The Willows are a folk roots band from Cambridge, UK. Regularly compared to the likes of Alison Krauss & Union Station and Laura Marling, their musical style pulls influence from both Americana and UK Folk traditions. Fronted by the stunningly distinctive voice of Jade Ward (formerly Jade Rhiannon), supported by rich vocal harmonies and sensitive acoustic musicianship, The Willows have a distinctively refreshing sound that continues to captivate and inspire audiences everywhere they go.
Formed in spring 2010, the band comprise of husband and wife, Cliff and Jade Ward, sister Prue Ward, uni housemate Stephen MacLachlan and an unexpected find in the free-ads, Ben Savage. The band have spent their formative years plying their trade in numerous folk and acoustic clubs all over the UK, supporting the likes of LAU, Uiscedwr, Rory McLeod, and Boo Hewerdine along the way. 2011 saw the band release their self-titled debut EP, receiving favourable reviews and airplay on Folk Radio UK, and BBC Regional Radio. Following a sold out EP launch party, and then standout performances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Ely Folk Festival that summer, the band set about recording their first full-length release later that year, issuing a sneak preview of the future record in the form of the video Absent Friends.
Debut album Beneath Our Humble Soil was released in February 2013, on Elk Records. Recorded in a selection of living rooms, hotels and garages, the album was recorded solely by the band themselves and produced in conjunction with BBC Folk Award Winner Stu Hanna (Megson, Lucy Ward, Show of Hands, Benji Kirkpatrick).
The band's love of writing about people, their lives and their stories is abundantly clear throughout the record: The banjo-driven stomper Bella's Fury tells of a remorseless woman who kills her husband; the beautiful stillness of This Book of Ours depicts two childhood sweethearts nearing the end of their time together; while Worker's War (written for Jade's father) tells of a loyal man unfairly stripped of his employment. Despite covering so many of the darkest places possible, BOHS is by no means a depressing listen; the band have a knack of conveying human spirit through their music, and perhaps most notably, this spirit remains at the heart of the album.