Lost folk treasure unearthed

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Barry Dransfield

Long mythologised as one of the rarest English folk albums, Dransfield’s first solo LP appeared in 1972 on Polydor and disappeared soon after. It’s hard to understand why: after all, the Yorkshire carpenter and violinist had played with the likes of Sandy Denny and Shirley Collins, been asked to join Steeleye Span, and was in the thick of the folk revival. What’s more, it’s a lovely record, mixing traditional jigs with Dransfield’s manly, tender songs. Covers of American tunes by Michael Hurley and David Ackles prove, too, that Dransfield wasn’t averse to looking beyond indigenous tradition, unlike some of his contemporaries. Oh, and Playschool pin-up Toni Arthur took the sleeve shots.