Shirley Collins review – a five-star foray into the darker depths of folk

For decades Shirley Collins was the lost icon, the secret treasure of English folk whose own story was as tragic as the ballads she used to sing. In the 70s she lost her voice through heartbreak and dysphonia and eventually stopped performing. Her early recordings were coveted for their ultra-direct pathos: in an age of divas, here was a totally unadorned and unflinching way of singing that bypassed ego and mainlined the authenticity of words and music no matter how disturbing the tales they told. She was revered as an archivist, too, who had travelled the US with Alan Lomax and unearthed the dark, scary ballads of her native Sussex. She inspired acid-folk and psych-folk and folk-punk-rock and plain folk, all the while living a quiet life in Lewes without much inkling of her impact [ . . . ]

Read Full Review: Shirley Collins review – a five-star foray into the darker depths of folk | Music | The Guardian

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