Jackie Oates

Jackie Oates


The band varies depending on the show. For main stage festivals shee usually uses a 4 piece line up including keys, guitar, accordion and double bass, backing vocals, with Jackie on vocals, violin, viola and shruti. Jackie does duo shows for smaller events and has a lullabies trio project.


‘Deservedly becoming a celebrity in the new folk scene' The Guardian

2011 fRoots Critics’ Poll Album of the Year nominee
2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Album of the Year nominee
2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Folk Singer nominee

Jackie Oates is a phenomenon in the exploding folk-pop scene in the UK today. Originally a member of The Mercury-nominated The Unthanks (then Rachel Unthank & The Winterset), she has since carved out an astonishing solo career which has made her a name to conjure with in folk music circles, in demand for work with other artists, cosmetics stores, collaborative projects, even the subject of pop-art….

She has recently been the inspiration behind a ‘Jackie Oates’ titled and specially produced tinted moisturiser for fair skin in Lush - the worldwide chain of seven hundred fresh handmade cosmetics stores.

In May 2011 she toured with EMI-signed folk-pop star Seth Lakeman.

She has been immortalized as a Jackie Onassis for the 21st century by pop-artist David Owen (see above).

She’s newly established as a member of the all-star multi-cultural folk band Imagined Village alongside Eliza Carthy, Chris Wood, Martin Carthy and more (recording for Radio 2 at Maida Vale Studios in June).

She recently spent a week in the songwriting house of the Cecil Sharp Project which garnered major features on Radio 3’s World on 3, Radio 4’s Today programme and The Guardian.

In the wake of this explosion of activity, Jackie released her new studio album ‘Saturnine’ in September 2011. She says of the album,
‘The songs, their arrangements and instrumentation, and the album artwork are the result of a frenzy of current fascinations from viols, hand bells, eccentric percussion to the Saturn return, Joseph Cornell and Alphonse Mucha.’

Through the album is a strong connection to the songs, tunes and people of her west country of England base, as well as a burgeoning maturity which sees her move on to new heights from her 2009 released ‘Hyperboreans’ album, which itself drew a landslide of rave reviews: 'Jackie Oates is deservedly becoming a celebrity in the new folk scene' said The Guardian. 'English folk-pop...as pretty as some spring mornings.' said The Independent

‘Saturnine’ sees special guest contributions from Jim Moray, Alasdair Roberts, Karen Tweed and the little known Devon acoustic male voice line up The Claque.

A selection of reviews in for Saturnine:

‘The twelve dark and twisted ballads are largely about murder, violence and magical trickery. But sung in Oates’s disinfecting voice an interesting tension arises. It’s the musical equivalent of seeing the purest girl-next-door you know smoking a fag…a confident arrangement of traditional tunes, brilliantly executed and startling to hear.’
Arts Desk (CD of the day)
‘A luscious album…rich in so many ways’ Songlines
‘What’s most impressive here is the way the arrangements and instrumentation weave together so seamlessly…comparisons with June Tabor are apt.’ Uncut ****
‘She must now surely be considered among the highest echelons of the modern wave of British folk acts.’ fRoots
‘Whether seductively delivering stalwarts like Sweet Nightingale and Brigg Fair or linking with The Claque on Four Pence A Day and Marrow Bones, it’s the rustic beauty of Oates’ voice that enthrals.’ Mojo

‘Saturnine’ went on to be nominated as Album of the Year in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, with Jackie also receiving a nomination for the Folk Singer of the Year Award in the same awards. The album was also shortlisted for the fRoots magazine Album of the Year Award, and was a Mojo top 10 folk album of 2011.

In 2012 Jackie will tour the UK, Austria and Germany in her own right as well as playing major festivals including Sidmouth FolkWeek, Shrewsbury Folk Festival and Moseley Folk Festival as well as touring and playing festival dates in the UK and Europe with The Imagined Village.

In spring 2013 Jackie will release an album of lullabies supported by two Lullabies tours in spring and autumn 2013. The project as a whole will include a new archive of lullabies collected by Jackie, being lodged in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House in London, the home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. The project is support by funding from Arts Council England.