Banjo Jen Trio
Sheffield-based artist Banjo Jen is difficult to categorise but easy to fall for. Her unique brand of folky Americana, with insightful observations and an eclectic original repertoire, has seen her gain a growing reputation as one to watch on the UK singer-songwriter scene. With razor-sharp songwriting, percussive Appalachian step-dancing and engaging between-song banter, her refreshingly original live act is guaranteed to win the heart of every crowd. She certainly did here in 2021. This time with the support of regular bandmates Johnny Griff on upright bass and El Heneghan on accordion, flute and backing vocals …and occasionally the musical saw! Expect a unique and enjoyable live show.
Jen took a somewhat unusual path to becoming a musician. A metalsmith and Art & Design teacher by training, she cut her teeth in workshops and classrooms, not bands and bar rooms (well, she may have drunk in the bar rooms!). But a few questionable life choices later, and inspired by her icons Dolly Parton, Billy Connolly and Kermit the Frog, she’d bought a banjo and taught herself how to play it. Moving to Sheffield with little more than the banjo on her back, she was bestowed the nickname ‘Banjo Jen’ and encouraged to start performing her own original songs …finding herself on the compelling but cripplingly unprofitable journey to becoming a folk singer-songwriter! She’s been tipped by Maverick magazine for a ‘long musical career’, so she must be doing something right!
Weaving clever lyrics with catchy melodies, Jen has released two EPs of original material to date. The release of the eagerly-awaited ‘Cloud of Dust’ EP in 2022 saw Jen complete her first headline tour and gain many new fans at her entertaining live shows. From tales of feisty female gold-rush entrepreneurs, murderous nursery rhyme characters and weary mill workers, to Jen’s own adventures and experiences in love and life, her eclectic songs are brought to life with percussive banjo and step-dancing.
'Taking inspiration from life experiences and traditional stories, her songwriting approach has an irresistible and quirky humour'
'Smart and sassy'
'Fantastic ...we don't hear enough brilliant music like this on the radio'
BBC Radio Sheffield