FolkWorld Issue 39 07/2009; Article by Walkin' T:-)M

Someone Makes Some Music
Chris Wood's ‘Albion – An Anthology’

Chris Wood is a triple BBC 2 Folk Award’s winner: folk singer of the year, album of the year, and best traditional song. His new album ‘Albion’ is a double cd anthology, featuring 21 tracks taken from his previous albums, previously unreleased material, as well as collaborations with artists such as Andy Cutting, Martin Carthy, Karine Polwart and the Imagined Village project.

You were Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2009! What does it mean to you?
Chris Wood
Chris Wood @ FolkWorld: #10, #16, #35, #35

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Always good to get the recognition of one’s peers. We kid around about how silly it all is and how we don’t care about the outcome but hey – it’s made my agent’s job much easier!

How did you come to folk music? It found me. I was minding my own business, listening to Radio Caroline under the covers when someone played something by The Chieftains and it did for me. Then years later I was plunking around with Scarborough Fair as nicked off of Simon and Garfunkle when a woman came up and said, “d’you fancy playing that at our folk club?” It turned out to be the club in Whitstable where all the Oyster Band people were hanging out. Not just them, loads of other really compelling singers and musicians and, Kazuo Ishiguro or ‘Ish’ as we knew him. Plunking away on his mandolin – they were good times, much youth, much music, little by way of responsibility.

What are your influences? Was there any role model? I’d been doing singing in the church choir and felt really confident with my voice but I needed to get to grips with the guitar and that is where Alan Prosser stepped in. I still play with him now.

Why a compilation album now? Loads of people have just started listening to my music since Lark Descending and Trespasser. We just figured it made sense to give them the opportunity to have look at the other ten albums I’ve done.

Any personal highlights, any favourite track? No favourite. But I’ve got a question for you... why does my Mac not let me use the English dictionary but insist on giving me the U.S one. Being told to spell favourite without a u is like being force fed Macdonalds.

What do you think of the music business today? I’ve never had much time for the ‘business’. The ‘industry’...? What does that mean. ‘The industry’? I still see it all as very medieval – someone makes some music and plays it to someone else. If there are people with influence who like my music that’s great but it’s not going to change anything... is it?

What's next? Some people with influence (The Contemporary Music Network) have just given me a load of money to put my own band together and tour it. The tour will start in November and the rehearsals sound really dark and ... like we know what we’re doing and everything! I can’t wait. Should be an album too.

Photo Credits: (1) Chris Wood (by

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