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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Chris/Darwin best male folk singer? (218* d) RE: best male folk singer? 04 May 03

Hard to disagree with most of the offerings. I present a folk program on the local community radio station, and I often play songs by female singers because of a combination of song and voice quality. Karan Casey, Maddy, Kate Wolf, Kate Rusby, Sandy, Eva - all great singers who also sang (or sing) folk songs.

With male singers, I am usually moved by something different - I love the song overall, and the quality of the voice somehow seems less important. John Hurt at the 63 Newport was wonderful, but if you listen to his voice, it was nothing special. Many other examples.

When you do come across a male singer with a technically good voice, you sometimes don't even recognise it, because you are not looking for it. Dick Gaughan, Martyn Wyndham-Read (in recent years), Bob Fox, Vin Garbutt, Doc, Chris Smither, etc., all have good voices, but all give a truth to the songs they sing, and that's what you remember.

Someone I heard nearly 20 years ago playing with Byron Berline in place of Dan Crary on an Australian tour. That was Vince Gill, and he sang a song about an old black man that sent shivers up my spine, and brought out the goosebumps all over. Fantastic soaring tenor. Not bad on guitar and mandolin either!!


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