THE folklore of Warwickshire has inspired the release of a song for Hallowe’en from Alcester singer-songwriter Jack Blackman.
The ‘Ballad of Clopton House’ tells the true story of three sisters who each succumbed to mysterious fates whilst residing at Clopton House in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
The story is said to have inspired Shakespeare’s character Ophelia from Hamlet.
Jack, the man behind the legendary Tuery Sessions at the Cross Keys in Alcester, is no stranger to including local legends in his lyrics.
His 2014 song inspired by the alleged witchcraft ritual murder of farm labourer Charles Walton on Meon Hill was used in a BBC Radio 4 documentary to tell the story.
He’s also fast developing into one the most accomplished and exciting young performers on the roots scene today.
Not only has he performed all across the UK but has journeyed as far as a stage in the Mississippi Delta winning plaudits from the likes of ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris, acoustic guitar legend Martin Simpson and American bluesman Charlie Parr.
And thanks to the wonders of modern technology he’s also been able to keep playing through the Covid-19 pandemic.
He did his own take on self-isolation at the height of lockdown, did a version of John Lennon’s ‘Isolation’ to raise money for homeless charity Street Arts in Stratford and performed regularly at ‘Clap for Carers’ outside his home with his family – to the delight of neighbours.
Recently he was on social media with his own riposte to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s suggestion that people in the arts should simply do something else and retrain.
“We’ve been working for a while on the Ballad of Clopton House but the song about Rishi Sunak just popped out,” said Jack.
He described Ballad as a ‘spooky kind of story’ and it’s a track that features Jack on vocals, guitars, banjo and percussion with Jon Doran on violin, Louis Scheuer on accordion, James Maguire on bass and backing vocals and David Vaughan on drums.
It is available on all digital platforms from October 30 – just in time for Hallowe’en.