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Author Topic: New Shirley Collins Album  (Read 17163 times)
Austin S
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« on: September 08, 2016, 12:42:05 PM »

Apologies if this was already posted elsewhere and I missed it. Looks like we have something to very much be looking forward to in November. From the press release:

Shirley Collins – legendary folk singer and one of England’s most respected song collectors –  has announced her return to recording after 38 years. The new album, Lodestar, will be released on November 4th, and with it, Shirley has created the unlikeliest release of the century so far.

Lodestar is a collection of English, American and Cajun songs dating from the 16th Century to the 1950s, recorded at Shirley’s home in Lewes by Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown of Cyclobe and produced and musically directed by Ian Kearey.

The first track to be shared from Lodestar is ‘Cruel Lincoln’. Shirley explains the history of the song: “This is an ancient ballad, found only rarely in England. The theory is that Cruel Lincoln was a mason who was not paid for the work he did for ‘the Lord of the Manor’ and so extracted a terrible revenge”. It also features bird song recorded at the back of Shirley’s cottage.

Born in Hastings in 1935, Shirley was fascinated by folk songs as she was growing up, songs she heard on the radio or sung by her grandparents in Anderson shelters. She left home for London to immerse herself in the burgeoning folk scene; at a party held by Ewan MacColl she met Alan Lomax, and in 1959 she joined him in the USA on the renowned field trip ‘Southern Journey’, recording American folk songs and blues, a formative journey for her personally and professionally.

On her return to the England, Shirley cemented her role at the forefront of the Folk Revival,  recording over a dozen albums including the influential Folk Roots, New Routes with avant-garde guitarist Davy Graham, and No Roses, from which The Albion Country Band was formed. However, in the 1980s, Shirley lost her singing voice – later diagnosed as a form of dysphonia - and withdrew from performing live. It was only in 2014, after coaxing from David Tibet (Current 93), that Shirley sang in public for the first time since 1982.

Though Shirley Collins (MBE) has been absent from the music scene for many years, her impact has not diminished, the likes of Graham Coxon, Jonny Greenwood, Stewart Lee and Angel Olsen laud her and a documentary The Ballad of Shirley Collins is currently in progress. Additionally, she was given the ‘Good Tradition’ award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2008, elected President of the English Folk Dance & Song Society in the same year and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Sussex University this year. Shirley released her first memoir, America Over the Water, in 2004 and is currently working on her second book.

Now Shirley Collins has sung once more (with a mischievous delight in defeating expectation), the accepted canon of her great recordings will have to be comprehensively recalibrated, yet again.

“Shirley is a time traveller, a conduit for essential human aches, one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and yet utterly humble” Stewart Lee



The phenomenal first track to be released, 'Cruel Lincoln,' can be streamed via Shirley's site and I've already made my pre-order. What wonderful news!
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Jules Gray
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 03:21:30 PM »

Good on her!

Jules
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mickf
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2016, 05:13:35 PM »

May just give this a try.
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2016, 05:43:04 PM »

Listening to the new track now. Utterly mesmerising. Yes, the voice has a little more wobble in it than it used to, but time has largely been kind to Shirley's pipes. The production/setting is really sympathetic.  Gets a big thumbs up from me.

Jules
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davidmjs
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2016, 06:04:41 PM »

Been ludicrously excited all day after reading this first thing.  Just listened...very happy.  Seeing her live (supporting C93) in 2014 was a dream come true.  I'm in  Smiley  [Update: Literally...I'm all deluxed up]
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Austin S
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2016, 01:11:30 PM »


Been ludicrously excited all day after reading this first thing.  Just listened...very happy.  Seeing her live (supporting C93) in 2014 was a dream come true.  I'm in  Smiley  [Update: Literally...I'm all deluxed up]


The deluxe edition looks like it'll be worth far more than they're asking for it... Of course, I'd probably pay about anything for this album.  Smiley

Amazing that you had a chance to see Shirley support Current 93 -- was given access to the pro-shot video as part of the Kickstarter campaign and still watch it regularly. The fellow running the Kickstarter told me that David Tibet intends to release the performance on vinyl. I'm certainly hoping that still happens!
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Alan2
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2016, 02:51:29 PM »


Been ludicrously excited all day after reading this first thing.  Just listened...very happy.  Seeing her live (supporting C93) in 2014 was a dream come true.  I'm in  Smiley  [Update: Literally...I'm all deluxed up]


I've been after Thunder Perfect Mind, featuring SC,  for a while, but the C93 catalogue is all over the place, or lost.

Where do we preorder the New Shirley album, folks??
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davidmjs
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2016, 05:05:26 PM »


Where do we preorder the New Shirley album, folks??


From the link in the first post  Smiley
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dog-nap (Ian)
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2016, 09:33:22 PM »

Out of interest, has anyone heard any news about Shirley’s film?  It should have been out by now shouldn’t it?
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davidmjs
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2016, 10:22:25 PM »


Out of interest, has anyone heard any news about Shirley’s film?  It should have been out by now shouldn’t it?


Still short of finding.
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DavidG
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« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2016, 11:12:54 PM »



Out of interest, has anyone heard any news about Shirley’s film?  It should have been out by now shouldn’t it?


Still short of finding.


Yes, lack of money is still a problem. Update here ... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shirleycollins/the-ballad-of-shirley-collins/posts/1667334

Please do come along to the event on 15th September at The Electric Theatre in Guildford, Surrey if you can. "It is a celebration of Shirley and the Inspired album and will be promoted by one of our biggest reward backers". No, that's not me but someone who is well-respected in the area of promoting folk music in Surrey and environs...
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« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2016, 08:39:17 AM »

Having listened to Cruel Lincoln I wonder how much attention and praise it would get if it didn't have Shirley Collins name attached to it.  For me the best thing I can say about it is that its unremarkable and assuming that its representative I certainly won't be buying the album.

Others clearly disagree, perhaps they could say why it's so great and essential.
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Jules Gray
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« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2016, 08:41:24 AM »


Having listened to Cruel Lincoln I wonder how much attention and praise it would get if it didn't have Shirley Collins name attached to it.  For me the best thing I can say about it is that its unremarkable and assuming that its representative I certainly won't be buying the album.

Others clearly disagree, perhaps they could say why it's so great and essential.


I disagree, but I can't convince you that it's great.  You either feel it or you don't.

Jules
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Alan2
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2016, 11:22:18 AM »



Where do we preorder the New Shirley album, folks??


From the link in the first post  Smiley

Thanks David. Couldn't see for looking, as they say. Deluxe version is a must, I fear.

Does anyone know what the 'coupon code' referred to in the order form is??
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JeremyRS
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« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2016, 01:08:52 PM »



Having listened to Cruel Lincoln I wonder how much attention and praise it would get if it didn't have Shirley Collins name attached to it.  For me the best thing I can say about it is that its unremarkable and assuming that its representative I certainly won't be buying the album.

Others clearly disagree, perhaps they could say why it's so great and essential.


I disagree, but I can't convince you that it's great.  You either feel it or you don't.

Jules


Don't want to be convinced Jules, just want to know what others see in it.
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Jules Gray
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« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2016, 02:14:44 PM »


Don't want to be convinced Jules, just want to know what others see in it.


It is what it is.  We're listening to the same recording, but we take away different things.  That's what I meant.  I can't lend you my ears and brain.   Wink

Jules
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StephenGiles
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« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2016, 03:40:58 PM »

Sadly I had to stop it after 5 seconds. Cry
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davidmjs
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« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2016, 07:20:46 PM »

It depends what one is trying to hear in it, I think...as to whether you reckon its great or not...if you're trying hard to hear Shirley of 40 or 50 years ago, you're bound to be disappointed.  If, on the other hand, you know and understand her story (especially with regard to her giving up singing), you like living to a well lived in voice and you're excited by the very fact this thing exists then you're going to love it.  Horses for courses and all that.
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2016, 06:45:37 AM »

But that's the thing for me. I do know the story, didn't expect "old Shirley" and am pleased for her that she's singing again. But I wouldn't buy an album just because of the back story, it has to stand up in its own right. And it doesn't for me. To my ears it sounds tentative, flat and unengaging.
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« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2016, 03:13:48 PM »

Well I think it's good, but to be fair there is a loyalty factor at work. I don't expect her voice to sound as it did 40 years ago - whose voice does? Ian Anderson's? Roy Harper's? Vashti Bunyan's- - her voice, actually was never very strong in the first place, but I love it all the same. Trying to be objective, if that's possible, I think the track has great charm. If you've never been a fan, you may be destined never to 'get it'.
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