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The folk/roots band Show of Hands have a song about the Cousin Jacks, which was how I first heard about them. The performer who sang it at a local pub's folk night the first time I heard it, had a great grandfather who'd been one of the many.


Show of Hands were my introduction to the UK folk scene so I'll always have time for them. They typically have some great support acts too, with friends from the US and Canada often coming across to tour like Richard Shindell.

England and Wales in particular have a habit of losing the history of the countryside, and folk songs are one of the only ways it seems to persist. And I love how current artists are both falling back on their experiences but also doing their own research into old, forgotten tunes and songs to bring life back into them and make them relevant again.

Yes! The UK folk scene is really awesome. Some of my personal favs are Bellowhead + Mawkin + Monster Ceilidh Band.

Mawkin actually has a good song about cornish mine workers, "I Can Hew"

Good bands! Faustus and False Lights are another couple of bands that fit into a similar sound/style category which also have some good rurally-sourced songs. All those up-tempo bands are so much fun to see live.

Solo singer-wise there's some great material to be found with current singers like Chris Wood or Nick Hart. And if you go back a bit there's some really interesting songs from people like Tony Hall (lots of Norfolk oddities) and Dick Gaughan (Scotland. Kist O' Gold is a great album).

I tend to know more about tune history than songs but songs do give you a lot of scope for reviving old music. I know Faustus, for example, take old lyrics and write new tunes for them to change the sound. It's a really exciting way of keeping the stories alive and maintaining their relevance for new generations.

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