Folk Legend Steve Knightley, one half of the award-winning Show Of Hands, has given a ringing endorsement to two rising acoustic stars from Devon as they release their debut joint album and begin a string of shows in the UK and France.

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Cole Stacey and Joseph O’Keefe (from near Honiton) have just released On Hire, which Knightley has referred to as “fresh, inventive and original... one of the best albums from young songwriters I’ve heard in 2012” .

This has been followed by more critical acclaim and national radio play on BBC6 Music with Tom Robinson describing it as “ ...just so lovely, great and fresh, such a big sound for a duo, one of the more interesting collaborations of last year”.

BBC Radio Devon’s own John Govier who has long been praising Cole and Joseph, even before this album was out, has been showcasing the album on his hugely popular Saturday morning show.

Cole and Joseph, who opened a charity show with Sidmouth Folk Festival favourite Steve Knightley in Exeter back in September have described the stars words as “A humbling and big moment for us to have the backing of someone at the very top of his field”.

All this follows their announcement that they will again be supporting Midge Ure on some of his UK tour dates in 2013 and that they will be headlining a UK and European tour themselves in the spring.

They are currently in Paris writing and performing but still influenced by the Devonshire roots, especially after one of Devon’s finest has given such praise.

Their next appearance in Devon will be on Thursday, January 31, at Boston Tea Party, in Honiton, with £5 tickets available from the venue and their album On Hire is available to buy on itunes,amazon,bandcamp and shops.

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