Spring Tour, 2020

Here we go, then! Gearing up for my first big outing of 2020. I’ll be hitting all the places linked below, so make sure you come along and see me if you can. As always, Brummie songs aplenty, with a few tidbits and morsels thrown in. If you’re interested in seeing a very rare performance […]


Holly Ho [Roud 1407] – The Story of a Song

Part of the fascination I have for traditional folk songs is the way in which they humble the singer. As a singer/songwriter, I spent years thinking about the ways in which a song represents the self – a snapshot or meditation on the writer in that moment. What grabbed me about traditional song was how much […]


The Trial of Bill Burn Under Martin’s Act

Before we get started, you can read more about The Trial of Bill Burn Under Martin’s Act (the song itself) by clicking here. The Trial of Bill Burn Under Martin’s Act includes four tracks, one of which features the wonderful talents of my good friends Nick Hart (melodeon) and Mikey Kenney (fiddle). It was released as a digital-only recording on July 2nd, […]


Review of Jon’s Birmingham gig

On June 9th, I took the Midlife songs back to Brum. Performing at Kitchen Garden Cafe, I was delighted to see folk writer and presenter, Mike Davies, in the audience. He subsequently sent me the following review. Thanks, Mike! ‘Wilks is the sort of performer folk circles mean when they talk of the living tradition’ […]


Poverty Knock [Roud 3491] | Folk from the Attic

‘Poverty Knock’ is nothing short of a classic. I first heard it while painstakingly trying to pick it out on a piano, struggling to read the music in Roy Palmer’s book of the same title (not that Palmer scored it badly – my sight-reading is woeful). It’s one of those “folk songs” that makes the […]


Who Hung The Monkey? An old song from Hartlepool

The second song on the digi-single I released this month is a weird little thing from Hartlepool. Who Hung The Monkey deals with the tale of the monkey (named Pug in this song) that washed up on a Hartlepool beach during the Napoleonic Wars and was hanged by the locals for being a French spy. An easy mistake […]