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Dave Sutherland discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing (82* d) RE: discussion of A.L.Lloyd's singing 24 May 20


Pleased that Jim is back as I am curious regarding the phrase “Limited in what he could handle” Obviously Jim knew Bert far better than I did but in my case as a naïve teenager in 1965/66 the selection of traditional folk recordings available in the North East was sparing in the extreme; however there were a handful of recordings by Ewan MacColl and A.L.Lloyd. MacColl’s singing I was marginally familiar with but I was yet to discover that of Mr Lloyd; listening to as many of these albums that I could “Bold Sportsmen All”, “Blow the Man Down”, “The Iron Muse”, “Gamblers and Sporting Blades” and “Outback Ballads” rather than consider him limited I was utterly astounded at the wide range of material he was performing. Lyrical songs and ballads, Australian songs, Shanties, Industrial Ballads and bawdy pieces. I was at first surprised by his vocal style but soon became used to it and in turn to admire its range and flexibility. I heard later on that he wasn’t particularly comfortable with the “big ballads” although once, at Newcastle Festival, I asked him if he still sang “Poor Cotton Weaver” which he had recorded on The Iron Muse but he said not as it was very long; however on the same night he performed his version of Tam Lin which isn’t exactly a throwaway ditty!
I do agree with his storytelling skill and always thought it a great shame that he had passed away before the popularity of storytelling surged on the folk scene in the early nineties.


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