The Black Feathers

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The Black Feathers
The Black Feathers in 2014
The Black Feathers in 2014
Background information
OriginGloucestershire, United Kingdom
GenresFolk, Americana, Roots
InstrumentsVocals, guitar
Years active2012 (2012)–present
LabelsBird in the Hand Records, Blue House Music

The Black Feathers are a husband and wife roots music duo based in Gloucestershire, UK who play a blend of Folk and Americana.[1] Their debut EP (Strangers We Meet, 2014) was listed in The Telegraph as one of the best Folk albums of 2014.[2]

Their sound has been likened to that of The Civil Wars, and Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings.[3] [4]

They are sponsored by Cole Clark guitars, Shubb Capos, and Blackstar Amplification.


Sian Chandler was born in Cirencester, while Ray Hughes is a native of Dublin.[5] Ray is classically trained and studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Sian began training as an actress before dropping out to focus on music.[6] They met in 2004 and played in a five piece Folk rock band called ‘Just To Annoy Ray’. When the band folded in 2008 they began playing together as a duo playing covers. In 2012 they started writing their own songs and formed as The Black Feathers. [7] [8] [9]

2013 - 2015[edit]

In 2013 The Black Feathers won two awards, the Folkstock award for best live performance ,[10] and The Five Valleys Folk award which saw them play main support to Spiers and Boden. [11]

They were interviewed by Bob Harris on the "Under The Apple Tree Sessions" [12] and were featured in two documentaries on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 2 Country, as well as being interviewed in The Sunday Times alongside The Shires and Ward Thomas. [5] [13] [14]

Strangers We Meet EP[edit]

In October 2013, The Black Feathers launched a successful Kickstarter campaign,[15] hitting their target in less than 12hrs.[8]
The resulting Strangers We Meet EP was released on their own label, ‘Bird In The Hand Records’, in February, 2014. It received favourable reviews in national publications such as FRoots, The Telegraph, Acoustic Magazine and R2 (Rock'n'Reel).[1][2][16][17]

Songs from the EP have been played numerous times on regional BBC Radio, as well as BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 2, and BBC Radio 2 Country.[13][14][18][19] In addition it was listed in Johnny Coppin’s ‘best acoustic albums in 2014’ on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Martin Chilton’s "The best folk albums of 2014" in The Telegraph and as the Sunday Mercury’s Number 1 Folk and Roots album of 2014.[2][20][21]

Their music video for their single 'Strangers We Meet' was premiered on American television network Zuus Country.[22] It was produced by Villain Place, the same team that created the award winning Florida Georgia Line official lyric videos.[23]

2015 - 2016[edit]

Soaked to the Bone[edit]

Their award winning debut album ‘Soaked to the Bone’ was crowd funded through PledgeMusic. They hit their target within 4 days, and completed the project raising 229% over the original target.[24][25]

Three singles were released from the album. ‘Down By The River’ and ‘All For You’ received regional and online radio play including BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Amazing Radio. ‘Winter Moves In’ was released in aid of Marie Curie (charity) with 100% of the proceeds going to the charity. The single received regional radio play as well as being played by Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6.[26] The official music video for ‘Winter Moves In’ won an award at Portsmouth Film Festival for ‘Achievement In Art’ in September 2016. [27]

Soaked to the Bone was officially released in February 2016 on Blue House Music and made the top 40 in the Official Charts Company Americana Chart.[28] It received some five star reviews in the music press both online and offline such as Rolling stone Germany and Music News.[29] The Album also won ‘Debut Album Of The Year’ in the 2016 Fatea Awards.[30]

The album includes a version of Make You Feel My Love written by Bob Dylan.

Songs from the album have had extensive BBC regional radio play including BBC Wales, BBC Scotland and Scottish Gaelic station BBC Nan Gaidheal. National radio play included BBC Radio 2 on The Bob Harris show, played by Paul Sexton and by Bob Harris himself. ‘Soaked to the Bone’ also made BBC Radio Ulster’s album of the week [31] and was played on and added to the RTE Radio 1 playlist.[32]

They went on to win ‘Best Duo’ at the G.S.M.C Awards 2016.[33]


The Black Feathers have supported Ray Davies at The Colston Hall in Bristol and toured with Eddi Reader both in Ireland and Northern Ireland.[6][34][35] They have also shared a stage with artists such as Heather Peace, Ward Thomas, Ben Ottewell (Gomez), Luke Concannon (Nizlopi), Jim Moray, Paper Aeroplanes, Kim Richey, and Gareth Dunlop. [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41]

The band have toured nationally including venues such as Cambridge Folk Festival, St Pancras Old Church in London,[11][41] and Colston Hall in Bristol,[34] and all over Europe.[42]



Title Tracklist Details
Soaked to the Bone

1. Take Me Back
2. Goodbye Tomorrow
3. Arglight
4. Blind
5. All For You
6. Homesick
7. Winter Moves In
8. Down By The River
9. Make You Feel My Love
10. Spider And The Fly
11. Clear Blue Sky

  • Released: 26 February 2016
  • Label: Blue House Music
  • Formats: CD, Limited Edition LP, digital download

Extended plays[edit]

Title Tracklist Details
Strangers We Meet

1. Strangers We Meet
2. 10,000 Times
3. Open Book
4. You Will Be Mine
5. All Came Down

  • Released: 24 February 2014
  • Label: Bird in the Hand Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Holy Water

1. Holy Water
2. Lighthouse On Fire (Demo)
3. Fur And Bone (Demo)
4. Fly Away (Demo)
5. Holy Water (Demo)

  • Released: 1 September 2017
  • Label: None
  • Formats: Limited Edition CD, digital download
The Ghosts Have Eaten Well

1. The Ghosts Have Eaten Well
2. Moonlight (Demo)
3. Silver Lining (Demo)
4. Chemical Romance (Demo)
5. The Ghosts Have Eaten Well (Demo)

  • Released: 22 June 2018
  • Label: None
  • Formats: Limited Edition CD, digital download


  1. ^ a b R2 (Rock'n'Reel), May/June 2014, p.118
  2. ^ a b c Chilton, Martin. "The best folk music albums of 2014", The Telegraph, retrieved 2014-09-10
  3. ^ "The Black Feathers - Tower of Song, Birmingham Wednesday 19th February 2014", Three Chords and the Truth, retrieved 2014-09-10
  4. ^ Davy, John. "The Black Feathers: Strangers We Meet (February 23 2014)", Flying Shoes, retrieved 2014-09-10
  5. ^ a b Sexton, Paul. "The Sunday Times Culture", 4 May 2014, p.33
  6. ^ a b "The Black Feathers head out on their first headline tour (November 14 2015)", Wilts and Glos Standard, retrieved 2018-25-02
  7. ^ "Hear the wandering river, hear the birds overhead, The Black Feathers (January 22, 2013)", Popa's Tunes, retrieved 2014-09-10
  8. ^ a b Hawes, John. "Dirty Dozen: The Black Feathers (February 17, 2014)", Americana UK, retrieved 2015-03-09
  9. ^ "The Black Feathers at The Convent (August 27 2014)", SoGlos, retrieved 2014-09-10
  10. ^ "Live Events Update, Love Folk LIVE (January 25, 2014)", Folkstock, retrieved 2015-03-09
  11. ^ a b "The Black Feathers at the Black Book (July 23, 2014 )", "Stroud News and Journal, retrieved 2014-09-10"
  12. ^ "The Black Feathers cover Lady Gaga", WBBC, retrieved 2014-09-10
  13. ^ a b "Nashville UK (March 20 2014)", BBC iPlayer, retrieved 2014-09-10
  14. ^ a b "Paul Sexton - Country UK (March 7 2015)", BBC iPlayer, retrieved 2015-04-03
  15. ^ "The Black Feathers Debut EP - Strangers We Meet", Kickstarter, retrieved 2014-09-10
  16. ^ FRoots, April 2014, p.96
  17. ^ Acoustic Magazine, March 2014, p.95
  18. ^ "BBC Music - The Black Feathers", BBC Music, retrieved 2015-04-03
  19. ^ "iPlayer Radio - Iain Anderson (February 26 2014)", iPlayer, retrieved 2015-04-03
  20. ^ "Johnny Coppin - Best Acoustic Albums of 2014 (3 January 2015)", BBC Radio, retrieved 2015-04-03
  21. ^ "The Festive 50 (28 December 2014)", Sunday Mercury, retrieved 2015-04-03
  22. ^ "Americana Music Video Playlist|The Black Feathers|Strangers We Meet|ZUUS" Archived 2015-04-04 at, ZUUS, retrieved 2015-04-03
  23. ^ "Villain Place Videos", Villain Place, retrieved 2018-25-02
  24. ^ "The Black Feathers - Pledgemusic", Pledgemusic, retrieved 2018-25-02
  25. ^ "The Black Feathers release Christmas single to raise money for charity", Wilts and Glos Standard, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  26. ^ [1], Rhythm and Booze, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  27. ^ "Portsmouth International Film Festival Award Winners 2016", Portsmouth International Film Festival, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  28. ^ "Official Americana Albums Chart Top 40 04 March 2016 – 10 March 2016", Official Charts, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  29. ^ "Music News Review (March 26 2016)", Music News, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  30. ^ "Fatea - Recognising Achievement in 2016", Fatea, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  31. ^ "The Late Show with Cherrie McIlwaine (February 10 2016)", The Late Show with Cherrie McIlwaine, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  32. ^ "RTE Radio 1", RTE Radio 1, Retrieved 2018-25-02
  34. ^ a b "Ray Davies @ Colston Hall (July 21 2015)", Colston Hall, retrieved 2018-25-02
  35. ^ "The Black Feathers @ The Lansdown (June 21 2016)", Headfirst Bristol, retrieved 2018-25-02
  36. ^ "Heather Peace - The Thin Line - Tour Supports (November 1 2014)", Heather Peace, retrieved 15-04-03
  37. ^ "Gig Review: Ward Thomas, The Black Feathers, and Jess Roberts at Green Note, London (July 25 2014)" Archived 2015-04-04 at, 4000 Miles to Nashville, retrieved 2015-04-03
  38. ^ "Treefest Performers - The Black Feathers (August 24 2013)", 4014 Project, retrieved 2015-04-03
  39. ^ "Award-winning folk artist Jim Moray headlines Stroud Folk Festival (September 18 2014)", Gloucester Citizen, retrieved 2015-04-03
  40. ^ "(October 6 2013)", Eventful, retrieved 2015-04-03
  41. ^ a b "Kim Richey + Gareth Dunlop + The Black Feathers (December 4 2014)", TimeOut, retrieved 2015-04-03
  42. ^ "The Black Feathers - The Destille (February 2 2015)", Fatea, retrieved 2015-04-03

External links[edit]