Portland, Ore.’s The Decemberists and British singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney have teamed up to cover traditional English (and Irish and Scottish) folk songs under the name Offa Rex.
It’s a match made in harpsichord heaven. Colin Meloy of The Decemberists has always dreamed of recording an album of British folk songs, and found the perfect English collaborator in Chaney. For Chaney, Meloy’s slightly-less-reverent American perspective was the push she needed to cover the traditional songs she loves.
As you’ll hear in my chat with Chaney and Meloy, the collaboration was definitely a balancing act — and it kind of still is. We’ll also talk about how the idea for an old-timey album began with a tweet.
This episode also features a performance by Offa Rex of “The Queen of Hearts,” recorded live on stage at the XPoNential Music Festival in Philadelphia.
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Source: Offa Rex On World Cafe : World Cafe : NPR
Anne Briggs and Lloyd Watkins (photo courtesy Ian Woods)
Fairport Convention recorded “She Moved Through the Fair” in 1968, with the legendary Sandy Denny contributing the vocals. Irish traveller Margaret Barry recorded a great version earlier, though she herself had learned it from a vinyl recording made by John McCormack in 1941. Other singers who sang it in the 1950s and the 1960s included Paddy Tunney, Dominic Behan and Anne Briggs, who performs the song in the clip below.
[The Telegraph 1999] It was an encounter that ought to have defined the English folk revival. A woman who was once its undisputed heroine moved from one corner of the pub towards another to talk to a curly-haired upstart her own example had surely inspired. Fiftysomething Anne Briggs told twentysomething Kate Rusby how much she liked her version of The Recruited Collier, an 18th-century lament to lost love. Sadly, the conversation, on the fringe of a folk festival in Lincoln, was over in a flash. Briggs was thanked for her kind words and returned smartly to her drink. […]
Read Full Story: Wild child who hid from the world – Telegraph
An intimate portrait of the iconic but elusive English folksinger Annie Briggs.
Annie Briggs was a leading figure in the English folk revival of the early 1960’s, inspiring Bert Jansch (famously, in Blackwater Side), Sandy Denny, The Watersons and many more. But she was a restless spirit, traveling through the British Isles and Ireland, finding songs and living close to the earth.
Listen to the 27 minute podcast, below