b. 18 April 1949, Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, England. Cronshaw undertook his debut performances at Edinburgh University, where he gained a degree in psychology, and where he was involved in running the University Folksong Society. He gave up singing in favour of playing guitar, tin whistle, zither, and later, the concertina and dulcimer. A Is For Andrew, Z Is For Zither, released in 1974 on Transatlantic Records’ Xtra subsidiary, showcased his potential. Turning his busy hand to production, Cronshaw produced the single ‘Casey’s Last Ride’/‘Nostradamus’ by Suzie Adams, and later albums by June Tabor (Abyssinians and Aqaba) and the second release by Tabor and Maddy Prior as Silly Sisters, No More To The Dance. Cronshaw went on to produce Wolf At Your Door and Blazing Fiddles by Zumzeaux and The Wild West Show and Bill Caddick’s Urban Legend by Bill Caddick. During this time, Cronshaw continued to record for a variety of labels, producing music that could be defined as a cross between new age and folk. Although concentrating latterly on production and writing, he also writes regular articles for the worldwide roots magazine fROOTS and a number of other UK music periodicals.
In 1991, Cronshaw made two tours of selected village churches in England, under the banner of the Splendid Venues Tour, partly in an attempt to change people’s conception that folk music is only being performed in the dingy backrooms of public houses. He has performed for many years, with a host of ‘names’ from the folk scene, in duos and groups, including Tabor, Ric Sanders, and Martin Simpson, as well as undertaking solo performances. The Language Of Snakes and On The Shoulders Of The Great Bear reflected Cronshaw’s passionate interest in the traditional music of Finland. Both albums were recorded in Finland with local musicians, and drew on Finnish and Ural airs to create a startlingly modern hybrid of Finno-Ugrian and Celtic folk styles.