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Sing a Song for You

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Album Review

There are generally reasons why a record remains unreleased for 23 years. But in this case, it's the fault of Briggs herself, dissatisfied with her singing on the album. And that's a shame, because if it had been released in 1973, it could have made her into a bigger name. With only two other albums to her credit, this is definitely something worth hearing, the only time she's been accompanied by a band and a venture into something of the folk-rock (albeit with the emphasis on folk) idiom. A mix of original and traditional material, it has to be said that Briggs' voice isn't at its most alluring, but she remains an irresistible vocalist, one who can bring any song alive, be it the gender-bending old piece "Sovay" or the hippie-anthem material of "Travelling's Easy." Nurtured by the English folk revival, her style always reverts to that, as does her writing, but there's a strong streak of the iconoclast in her. Working with a band was an experiment, and while they flesh out the sound, it's obvious that the songs were written for an individual performer, so that while there might be a raucous, ragged joy to the proceedings, it might have been more effective stripped to the bone, a duo of Briggs and fiddler Barry Dransfield. Not a masterpiece then, but with Anne Briggs releases rarer than hens' teeth, it remains worth its weight in gold.


Born: 29 September 1944 in Toton, Nottinghamshire, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s

In the annals of pop and folk music, there are few sagas stranger than that of Anne Briggs. An awesomely talented singer of traditional English folk music, possessing of as pure and breathtakingly beautiful a voice as one could hope to have, she was the single most important influence on a group of female British folksingers that includes Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, June Tabor, and Linda Thompson. Even Norma Waterson, herself a hugely important figure in the British folk revival of the mid-'60s, admits...
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Sing a Song for You, Anne Briggs
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