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The Black Feathers, and Chris Simmons - 30th August 2014

Artists' websites: The Black Feathers / Chris Simmons

The Black Feathers:

The band is made up of singer/songwriters Ray Hughes and Sian Chandler. Having played together for many years in various projects, they decided to break away and collaborate as a duo, writing and performing their own material.

Inspired by advice given to them by Youth [Martin Glover, producer of Dido and the Orb], they set off in search of ancient melodies as a base to build a sound that later became The Black Feathers, drawing their influences from a number of high-quality wells; Americana rubbing shoulders with folk, and edgy rock sensibilities peeking through the tight-as-blood harmonies.

Since their debut show in May 2012, The Black Feathers have been busy touring the country, enticing and captivating audiences as they go. During the summer of 2013, they played over 18 festivals, including well-received slots at the Maverick Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival. With an ever-growing online fan base developing in the US, they also fitted in an eight-date tour in and around Nashville, Tennessee.

After 18 months as The Black Feathers and receiving sponsorship from Walden Guitars and DR strings, Ray and Sian were awarded The 5 Valleys Folk Award 2013, and played the main support slot for headline act Spiers and Boden [Bellowhead] at Stroud Folk Festival.

They are currently working on their debut 5 track EP, which has been recorded at Wincraft Studios and Strawhouse Studios. The Strangers We Meet EP is due to be released in early 2014.

"This duo just stopped everyone in their tracks" - via Songs From the Shed.

"Two words, beautiful harmonies. These two are such a great duo, I highly recommend you catch one of their gigs" - Fox Beard Music

"Beautiful harmonies, fine songwriting" - Paul Moss, BBC Introducing

Chris Simmons: Despite the opportunity for Chris Simmons to boast support slots, openers and tours with the likes of Passenger, Kate Nash, Seth Lakeman, Beth Orton and The Maccabees (to name a few), he casually mentions his sizeable roster of associations like the next person recounts bumping into an old friend. - "A great songwriter with an incredibly distinctive voice" [Jackson Browne]