English folk music – Guides, Interviews and Features | Songlines

English folk Profile

The English folk traditions remains rich, varied and vibrant, despite all the clichéd knocking it receives about fingers-in-ears and nasal voices singing about milkmaids and jolly ploughboys.

Since pioneers such as Cecil Sharp began collecting traditional songs more than a century ago before they were lost forever, there have been countless so-called ‘folk revivals.’

Seth Lakeman (photo: Matt Austin)

Seth Lakeman (photo: Matt Austin)

The truth is English folk music never went away and the tradition has been repeatedly renewed and refreshed by successive generations of innovative performers, from The Watersons through the acoustic guitar geniuses such as Bert Jansch, John Renbourn and Davy Graham, the stirring folk-rock of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span and on to 21st-century performers such as Kate Rusby, Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy and Seth Lakeman.


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