I often start the week with women's voices, so I'm giving men equal time today. The voices lifted here, both solo and in harmony, are raising my spirits on a rain-soaked morning.
Above: "Lovely Molly," a Scottish Travelers' song performed by London-based folksinger & song collector Sam Lee, with Jonah Brody and Joshua Green. The recording was made for the The Lullaby Project in 2016.
Below: "Hares on the Mountain," a traditional English song performed by John Smith, who was born in Essex and raised in Devon. It's from his lovely album Hummingbird (2018).
Above: "The Bothy Lads," performed by the Irish folk duo Ye Vagabonds (brothers Brían and Diarmuid Mac Gloinn), based in Dublin. They say: "We've always had a great interest in Scottish songs, and the strong connection they have to the Donegal singing tradition -- songs that travelled over and back with seasonal workers for generations until recent times." The video was recorded for Other Voices in 2020.
Below: "My Love's in Germany" performed by the Anglo-Welsh folk trio The Trials of Cato (Tomos Williams, Will Addison, Robin Jones). This traditional Scottish song (with lyrics adapted from an 18th century poem by Hector Macneill) appeared on the their first album, Hide and Hair (2018).
Next, two fine singer/songwriters based in the north of England.
Above: "Seven Hills," written and performed by Greg Russell. The song appeared on Utopia and Wasteland (2018), a collaborative album with Ciaran Algar.
Below: "Lamentations of Round-Oak Waters" (based on the life and poetry of John Clare), written and performed Jim Ghedi. The song is from his powerful new album In The Furrows Of Common Place, with a video filmed in the Outer Hebrides.
Above: "The Poorest Company" performed by Kris Drever (of Lau), from the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The song was co-written by Drever, Roddy Woomble, and John McCusker, and appeared on their collaborative album Before the Ruin (2013). This solo version was recorded in 2020 during the first UK lockdown. (Here's the earlier version, also beautiful, with backing vocals by Woomble, McCusker, and Heidi Talbot.)
Below: "Row On," performed by Ninebarrow (Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere), from Dorset. The lyrics are from a poem found in the log book of a Nantucket whaler in 1846, set to a tune by Dorset musician & storyteller Tim Laycock. The song appeared on Ninebarrow's The Waters and the Wild (2018).