We're excited to reveal that the next artist to join us for "an hour or so" on a Friday evening will be JON WILKS, who will be our guest on Friday 2nd April... it should be a very Good Friday indeed!

A former journalist (editor of Time Out magazine in Tokyo and Abu Dhabi and writer for The Guardian, Dazed & Confused, plus plenty more), Jon spent years interviewing famous musicians and digging into the stories behind the creative aspects of people's lives. In about 2016, while trying to find out a bit more about his recently deceased father's life, Jon visited Cecil Sharp House for the first time, having had his interest piqued by his uncle and aunt. Jon was told that his grandparents had "courted" there, so was interested to find out more about it. He already knew a little about it, having been a Martin Carthy and Watersons fan since his late teenage years, so he was keen to put two and two together. 

Having been a guitarist since the age of eight, and having played in countless bands in the UK and Japan, Jon also wanted to engage with the music himself, with the thought that this was essential to understanding it better. Jon recorded videos of some of the songs he was writing about on his Grizzly Folk blog, which then turned into a little side project, eventually becoming the first of three traditional albums Jon has released so far: Songs from the Attic, Midlife and Up the Cut. Jon has also released an EP (The Trial of Bill Burn Under Martin's Act, which features Nick Hart and Mikey Kenney) and a standalone single (Mary Ashford's Tragedy, featuring Katherine Priddy). Between lockdowns Jon helped Jackie Oates to make an album of traditional children's songs for a computer programme company, so it has been a busy four years or so!

The focus of our "an hour or so with..." events is very much on chat, although each guest will play a few live songs too. You are invited to ask questions in the comments, so it is very interactive... the more people watch and engage, the better it will be for everyone. The events are free, although there is a PayPal donations box, with 100 per cent of the donations (after PayPal charges) going direct to the guest. You can donate at www.paypal.me/downendfolkclub. There's also a link at the bottom of this page.

We’ll keep these sessions going for as long as we’re locked inside. Watch this space, and do sign up for our mailing list HERE to make sure that you don’t miss anything.