The Folk Edition

I probably don’t feature enough music from other strata in these ill-judged postings (this is not a music blog; repeat until fade). If I’m not careful you’ll consider me permanently parked in some franzipan netherworld, where the guitars hang fast or loose and the synthesizers are exclusively analogue. Some environ where the lyrics are carefully annunciated by sultry femmes, or whispered by boys with floppy fringes. Somewhere, should you consult a calendar, it’ll be 1989 or 1997 or strictly a moment in-between, the mandatory elements including feedback and background noise originally picked up by a radio telescope hanging from a Peruvian mountainside.       

The truth – like all truths – is somewhat more prosaic, for few of us are immune to other charms, sprites sent in from left field, new audio experience – and for those of you who are immune, I imagine that life is slightly less fun.

There’s been a sharp increase in the amount of folk music I’ve been listening to over the last year or so. Part of this is probably due to some anti-hipster aesthetic; once you lose interest in what the NME proclaims as indie band du jour, different records, by default, start grabbing your attention (or at least if your music taste isn’t to be marooned in 1989).

But there’s more to folk than musical exploration for its own sake. I naturally listen to anything on Fence – heavy rotation – because that fits, snugly aligning with location, mindset and the majority of my accomplices (and Kenny Anderson is a wonderful chap, pip pip). But as mentioned elsewhere, I’m Scottish exclusively by where I lay my head at night, and although I rarely pine for the land of milk and honey and casual racism, there’s something about the English folk tradition – it’s richness and sense of cultural comradeship, perhaps – that dazzles. And then there’s Sandy Denny’s voice… <<sigh>>

Fairport Convention / Tam Lin

And the below: Waterson:Carthy, a specially recorded concert for BBC4.

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