An affectionate account of a UK folk music legend – ‘Bert’ reviewed in the Times

A.L. Lloyd (top right) sitting behind Bob Dylan at the 1962 Singers’ Club Christmas Party in London.

In a review for The Times, Alan Franks finds Dave Arthur’s Bert: the Life and Times of A.L. Lloyd, to be a “affectionate but clear-eyed account” of an unsung hero of the UK folk scene. Franks continues, “Perhaps the books greatest achievement is to record Lloyd’s vital place in a British folk music revival that predated the rise in American-influenced rock and blues by a few years, and has continued to run as an influential if often overlooked undercurrent ever since.” Franks comments on how the book traces the connections between Lloyd’s left-wing politics and his musical trail blazing:

Arthur see’s the lack of commercial potential in Lloyd’s politics as the reason for his ever greater immersion in the world of ethnomusicology. Apart from his memorable radio programmes of English traditional singing at a Suffolk pub called the Eel’s Foot, he travelled the world, South America to Eastern Europe, seeking out the oral tradition, and publishing books and articles on the subject.

Follow this link to read a PDF version of the full review.

Bert

The Life and Times of A. L. Lloyd

Dave Arthur. Foreword by Richard Thompson OBE. Preface by Rt. Hon. Sir Stephen Sedley

The definitive biography of the folk legend and left-wing activist.

“When everyone else was listening to Cream, I was listening to A. L. Lloyd.” – Frank Zappa

“I’m old enough and have been close enough to many of the events recounted in this thoroughly but sympathetically researched book to recognise the ring of truth when I hear it.” – Bill Leader, record producer (Bert Jansch)

£24.99 only £22.00 on the Pluto site

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