Live to your Living Room and Live at Sam’s will be co-hosting the official launch of Nancy Kerr‘s latest album, ‘The Poor Shall Wear the Crown: Songs by Leon Rosselson’ on 20th July. Ahead of the gig, we caught up with Nancy to find out more about the album and what’s in store for this very special international launch party!
We’re delighted to be hosting the launch of The Poor Shall Wear the Crown. This album sprang out of a project you worked on during lockdown – tell us a bit about that.
Well, I decided to learn and perform a Leon Rosselson song every day throughout May 2020. I still can’t quite believe I managed to do them all because, to me, they are so technically challenging, but they were brilliant fun to do and people really responded to having a new one on YouTube every day (check them out here!). It was a chance to celebrate my favourite writer and commune with lots of his other fans around the world.
When did you first discover Leon’s songwriting?
It must have been during childhood – some of the songs have just always been there, for me.
What do you think makes his songs so inspiring?
Obviously, the brilliant use of language and storytelling, but also the way the music – melodies, harmonies, everything – works to tell its own story, intertwined beautifully with the lyrical parts.
Do you have a favourite Leon Rosselson song, and why?
It’s impossible to choose, but today I’m particularly enjoying The Years Grow Tall.
Leon’s songs have been recorded by artists right across the folk scene – what’s your favourite version of one of his songs recorded by someone else?
That’s hard to answer, because it’s all about being a vessel for the songs, for me, rather than the performances – and I hope that my own album, in foregrounding the repertoire rather than myself, manages to make that clear – but having said that, Song of the Olive Tree has had several brilliant interpretations, and I have enjoyed every version.
Why was it important to you to give the album an international launch?
The hybrid style of concert – some watching live in the room, and others online – seems to me to be a brilliant way to increase access to the music and combine the best of all worlds: intimate but far-reaching.
We’re delighted to be hosting the launch of Nancy Kerr‘s album, The Poor Shall Wear the Crown, alongside our friends at Live At Sam’s on 20th July. We hope you can join us, either in person in Sheffield or online from wherever you are!