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Causley at Sidmouth Folk Week in 2009
|Born||2 November 1980|
|Genres||Traditional folk music|
|1999 - present|
|Labels||WildGoose Records, Navigator Records, Folk Police Recordings, Hands On Music,|
Jim Causley is a folk singer and musician from Devon who specializes in the traditional songs and music of the West Country. Hailing from the village of Whimple in East Devon, Causley was born in Exeter and is a relative of the Cornish poet Charles Causley.
Described by Mojo Magazine as "the finest singer of his generation", Causley grew up in an area rich in traditional music; his home village in the heart of Cider Country with its thriving wassailing tradition and its close proximity to Sidmouth and Dartmoor folk festivals. After studying Performing Arts and Jazz & Popular Music at Exeter College, Causley went on to study Folk and Traditional Music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. It was during this time that he began gaining a reputation as talented singer on the wider UK folk scene.
Causley released his debut album, Fruits of the Earth, on WildGoose Records in 2005. Noted for his rich, fruity bass voice and cheeky stage presence, Causley guested with Martyn Wyndham-Read on his Song Links 2 (Fellside Records) album which linked English traditional songs with their American variants. In 2006 Causley was nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award under the Horizon Award (best newcomer) category and in 2007 his vocal trio, The Devil's Interval, were nominated for the same award again. With The Devil's Interval, Causley has toured with Waterson-Carthy as part of their annual Frost and Fire tour for six consecutive years and in 2006 collaborated with them on their album Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man (Topic Records). The Devil's Interval also released their debut album in that year, Blood & Honey (WildGoose Records), to good reviews and a cover article in fRoots magazine.
After graduating from university, Causley returned home to Devon and since then he has worked with Scottish fiddle player John McCusker in his Under One Sky project uniting the English and Scottish traditions and also toured and recorded with Essex instrumental quartet Mawkin as Mawkin:Causley, David Rotheray of The Beautiful South fame alongside Eleanor McEvoy and Bella Hardy for Rotheray's 'Life of Birds' album and tours, Michael Morpurgo, Show of Hands for their Arrogance, Ignorance & Greed as well as their 'Centenary; Word & Music of the First World War' albums and Kate Rusby for her 20th anniversary album & tour among others. 2013 saw the release of perhaps Causley's most celebrated works to date; Cyprus Well, an album of his settings of poems by his relative, the Cornish poet Charles Causley named after and recorded in the late poets house, Cyprus Well in Launceston, Cornwall. This album featured Causley mostly playing piano as opposed to accordion and also saw him collaborating with Julie Murphy of the Welsh band Fernhill alongside Welsh-Canadian harpist Ceri Owen-Jones and members of Cornish band Dalla as well as the Pete Berryman Trio. Much of the album Cyprus Well was used in the soundtrack to Cornish filmmaker Jane Darke's film The Poet about the life of Charles Causley, which first aired on BBC4 TV on Sunday 1st October 2017.
In 2016 Causley released two albums; the first was Forgotten Kingdom, his first ever album of entirely self-penned songs which was released on the Show of Hands label and featured a large cast of well regarded West Country musicians. The second album of 2016 was a commission by the Bodmin Moor Poetry Festival following Causley's work with the poems of Charles Causley on Cyprus Well the BMPF invited Causley to create a similar project with another Cornish poet whose centenary was that year; Jack Clemo a close friend of Charles Causley who was best man at his wedding. Jim worked with author and Clemo expert Dr Luke Thompson to create this album and enlisted the help of a small group of Cornish musicians plus a children's choir from the school near to where Clemo lived for two of the tracks. This album featured Causley's most piano-heavy and experimental works to date.