With Lodestar being Shirley Collins’ first album after 38 years of relative silence, it was never going to be anything other than an astounding comeback, was it? As recent interviews have proven, the now 81-year-old matriarch of the British folk tradition has a steeliness that belies the English rose connotations of her vocal style and physical appearance. Emotionally exhausted after her divorce from folk rock lynchpin Ashley Hutchings (around the time of her last album, 1978’s For As Many As Will), and given the sheer number of years spent outside of music, it must have taken a lot of guts for Collins to make a comeback record, let alone one as bold as Lodestar. And what an audacious record it is.
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