IT is 22 years since the Oysterband band made the album Freedom And Rain with singer June Tabor and it was last year before they followed it up with Ragged Kingdom, writes Frank Chester.
The album swept the board at the BBC Folk Awards last month and on 17th March, front man Alan Prosser gave a solo performance at Farnsfield Village Centre that showed just why the band is so revered in the world of folk and traditional music.
Alan gave almost two hours of singing and guitar playing that marked him out as one of the finest guitarists in the UK.
He played many of his own compositions, in styles ranging from pop to blues, folk and classics, and including the first public performance of his latest blues song, Give Me Your Soul.
But there were more familiar items, too, mainly from the folk and traditional field. There was Summer Is A-Cummen In, The Belle Of Belfast City, the American folk standard Truck Drivin’ Man, and a deliciously delicate version of Men Of Harlech.
He even knocked out a request for Davy Graham’s Anji as if it were the easiest thing in the world to play.
The evening had the impromptu air of a folk club session – but with only one performer. Perhaps not the ideal setting for someone so used to the big stage, but it suited him perfectly.