Below the Salt – Steeleye Span

10 albums that shaped my musical tastes and styles

I discovered Steeleye Span in college, when I heard one of the band’s songs on an FM radio station in Champaign, Ill. Their brand of folk-rock was unlike anything I had heard before, and I liked it immediately. I went out and bought this album of along with their two subsequent albums, Parcel of Rogues and Now We Are Six.

I particularly like the lead vocals of Maddy Prior, the band’s gorgeous vocal harmonies, the musicianship of violinist Peter Knight and other band members, and their electrified, rock-style interpretation of British folk songs, some of which are centuries old.

I’ve long had an interest in folk tales and folk songs, and took some folklore classes in college. This music was right up my alley.

A few years later, shortly after I met my wife, we discovered that one of the things we had in common was that we were fans of Steeleye Span. When our first daughter was born, we named her Maddy.

Favorite tracks: King Henry, Gaudete, Rosebud in June, Spotted Cow, John Barleycorn

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