A MUSICIAN has hit the road – for a 127-mile trek to all of his gigs.
John Jones, best known as the lead singer of folk-rockers Oysterband, will walk the spine of England with his band The Reluctant Ramblers.
The 10-day walk kicked off on Tuesday and will focus on the area of natural beauty encircling the Pennines and taking in parts of the Peak District and Yorkshire.
For John, who was raised in Meltham, the walking tour unites his greatest passions – the English countryside, music and rambling.
It’s an idea he dreamed up two years ago, as walking from gig to gig gives him the chance to connect with the places and people along the route.
Previous tours have seen him walk from the Welsh borders to Leicester and through the Dorset countryside last year.
Turning his attention to the north of the country will be like a homecoming for John, who he grew up in West Yorkshire.
One of his gigs will be at the Shepley Spring Festival on Sunday.
The route will take in some of the most iconic walking destinations in the country, such as Derbyshire’s Kinder Scout, the Hope Valley and Saddleworth Moor.
The route is significant because anyone inspired by it can join in for all or part of the route.
Previous walking tours have seen fans travelling from as far as Germany to take part.
The unique idea has also captured the imagination of the people at the Ordnance Survey.
The result is a new bespoke page on their maps portal, which allows anyone who wants to walk with John to access all or part of the route and download it free of charge.
John has carefully constructed the route not only to include the region’s most spectacular sights, but also to offer shorter walks of just a couple of hours or a half-day.
This means as many people as possible can take part.
He said: “The idea is to get people out there walking with us, even if it’s just for a few miles.
“The beauty of these tours for me is that the music and the walking go hand in hand.
“My music is totally inspired by the landscape and I want as many people as possible to share in the whole experience of a good day’s walking, followed by music in beautiful surroundings with great company.”
The gigs are the highlight, with several groups and singers taking part.
John is also keen to highlight the range of excellent young folk and acoustic musicians local to the places where he’s playing.
He said: “The folk world is very lucky at the moment to have so many great young talents about.
“This tour will give me the chance to play and walk alongside some of them and to bring their music to new audiences.”
He maintains a regular walking blog while he’s touring so that anyone can follow the adventure online.
For walking routes and information on shows, including tickets, visit www.twistedfolk.com