Must be New Guitar effect. My wife Joelle bought me a Yamaha for our anniversary (45th for heaven's sake) and I am newly enthused about music. My friend Joan Dawson warned me to expect sore fingertips for a few weeks before they hardened again and she was right.
Very sad to hear of the death, albeit at 82, of Leonard Cohen.
Many of his songs made an impact on me, though I have never been a great fan of Hallelujah, less because of the song than because of what it has been turned into. Give me One of Us Must Know, Suzanne, So Long Marianne and Famous Blue Raincoat among many others.
But above all, I think this morning of Maid of Orleans and his super, haunting duet with Jennifer Warnes.
An e-mail with word of a new song arrived today from Ed Pickford, an outstanding North-eastern writer (Pound A Week Rise, One Miner’s Life, Ah Cud Hew and the especially powerful Farewell Johnny Miner are merely examples of his early work).
Ed has weighed in on The Battle of Orgreave and the Government's shameful decision to rule out any sort of inquiry into the events of June 18 in the year, aptly, 1984, when police fought miners during the pit strike during a mass picket in South Yorkshire.
It was only a matter of time before Salut! Live's Song of the Day series reached Christy Moore. Today's the day ...
Salut! Live readers with long memories, and readers of The Daily Telegraph with even longer ones, will know of my "sleeping with Christy Moore" confessions.
My story was topped the other day when the American harper Bonnie Shaljean, who lives in Ireland, added this comment to a threat at Mudcat after talking to the Irish singer Packie Byrne about the rotten news that Mike Waterson had died:
Packie ... reminisced about some of his early memories of the Watersons, whom he first met in the mid or late 60s. During one festival they were all being put up in the same house. Not only the same house, but the same BED, as it turned out. For years afterwards Packie boasted about how he had "slept with the Watersons" and there were those who added up two and two and got five.
Everyone who enters the Gecko Bar seems to know someone who is already there or, because they own or work in it, can usually be found there.
The rapport between musicians and regulars is tangible, partly because the musicians are also regulars. The Gecko is leading the way in keeping music alive, live music alive, in the pleasant but somewhat sleepy Riviera resort of Le Lavandou, midway between Toulon and Saint-Tropez and also midway between Marseille and Nice.
How to catch up on the death of a deservedly revered figure of the British folk scene when it occurred on March 26 and we're now at April 13.
That was the test I set myself.
So I had a quick look around my huge collection of old CDs, incongruously stacked on shelving in the garage, and came up with two sent to me long ago by record companies or agents promoting John's work in days when I was The Daily Telegraph's folk critic.
Salut! Live is off on holiday to Cuba. This will be the last Song of the Day for a while and it comes, again, from my great friend, fellow Sunderland supporter and folk enthusiast Pete Sixsmith. His latest choice, from the work of Adam Holmes and the Embers, may be something new for you; it was certainly new to me. Pete says the album it comes from is simply wonderful. Tell us whether you agree ...
Colin Randall writes: Back in 2008, I shared this recollection of my first encounter with Maddy Prior and Tim Hart.
The folk club was not due to open for an hour or more. It was so early that I could not imagine anyone else being there before me. As I wandered, pint in hand, into the small downstairs room of the Golden Cock in Darlington, a young woman was sitting there reading a book. She had a right to be feeling quite cross, but showed no trace of anger. Maddy Prior had been exiled to the snug because the main bar was still, in those far-off days, the preserve of men.
Tim Hart, with whom Maddy then performed as a pre-Steeleye Span duo (complete with bursts of Lancashire clog dancing), was in that bar, possibly playing darts.
Maddy's new solo album Seven For Old England somehow reminded me of that evening at the Darlington Folk Workshop. She has made a huge amount of music in the intervening years, but this seems to convey her back to a less cluttered musical age.
And this is how Pete Sixsmith remembers them, in a splendid and original entry in the Song of the Day Revisited series ...
UPDATED: well not really, just reposted on a day - a variation of 9/11 as someone else put it - when I'd rather put negative thoughts on the USA to one side and dwell on how much good comes from that country, too. While trying to give this post a little boost on Twitter, I came across this (from another Tom Paxton, I'm relieved to say, though fair play to him for 'liking' my tweet saying as much) ...
I wish this election was based on what Northeast Philly thought. Trump would win for sure.
Happy New Year to all readers. You are part of a small but select band. I recently befriended Tom Paxton at Facebook when I came across him by chance and he quickly added me as a "friend", too, after we'd exchanged brief messages. I love this man's work - read on and you'll learn of someone else's failure to find a solitary bad song he's written - and his heart has always seemed in the right place. So the Song of the Day Revisited series makes its 2015 debut with Tom singing one of the songs that I especially liked. Here is how I introduced it for the original 2011 series ...