Bio

With its roots in the rolling South Shropshire hills, Whalebone’s music is infused with the landscape and the lives that inhabit it.

“Elemental force… expressively beautiful…” Folkwords

Taking its cue from the Celtic Folk music of the British Isles, interwoven with strands of rock, Americana and Eastern European tradition, Whalebone's music is impossible to classify. Music that does not fit into a comfortable box, eclecticism defined, a unique and vibrant mix.

“..delightfully and defiantly guilty of trespass across musical borders…” Instrumentali Musicali

The desire to create sonic imagery without the need for words has long been a feature of Whalebone’s writing, combining melodies and harmonies to create a sense of place, evoking the intangible beauty and mystery of life. Rooted connectedness between location and music finds expression in their performances and recordings.

2018 saw the group shortlisted for Musical Performance of the Year at the National Rural Touring Awards, past accolades have included runner up FATEA Instrumental album of the year, CKUA Top 10 album of the year, Penguin Eggs critics choice for top 10 albums of 2013 and 2016. 

After 14 years as a trio Whalebone are once again performing with the original duo line-up of Steve Downs (Guitar, Mandolin) and Charlotte Watson (Guitar, Bouzouki) while fiddler Sarah Ibberson takes some time out, touring as 'Whalebone - Totally Plucked'. 2019 will also see two live collaborations - 'Understories' with poet Jean Atkin supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and 'Flocks of Words' with poet Kate Innes.

Whalebone Live Black and White

“..instrumental music of high sophistication…skilled musicians and imaginative arrangers” (Living Tradition)

“..can be enjoyed by non folkies who can quite easily pass it off as classic rock and there are enough folk elements to keep the best finger in the ear traditionalist happy too” (Folkall)

4 Stars - 'Special' 'Engaging and hugely enjoyable listen... their tune selection, and execution of the same, is faultless, an ideal balance between light and shade' (David Burke - R2 Rock 'n' Reel Magazine)

'It's no mean feat for an all-instrumental album to hold even the most sympathetic ear for the best part of an hour, but Steve Downs, Charlotte Watson and fiddler Sarah Ibberson succeed with tunes and ideas to spare.' (Steve Bennett - Acoustic Magazine)

'swing their tunes beautifully... wonderfully real...' (Caroline John - Taplas Magazine)

'Brilliantly conceived and executed. It's amazing how the lack of a vocal and alternative arrangement can make the familiar tangential, reflective, requiring attention.' (FATEA Magazine)

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