I’m listening to “Skiffle – The Best Of”, and it’s interesting to see what pre-rock British artists did with folk, gospel and trad jazz tunes on the cusp of the 1960s.
It clearly came out of the Trad boom (to which my father is still very much attached) – not just because folks like Barber and Colyer played both styles – but there are weird echoes of rockabilly. In a way, it was a short-lived answer to the US “folk scare” of the time.
Some of it’s quite quaint and dated now. The faux American accents, untrained by constant US TV exposure are hilarious, hovering somewhere between New Orleans and Brooklyn. Lonnie Donegan’s is especially funny – “this man, he was thoisty” he sings in “Being Me A Little Water, Sylvie”.