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Maddy Prior Biography

Maddy Prior Tickets

Maddy Prior In-depth Biography

Maddy Prior} has established herself, by dint of both talent and time, as one of the leading female singers in British folk (and folk-rock). Born in St. Albans, outside London, she developed an interest in traditional English music as a teenager and through friends, found her way to the treasure trove of material at Cecil Sharpe House and also to Ewan MacColl}, the de facto leader of the folk revival. In the late '60s, she met Tim Hart}, an accomplished singer and instrumentalist, and together they recorded three albums which made little impact at the time, not even setting the folk clubs buzzing. However, they had played some folk festivals, including Keele, where they met Fairport Convention} bassist Ashley Hutchings}, who was about to form a new band. Prior} and Hart} became part of the ensemble known as Steeleye Span}, who would become an ongoing institution of British folk-rock, with Prior as one of its constants -- she even married Rick Kemp}, the bass player who replaced Hutchings}.

In 1976, she teamed with another young folk singer, June Tabor}, under the Silly Sisters} moniker, to record the first of what would be two albums, also remaining with Steeleye} until the group officially disbanded in 1978. After that, she embarked on her solo career, her debut, Woman in the Wings}, being produced by Jethro Tull} leader Ian Anderson}. She also began another career, as the mother of two children, but still joined a reunited Steeleye} in 1980, continuing to juggle band and solo work and evening forming her own group, the Carnival Band}, who've supported her on record and tour since 1987. When Prior} experienced some voice problems in 1993, Gay Woods}, who also been an original Steeleye} vocalist, rejoined the band. Prior} continued to record more frequently alone, including the albums Year}, Flesh and Blood}, and Ravenchild}, many of which were concept records, before finally leaving Steeleye Span} in 2000 to concentrate purely on solo work. ~ Chris Nickson, All Music Guide

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