Jon Wilks is an acclaimed fingerpicking guitarist and singer of traditional folk songs and broadside ballads from the English repertoire. His background as a journalist (a former editor of Time Out magazine and contributor to Dazed & Confused, The Guardian and other publications) means that he has a great eye/ear for a story, and this shows in his live shows – an amusing mix of folk song performance and storytelling.
He throws in weird and wonderful tidbits about the original singers and collectors that he has unearthed during his substantial writing and podcasting research on traditional folk music in the UK, and his performance is often described as both entertaining and informative.
To date, Jon has recorded four full-length folk albums and one EP. He has also released three albums and one EP with his duo, The Grizzly Folk, and an album and EP with Japan-based indie band, Cut Flowers (in a former life). He has also co-arranged and performed tracks on Jackie Oates’s Gracious Wings album, and was a key part of Slow Jane, the quartet (including Katherine Priddy, Lukas Drinkwater and Jon Nice) that created videos of Nick Drake songs during lockdown.
As well as gigging whenever he can, Jon is the founder/editor of the tradfolk.co website, presenter of The Old Songs Podcast.
‘Jon’s passion informs his live shows, the songs liberally sprinkled with anecdotes, humour and history, his singing and personality hugely engaging. The sort of performer folk circles mean when they talk of the living tradition’ – Mike Davies, folking.comArtists on stage: 14:00