YORK folk musician Joshua Burnell will launch his third album at Pocklington Arts Centre on Wednesday night, although The Road To Horn Fair will not be released officially until February 15.

Nevertheless, Joshua will have copies available at the launch night, ahead of its full bloom on his Misted Valley Records label next year, distributed via Proper Records.

The Road To Horn Fair is both the follow-up and forerunner to Joshua's Songs From The Seasons, his 14-track May 2018 album that resulted from his Seasons Project, wherein he arranged a folk song or tune every week for a year.

"Recording actually started in November 2015, not long after my debut, Into the Green, was recorded and before I began the Seasons Project," he says. "It's another set of traditional songs and tunes that I've arranged and is a product of the time when I was first developing a keen interest in the folk canon.

"I was on the brink of releasing it – it was meant to be released before Songs From The Seasons – but then I realised it would conflict with making the Seasons Project, and now I think it was a blessing that Seasons 'got in the way', as I learned so much about how to record and about my voice in the meantime."

Joshua returned to the original recordings, subsequently partially re-recording his vocals – "more like patching-up than completely re-doing them" and using studio technology to change the sound of the drums and guitar, re-mixed by drummer Ed Simpson.

"On the first track, Pastime With Good Company, there are now two of my vocals and two of Frances's vocals [Frances being Joshua's wife, Frances Sladen], based loosely on the idea of time travel, with each of us having a vocal from 2015 and 2018."

As with Songs From The Seasons, drums, guitar and bass were recorded at Teesside University, where Burnell's electric guitarist, Nathan Greaves, studied sound engineering. Vocals, bouzouki and acoustic guitars were done at Joshua's home, and mixing and mastering applied at Simpson's Moon Glue studios in Poppleton.

When undertaking his Seasons Project, Joshua trawled through books of folk songs to find material, but The Road To Horn Fair "began in a different place". "This album was my first stab at arranging songs, so they were songs that presented themselves to me; my homage to Martin Carthy and Steeleye Span when he was in the band," he says.

All but two songs are traditional, with arrangements by Burnell, the exceptions being ex-Bellowhead frontman John Boden's tune for Horn Fair and Joshua's setting of The Knight And The Shepherdess. "I found the lyrics in a folk music archive and then wrote my own melody and my own fiddle tune, so that's the one I'm most proud of," says Joshua, who will perform alongside new fiddle player Holly Brandon, as well as Greaves, Simpson, upright bassist Matthew Mefford and Sladen, the day after she arrives home from New Zealand, fresh from a sky-dive.

Come February 15, look out for the cover artwork by American artist Randy Asplund. "I'd searched for a long time to find him, as I knew I wanted it to be medieval, like a piece of parchment found from 1,000 years ago, and I got an instant response," says Joshua. "We've never met, but Randy was perfect, as he uses vellum, a prepared animal skin, and brushes made from bone and feather, and mixes his own inks."

Joshua Burnell & Band launch The Road To Horn Fair at Pocklington Arts Centre, November 21, 8pm. Tickets: £8 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

• The artwork is by American artist, Randy Asplund, who specialises in medieval and renaissance artwork. He works using authentic methods, mixing his own paints and painting onto vellum.