I was spoilt for choice on what to select as Song of the Day but eventually came back to one of my favourite bands ‘The Imagined Village’. Here they are performing ‘The Handweaver and The Factory Maid’ at Cambridge Folk Festival in 2010 when the line-up included Martin Carthy.
The song has been the choice of a fair few of the years most notably Brass Monkey whose combination of folk and brass band was unique for the time, a wellspring that the likes of Bellowhead have certainly drank from. Although established in 1982 Brass Monkey’s roots go a lot further back to the likes of the Ashley Hutchings led Albion Country Band which Carthy and John Kirkpatrick were invited to join in ’73. There’s a complex web of strands that criss-cross these mighty stalwarts of the British Folk Scene which I’ll save for another time. But if you want to delve deeper there is plenty of great albums to get your hands on including The Complete Brass Monkey released on Topic Records (available via Amazon on CD with free MP3 album here).
Further Reading on The Imagined Village on Folk Radio UK:
Our interview from 2012 with Simon Emmerson on the release of Bending the Dark
Musical Connections in our Folk Store: