Cover Story (41): Roy Bailey - mourn the man, treasure his work. Another fine version of Richard Thompson's Beeswing

I had not intended to re-open the debate on Beeswing. But it is possibly my favourite song - a choice that changes from time to time - and this comment might otherwise be lost in the undiscovered, though eminently discoverable, archives of Salut! Live.

More importantly, the version I reproduce above is from a wonderful figure of the British folk world who has just died, Roy Bailey (see my report on his death).

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Blues Run the Game: a starring role in The Old Man & the Gun

I noted with surprise today that I have not mentioned the late Jackson C Frank's gripping song, The Blues Run the Game, for three years (plus three days).

But yesterday, screening room number five at Picturehouse Central just off Piccadilly Circus resonated with the spellbinding mix of voice, guitar picking and song that makes this one of my all-time favourites. So why not share another listen?

The reason for my pleasant surprise at the cinema - actually one of two; I enjoyed A Star is Born much more than I'd expected to - is a dominant part of the trailer for Robert Redford's new film, The Old Man & A Gun, about the San Quentin jailbreaker Forrest Tucker. That suggests a great soundtrack. The film looks half-decent, too.

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Murder Valley: a question of identity is answered and Hollywood comes calling

Murder valley - 1

Who didn't smile at the story of the Dutch man who, at 69, is asking a court to grant his request to "identify" as a 45-year old so he can have more success with online dating?

The subject of this posting is also past 60 but has no problem with his age being known. And after several years of "identifying" as Jake, or occasionally Jake Lark, he has come out. Jake is John Clark, one of three members of the band Murder Valley, based in the Spanish city of Leon.

Until now, I have been calling John Jake when crediting him for the graphical images he produces so prolifically for my football site, Salut! Sunderland .

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RIP Roy Bailey and Bill Caddick, mighty figures of folk

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With great sadness, I record the loss of two more important and endearing figures of British folk music.

Roy Bailey, who died this week aged 83, was a passionate fighter for social justice. You could either agree or disagree with his left-wing politics but that his commitment was genuine could not be denied. His rich, strong voice echoes in the mind as I write this, and I recall with fondness his work with the late Labour MP Tony Benn, Roy's songs interspersing with the politician's recital of chapters from his book, The Writing on the Wall.

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Armistice 100: Eric Bogle, June Tabor and the right kind of remembrance

Over at the parent Salut! site, you will find a couple of reproduced articles of mine dealing with First World War anniversaries.

All I wish to do tonight, at the start of the weekend that marks the centenary of the Armistice ending the Great War, is to remind my few readers of two of the most powerful songs to be written about that conflict.

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Cover Story: (40) Like a Rolling Stone. Bob Dylan or the Rolling Stones

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Image: Jim Pietryga via Wikipedia

Salut! Live limps back into life with another entry in the Cover Story series comparing and contrasting different versions of the same song.

Many years ago in Paris, maybe 2006, I paid a fortune for tickets to see the Rolling Stones at the Stade de France. I can enjoy stadium rock - Coldplay in Nice and Lyon were superb and I've seen impressive clips of other bands in other places - and the Stones' concert was excellent.

I have not seen them live since but a review in my local paper when I'm in France, the Var-Matin (ahead of a Marseille gig, but based on a London show attended by the writer), noted that Ronnie Wood was getting better and better with the passing of years, while Keith Richards was not.

See the entire Cover Story series at this link


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The Big Interview: Jain, une exception française

JAIN 1 HD - Photo Paul & Martin

PHOTO CREDIT: PAUL & MARTIN, VIA SONY


About a year ago the French singer Jain
was quoted in France as saying the follow-up to her excellent debut album Zanaka would be released at the end of 2017 or in the new year.

Knowing that we had lived in the UAE at about the same time, I offered to write about her for The National, Abu Dhabi. So began a laborious process involving a stream of approaches to the Paris and London offices of Jain’s record company, Sony.

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Breaking cover. Cover Story (39) looks back at Birmingham Sunday: Rhiannon Giddens, Farina or Baez

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Image: by Appalachian Encounters (Rhiannon Giddens) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Why has Salut! Live been silent? It is a long story but can be told briefly. I was pleased with the way things were going here but the number of visits to the site (ie its readership) simply did not seem commensurate with the time and effort devoted to it.

To be listed at newsnow.co.uk, as two other sites of mine are, would have made a difference. Newsnow collects and categorises headlines at websites and blogs. It has a large readership so, for example, Salut! Sunderland's hits are massively enhanced because its articles are shown there in headline form. I value and appreciate that help. Salut!, the parent site, is more difficult to categorise but still benefits significantly from appearances at newsnow.

I was naive enough to feel we were doing more than enough at Salut! Live to justify acceptance by newsnow. It was not to be. The reasons for rejection were certainly debatable but that's not a debate for here. I do wish to keep the site alive and I do believe it has lots to offer lovers of folk and folk-related music, with a strong archive of material and endless scope for discussion.

For now, I will just allow a great friend Ian Evans, first met on holiday in Peru but a kindred spirit on so many levels, to revive the popular Cover Story series. Here, Ian compares versions of Richard Farina's powerful song about one of America's many shaming incidents, the bombing by Ku Klux Klan lowlife of a Baptist Church that killed four girls ...

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