Watch Alasdair Roberts and Brigid Mae Power performing ‘The Blacksmith’ for the Museum of Literature Ireland as part of their Myth, Story, Song series.
Watch Scottish musician Alasdair Roberts and Irish musician Brigid Mae Power performing ‘The Blacksmith’ for the Museum of Literature Ireland as part of their Myth, Story, Song series that features performances by Irish and Scottish writers and musicians.
The song is a traditional English song, which was collected by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams from singer Ellen Powell in 1909.
Brigid performed The Blacksmith on her Head Above The Water album with Brian Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds) on backing vocals. Alasdair also performed on the album which he co-produced alongside Brigid and Peter Broderick.
Alasdair also performed the song with David McGuiness for the Shirley Collins tribute album ‘Shirley Inspired‘ (Earth Records, 2015). For that recording, McGuiness accompanied Roberts on the piano. This version, while brighter, thanks to twin acoustic guitars, and slightly faster paced (similar to Brigid’s album version), still allows Powers the space to introduce some beautiful vocal ornamentation with Roberts also throwing in some welcome fingerstyle guitar for good measure. They are both unique vocalists in the folk world with a very individual style that’s instantly recognizable. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of both of them, so it’s a real treat to hear them performing this classic folk ballad together.