Fans of the remarkable English folk singer Shirley Collins will be well catered for by this weekend’s Record Store Day: Fledg’ling are rereleasing her gently compelling 1959 EP English Songs in its original version, while 34 very different contemporary folk and pop artists are raising money for a film about Collins, who turns 80 this summer, with this three-album tribute set of songs from her repertoire. The cast is remarkable. There’s Graham Coxon of Blur providing elaborate folk baroque guitar work on a no-nonsense treatment of the murder ballad Cruel Mother, and comedian Stewart Lee with a respectful Polly on the Shore. The folk celebrities range from Alasdair Roberts to Jackie Oates and Trembling Bells, with Olivia Chaney providing a delicate, piano-backed treatment of Oxford Girl and Bonnie Dobson teamed up with The Lords of Thyme for a swirling Hares on the Mountain. Search it out.
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop