Simon Emmerson from the Afro Celts swaps the 'ol' in 'folk' with the 'fun' in 'funky' and explains how Forest School Camps helped him grasp the value of traditional English music.
Currently experiencing an upsurge in the popularity of its folk music - termed 'the second folk revival' - English society is at the same time attempting to address the issue of national identity. _Chris Wood - pioneering singer, fiddle-player and composer, who this year was nominated for four BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including folk singer of the year - is musically at the very heart of what is taking place in English folk music at present. Here, he provides his personal view of English society today and the untapped potential of its traditional music.
Simon Emmerson, the Grammy nominated producer/musician behind albums, bands and collaborations from Acid Jazz to Working Week, Peter Gabriel, Manu Dibango, Baaba Maal and the globe-straddling Afro Celt Soundsystem, has worked with musicians from all over the world but now he is digging in his own back yard. Alan James explores the Imagined Village.
David Honigmann selects the finest English folk songs for St George's day. Published in the FT on 19th April 2008.