Holly Clarke and George Sansome
Holly Clarke a musician and singer who performs with an infectious energy and passion for traditional song. A powerful voice that carries and connects the traditions and tales of our times.
Holly is a singer from the Lake District who is steeped in the tradition of ballad singing, is a singer who explores these old songs and finds new ways to perform their unique narratives. Storytelling is at the heart of what Holly does as an artist and this has been influenced by the field recording singers. It is the grit and the purity of these recordings that drives Holly to perform in the way that is true to the tradition and to herself. Her voice and style is resonant with the tradition and the stories she tells, and the songs she sings resonate with people today.
For the past four years Holly has played in her band Holly and the Reivers, featuring Newcastle based musicians Bertie Armstrong and Merle Harbron, with whom she supported the legendary Billy Bragg at Folk on the Tyne Festival 2019.
from 2019 to 2020 Holly was Sage Gateshead’s Artist in Residence specialising in Traditional Folk song and Ballad.
With a passion for storytelling and a gift for tapping into the human experience, George Sansome is a singer who gets right to the roots of what traditional music is all about. Refreshingly open, expressive and engaging, his performances place a spotlight on human stories, with masterful guitar arrangements that showcase impressive skills whilst allowing the songs themselves the space to shine. Taking inspiration from the likes of Nic Jones and Martin Carthy, he delivers a sound that appears stripped back and effortless, yet brimming with hidden complexities.
Focusing on archive material, George seeks out songs that strike a chord at a personal level, before bringing them vividly to life for today’s audiences. Whether he’s reviving long-lost rarities or approaching well-known favourites, he looks to subvert expectations and offer new perspectives. Ultimately, his work is focused on emotional connection, providing a moving experience that will stay with you long after a gig has ended.
Having honed his craft playing with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award
nominees Granny’s Attic for the last 13 years, George has come into his own as a singer, musician and composer. Alongside Granny’s Attic, he performs regularly in a duo with Matt Quinn, as well as with Leeds-based ceilidh band Captain Bullhead. He is also keen to collaborate on a wide range of other projects. He appeared in Mick Ryan’s folk opera Here At The Fair, was a guest on Pete Morton‘s 2020 album A Golden Thread, and was invited by Janis Ian to take part in her Better Times project.
George’s solo work is an opportunity to further develop his own distinctive voice and pursue different directions. In 2020, he released his self-titled debut album, which was well received by reviewers and audiences alike, and was listed as one of Songlines magazine’s “Essential 10 Folk Albums of 2020”. George has also established Queer Folk with Sophie Crawford, through which he is working to explore queer folk songs and develop the LGBTQIA+ community on the trad folk scene.
These two fantastic artists will premiere their new duo material at Saltburn Folk Festival in 2023.