Friday, 10 April 2015

Shirt Of Lace

Hiya. It's about time I posted an update!

I am now a little over half way through the basic recording for my solo record, and I am very pleased with how it's been going thus far.

Dorothy Carter's 'Troubadour' album, which features her
rendition of Shirt Of Lace.

Yesterday, I recorded a rendition of a traditional Appalachian folk song for the album. The song is called 'Shirt Of Lace', and is thought to be a cousin to the well-known English ballad 'Scarborough Fair'. This is not too surprising, since traditional Appalachian music is derived largely from the English and Scottish ballad tradition, and lyrical parallels can certainly be drawn between the two songs; it is certainly interesting to compare them.

I first encountered the song on Dorothy Carter's album 'Troubadour'. In fact, this is one of only two recorded versions I believe to exist, even after some extensive research, and the only rendition I have heard to this day! As such, I have used it as the basis for my recording. In true folk tradition, it's certainly not an identical version; my intention here was to alter the lyrical content somewhat - along with the main melody and arrangement - and basically put my own 'spin' on the song, while maintaining some of the very strong and distinct atmosphere of Carter's rendition. I currently have the Troubadour LP hanging on my studio wall for inspiration, along with several other inspirational recordings and artwork. How it compares to the way it was being sung in the Appalachian mountains circa 1908, who really knows?

It's fair to say that Shirt Of Lace is an obscure song, but I was completely enchanted by it from my very first listen. My hope is that, through recording and performing my own version, I can help to keep the song alive for just a little while longer. Of course, I would not be including it on the album at all if I felt that it didn't somewhat fit the themes of the record as a whole…but more on that another time!

As well as this solo record I've been going on about, there are also other projects in the works, with involvement from myself. Details on these will follow when they follow…so stay tuned.

Cheers, and thanks for reading!

Radiance and Serenity,

Matt

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