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New compilation album, Sing Yonder 1, celebrates traditional folk songs for all abilities

Sing Yonder author announces a compilation album to accompany the popular booklet series of traditional songs.

Karl Sinfield, a graphic designer and musician with a passion for folk music, has introduced a refreshing twist to the traditional song canon, making it accessible to both seasoned musicians and newcomers alike. In 2021, Sinfield embarked on a mission to curate, and when necessary, create accessible musical arrangements of these old songs, ensuring that even those without formal training can get stuck in.

Drawing inspiration from the Roud Index, curated by Steve Roud, which offers a comprehensive catalog of over 38,000 traditional songs, Sinfield initiated the Sing Yonder series. This collection of stylish booklets not only provides the lyrics and suggested chords, but also historical insights and narratives for each song in chronological order, closely following the Roud Index from one until… well, presumably not 38,000, but somewhere between those two numbers.

The debut volume, which highlights songs 1-10 from the Roud index, was met with resounding applause from the folk community. Fueled by this success, Sinfield conceptualized an accompanying album. He reached out to several of his favorite folk artists for contributions and was met with an outpouring of support. The resulting tracks, recorded in diverse settings from spontaneous smartphone recordings to professional studio environments, provide the album with a unique and diverse aural texture.

For an innovative touch, Sinfield invited the public to share their renditions of “The Unfortunate Lass (Roud 2)”. The resulting submissions perfectly embodied the spirit of his project – emphasizing that traditional songs belong to everyone. One of these renditions has been featured on the CD, with the rest being made available as bonus tracks on the Bandcamp download.

Set for release on 22nd September 2023, the album will be available as a 10-track CD and as a Bandcamp download, which also offers bonus tracks and a digital edition of Sing Yonder Vol. 1. As the series progresses, excitement mounts for its eighth volume and a second album with a fresh lineup of celebrated artists.

The ‘Sing Yonder’ project has garnered admiration from industry icons. Eliza Carthy described it as “Lovely, important work”, and TradFolk.co highlighted its instrumental role in guiding newcomers through the expansive world of traditional songs.

For more information, explore the official Sing Yonder website and Bandcamp page.

Full Track Listing:

  1. The Raggle Taggle Gypsies [Roud 1], Jim Causley
  2. The Unfortunate Lass [Roud 2], Hevelwood
  3. Seeds of Love [Roud 3], Lizzy Hardingham
  4. The Dun Broon Bride (Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender) [Roud 4], Burd Ellen
  5. The Three Ravens [Roud 5], Angeline Morrison
  6. Long Lankin [Roud 6], Henry Parker
  7. Sovay [Roud 7], Bird in the Belly
  8. Bows of London [Roud 8], The Shackleton Trio
  9. The Cruel Mother [Roud 9], George Sansome
  10. Lord Randall [Roud 10], Bryony Griffith