Anne Briggs

Anne Briggs PicFrom: Toton, Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England

Anne Patricia Briggs is an English folk singer born in 1944 in Toton, Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Briggs traveled widely in the 1960s and early 1970s, where she appeared at folk clubs and venues in England and Ireland, however, she never aspired to commercial success or widespread public acknowledgement. Nevertheless, she was an influential figure in the English folk music revival, inspiring the likes of A. L. Lloyd, Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page, The Watersons, June Tabor, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson and Maddy Prior.

Briggs and her sister were raised by her Aunt and Uncle in Toton, as her mother died of tuberculosis when she was young and her father was severely injured in World War II. In 1959, Anne cycled with a friend to Edinburgh. The two spent a night at Archie Fisher’s place, who was at the time prominent in the revival of folk music in Scotland. It was through Fisher that Briggs met Bert Jansch, who had just began composing his own songs. Briggs and Jansch would eventually live together in Earl’s Court before moving to a house in Somali Road, London. The two had somewhat of a resemblance, and were often mistaken for brother and sister. Briggs taught Jansch the traditional song “Blackwaterside” which he would record for his Jack Orion album in 1966.

Anne Briggs’ recording career began with her contributing two songs to the thematic album The Iron Muse, released by Topic Records in 1963. That same year, an EP titled The Hazards Of Love was recorded. It was an early inspiration for both June Tabor and Maddy Prior.

Around this time, Briggs entered a relationship with a Scotsman who proved to be violently abusive. She was rescued from the relationship by Hamish Henderson who accidentally bumped into her and invited her to join Louis Killen, Dave Swarbrick and Frankie Armstrong for a recording project. The album called The Bird In The Bush was recorded as a result.

The Dubliners were touring England when they met Briggs, thinking she would be the perfect music partner for Johnny Moynihan, a folk singer they knew from Dublin. The band accompanied her to Ireland in 1965. Briggs spent the next four summers in Ireland, travelling by horse-drawn cart to pub sessions.

In 1968, Briggs recorded a self-titled album, which was released by Topic. It consisted mostly of traditional unaccompanied songs. Later that year, she released a second album, The Time Has Come. This album was released on CBS and finds Briggs moving away from the mainly a cappella style of her previous recordings. The album’s sales were poor and it was dropped from CBS’s catalogue. It was reissued in 1996. Briggs is said to have disliked the sound of her recorded voice, particularly on this album.

Briggs third and final studio album, Sing A Song For You, was recorded in 1973. She was pregnant at the time with her second child. When Bert Lloyd died in 1990, Briggs was persuaded to sing in a memorial concert, but she refused to return to the studio. In 1993, Briggs took part in a TV documentary about Bert Jansch. She performed the duet “Go Your Way My Love” which later reappeared in the soundtrack “Acoustic Routes.”

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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From the 1971 album Anne Briggs
Anne Briggs

  • Blackwater Side