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Jackie Oates. Photo credit: Anna Fuchs

Jackie Oates announces new album, Gracious Wings

One of England's finest and most expressive traditional folk singers announces the release of her 8th album, arriving in September.

It’s always fun to delve into the meaning behind the titles of songs and albums, and Jackie Oates’s forthcoming Gracious Wings is no exception. Her new album (to be released in September 2022 – make a note in your diary, folks) recalls the nub of a conversation she had with a friend about the nature of music, storytelling and songs. In Philip Pullman’s book The Amber Spyglass, Gracious Wings is a harpy eagle who has power to grant access to a more peaceful world if you pay the price of imparting your story. Certainly, the beauty of telling someone else’s true story allows us to bear witness to other lives lived and this act of storytelling grants us access to that other world without the weight or burden of the past. Isn’t that a wonder and a privilege?

Gracious Wings is an 11-track collection of traditional English folk songs, originals, and – we’re promised – the odd, surprising cover, all fitting within this idea of songs as confessionals.

Of the album, Jackie Oates tells us: “This is the first studio solo album in a long time. The last one came out in 2018. Since then I’ve done a lot of side projects, working with Meghan Henwood, as well as Needle Pin, Needle Pin with John Spiers. Gracious Wings is very much my album, but I’m delighted to have collaborated with some of my favourite musicians, including John Spiers, Mike Cosgrove, Jon Wilks, Megan Henwood and John Parker. It has been lovely to work with Richard Evans again to get these songs out into the world, writing new material, returning to my beloved traditional songs, and generally exploring the psychodynamics of music – why music moves us in the way it does – a growing interest of mine.”

“I’m also really delighted that Jo Elizabeth May, who did the artwork for Ondervinden, is going to be working on the cover design for me. I can’t wait for Gracious Wings, and me, to be out into the world after two years of lockdown so that I can sing for people and meet them all at gigs again.”

The Jackie Oates Trio (featuring Mike Cosgrove on piano, accordion and guitar, and John Parker on double bass) will be touring the UK in early autumn, featuring material from this upcoming album. We’ll have details of those venues and dates soon, we promise.

For more info on Jackie Oates and Gracious Wings, head to jackieoates.co.uk.