Tag Archives: English folk music

Bert Jansch’s Just A Simple Soul

Bert Jansch was one of the most iconic and influential folk musicians to come out of the U.K. in the 1960s. It’s shocking that it’s taken until now for the release of a career retrospective, but very welcome indeed is … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior, Hannah James and Giles Lewis’ Shortwinger

Maddy Prior has been in the public eye for about 50 years. Starting out in a duo with Tim Hart, they both took part in starting Steeleye Span, the only folk rock band to make an impact on the singles … Continue reading

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Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy’s Anchor

The mother-daughter duo of Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy are members of the first family of English folk music. Although Norma has been recording since the ‘50s and Eliza the ’90s, they hadn’t recorded as a duo until 2010’s award-winning … Continue reading

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Siobhan Miller’s Strata

I first encountered Siobhan Miller at Cropredy ten years ago. She was in a duo with Jeana Leslie and together they had won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award that year, and that also gave them a spot at … Continue reading

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Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, 10-12 August 2017

(Please note: For various reasons I will not mention all the groups that played this year.) There is some dispute about when the first Cropredy festival took place. The most common view is that it was the farewell concert Fairport … Continue reading

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Quercus’s Nightfall

I was gobsmacked when I came across Quercus’s first, self-titled, album a couple of years after its 2013 release. The combination of June Tabor’s husky-silky delivery of largely traditional songs in a jazz setting that was somehow lush but also … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s Living in the Shadows Part 2, On the Edge of a Dream

This is the second installment of a massive archival re-release project of Scottish troubadour Bert Jansch’s latter-day studio recordings. This four-LP or -CD box collects Jansch’s three studio releases from the 2000s: Crimson Moon (2000), Edge of a Dream (2002) … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s Living in the Shadows (Part 1)

Bert Jansch, who died in 2011, was quite a prolific musician for quite a long time. I was a rather casual fan of his — well, actually I was an intense fan of one of his albums, and a casual … Continue reading

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Transatlantic Sessions to perform at 2017 MerleFest

The Transatlantic Sessions tour will be part of the 30th anniversary MerleFest in April. The Transatlantic Sessions is a series of musical productions that brings together innovative and iconic U.K. artists with the best American roots artists, under the musical … Continue reading

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Dylan Project’s Caught in the Convent

This is pure nostalgia for me. The first review I ever wrote for Green Man Review was a piece on a live performance by the Dylan Project in a small club in Oford, UK. The they were a new act on the … Continue reading

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Steeleye Span’s Dodgy Bastards

I’m just on my third listen to Steeleye Span’s Dodgy Bastards. This latest offering from a band I’ve loved since their earliest albums is a mixed bag. Fortunately, the contents are largely on the side of excellence. There is very … Continue reading

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Oysterband’s Little Rock to Leipzig

Amazon UK has a description for this album worth reading:  ‘A playful live album, 1991’s From Little Rock to Leipzig finds John Jones, Ian Telfer, and crew in a boisterous mood, attacking songs of their own and others with raucous abandon and … Continue reading

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Band of Hope’s Rhythm & Reds

We’ve had this memorable CD for a long time, and listen to it frequently. Although we once had a brief review of this on GMR (done by Jack Merry), the file appears to have slipped sideways in time, so Cat … Continue reading

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Bert Jansch’s The River Sessions

Bert Jansch is one of the great guitar players of any time. He is not as well known, perhaps as some of his contemporaries…but he taught many of them all they know. If you’ve heard Donovan, or Jimmy Page, fingerpick “Angie” … Continue reading

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Deborah Grabien’s Haunted Ballads series

Come in. . . .I’ll turn down the sound system slightly. Yes, that’s ‘Matty Groves’. No, not the one off the classic Fairport Convention album, Liege And Lief, from ’69, but rather one from a Dutch concert they did in ’75. … Continue reading

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Steeleye Span’s A Parcel of Steeleye Span

Are you looking for that perfect  gift for your lover of English folk rock? Oh, do I have a gift that’s perfect! EMI has just served up A Parcel of Steeleye Span. This triple disc set contains the entirety of their … Continue reading

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Comfort and the Unexpected: In Conversation with Maddy Prior

Question: What’s the perfect way to start off a misty moisty St. Valentine’s Day morning in San Francisco? Spending an hour on the phone with Maddy Prior, that’s what. Hands down, seriously. Forget the roses, the wine, the Hallmark cards. … Continue reading

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Various artists’ Refugee

We fled our homes from flames of war you rained in on our shores And now you’d sooner let us drown than open up your doors. For a life is only worth the dirt upon which it is born And … Continue reading

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Various artists’ Refugee

Ellis Peters’ Black Is the Colour of My True-love’s Heart 

Lenora Rose penned this review. Ellis Peters has a gift for titles. This aptly named book is the story of a fierce ballad-singer named Liri, who fell in love with a musician — then saw him cheating on her. It’s … Continue reading

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Bellowhead’s Burlesque 

Mike Wilson penned this review.  Burlesque takes traditional English music and dresses it up with vim and vigour, presenting 13 glorious tracks with full-on arrangements that instantly grab your attention. Bellowhead are an 11-piece band, led by renowned English folk musicians John Spiers and … Continue reading

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June Tabor and the Oysterband at the Nightstage

On a cold winter night, friends dragged me, protesting, into Cambridge to see a show that I had no interest in seeing. When we walked into the (late, not terribly lamented) Nightstage, there was an odd mix of people: older … Continue reading

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June Tabor at Minnemeers Theater

I have seen June Tabor live numerous times in recent years and I thought I knew what to expect at her concerts. I own just about every recording she ever made, the first review I wrote forGMR, when it was … Continue reading

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 Whirligig’s Spin

Ed Dale penned this review. It is really a delight to listen to the first 10 seconds of a new CD and know that it’s a keeper. Whirligig’s second CD, hopefully to be followed by many more, is a 50-minute gas; … Continue reading

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Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

John O’Regan penned this epic review. ‘What We Did On Our Holidays’ was the title of Fairport Convention’s second album for Island records in 1969. To paraphrase said title a little, what I did this year on my holidays was go … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Collections and Maddy & Girls’ Under The Covers

You’d think it would be enough for anyone to be the lead singer of one of the most important English folk-rock bands for the majority of its existence, but Maddy Prior has always had a musical life outside Steeleye Span, … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Memento: The Best of Maddy Prior

Naomi de Bruyn penned this review. Maddy Prior is a very familiar name and voice, mainly due to her many years of being ‘front man’ for Steeleye Span. This is her first ‘Best Of’ collection, and has been taken mainly from … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Woman in the Wings

John O’Regan penned this review. Maddy Prior has become synonymous with the voice behind Steeleye Span. It was as much to escape the ghost of Steeleye as to make her own mark that she embarked on a solo career in 1978. … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Ravenchild

An icon of English folk rock, Prior knows how to set her impressive vocal talents among supportive instrumental accompaniment. I won’t repeat the history of her career with Steeleye Span and Carnival, because Lahri Bond has already done that in his … Continue reading

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June Tabor’s Rosa Mundi

Eric Eller penned this review. Rosa Mundi, June Tabor’s latest album, is a collection of songs from different eras to celebrate aspects of and ideas surrounding the rose. Framing an album around a central theme or idea is a popular choice … Continue reading

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June Tabor’s A Quiet Eye

A new recording by June Tabor allows me to pursue further the special relationship which, unknown to her, we have had since the late Sixties. Tabor left her home in Leamington Spa in the English Midlands, where she had begun … Continue reading

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June Tabor’s An Echo of Hooves

If anyone could pull off a whole album full of dark dismal ballads it must be June Tabor. And she certainly proves it on this album. Tabor stirred up a lot of interest with her debut album, Airs and Graces, in … Continue reading

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Rob Young’s Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain’s Visionary music

When Ingrid, my wife who’s the Estate Buyer of everything from whiskies to low-head hydro, goes on a buying trip somewhere I’m interested, I take time off from managing the Pub here and go with her. Naturally I toss several … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Arthur The King

No’am Newman wrote this review. There was actually a minor – but dignified – scuffle in the Green Man editorial room as to who would have the right to review this disk. Such is the pedigree of Maddy Prior — one of … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior’s Flesh & Blood

Nothing in life, we are told, has any business being perfect. Maddy Prior clearly understands this lesson, otherwise she wouldn’t have marred an otherwise near-perfect CD with an oddball cover of Todd Rundgren’s a capella moaner “Honest Work.” That being … Continue reading

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Maddy Prior and June Tabor’s Silly Sisters and No More to the Dance

Take two of English folk music’s most phenomenal female vocalists, a lineup of backing musicians drawn from the best the field has to offer, and some terrific songs, and what do you get? Everything you could hope for from a … Continue reading

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Magpie Lane’s A Taste of Ale

I must confess I find it very hard to be impartial about this one. Choosing to fill a whole CD with songs about one of my favourite subjects, English beer, Magpie Lane has surely won my heart. Magpie Lane is … Continue reading

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Nick Burbridge & Tim Cotterell’s Gathered

Nick Burbridge is something of a Jack-of-all-trades. For more than a quarter of a century he has been active as a writer. He has written poetry, novels, short stories, plays and songs. He has also found time to co-found folk … Continue reading

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Oyster Ceilidh Band’s Jack’s Alive, Oyster Band’s English Rock ‘N Roll: the Early Years (1800-1850) and Lie Back and Think of England

Ed Dale wrote this review. I stumbled onto the Oysterband several years back via a copy of Little Rock to Leipzig, received as a premium during a college radio station’s fund drive. This was blind good luck. The two CDs I … Continue reading

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“Trad Boys, Trad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do….?” Liege & Lief remembered.

I’ve said it before: 1969 was a very good year. No, seriously. From the end of 1968 until the Altamont fiasco in December 1969, I had more music than most people get in their lifetimes. It was nuts, in the … Continue reading

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Stick In The Wheel’s From Here

If I had known earlier about From Here, Stick in the Wheel’s debut full-length release, it probably would have earned a spot on my 2015 Top 10 list. As it is, it’s still one of my favorite albums from the … Continue reading

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Jethro Tull’s Merry Christmas from Ian Anderson & Jethro Tull

Last winter, Jethro Tull issued their first full-fledged Christmas album. It was called, creatively enough, The Jethro Tull Christmas Album and it featured Tullish renditions of some classic carols, along with a selection of songs written by Ian Anderson responding … Continue reading

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Steeleye Span’s Wintersmith

It would be easy to say that a collaboration between Steeleye Span and Terry Pratchett was always inevitable, given their respective histories and their proclaimed admiration of each other’s work.  It may be an example of retrospective inevitability now that … Continue reading

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Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young’s Laylam

Eliza Carthy was a young up-and-comer when I first encountered her playing fiddle and singing backup in 1996 on her mother Norma Waterson’s self-titled solo album. In the ensuing couple of decades she has become one of the leading forces … Continue reading

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Mick Ryan and Paul Downes’ Away in the West

I have long been a fan of Mick Ryan, who previously was teamed with Pete Harris, who provided sensitive backing for Mick’s songs. On this album we find Mick paired with Paul Downes, who also comes with a revered reputation … Continue reading

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