Ask Ian Anderson - best known, of course, as the be-fluted frontman of Jethro Tull - for 10 folk-rock album selections of his choice and you won’t find your usual Dylans and Byrds. Instead you’re sent down a rabbit hole of European whizz kids from the band-jumping fiddle philanderers of Irish folk, to Finnish hamlets and back to Blighty.
Folk-rock, as Anderson points out early in our talk, should in our esteemed guide’s seasoned opinion really be deemed 'folk revival' - a melting pot of folk song and lyrics from across Europe and the bold rhythmic influences of rock ’n’ roll.
Step this way, then, for a round-up of some bonafide folk revival heroes and lesser-spotted treasures…
Ian Anderson brings his Jethro Tull Rock Opera to the UK in September. Buy Ian Anderson 2015 UK tour tickets
Roy Harper - Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith (1968)
“Roy Harper, like me, was schooled in the Blackpool area of North West England and went on to escape and come down south to seek fame and fortune as a folk musician.
Pentangle - The Pentangle (1968)
“Around the first time I went to America in 1969 I found myself in a Holiday Inn on the outskirts of Boston and the other residents in the Holiday Inn were a band called Pentangle.
Fairport Convention - Liege And Lief (1969)
“Fairport Convention generally have the tag of being ‘the all-time folk-rock band of Britain’ and deservedly so.
Steeleye Span - Parcel Of Rogues (1973)
“In the early to mid-70s we came across Steeleye Span. I knew of them as a traditional British folk group trying a more rock approach to presenting their music.
Traffic - John Barleycorn Must Die (1970)
“Stevie Winwood was the guy who would have been least likely to have been an influence to me. Then Traffic recorded the album John Barleycorn Must Die.
Planxty - After The Break (1979)
“Somebody gave me this cassette sometime in the late 70s and it proved to be very well-worn in the end! For me it’s the all-time classic Irish folk-rock album.
Värttinä - Vihma (1998)
“This band were from the rural hamlets around Helsinki and, like many of the folk musicians growing up then, they played and sang in church choirs and were part of a hugely musical community.
Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane - EastWind (1992)
“Andy Irvine and Davy Spillane - who were part of the Planxty scene - later on went to Bulgaria where they recorded an album with local folk musicians called EastWind.
The Young Dubliners - Red (2000)
“The Young Dubliners is one of the least original and least satisfying names you could come up with, given that the old Dubliners have been around for some time! It was set up in what was a slightly jokey moment, and they became known as The Young Dubs.
Seth Lakeman - Poor Man's Heaven (2008)
“I’ve known about Seth Lakeman since he first came to public attention. We’ve not toured together, but we’ve worked together - he was a guest on one of my shows and I’ve played on a couple of his songs.