' I've lost the power I had to distinguish between what to ignite and what to extinguish' – Rowland S. Howard

Perhaps a coinc…

Perhaps a coincidence, but thought I would point out that two of my favourite ballads ever written have backing vocals by Shawn Colvin.

They are ‘Listen to the Rain’ by Eric Andersen from his excellent cd. ‘Ghosts:upon the Road’, the beginning of a career revival that has led to a series of excellent albums:

and Paul Westerberg’s ‘Born for Me’ on his much under-rated album, Suicaine Gratification:

In Chronicles, …

In Chronicles, Dylan describes Paul Clayton as ‘forlorn and melancholic’ and it was, perhaps, these qualities in his character that makes his treatment of  such sombre folk songs as  ‘The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry’, ‘Going to Georgia’ (which he may have written himself), ‘Sad and Lonely’ and ‘The Dying Stockman’ so effective.

My favourite of these melancholy songs, however, is ”The Seaman’s Grave’ from Clayton’s album, Bay State Ballads. The simple elegance of this performance compares well, I think, with Benjamin Britten’s equally simple and affecting arrangement of ‘Tom Bowlin’, another story of a sailor lost at sea:

You can hear part of the Clayton track here:


The Britten piece can be heard in full at (the original poem it is based on is by Charles Dibdin: