Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't Stop Singing - a mixed case of folk - Part 3

There are some people whose work rate never ceases to amaze me. Thea Gilmore is the queen of them. Covering the entire Bob Dylan album 'John Wesley Harding' (1967), taking that as a "live and complete" performance to London's Union Chapel, as well as finishing touring the 2010 original album 'Murphy's Heart' would be enough for most people in one year.
I saw her live at Latitude in July, on the Sunrise Stage, and here she is.

Accompanied by her husband Nigel Stonier and both just hoping that their second child didn't chose an inconvenient time and location for its first festival appearance.  So you might think that would be the last one would hear of her in 2011.  Think again.  And this makes even the aforementioned 'John Wesley Harding', of which the great man wholeheartedly approves, apparently, almost seem less brave.
It really is a mixed case of folk: at the behest of Sandy Denny's estate she agreed to attempt to write music to go with the unrecorded song lyrics that Denny had completed before her untimely death in April 1978 and thus some eighteen months before Thea herself was born. I find it hard to imagine how anyone might feel when asked to commit to a project of that nature. Apart from the task of writing, and assuming it was done successfully, who might they then ask to collaborate on the recording let alone possible live performance of the work?
'Don't Stop Singing' is released in the UK on October 24. I don't think it is going to be the easiest release of which to contemplate listening. At least not for the first time but then, if there are any capable of pulling it off, it is certainly in the right hands. The first chance to hear any of it, and performed live, will be at the 4th Words and Music Festival, Nantwich, Cheshire, 5-9 October 2011.

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