Maddy Prior

Maddy Prior has established herself, by dint of both talent and time, as one of the leading female singers in British folk (and folk-rock). Born in St. Albans, outside London, she developed an interest in traditional English music as a teenager and through friends, found her way to the treasure trove of material at Cecil Sharpe House and also to Ewan MacColl, the de facto leader of the folk revival. In the late '60s, she met Tim Hart, an accomplished singer and instrumentalist, and together they recorded three albums which made little impact at the time, not even setting the folk clubs buzzing. However, they had played some folk festivals, including Keele, where they met Fairport Convention bassist Ashley Hutchings, who was about to form a new band. Prior and Hart became part of the ensemble known as Steeleye Span, who would become an ongoing institution of British folk-rock, with Prior as one of its constants -- she even married Rick Kemp, the bass player who replaced Hutchings.