Sheffield singer-songwriter Banjo Jen is the all-singin’, all-dancin’, ballsy banjo-pickin’ girl who can spin a tale and step up a storm. Using banjo as the lead instrument for her original songs, weaving clever lyrics with catchy melodies, and incorporating Appalachian step-dancing and Yorkshire charm and humour into her live sets, she’s a refreshingly original addition to the UK Americana and folk scenes.
Tipped by Maverick magazine for a ‘long musical career’, highlights so far have included playing in Austin TX during SXSW, being selected by the Americana Music Association UK to showcase at both Red Rooster festival and The Long Road festival, being invited to perform at Eagle Music / Deering Banjo Company’s banjo
event of the year, and supporting international touring Americana artists such as Whitney Rose and John Craigie.
Banjo Jen’s ‘smart and sassy’ debut EP Lost & Found offers a flavour of her distinctive songwriting. Playing the traditional ‘frailing’ style of banjo, and usually accompanied by punchy double bass, she is influenced by aspects of folk, country, blues and ‘old-time’ music - though she doesn't stick to any particular tradition and makes her own rules up as she goes along! This, combined with a skill for finding a great melody and an interesting story, makes for unique and highly original songs; songs of sinning and straying, of characters and conflicts, of running from the past and of running from yourself. As the one and only Dolly Parton says, ‘We're all just a bunch of sinners, but we do the best we can’.
Between the sharp songwriting, the percussive step-dancing and Jen’s genuine warmth and rapport with audiences (with that good old Yorkshire ‘gift-of-the-gab’), her live show is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. And with new recordings in the works, there’s definitely more to come from this banjo-pickin’ girl …so join the rapidly-growing banjo army, grab yer cowboy boots and come along for the ride!