Well-tuned, energy filled and charismatic fRoots Magazine
...an exciting sound and vision hoves into viewMax Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3
Improbably mature vocals and a bold, contemporary approach Geoff Lakeman
THE STORY BEHIND
Windjammer are a trio who cast timeless stories in a context of their own making. They blend self-penned songs and instrumentals with original genre-bending arrangements of music drawn from the traditions of British folk. Turning unflinchingly from soft, delicate emphasis to shoulder-rolling grind, and from light harmonies to prog-infused instrumentalism, they have a habit of keeping audiences surprised and engaged with ever-changing soundscapes. Their debut album, ‘Awaken’ (produced by Sean Lakeman), showcases and expands this palette in a studio context.
The band, comprised of Jake Sonny Rowlinson, Jeremy Bunting and Fran Rowney, formed around the folk and acoustic music scene in Plymouth, where they maintain a strong local presence. Jake and Fran met in 2014 at folk sessions in Plymouth’s famous Dolphin Inn, where they became firm friends and developed a short-lived duo. During this time, Jeremy was performing as a solo act and the three met whilst performing at the same venues around Plymouth. The three rapidly became friends and collaborators, forming Windjammer in 2015.
With an ever-growing fan base and a distinctive, uncompromisingly original approach to their craft, the trio are generating real momentum. Windjammer are increasingly performing further afield, with festival credits including Cambridge Folk Festival, Latitude and Hartlepool Folk Festival, whilst continuing to play an active role in the grassroots folk scene of Plymouth, East Cornwall and South Devon.
Jeremy is a fingerstyle guitarist, originally from Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Jeremy is a meticulous musician and craftsman, and plays a guitar he designed and made himself at The Totnes School of Guitar Making. He spent six months living in Andalusia learning the rudiments of flamenco guitar, imparting a rhythmic lyricism to his playing.
Jake is a singer who grew up in the English Midlands, on the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Jake is actively involved in running local sessions, and can often be found singing unaccompanied traditional songs in pubs around Plymouth, as well as morris dancing during summer months.
Fran is a multi-instrumentalist who plays whistles, piano accordion and piano. He was born and brought up in Middlesbrough, in North East England, where he learnt to play the piano and tin whistle as a child. Living in Hull as a student, he discovered sessions and folk clubs, and took up the accordion. After moving to Plymouth, he became increasingly involved with folk music and its community, organising and playing in local sessions.
What's in a Name?
Windjammers were commercial sailing ships, built to carry bulk cargo, such as lumber, guano, grain and ore, for long distances in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During the ‘Age of Steam’, many types of sailing ship were referred to as ‘windjammers’, and they were often the largest of merchant sailing ships. Even into the twentieth century, these ships could hold their own on ultra-long, interhemispheric voyages, such as Australia to Europe, as they didn’t need to carry fuel or water to power engines, making them lighter and faster than steamers. Whilst the term ‘windjammer’ was used generally for sailing ships in the past, it now particularly refers to those built from iron and steel during the latter days of wind-powered commercial freight.