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Maggie Holland

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Singer/songwriter Maggie Holland might have operated under the radar for much of her career, but two songs -- "A Proper Sort of Gardener" and "A Place Called England" have assured her a place in the folk pantheon. Born in Hampshire, U.K., she made her first forays into folk music in the late '60s before finally turning pro as half of the folk-blues duo Hot Vultures, where she played bass and sang. The group toured regularly from 1973-1979 before slowly morphing into the English Country Blues Band. Holland started performing solo in 1980, accompanying herself on guitar and banjo, and released her first album, Still Pause, in 1983. She continued to work with the English Country Blues Band, which turned into Tiger Moth, even as she slowly established her own career. She toured as part of a duo, sang in a play, and performed as part of the dance band A Vacant Lot before heading back to the studio in 1987 for the EP A Short Cut. Following that she formed the band Maggie's Farm before taking up bass duties with Robb Johnson. After her 1992 disc, Down to the Bone, she moved north to Scotland, after which there was a three-year gap until By Heart in 1995, then Getting There in 1999, which included "A Place Called England," which won a folk award that year as best original song. Her material has been recorded by a number of well-known artists, from Martin Carthy to June Tabor. Circle of Light arrived in 1993, and her career to date was encapsulated in the compilation Bones in 2007. ~ Chris Nickson

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