John Blackmore is a singer, songwriter, poet and teacher from Somerset. John discovered William Barnes while studying English Literature at University, and wrote his undergraduate dissertation on the dialect poet, exploring how music specifically folk music might be a means of bringing William Barnes poetry back to popularity and public consciousness.
Ralph Vaughan Williams setting of "Linden Lea" was an obvious place to start, but John explored the possibility of setting other works to music and arranging them for guitar and voice.
John was a semi-finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Competition in 2011, and John's music and commentary formed part of a BBC Radio 4 documentary on William Barnes in 2014 called "Dorset Rewritten".
Like William Barnes, John's poetry and music are heavily influenced by the landscapes, people and issues of the rural West-Country. John teaches English in a secondary school less than ten miles from the small market town of Mere, where William Barnes set up his first school. In 2017. He is recording a CD that features his musical arrangements of Barnes' poetry and his own compositions. This has been made possible by the William Barnes Society.
‘Beauty of Blackmore’ is John Blackmore’s debut album and is availble through the shop click here