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Music & discog

Gracious Wings (2022)

Gracious Wings took flight on September 2 on the Needle Pin Records label.

It is the 8th solo studio album by Jackie Oates. Jackie has once again been working with producer and sound engineer Richard Evans in Bath, to produce an 11 piece album of traditional English folk songs, self-penned material and the odd unexpected cover version!

The album features collaborations with John Spiers, Mike Cosgrave, Jon Wilks, Megan Henwood and John Parker, with cover artwork by the wonderful puppet maker and illustrator, Jo Elizabeth May.

  1. When I Was A Fair Maid
  2. Robin Tells Of Winter / Gracious Wings
  3. Tammy Toddles
  4. La Llorona
  5. The Ship in Distress
  6. On and On
  7. Iruten Ari Nuzu (I Am Making Wool)
  8. Roobarb & Custard
  9. Looking For My Own Lone Ranger
  10. Lament To The Moon
  11. Time Time Time

Press reviews for Gracious Wings

‘As ever, Oates’s vocals are light but mellifluous and she remains an expressive fiddler, given classy support from bassist John Parker and accordion player John Spiers, among others. An affecting compendium from one of folk’s brightest talents.’
The Guardian **** 4 stars

‘There’s never a single moment of disappointment involved with anything Jackie Oates releases, each project not only well received initially, but they invariably go on to pop up time and again on the player well after review attention.  A must for Jackie fans and music lovers alike.’
Northern Skies

‘Her cover of ‘On and On’ by indie band the Longpigs is a bit of genius, proving that a good song can be done in any musical genre or manner. The album closes with another cover, this time Tom Waits’s ‘Time Time Time’. Gentle double bass and guitar provide a sublime backing to Jackie’s singing where she is joined by Simon Emmerson and Tom Crook on backing vocals. Impressive and then some.’
Get Read to Rock **** 4 stars

‘Gracious Wings, an album underpinned by top-quality musicianship, is another assured and enthralling collection from one of the undoubted talents of the contemporary folk music world.’
Folk Radio UK

‘A sublime bittersweet collection, but ultimately suffused with hope and compassion and further evidence as to why Oates is regarded as among the greatest of our contemporary folk treasures.’
FATEA Records

‘Her role as music psychotherapist sits in the background of a special album that rings brightly with the healing and therapeutic qualities’
At The Barrier

The Lacemakers; The Lost Art of Telling (2021)

A radio ballad written by Jackie Oates

A radio ballad by Jackie Oates, featuring the songs and music of Jackie Oates and John Spiers, joined by Mike Cosgrave, and narrated by Jackie Oates, Molly Pipe and Nick Cope. To celebrate the first private showing of a new video concert of songs and tunes about lace making, comes the digital release of ‘The Lacemakers: The Lost Art Of Telling’ exclusively to Bandcamp. 

Featuring the music and song, the ballad, explores the lives of the lace makers of Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire and their long lost tradition of lace telling – songs sung by the lace making girls to both learn the intricacies of the task and as an outlet for the tribulations of the time.

Needle Pin, Needle Pin (2020)

Jackie Oates & John Spiers

‘Needle Pin, Needle Pin’ is very much a homespun album, recorded as live during the first weeks of January 2020. Oates and Spiers first started playing together during spontaneous guest spots at Nettlebed Folk Club. They began playing extended sets and working on material from their native Oxfordshire, including the ‘Lace Tells’ that form Jackie’s radio ballad ‘The Lacemakers – the Lost Art Of Telling’. The album features tunes and songs from the Oxfordshire area, and comes as a limited edition, handstamped, hand made album.

  1. Congleton Bear
  2. Beatrice Hills Untitled
  3. Gallons of Brandy
  4. Cottage In The Wood
  5. The Lady All Skin And Bone
  6. The Bone Lace Weavers Song
  7. Travellers Joy
  8. Come Away, Death
  9. Death And The Lady
  10. Lace Tells
  11. Cattern Day Tells
  12. L’P’tit QuinQuin

Press reviews for Needle Pin, Needle Pin

‘It’s a treat to listen to, with joyful pieces like Congleton Bear (telling an unusual story from the Cheshire town) and a brandy-based pair of slip jigs particularly full of sunshine. Oates and Spiers are a fine match, the tunes elegantly paced and played, while Oates remains one of our finest singers’.
Mark Dishman, Folk Witness

‘Needle Pin, Needle Pin packs a great amount of variety into its 36 minutes, with the three musicians bringing the source material to life, in an unflashy yet well crafted manner. The result is a highly listenable collection of music that belongs on present day folk fans’ CD players as much as it does in a museum’.
Nick Hart, Bright Young Folk

The Joy Of Living (2018)

The Joy of Living features songs made famous by folk greats including Ewan McColl, Lal Waterson and Davey Steele, as well as carefully picked songs from artists such as John Lennon and Darwin Deez – all interpreted in Jackie’s inimitable style. Recorded at home in Jackie’s kitchen (with baby Rosie in attendance) she collaborated with fellow Imagined Village alumni and producer Simon Richmond to create this intimate, touching and uplifting collection. The album also features performances by friends from the world of folk including Mike Cosgrave, Barney Morse Brown, John Parker and Jack Rutter.

  1.  Freedom Come-All-Ye
  2. Spring is Coming Soon
  3. Mother/Spring is Coming Soon Reprise
  4. Virginny
  5. Rosy Apple
  6. The Joy of Living
  7.  My Shoes Are Made Of Spanish
  8. Unicorns
  9. Navy Ivy Nay
  10. Catch Me If You Can
  11. The Bird
  12. Hey Ho, To The Greenwood
  13. Constellations
  14. Sweet Farewell
  15. The Last Trip Home
  16. Rolling Home

Press reviews for The Joy Of Living

‘An intensely personal folk gem….a moving, depth-filled album. Oates should be deeply proud of it.’ The Guardian **** 4 stars

‘A personal, affecting collection.’ The Observer **** 4 stars

‘A compelling, spirited, emotional rollercoaster of an album.’ Folk Radio

‘The soaring purity of Oates’s vocals washes through the songs leaving them like clean streets after a bout of rain.’ The Arts Desk

Wings (2016)

Jackie Oates & Megan Henwood

Five Track EP By Jackie Oates and Megan Henwood recorded at Henwood Studios by Pete Brown, and released on Dharma Records.

1. Love Vigilantes
2. Bettystown
3. What’s the Use of Wings?
4. Setting of the Sun
5. Ghosts

Press reviews for Wings

‘Jackie and Megan are supported on the EP by Pete Thomas on Double Bass and the whole thing comes together quite beautifully. “What’s The Use Of Wings” written by Brian Bedford is quite simply a stunning piece of folk music that sends shivers up my spine.’ FATEA

The Spyglass & The Herringbone (2015)

In 2015 Jackie released her sixth studio album, The Spyglass & The Herringbone, on ECC Records, a record exploring lesser known but life-affirming songs from the English tradition, drawing on material dug from the archives, as well as some carefully selected original works including the title track by band member Chris Sarjeant. Production credits include Afro Celt Sound System/The Imagined Village’s Simon Emmerson, multi-BBC Folk Award nominee Ben Walker and Richard Evans, who also produced Jackie’s previous albums Lullabies and Saturnine. The album features performances by names from folk and mainstream music including Jim Moray, Andy Gangadeen, John Parker and Jack Rutter.

  1. John Blunt
  2. Can’t Be Sure
  3. Doffing Mistress
  4. The Spyglass & The Herringbone
  5. Hail! Hail! The First of May
  6. Take This Letter To My Mother
  7. The Robbers’ Retreat
  8. The Yellow Bittern
  9. The Halsway Carol
  10. A Cornish Young Man
  11. The Devil and the Farmer’s Wife
  12. The Banks of the Bann

Press Reviews for The Spyglass And The Herringbone

‘Central and essential to the mix is Jackie’s clear, pure and beguiling voice…Another maturely sophisticated offering further enhancing her renown as a leading exponent of contemporary English folk’. Living Tradition

Lullabies (2012)

Recorded in England and Iceland in late 2012, Lullabies sees Jackie venture into the rarely explored cannon of traditional and contemporary sleep songs. Featuring contributions by Belinda O’Hooley, Chris Sarjeant, Chris Foster and Bara Grimsdottir, it was produced by Richard Evans and is released by ECC Records.

  1. Dream Angus
  2. Dandling Songs
  3. Waiting For The Lark
  4. Alexander Beetle/Farewell Nel
  5. Bi Bi Og Blaka
  6. The Posy Rhyme
  7. The Worthy Wood Carol
  8. Sofuðu unga ástin mín/Sofi Sofi barnið
  9. Philomel
  10. Wexford Lullaby
  11. Little Fishes/The Rainy Day Fisherman
  12. Junk
  13. They Cradle Is Green
  14. When I Was A Lady
  15. Sleepers Awake

Press Reviews for Lullabies

‘From majestic opener Dream Angus to the profound, moving optimism of closing song Sleepers Awake, it’s a peaceful, thoughtful and beautifully performed album’. Folk Witness

‘..starts magnificently with the drop-dead-gorgeous Dream Angus, on which her exquisite vocals are matched by her own viola, an Icelandic string section and fine piano playing from Belinda O’Hooley.’ Guardian

Saturnine (2011)

Produced by Richard Evans and released on The Imagined Village’s ECC label, ‘Saturnine’ sees special guest contributions from Jim Moray, Alasdair Roberts, Karen Tweed and the well known Devon acoustic male voice line up The Claque.

  1. Sweet Nightingale
  2. Marrow Bones
  3. Scarborough’s Fair Town
  4. The Hills of Trencrom / Pebm Olva
  5. Gathering Rushes
  6. Poor Murdered Woman
  7. The Trees They Are So High
  8. Fin(n)ish(ish)
  9. IOU
  10. Four Pence A Day
  11. Brigg Fair
  12. Fortune Turns The Wheel

Press reviews for Saturnine

‘She must surely now be considered among the highest echelons of the modern wave of British folk acts…  Devling into her adopted home, the west country of England, for influence and inspiration, she’s added guile, mystery, quaintness and indeed eccentricity to the alluring charm and simplistic style at the crux of her initial appeal…before you know it you have been sucked completely into the album’s quirky, faintly unearthly atmosphere.  Which I guess is what she intended all along.’ Colin Irwin, fRoots

‘The twelve dark and twisted ballads are largely about murder, violence and magical trickery.  But sung in Oates’s disinfecting voice an interesting tension arises.  It’s the musical equivalent of seeing the purest girl-next-door you know smoking a fag…a confident arrangement of traditional tunes, brilliantly executed and startling to hear.’  Arts Desk (CD of the day 31st Aug ’11)

‘A luscious album…rich in so many ways’ Songlines

‘What’s most impressive here is the way the arrangements and instrumentation weave together so seamlessly…comparisons with June Tabor are apt.’ Uncut ****

‘Whether seductively delivering stalwarts like Sweet Nightingale and Brigg Fair or linking with The Claque on Four Pence A Day and Marrow Bones, it’s the rustic beauty of Oates’ voice that enthrals.’ Mojo

‘Hers is such a different world that whenever I hear [her] I just want to be part of it’ Word

‘Oates remains the sweetest voice of her generation of English folkies’ Indepenedent On Sunday ****

‘Oates has emerged as a frontrunner among the new generation of Brit folkies, marked out by the purity of her voice…An exquisite piece of
chamber folk……makes for an atmosphere of rare enchantment’ The Observer

‘Standing out from English folk’s remarkable new wave, Oates has the finest voice of them all…Saturnine shows Oates at the top of her game’ Independent On Saturday [album of the week].

‘Charming, cool and tasteful’ The Guardian

Hyperboreans (2009)

Hyperboreans is the coming-of-age album for Jackie Oates.  Produced by her brother Jim Moray and featuring a title track written for her by Alasdair Roberts, it sizzles with a new confidence and maturity.  Her uniquely beautiful vocal comes to the fore throughout the album adding a new freshness to traditional songs including ‘The Pleasant Month Of May’ and ‘Young Leonard’.  There is a show-stopping and deeply moving rendition of Past Caring based on a poem by Australian Henry Lawson as well as a joyfully breezy cover of Birthday by The Sugarcubes.  The album concludes with an unforgettable performance of May The Kindness by little-known Devon songwriter Dave Wood.

  1. The Miller and His Three Sons
  2. Hyperboreans
  3. Locks and Bolts
  4. The Pleasant Month of May
  5. Past Caring
  6. The Sheffield Grinder/Mavis
  7. Young Leonard 2
  8. Birthday
  9. The Isle of France
  10. The Butcher’s Boy
  11. May the Kindness

Press reviews for Hyperboreans

‘…this third Oates solo album finds her exuding fresh confidence, boldness and maturity.’ **** MOJO

‘The girl is a genius’ Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2

‘Fine, sweet and gentle, likes Oates’ voice’ The Sun

‘Her ebullient cover of Sugarcubes’ ‘Birthday’ and the rush of electronica on the desolate ‘Past Caring’ are pure genius on a richly rewarding album.’ Independent On Saturday [album of the week]

‘Marking the full graduation of Jackie Oates as a front-line talent.’ fRoots

‘She has a voice full of delightful twists and quirks’ Word

‘Jackie Oates is deservedly becoming yet another young celebrity in the new folk scene.’ The Guardian 

‘Expectations for Hyperboreans were high. On all fronts Oates delivers, with beautiful singing, innovative arrangements and an intriguing selection of songs’ ***** Songlines

‘This album leaves us in no doubt that Jackie Oates has arrived and is one of leading young folk artists.’ Electric Ghost

‘Oates has a clear voice that is at once traditional and modern, as embodied by the spine-tingling closing track.’ Q

‘English folk-pop, well chosen songs…and as pretty as some spring mornings.’ The Independent 

‘Oates’s third album – produced by brother Jim Moray – is a subtle leap of faith for the outstanding young singer.’ **** The Telegraph

‘Jackie Oates…rides the Trad Arr express to heady glory’ Word

‘Each successive playthrough of this immediately likeable (and long-term unforgettable) disc convinces me more of its stature and its eligibility for the best-of-year lists’ Netrhythms

‘Butchers Boy…sung as a duet with Alasdair Roberts is sublime, catching every nuance that makes Jackie so special.’ Spiral Earth

‘Jackie Oates is a shining star within the musical community…an incredible album’ Bright Young Folk 

‘Hyperboreans represents a move in a different direction…giving a glimpse of new musical horizons.’ ****R2 (formerly Rock & Reel)

The Violet Hour (2008)

Jackie’s second album features great performances by a host of wonderful friends and musicians from Devon and beyond, including the glamorous Jim Causley and Matt Norman, fellow Wistmans Woodfolk Steve Turner and Andy Clarke, Nick Wyke and Becky Driscoll, Sean O’Shea, Phil Beer, James Dumbelton, Gris Saunderson, Nick Cooke, Jim Moray, Tim Van Eyken and Belinda O’Hooley from the far north. Once more, the album has been produced by Phil Beer and is released on his label, Chudleigh Roots.

  1. Lark In the Morning
  2. The Bonny Labouring Boy
  3. Billy Reilley
  4. Hampton Lullaby
  5. Tobias The Grinder; Our Trip To Croyde
  6. Richie’s Lady
  7. Young Donald
  8. Rob Roy
  9. Crockery Ware
  10. Summer’s End
  11. Goodbye To Beesands And To Magic
  12. My Ship’s Lost Its Rigging
  13. Wishfulness Waltz
  14. 3/8 Bourrees (live)

Press reviews for The Violet Hour

‘This is an accomplished and beautiful album from a unique singer and musician, ‘The Violet Hour’ must surely be a contender for Folk Album of the Year.’ Channel 4 Music

‘Full of Shirley Collins intonations, her voice is persuasively rustic and style distinctly English – she takes the great leap forward with this second solo album and adds conviction, confidence and variety to natural charm.’ Colin Irwin, Daily Telegraph

‘The album is subdued, delicate, its guest musicians hovering discreetly in the background.’ Financial Times

Jackie Oates (2006)

Recorded and produced by Phil Beer, in Exeter between Jan 2005 and May 2006, and features Ed Rennie, Phil Beer, Jonathan Shoreland. Martin Keates, Belinda O’Hooley, Matt Norman and Emma Blackie, with photography by Steph Cheesman and design work by Brad Waters. The album is a collection of mostly traditional English ballads and songs of a bleak nature.

  1. Banks Of Green Willow
  2. Cruel Ship Carpenter
  3. Streams Of Lovely Nancy
  4. Mormond Braes
  5. I Wish It Was Last September/Ickbod
  6. Lord Abore And Mary Flynn
  7. Flower Of Northumberland
  8. Lavenders Blue/Mazurka
  9. Staffordshire Maid
  10. Mistletoe Bough
  11. Rambleaway
  12. Broken Town
  13. 14th November