David Rotheray releases riposte to classic pop songs

The Beautiful South co-founder David Rotheray has assembled a selection of Britain's leading folk artists for a new record that celebrates classic pop songwriting.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 15 Oct 2013
  • min read
Answer Ballads is a collection of 12 tracks that have been formulated by folk musicians including Lisa Knapp, Eliza Carthy, Josienne Clarke, Kathryn Williams and Alasdair Roberts in response renowned pop songs.

Taking existing fictional characters, from The Police’s Roxanne to Elton John’s Daniel, Rotheray and his collaborators pick up the story from their perspective, using complete artistic licence to flesh out the characters.

Former Mercury Music Award nominee Williams co-wrote and sings on Roxanne’s Song while BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Carthy takes the reins on Maggie’s Song.

Elsewhere, established folk singer Bella Hardy and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award finalist Jackie Oates provide the vocals to Sylvia’s Song and Mrs Avery’s Song respectively, which both provide ripostes to the 1972 hit from Dr Hook, Sylvia’s Mother. The full tracklisting is available below.

Rotheray first came to prominence in the late eighties when he formed The Beautiful South with songwriting partner Paul Heaton. Over the next two decades the band went on to release 10 albums, before splitting in 2007.

While still with The Beautiful South Rotheray formed the critically acclaimed acoustic side project Homespun and released three albums on his own Homespun Recordings.

He has since recorded under his own name for Navigator Records. Answer Ballads was released through the label on 14 October.

For more information see www.davidrotheray.com

Full tracklisting:
Mrs Jones’s Song - featuring Lisa Knapp
Maggie’s Song - featuring Eliza Carthy
Daniel’s Song - featuring Kris Drever
Roxanne’s Song - featuring Kathryn Williams
Pearl’s Song - featuring Gemma Hayes
Billy Joe’s Song - featuring John Smith
Marie’s Song - featuring Josienne Clarke
Bobby’s Song - featuring Naomi Bedford
Lucille’s Song - featuring Mary Coughlan
Mrs Avery’s Song - featuring Jackie Oates
Sylvia’s Song - featuring Bella Hardy
Dino’s Song - featuring Alasdair Roberts
Jolene’s Song - featuring Julie Murphy