Cambridge and Walker
Wheel and Dive is the debut album from folk duo Cambridge and Walker, set for release 5th March 2021
A familiar name from stages and clubs in the East of England, David Cambridge and Jenna Walker’s diverse repertoire is explored on Wheel & Dive across 12 tracks. Recorded in their local Cambridgeshire with friend and sound engineer Dan Wilde, the album was mastered by Josh Clarke (Kitty MacFarlane, Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys). They have curated traditional material, originals and covers to form their first full length record.
The first impressions of Wheel and Dive come in the form of birdsong and spoken word in Jenna’s soft tones. Written by her, this introduction and the intricate arrangement that underpins a simple but beautiful vocal line, get straight to the heart of this release. Understated but mesmerising, Cambridge and Walker meld the enduring themes of English folk song with a twenty-first century consciousness throughout the album.
The covers scattered throughout Wheel and Dive draw on the folk revival of the 60’s and 70’s; an era that holds a special place for David Cambridge and sparked his musical explorations. From Richard Thompson and Joni Mitchell through to John Martyn and Tom Waits, songs like Case of You may be thought of as classics, but have also now entered the canon of folk music and have been given a unique twist in these arrangements.
The selection of traditional songs included in the track listing complement the tone of the album, and are embellished with old catches and rhymes. Two Magicians and Reynardine showcase not only David’s virtuoso guitar playing, but also the pair’s love of the magical and otherwordly; the exploration of the human experience often contained in the stories within traditional song.
The release of Wheel and Dive marks the first three years of playing together, as well as a milestone in Cambridge and Walker’s musical evolution. The vocal harmonies and fluid guitar playing that characterise their live shows are here embellished with Jenna’s piano, cello (by Hattie McCall Davies), and percussion (Derek Scurll). Rounding out the live duo arrangements with this extra instrumentation adds richness and depth to the songs.
Already familiar names on the billing for Cambridge Folk Festival and various folks clubs (including Cambridge, Blackfen, Royston and Bury St.Edmunds), the duo have sorely missed playing live over the last year. However Wheel and Dive naturally inhabits a space that is accessible to a wider audience beyond their live performances. They are convinced of the importance of folk song and traditions and the value of folk music in these strange times.
It enables us to look back and take succour, inspiration and warning from the experiences of people in the past. It also teaches us that, whatever time we are living in, basic human experiences and emotions are the same and we can learn to deal with hurt, love, jealousy, happiness and grief from the old songs. Jenna Walker