It's another epic ballad this week as I catch up with Franz Andres Morrissey to learn more about this song, that was originally collected in Scotland. We also chat about the ups and downs of the Swiss folk scene, have a good old gossip about Robert Burns, and I learn where Martin Carthy gets his tunes from.
Brown Adam, or Broun Edom, is a rare song with some old, even pre-Christian, themes and motifs. It unfolds in true storytelling style and includes such colourful characters as a False Knight, a faithful Lady, and Brown Adam himself, a magnificent young Smith. Shenanigans ensue and there's quite a bit of gratuitous bird shooting before the story moves on. Who needs Netflix when you've got songs like this?
Franz is an academic (though he carries it lightly) and an experienced folk musician, and we talk about his book, Language, the Singer and the Song. We also discuss his play which tells the stories of slavery through words and song.
His band Taradiddle (https://taradiddle.ch) has just recorded an album that will be out soon, and there's a rumour that there'll be tour dates announced shortly.
You can hear more of Franz's music on Soundcloud.
Brown Adam was performed and produced by by Franz. The episode also features three live recordings by Taradiddle: Benediction Song, Who's The Fool Now, Hey Ca' Thro and Leaving Limerick. You can find more here. There's also a snippet of the song that Franz and I recorded together remotely, Now Westlin Winds.
Franz and I met through The Barnstoners, a self-organising group of musicians who have all been to the fabulous Stones Barn run by Maddy Prior and Rose-Ellen Kemp up in Cumbria. It goes without saying that we're big fans of theirs and recommend them highly.