“I’m up to my ass in traditional songs,” Linda Thompson says in the extensive Q&A published today on theartsdesk. When she talked to me she also discussed her early adventures in traditional folk music. “I was already interested in folk singing in Glasgow,” she said. “Great people like Archie Fisher. When I came to London I got friendly with Sandy Denny, who was singing at The Troubadour. I’d been singing seriously since I was 18, in folk clubs, with Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, all those people. I really liked the music. I’d grown up with American music, so had never heard anyone sing with a British accent. And I started to do that, it just seemed the right thing to do.”
While claiming to know “22,000” traditional songs, she managed to whittle down a list of ten favourite performances, in no particular order. Where available, a YouTube performance accompanies each of her choices.
1. “Bogey’s Bonny Belle” by Sheila Stewart
We know about the Stewart family. They were tinkers, they liked to be called Tinkers in Scotland, not Romanies or Gypsies. They were amazing singers and this is a great song.