Roy Palmer Lecture 2020

Old Songs for New Folk
Interpreting the tradition for lay audiences
Jeff Warner
An online event hosted by the Traditional Song Forum
29 November 2020, 16:00 (London time)
Because of the Covid-19 situation it has been necessary to postpone the talk we had planned, ‘Brother Workmen: Solidarity in Trade Folklore’ by Jeremy Harte, until 2021.
We are delighted, however, to be able to announce that the well-known American performer, Jeff Warner, has agreed to give the 2020 Roy Palmer Lecture from his home in the USA as an online event.
His talk, 'Old Songs for New Folk' will describe his approach to interpreting traditional songs to audiences who are not familar with the genre and how using the stryle and delivery of traditional singers helps to get the story across. He will talk about choosing songs, the use of humour, and dealing with 'difficult' topics. He will play a number of examples live and from recordings.
Jeff Warner is one of America’s foremost interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages, and mountaintops connect 21st-century audiences with the everyday lives – and artistry – of 19th-century Americans. Jeff grew up listening to the songs and stories of his father Frank Warner and the traditional singers his parents met during their folksong collecting trips through rural America. He accompanied his parents on their later field trips and is the editor of his mother’s book, Traditional American Folk Songs: From the Anne and Frank Warner Collection. Jeff has performed widely, from large festivals in the UK, to clubs, festivals and schools across America. He plays concertina, banjo, guitar and several “pocket” instruments, including bones and spoons.
“The scion of one of the nation’s most eminent families of folksong collectors, he represents a tradition that is fundamentally unbroken since preindustrial times”
(Stuart Frank, Senior Curator, New Bedford Whaling Museum).
Admission to the event is free, though it will be necessary to get a ticket through Eventbrite though this link:
You can find out more about Jeff Warner on
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