Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Ballad of Britain

Inspired by Cecil Sharp and Alan Lomax, who collected folk and blues in England and USA, Will Hodgkinson decided to hunt for the musical soul of Great Britain. In a worn out car, and with quite basic recording equipment, he set ut on a travel to look for the folk music.
All this and more is described in the book "The Ballad of Britain. How Music Captured the Soul of a Nation" (Portico 2009). You get traditional folkies, morris dancers, hippies and noise fanatics (!) in Sheffield. Hodgkinson visits some famous people too, and lets us meet Pete Townsend, Richard Hawley and Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy and others.
A tiresome trip for Hodgkinson, turns out a relaxed and fascinating story for us. I didn´t know that everybody in Liverpool are Pink Floyd fans, but can agree on "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse being a brilliant folk song. On Goths: "I´ve always liked goths for the fact that they stand for absolutely nothing whatsoever beyond being pale and misunderstood".
Borrow or buy this book, and see if you can find "Guitar Man" by the same author too. This is the story about Hodgkinson learning to play "Anjii" by Davey Graham. Thinking about it, you better start with "Guitar man"!

Some of the recordings from the trip are collected on this CD.

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