An ambitious mind and an appetite for risk are dangerous bedfellows and, on the face of it, this latest creation by Jon Boden - one of the most venerated of the younger Brit folk generation both for his work with Spiers & Boden and co-founder of the Bellowhead big band - has turkey written all over it. I mean, who makes concept albums these days? And a concept album about the end of the world as we know it? Getouttahere. And yet, though a slow burner, Songs From the Floodplain's dark, meandering themes and compelling minimalism deliver rich and provocative rewards as Boden introduces us to a series of shadowy figures trying to make sense of an undefined apocalypse.
This marks another change of direction from that versatile workaholic, Jon Boden. Best known for his work with the traditional duo Spiers and Boden and the rousing folk big-band Bellowhead, this is a bravely original solo project: a post-apocalyptic folk concept album. As with his 2006 set, Painted Lady, he sings and plays all the instruments (anything from guitar to fiddle, bass, drums, melodeon and bagpipes), but this time there are fewer rock influences.