From the Library: Folk Byways

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 19 August, 2008

In today’s programme we take a look at folk music, old and new, from Britain and North America. However the “byways” in the title refers to the fact that although there are a number of big names in the field here, such as Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior and their various bands, most of the musicians you’ll hear today are less well known — and deserve to be more widely appreciated outside the circles of loyal fans.

So today we’ll also be hearing from people like Karine Polwart, a fine singer/songwriter from Scotland; Yorkshire lass Kate Rusby, whose settings of old songs and her own new ones, often with brass band accompaniment, always bring tears to my eyes; Lucy Kaplansky, a New York-based psychologist-become-musician with a moving view of her life and that of her city; Hem, a remarkable combination of musicians formed a few years ago and now with three fine albums under their belts; and Kate Campbell, a Southern folk-rocker with an insightful view of a wide range of topics.

In addition, I have included a few surprises – like the remarkable Imagined Village, an award-winning series of very modern settings of traditional folk songs.

Most of today’s songs are music with a message. We hope that today’s programme brings you a selection of old songs, new songs, loved songs and neglected songs – all of which you will enjoy.

• From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player. (If you want to listen off-world, eg in Winamp or iTunes, and the above address doesn’t work for you, click here.)


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