Thanks for that Colin. An enjoyable read. And Rachel dealt with the mud(cat)slinging with far more dignity and aplomb than I would have been able to muster...
I reckon you could start a thread on any english singer of traditional songs aged 35 or under, and within days it would be riddled with abuse. Personally, I don't have a problem with robust but fair criticism. It's the slightly psychopathic stuff (especially from some of the anons) that can seem a bit creepy and sick.
I do suspect that some of the comments on this thread are as much to do with the posters' 'difficult' personalities as they are to do with the Winterset. There's at least one regular poster contributing here who regardless of the subject of the discussion is nearly always negative when other people are being positive and vice versa. It a form of arrested development called 'oppositional disorder'. My four year old is very good at it.