By the time John Spiers and Jon Boden had hung up their highly regarded hats as the Spiers & Boden duo in 2014 they had earned a place in the hearts of the folk audience that few could rival. Described by The Guardian as ‘the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene’, Spiers & Boden first rocketed onto the music scene in 2001, quickly winning a clutch of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and went on to become one of the best loved duos on the English folk scene and beyond. John and Jon were also founding members of the pioneering and hugely successful folk big band Bellowhead, whose stellar career increasingly came to dominate their time. But now, after exploring solo projects, the duo is back with a the album ‘Fallow Ground’ (Hudson Records).
The title ‘Fallow Ground’ is not only a reference to the duo’s choice to put Spiers & Boden to one side for a time, but also, to the huge impact that the pandemic has had on live music. The decision to return with an album in 2021 was made pre-pandemic and as a result ended up being recorded between lockdowns. The result was an album bursting with ideas as well as a new-found confidence to let the material speak for itself.
‘It’s all exquisitely played – the pair are still the dons.’ The Observer
‘Boden’s impassioned singing brings fresh life to little-heard songs, along with the perfectly balanced pairing of his fiddle with Spiers’s melodeon.’ The Scotsman *****
‘This is traditional folk delivered with modern verve’ EDS
'I guess we were looking for songs during lockdown with a sense of fun and light relief. I realise that there are zero songs about death on this album, which is probably a first and may get us expelled from the English Folk Dance & Song Society. Yes, traditional songs with a joyous edge'. Jon Boden.
Despite the impact of Covid-19 on live music audiences in autumn 2021, the Spiers & Boden tour went on to numerous sell outs and ‘Fallow Ground’ reached number 3 on the UK & Ireland Official Folk Albums chart for September ’21 and was a Mojo magazine top 10 album of 2021.