JACKIE OATES & JON WILKS
‘One of folk’s brightest talents. Oates’s vocals are light but mellifluous’
**** The Guardian (2022 review)
‘There’s a sweetness and melancholy to her voice that is like no other, and for which there is no known formula with which to replicate it.’
Songlines (2022 review)
‘Sublime Song writing….Wilks is a rather special performer with an authentic and abiding love of traditional song. His enthusiasm for its history, and sheer joy at new discoveries, is palpably irresistible….Above all, it is a bloody good listen.’
FRUK Folk Radio (2023 review)
Jackie, celebrated singer and fiddle player, has earned numerous accolades for her emotive performances and her ability to breathe new life into traditional English folk songs. Her collaboration with Jon Wilks, a gifted guitarist, singer, and folk music journalist, has resulted in a musical partnership that resonates with both modern and traditional audiences.
Their performances are characterised by soulful harmonies, intricate instrumental arrangements, and a shared passion for storytelling through song.
In summer 2023, the pair entertained audiences at Sidmouth Folk Festival, Tangled Roots and Folk East (see live video on this page).
Jackie Oates is a mainstay of English traditional music. Regarded as one of the country’s best loved folk performers, Jackie’s current focus is on collaborating with a diverse array of artists and commissions. Following the death of her much-loved dad five days after the birth of her first child, Jackie’s 2018 album The Joy Of Living reached beyond the past lives in folk song to the lived experience of all of us. The Guardian called it “utterly gorgeous… moving, depth-filled.” Since then, Jackie has released classic covers with Scritti Politti’s Rhodri Marsden, researched pagan Bath for the mavericks at Lush cosmetics, been Artist In Residence at the Twitter-famous Museum of English Rural Life, lent her voice and musicianship to CBeebies’ Nick Cope’s Popcast, and begun an ongoing mixed media work about the history of lace telling. Jackie Oates continues to bring elements of the English folk tradition to new people and places; in turn bringing a much needed calm and joy to those who hear it.
Jon Wilks is an acclaimed fingerpicking guitarist, singer of traditional folk songs and broadside ballads from the English repertoire, and songwriter. His background as a journalist (a former editor of Time Out magazine and contributor to Dazed & Confused, The Guardian and other publications) means that he has a great eye/ear for a story, and this shows in his live shows – an amusing mix of folk song performance and storytelling.
He throws in weird and wonderful tidbits about the original singers and collectors that he has unearthed during his substantial writing and podcasting research on traditional folk music in the UK, and his performance is often described as both entertaining and informative.