Review


1. Rose In June

2. All Hang Down

3. Leviathan / Tombola

4. Seven Bonnie Gypsies

5. Beating The Bounds

6. Sweet Thames Flow Softly

7. Hounds Of Love

8. Going Down To The Wasteland

9. Ruin Reel

10. Rigs Of The Time

11. We Do What We Can

12. Carnival Hornpipe

Jon Boden releases his new, and fourth solo album “Rose In June” on 1st November via Hudson Records. Hailing from Chicago, but now based in Sheffield, he recorded the album at the legendary Rockfield Studios with his backing band The Remnant Kings who he’s been playing with since 2016. The album is preceded by the single, and title track, “Rose In June”; a traditional song telling the story of two fishermen who died when their ship capsized during a storm in 1872. There are more traditional songs (“Rigs Of The Time”, “All Hang Down” and “Seven Bonnie Gypsies”) to go with the instrumentals and even a couple of cover songs in there too – Ewan MacColl’s “Sweet Thames Flow Softly” and (sounding so different, I had to listen twice in order to finally twig what it was) Kate Bush’s “Hounds Of Love”.

Now it’s at this point that I hope you have noticed that I have eschewed sarky comments based on Folk stereotypes (especially as one of the songs contains references to a ‘Gypsy Laddie’), despite my inherently impish inclinations…and the reason for this most uncharacteristic moment of maturity? Well, because listening to the album you cannot deny that the musicianship is first rate (especially on instrumental tracks like “Leviathon”, “Ruin Reel” and “Carnival Hornpipe”) and the fact that Jon has a great voice, which transmits both his love and respect for the genre. Yes, it’s Folk and no it’s not my kind of thing, but there still remains a respect for the artistry.

Summing the album up is tricky – on one hand it doesn’t do it for me, but that’s probably more to do with my prejudices (which might stem from the fact my mam likes Folk or it may have something to do with having worked the bar at a Folk night in my youth, where standards were not always the highest…and I’m talking about both performers and audience here) and musical preferences than anything else. On the other, you cannot deny the quality and talent of both Jon and The Remnant Kings. They have spent months on the road, honing these songs and it shows.

So I guess the best thing to say is that if Folk is your thing, then you could do worse things than checking it out. For me, given what I’ve said before, I can’t recommend it, but I can give it a mature and balanced ‘neutral’ rating.

Review - Chris Watson

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