Bernard Hoskin

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REVIEWS

"An exceptional evening in the company of this justifiably well regarded and popular singer, who gives great value in his performances."
Tony Collins, FOLK IN THE CHAPEL March 2017

"Bernard was terrific! Great voice, great songs, superb guitarist." - EPPING FOLK CLUB Jan 2017

"Bernard Hoskin was brilliant last night, ranging from haunting self penned numbers to Steve Goodman (for those of us old enough to remember and young enough not to forget). An accomplished performer on guitar and mandola, he instantly connected with the audience."
OWD BOOTS FOLK CLUB, NOTTINGHAM May 2016

"Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker were ably supported by Bernard Hoskin, top quality singer/songwriter. Bernard treated us to a selection of his classic folksongs. All were delivered with consummate ease yet also with an unwavering passion and resolve as if it were their first public unveiling. His finger picking happily reminded me of some favourite guitarists who were playing in those crowded smoky clubs in the early 70s. His personal style of guitar work coupled with his friendly stage presence and lyrically engaging songs all made for an absorbing start to the evening. Winter coat was a memorable, simple yet moving song - expertly sung; I also particularly enjoyed the song about 21 Swans at Wicken Fen – which was atmospheric and evocative."
MILKMAID FOLK CLUB June 2013

“Bernard impressed me with his great singing and intricate and effortless guitar playing”
COLINDALE FOLK CLUB, London

"Brilliant"

WHITE HART FOLK CLUB, Mickleby, Yorkshire



"Bernard Hoskin gave us an excellent set"
ST EDITH FOLK, KEMSING

"a great night, everyone enjoyed it, lovely songs brilliantly performed and some lovely stories to go with them"
PHIL DEVERALL, BRADFORD ON AVON FOLK CLUB

"It was a very polished and enjoyable performance and it really went down well."
SLACKFOLK, COLCHESTER

"a popular troubadour with an accomplished and individual guitar style, well constructed songs, good stage presence and ambition"
MARDLES MAGAZINE

"great songs"
DAVID SHERWOOD, VIRTUALLY ACOUSTIC LONDON

"classic songwriting with distinctly English character and a hint of African Rhythm"
ESSEX COUNTY STANDARD

"Bernard Hoskin writes incredible songs"
BLACK CAT MUSIC, Norwich

"exemplary singer-songwriter Bernard Hoskin brings thought provoking songs & flowing, often African-inspired, guitar work."
ACOUSTICITY, Colchester

"It really doesn't get much better than this"
BIG BANG, London

"Bernard Hoskin once again proved what an accomplished singer songwriter he is. His  performance was so relaxed and classy. I think a lot of folk clubs should be interested in Bernard performing at their clubs."
MILKMAID FOLK CLUB, Bury St Edmunds

The first striking & momentarily disconcerting ingredient about Notes in the Margin is precision; the exactingly enunciated, very southern English vocals & fingerpicking of which Paul Simon would be rightly proud. Multi-instrumentalist Hoskin covers most of the instrumental chores with sparing & effective contributions from Lisa Fitzgibbon & Liz Simcock (backing vocals) & Papa Sam (backing vocals & Djembe). There's also a strong Zimbabwean guitar influence adding another eclectic ingredient. The lingering taste & perhaps the last thing to strike the listener is the sheer quality of the songs which, like the album as a whole, are memorable, highly accomplished & carefully crafted yet achieve an effortless feel.
Review of "Notes in the Margin" by NetRhythms

Pleasingly easy on the ear, our chum Bernard Hoskin is a compere at the Cambridge Folk Festival and something of a legend in his own back yard having served in more bands than I've had hot dinners and sporting a solo career to match.

Here he's taken his melodic writer concerns and married with them the admirable intention of marrying in there African vibes. To this end he's recruited members of Abdul Tee Jay's Rokoto and S E Rogie's band to flesh out the sound with guitars and percussion. Most effective on tracks like Beneath the Waves and Someday where rolling drums and trilling guitar lines underpin what is basically a folksy love song.

At home on traditional stuff, he pulls off a very acceptable Pretty Saro, and an even better Willy O'Winsbury -yes still using the tune Fairport stuck onto Farewell, Farewell. They're just simple guitar and voice - except for a great sax break from Mike Clifford - Bern's light vocal is snug and right at home, Sandra 0' Neill playing vocal counterfoil effectively.

The key point here is that Bernard Hoskin does nothing that you could call crowd pleasing, he does what pleases him and he does it well. By doing it well he ultimately makes an album that's very satisfactory and probably pleases far more people. Now that's smart.

Simon Jones

Review of "Days Yet To Come" from the September 2000 issue of Traditional Musicmaker magazine.

BERNARD HOSKIN produces lightweight, breezy folk-pop that is rich in melody, harmonies and is as catchy as possible, obviously taking a page out of the American MOR singer-songwriters' book (James Taylor, Don McLean), Hoskin's voice never intrudes on proceedings, lacking a little authority, although his delivery has a gently quality. "Look At The World", his second CD album -and recorded at his home studio - certainly has its moments, with the immediacy of Paul Simon's contemporary material obviously a big influence. There's a technically brilliant guitar and vocals reading of "Gypsy Davey".
Issue 31 Summer 98 of Rock 'n' Reel



"An incredible singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has released nine albums to date and has supported many famous names, past and present, whilst simultaneously establishing himself as one of the finest male solo artists working in the contemporary folk music field today."
BEVERLEY FOLK & ROOTS CLUB May 2016



"Hoskin has a good voice which is pleasant to listen to throughout the album. He also uses a variety of expression  and dynamics in his singing, and is not afraid to stretch his range, which is to be applauded. The vibe seemed to me akin to that of early 70s British and American singer-songwriters and the gentler U.S. West Coast bands, yet the subject matter seems firmly rooted in these isles. I was very happy to join him on the lengthy but worthwhile journeys."
Review of "Journeys" from the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Rock n Reel magazine.

"an accomplished singer/songwriter with a superb voice and finely crafted songs"
PHILS ACOUSTIC CLUB, LONDON


"Notes In The Margin follows his fine tradition of crafting accessible, mellow acoustic folk with occasionally well-placed African pop flavours. It's reminiscent of the work of Ralph McTell, Paul Heaton, Johnny Clegg and the later work of Paul Simon."
ROCK n REEL, 2007

"excellent singer songwriter"
HIGH BARN, Gt Bardfield

"Fantastic musician"
GORING UNPLUGGED

"Singer, songwriter and guitarist Bernard performs songs with the unhurried, slightly wistful, airy, summery feel of classic 60s folk singer-songwriters, creating a reflective, gentle and fundamentally positive space, which it was a treat to inhabit during his deservedly well-received set."
Review of a live performance at Acoustic Routes, 16 May 2015 by Rychard Carrignton for Slatethedisco.com


BERNARD HOSKIN is a veteran singer-songwriter who has built a reputation on the Cambridge area folk and acoustic scene. Notes In The Margin follows his fine tradition of crafting accessible, mellow acoustic folk with occasionally well-placed African pop flavours. It's reminiscent of the work of Ralph McTell, Paul Heaton, Johnny Clegg and the later work of Paul Simon. Accompanied by the backing voices of Lisa Fitzgibbon, Liz Simcock and Papa Sam (who also contributes djembe) the album resonates with a warmth and buoyant, positive attitude that comes to the fore on the nostalgic 'Days Of Wonder', the poignant 'Trade Winds', the dreamscapes of 'Endless Highway' and the daydreams of what might have been that inhabit 'A Ghost From The Past'.
Review of "Notes in the Margin" from the March/April 2007 issue of Rock n Reel magazine.

Bernard Hoskin brings his own distinct style to the UK roots scene on his new album, 'Days Yet To Come'. It's an assured collection seamlessly blending his pleasantly English voice with beautifully seductive African rhythms and melodies. Aided by Papa Sam (of Abdul Tee Jay's Rockoto) and Emile Ogoo (who played guitar on S. E. Rogie's albums), Irish singer Sandra O'Neill and blues/jazz man Mike Clifford on sax and flute, the whole album radiates with a bright, positive atmosphere generated by upbeat tunes. Even the poetry of a Russian actor, singer and composer put to music for the first time, with its harrowing tales of oppression and torture, still manages to suggest hope. 'Willie O'Winsbury' is given a wistful, gently quality that suits it well. Hoskin isn't an artist likely to blast into the public consciousness with some kind of brash, fashionable angle. Instead his craft has been carefully developed over the years, and he'll quietly pursue it, regardless of fame or fortune. A real musician.
Review of "Days Yet To Come" from the January 2002 issue of Rock n Reel magazine.

"Look At The World" addresses the future of this world and what we will pass on to our children. Read along with the lyrics and you'll see the potency of this composition. "I'm A Stranger Here Myself" has the taste of Jimmy Buffet in a really good mood. Finger-snapping fun. "Higher Ground" this song urges us to keep in touch with the important things in life full of noisy distractions. It works. "My Innocent Days" easy-going tune you'd listen to if you needed a quick pick-me-up. "This Is Planet Earth" nice. "Long Distance Call" rich guitar work blends seamlessly throughout. "Dark Horse on the Blind Side" .........."it's a long road that goes so far / in your hand a six string guitar/ all your words fell upon deaf ears/ no more singing songs that no one hears..."..been there.....done that........(group hug).

"Lord Franklin" a traditional tune with a rich history. It reveals the true story of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845 journey in search of away around the North Pole. The ships froze in the ice and the sailors spent two years in vain trying to walk across the ice to safety. Compelling drama. "All Around The World" According to the liner notes on the CD, recent studies into human DNA have concluded that we are all so similar we must be descended from the same African tribe. It's a true artist that can make up a great song out of such a complicated, controversial topic. Well done. "Gypsy Davey" another traditional gem with a rough Appalachian flavor. "Path Of The Least Resistance" classically embellished piano introduction takes us right into the melancholy delight. "Water From The Well" another poignant composition.

IN SUMMARY: With his latest album, Bernard Hoskin delves into issues close to his heart. 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.
Extract from a long review of the Look At The World album in the June 1998 issue of Independent Songwriter










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