Lucy Ward (musician)
|Born||12 December 1989|
Derby, Derbyshire, England
|Instruments||vocals, guitar, harmonium, concertina, percussion, banjo|
|Labels||Navigator Records; Betty Beetroot|
|Associated acts||Cupola:Ward, Megson, O'Hooley & Tidow, Cupola, David Gibb|
Lucy Victoria Ward (born 12 December 1989) is an English singer-songwriter from Derby, England. She performs, with a voice described as expressive and powerful,[nb 1] traditional English folk songs as well as her own material. Three of her albums, Adelphi Has to Fly, Single Flame and I Dreamt I Was a Bird, have been critically acclaimed and have each received four-starred reviews in the British national press.
Early life and education
The youngest of six children, Lucy Ward grew up in Littleover, Derbyshire. She went to St Peter's Junior School in Littleover, and Littleover Community School. She started playing guitar and wrote her first song at the age of 14, and soon afterwards performed live for the first time. After performing at open mic nights across the Midlands she put her name forward for the BBC Young Folk Awards at the age of 18, and two years later signed a contract with Navigator Records.
Adelphi Has to Fly
The songs on the album include: "Stitch in Time" by Mike Waterson; "Maids When You're Young", a traditional song which was popularised by The Dubliners; Child ballad "The Two Sisters"; and "Death (Rock Me to Sleep)", based on a poem said to have been written by Anne Boleyn,[nb 2] set to a tune by Lucy Ward. "Alice in the Bacon Box", a song written by Ward in the style of a traditional folk song, tells the story of Derbyshire hermit Alice Grace (1867–1927) from Little Eaton who, on being evicted from her cottage, lived in a box previously used for storing bacon, which had been given to her by the local butcher.
On 7 August 2013, in a concert at St Pancras Old Church, London, she launched her second album, Single Flame. Produced by Stu Hanna, it was released by Navigator Records on 19 August 2013. The album includes "For the Dead Men", a self-penned protest song, which was released as a single in January 2012 coupled with a remixed version of "Maids When You’re Young". This was again produced by Stu Hanna, who also performs on the two tracks, with his wife Debbie Hanna providing backing vocals.
In a four-starred review for The Guardian, Robin Denselow said that Lucy Ward "proves to be an even more mature and thoughtful singer-songwriter than she was on Adelphi Has to Fly" and described her follow-up album as "impressive and original" and "a brooding, often angry set that deals with everything from politics to love, death and personal tragedy, with a couple of powerful traditional songs added in".
I Dreamt I Was a Bird
Her third album, I Dreamt I Was a Bird, was released by Betty Beetroot Records on 2 October 2015. It received a four-starred review in The Daily Telegraph and was awarded Album of the Year 2015 by Fatea magazine.
Her fourth album, Pretty Warnings, was released by Betty Beetroot Records on 15 June 2018. David Pratt, reviewing the album for Folk Radio UK, described it as "a mesmerising, exquisite album which succeeds in mixing sometimes delicate, always thoughtful, image-laden originals with fresh, innovative re-workings of songs from the traditional folk canon".
Film, television and radio
Ward's music has been used as the soundtrack for award-winning director Kim Hopkins' documentary film Folie à Deux – madness made of two. The film soundtrack uses "For the Dead Men", some new original material and some cover songs played by Lucy Ward and Hungarian fiddle player Barnabas Balázs. The film, which shows the human cost of the banking crisis, premiered in November 2012 at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and was broadcast on BBC Four in its Storyville international documentary series on 11 November 2013.
Lucy Ward was commissioned by BBC Radio 3's The Verb to write a song based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South. Her live performance of her new song "Creatures and Demons" was included in a special programme on Mrs Gaskell, broadcast on 3 October 2014.
Ward has also written songs and music for Robin Hood by the touring theatre company Oddsocks. It was announced in 2018 that Ward had been working alongside critically acclaimed choreographer, Deborah Norris to form the production company Henwives Tales. The company focuses on combining folk music and ballet/ dance productions for a variety of venues and events. Their debut production called The Sisters of Elva Hill is based upon the traditional folk tale The Two Princesses and has been branded a 'folk ballet'.
Ward provided vocals on one of the tracks – "Gospel of the Sun" – on David Gibb's 2011 album There Are Birds in My Garden and on a track – "There's a Dragon in My Bedroom" – on Gibb's 2014 album Letters Through Your Door. She also provided backing vocals on three of the tracks on Marc Block's album The Hawthorn Spring, released on 15 April 2014. Her vocals also appear on the 2015 Mills and Chimneys album The Common Thread.
Awards and recognition
Ward was a Young Folk Award finalist in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards where she performed "Stitch in Time" by Mike Waterson. The song was included on the third CD of the album BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009 and a longer recording appeared on her 2011 album Adelphi Has to Fly.
In the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards she won the Horizon award (for best newcomer). Her recording of "Maids When You’re Young", which was subsequently included on the first CD of the album BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012, was nominated as best traditional track.
In 2014, she was nominated for the "Folk Singer of the Year" award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Her recording, from Single Flame, of the Roud 1302 song "Marching Through the Green Grass", was included on the album BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014.
|Adelphi Has to Fly||13 June 2011||Navigator Records (Navigator 47)|
|Single Flame||19 August 2013||Navigator Records (Navigator 083)|
|I Dreamt I Was a Bird||2 October 2015||Betty Beetroot Records (BETTY01)|
|Pretty Warnings||15 June 2018||Betty Beetroot Records (BETTY03)|
|"For the Dead Men" (Lucy Ward) /
"Maids When You're Young" (remix) (traditional, arranged Lucy Ward)
|29 January 2012||Navigator Records (Navigator 070)|
|Four||"Cotton Mills of Cromford" (traditional) / "The Bone Lace Weaver" (Leonard Wheatcroft, Roy Harris) /
"When God Dips His Pen of Love in My Heart" (Alison Krauss) / "King of Rome" (David Sudbury)
|Bluebell||18 June 2016||Betty Beetroot Records (BETTY02)|
With James Findlay, Bella Hardy and Brian Peters
|The Liberty to Choose: A Selection of Songs from The New Penguin Book of English Folk Songs||10 June 2013||Fellside Recordings(FECD257)|
|Land of Hope and Fury: a compilation of contemporary protest songs||10 July 2015||Union Music Store||Lucy Ward performs one track: "Bigger Than That"|
|Shine On – an album of songs by John Lennon||9 October 2015||Independent||Lucy Ward performs one track: "Working Class Hero"|
- "Ward has an expressive, powerful voice. She also has an outsize personality, like a latter-day Judy Henske, and a well honed ability to work an audience."
Paul Rhodes (8 March 2011). "Review: Idgy Vaughn, House Concert (Near York)". The Press (York). Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- Sources differ on whether George or Anne Boleyn wrote "O Death Rock Me Asleep" but the consensus is that Anne wrote it – see Fatal conspiracies: O Death Rock Me Asleep (Me and Mine website about the life and times of Anne Boleyn). Archived 13 July 2003 at the Wayback Machine
- Allan Wilkinson (1 July 2011). "Album Review: Lucy Ward – Adelphi Has To Fly (Navigator)". Northern Sky Music Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- Robin Denselow (15 August 2013). "Lucy Ward: Single Flame – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- Robin Denselow (16 June 2011). "Lucy Ward: Adelphi Has to Fly – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Martin Chilton (12 December 2015). "Best Folk Music Albums of 2015: 59". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
- "Lucy Ward video: will she win BBC's Folk Singer of the Year award tonight?". Derby Telegraph. 19 February 2014. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Ally Walsh (20 August 2014). "VIDEO: Derby folk star Lucy Ward launches new album". Derby Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
- Alex Gallacher (21 June 2011). "Lucy Ward – Adelphi Has to Fly". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Little Eaton". Derbyshire UK: Guide to Derbyshire & the Peak District. 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "Old Alice in the Bacon Box – the Little Eaton Hermit". h2g2. 21 April 2004. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Reinhard Zierke (18 July 2013). "Single Flame". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Fatea Awards 2015". Fatea Magazine. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
- David Pratt (16 July 2018). "Lucy Ward – Pretty Warnings". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
- "Folie à Deux – Madness made of two (2012)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Folie à Deux – Madness Made of Two". British Films Directory. British Council. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Simon Holland (5 August 2013). "Lucy Ward – Single Flame". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 8 August 2013.
- Kim Hopkins (18 September 2013). "Grief at Gray's Court: acclaimed film chronicles York property nightmare". Cinema Preview. York Mix. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- "Elizabeth Gaskell Special". The Verb. BBC. October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Happy Christmas!". Oddsocks. December 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
- "Lucy Ward's Cupola link is taking root". Derby Telegraph. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Alex Gallacher (4 July 2011). "David Gibb – There Are Birds in my Garden". Folk Radio UK. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- Reinhard Zierke (11 October 2014). "There Are Birds in My Garden". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- Reinhard Zierke (11 October 2014). "Letters Through Your Door". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- Reinhard Zierke (12 September 2014). "Marc Block: The Hawthorn Spring". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
- Reinhard Zierke (11 July 2014). "The Common Thread". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2009". BBC Radio 2 website. December 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Louise Parmakis (2011). "Adelphi Has to Fly – Lucy Ward: the bright young folk review". Bright Young Folk. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- Reinhard Zierke (15 September 2014). "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Reinhard Zierke (15 September 2014). "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Wednesday 8 February 2012". BBC Radio 2 website. 18 March 2012. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
- "Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards announced" (Press release). BBC. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
- Reinhard Zierke (26 May 2015). "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Reinhard Zierke (18 July 2013). "Adelphi Has to Fly". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Reinhard Zierke (18 July 2013). "Cupola:Ward: Four". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
- Reinhard Zierke (14 September 2014). "The Liberty to Choose". Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Various artists – Land of Hope and Fury". Union Music Store. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.