• june tabor An Introduction to June Tabor (double LP, £19.50)

    Not only one of Britain’s pre-eminent and impeccable traditional voices, June Tabor is quiet simply one of Britain’s greatest interpreters of popular song. Tabor has always made consistently exquisite records all graced by a pitch-perfect voice that can be dark, romantic, poignant and angry according to the requirements of the song. This elegant introductory selection is drawn from Tabor’s albums for Topic recorded between her 1976 debut, Airs And Graces and 2011’s Ragged Kingdom which found her reuniting on record with the Oysterband for the first time in almost 30 years. The Warwick born and Oxford educated Tabor’s conversion to folk may have come in 1965 after seeing Martin Carthy on TV and hearing Anne Briggs’ inspiring Hazards of Love EP, but it was a further ten years before she sang professionally and even then, she still kept her job as a librarian, then restauranteur. June Tabor effortlessly mixes traditional and contemporary material, the former exemplified here by her early traditional recording of ‘While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping’ when she was still mastering the art of singing with accompaniment. The contemporary selections featured here include Eric Bogle’s classic antiwar piece ‘The Band Played Waltzing Matilda’ which Tabor had sung on her John Peel radio session debut in 1975 [Peel was a great fan and long-term supporter], Dan Penn and Chips Moman’s ‘The Dark End of the Street’ [with the Oysterband] and Maggie Holland’s anthemic ‘A Place Called England’. Significantly, this selection also focuses equally on June Tabor’s own compositions from her many Topic albums. LP1: While The Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping / The Band Played Waltzing Matilda / No Man’s Land/Flowers Of The Forest / Unicorns / The Scarecrow / A Smiling Shore / LP2: Aqaba / A Place Called England / Oh! Alas, I Am In Love / The Rigs Of Rye / Finisterre / The Dark End Of The Street


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