b. 1 August 1958, South Yorkshire, England. Shaw and Julie Matthews met while performing on the local folk circuit. After being brought together on a session by a local radio station, they continued to perform together occasionally. Matthews’ background lay in her travels, writing songs and playing in bars in Europe. Shaw however had taken up teaching, but the two got back together on Matthews’ return home. In 1990 Matthews joined the Albion Band, as lead vocalist, with many of her compositions being used by the group. One such song, ‘The Thorn Upon The Rose’, was recorded in 1991 by Mary Black for her album, Babes In The Wood. Following the success of the song in Ireland and Japan, Matthews started to become recognised as a writer of note. In 1992 she left the Albion Band, and Shaw left her teaching job, the two now performing together full-time. By this time Shaw was already a sought after session singer. Shortly afterwards they released their first album, As Long As I Am Able. The following year saw the release of the highly acclaimed Lies And Alibis. All 12 songs featured were Matthews’ originals, and the album was produced by Clive Gregson. The duo also featured on another 1993 release, Intuition. This album featured the talents of Shaw and Matthews, as well as four other women from South Yorkshire; Kate Rusby, Kathryn Roberts and Kathleen and Rosalie Deighton from the Deighton Family. The balance provided by the duo’s voices, and Matthews’ songs, suggested a bright future but lack of significant commercial success saw them go separate ways. Matthews went solo, but also found time to join Daphne’s Flight, with Helen Watson, Melanie Harrold, Christine Collister and Chris While.
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