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.
... whether you call here often or have strayed into the site from Salut!, Salut! Sunderland or Salut! North. Warm festive greetings from Colin Randall - seen on Santa duty at his granddaughter's nursery - and his occasional contributor, Pete Sixsmith, below.
Salut! Live readers with memories will know that after several years as a member of the voting panel, I excluded myself from this year's BBC Folk Awards process. So anything that follows will have an even bolder mark of objectivity ... apologies for relying earlier on the BBC press release, minor grammatical lapses and all. I was a bit stretched over at Salut! Sunderland ...
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When I was a much younger folkie, we knew where we stood on Donovan. Hummable, singable pop, maybe, but not Dylan and not folk in a million years.
Attitudes - rightly, I would say - have changed.
And while I can hardly claim to have been hugely familiar with Donovan's work since the days of Catch the Wind and Mellow Yellow - which, secretly of course, I liked even then - I do know that he has beavered away in commendable fashion for 40+ years and therefore deserves his Lifetime Achievement Award, presented at last night's ceremony.
When I looked before starting to write, this clip of the Isle of Avalon Irish dance ensemble had attracted 2,969,130 views, which had risen to 2,969,283 by the time I finished a moment ago. It seemed fair to assume they would not be relying on Salut! Live to find 30,717 more clicks needed to pass three million.
James Findlay, a 20-year-old singer/guitarist is the 2009 winner of the BBC Young Folk Award, chosen by a six-strong judging panel on Friday evening (Dec 4).
One immediate prize for James was an offer of a performing slot at Fairport Convention's annual Cropredy festival, to be held this year between Aug 12-14. Simon Nicol, a Fairport founding member, and the organiser of Cropredy, Gareth Williams, were present for the final round of the awards.
The result of the fRoots 2009 critics' poll is that Staff Benda Bilili's Très Très Fort (Crammed) is the folk/roots/world album of the year. That make it an album I have to acquire.
In both the Best Re-issue/Compilation and Best Packaged Album categories, the vote went unsurprisingly and bhy some distance to the important and gloriously presented Topic Records 70th Anniversary set Three Score Years And Ten.
Where did Salut! Live's votes go?
Well, the result of my changed status - no longer writing for The Daily Telegraph and living abroad - means that many fewer review albums come my way. Frtom those that have, I chose the folliowing as my six albums of the year (I list them alphabetically and will return to this subject with my own winners at a later date:
Yes, I know what I promised. The excuses are jostling for position: my possessions at sea between the Middle East and Marseille, a frantic start to my resumed freelance career, flood damge at my home in France ...
The list could go on.
But here is the firmest commitment I can make: Salut! Live will be properly live again within the next few days. Unless I'm a Dutchman or a Mag.