Johnny Flynn in-studio, 9-30-08
“Support the British Folk Reclamation,” exhorts the back cover of a sampler EP for Johnny Flynn‘s debut, A Larum, out this year on Lost Highway. While Flynn himself had little if anything to do with that marketing angle (“Somebody’s idea of what would go down well in America,” as he put it during our interview), it’s not a stretch to hear the likes of Pentangle, Fairport Convention, and Nick Drake in his songs. Add to those influences a background informed by bards American (Dylan) and British (Ray Davies, Shakespeare), and the result is an enjoyable and literate collection of songs on one of those rare debuts that finds an artist sounding fully formed upon arrival.
Flynn stopped by our studios while in the midst of his first American tour— the Fee Fie Foe Fum Tour with Laura Marling and Mumford & Sons, and we talked to him about how his experience as a Shakesperean actor informs his songwriting and performance, the making of the new video for his “Brown Trout Blues,” and the family history that forms the subject for the haunting “Hong Kong Cemetry.”
Recording engineer: Steven Kray