Shirley Collins: The voice of England’s true soul music

Think about what fires and inspires great literature. Passion, intensity, strong characters,  gripping stories, powerful imagery, a timelessness of theme and emotion that can make something written in, say, the 18th century still seem fresh and relevant today.

The same ingredients also apply to great music, meaning that a crossing of the genres often provides memorable creations: Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road are arguably the highest profile examples, but did you know that T’Pau’s China In Your Hand is about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein?

It’s usually at this point that the quote, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture” is trotted out and attributed to Frank Zappa (although it seemed it was actually the American actor and musician Martin Mull who first used the phrase), but although it’s a nifty bit of word play it’s also bollocks.Music has inspired some incredible writing, from the pioneering rock journalism of Lester Bangs to chroniclers of music history such as Greil Marcus to the current crop of outstanding memoirs, especially from women such as Tracey Thorn, Viv Albertine and Cosey Fanni Tutti. Continue reading

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Blues Run the Game – A Movie About Jackson C. Frank

This production appears to still be in the kickstarter phase, but we anxiously await the release of this documentary about the man who composed one of the greatest folk songs ever written – Blues Run the Game. 
Jackson C. Frank – such a talent and such a tragic story.
– Johnny Foreigner

Frank’s classic song “Blue Run the Game”

In the mid-60s, Jackson C. Frank released a masterpiece of folk music in Britain. 
This young American songwriter was close to Simon & Garfunkel, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Roy Stewart, Al Stewart, Sandy Denny and many others. 
All of them have been influenced by this enigmatic and tormented character. 
Shortly after the release of his only album, he disappeared. 
Wrecked by a series of tragedies in his life, he has been cut off from the world and got trapped by his demons. 

Still today, young musicians like John Mayer, Laura Marling or Robin Pecknold perform 
Blues Run the Game .

This documentary follows Jackson C. Frank’s footsteps to unknot the threads of a tragic destiny. 
Facts and songs do not express everything about a man, a personality. 
Who was Jackson C. Frank? 
Who remembers him? 
Where to find meaning, or even light, in a life as dark as his?

IMDB page

Blues Run the Game: A Movie About Jackson C. Frank

Lisa O’Neill: Artist of the Month Interview | Folk Radio

Lisa O’Neill’s remarkable fourth album, Heard a Long Gone Song is a work that commands attention. As honest and creative as it is arresting; her mix of collected and self-written, traditional and contemporary song has earned high praise, and justifiably so. With the influence of traditional song stronger than in any of her previous albums, both in terms of content and approach, it’s not so much a change in direction for the County Cavan artist, it’s an entirely relevant exploration of the background to her music [ . . . ]

Continue at FRUK: Lisa O’Neill: Artist of the Month Interview | Folk Radio