Salut! Talks

The Big Interview: Jain, une exception française

JAIN 1 HD - Photo Paul & Martin


About a year ago the French singer Jain
was quoted in France as saying the follow-up to her excellent debut album Zanaka would be released at the end of 2017 or in the new year.

Knowing that we had lived in the UAE at about the same time, I offered to write about her for The National, Abu Dhabi. So began a laborious process involving a stream of approaches to the Paris and London offices of Jain’s record company, Sony.

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Potted Sharon Shannon


The last part of Salut! Live's interview with Sharon Shannon- conducted eight years ago -was necessarily brief. See the main interview and the reason for republishing it here.

We were almost at the of our conversation. Others were waiting to speak to her. But it didn't matter since all that remained for our purposes was to pepper her with one-line questions and prompts and collect her one-line replies. Sharon has always been, in public, a woman of relatively few words (that immense, beaming smile more than making up for the vocal reticence), and that suits the tradition Salut! Live quickfire questionnaire. Here is how it went, plus a review of the Saints and Scoundrelsalbum ...

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Dipping into the Past: Sharon Shannon - the Salut! Live interview


Please forgive Salut! Live for yet another dip into the past. I am working on a new article in which Sharon Shannon features prominently so it seems a good moment to begin by reintroducing readers to a giant of traditional music. Shannon is a woman whose technical authority is matched, surpassed even, by her extraordinary inventiveness and thirst for experiment, but who remains steadfast in regarding Irish music as always the essence of her art. I can think of few figure in music who, when their various contributions are totted up, have given more pleasure. I will add a clip, from about the same period of this interview that show what she brings out of others ...

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The Big Interview: Leon Rosselson no longer turning the world upside down


The album may be bought at the Salut! Live Amazon link:

On Leon Rosselson’s most recent album, Where Are The Barricades?, we encounter a cluster of usual suspects, old, older and new: rotten bankers, corporate raiders, uncaring politicians, plundering national heroes (take a bow, Sir Francis Drake) and an Israeli policy towards Gaza that is not the Holocaust but brings shame and disgrace on the descendants of those who suffered in it.

And we also meet Karl Marx, Cockney equivalents of Ken Loach’s Daniel Blake and people who struggle and not always with success to stay alive, most poignantly two children killed by brutes in different uniforms, one in Nazi-occupied Vilnius, the other in Palestine.

But this is not only Rosselson's latest album, full of the clever, challenging wordplay that for many years allowed me to write approvingly of his work for, of all papers, The Daily Telegraph. It is also his last. At 82, he no longer has the energy or, in the face of new technology, will to record any more.

I am delighted to present this interview, conducted by e-mail, with an English master of political song (his own website is at ...

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Potted miaows from Cats on Trees: (1) diversity, strange accents and Sandy Denny

Cats on trees OCTPhoto: Ana Bloom

There are two pieces of good news, in my little campaign to bring the French duo Cats on Treses to wider attention:

* My old acquaintance Eddie Barcan, manager of the Cambridge folk festival and once a fellow-judge of the BBC Young Folk Awards (we chose Tim Van Eyken) promises to
"have a proper listen" when he starts programming next year's event around December

* Nina Goern, one of the two cats on the trees, was intrigued by my mention of Sandy Danny and Fairport Convention and says she will check them out (for starters, I pointed her in the direction of three clips: Who Knows Where The Time Goes?, Fotheringay and Si Tu Dois Partir

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