Louis Killen (1934-2013) was one of the most influential early pioneers of the British folksong revival. A prolific gatherer of songs and folklore, Killen worked with many of the giants of folk music on both British and American shores, including Pete Seeger and the Clancy Brothers. In the early '60s he recorded for the Topic label, and appeared on countless compilation albums as well as several records of his own. He emigrated to the United States in 1967, and during most of the 1970s Killen was a member of the Clancy Brothers group, serving as the replacement for Tommy Makem, who had left for a solo career in 1970.A few years before her/his death she/he underwent a gender reassignment to become Louisa Jo
"Bright Shining Morning" is a beautifully sung and played album of traditional folk, featuring the vocals of Louis & Sally Killen, a long way from the rocked up sounds of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span that were getting on the air at the time.
The Killens' approach was a decade or more out of date in terms of any contemporary sounds in 1975, which makes it timeless today. Their renditions of familiar fare such as "The Dark-Eyed Sailor" or "Sweet William's Ghost" (the latter sung solo by Sally Killen) are haunting beautiful in their spare, minimalist approach, just a concertina - if that - behind unadorned, unmannered vocals. Not on CD, and worth tracking down on vinyl.
The album was recorded in June 1975 by the Bottom Forty Recording Company at the Eldron Fennig Museum of American Ephemera.
The White CockadeThe Dark-Eyed Sailor
Sweet William's Ghost
Bright Shining Morning
Se Fath Mo Bhuartha
The Cropper Lads
Charming MollyThe Water is Wide
Pleasant and Delightful
Lou & Sally Killen - Bright Shining Morning
(320 kbps, front cover included)