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New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website

GUEST, Paul Slade 01 Oct 15 - 09:11 AM
michaelr 01 Oct 15 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 01 Oct 15 - 07:54 PM
Mrrzy 02 Oct 15 - 07:16 PM
GUEST, Paul Slade 04 Oct 15 - 04:28 AM
GUEST, Paul Slade 07 Nov 15 - 04:05 AM
GUEST, Paul Slade 12 Nov 15 - 03:33 AM
GUEST 12 Nov 15 - 11:23 AM
GUEST 12 Nov 15 - 11:24 AM
GUEST, Paul Slade 12 Nov 15 - 12:05 PM
GUEST, Paul Slade 01 Dec 15 - 02:09 PM
GUEST, Paul Slade 17 Dec 15 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,.gargoyle 17 Dec 15 - 09:15 PM
GUEST, Paul Slade 19 Dec 15 - 11:10 AM
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Subject: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 09:11 AM

Many of the good folk here on Mudcat have enjoyed PlanetSlade.com's Murder Ballads essays in the past. (Previously: 1 , 2 , 3 .)

Now Soundcheck Books is publishing a collection of them, and I've posted a load of free teaser material for it on PlanetSlade. There you'll find some out-takes from my new interviews with Billy Bragg, The Bad Seeds' Mick Harvey, Rennie Sparks of The Handsome Family, Snakefarm's Anna Domino, Dave Alvin from The Blasters, Laura Cantrell, The Mekons' Jon Langford, Bob Shane from The Kingston Trio, Angela Correa and Ralph Stanley II.

I've also included a couple of sidebar stories which got squeezed out of the book for reasons of space, including an introduction to the OTHER Charlie Lawson (who also murdered a member of his own family at Christmas time) and an account of my long-delayed trip to Tom Dula and Laura Foster's graves. Finally, you'll find some links to my own curated playlists for the book's eight songs. Please enjoy all the free content, spread the word that my book exists and - dare I hope? - maybe even consider buying a copy yourself.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: michaelr
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 07:22 PM

Fascinating stuff, Paul! Love your work.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 01 Oct 15 - 07:54 PM

Thank you for the posting.

This would have fallen below my "radar."

A peculiar...genre of my collections...usually found within AMOKE bookstore, archives.

Book Purchased....sorry HB was not available

This is a solid contribution. THANK YOU


Sincerely,
Gargoyle

A Dewey code...just after "Border Ballads" but aknowledge correction Oise i


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: Mrrzy
Date: 02 Oct 15 - 07:16 PM

This is marvelous, thank you!


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 04 Oct 15 - 04:28 AM

Thanks y'all. Glad you liked the stuff.

There's lots more from all my interviewees in the book , which also includes chapters discussing two songs I've never covered at all on PlanetSlade itself: Poor Ellen Smith and Murder of the Lawson Family.

I'm particularly proud of the Poor Ellen Smith chapter as I managed to uncover the first ever version of this song (which had previously been unknown) and identify the rather colourful character who wrote it.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 07 Nov 15 - 04:05 AM

How did I get so obsessed with murder ballads? Why did I feel so compelled to write this book? And why is it all Jon Langford's fault?

Find out in this new YouTube video, which has me delivering the book's introduction directly to camera with appropriate visuals. It's seven minutes long and we call it UnpreparedTo Die: The Movie.

[Just in case you're reading this at work, I should add that the film's audio will start playing as soon as you open it. Unless you feel your workmates will take a sudden burst of Arthur Tanner's 1925 version of Knoxville Girl in their stride, it might be better to wait till you get home.]


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 12 Nov 15 - 03:33 AM

This month's issue of fRoots has an exclusive extract from my book identifying the man who wrote the first-ever version of Poor Ellen Smith and explaining how an NYC encounter with Laura Cantrell helped me do so. It's the December 2015 issue, which has Andy Irvine on the cover.

Murder Ballad Monday ran an interview with me about the book on November 9, and I'll be joining Fatea's Neil King for an hour-long Murder Ballads Special on Blues And Roots Radio this Saturday (Nov 14). You'll find more details about all the above, plus some links to the interviews and extracts themselves in the Stop Press box here.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 15 - 11:23 AM

Hi Paul! A few years back I sent you my recorded version of an 1840s broadside called Murder at Westmill. I also made a Youtube video, and a fellow named Graham H, who lives in Westmill, lodged a complaint..."I've done some research and have sound out that william(Billy) was cleared of murder, It was an accident he didn't know the gun was loaded when he fired so there you go cant believe everything". So, despite the lurid accusations in the broadside, we now know the truth. Both Billy and the town of Westmill have been cleared of any scandal, 170 years after the song was published.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 15 - 11:24 AM

Sorry, "Guest" above is me Ernie Johnson. Didn't realize I was logged off Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 12 Nov 15 - 12:05 PM

Hi, Ernie. I remember your version of Murder of Westmill very well. After writing up the story behind the song, I heard from a chap called Dick Mathews who told me Billy had ultimately been ruled not guilty too. He sent me some 1849 clippings from the Hertford Mercury explaining this had happened more of less on a technicality.

I ran an addendum to the story on PlanetSlade explaining all this. Whatever the precise reason for Billy being found innocent, it was the best verdict all round. The poor little bugger was only nine, after all.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 01 Dec 15 - 02:09 PM

The book's first review is in, and it's from Dave Thompson' round-up of 2015's best books and records in Goldmine magazine.

You can read Dave's full verdict at the link, but here's a quote to be going on with: "A major contribution to the annals of folk, Unprepared to Die's cocktail of criminology, sociology, and musicology is guaranteed to keep you up all night… even if you are just hunting down the versions of the songs."


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 11:17 AM

More reviews:

"Slade's passion for the music and a grisly crime tale soaks every page like the innocent victims' spilt blood. What also comes out is the fascinating journey that folk song has taken from Britain to the Americas and back, a fascination with violent death often at its roots." - Spiral Earth.

"A fascinating, though obviously grisly, read. […] For my money it belongs firmly in the camp of 'pick it up once and you're hooked' books." - Tim Carroll, Folkwords.

"I can't think of another book that blends true crime, musical history and storytelling as well as this." - A. D. Mogg, Amazon.

"Great book. So much social history. [...] Recommend to all." - P. Smith, Amazon.


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 17 Dec 15 - 09:15 PM

Amazon...reports the soft bound is ready to ship.

I look forward to its arrival.

You have shared a unique labor of love.

Thank You.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

The darkest season of winter...what a grand time for this book to arrive!


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Subject: RE: New star interviews on Murder Ballads Website
From: GUEST, Paul Slade
Date: 19 Dec 15 - 11:10 AM

Thank you, Gargoyle. I shall picture you snuggled by the fire with a copy on Christmas Day, happily spooking the bejaysus out of yourself.

Oh, and Fatea's now reviewed the book too:

"Unprepared To Die really is a fascinating read. […] It's a book that's well worth checking out or, in this season of goodwill, passing on to one of your musicologist friends. This is one of those tomes that will cut a way into your heart."


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