“It’s so refreshing to hear someone who doesn’t obey the rules”
Dai Jeffries – Folking.com
Like with so many musicians before, acclaimed folk music commentator Dai Jeffries captures the essence of Chris Cleverley’s act in a single sentence.
At times we see artists who have crafted a unique place for themselves within the genre. Chris Cleverley has emerged as a songwriter, performer and character who defies comparison. His innovative brand of 21st Century Alt-folk is characterised as much by his challenging songwriting as his blistering fingerstyle guitar technique. A true enigma of the UK Folk Scene, Chris is at times mysterious and gentle, at others candid and revealing. With soothing delicacy and ferocious vigour in equal measures, we see a performer of great dynamics and pronounced contrasts.
Chris has crafted a reputation as a songwriter of singular ability with original and traditional material resonating deeply with UK-wide audiences. His thought-provoking words dissect themes as diverse as deteriorating anxious minds, damaging gender constructs, literary heroines and hospital beds, all the while reflecting a keen intellect and strong social conscience.
Underpinning this songwriting flare is a powerful affinity with his chosen instrument. Described as ‘Impressive’ by The Telegraph, Chris is fast gaining the accolade of being among the most masterful, inventive and unique fingerstyle players on the scene. Continuing the legacy of his heroes Nic Jones, John Martyn and John Renbourn, the essence of the folk revival abounds in his memorable music.
Chris’ critically acclaimed debut album ‘Apparitions’ sailed into The Telegraph’s top 70 folk albums of 2015, while the leading publications of the national music press such as Acoustic Magazine, fRoots and Folk Radio UK encouraged readers to keep a close eye. Since winning Bristol Folk Festival’s 2014 ‘Isambard Folk Award’, Chris’ national presence has grown exponentially, gracing BBC radio airwaves and the stages of top UK folk festivals. Several years of relentless UK and Continental touring have cemented Chris’ reputation as a much-loved lived performer.
Autumn 2019 sees Chris release his eagerly anticipated 2nd studio album. Under the helm of BBC Folk Award winning producer Sam Kelly, the record sees Chris bring together some of the finest names in contemporary folk. With a pronounced departure from his 2015 debut, the adventurous new songwriting is characterised by densely layered instrumentation and complex string and choral arrangements. Truly a record for the new millennium, this project of great magnitude promises to be a groundbreaking fusion of varied musical genres. Join Chris throughout 2019 where he can be seen unveiling exclusive, stripped back glimpses of this new material at live performances.
Chris can be seen touring the UK Folk Clubs, Arts Centres and Concert Venues with his dynamic solo live sound as well as part of high profile songwriting project, The Company of Players, alongside numerous rising stars of the UK Folk Scene.