karen dalton – same old man (1971)

My mind is fading, my body grows weak
Lips won’t form the words I speak…

Singer, 12-string guitarist, and banjo player of the New York 1960s folk revival, Karen Dalton is not widely known, despite counting the likes of Bob Dylan and Fred Neil among her acquaintances. She recorded only a few albums.

anne briggs (1971)

All songs are traditional:
“Blackwater Side” 0:00
“The Snow It Melts The Soonest” 3:50
“Willie O’Winsbury” 6:15
“Go Your Way” 11:47
“Thorneymoor Woods” 16:02
“The Cuckoo” 19:39
“Reynardine” 22:52
“Young Tambling” 25:52
“Living By The Water” 36:35
“Ma Bonny Lad” 40:28

The following is adapted from John Dougan of All Music Guide:

Anne Briggs was a singer of traditional English folk music, possessing as beautiful a voice as one could hope to have. She was the single most important influence on a group of female British folk singers including Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, and Linda Thompson. Even Norma Waterson, herself a hugely important figure in the British folk revival of the mid-’60s, admits to being influenced by Briggs’ singing and notes that Anne Briggs singlehandedly changed the way that English women folk singers sang.

What makes this story so odd is that Anne Briggs’ entire recorded output consists of about 30 songs. She stopped singing at the age of 27, supposedly because she hated the sound of her recorded voice. As folk music became electrified and increasingly popular and bands such as Fairport Convention and Pentangle were reinventing the British folk tradition, and more and more women (Sandy Denny et al) were singing in a style started by Anne Briggs, her legend flourished, yet she still refused to sing. Read an interview with her HERE.

anne briggs