“One of the finest folk duos in the country”
Mike Davies, Alternative Roots
Partners in life and music, dynamic Devon based folk duo Harbottle & Jonas are one of the most exciting acts on the UK circuit today, combining a love of the richness of traditional folk with their own original and powerful songwriting. Dave and Freya have developed a distinct and compelling signature sound, blending concertina, harmonium, cittern, stomp box, acoustic guitar and banjo with their beautiful and closely intertwined vocal harmonies.
Folkwords magazine said they’d ‘stake money on a bright future’ for the pair. They released their debut album 'Cutthrope Hill' in 2014 and even had a beer named after it at the launch gig. They are well known for being one of the hardest working bands on the folk circuit and have clocked up an average of 150 gigs a year between 2014 - 2019. They have been awarded funding to work with the Peace Museum to create new songs using lyrics from the Conscientious Objectors Songbook and in 2018 and 2019 David and Freya led the folk course at the internationally renowned Dartington Summer School this year.
Well-travelled across the UK and abroad they have undertaken two tours of Germany playing in venues such as REWE supermarkets to 150 people and an 800-year-old church in North Friesland. Harbottle & Jonas have managed to establish themselves versatile in venue, original in song and one of the most exciting prospects on the folk circuit.
“Spellbinding originals” - Musicians Union
“Disarmingly honest and spine-tingling’” - RocknReel (R2)
“Awash with strong songs & excellent musicianship” - Folk Radio UK
“Fine contemporary folk music” - Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music
“Stunning songwriting and heart-rending arrangements” - Americana UK
Harbottle & Jonas, released their new album ‘The Beacon’ in March 2021, the album received widespread rave reviews and charted at No.24 in the ‘Official Folk Charts’. The album was written and recorded at home, and featured collaborator Annie Baylis on violin and backing vocals.
The Beacon itself refers to Ugborough Beacon, an ancient site that looms over South Brent, the Dartmoor village that David Harbottle and Freya Jonas call home. The home to which they hurriedly returned from a cancelled tour of Germany, rushing to make it back to Devon before the UK entered lockdown in mid-March.
During the weeks that followed, the duo escaped the monotony by walking the moors with their dog, Murphy, connecting with their fanbase via streamed concerts and their ‘Saving the Good Stuff’ Facebook video series (with 500,000 views and counting). After eighteen months of touring with 2019’s album ‘The Sea is my Brother’ the enforced period of calm was, in their own words: “a journey of discovery, that has taught us the importance of love, compassion and empathy, whilst discovering the needs and delights of our inner creature”.
The new album, their fifth, is a collection of songs that seeks to bring comfort, and questions what fire of intention we will light so that our future paths might be more steadfast, clear and community-spirited. Much like the beacons of old that served as a warning with flaming fires, Harbottle & Jonas hope that their new collection of songs written during this period in our history will encourage us to reflect, adapt and sing together once more.