Come and celebrate - fernhill have just released their much anticipated new album 'Amser' ( Time )
Recorded live over 3 days in January by Rob Harbron in a beautiful old house on the Welsh / English border, it is an ecstatic musical exploration of love poetry, Welsh dance rhythm and the ballad form.
It features many new musical settings of poetry including Thomas Hardy's exquisite 'The self unseeing', while the words of Welsh poet Vernon Watkins are woven into the title track, Amser, a collision of the winter folk customs Wassail, Mari lwyd, Calennig and the wren hunt.
The double album, follow up to the critically acclaimed 'Canu Rhydd' ( free poetry ) features Julie Murphy on vocals, Ceri Rhys Matthews on guitar, Christine Cooper on fiddle and Tomos Williams on trumpet.
"Their music is rapturous and alive, Murphy possesses a voice of stark spectral beauty recalling Shirley Collins and Sandy Denny" THE GUARDIAN
"beautiful voice, excellent band" ROBERT PLANT
"don’t miss" THE OBSERVER
In addition to touring in support of their new album in 2014 fernhill will be performing as part of the Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations in Swansea, Laugharne, Beunos Aires and Trelew, Patagonia.
About the group
JULIE MURPHY voice
CERI RHYS MATTHEWS guitar, flute, voice.
TOMOS WILLIAMS trumpet, flugelhorn.
CHRISTINE COOPER fiddle
Fernhill, from Wales, take their name from one of Dylan Thomas's finest poems. They make new, beautifully lyrical folk music which they have played to audiences all over the world. At their core is the creative partnership of singer Julie Murphy and her husband, musician and producer Ceri Rhys Matthews. His percussive guitar style underpins fernhill's sound and his musical ideas, research and writing are at the heart of their work.
Murphy is considered by many to be one of the UK's finest folk singers. Her voice, spectrally beautiful one moment and darkly rich the next, is a unique instrument. It has led to collaborations with music legends John Cale and Robert Plant, the latter, a big fan of her singing, has just asked her to record vocals for his forthcoming solo album.
The lovely folk fiddle and spoken word of Christine Cooper and the sensitive be-bop influenced trumpet playing of Tomos Williams complete the sound ; the interplay between the trumpet and fiddle is a crucial element.
The group's international appearances include Lorient interceltic festival, Festival De Cornouaille, Celtic Harmonies Quebec, Celtic night Lommel Belgium, Telemark, Brosella folk and jazz, Celtic night tour Netherlands with Lau ( Scotland ) and Startijenn ( Brittany ), Kaustinen, major concerts in Athens, Rome, Brussels and Tokyo plus British Council tours of Southern and East Africa, Vietnam and Poland.
Intimate enough with tradition that they are unafraid to stretch it’s boundaries they have appeared at UK festivals as diverse as Latitude, Greenman, Womad, the Oxford folk festival, Whitby Musicport and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections.