Two long years ago, old friends Ben Walker and Kirsty Merryn met up for a beer after a gig, and the conversation strayed to the traditional folk songs that celebrate our connection to the earth.
As both had been working on solo material for a while, they hit upon the idea of exploring something they both find so interesting, together – and Life and the Land was born.
No prizes for guessing what happened next. It’s been a long haul, with lockdown restrictions delaying research, rehearsals and recording, and touring rescheduled several times over. In 2020 the first single – Westlin Winds – gave a taste of the record to come, and now, a year to the day from its original planned release, an EP containing that and four more songs that Kirsty and Ben found for their project will be released on Friday 3rd September 2021.
Life and the Land takes us through the year’s cycle of death and rebirth, with scarecrows, ploughboys, shepherdesses and the birds of the field telling their tales. Conceived as a joyful celebration with songs for all to sing, sharing the performance with an audience is as important as the record.
Ben and Kirsty will be embarking on a joint headline tour from Autumn 2021 through to Spring 2022. They are keen to present a show full of fun, to celebrate harvest time and the contentment found at the end of a day of hard work, but also to be reflective, to think about our relationship with the land and the cycles of nature today. Digging their hands into the rich soil of our harvest heritage, here are two musicians at the top of their game, breathing new life into traditional songs of field and farm and finally able to share the fruit of their work.
As Kirsty says: ‘Although it’s been a longer time coming than we originally planned, it feels like the perfect time to be taking a joyful show out on the road and take the time to be grateful for the good things the land offers us. We want to create a lovely experience for everyone, and can’t wait to get audiences singing along! It’s such a pleasure to have worked with Ben on this project, I’ve been amazed at each new instrument he demonstrates his virtuosity on. I can’t wait to share this show with everyone.”
Ben adds ‘if anything, this record feels even more relevant now, after a winter that feels like it’s gone on too long. These songs remind us that all things pass, green things grow, the sun rises and sets and the seasons change. Working with a singer and songwriter of such talent like Kirsty who genuinely enjoys bringing traditional material up to date as much as I do has been marvellous. We hope you find listening to the songs as much fun as it was to make them! ’
Life and the Land will be released on Friday September 3rd on Folkroom Records
Pre-orders for their EP open on Friday August 6th and tickets for the tour are on sale now!
For further information and ticket links for their tour dates (on sale now) please visit: