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Riverside Radio Special on Resonance 104.4fm - 10th October




Due to the cancellation of the Riverside Shirley Inspired on Satutrday 4th, we decided to create a special 1 hour show on Resonance 104.4fm on Friday 10th at 8pm til 9pm.

Listen to music inspired by Shirley Collins and interviews with the producer of Shirley Inspired and the forthcoming feature film The Ballad of Shirley Collins, Paul Williams and with Shirley Collins herself.

About:  The Shirley Inspired… a movement.

Shirley Inspired... will be an album and series of events performed and curated by nuanced folk singers and ardent experimentalists; lovers of complex and forward-thinking composition, the simplest beautiful ballad, and concerts and events in the best possible places. Founded as an element to the recently successful KIckstarter fund-raising campaign - a movement has formed around a significant momentum amongst its followers. 

Just like its subject, Shirley Inspired… is rooted in traditional song – with the exception of a few works by beloved contemporaries (Richard Thompson, Robin Williamson), Shirley’s recorded catalog consists of traditional songs that she has made her own through she and Dolly’s arrangements and Shirley’s unmistakable voice. It is these traditional songs that the Shirley Inspired… album will concentrate on. Also, it is with this ethos that the events will be curated and delivered.    

Shirley talking about how she searched for music in coffee bars.

Will Oldham’s “Pretty Saro”, for example, collected in Georgia in 1910 by Miss Mackinney with a tune all of Shirley’s own – perfect fare to highlight Shirley’s own transatlantic resonance. Or Graham Coxon’s eerie murder ballad, “The Cruel Mother”, a nod to the dark melancholy that haunts English folk song – and, indeed, Shirley Collins’ oeuvre; The success of Cafe OTO’s Kickstarter launch event with Stewart Lee’s adept introduction of song, performance, Super8 films, and Shirley’s own resurgence as a cultural force laying the way for a future of not only Shirley Inspired… events, happenings and goings-on but events with Shirley herself in attendance and perhaps even in song...

The Film: The Ballad of Shirley Collins

Partly inspired by Shirley Collins’ beguiling autobiography, America Over the Water, the non-fiction film will revolve around the 1959 song-collecting trip Shirley and Alan Lomax took through the southern US. This historic expedition resulted in field recordings which eventually inspired the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers’ film, O Brother, Where Art Thou. On this trip, Shirley and Lomax discovered the previously un-recorded blues musician Mississippi Fred McDowell, spawning mainstream interest in the “Hill Country” style of blues that has had an incalculable influence on American music. 

The Ballad of Shirley Collins will blend the story of that journey with a celebration of Shirley’s achievements in English folk music, her groundbreaking work with her sister, the arranger and keyboardist Dolly Collins, her dark and lost years wherein she disappeared from public view and her subsequent return to the limelight in the 21st century

Stewart Lee on how he discovered Shirely Collins music.

Some of the bands who were involved with the Shirley Inspired album...

Earlier Event: 10 October
Nursery Theatre