One of the many satisfying aspects of my job is finding new tales to bring you each month. This issue alone, we have first-time features on Fugazi, Peggy Seeger, Scritti Politti and Israel Nash, while Jackie DeShannon and Toyah pop up in two of our key franchises. These artists also embody the wide span of music we strive to bring you every issue. Their stories are all great – but I’m especially proud of Jim Wirth’s Peggy Seeger feature. On one hand, the piece satisfyingly completes a trilogy of interviews Jim’s conducted for us with the grand dames of folk, following on from Shirley Collins and Anne Briggs. Also, much like Sonny Rollins in last month’s issue, Seeger is a window onto a period of major cultural and political change. Inevitably, these kind of eyewitness reports from the frontline of history are becoming an increasingly depleted resource. It means a lot, then, to feature their voices in Uncut.
There is, of course, plenty of new music in the issue, too – not least Allan Jones’ interview with Israel Nash on page 50. Nash has been on the fringes of Uncut for a while now – with rapturous reviews penned by my two predecessors for his Silver Season and Lifted albums – so it’s a pleasure to finally clear the decks to tell his story in full. Elsewhere in the issue, Valerie June’s excellent The Moon And Stars: Prescriptions For Dreamers deservedly snatches our Album Of The Month slot. “It is an unusual record,” writes Laura Barton. “One that draws together a diverse array of influences – guided meditation, Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, Memphis soul, racial oppression, pedal steel and Tony Visconti among them, and somehow weaves them into one of this year’s most exceptional offerings.” It’s early February as I write this, but I can’t help but be amazed at the high standard of music already coming out this year.
You’ll read about the best of it first, here in Uncut.
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