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At the heart of English folk
Heidi Talbot

EDS feature: Five minutes with Heidi Talbot

Natalya Catton Wilson catches up with Heidi Talbot for a chat before she heads off on her autumn tour at the end of September.

Heidi Talbot

What have you been up to recently?

I've been recording my new album Here We Go 1, 2, 3 at our studio in the Scottish borders. This was the first time I've recorded at home and had the luxury of not having to start or finish at a specific time – but also having the discipline to record everyone and everything in 10 days.

What or who inspired your ideas for this album?

A lot has happened since my last record. I had another baby, lost my mum, built a recording studio and started a record label. I took two years off and stopped touring and recording. During that time I wrote lots for this record and my experiences of love, new life, depression, loneliness and death informed and inspired the songs.

How did the songs come together?

My husband John McCusker and I have two little girls and I tried to write most days whenever there was time. I wrote eight out of the 10 songs in some capacity, either lyrics or music, and this has leant itself to a very personal record.

There’s quite a line-up of musicians playing on the album – how did you choose them?

I have a new band – lots of folk names like Innes White, James Lindsay, Toby Shippey, Su-a Lee and Adam Holmes who I've heard and admired but never worked with before. There are also those who are familiar like Michael McGoldrick, Donald Shaw, Louis Abbott, Megan Henderson and James Mackintosh. John produced the record, and between us we came up with a band based on the sound of the record I wanted. We made our wish list of musicians and luckily they all said yes.

What can the audience expect from your tour?

I will be touring with amazing multi-instrumentalist Toby Shaer, the brilliant Andy Cutting on accordion, fantastic guitarist Sorren Maclean and the talented John McCusker. The audience will hear songs from my new album and previous albums along with instrumentals from Andy and John. I’ll also tell the stories behind the songs and sometimes I'll turn on the boys’ vocal mics – they're much funnier than me.

Will it be a full band experience or pared-down performances?

Somewhere in between – I won't have drums or bass but it'll still be a big and hopefully beautiful noise. There'll be a couple of album launch shows with a special guest or two – one in Edinburgh and one in London at Cecil Sharp House.

What are you looking forward to most about touring?

I can't wait to sing these new songs for people – they're ready to be freed from the inside of my house and car. And I can't wait to sing and interact with an audience again.

Heidi brings her tour to Cecil Sharp House on Thursday 13 October.

Heidi Talbot EDS Autumn 2016
Heidi Talbot at Cecil Sharp House
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EDS Autumn 2016
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