Archives for September 2008
I have always been a singer songwriter. I see it as an honourable, creative and traditional trade, like thatching or carpentry - although there's less chance of falling off a ladder or hitting my thumb with a hammer!
We had literally dozens of emails asking to hear more from his Dragonfly album, and generally wanting to know a bit more about the man. So I thought I'd ask him to be my guest blogger this week.
Somebody asked me the other day how they could get their kids interested in folk. A hard question really. In the good old days (which I am so fond of spouting about) there were dozens of folk clubs in any town of a half decent size and, since folk was then regarded as alternative music, the clubs were full and very welcoming. So it was much easier for people who wanted to learn an instrument to do so. Then, when they felt proficient enough, they could get up and practice their craft before an audience.
"I must admit that I was a bit of a latecomer to the world of folk, roots and acoustic music, but I have been a regular listener to your show for the last three years now, and I have built up a good collection of contemporary CDs as a result of hearing tracks on your shows from a wide variety of performers, such as Cara Dillon, June Tabor, Christy Moore, Oysterband, Bellowhead, Joan Baez, Steeleye Span, Jim Moray, Megson, and so on."
I'm always delighted when I come across folk singers or musicians that are not just new to me, but brilliant - (you might remember how I wrote about Reg Meuross and Lissa Schneckenburger in a previous blog). In the last few days I've come across an album by an all female group The Shee called 'A Different Season' and an album called 'Islands On The Moon' by Mark Dunlop.
One of the tracks on this week's show was Female Smuggler from the new album of the same name by Jo Freya. It's more than an excellent piece of music, it is part of that whole tradition of songs in which a woman dresses up as man, usually a soldier, sailor, pirate or highwayman. In the latter case, Sovay - the female highwayman, was the subject of a much recorded song, put together from various sources by Martin Carthy.
Julie Matthews writes:
This is my last blog for this week and I wanted to use it to pay tribute to all the wonderful sidemen and women that fill our record collections and stages alike.
These are the exceptionally talented people who have no desire for their name to be in bold on the poster or on the front cover of the CD, yet without them our CDs and concerts would be like trying to produce oil paintings with pencils.
Julie Matthews writes:
Chris While and I head back to
My guest blogger this week is singer and songwriter Julie Matthews.
Well known for her many performances and albums with Chris While, Julie was also one of the main writers on the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Radio Ballads. As well as that - she's a good egg and all this week she's going to be telling us what she's been up to.