Album: Various Artists, New Folk Routes (Rev-Ola)

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The punning title of this splendid compilation of tracks from the revitalised British folk-music scene of the late Sixties and early Seventies neatly captures the creative dialectic at the heart of its vitality: on the one hand, a fascination with traditional roots, and on the other, a determination to find fresh routes in which to take it.

Ironically it took an American entrepreneur, Joe Boyd, to realise the potency of this new wave of artists, and secure Britfolk an unprecedented commerciality. But that success was ultimately due to the confluence of outstanding talents like Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny and Martin Carthy.

With equally gifted talents such as Traffic and John Martyn pushing at the boundaries, the result, accurately depicted on this anthology, was a music abundant in wit and whimsy, erudition and virtuosity.

"Nutting Girl" from New Folk Routes features in this month's Independent Audio Player. CLICK HERE to listen.

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