Salut! Lives

Peter Green RIP. Fleetwood Mac's founder and British blues giant

Image: W W Thaler - H Weber, Hildesheim / CC BY-SA (


Did I reach folk music via the blues or the other way round? I think it was the former; you'd go to folk clubs to hear people playing Dylan and the blues and then find yourself introduced to the traditional music of the British Isles and beyond. I was quickly hooked without losing affection for what had taken me into those smoke-filled, North-eastern pub function rooms in the first place.

Peter Green, the founder of Fleetwood Mac who has just died aged 73, was one of the musicians who inspired me back then.

I cannot overstate how important those British bluesmen were in the development of musical tastes that have remained with me for more than half a century.

Like Green, I grew up on conventional pop and rock - his own early inspiration was the Shadows' Hank Marvin - but came to find it unsatisfying.

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RIP Judy Dyble: a 'crystalline soprano' with Agatha Christie qualities

Image: Judy Dynle in Oxfordshire, 2009 Credit: Wikipedia 'tommytomato'

Salut! Live is not a folk news site.
It can post reflections, reviews, lists, the odd interview and so on but it cannot hope to offer a rolling stream of updates about the music we love and the people who make it.
Sometimes, we are forced to look elsewhere for ways of recording significant events (a US friend of ours, Stan Wilson, for example on the death from Covid-19 of John Prine).
The rock musician Pete Sears now fills another gap. Judy Dyble, who has died aged 71, fully earns a place in these pages as the original lead singer of Fairport Convention.
It is perhaps fitting that I came across Pete's stirring tribute at a Facebook group devoted to Sandy Denny, the singer who replaced Judy when the latter - to use her owns words* - was 'unceremoniously dumped' before the release of Fairport's first album ... I shall now let Pete - whose retrospective consent is being sought, though I cannot imagine he'd mind - take up the story of the woman described in an excellent New York Times obituary as possessing a 'crystalline soprano voice' ...

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John Prine RIP. No more happy enchiladas ...

Image: Ron Baker. CC BY 3.0,

Not all who contribute to the pages of Salut! Live and Salut! are people I have met. Renata Baraldi, author of a supremely moving coronavirus-related essay from Lombardy, is known to me only on social media, where we have a mutual acquaintance and demonstrate similar musical tastes.
Stan Wilson is American and drops by here, and at Facebook, to exchange thoughts on music. He alerted me to news of John Prine falling victim to Covid-19 and, at that time, fighting for his life in hospital. I awoke today to another alert from Stan, the one I feared. John died on Tuesday at the Vanderbilt University medical centre in Tennessee. He was 73.
And Stan sent me these words of tribute and sadness ...

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Mary McPartlan RIP: 'her loss is huge'

Mary McPartlan, in the middle of the photo, flanked by Gerry Driver and Lisa Knapp*

As the years pass, we get accustomed to hearing unwelcome news about contemporaries while also, and especially in these sad times, wondering about our own mortality.

That familiarity with death does not make it any easier to learn of the passing of those you valued, whether or not you actually knew them that well, or at all.

I never met the Irish singer, producer and broadcaster Mary McPartlan, who has died from cancer at 65. But her music made a significant impression on me and it was with great sadness that I saw this Facebook post from my confrere Colin Irwin ...

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RIP Roy Bailey and Bill Caddick, mighty figures of folk

Bailey and Benn - 1

With great sadness, I record the loss of two more important and endearing figures of British folk music.

Roy Bailey, who died this week aged 83, was a passionate fighter for social justice. You could either agree or disagree with his left-wing politics but that his commitment was genuine could not be denied. His rich, strong voice echoes in the mind as I write this, and I recall with fondness his work with the late Labour MP Tony Benn, Roy's songs interspersing with the politician's recital of chapters from his book, The Writing on the Wall.

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Dolores O'Riordan RIP: Limerick schoolgirl French, énergie and complicité

Author: Colin Randall


In 2010, after a concert in Nice, I described the Cranberries as a guilty pleasure. I shall quote the odd extract as we go on but you can read one of the articles I wrote then at this link. Now, at the wretchedly early age of 46, the band's lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, is no more. She died in London in circumstances, while not suspicious, that are still under investigation.

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