are a multi-award-winning folk duo, who are impressing audiences across
the country with their innovative and captivating take on the folk tradition.
Described by Mark Radcliffe as sounding ‘like two halves of one
voice’ and by Mercury Music Prize nominee Kate Rusby as ‘absolutely
amazing’, Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere combine breath taking
vocal harmonies and melodies, delivering original songs that are inspired
and rooted in the landscape and history of the British Isles. As well
as crafting unique and engaging original material, Ninebarrow also take
a wide-range of traditional folk songs and rework them in their own,
In a few short years,
the Dorset-based duo have carved themselves a distinctive niche on
the folk roots scene for their outstanding harmonies, delicate instrumentation
and engaging songs. In 2017, they were nominated at the BBC Radio
2 Folk Awards in the ’Horizon’ category for ‘Best
Emerging Artist’. One of the highest accolades in their genre,
it was made even more exceptional because it was only a few months
prior to this that Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere relinquished
their jobs as a teacher and GP in favour of a full-time music career
– an act of faith that has clearly paid dividends.
Since then, the duo
have continued their upwards trajectory, graduating to more senior
award categories, most recently picking up ‘Best Duo’
in the 2019 Folking.com awards.
Named after Nine Barrow
Down in Dorset’s Purbeck hills, the duo have released three
critically acclaimed albums with their most recent, The Waters and
The Wild’, receiving five-star reviews in the Morning Star and
EDS Magazine. This latest album has also been described by folk luminary,
Mike Harding, as ‘absolutely monumental’.
Tom was born on Tyneside and brought up in a pub on the famous Scotswood
Road with clientele drawn from the Irish and Scottish communities.
This is where he first experienced traditional singing and fiddle
music; the Hornpipes of James Hill amongst his first influences. 50
years on Tom McConville is widely acknowledged as THE authority on
the music of James Hill and produced the first CD devoted entirely
to Hill’s compositions.
journey started in the North East folk clubs in the early 70s. Newcastle’s
thriving Irish scene provided the opportunity, with his first band,
to support Sean McGuire, John Doonan, The Fureys, Boys of the Lough
and even a lock-in with The Dubliners. Tom still credits the legendary
Sean McGuire, the fiddle genius from Belfast, for teaching him his
in 1974 he joined Bob Fox in a duo then folk/rock band Magna Carta
to play all over Europe. A memorable partnership with Kieron Halpin
produced two award winning albums and top billing at The Cambridge
His next group Dab
Hand made several visits to the USA where Tom met with another of
his hero fiddlers, Byron Berline. After a spell with Syncopace and
a partnership with guitarist Chris Newman, Tom spent the next 11 years
recording & touring with Northumbrian piper Pauline Cato.
Every new venture
brought great success and immense respect from his peers and public
alike. Throughout his many collaborations he has continued his solo
show at venues large and small. “A sandpaper-dry wit, eye-watering
skill on the fiddle, great vocals... you just can't help feeling that
a performance by Tom is like visiting an old friend” is how
one folk club organiser describes him.
2006 saw Tom working
with Scots instrumentalist of the year, Aaron Jones & All-Ireland
Champion flute, fiddle and whistle ace Claire Mann. Along with Kieran
Boyle, Peter Tickell, Dave Wood & Kevin McGuire, Tom completed
a stunning solo C.D. Tommy on the Bridge. Musically brilliant,it attracted
great critical acclaim. Two more solo albums followed: Tommy on Song
and Tommy on the Road. Tours with these albums played a major part
in Tom being voted Musician of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Recently Tom has
travelled extensively as a duo with David Newey and with three &
four piece line ups featuring David, Shona Kipling, Phil Murray and
Renowned for his
musical accompaniments, Tom has played on hundreds of albums. The
list includes: Barbara Dickson, Richard Thompson, Allan Taylor and
Lindisfarne. Whilst he has shared stages throughout the world with
Stephan Grappelli, Sean McGuire, Mark O'Connor, Paul Brady and The
Chieftains, Tom has never forgotten his roots and is as happy in the
intimate atmosphere of a small folk club as he is at the largest festivals.
is a world class act!