An interview with Jim Moray
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Jim Moray comes to Cecil Sharp House next Thursday 14 February to showcase songs from his fifth album Skulk. In anticipation, we thought we'd ask him a couple of questions to give us insight into his music, influences and future.
Describe your music.
I am an English singer. I mostly sing English traditional songs, although I am not a ‘traditional singer’ in the accepted sense, and not all English traditional songs originate in England. I like to think of music as drawing on folk and popular music traditions as a continuous lineage – on a line that connects traditional singers in Somerset in the 1900s through David Bowie and Morrissey to now, rather than taking folk song as a closed-off entity that exists in isolation.
Anything that appeals. As a singer of traditional songs, June Tabor, Eliza Carthy, Nic Jones, Martin Carthy have been a big influence on me, although Damon Albarn probably influenced me just as much. I like songs that tell a story and paint a picture, so anything that puts words as its focus.
Still to come (I hope).
What was the first tune you learnt to play?
I don’t remember starting to sing so I’m not really sure. I remember learning to play All Around The Watchtower on my first guitar though, and later Canadee-I-O by Nic Jones.
Most recent musical discovery?
Not a new discovery, but I’ve been listening to a lot of Prince recently. I was only really familiar with the singles from the 80s and 90s, but the full breadth of his output is hard to take in. On a similar (but also incredibly dissimilar) note, Scott Walker.
Who we should look out for in 2013?
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker from London and Gria from the islands of Scotland. In a more established sense, there’s a new stripped-back Martin Simpson album on the way and I’m very excited about the Quercus record on ECM with June Tabor, Huw Warren and Iain Ballamy.
Come to the show and find out.
Buy tickets for the show.
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