Rick Lee was a New York City born, Massachusetts-based old-time banjo and piano player, singer and songwriter with family roots in Appalachia and a great-grandmother from Scotland. He had been part of New England's traditional music scene since the early 1960s.
Jean Redpath died peacefully at a hospice in Arizona. She was 77. Born in Edinburgh in 1937, she grew up in Leven, Fife, where her family’s home resounded with music and an appreciation of Scottish culture. Her father played a hammered dulcimer. She was a major figure in Scottish music, although not too many people below a certain age will have seen her perform live back home as it was in the US where she established her reputation as an interpreter of Scottish folk songs, in live performance, on radio and on record. She was best known in her native country through her recordings, especially of the songs of Robert Burns.
John Eaglesham, singer, songwriter, raconteur and concertina player, passed away after a long illness on 5 April 2014. He was a fine and respectful singer of the older Scots songs as well as comic music hall material and traditional tunes, and respected singers have said that they never heard a better or more authentic performer of bothy ballads.
Just about a year ago, Brian Horsfall told me that the news about his health was not good. I was in touch with him as recently as early December and there was no sign that he would soon be leaving us. In fact, he had plans for something and he wanted me to put a musician in touch with him. It was typical of Brian - stoic, wouldn’t want a fuss, single-minded – that no indication of his deteriorating health was given to me.
When Shetland Folk Festival stalwart Davie Henderson died suddenly in the early hours of 12th January, the profound sense of shock felt across his own island community reverberated much much further afield – indeed around the world as a whole. The huge outpouring of not only disbelief and sadness but equally respect that followed the announcement of his untimely death at the age of 63 in itself spoke volumes about the person he was.
The folk world will hear of the untimely death of Ralph Jordan with great sadness. For 40 years, Ralph was a familiar and distinctive figure at festivals, sessions, on the concert stage and behind the mixing desk. His absence leaves a space that will not be filled.
Born Lincoln, 16 August, 1939
Died Scunthorpe, 22 November, 2013
Collector and performer of songs and dialect
in the Lincolnshire tradition.
Sarah died peacefully during the night of 14 September 2013 at the age of 65. She was at home and surrounded by her friends Angus, Moira and Carolyn. Throughout her time of illness, she showed incredible bravery, grace and dignity, continuing to perform and lead workshops until very near the end. With more than 30 years’ experience as a performer of folk music, Sarah was widely known on the scene from her work with Craig Morgan Robson, Curate's Egg and Bread & Roses - she will be missed greatly in our musical world.
John was a well kent face on the Scottish folk scene and his death at the relatively young age of 60 came as a real shock to his friends. He chose to keep things quiet which was typical of John’s approach. Rarely one to blow his own trumpet or hog the limelight, he was a significant contributor to folk clubs and festivals throughout Scotland, sometimes on stage but always part, and often the instigator, of a session. Glasgow was his home town and he will be particularly missed at places like the Star Club and at the Girvan Folk Festival where many people will have shared his company.
The world of folk music has lost one of its finest singers with the passing of Judy Dinning in Hexham after a long and courageous fight against breast cancer.