Ninebarrow's 2nd Book of Musical Walks
Ninebarrow follow up the release of their acclaimed fourth album A Pocket Full of Acorns, with another new creation – their second book.
Hotfoot from appearances on BBC-TV’s Countryfile and BBC Radio 4’s Front Row BBC award nominees Ninebarrow, widely recognised as one of the finest harmony duos in UK folk music, will follow up the release of their acclaimed fourth album A Pocket Full of Acorns, with another new creation – their second book.
Dorset pair Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere, walking enthusiasts when not pursuing their burgeoning musical career, published their first book in spring 2019. Ninebarrow’s Dorset, a book of ten diverse ‘musical walks’ in their home county took readers on a magical journey through the landscape that has inspired their songs and played such a huge part in the success of their music.
On May 31 they will follow this up with the release of Ninebarrow’s Dorset –Volume Two – a beautifully designed book of another 10 graded walks on Dorset’s rolling hills and Jurassic coast (nine circular and one linear), featuring detailed instructions, hand-drawn maps and Jay’s own fine photographs.
Walks Included in the book and the Ninebarrow songs they match
1) Kimmeridge| Zunshine in the Winter
2) Godlingston Heath | Nestledown
3) Durlston | Shadows
4) Studland| Hawkhurst
5) Lulworth | Island at the Edge of the World
6) Tollard Royal| The Hour of the Blackbird
7) The Purbeck Ridgeway | You Who Wander
8) Hooke Park| Hwome
9) Puddletown Forest | Come January
10) Seatown | Thirteen Turns
Says Jon: “Two years after we published our first book it is now on its third print run and we’ve been overwhelmed by people’s reactions to it. So we got to thinking about all the other Dorset-inspired songs we’ve written, that currently did not have a song to compliment them – songs like Nestledown on our new album A Pocket Full of Acorns ,inspired by the plight of the Dartford Warbler on the heathlands in the county and You Who Wander, about the sheer joy of walking.”
“So we thought we’d turn things on their head. Where the first book had contained walks that had inspired songs, this second volume is a collection of walks created specifically for the songs, crafted with the song’s story in mind. For example, we’ve paired You Who Wander with our 12-mile Purbeck Ridgeway walk – the longest walk in the book.”
There is one anomaly. Having put together a walk on Cranbourne Chase – one of Dorset’s two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, they realised that part of the route strayed into Wiltshire!
Says Jay: “It seems the highest point on Cranbourne Chase, with superb views looking out over Dorset, is in fact just across the Wiltshire border! But we decided that despite the book being called Ninebarrow’s Dorset it was too good not to include.”
In just a few short years the duo, named after Nine Barrow Down in the Purbeck hills, have carved themselves a distinctive niche on the folk roots scene with their outstanding harmonies, delicate instrumentation and engaging songs.
In 2017 they were nominated in the coveted ‘Horizon’ category for ‘Best Emerging Artist’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - only a few months after Jon gave up his job as a teacher and Jay as a GP in favour of a full-time music career - a leap of faith that has clearly paid dividends.