Photo by Paul Heartfield
The award-winning Scottish singer-songwriter Karine Polwart released Traces - her first new album in four years – in August and is now playing a series of UK dates in the autumn with her two regular touring collaborators, brother Steven Polwart (guitars & vocals) and Fair Islander Inge Thomson (accordion, percussion and vocals).
She will be playing Salisbury Arts Centre on Friday October 5 and the Old Fire Station in Oxford on Saturday October 6.
Karine draws from folk music’s long tradition while keeping pace with the ceaselessly changing times. Her talent for crafting unique, enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, the range and dynamism of her arrangements, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance. She also has the purest and most approachable of singing voices, drawing the listener towards her in the same way one might lean towards a late night tale by the fireside.
Her songs deal with humanity in all its many guises: there is tenderness, triumph and sorrow, raised flags of rebellion and independence, flashes of anger at power abused and misused. Perhaps most frequently she deals in spare, unsentimental empathy, often with those who have been dealt the least playable hands in the game of life.
“For me” says Polwart, “music is one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. It’s for celebrating, grieving, sharing, wondering. Nothing inspires me more than the realisation that any one of my songs means something to someone else”.