A Folk Narrative Of Maddy Prior, June Tabor & Linda ThompsonSingingOut-72

By David Burke

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‘Singing Out’ a folk narrative by David Burke “… well worth your hard-earned cash” Review by Tim Carroll, Folkwords

“Burke has given the book a strong narrative, heavily reinforced with interviews with the three main subjects, as well as family members and friends.” Review by Neil King, FATEA

The Life And Work Of 3 Female Folk Icons

David Burke takes the lives of three of British folk music’s best-known and best-loved women and intertwines their stories. Why these three? As David explains: “Maddy Prior, June Tabor and Linda Thompson have both endured and evolved. The people’s relationship with its heritage may be capricious, but Maddy, June and Linda have remained resolutely committed to it while concurrently contemporising it.” They all began in the folk clubs of the second folk revival in the 1960s but, whilst staying true to their roots, have never been afraid to try new things (sometimes to the horror of traditional folkies).

Maddy Prior MBE is best known as being the singer with Steeleye Span, though she has done many different things, including the Silly Sisters with June Tabor.

June tried to juggle being a librarian and a singer, until singing, thankfully, won out. Elvis Costello said, “If you don’t like listening to June Tabor, you should stop listening to music”

To a large extent, Linda Thompson’s later career has been blighted by hysterical dysphonia, a condition that has stopped her singing for long periods. For this book, all three women kindly provided interviews, but Linda could only communicate via e-mail; her condition (which comes and goes) was so bad at the time. However, her albums with ex-husband Richard Thompson are classics, as are her own solo albums: it is just sad that illness has deprived her (and us) of more of them.

In addition to the three subjects, David has interviewed, amongst others, Ian Anderson, Martin Carthy, Christy Moore, Martin Simpson, Rufus Wainwright and even the creator of the Wombles pop group Mike Batt, who produced Steeleye Span.

About the Author

David Burke is news editor for R2, a leading folk music magazine. He has previously written Heart Of Darkness: Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska (Cherry Red, 2013) and A Sense Of Wonder: Van Morrison’s Ireland (Jawbone, 2013). A native of Ireland, he now lives in Wolverhampton and is married with two children.


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