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June 2017

Dipping into the past: (1) Jez Lowe and Orwell's friend Jack Common

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June 2017 Update: this item on Jez Lowe appeared six years ago, and referred to a review from four years before that, but my admiration for the singer and his wonderful observations on life and events remains undiminished. Check out his own site for more information. Otherwise, what you see below is essentially what was published in 2011 ...

Right, it's time to start filling the pages of Salut! Live and I can think of no better way, other than persuading Pete Sixsmith to submit some more live reviews, than to look into the archives.

Any visitor to this site can explore what has appeared here by navigating the sidebars, but I have also written on folk and related topics for various publications.

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Now we're five: Cover Story so far - Dylan, Baez, McTell, Steeleye, Nanci Griffith, Kate Rusby

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Buy this early Dylan masterpiece at
https://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000024RQ/salusund-21


Cover Story is one of the most interesting series Salut! Live has run. Yes, I would say that, wouldn't I? It has plenty of steam left in it - Joan Dawson, who suggested From Clare to Here, says I should also look at the Natalie Merchant/Christy Moore versions of Motherland - and I have others up my sleeve.

Over at the parent site - Salut! - I alerted readers to the series. This is how I did it ...

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Cover Story: (5) From Clare to Here. Ralph McTell, Bob Fox or Nanci Griffith?

NB: a lot of recent visits to Salut! Live have been to this posting via Facebook. Can anyone tell me which Facebook item is producing such interest? Thanks ...



In the fifth article in my series Cover Story, looking at different versions of the same songs, I consider three of the many interpretations of Ralph McTell's From Clare to Here , 'my second most covered song' as he has put it himself ...

All or any of those featured here can be bought from Salut! Live's Amazon link - just click on the record title:


513pTh8vBnLRalph McTell, on his album Right Side Up

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Nanci Griffith
: it is on her album Emigrant, which I cannot locate at Amazon but also appeared as a single which does pop up on searching the site, From Clare to Here


41A198Y6BKLBob Fox: on his album Dreams Never Leave You

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Cover Story: (4) Long Lankin - Steeleye Span or Wainwright Sisters

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What a joy to come once again across Loudon Wainwright III's daughters Martha - her mum was the excellent but, sadly, departed Kate McGarrigle - and Lucy, whose mother is Suzzy Roche, one of the Irish-American Roche sisters whose music gave me such pleasure decades ago.

I may have seen one or both of them as kids playing in a park in Hounslow 30+ years ago when dad was appearing at a small festival beneath an oppressive stream of one-every-13-seconds planes landing at Heathrow.

The joy was all to do with the discovery of their version of Long Lankin, a darkly enchanting ballad of murder and retribution I have always associated with Steeleye Span. It is the subject of the fourth article in the new Salut! Live series, Cover Story, a brief look at differing versions of same songs.

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Cover Story: (3) Our Town - Iris DeMent or Kate Rusby

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Click anywhere on this caption to buy this outstanding Iris DeMent album from Salut! Live's Amazon record shelf


Confession time. I once wrote that Iris DeMent had "unusual, wailing vocals" that initially brought to mind an animal in distress.

But even that sarky putdown, way back in 1993, was in the context of a positive review. I had found, against my own expectation, much to admire in her album Infamous Angel. DeMent, I concluded, suggested "a likeably unpretentious woman who can write with affection about real people and places, and think up real tunes".

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Cover Story: (2) Don't Think Twice It's All Right. Dylan or Baez

Driving in stifling Mediterranean heat of 33 degrees, the steering wheel and seat burning because the car had been left outside, is perhaps not the best way to listen to any music.

But that is when I put on one of many Bob Dylan versions of my favourite song of his, Don't Think Twice It's All Right. It quickly confirmed my unshakeable though, I know, contentious belief that the best singer of this song is, as it always has been, Joan Baez.

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