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Blow Boys Blow

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Album Review

A phenomenal collection of sea shanties and sailing songs performed by two of Great Britain's most outstanding musicologists. Ewan MacColl recorded a great deal during his career, which is fortunate, though he might well be best remembered by some for writing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." A.L. Lloyd performed a great deal and was highly regarded for his research and his attention to old, almost-lost songs, but his recordings are, sadly, few in number. Some of the songs included here are familiar: "The Handsome Cabin Boy" has been recorded many a time, with notable performances including one by Kate Bush. Many songs are less familiar, however, and are quite deserving of attention. MacColl and Lloyd's performances have enthusiasm and vigor, and are given able support from a small ensemble. Blow Boys Blow is a worthy album to have in hand.


Born: 25 January 1915 in Salford, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Ewan MacColl may well have been the most influential person in the British folk song revival. From his early manhood until his death in 1989, he remained passionately committed to folk, though not exclusively; he was also a poet, playwright, organizer, activist, songwriter, husband, and father. MacColl was born James Henry Miller in Salford, England in 1915. His father was a lowland man who spoke Scots English, his mother a highlander who spoke Gaelic. Both of his parents were singers. MacColl left...
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