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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

June Tabor – April Morning

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If you don’t like listening to June Tabor, you should stop listening to music.”
Elvis Costello.

June Tabor is the sort of woman whose house the nine year old me would walk past in nervous silence before turning to a friend and whispering, “A witch lives there.” Luckily, Tabor was willing to take time between spell casting and games of quidditch to become one of the most distinctive and highly regarded voices in English folk music.

Similarly to Martin Simpson, June Tabor began singing after hearing the singers of the 60’s folk boom (especially Anne Briggs). A stint in the group Mistral and an appearance on University Challenge later Tabor got her big break when she teamed up with fellow folkie Maddy Prior (a founding member of folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span) to form the Silly Sisters in 1976 and made an album that is still regarded as one of the greatest of the genre. She followed this up with a number of solo albums before, inevitably, moving to the Lake District to open a restaurant. She spent most of the 80’s serving up food and made only occasional forays into live singing.

After shutting up shop and releasing a fairly terrible album of jazz standards Tabor returned to folk singing in the 90’s and has released a string of highly acclaimed albums including Aleyn (the Yiddish word for ‘alone’) in 1997.

April Morning is a traditional English song about how all men are cheating scumbags (how times change - folk songs just aren’t relevant to the modern world). The track twins Tabor’s voice with accordion playing of Andy Cutting to great effect.

Enjoy the song but watch out; a witch lives there.

June Tabor – April Morning

Buy Aleyn and download her version of Richard Thompson’s The Great Valerio from the same album.


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