Dick’s Picks: A hidden folk gem from Anne Briggs

Theis is an extremely rare 1971 UK 10-track mono LP by one of the leading lights of the sixties acoustic/folk boom, along with Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Wizz Jones, Shelagh McDonald, Roy Harper, Ralph McTell and others. This was actually her second album, recorded for Bill Leader’s Topic label a mere seven years after her first, because [as described in the sleeve notes] “Getting Anne Briggs into a recording studio is like enticing a wild bird into a cage.”

Hugely influential, and the provider of Blackwater Side to Bert Jansch as well as several songs and tunes for her contemporaries that she acquired on her almost constant travel across England and Ireland

A prominent figure in the English folk music revival, being a source of songs and musical inspiration for others such as A.L. Lloyd, Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page, The Watersons, June Tabor, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson and Maddy Prior. This is one of the precious few albums she left to history as she never really bothered about the traditional views of ‘success’ and ‘fame’, preferring instead to play a constant series of small clubs throughout her career. By all accounts, a determined woman who knew what she wanted from life and ‘pop star’ was not a part of it.

To those in the know, she has continued to influence to this very day and this is one of the many reasons that her all too few studio recordings are treated like the rare jewels they are.

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