New group Offa Rex is the beautiful folky brainchild between indie outfit The Decemberists and singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney. The collaborative project, which is rooted in traditional British folk music, will debut their upcoming album Queen of Hearts on July 7th. But before then, the band has released a video for their take on the historic song, “Blackleg Miner.”
Tracing back to the mid-1800s, this traditional folk tune is thought to have originated from the miners’ lockout of 1844, in which the song disparages the “blackleg miner” from breaking the strike and abandoning the union. Brought back into consciousness by Steeleye Span during the British folk revival, the tune finds it’s way back to life through Offa Rex.
While retaining the raw emotion of the traditional tune, Offa Rex pays more tribute to the folk revival sound of the 60’s by updating the song with a groovier rhythm and psychedelic elements.
Catch Offa Rex’s folk revival renditions at this year’s XPNFest, with tickets and more information on the festival found at XPNFest.org. Watch the video for “Blackleg Miner” below.
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