Various Artists

Troubadours of British Folk, Vol. 3: An Evolving Tradition

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Troubadours of British Folk, Vol. 3: An Evolving Tradition Review

by Richie Unterberger

The final volume of the series covers the mid-'70s to the mid-'90s, emphasizing traditional acts who pepped things up with a bit of electricity and eclecticism (Silly Wizard, Mouth Music), acoustic guitarists (Nic Jones, Dick Gaughan, Martin Simpson), "rogue" folkies who merged traditional sounds with influences from modern rock, world music, and punk (Billy Bragg, Oyster Band), and esteemed veteran singers (Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Maddy Prior). If this collection doesn't seem as essential to many listeners as the first two volumes, that may be because these artists (mostly still in their primes at the time of this reissue) are still forging their place in history. But few would deny that they are certainly some of the most significant British folk performers of recent times. Those wishing to catch up on the evolution of British roots music in the '80s and '90s will find this a handy primer, especially as that scene is for the most part little known in the U.S.

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