Bernard Hoskin

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Bernard Hoskin is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based near Cambridge, England. He has been performing both solo and in various groups at folk clubs and festivals in England for fifteen years. His work has been influenced by a diverse range of artists including, Paul Simon, Bert Jansch, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin, Papa Wemba as well as English and Celtic traditional music. Primarily a guitarist, he also plays bass, keyboards and mandolin.

In 1988-89 he was the lead singer and guitarist in the Cambridge folk group, Maverick, and since then he has continued to work as both a solo performer and in a duo with saxophone and flute player, Mike Clifford, of the blues group, The Backyard Band. From 1985 to 1995 he produced seven albums of his own songs that were released on cassette.

In December 1996, he released his first album on CD, "Second Chances", featuring new arrangements of the most popular songs from his previous recordings. As well as Mike Clifford, the band included Sandra O'Neill of Alias Grace on backing vocals plus Ian Newman on electric and double bass. This line up became the Bernard Hoskin Band who made their debut at the Sawston Folk Day in 1997 and performed at a number of clubs and festivals in 1998. Further solo performances followed in 1999.

The Bernard Hoskin Band at Suffolk n Good Music Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival

An album of new material, "Look At The World", was recorded with this band in the summer of 1997 and was released in January 1998. It combined original material with modern arrangements of traditional songs. Marketed over the Internet the album has received air play on radio stations in Britain, America, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Portugal. British magazine Rock 'n' Reel described it as "breezy folk-pop that is rich in melody, harmonies, and is as catchy as possible" with "technically brilliant guitar and vocals". Independent Songwriter magazine in the USA wrote: "The future of the world, pollution, historical references, these are all covered with a driving and enthusiastic passion that can be felt from beginning to end of this project. Lyrical attention to detail and unusually hypnotic musical interpretation make this a fine indie product with deep substance".

Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

The year 2000 saw the release of a new album, "Days Yet To Come", plus two albums of material available on CD for the first time - "The Emerald Isle" and "Alibis and the Innocent Bystander".
Days Yet To Come is a blend of folk, country and African influences with 8 new songs, 3 new arrangements of traditional songs and one of the first ever English language versions of a song by the great Russian bard Vladimir Visotsky. This song was recorded at the personal request of the translator George Tokarev from Israel who believes this to be the first English language recording of a Visotsky song. This recording has now been released in Russia on a compilation CD by the Visotsky Foundation.

Vladimir Visotsky
The Visotsky compilation released in Russia

Once again the musicians on the album include Irish singer Sandra O'Neill and jazz and blues man Mike Clifford on flute and saxophone. For the first time there is a collaboration with two outstanding performers from Sierra Leone. Papa Sam of Alafia and Abdul Tee Jay's Rokoto contributes vocals, guitar and African drumming to a number of tracks, and Emile Ogoo, who played on S.E. Rogie's albums, plays lead guitar.

He was also a compere on the main stages at the Cambridge Folk Festival from 1994 to 2003. In 2004 his song "Beneath The Waves" was included on the charity CD "Someone Was Calling" alongside acts such as Fairport Convention, Show of Hands, Oysterband and many more.

From 2001-2016 he ran the Acoustic Routes concert series in Cambridge and continues to put on a session in the Club Tent at the Cambridge Folk Festival

In May of 2006 an album of 16 new songs was released. Titled "Notes in the Margin" it features singer/songwriters Lisa Fitzgibbon and Liz Simcock on backing vocals and Papa Sam on djembe.

In 2008 he joined singer/songwriter James Hibbins as the multi-instrumentalist in James's group Pavlov's Cat playing guitar, bass, mandolin and violin. They released one album "At The Races"

In 2009 he released a new album of 15 original songs called "Invisible People" followed in 2015 by a collection of 19 new songs titled "Journeys". Also in 2015 he released the album "Under The Influence" which is his tribute to the songwriters and guitarists who influenced him.

In 2017 he did 18 new recordings of his most popular songs and released them as the album My Finest Hour. 2018  saw the release of All Good Things and in 2019 Snow In Central Park.

Acousticity, Colchester (photo by Sue Dilley)

Norwich Arts Centre
Norwich Arts Centre (March 2016)

The Musician, Leicester
The Musician, Leicester (March 2016)