2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winners Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente are a vocal/guitar duo like no other.
Calling the Isle of Lewis and Spain home respectively, its no wonder their music doesn’t focus on one place, on one of the many strands of Scotland’s web of traditions.
They are well traveled, and well versed, in music from across the land. On guitar, and vocals in Gaelic, Scots and English, their music is a round tour, where centuries old ballads meet Gaelic puirt a beul, songs from the mines and cotton mills, as well as some original writing.
Josie’s voice, crystal clear. With its slight island twang, equally at home in any of these domains. Accompanied by Pablo’s dynamic, sensitive guitar playing, they illuminate the lyrics. The music at times sparse and haunting, at others driving and all consuming, leaving audiences stunned.
They are both accomplished musicians in their own right. Josie Duncan a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she studied with some of the masters of the Scottish and Gaelic traditions. She’s toured extensively, performing at festivals and venues in Europe, Canada and America. Her other projects include a collaboration with innovative Gaelictronica band Inyal, and Blasta, a showcase of singers of the Isle of Lewis commissioned by this year’s Festival Interceltique de Lorient.
Pablo Lafuente’s experiences are no less varied. He’s put down cultural roots in Scotland, exploring the tradition to its deepest core. Since completing his studies of guitar and fiddle at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional music he’s been in high demand, playing, recording and touring internationally with artists including: Anxo Lorenzo, The Outside Track, Barluath, Sketch and Barátok- a groundbreaking new collaboration between Hungarian violnist Zoltán Lantos and Scottish percussionist Iain Copeland.
Since joining forces in 2016 they’ve taken the scene by storm, quickly becoming an in-demand live act at festivals and venues across the country. In their short time together they’ve delighted the audiences of BBC Radio 2, Celtic Connections Festival, Sofar sessions, and a host of venues across Scotland.
Their debut EP: Half of What You See, was released in December 2016 on Skye Records.
With a debut album in the works, and upcoming appearances at Hebcelt, Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, the duo’s success are only set to continue.