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International Women's Day

It’s International Women’s Day, so here are nine wonderful female folk musicians who I have had the huge pleasure of listening to and learning about while researching my new novel, THE KEEPER OF SONGS. The heroine, Molly Marrison, is inspired by them all - as am I.


Top, left to right: Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Shelagh McDonald.

Middle, left to right: Sandy Denny, Shirley Collins, Peggy Seeger.

Bottom, left to right: Joan Baez, Vashti Bunyan, Bella Hardy.

‘The Keeper of Songs’ would never have been written without Sam Lee, and it was wonderful to see him interview Shirley Collins at the South Bank a few years ago. Shirley is a heroine for us all. Peggy Seeger’s autobiography, ‘First Time Ever’ is a fantastic read. She’s brave, talented, resilient and fabulously funny. Bella Hardy’s sympathetic and beautiful recordings of old Derbyshire folk tales inspired me so much and I am thrilled to be now working with her on an audio drama.


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