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June 2007

May 2007

Not gone away...and how we're all meant to be racists


No, not even away fishing. I did worry that Salut! Live would get off to a slow start and so it has proved.

Apologies for that. The other two blogs, and the inconvenient need to earn a living, have got in the way a little.

I am compiling a follow up to the 1990s list, which will of course be called The Best of the Century, so far.....

To be consistent (pipe down anyone who muttered 'that'd be a first'), I will restrict myself to albums I have voted best of the year since 2000.

And in the meantime, if you want to see how an interesting article in the Guardian got my goat, and the excellent and thoughtful replies my riposte drew from readers of the paper's Comment is Free site, go to this link.

Two writers, Hugh Barker and Yuval Taylor, argued in a deliberately provocative taster to their new book, Faking It: the Quest for Authenticity in Popular Music, that racism was at the root of what we call folk music today. I considered this to be nonsense, and said as much.

It's too late to add comments at Comment is Free but feel free to add any thoughts here. On the continuation page, I shall let you see what I wrote on the subject but leave it to you to explore the comments that my article attracted.

* Inspired by racists? No, I don't think so either.
The photograph of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, which is much clearer when clicked upon, is listed at Flickr as being in the public domain. Picture credit: US Information Agency. Press and Publications Service via Ping News.

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Roaring 90s: best of the decade


* Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts (Pure), album of the 1990s (1995)
* How Are You Off For Coals? (Fellside) Bob Fox and Benny Graham (1997); Banners: Music For East Durham (EDC) Jez Lowe (1997)
* Wo Sind Die Elefanten? (Fuse) Leon Rosselson (1991)
* Gentle Men (Irregular Records) Robb Johnson (1988)
* By Land and Sea and The Surprise (Tomcat) Pauline Cato and Tom McConville (1996, 1999)
* Voice of the People (Topic) Various artists (1998)
* Blackwater (Virgin) Altan (1996)
* Midsummer's Night (Whirling Discs) Dervish (1999)
* The Attic Tracks 1972-1984 (Special Delivery) Sandy Denny (1995)

* NB I have tried to dig out each of the above albums to list on the Amazon record shelf to your right, but had to resort to the substitutes' bench for Robb Johnson and Dervish

Presenting Salut! Live, the home of cool folk

Me with New Deal - 1

Since Salut! Live has been a lot livelier of late, and even attracting a few readers, I thought it might be a good idea to share with newcomers the way I introduced the site at its launch 10 years ago. There have been changes: I stopped writing on folk for the Telegraph when I was appointed to a new job in Abu Dhabi (it felt good to be firing them instead of the other way round).

Post-Abu Dhabi, I divide my time between London and France and still write regularly for The National, the newspaper I helped to launch in the UAE in 2008. I have had news and features published in the Telegraph since my return to Europe but so infrequently that it hardly counts. It is unlikely, in any case, to happen again (my choice again). The photograph you see above is not the grainy one that accompanied the original posting but one taken much more recently when I played a couple of songs with my friends New Deal at the Gecko bar in Le Lavandou, France.

Otherwise, the article is as it appeared in 2007 (so some of the references are naturally out of date). It is up to readers to say how well I have lived up to the self-billing but I do hope everyone who strays on to these pages finds something of interest...

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