It’s no secret that metal is the child of many differing influences and styles, from jazz through rock to classical music. But few recognize or are aware of the heavy debt that metal owes folk music of all types, specifically the folk revival of the 50’s and 60’s in America and England. This revival influenced the music of groups such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Blue Oyster Cult, reincarnating through these names in our genre as a whole. And no name was more important for this revival than Shirley Collins. Before we continue our little tale, check out Ulver‘s cover of ‘Poor Murdered Woman’ right after the jump. Bring tissues.


Oh, Ulver, what can I say? Collins has a unique voice not only for her timbre, but also for the enigmatic and in depth research she conducted through the deep south of the United States, in search of the folk roots of American music. Ulver capture this mysterious and touching woman’s voice to perfection. The secret, I feel, lies in the instrumentation, with the bass lying almost hidden in the background. Trust these amazing musicians to do justice by this spectacular song.

This is all a part of a Kickstarter campaign to make a documentary about Collins’ life and works, based off a beguiling autobiography she published. The full story is intriguing and gave birth to many popular creations you might be aware of (The Coen Brothers’ O Brother Where Art Thou being just one of them). I urge you to head over to the campaign and dive into the intriguing story and music of Shirley Collins.



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