Thea Gilmore bringing lost tunes to life

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SHE’S not a household name, but Thea Gilmore is recognised in folk circles as one of the most prolific and intelligent songwriters of her generation.

Adored by the critics, she has recorded ten albums of her own finely-crafted, folk- influenced songs, winning fans that include Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.

But she is also extremely skilled at reinterpreting other artists’ work.

Latest release Don’t Stop Singing sees Gilmore singing lyrics found in the late, great Sandy Denny’s papers after her death in 1978.

“I can’t remember a time in my life where I didn’t know at least one Sandy Denny song,” says Gilmore ahead of her visit to the Bongo Club on Saturday night.

“Growing up in the Eighties, in an impossibly rural corner of Oxfordshire, she was one of the voices who filtered through from my father’s record collection, and Late November, Fotheringay and Next Time Around were embedded in my psyche as surely as the delights of Bros and New Kids On The Block were thrilling my alleged peers.”

The scores for the ten songs on Don’t Stop Singing are what Denny herself might have composed.

Gilmore explains, “Would Sandy have liked to see these songs being finished by me and released to the world? I hope so, but I will never know and neither will you.

“I see some of her contemporaries receiving posthumous garlands – being lauded by new generations of listeners – and I wish the same on Sandy’s beautiful timeless music.

“If you are reading this and don’t own a Sandy Denny album, consider yourself urged to go buy one,” she adds.

Thea Gilmore, The Bongo Club, Holyrood Road, Saturday, 7.30pm, £13, 0131-558 7604