June Tabor | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Music » Critic's Choice

June Tabor




With her most recent album, Aleyn (Green Linnet), British folksinger June Tabor has come a long way from her early-70s beginnings. Back then she rendered traditional material with elaborate embellishment, usually unaccompanied. Her first real notoriety came when she paired up with Steeleye Span vocalist Maddy Prior to form Silly Sisters; through that outfit she met many of the collaborators she'd work with in subsequent years. Guitarist Martin Simpson was one of them, and it was within their sporadic partnership that Tabor began to expand her repertoire. Just this decade she has worked with British folk rockers the Oyster Band and sung American pop standards, jazz tunes, and songs by Elvis Costello, the Pogues, and Billy Bragg. In addition to a fair share of traditional material Aleyn includes Richard Thompson's "The Great Valerio," a late-20s klezmer tune, and a West Indian chantey. And she's gone further against the grain with her unusual backing band, which some have described as "chamber folk" because it includes piano, saxophone, bass, violin, and accordion. Its lean, austere contributions are remarkably sympathetic to her gorgeously smoky voice, which is far more restrained and dark than it once was, but no less expressive. Saturday, 8 PM, Old Town School of Folk Music, 909 W. Armitage; 773-525-7793. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Tom Howard.

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  →