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February 2021

The Byrds: when folk-rock got higher and higher

"John and Michi were getting kind of itchy, just to leave the folk music behind." As every 1960s schoolboy probably knew, the line opened Creeque Alley, a quirkily pleasing Mamas and Papas song which, when not bidding farewell to folk,... Read more →

A Song That Changed My Life: (1) Buffy Sainte-Marie revisited on her 80th birthday

Feb 20 2021 update: the great Buffy Sainte-Marie is 80 today. Hard to believe (until you remember your own advancing age) but today's the day. I hope she is in robust health and realises how revered she continues to be... Read more →

Hands across the water: Valentine brings Salut! Live's new Illinois ally, WEFT-FM

Feb 15 2021 update: WEFT-FM's Valentine playlist can be found here It's a two-hour programme so the list is long but expect to run, for example, into Siucra (as described below), Altan, Karen Matheson, the Tannahill Weavers and, um,... Read more →

Photography and folk music: Roger Liptrot's life in focus

The power of photography is well known. From the Northern Echo's curmudgeonly old Bill Oliver, with his huge box camera, to the brilliant men and women who capture war, humanity and style on film, probably every photographer I have worked... Read more →

Cover Story: (59) The Curragh of Kildare. A hanged highwayman and a hung jury

As we approach the 60th edition of Cover Story, here's something of a novelty for the series, a song that was among the first I found seductive as I became interested in folk music but for which I recently struggled... Read more →