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 Glasgow/Spain home, it’s no wonder their music doesn’t focus on one place or on one of the many strands of Scotland’s web of traditions.
They are well travelled, 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, is equally at home in any of these domains. Accompanied by Pablo’s dynamic, sensitive guitar playing, they illuminate the lyrics.
Their music at times sparse and haunting, at others driving and all consuming, leaves audiences stunned.
They are both accomplished musicians in their own right. Josie Duncan is a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she studied with some of the masters of the Scottish and Gaelic traditions. She has 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. Of Spanish origin, he has 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 Pablo has been in high demand, playing, recording and touring internationally with artists including: Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, The Outside Track, Barluath, Dougie McCance and Spanish Gaita extraordinary Anxo Lorenzo.
Since joining forces in 2016 Josie and Pablo have taken the scene by storm, quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most an in-demand live acts at festivals and venues across the country and in 2017 they were nominated for ‘Folk Band Of The Year’ at the ‘MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards’. In their short time together they’ve delighted the audiences of BBC Radio 2, Celtic Connections, BBC Proms In The Park, Cambridge Folk Festival, Sofar sessions, and a host of venues across the UK.