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Category: Folk music writing

Rachael McShane: The Grizzly Folk interview

Rachael McShane was the only female member of folk phenomenon, Bellowhead. You probably knew that. If you never saw Bellowhead live or on the TV, you’d have been able to find that much out from the internet. It’s probably why you’re here, reading this article. “Rachael McShane”, you’ll have thought. “She was in Bellowhead. I’ll have a read of that.”

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There Was an Old Man Came Over the Sea [Roud 362] | Folk From the Attic

Here’s a great one for fans of traditional folk that love to see how songs change from place to place. Like many modern listeners, I first encountered ‘There Was an Old Man Came Over the Sea’ on Lankum‘s album, Cold Old Fire [2015] – a haunting, disturbing version featuring a spellbinding performance from singer, Radie Peat. Maybe, like me, you made the assumption that it was an Irish song, but the briefest of glances beneath the bonnet shows that it comes from nowhere and everywhere. We’ll come to that later.

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The Gift Band Interview: Eliza Carthy on Norma Waterson, working at The Globe and Martin Carthy’s new version of ‘Scarborough Fair’

It’s a big weekend for folk music, especially if you’re in London and you’ve got a thing about The Watersons. On Friday, The Gift Band (made up, in part, of Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy and Martin Carthy), release their latest album, Anchor, on Topic Records (you can order it by clicking here), and that’s swiftly followed by a launch party on Sunday (it’s at the Union Chapel, and you’re all invited). 

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The Brave Dudley Boys [Roud 1131] | Folk from the Attic

This post is as much a tribute to one man as it is as history of ‘The Brave Dudley Boys’.

The more you delve deeper into traditional folk music in the UK, the more you encounter certain names – figures that may be little known outside the cannon, and sometimes no better known within it, but loom large over their own area of expertise. As soon as you start spending serious amounts of time with traditional and old songs from the Midlands, for example, you come up against the mighty Roy Palmer.

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