Matt - I think the traditional singer is more of an 'interpreter' of song - a very different beast than a singer songwriter. Without wanting to go anywhere near the dreaded 'what is folk?' debate, and not wanting to create a heirarchy of value bewteen traditional and non-traditional music, I think some people are singers and not songwriters, and unfortunately the primacy of the singer songwriter as the pinnacle of everything worthy and creative in the post-Dylan era means that the role of the skilled interpreter has been somewhat downgraded and demeaned: the old "What? Who don't write your own material?" attitude, usually served up with a dollop of condescension and sniffiness (not that you were doing this, I hasten to add!). Personally, I love a well-interpreted song (conversely, I find traditional songs sung as if they were the phone book deeply depressing)... and to draw a parallel outside of the folk tradition, some of Scott Walker's greatest work was his interpretations of the songs of Jacques Brel.