Interview with Folk Troubadour Steve Folk
Music is as important as breathing. I like my music to hijack my heart and make me yearn to play the same songs over and over again, until they are hard wired to my brain.
Steve Folk is that man. One day in May, I listened to Folk’s rich, ethereal, beautifully crafted album Ramble, and I felt like Alice. Suddenly, I had tumbled down the rabbit hole into a lush, lovely, kaleidoscopic world where the urban fox, city slickers, net curtains and yellow tractors all jostle for attention. Folk is like a Beat Poet. What he has to stay lingers and makes you think. He’s a protest singer in the finest tradition; but he does it with such elegance, gentleness, and every so slightly grumpy, downbeat charm.
Dramatic Cat Rescue!
The wistful, heartbreaking beauty of Steve Folk’s songs reminds me of the sixties singer songwriter, Donovan. Ramble is the perfect sound track for a road trip, for dancing around the house and laughing out loud at the sheer, bittersweet romance and randomness of life on earth. Like the moment, slap bang in the middle of our interview, when Charlotte, his cat clearly decided the interview needed a bit more drama and excitement. So, she jumped in the canal and waited to be rescued by Steve!
Folk is a 21st Century wandering troubadour, and let me tell you this man is going to make folk music hip again, along with the whole Mumford and Sons back to the sixties phenomenon.
The Fragile Beauty of Nature
But this isn’t folk music lost in the mists of time and tradition. This is music that takes dead aim at the world of 2016 and then delivers an intoxicating escape route. Folk, who used to be called Blabbermouth, because he is not shy of admitting he is a ‘crazy man with too many thoughts to hide’ – loves London, but equally, he likes to sing songs that have that rare ability to distil the fragile beauty of nature and make us question our commitment to taking care of it. What makes this album truly great is that he has a beguiling foothold in both world’s – the city and the countryside.
The Call of the British Seaside
On Old Grey London, one of the standout tracks, he compares the city to a lover who has lost her beauty and her charm. It’s heartbreaking stuff. Then, on another track, he catalogues the chickens, the fat cat and the cabbage patch on The Farm We Will Never Have. The album also contains one of the best songs I have ever heard about the allure of the seaside, with Littlehampton – an ode to the place he grew up – all shades of ‘ grey, green, beige and brown’ and where he ‘got laid and paid and will never let the memories fade’. While his song 360 captures the joy of climbing a hill and doing a 360. To me the song reminds us in the sweetest way to be good to ourselves, to stop, and savour the miracle of being being.
The Prince of Folk
Folk’s songs are like exquisitely crafted, poems, and they are by turns – wistful, funny, frank and honest. It all adds up to musical stardust – and I am glad Steve that you changed your name to Folk – You may be a blabbermouth – but I think you are more of a Prince of Folk.
Alison Jane Reid