Once in a Blue Moon: The Songs of Lal Waterson – BBC Sounds

The story of one of the great folk singers and writers of our time, Lal Waterson.

Lal Waterson’s voice was stark but captivating and it’s been said that the songs she wrote were close to German cabaret or chanson. They were lyrically ambitious and melodically powerful. Since her death in 1998, her reputation has grown and now she is placed alongside the great singer song-writers like Nick Drake and Richard Thompson. She was a member of the famous Waterson family and numbered among other relatives the folk singer Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza. In this feature, Robin Denselow explores the life and legacy of Lal Waterson and assesses her impact on song-writers today.

Producer: Emma Kingsley First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November 2010.

Listen at : Once in a Blue Moon: The Songs of Lal Waterson – BBC Sounds

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Stellar Line-Up for Richard Thompson 70th Birthday Show 

Special guest performers announced for Richard Thompson’s 70th Birthday bash at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

An incredible array of special guest performers has been announced for Richard Thompson’s 70th birthday celebration show at London’s Royal Albert Hall on September 30th 2019. This once in a lifetime concert will see eminent fellow musicians, friends and family grace the stage to mark the milestone birthday of this iconic and much-respected artist.

Joining Richard Thompson on an exceptional night will be: Alistair Anderson, Ashley Hutchings, Bob Mould, Christine Collister, Danny Thompson, Dave Mattacks, Dave Pegg, David Gilmour, Derek Smalls (formerly of the band formally known as Spinal Tap), Eliza Carthy, Hugh Cornwell, Jack Thompson, James Walbourne, Judith Owen, Kami Thompson, Kate Rusby, Linda Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III, Maddy Prior, Marc Ellington, Martin Carthy, Olivia Chaney, Simon Nicol, Teddy Thompson and Zara Phillips.

The show sold out swiftly when it was announced in April.

Richard Thompson’s enduring musical influence and accomplishments are unparalleled.  Having co-founded the groundbreaking group Fairport Convention as a teenager in the 1960s, he and his bandmates invented a distinctive strain of British folk-rock.  He left the group by the age of 21, followed by a decade long musical partnership with his then-wife Linda, to over 30 years as a highly successful solo artist.  Thompson’s genre defying mastery of both acoustic and electric guitar along with engaging energy and onstage wit continue to earn him new fans and a place as one of the most distinctive virtuosos and writers in folk-rock history.  Powered by evocative songcraft, jaw-dropping guitar playing, and indefinable spirit, this venerable icon holds a coveted spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and counts  Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Americana Music Association in Nashville and the UK Americana Music Association, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Folk Awards, a prestigious Ivor Novello Award and, of course, an OBE, among his many accolades.

A wide range of musicians have recorded Thompson’s songs including David Gilmour, Robert Plant, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, Del McCoury, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Jones, David Byrne, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and many more.  His massive body of work includes many Grammy-nominated albums as well as numerous soundtracks, including Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man.  Thompson’s latest album 13 Rivers (Proper Records) was released to widespread acclaim last September and appeared on many 2018 ‘best of the year’ lists. His accompanying tour was met with glowing reviews, including The Observer, in its Artist of the Week spread, who concluded, “Half a century after his first gig with Fairport Convention, folk-rocker Richard Thompson – trademark Stratocaster and beret intact – is as cool, energetic and contemporary as ever.”

Source: Stellar Line-Up for Richard Thompson 70th Birthday Show | Folk Radio UK

Strangers In The Room: A Journey Through The British Folk Rock Scene 1967-73

British Folk Rock 1967-1973 – the tip of the iceberg but an interesting and varied collection from the Grapefruit genre anthology series.

And that’s despite the confession of folk brigand Eliza Carthy (Louder Than Words festival interview, Manchester, 2018) that she can’t stand Folk Rock and has never knowingly listened to a Fairport Convention album.

She’ll not be interested then to hear how sixty tracks gather together the familiar with the less so. Songs that you’ll know from the folk tradition and plenty of others which  again, might be less so. If there’s anyone who could lay a claim to knowing all the bands and all the songs then you perhaps deserve a place at the head of the table if not the Eggheads team. Steeleye Span, Ralph McTell Continue reading

Get singing: The Pankhurst Anthem

On 6 February 1918, a ground-breaking Act of Parliament allowed some women in the United Kingdom to vote for the first time.Although it would be another ten years before all UK women could vote on the same terms as men, it was a momentous step on the road to voting equality.

100 years later to the day, BBC Radio 3 is marking this important centenary of women’s suffrage with a special commission.We’ve joined forces with two descendants of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to produce a new choral work that singers from around the country are invited to perform.

The Pankhurst Anthem Composer Lucy Pankhurst has written a beautiful choral setting for a text by the activist and writer Helen Pankhurst, based on a powerful address given by her famous great-grandmother, Emmeline.

The Pankhurst Anthem is comprised of two sections. The first, Echoes of Emmeline, adapts words by Emmeline Pankhurst to reflect on the suffragettes’ struggle to be enfranchised. The second section, Anthem, is more upbeat in tone and explores the modern repercussions of the suffrage movement [ . . . ]

Hear the music at: BBC Radio 3 – Breakfast – Get singing: The Pankhurst Anthem