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December 2021

Christmas Cover Story: (50) Arthur McBride. Paul Brady, Planxty or Thile and Jarosz - but where's Dylan?

Christmas 2021 update: looking for something with a Christmas feel, and intending to contribute to a seasonally themed series at the 60s 70s Folk Music Facebook group, I finally plumped for this. Paul Brady's unbeatable song of press gang thuggery... Read more →


I Dreamed a Stream/I Streamed a Dream. Kate Rusby's new lockdown antidote

Christmas 2021: out of the blue, a lot of visitors started to appear here from the Kate Rusby fans’ group at Facebook. It turned out that my mention of this piece had finally been published many months after being submitted.... Read more →


Folk: a dirty four-letter word?

What is it about folk music that makes some folk or folksy artists want to disown it and smug rockers want to sneer? Think how many acoustic musicians and people associated historically with folk have sought to create distance. Briefly... Read more →


Best Christmas songs? Dylan just Must Be Santa and Fairytale doesn't have to be the Pogues

The cynic in me - and cynicism occupies a large part of my soul - says "best Christmas song" is a bit like "best trainspotter" or, worse, "best thing about medieval dentistry". But I'm not entirely Scrooge. I like John... Read more →


Music from North Eastern England. Season two: (2) Amelia Coburn, Richard Grainger, the Wilsons and Pete Davies's tribute to Vin Garbutt

For the second instalment of the second season of Music from North Eastern England, I turn my attention to Teesside. Nothing could be more appropriate: I am writing as I set off from London King's Cross on a trip back... Read more →