Shirley Collins - Lodestar LP


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Label: Domino

Lodestar is Shirley Collins' return to recording after 38 years. The legendary folk singer (and one of England's most respected song collectors) has created the unlikeliest release of the century so far.

Lodestar is a collection of English, American and Cajun songs dating from the 16th Century to the 1950s, recorded at Shirley's home in Lewes by Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown of Cyclobe and produced and musically directed by Ian Kearey.

Shirley explains the history of the song "Cruel Lincoln," "This is an ancient ballad, found only rarely in England. The theory is that Cruel Lincoln was a mason who was not paid for the work he did for ‘the Lord of the Manor' and so extracted a terrible revenge." It also features bird song recorded at the back of Shirley's cottage.

Now Shirley Collins has sung once more (with a mischievous delight in defeating expectation), the accepted canon of her great recordings will have to be comprehensively recalibrated, yet again.

"Shirley is a time traveller, a conduit for essential human aches, one of the greatest artists who ever lived, and yet utterly humble" – Stewart Lee