Page 1 of 1

Spotify playlists (English Roots)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:12 pm
by MurkeyChris

I propose a new thread for those wishing to share their Spotify playlists - the perfect timewaster for wannabe compilers...

They can either be playlists you've made yourself or good lists you've found on websites like or

So to start you off, here's a little something I've compiled:

English Roots

Now I believe that you simply copy and paste the below into your web browser (and presumably open Spotify first!) and it'll come up:


The plan was to create a playlist that represented the finest English traditional folk music over the last sixty years or so in quite a focussed by nonetheless eclectic manner. It is of course heavily influenced by both what is on Spotify (no Kate Rusby, Julie Murphy, Jim Moray, Whapweasel etc.) and my own taste (hence no Seth Lakeman or Unthanks despite their significance). I've also tried to limit appearances by the same people (I think I've even managed to keep Martin Carthy to just three tracks!).

I'd like to think this would be a good introduction to the genre - I've made no concessions to smooth over the rough edges but hopefully it's varied and credible enough to reveal the wonderful music that is out there.

Harry Cox – The Young Sailor Cut Down in His Prime

A tragic, unaccompanied source recording to start with (a did say no concessions!)

Transglobal Underground – Cold Haily Rainy Night

In contrast, a modern, multicultural version of this traditional song from the Imagined Village album. Quite good for rattling through a who's who of English folk as it features Chris Wood, Martin and Eliza Carthy and the Young Copper Family as well as Simon Emmerson and Johnny Kalsi from the Afro Celt Sound System.

Show Of Hands – The Preacher

A brilliant, gothic original song in a traditional vein.

John Kirkpatrick – Medley: Haste To The Wedding/The Triumph/Off She Goes

Dance music in the classic folk-rock mould from an incredible melodeon player.

Mawkin: Causley – Come My Lads

Lisa Knapp – Three Knights

Two tracks from the relative newbies of the folk scene...

Shirley Collins – Oxford Girl

... and the revered Shirley Collins. Persevere with her 'mouldy and strange' voice and it is most rewarding.

Billy Bragg – World Turned Upside Down

A song by Leon Rosselson.

English Country Dancers – Earsdon Sword Dance

A field recording by Jean Ritchie and George Pickow, first released on 1959.

Nic Jones – The Humpback Whale

A masterclass in using the guitar to accompany song.

Steeleye Span – Boys of Bedlam

A quirky tale of madness from the definitive folk-rock band.

Bishi – The Three Ravens

A recent take on this old folk song by an Anglo-Asian sitar playing DJ.

June Tabor – I Never Thought My Love Would Leave Me

Romantic tragedy from the queen of heavy-hearted gravitas.

Horses Brawl – Shave The Donkey

An virtuosic instrumental take on this English folk song on guitar and fiddle.

Tunng – Death and the Maiden Retold

A fresh approach to the traditional song of the moment (see other great recent versions by Bellowhead and Ian King).

Pentangle – The Cruel Sister

The jazzier cousins to Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention.

Kathryn Tickell and Corrina Hewat – Brig Set

Northumbrian piping from Tickell, accompanied by harp from Hewat.

Richard Thompson – Sam Jones

I've avoided the more obvious songs like Beeswing and 1952 Vincent Black Lightning to choose this typically darkly amusing caricature.

The Levellers – Dirty Davey

Upbeat folk-punk about a modern day rogue.

Ed Harcourt – Farewell Nancy

An astounding version of this classic traditional song by an involving song writer from outside of the folk scene.

Fotheringay – The Banks of the Nile

Sandy Denny at her greatest.

The Watersons – Country Life

Acapella singing in all its glory.

Bellowhead – The Outlandish Knight

Eleven piece big band Bellowhead are the best band on the current folk scene. See them live if you possibly can.


PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:49 pm
by Tom McPhillips
Thanks Chris

I think this is a brilliant idea, (though how would know that is beyond knowing!)

Stuff I'd never have found on my own..

I'm by no means a devotee but I've passed a very entertaining Sunday afternoon in the company of your playlist!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:40 pm
by Ted
Doesn't work with my firefox/linux/spotify under WINE combination...

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:24 pm
by MurkeyChris
Thank you Tom, it's very gratifying to know someone out there is enjoying it! Now roll on some more - who's the expert on Cuban hip-hop, French chanson, flameco...

There are loads of websites for Spotify playlists, but unfortunately the number of people who have bothered to make carefully selected, modest playlists is massively dwarved by those who have just grabbed hundreds of tracks off Spotify with apparently little thought to who is actually going to sit and listen to them! Still, I'm currently dipping into the Guardian's '1000 Songs You Must Hear - Part I: Love': ... ar-spotify

Ted wrote:Doesn't work with my firefox/linux/spotify under WINE combination...

Sorry Ted, I'm hopeless on technical things so no idea how to make it work if it doesn't the normal way. I guess you could just load up each of the tracks individually if you've got the time.