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Chineese Whispers in English Folk

Chineese Whispers in English Folk

Who: Jim Moray
Where: Northern Star Hotel
When: Saturday March 13, 2004

HE only recently celebrated his 22nd birthday, but UK musician JIM MORAY has already been credited with producing some of the best folk music of the past 30 years.

Moray released his debut album Sweet England in June 2003.

It has garnered glowing reviews that applaud his ability to combine tradition with reinvention.

Based in Staffordshire, England, Moray recorded the album at home on a computer in his bedroom.

It features his take on nine traditional English songs, as well as an original composition.

Moray played guitar, piano, drums and bass on the album and taught himself to play basics on violin, concertina, melodeon bass and cornet.

The album includes standards like Early One Morning, Lord Bateman, Gypsies and the title track.

Moray said he hopes the album will help other musicians to embrace traditional English song.

``Folk music in this country seems to be hidden away,'' Moray said.

``It's somehow shameful to assert your Englishness and sing about it and celebrate it.

``Irish music and Scottish music and even Welsh music don't have this problem.'' Moray grew up listening to folk music and said that although he ``rebelled'' as a teenager by joining a rock band, he was drawn back to the music he loved as a child.

``It began to dawn on me that they're better songs than I could write because they're the ultimate collaborations,'' he said.

``You've had the best songwriters working on them for the past 500 years.

``It's as if they've been written by Chinese whispers. Everybody who sings it adds their own little bit, and it gets refined into a really amazing song.'' Last month, Moray received two awards at the 2004 BBC RADIO 2 FOLK AWARDS taking out the HORIZON AWARD for Best Newcomer and the prestigious Best Album Award for Sweet England. Moray is touring Australia and will make his debut at the NORTHERN STAR HOTEL on Saturday night.

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