For our March Coffee House feature, the Sooke Folk Music Society is very excited to be presenting David Nigel Lloyd, this Saturday evening, March 21. At Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
David Nigel Lloyd is a non-traditional traditionalist from California. As the British magazine Folk Roots wrote, “Lloyd uses traditional tunes and themes where it suits his purposes.” He has performed in folk venues in England, Ireland, Canada and throughout the United States.
With his “spirited singing and full-bodied playing,” (Dirty Linen) “Lloyd is as much American influenced as British” (Steve Hochman, The LA Times). He accompanies himself on guitar and the eight-stringed octar. In performance, he often introduces his songs with an ornate joke, a true tale or, to keep things honest, an outrageous lie. As the LA Weekly once wrote, “Lloyd is some serious traditional fun.”
In 2013 he conducted his How to Write a Traditional Song workshop and performed at the Tumbleweed Music Festival in Richland, Washington. DNL also performed at house concerts throughout Oregon and California.
Lloyd’s predecessors were innovative singer/guitarists like Martin Carthy, Robin Williamson and the late Bert Jansch. In mid-60s London, they saw the ballads, the blues, beat poetry, ragas, Zen teaching tales etc. as aspects of the same thing: a new popular song. Often as not they were fine song poets, too. Lloyd is firmly in their non-tradition.
Though he sometimes sings traditional songs as he finds them, DNL often overlays them with new but related lyrics. In them, the old Anglo-Celtic pantheon of demon knights, faerie queens and divine drunkards are often found wandering the deserts, mountains and boom towns of Southern California where DNL lived for 35 years. “A strongly individual musical and poetic mind is at work here.” (beGlad, UK)
Also, he still composes and sings the sort of art songs that distinguished his first album, Dark Ages, in 1984. Calling it a neglected classic of “killer arrangements . . . dense with poetry and an unusual blend of witty modesty,” Yoga Records reissued Dark Ages early in 2008. A few months later, DNL released his fifth CD, Rivers, Kings and Curses. Featured on the ‘Best of 2008’ episode of NPR’s syndicated Celtic Connections show, the album’s guest musician’s included famed West Coast Blues Hall of Famer Nat Dove and the aforementioned Robin Williamson.
In 2011, he was an Official Showcase Performer at the Folk Alliance International Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, performing at the Winterfolk IX Festival in Toronto immediately after. Later that year, his OctoberQuest Tour took him from Montreal to San Francisco. At the FAR-West Folk Alliance Conference in Eugene, Oregon, he was a panelist on their Music in Education symposium.
From 1987 to 1991, David Nigel Lloyd and His Mojave Desert Ceilidh Band became Los Angeles’ first Celtic Folk Rock band. Their 1987 cassette release, An Age of Fable, is slated for re-mastering and CD release in 2015. It features DNL’s signature song, “Poor Little Englishman!”
DNL has been a teaching artist in public schools for over 20 years. His key school presentation is entitled Old & Strange: Songs of the North Country. He was also an advisory board member to the Teaching Artist Research Project, the University of Chicago’s five year study of teaching artists completed in 2011.
Born in Kenya in 1954, David Nigel Lloyd now lives in Northern California with his wife, the painter and musician, Gita Lloyd.
Please join us this Saturday evening, March 21 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road for what is sure to be a great evening of songs and stories from this engaging artist.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 and our feature at 9.
Contributed by Dave Gallant