Cover Story: (18) Sheepcrook and Black Dog. Steeleye Span or Offa Rex
Cover Story: (19) Beeswing - Christy Moore or Richard Thompson

Salut! Live is on holiday. But catch up on a massive folk and folk-rock archive

"What I love about working with you," The Daily Telegraph arts desk sub-editor said when I wrote about folk music for her section of the paper, "is that when I have query, you just ring up the artist and they answer it."

It was true, and remains so to some extent. I may have been a mere hack but I had the phone numbers of most of the people I wrote about, or at least those of people close to them.

Sometimes, they'd call me.

"What's the news, what's the news, O me bold Shelmalier", Christy Moore sang down the line (from the opening words of Kelly the Boy from Killane) by way of saying hello again.

"Are you a Spinners hater?" asked Tony Davis, leader (sadly now deceased) of the group of that name; as it happens, I wasn't - I appreciated what they had done to popularise folk even if I didn't always or even often like how they did it.

And in the last few days, Offa Rex's Olivia Chaney retweeted my mention of a comparison of her version of Sheepcrook and Black Dog.

Folk remains in good hands when there is so much less distance between performers and public.

That was a longish way of introducing my gratitude for the recent upsurge of interest in Salut! Live and especially the Cover Story series.

For years, the site toddled along with few postings and few readers. To see even 100 "hits" for one piece, and sometimes many more, is a marked change and also an encouragement to me to come up with more content.

But even Monsieur Salut gets away on holiday sometimes.

I am off to Corsica for a week. I haven't been for nearly 30 years but have happy memories and cannot wait to be back. I may even take my guitar since we're in a mobile home so I can pick and choose my moments.

Work, the paid-for variety, has been tough - in more ways than one - this year, what with French elections, terrorism and G20 in Hamburg. Maintaining my sites - Salut! Live of course but also Salut! and Salut! Sunderland - gives me huge pleasure and also welcome respite from that work.

But of the three, only the Sunderland football site will be updated during my absence, because others also write for it and I have prepared items to appear in the build-up to the game that takes place while I am away.

In the meantime, for lovers of the sort of music this site promotes and features, please feel free to explore what I modestly believe to be a rich archive.

This you can do by scrolling down the right-hand sidebar if you are on a laptop or desktop, or just by scrolling down on a mobile phone.

The links can be untidy. Some may well lead to dead ends and suggest a spring clean is long overdue. But there is a mass of material there, even if you limit yourselves to Cover Story; each of the 18 items so far published is listed with a clickable link.

I'd be chuffed to bits if people wrote in and said what they thought of the site, how it might be improved, what I should be doing more or less of. But I won't be too cross if I get back to mainland France and find no one has bothered ... we all have lives to lead.


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