An Introduction To...
A Collection of Anne Briggs Topic recordings on high quality vinyl
'If I hadn't heard her, I'd have probably done something entirely different.' June Tabor
Anne Briggs was born in Nottinghamshire in 1944 and began singing in local folk clubs in her teens. Her break came through the Centre 42 tour of 1962. This was a distinctly leftist group of artists, writers, actors and musicians whose lofty aim was to make arts and culture accessible to the masses. Local artists were invited to audition where Ewan MacColl first heard Briggs' remarkable voice and persuaded her to join the tour. There Briggs met MacColl's broader minded comrade A.L. 'Bert' Lloyd who became her mentor. Briggs debut EP, The Hazards Of Love, was produced by Lloyd although Briggs never enjoyed recording and it was only though Lloyd's coaxing that she contributed to his pioneering conceptual albums The Iron Muse and The Bird In The Bush. The first six, traditional, unaccompanied songs presented here are taken from these outstanding recordings made between 1963 and 1966 which display all the hallmarks of Anne Briggs artistry pure, fluid and with flawless timing.
It wasn't until 1971 that Briggs eventually recorded her debut album for Topic. In between, she was either touring in company with the Watersons, or travelling across Ireland with boyfriend Johnny Moynihan, the traditional singer and founder of folk group Sweeney's Men. Anne Briggs (Topic LP 12T207) was again produced by Lloyd. Briggs draws almost exclusively from the classic repertoire of British folk, her performances are both pure and unusual.
Briggs uninhibited behaviour represented the spirit of folk's new age. She was a bridge between the stuffy revivalist world and the contemporary set. She had a relationship with Bert Jansch rapidly becoming the poster boy for the alternative crowd. "Annie just came and went as she pleased," said Jansch. "She was pretty wild and carefree. I taught her to play guitar. Very few of the other girls played guitar; it wasn't the done thing in her circle."Famously, Briggs taught Jansch 'Blackwater Side', which he then made his own on his classic 1965 debut album; the next year his pivotal traditional album Jack Orion largely comprised songs he learnt from Briggs who helped him understand the structure of folk song. Briggs and Jansch also wrote a handful of songs together. One of these, 'Go Your Way (My Love)', was eventually recorded for her Topic album, as was her definitive treatment of 'Blackwater Side'. Anne Briggs has since been discovered by the present folk generation, male and female alike. Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby, Alasdair Roberts and Riley Walker, are among many who recognise Anne Briggs as an extraordinary, inspirational voice.
- The Recruited Collier
- The Doffing Mistress
- Polly Vaughan
- Rosemary Lane
- Gathering Rushes in the Month of May
- The Stonecutter Boy
- Blackwater Side
- Go Your Own Way (My Love)
- Maa Bonny Lad
- Living By the Water
- Sing a Song for You
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