Previous month:
March 2020
Next month:
May 2020

April 2020

Fotheringay: 'Sandy Denny's finest moments' and how a lost album was rescued

6a00d8341c337553ef0105367e702b970b-800wi
Image: Linda Fitzgerald-Moore

Eleven years is a long time, even in folk music. The article I reproduce below tells the story of the release of Fotheringay's 'lost' second album and dates from the end of 2008. I was living in Abu Dhabi and wrote this piece for The National, an English-language newspaper for which I was working and to which I still contribute. I researched and wrote the piece as a journalist; I am also, as any regular reader of Salut! Live will be aware, a fan.

I had largely forgotten about this feature until I noticed a day or two ago (the last week of April 2020) that members of the Sandy Denny and Family group at Facebook were nominating their favourites among the fabulous body of work left behind by a singer who possessed once-in-a-generation qualities. It was the idea of one of those members, Mick Donovan, and I posted a clip from the album, Denny's stunning version of Wild Mountain Thyme.

To my surprise, my post drew terrific feedback, more than 50 'likes' when I last looked. "She could have sung the phone book and it would have been beautiful," Mick wrote. "This has the bonus of being a lovely, lovely song." Another member of the Facebook group, Dave Pitchford, added: "Her work with Fotheringay was her best for me. I was fortunate to see the reformed Fotheringay a number of times. The music was an utter delight."

For all this great, much-missed artist's fans who stray to these pages, and in honour of Jerry Donohue, the former Fotheringay and Fairport Convention band member, who suffered a massive stroke in 2016, my original article appears below. Without Jerry, neither the album nor my article would have materialised and I thank him while hoping he has regained some of the quality of life that stroke took away ...

 

Jerry_Donahue_Wetter-Ruhr-Germany_2008Jerry Donahue: by Enamelhead - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, at Wikipedia Commons

Continue reading "Fotheringay: 'Sandy Denny's finest moments' and how a lost album was rescued" »


Covid-19. Songs of endurance (3) Mary Coughlan: My Land is too Green

RonnieScotts19MaryCoughlan_simonerudolphiphotography-1240-2 Image: Simone J Rudolphi 

 

MUSIC TO HELP US THROUGH LOCKDOWN

I am not sure whether Nick Hornby had the same problem when he wrote High Fidelity. For me, no sooner is a list created - favourite this, favourite that - than glaring omissions begin to glare. When posting my top 10s for male and female singers, live bands, acoustic bands and duos in my Lockdown sounds series, I did take care to explain how changeable my selections were.

You'd find competing lists if you had the time and inclination to trawl through the Salut! Live archive ...

Continue reading "Covid-19. Songs of endurance (3) Mary Coughlan: My Land is too Green" »


Lockdown sounds: anything I can do, you can do better ...

6a00d8341c337553ef014e89c0a360970d-800wi


A photograph I have hanging on the wall in France. It shows my reflection in the mirror as I interview Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh one night in Donegal

MUSIC TO HELP US THROUGH LOCKDOWN


I am grateful to everyone
who has taken the trouble to respond to my series of Lockdown sounds, artists male and female, duos, bands seen live and so on .. with singer-songwriters to come.

Those responses have come directly to Salut! Live and at Twitter or Facebook. From Jon Marks came a quite exceptional effort.

He's lovely bloke I've met all of once (drinks before a Portsmouth-Sunderland match; I support Sunderland, he supports Spurs but lives in Pompey after which the detail of connections loses relevance to a folk music site).

But he has gone to the bother of replicating my device of listing top 10s in each category (when not inventing his own). His follow:

Continue reading "Lockdown sounds: anything I can do, you can do better ..." »


Lockdown sounds: now for acoustic bands and duos. Planxty and the McGarrigles top my lists

1343206946_7cd631fdf0_b

Paul Brady performs Arthur McBride. Image reproduced from Flickr with kind consent of David Sutherland

 

 

MUSIC TO HELP US THROUGH LOCKDOWN

 

Not even the readers of Salut! Live are wholly on my side. My folk tastes are unusual and I cannot be surprised that few share them. Kate Rusby once told me she was quite pleased this type of music wasn't for everyone (though, logically, it should be).

But I persevere. So far, we've had favourite male and females singers and favourite bands. I am delighted that so many people have bothered to offer their responses and make own suggestions.

Now it's time for duos and acoustic bands and I will not, for the purposes of this exercise, restrict my choices to those seen live. I'll add an asterisk to each selection where I have seen them up close and personal, or from row Z in the gods. And I have used a little licence, leaving out some of those mentioned in other categories even though they might fit again.

First duos. And this, 100 per cent, is folk and blues so avert your eyes if not for you...

Continue reading "Lockdown sounds: now for acoustic bands and duos. Planxty and the McGarrigles top my lists" »


Favourite 10 bands. Usual suspects - Fairport and Steeleye - with Coldplay, Cranberries and Dire Straits varying the mix

6a00d8341c337553ef00e54f352c8e8834-800wi
When I bumped into Richard Thompson relaxing at Cropredy before the Liege and Lief line-up, minus Sandy, took stage

MUSIC TO HELP US THROUGH LOCKDOWN

Move on to bands, the man said, so we shall. If a top 10 of male or female singers, from a lifetime of listening to music, is hard enough, limiting a line-up of bands to 10 is frankly impossible.

I love folk music and folk-rock but what about all the blues, rock, pop and even country groups I've thoroughly enjoyed, not to mention classical ensembles?

For the purposes of this little list, then, I shall exclude classical music altogether and restrict my choice to bands I have seen live. And even then its tough.

This is my selection. I have listed them in order of how much pleasure each has given me, not because I necessarily believe them to be the best band in bather world, second best and so on

Continue reading "Favourite 10 bands. Usual suspects - Fairport and Steeleye - with Coldplay, Cranberries and Dire Straits varying the mix" »


Favourite 10 singers. (2) Male - Ray Charles tops my list with room for Dylan and Christy Moore

51w5LzDN+aL._AC_

MUSIC TO HELP US THROUGH LOCKDOWN

 

I promised a top 10 of male singers - just my own preferences - and invite you to list yours.

You may also pop back to https://www.salutlive.com/2020/04/your-favourite-10-singers-1-female-sandy-denny-and-billie-holliday-head-my-list.html and offer your top 10 female vocalists.

Continue reading "Favourite 10 singers. (2) Male - Ray Charles tops my list with room for Dylan and Christy Moore" »