“These are mysterious songs – that’s what sets them apart from popular music,”
says Grammy-nominated and IBMA Award-winning songwriter and guitarist
Thomm Jutz. He’s speaking about his long-running obsession with Cecil
Sharp’s 1916 and 1918 collection, ‘English Folk Songs from the Southern
Appalachians,’ particularly those tunes from singers, Mary Sands and
Jane Gentry. “A lot goes unexplained. Why certain characters find
themselves in certain situations is not as important as how they deal
with them,” says Jutz.
stories and messages in these songs are as important today as they were
hundreds of years ago. The reason for this is that they deal with
archetypes. And archetypes and the problems related to them transcend
time and place.” Jutz’s journey through the English folk song
collector’s work led him to these two particular women who might’ve
unknowingly changed the course of folk music history – and to his
trans-Atlantic collaborator, award-winning English songwriter/
guitarist, Martin Simpson.