Salut! Commentary

Songs you cannot get out of your head: from Linda Thompson and Sandy Denny to Dolores O'Riordan, Nic Jones and Kate Rusby

Author: Colin Randall

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Time for another of those lists.

We all have them, songs or tunes we just cannot get out of our heads. A friend who is fairly contemptuous of Ed Sheeran - I am not, incidentally, and like him if selectively - was furious about not being able to shake off one of his hits (I have forgotten which).

Naturally, our personal choices for such lists are liable to change, on a whim or after coming across new or newly remembered sounds. I am restricting my own, current selection to music that is on my mind because I like it ...

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Hard Times/Complainte pour Ste-Catherine: a Kate and Anna McGarrigle feast

Author: Colin Randall

What a find. Bill Taylor, responding to my Cover Story piece on Anna McGarrigle's Heart Like a Wheel and its versions by the McGarrigle sisters, Mary Black and Linda Ronstadt - posted a comment with a link to a quite spellbinding rendition of Hard Times Come Again No More, Stephen Foster's song from the US Civil War.

"Brings me out in goosebumps every time I hear it," wrote Bill, mentioning also the contribution of Rufus Wainwright, the son of Anna's sister Kate.


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The Swarb tribute tour featuring the Jason Wilson Band, Martin Carthy, John Kirkpatrick and another Swarbrick

Author: Colin Randall

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A British folk-rock fiddler exemplaire, I called Dave Swarbrick when he died on June 23 2016.

He had left family and friends in no doubt that he wanted no funeral when his time came, and none was held. But he did like the idea of a last session with some of his many friends among fellow-musicians.

To his widow, Jill Swarbrick-Banks, this could be interpreted as his blessing for the round of concerts that is about to begin, what Jill calls "a touring tribute of minstrel friends that have come together to celebrate the great Swarb and his music".

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Signposts for admirers of Bert Jansch, Martin Simpson, John Renbourn and the Unthanks

Author: Colin Randall

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Click here to check Bert Jansch's music at Amazon


Just as I indulged in a spot of self-deprecation, mocking Salut! Live's improving but still modest readership figures, the unexpected happened.

Andrew Curry's guest contribution to the Cover Story series, an informed comparison of three versions of Jackson C Frank's 1960s contemporary folk classic Blues Run the Game, has attracted more readers that any item I can detect since a four-part interview with Rachel Unthank all of nine years ago.

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Johnny Hallyday: allumez le feu/ light the fire

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Buy this book at the Salut! Live Amazon link here
This has just appeared at another of my sites, Salut!. It is the promised Robb Johnson follow-up to his 2007 epic on Johnny Hallyday, reproduced here after news broke of Johnny's death at 74.

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fRoots: saving graces

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Here's a confession. Yesterday, I received a slightly unexpected £50 payment for advertising at the site I run for supporters of, mention the name sparingly, Sunderland AFC. It was one of those necessary evils, a dropped link to a betting site. Helps pay the bills - the site server thumped me for a £200 renewal only the other week - and also enables me, in the absence of a sponsor, to offer prizes in the regular Guess the Score competition.

But the £50 didn't on this occasion go towards the upkeep or the site or a mug/print/book for a winning entrant (which usually means someone who first thinks of the score by which Sunderland go on to lose).

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