I first sang in folk clubs more than 40 years ago, but that early blossoming soon gave way to a long involvement with the Morris as a dancer, musician and Fool. However, in my heart Im primarily a singer and I continued to perform at clubs, festivals and Ales whenever the opportunity arose. At the turn of the century my knees began to demand a more sedentary pursuit and so I switched my focus back to song research and performance.
This collection of songs, my interpretations of them and the way I deliver them are all rooted in the rich and fertile soil of the English folk tradition. Nevertheless, I freely acknowledge the many other influences that have shaped, and continue to shape, my singing. When researching these songs I have found that they have no respect for borders. Here you will find a few from Scotland, Ireland and Newfoundland, though most would comfortably withstand being called English. There is also one contemporary song, if 1960 counts as contemporary these days.
Although I generally sing alone and unaccompanied, this CD is not a solo venture and I include some accompanied tracks to add tonal variety. My good friends Mary Humphreys and Anahata kindly agreed to join me in the studio for a couple of days, during which they conspired with Doug to take me outside my comfort zone at every opportunity. The outcome amazes me still, and I am deeply grateful for their sensitive musicianship. These songs are delivered my way, but this CD is the product of four friends with a shared appreciation for traditional music.
Jack Crawford July 2008
Jack Crawford lives in Derbyshire with his partner Jane, to whom this CD is dedicated in recognition of her enduring love and indulgence. He is a resident singer at the Traditions At The Tiger folk club in Long Eaton, a member of the National Council of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and a trustee of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. He can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org