Public Service Announcement: antidote to the January Blues follows. Failure to pre-order may result in severely diminished musical enjoyment in the coming months. For more information, please contact your local vinyl physician.
NEW TO PRE-ORDER:
The Ballad Of Shirley Collins – which premiered at this year’s London Film Festival – tells this story, though to reduce it to that single aspect does everyone (not least of all Shirley) something of a disservice. The film proves itself to be a time-travelling Transatlantic road-movie of sorts, utilising an incredibly rich audio archive to recount the tale of her seminal 1959 song-collecting trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and legendary ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax. The soundtrack album reflects this, combining never-before-released recordings from that trip (notably Alabama Sacred Harp Convention, Texas Gladden and Sidney Hemphill-Carter) with more recent offerings, a home recording of Shirley’s sister Dolly Collins, excerpts from the original soundtrack music and two BBC session tracks from 1958, which get their first release, some 60 years after they were recorded.
Shirley Collins spent her life in song. Even during her time without her performing voice she was telling the stories of others’ music. Not once has she dropped the baton in keeping these songs, these stories, these people alive. The soundtrack to ‘The Ballad Of Shirley Collins’ – through its diversity – showcases a cross section of the facets that make up an extraordinary career by anyone’s standards.