Faur distant: Burns, MacColl & the Spanish Civil War.

The power and influence of a poet A kind of madness breaks out in unexpected places across the world on the 25th of January. People gather in Edinburgh, London, Moscow, and Washington D.C., among other places, to eat, drink, and remember the words and works of a long dead poet … → read more

True Love Knows No Season

Adam McCulloch (r) “A rip-roaring yarn” Earlier this year, when researching my posts for “Babylon” (Child 14), I came across a terrific Scottish recording of the tune, “The Bonnie Banks of Airdrie” by Adam McCulloch.  McCulloch’s album In These Times, also led me to “Willie Taylor” and an interesting week … → read more

He smiled to see her cry

Richard Thompson. Esq., OBE A Songwriter’s Songwriter You’ll likely note that I’ve been reluctant to dive too deeply into a close reading or textual analysis of RT’s four-verse wonder (I’m still a little intrigued that in the video I linked in the first post this week Thompson miscounts the number … → read more

Outlaws, Bandits, and Troubadours

Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt After such a long post last time, I plan for this one to be long on music and short on text.  If there’s a narrative to capture here, it’s that I think “Pancho and Lefty” has become a favorite for singer-songwriters and performers following … → read more