York-based folk duo Pen and Stu are in the final stages of completing their upcoming album, ‘Ravenswood,’ slated for release in January 2024.

Having joined forces in September 2014, Pen and Stu have established themselves in the Yorkshire music scene and beyond, known for their unique fusion of prominent whistles, tenor guitars, and original lyrics. Their musical journey began with the release of their debut album, “So Far…Songs of Love, Loss and Pirates,” in 2017, followed by the live studio EP “New Horizon” a year later.

Receiving widespread acclaim through national radio plays and live sessions, the duo gained popularity at various festivals and venues, such as Filey Folk Festival, Alston Live Festival, City of York Folk Weekend, Whitby Pirate Festival, Gary Stewart’s Folk Club at The Mill, Tramlines Fringe Festival, Great North Folk Festival, Greenside Festival, Derby Folk Festival Weekender Fringe, and Hutton Rudby Folkfest.

By 2019, they were performing over 50 gigs annually, balancing their musical pursuits with full-time day jobs. However, the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 prompted a reevaluation. Pen, the primary songwriter, who began songwriting a decade ago, transitioned to full-time songwriting in January 2022. Both Pen and Stu committed to becoming full-time musicians once normalcy returned.

Their upcoming album, ‘Ravenswood,’ recorded at 6dB studios in York and produced by Dave Boothroyd, reflects this newfound dedication. The album comprises ten tracks featuring Pen’s soulful lead vocals, accompanied by tenor guitar, haunting low whistles, and Stu’s rhythmic guitar and melodious bass lines.

Pen said; “We are proud of the album as a whole, but ‘Pretty Bird’, one of a number of up-tempo tracks on the album, has received a really positive response, so we decided to release it as a single and it’s getting radio airplay and is available on all streaming platforms.

“‘Pretty bird’ inspired by ‘The Mabinogion’ book of Welsh folk tales, includes two kings, a magic cauldron, a fierce battle, with soldiers coming back to life and ends with a broken heart.

“It was great to record and is fun to play live. I look forward to many more people hearing it.”

Stu said; “We post a weekly ‘Tuesday Teaser’ on our YouTube and Facebook pages. This is usually a snippet of a song that we’ll be playing at a forthcoming gig, or a whistle tune, composed by Pen.

“As we build up to the album launch, we will be playing extracts of the new songs which will offer a flavour of what we have been up to.”

Both Pen and Stu anticipate an exciting 2024, anticipating more festivals and gigs to promote their eagerly awaited album, ‘Ravenswood.’