‘Fire and Fortune’ - Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker(May 16, 2013)
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker release a new album in July, called ‘Fire and Fortune’ it is a true folk jewel – a gathering of fine folk gems silvered by Josienne’s distinctive delicate voice and gilded by Ben’s musical feeling and dexterity. The symbiosis between the two of them is palpable and its spirit pours through every song as they expound traditional tales and essential themes to mingle the beauty of music and voice with tales of love, cautionary narratives, dire warnings and hopeful expectation.
There’s a faultless take on ‘The Month of January’ - a gentle, affecting variation on the traditional theme, complete with haunting musical accents and echoes. Even more emotive is their interpretation of ‘My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose’ - too often justice is not meted out to Robert Burns words, not so here, Josienne hits the spot with lovingly delivered fragility. The title track, ‘Fire & Fortune’ pulses with latent intensity to pull you into its hypnotic embrace, as does the blissful melody of ‘A Pauper And A Poet’, and if there’s a more beautiful version of ‘When A Knight Won His Spurs’ I’ve yet to hear it.
It’s true to say that individually these two are superb exponents of their art but when Josienne and Ben play together a certain indefinable, mellow magic happens. Listen to ‘Fire and Fortune’ and you’ll hear precisely what I mean.
Reviewer: Tim Carroll