Music & Words | John Kirkpatrick

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John Kirkpatrick is probably one of England's mostpopular folk artists with years of experience into virtually everyaspect of English folk music. He is a master on various kinds ofsqueeze boxes: button accordion, melodeon and various types ofconcertinas. But he is also a great song writer and composer.

In his long career John has been involved with manymajor and influential folk projects. He was once a member of folkrockband Steeleye Span and he had a significant role on the historic albumsMorris on and The complete dancing master, projects hedid together with Ashley Hutchings. You can find him as a rock 'n' rollartist on almost every Richard Thompson album, as a folk musician hehas worked a lot with Martin Carthy (e.g. in the group Brass Monkey)and he has been a guest musician on countless albums by the likes asLeon Rosselson, Frankie Armstrong, Roy Bailey and many others. He hasperformed in bands as Umps & Dumps and Band of Hope. He travelledaround Europe with Riccardo, Tesi, Kepa Junkera and Marc Perrone (invarious different groups) as Trans Europe Diatonique.

John also had a major part in the revival of morrisdancing. The Shropshire Bedlams, ‘his’ morris dance group is well knownfor its innovative approach. Quite regular he is member of the juryduring morris dance competitions.

Apart from all the projects mentioned above, he hasalways been active as a solo musician. Maybe that is how he shows hisversatility the best. He is performing traditional English songs anddances, but also writes great music himself. He is well known for hismusic for plays.

The four albums on MW Records are solo albums, but they each show a part of his talent. One man & his boxis recorded as a regular gig set. A lot of these songs and tunes areall time classics at concerts, but were never before recorded by John. Blue balloon, which is one of our Folk Classics,is a showcase for John's songwriting talent, strange and powerfullsongs, accompanied by some of his friends, like Richard Thompson.Earhtling is, what John calls, a ‘green album’. Most of these songs and tunes were written for various plays. Finally, Sheepskins,also a Folk Classic, is an album with morris tunes. Over one hour‘fieldrecordings’ by one of the world's best squeeze box players


Richard Thompson: ‘He's a traditionalmusician who is incredibly quick at understanding other genres andforms. He has a great feel for music (...)’

Martin Carthy: ‘I really love playing with John. I think he's a beautiful singer, a lovely musician and a lovely bloke’


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