BROADCASTER, writer and musician Mark Radcliffe will join an award-winning folk duo at a gig in Saltaire.

The Weeping Willows represented Australia in Radio 2’s Commonwealth of Folk and have been championed by Mark Radcliffe, who will join them at the Live Room with musician David Boardman.

Mark has been on BBC national radio since the early 1990s and currently hosts the Radio 2 Folk Show and weekend breakfast on 6Music. He is the author of five bestselling books, the latest being Crossroads - In Search Of The Moments That Changed Music.

Previously a member of folk rock bands The Family Mahone and Galleon Blast, he is one half of electronic duo UNE and drummer and lyricist for Americana band Fine Lines whose lead singer and guitarist is David Boardman.

Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "Australian country at its near-finest", The Weeping Willows are Laura Coates and Andrew Wrigglesworth, a duo "steeped in Bluegrass tradition and draped in Gothic Americana imagery".

Says the Live Room team: "They regale their audiences with stories of sunshine and romance, God and the Devil, murder and decay. Real music. With their beautiful third studio outing, You Reap What You Sow, The Weeping Willows weave their singular tapestry with career-defining mastery.

"In a way, every song penned by The Weeping Willows is a love song. They’d deny that, of course. These tracks, they’d claim, are works of imagination - tales of cruelty, tragedy, murder and betrayal, all populated by gamblers, sinners, infidels and travelling salesmen.

"Ask Andy or Laura to define their work and they’d probably hit you with phrases like 'cautionary tales', 'murder ballads' or simply 'folk songs', but in truth these are love songs.

"The Weeping Willows are lovers, they are devoted to each other and to the life of the artist in seemingly equal measure. Have you seen them perform together? Have you seen the knowing glances they exchange as they harmonise their eerie, at times surreal lyrics over Andy’s patient, timeless three quarter strum? Every note plucked or sung by Andy and Laura is a work of love. Every dark hour spent huddled together refining their sound in the dimly-lit backroom of their home on the Southern outskirts of Melbourne is a labour of love.

Even when Andy and Laura are warning of the Valley Of Darkness, the mysterious The Pale Rider or the treacherous Devil’s Road (which a dark crow watches over ominously from the old smoke stack), there is love, and a wry sense of humour, in abundance. In Travellin’ Man, a song co-written with Lachlan Bryan, the love is addressed more directly, but tempered by the realities of life as an itinerant musician.

"There’s an inherent truthfulness in every recording and performance by The Weeping Willows. This integrity is the reason they can play almost every week of the year, often three or four times, winning over new fans wherever they go.

* The Weeping Willows, with Mark Radcliffe and David Boardman, are at the Live Room, Caroline Street, Saltaire, on Sunday, June 30. Call 07855 164182.