I Little Thocht My Love Wid Leave Me
Norman Kennedy is one of Scotland's finest traditional singers with a unique repertoire of folk songs and ballads.Born and brought up in Aberdeen, he was a neighbour of the great ballad singer Jeannie Robertson and during the evolving folk scene of the 1960s he picked up many songs from her and from other singers such as the bothy ballad singer Jimmy McBeath and the traveller and street singer Davie Stewart.
The album was recorded live by the Folk Song Society of Greater Boston at a concert held at the First Parish of Watertown Unitarian Universalist Church on the 23rd October 1999.
Songs include an old version of Daintie Davie, the beautiful Plooman Laddies, several of the older ballads - Gypsy Laddies and Binnorie and some Gaelic Mouth Music/ Puirt a Beul. Click for the Full Track Listing.
In 1966 Norman moved to live in the USA after representing Scotland at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival where he was an immediate success with the 'folkies' and the academics alike. The former loved his rela'ed, easy style, whilst the latter recognised a deep knowledge and understanding of the songs, which went way beyond book learning. Here was a young man truly immersed in his tradition and culture. And 36 years later, he has lost none of that magnetism.
But theres more to Norman than just singing and storytelling. He is an accomplished weaver, who cards, spins and dyes his own wool in the 'old ways'. It is a mark of his quest for perfection that he is as well known in this field as for his singing and, living now in northern Vermont he travels widely in the USA and demonstrating his craft skills and singing the old songs. But he does not see them as separate entities - the songs help him to concentrate on his weaving and the weaving gives rhythm to his songs. When Norman sings as he weaves it seems the art and the craft were meant to be together, and never more so than when performed by a master of both.
Tom Spiers, Auchtermuchty, Fife.
USA National Heritage Fellowship
In August 2003 Norman was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in the USA - one of only 16 such awards given in that year. The fellowship certificate recognises Norman as 'a master traditional artist who has contributed to the shaping of our artistic traditions and to preserving the cultural diversity of the United States.
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