Three wonderful albums by electrifying singer/songwriter, Chi Coltrane, are coming out in one package very soon. BGO are issuing Chi Coltrane, Let It Ride and Silk & Steel – Chi’s entire CBS output. All three albums are remastered from the original tapes and the package includes an extensive interview with Chi, which I conducted a couple of months ago. Chi – a piano/playing singer/songwriter who was signed to CBS by Clive Davis in the early 1970s – has had a fascinating career so far, taking her from CBS to TK Records and back to CBS and then to Teldec/Warners in the 1980s. She’s working on an album as we speak. In the meantime, I hope people will enjoy this wonderful three-on-one package, featuring two albums that have never been on CD before. Order the collection here. Find out more about Chi here.

Chi has enjoyed immense popularity in Europe, and below you can see that in 1974, her second album, Let It Ride, broke into the Top 5 in Belgium. It went Gold in a number of European territories. She blazed a trail across Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and beyond. 

Charlie Dore, singer, songwriter, actress and multi-instrumentalist, brings her tour (in support of Milk Roulette, her most recent album) to The Pheasantry, King’s Road, on Wednesday 17th June and it’s a chance to watch a master songwriter at work in a lovely, up-close-and-intimate Central London venue.

Over the course of a forty-year career, there is little she hasn’t done, except acquire the level of fame commensurate with her talent. But in any case, the pursuit of fame as an end in itself doesn’t seem to have interested her. “I don’t have very sharp elbows,” she confides. And since she darts adeptly from genre to genre, pulling in elements of folk, pop, country, classical, Americana, bluegrass, jazz, bossa nova and more, she’s been impossible to pigeonhole since her first album appeared on Island Records in 1979. “Every time I try and accurately describe my songs, it sounds like a casserole of indecision cooked up by a procrastinator with ADHD,” she says. Although this has always made the marketing of her work a complex undertaking, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s what I relish. I use folk instruments, but I’m not strictly folk – or country for that matter, even though I enjoy words in a way that might be considered more in the country vein. I suppose I’d love to inhabit my own category”.

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Photo: Nikoletta Moneyok

The arc of her career so far should be immensely reassuring to anyone worried that they haven’t got it all figured out by twenty-five; it’s only over a series of post-millennial releases, starting with 2004’s Sleep All Day, that Charlie feels she has started making albums that accurately capture her musical identity. What’s more, the critics have concurred, and her last five sets have come out to increasingly rapturous reviews. “I want to keep at it until I drop,” she says. Her achievements as a recording artist alone guarantee her a significant place in rock history, but then there are her other careers, including writer-for-hire (with songs recorded by Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Sheena Easton, Jimmy Nail and George Harrison), actress (working with Jonathan Pryce and Tim Curry), impro comedian and club owner.

Charlie grew up in a vibrantly musical household where singing and piano-playing were actively encouraged…”but not in a bossy, stage-mother kind of way. My mother gave up trying to teach me to read music because I cheated and learned the pieces by ear, slightly wrong of course”. Hers is a true musician’s lineage: “My mother was a really gifted pianist and I remember hearing her play Chopin, Delius and Liszt when I was in bed at night but she had a fantastic ear and could knock out a Beatles tune or a Fats Waller song with equal style. She was in a dance band in the 1940s, the Tetherdown Night Owls. Her mother and both sisters were serious pianists too. Her father played the organ. My father’s mother was also a very good pianist and enjoyed telling us she was taught by Gustav Holst”.

At theatre school, Charlie’s early passion for stage musicals waned. “I went right off show-tunes and fell in love with the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Bob Dylan”. Her first big break came in the early seventies when, with Julian Littman and Karl Johnson, she was lifted out of repertory theatre and beamed into the living rooms of the nation for 18 months as the musical element of Thames Television’s children’s programme, Rainbow. “We recorded three shows a week and they needed a song for each show, differently themed. So we had our work cut out for us. We were all living together at the time, so by the end of three series we were clawing the walls to get out. But it was fun for most of the time, great training for future jobbing songwriting and compared to basic Equity rates, we were earning well for the first time in our lives”. She and her flat-mates became savvier about the industry in general. “Someone in the canteen said, ‘Have you joined PRS yet?’. I said, ‘what’s PRS?’. They said, ‘They pay you each time your songs go out on television’. I thought, ‘again?’. We couldn’t believe our luck!”.

After building a following on the pub and club circuit, rubbing shoulders with The Police and DP Costello (soon to become Elvis), Charlie signed with Island Records and began work on her first album, self-written with a few co-writes from Julian Littman, who remains her writing partner and integral band member to this day. The album, made in Nashville and London, had a complicated gestation. “They signed me as a sort of British Emmylou Harris. We were having the time of our lives, recording a very rootsy, real-sounding album”. But the initial results were too country for Island’s ears, so remixes and re-records ensued, designed to sweeten the sound and give it a pop sheen. The end product, entitled Where To Now, was more ‘British Karla Bonoff’, an enticing prospect to be sure but not what Charlie had first envisaged.

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Charlie’s band circa 1976 (L-R Stewart Johnson, Bruce Simpson, Julian Littman, Garrick Dewar, Charlie, Karl Johnson) Photograph: C. Hickman

What no one anticipated was that ‘Pilot of the Airwaves’, the bouncy, harmony-laden single, would soar to No.11 on the Billboard Hot 100 with almost no promotion. And although in hindsight, it’s possible to see why a song about DJs would have inbuilt, enhanced chances of airplay, effectively serving as its own PR, the song was not written with that possibility guilefully in mind. But if Charlie thought she’d be whisked across the Atlantic to capitalise on the accidental hit, Island had other ideas. “There were some weird politics going on between Chris Blackwell [head of Island] and Warner Brothers and they decided they weren’t going to pay for me to go out to the US. And I didn’t have the funds to be able to do it without their help.”

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The  ‘accidental’ hit. Photos: Norman Read

Although the song has had an extremely long shelf-life, Charlie describes it as a “blessing and a curse”. “It became a calling card in certain areas,” she says, “and also gave me a basic income which in turn gave me a chance later on to pursue other strands of work, like improv, that were interesting but didn’t pay much. I’d be churlish to complain about its success, but in truth I’ve spent years trying to convince people that those very glossy pop records didn’t really represent me. I was a folk-country-singer-songwriter who played roots-acoustic music. Back then, the producer was king and if you were as green as I was, you presented your songs in their raw form and the record sort of took shape under the direction of the producer and the A&R guys. I thought, ‘Well, they know more about making records than me’ – and they certainly did, but not always what was right for my songs”.

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Charlie interviewed by Melvyn Bragg, 1978. Photo: LWT

The musical misrepresentation continued with her next project, which began in what seemed like auspicious circumstances. “Island forgot to pick up the option so when it lapsed we had a chance to shop around. As I’d had the US hit despite a complete lack of help, I thought it would be good to look elsewhere”. Soon, she found herself in the enviable position of being haggled over. “Island woke up and offered another deal but Chrysalis were keen, so I signed with them.” This time, instead of the partial re-record she’d endured with Where To Now, the project, produced by Glyn Johns, was completed and then scrapped entirely and Charlie was sent to L.A. to record from scratch with Stewart Levine, backed by the Porcaros and Steve Lukather of Toto. “I chose Stewart because I liked his attitude and because he’d produced two artists I admired, Minnie Riperton and BB King. He was a musician himself and I felt I could communicate with him”.

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The difficult second album. Design: Alexander Vettiers

Somehow, though, something got lost in translation, and the album, Listen, was even smoother and more blemish-free than its predecessor. In fact, it has a very similar sound to Brenda Russell’s second album, Love Life, another Levine-helmed project that came out around the same time. While there is much to enjoy about both of them, their turn-of-the-decade, studio-perfect sound occasionally lapses from smooth and polished into sterile and listless. “It turned out very slick,” Charlie concedes. “My English voice on top of all the fabulous playing and somewhere along the line I felt I’d completely lost my identity. My fault. I felt very isolated. Looking back, I wonder why I was so mousey about the whole thing, but as it was a re-record anyway, frankly I didn’t know which way was up. I still think Stewart’s great but I don’t think the songs are my best and I’d rather that album was forgotten as all it represents to me is a time when I was creatively floundering. I was really pissed off when someone re-released it! [Charlie’s first two albums were issued on CD in the mid 2000s].

Listen also included one song by an outside writer, something insisted on by Chrysalis – “They were nervous that there weren’t enough radio-friendly singles on the album”. ‘You Should Hear How She Talks About You’, written by Tom Snow, became a huge hit by Melissa Manchester a couple of years later but didn’t go anywhere for Charlie. “It was a good pop song and obviously very commercial, but I felt it was completely wrong for my voice and I didn’t want to do it. There was a lot of pressure and, especially as the album was being made for the second time, I didn’t feel in a strong enough position to argue my case. I caved in. Never liked the result”. When it became apparent that her label was going to continue pushing the idea of ‘radio-friendly singles’, Charlie walked away. “I just lost the desire to jump through those particular hoops. Also, I was offered a part in a film.” Not just any film, this was The Ploughman’s Lunch, a political drama directed by Richard Eyre, with Charlie cast alongside Jonathan Pryce, Tim Curry and Frank Finlay. “It re-awoke my interest in acting. It was my first ‘proper’ movie, so I was secretly terrified as it was quite a big role”.

A year later, although her career as a singer/songwriter was in a period of decline, her name began to pop up in the songwriting credits of other people’s records, and she made her second appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 when Sheena Easton reached No.4 with ‘Strut’ (a co-write with Julian). Soon, this third career was well underway, although it was notably at odds with her own preferred sound, perhaps most obviously in the case of ‘Ain’t No Doubt’, the New Jack Swing-style song that reached the top of the UK singles chart for Jimmy Nail in 1992. “If I’m writing specifically for an artist, I want it to sound right, coming out of their mouth,” Charlie explains. “It shouldn’t sound like some world-weary songwriter in an office somewhere, honing slick little phrases and bon mots”. Still, Charlie found she was able to slip some of her quirky qualities under the radar. “‘Rain, Tax (It’s Inevitable)’ got cut by Celine Dion. That surprised even my publisher, who told me it would be hard to get a song covered with the word ‘tax’ in it. Not sexy, she said”.

In the mid-nineties, buoyed by the success others were having with her material, Charlie made a second foray into the recording industry with her third album, Things Change. “It was a toe in the water of performing and writing for myself again,” she says. Although it didn’t quite achieve lift-off in the UK, it was unexpectedly big in Italy and Israel where its accompanying single, ‘Time Goes By’, hit numbers 6 and 1 respectively. The album itself was very much a nineties pop production about which Charlie remains ambivalent. “There are some songs I like, but I was still looking over my shoulder with an ear on the commercial. I was very much in the world of trying to write hits. In retrospect, I think this didn’t serve the songs well”.

By now, Charlie had both acting and comedy to fall back on. In 1990, she co-founded The Hurricane Club, a comedy-impro venue on Oxford Street, and also worked with Eric Idle on Behind The Crease, the BBC cricketing radio show. “It was such a buzz to pluck a scene out of the ether and make a roomful of people laugh. We were nervous about filling the place with just impro, so we always booked a couple of stand-ups – Jo Brand, Harry Hill, Mark Lamarr, Alan Davies, Stuart Lee et al. Robin Williams turned up one night and joined us onstage, which was one of the most exciting nights I’ve ever had as a performer”.

The impetus to record again came from a BBC TV assignment. Charlie and Julian [Littman] were commissioned for two series of a drama set on a Scottish island. “They didn’t want slick, orchestral loveliness. They wanted it to sound more like the music that might be made by a little band from the island. So I bought a little Indian harmonium and Julian and I wrote melodies we liked. The only criterion was – did it help the scene? I loved it and it seemed to flow naturally. Some time later, I thought, ‘Why not just do music like this, using a palette of instruments, acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonium – and make it into songs? Hang the idea of being commercial – I’ll just write what comes out'”. Thus, over a series of five (so far) albums, Charlie is, for the first time, making records that reflect her own, unadulterated vision. And despite the dizzying array of styles and influences, each one is a cohesive whole. The Guardian, The Telegraph and Mojo have championed her with renewed enthusiasm, penning liberal amounts of stellar reviews.

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Milk Roulette – Design: Tom Climpson

Milk Roulette (following Sleep All Day, Cuckoo Hill, The Hula Valley Songbook, and Cheapskate Lullabies), is arguably the best so far, a moving and intricate mix of pop crossed with Victorian parlour songs, drawing room ballads and a sprinkle of folk and country. The work of Kate and Anna McGarrigle springs to mind, although Charlie’s supple singing voice is less warbly and therefore an easier taste for the uninitiated to acquire. One also senses the presence of a sardonically-raised eyebrow reminiscent of Kirsty Maccoll. The story-songs include tales from the viewpoint of a couple undergoing IVF and the parents of a newborn child before, before a dramatic change of pace occurs and songs about alcoholism and the defiant resisting of one’s own mortality play out. The album concludes with a wistful, melancholic piano piece written by Charlie’s mother at the tender age of six. “I found the manuscript hidden in an ancient book of piano exercises,” says Charlie. “My mother’s mother, Dora, wrote it out for her and at the top she added, ‘By Betty, aged 6”.

Another of the album’s highlights is ‘Three a Penny’, which subtly mocks the current culture of free or nearly-free downloadable music. “There are now two generations of people who expect music to come out of a tap for nothing, whatever the CEOs of Spotify say,” says Charlie. “All I know is that when I look at my royalty statements, there are too many zeros the wrong side of the decimal point. There’s a lot of talk about monetising streaming properly, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen now that the genie of cheap, easily available, all-you-can-eat music is out of the bottle. If we can change that mindset we might be some way to making a living out of it again, but I don’t know how we do that”.

I caught Charlie live last year and couldn’t help but notice what a starry crowd she attracted – at one table, Eric Idle, at another, folk royalty (and fellow Island alumna) Linda Thompson. It was a stunning show, with a three-piece band (including Charlie on assorted string and keyboard instruments), held together by consummate poise, humour and musicianship. It also confirmed that Charlie’s creative rebirth, begun ten years ago, is still in full swing. As she explains, it has been founded on the principle of not second-guessing what the audience might want. “I just felt that there was no point in me trying to consider writing and performing anything with a view to it meeting approval by some mythical taste-maker somewhere. It had to feel authentic and personal. I’ve spent too many years trying to fit some sort of mould and I finally decided just to do whatever felt right – and if people don’t like it, they don’t have to come into my shop!”

There’s also no chance of Charlie slowing down or drifting into soft-focus projects (e.g. Christmas albums or re-heated hits collections). “I want to keep making better albums,” she says of her future plans. “I’d like to write a book, a film and a play…and learn to relax. I may do all of them, but possibly not the last one”.

Charlie Dore plays The Pheasantry, King’s Road, London, Wednesday, 17th June. Tickets are available here. Find out more about Charlie Dore here.

In 2005, flicking idly through one of the glossy music monthlies, I spotted a tiny box copy item about a singer/songwriter called Shelagh McDonald who had vanished. No one knew her whereabouts, nor had they for over thirty years. Her two albums (from the early seventies) were being reissued on a two-for-one collection (I later discovered that there had been earlier CD reissues, but that this one had a bit more promotional muscle behind it, courtesy of Sanctuary). I saw the tiny piece and thought – this deserves more. I set about contacting all the people associated with Shelagh so that I could write a more substantial article. I discovered that while a minority of them feared that she was dead, most insisted that she wasn’t. Rumours abounded, most of which suggested that she’d had a bad, one-off experience with narcotics.

I also immersed myself in her two albums. 1970’s Shelagh McDonald Album was a very pleasant introduction – the accompanying photographs showed a lovely, delicate-featured woman and the songs were full of enigmatic self-expression. The music was that of a young writer navigating her way through pop, classical and folk, and coming up with beautiful odes such as ‘Ophelia’s Song’, whose extraordinary pastoral feel was clearly understood and emphasised by Robert Kirby, provider of string arrangements for both Nick Drake and Shelagh.

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Shelagh’s first two albums. Photography: Keith Morris

My feature eventually appeared in The Independent in 2005 which in turn prompted the Scottish press to run similar articles. To everyone’s astonishment, one of these pieces eventually reached Shelagh herself. She was alive and had been living an itinerant lifestyle, camping in Scotland in all weathers with her partner Gordon. It emerged that one of the numerous theories was true – Shelagh had indeed had a terrible experience with LSD, finding it impossible to come down weeks after taking a substance that should have worn off in 24 hours max. She had retreated to her parents’ home in Scotland and then voyaged into the wilderness, living off the grid as a free spirit. She and Gordon posed for a photograph to accompany an illuminating and sympathetic newspaper feature by Grace Mackaskill after which Shelagh promptly went underground again, to the dismay of fans. But then, following Gordon’s death, she gradually emerged in 2012, this time armed with a guitar and a renewed singing voice. To the folk and singer/songwriter fraternities, it was as if Richey Manic [Edwards] had returned from the abyss.

Now, forty years on, Shelagh’s third album is here. Parnassus Revisited finds her interpreting some traditional folk material, plus nine originals, with an open, free-form, jazzy quality to her guitar playing. She has yet to return to the piano, though I remain hopeful she will. Two re-workings of songs from her first two albums complete the set. I caught up with her as the album was emerging as a ‘soft’, independent release, with possible changes to come as momentum is attained. Contemporary photographs reveal that Shelagh’s looks have withstood the passing decades. It is impossible not to warm to her candid and direct answers. She is well aware that layers of mythology have been constructed around her and is keen to draw a line; not to regret the past, but simply to stop dwelling on it at the prompting of journalists.

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Shelagh in 2013. Photo: Heather McLennan

“Yours will be the last interview I do about my past,” Shelagh tells me. “My past is merely a framework upon which others can weave their own fantasies about what actually happened and they’ll continue with their re-inventions, no matter what I say!”

CD: How is the recording process forty years after Stargazer came out?

SM: Recording studios look superficially the same, until you see the computer screen on the wall above the sound decks. It lends an almost Orwellian touch to the whole room. Sound engineers are no longer dependent on their hearing alone; now they need good eyesight as well as the patience of a saint to endure the foibles and tribulations of the recording process. The computer must be consulted at all times. The abandonment of analogue has reconfigured the quality of present day recording, but I believe that the reliance on computers to tell us how to listen is removing something basic and instinctive. Certainly, it was amazing to realise that, if I’d fluffed a line here and there that they could be erased at the touch of a button. However, a few of these mistakes that we did erase actually sounded better when left as they were, in some obscure way they had become integral to the performance. Others will judge, of course, and it’s all a matter of taste. One thing is for sure – recording is every bit as nerve-wracking as it was forty years ago!

CD: The album is sparsely arranged compared to your first two albums. Just you and guitar. How was that decided upon?

SM: Budgetary and, therefore, time constraints, did influence the way Parnassus Revisited was produced. From conception to completion, it took a mere six weeks. On the other hand, it concentrated the mind on how best to record music stripped down to the essentials. There’s no space for overlaying any kind of “mood” or anything that would coerce the ear into listening out for the sounds that have become so familiar to us that we no longer register them. To some this could be considered an uncomfortable album, but it has the rawness that I was looking for. My sound engineer, David Gray, instinctively knew this I believe and created the sound that was in my head.

CD: Were you asked to make an album? How did it come about?

SM: Pressure was put on me to make an album. Bearing in mind that I’ve been away for forty years and that the cost of recording has sky-rocketed, my original plan had been to make an album of songs that reflect the musical influences on my work. For example, I love jazz and it has seeped into my guitar playing quite unconsciously….although alas I’ll never play like Anthony Wilson! My piano playing is definitely classically based. And last but not least, I have some happy songs up my sleeve which should add an extra dynamic to the album I originally had in mind. We’re talking about quite an expensive production here because it would take a variety of other musicians to support me on this.

CD: You mentioned to Grace Mackaskill that your voice had at one point been shot. You simply couldn’t sing. How did you coax it back?

SM: The voice, when it returned, took some time to strengthen. There were periods when I didn’t have time to sing. Gordon, my late partner, encouraged me but the impracticalities of returning to the folk scene during the years before his death could not be justified. At the end he said to me “you must sing”. With this kind of endorsement how could I do otherwise? And recently I’ve been working with Nigel H Seymour who knows all there is to know about singing. He’s put my voice through its paces and, thanks to him, I feel a lot more confident about it. As for performing again, I most definitely have Ian A. Anderson to thank. He nagged me until I agreed to do a gig with him and Ben Mandelson (The False Beards). Ian knows my weak spot – pride! He told me to “Come out from behind the sofa”, so I said to myself, “I’ll show him!”

CD: Have you completely recovered from the after-effects of your LSD experience? Do you wish it had never happened?

SM: I’m completely recovered from what happened back then and it’s a miracle my voice has been restored. Only one lingering side effect – my mental arithmetic sucks! I’ve no regrets. It’s made me who I am today and has taught me that you only get out of life what you put into it.

CD: How was it to discover that old and new listeners had kept exploring your music during your absence?

SM: I could hardly believe it when I learned people had been listening to my music. Sometimes their children have come up to me at gigs and said that they had known my music since they were young! Really incredible that, and very, very touching. No one from the music business approached me through all those intervening years and to be fair, it would have been impossible for them to find me if they had been.

CD: Presumably there are funds due to you from album sales.

SM: I still have to be reimbursed by the record companies but we are in contact as this goes to press. As for being consulted about reissues and liner notes. No one made a move in this direction. And again, they could well have tried to find me for all I know. When I learned (in a newspaper article) about the reissue of my music, it was a complete puzzle to me how this could have come about. I had no inkling of the resurgence in interest in all things folk and had never heard of the collectors’ market, the popularity of old 70s vinyl and the like.

CD: The return to live performances must have been daunting.

SM: The Green Note in Camden Town, London last January was my first gig for forty or so years. The audience was fantastic!

CD: You re-emergence in 2005 was documented by the press but then you seemed to go quiet again. What was life like at the time?

SM: After my reappearance Gordon and I were still living in tents and the occasional B&B or hotel. By 2008 we’d had enough and moved into a flat, which was bliss! Unfortunately within five months of this Gordon’s health deteriorated. He died in 2012.

CD: Do you miss living in the wilderness? On other hand, do you miss London? What is your ideal living space –the wilderness, cites, villages, suburbia?

SM: I don’t miss the tents – it’s enough to have memories of the good times, and there were plenty. As for London, I miss it as it was in the 60s and 70s when it was cleaner and a lot more relaxed. My ideal living space? Definitely the countryside but within reach of a city on the odd occasion duty calls.

CD: Were you signed to B&C for more than two albums? ‘Spin’ – a new song which appears on the two-for-one compilation – sounds fully produced rather than a demo. Was it planned for the next album? ‘Spin’ in particular shows a new confidence and pop sensibility. Can you tell me whether a third album was planned then abandoned? Are we likely to hear any more of it?

A third album at that juncture would not have been on the cards anyway because the recession of the 70s had already begun to bite and the music business like everyone else was affected. To be honest I’m not sure how many albums I signed up for with B&C. That third album was planned but what label it would have gone under is anyone’s guess.

CD: One glaring omission from the new album is your piano playing. As a pianist myself, I thought you had a lovely style, which added poignancy to a number of your songs. Do you plan to resume piano playing?

SM: I agree with you about the piano Charlie. Before I returned to performing I’d actually planned to concentrate on piano-based songs and to play guitar occasionally during my sets. I suppose I was persuaded down the guitar route by the numerous guitar enthusiasts in the folk scene. I don’t regret doing this but also feel now that that particular avenue has been explored. Already, since working with Nigel [Shelagh has an album in the works, collaborating with Nigel H. Seymour] there’s this feeling that I’m back on track with my original musical vision. It seems to be in tune with his (although on the face of it our music differs widely).

CD: A nice and noticeable touch on the new album is that the guitar playing has a jazzy quality that mixes very well with the folk music. Is that you playing or did you use a mix of players for the album?

SM: The jazzy guitar? All mine I’m afraid, guilty as charged. As I’ve already mentioned, the album was done on a tight budget and time was at a premium. So, barely enough time for rehearsals with other musicians, let alone the money to pay ‘em.

CD: Are you back in touch with musicians who appeared on your early albums, like Keith Christmas [a singer-songwriter contemporary of Shelagh’s]? Sadly, the brilliant arranger – Robert Kirby – died, though I did speak to him for my original article and he had lovely memories of you, as did all the people I spoke to. They all missed you a lot.

SM: Yes! I am in touch with the old gang: Keith (and Sian who’s an angel), Sandy Roberton, Ian (A) Anderson, Maggie Holland, Jerry Gilbert et al. Sadly there are absent friends who I would so much have wished to see again – the wonderful Robert Kirby who transformed base metal into gold with his beautiful orchestral arrangements and who was the nicest person in the business. Al Jones who was uniquely talented and destined, I believe, to move beyond folk-rock to a multiplicity of musical genres. Likewise Dave Mudge (of Mudge and Clutterbuck) – Tim Clutterbuck is around somewhere and it would be great to hear from him. Perhaps he’ll read this!

Find out more about Shelagh at her official website.

Thank you to those who wrote about Shelagh before I did…John O’Regan and Peter Moody.