Shirley Collins

Shirley Collins & Opinions on Japandroids & Ty Segall

Of all the artists in the English folk revival, Shirley Collins was the most devoted to traditional song. After a nearly 40 year recording hiatus, she's finally released a new album. Shirley Collins joins Jim and Greg to discuss her career and her experiences traveling through America to collect field recordings with Alan Lomax. Plus, reviews of the new albums by Japandroids and Ty Segall.

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Shirley Collins

Of all the English folk revival artists, Shirley Collins was perhaps the most devoted to rural folk traditions. But at the same time, her records were incredibly innovative in their approach. Her 1964 album Folk Roots, New Routes with guitarist Davey Graham fused ancient songs with jazz arrangements, paving the way for bands like Fairport Convention. In collaboration with her sister Dolly, Shirley Collins also recorded with early music instruments and Renaissance ensembles. She even went electric with her acclaimed 1971 album No Roses. After developing a vocal condition known as dysphonia, Shirley gave up recording in 1978. Since then, she's become an inspiration to a new generation of artists, including The Decemberists' Colin Meloy, who covered one of her songs live on Sound Opinions. Now, after a nearly 40 year hiatus, she's returned with a new album, Lodestar. She joins Jim and Greg to explain why she returned to singing and how she chose her rather bloodsoaked repertoire.

In addition to her own recording career, Shirley Collins played an important role in music history when she accompanied legendary musicologist Alan Lomax as he traveled through the American south in 1959. Together, they collected field recordings of traditional working-class artists on farms, prisons, and churches. Their tapes of musicians like Mississippi Fred McDowell, Almeda Riddle, and Hobart Smith were huge influences on generations of artists, including Bob Dylan.

reviewNear To The Wild Heart Of LifeNear to the Wild Heart of Life available on iTunes

Japandroids Near to the Wild Heart of Life

Canadian rock band Japandroids have just released their first album since 2012, Near to the Wild Heart of Life. Many people thought this band wasn't going to return to the road or the recording studios, but both Jim and Greg were fans of their previous two albums. Greg thinks this album is just okay, and many of the songs clocking out several minutes longer than they should. He admires the ambition of Near to the Wild Heart of Life, but thinks that the group ended up sacrificing their fun, signature rock and roll sound in the process. Greg gives it a Try It. Jim thinks Greg is being a little grumpier than he needs to be about this record. He thinks they get the“barroom sage poet”element just right. He also likes the instrumental experimentation, and gives this album a Buy It.

reviewTy SegallTy Segall available on iTunes

Ty Segall Ty Segall

San Francisco's Ty Segall is one of today's most prolific rockers. Since his 2008 debut, he's collaborated with bands like Traditional Fools and Fuzz, in addition to his own solo work. For his most recent self-titled album, Ty Segall, he recorded with his touring band. Jim thinks that this album is extraordinary, combining elements of glam rock, psychedelic sounds, and fiery garage rock a'la 13th Floor Elevators. Jim particularly enjoyed "Orange Color Queen", an ode to Ty's girlfriend that he called "a touching love song". Greg says that this is an album to love, his most song-focused and diverse record in his catalog, right up there with 2014's Manipulator. Both critics say Buy It.


Featured Songs

  1. Shirley Collins, Polly Vaughan, The Power of the True Love Knot, Polydor, 1968
  2. Shirley Collins, The False True Love, False True Lovers, Folkways, 1959
  3. Colin Meloy, Barbara Allen (Live on Sound Opinions), Colin Meloy Sings Trad. Arr. Shirley Collins, Self-released, 2006
  4. Angel Olsen, The Blacksmith, Shirley Inspired, Earth, 2015
  5. Shirley Collins & Davy Graham, Dearest Dear, Folk Roots, New Routes, Decca, 1964
  6. Shirley Collins & Davy Graham, Proud Maisrie, Folk Roots, New Routes, Decca, 1964
  7. Shirley & Dolly Collins, Nellie The Milkmaid, Anthems In Eden, Harvest, 1969
  8. Shirley & Dolly Collins, Are You Going to Leave Me?, Love, Death & the Lady, Harvest, 1970
  9. Shirley & Dolly Collins, A Song-Story, Anthems In Eden, Harvest, 1969
  10. Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band, Claudy Banks, No Roses, Pegasus, 1971
  11. Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band, Murder of Maria Marten, No Roses, Pegasus, 1971
  12. Fairport Convention, Tam Lin, Liege & Lief, Island, 1969
  13. The Incredible String Band, Ducks on a Pond, Wee Tam and the Big Huge, Elektra, 1968
  14. Shirley Collins, Lady Margaret and Sweet William, The Power of the True Love Knot, Polydor, 1968
  15. Hobart Smith, The Arkansas Traveler, American Folk Songs for Children, Atlantic, 1959
  16. Fred McDowell, 61 Highway Blues, Yazoo Delta Blues and Spirituals, Prestige International, 1959
  17. Rev. I. D. Back & Congregation, Sermon and Lining Hymn, White Spirituals, Atlantic, 1959
  18. Almeda Riddle, Lonesome Dove, Folk Songs from the Ozarks, Prestige International, 1959
  19. Shirley Collins, Washed Ashore, Lodestar, Domino, 2016
  20. Shirley Collins, The Rich Irish Lady / Jeff Sturgeon, Lodestar, Domino, 2016
  21. Shirley Collins, The Banks of Green Willow, Lodestar, Domino, 2016
  22. Shirley Collins, Cruel Lincoln, Lodestar, Domino, 2016
  23. Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band, Van Dieman's Land, No Roses, Pegasus, 1971
  24. Japandroids, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, ANTI-, 2017
  25. Japandroids, Arc of Bar, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, ANTI-, 2017
  26. Japandroids, I'm Sorry for Not Finding You Sooner, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, ANTI-, 2017
  27. Japandroids, In a Body Like a Grave, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, ANTI-, 2017
  28. Ty Segall, Break A Guitar, Ty Segall, Drag City, 2017
  29. Ty Segall, Orange Color Queen, Ty Segall, Drag City, 2017
  30. Ty Segall, Take Care to Comb Your Hair, Ty Segall, Drag City, 2017
  31. Japandroids, No Known Drink or Drug, Near to the Wild Heart of Life, ANTI-, 2017
  32. New Edition, Mr. Telephone Man, New Edition, MCA, 1984
  33. Yo La Tengo, Mr. Tough, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, Matador, 2006
  34. John Coltrane, Mr. Syms, Coltrane Plays the Blues, Atlantic, 1962
  35. Yo La Tengo, Periodically Double or Triple, Popular Songs, Matador, 2009
  36. Cake, Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps, Fashion Nugget, Capricorn, 1996
  37. Sam Cooke, Bring It On Home To Me, Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963, RCA, 1985
  38. Stu Phillips, Knight Rider Main Theme, Knight Rider (Original Television Soundtrack), Film Score Monthly, 1982
  39. Ben Folds Five, Battle Of Who Could Care Less, Whatever and Ever Amen, 550 Music, 1997