Singer June Tabor may be best known as half of the Silly Sisters – the other half is Steeleye Span’s Maddy Prior, and the two albums of traditional songs they have recorded are perennial folk bestsellers. Even in a genre known for producing excellent female vocalists, Tabor stands out – her voice is lower and huskier than Prior’s or Denny’s, but shares their purity of tone. Her earliest solo albums are traditional music, but eventually she evolved what some call a “chamber folk” style – piano accompanied by small groups of horns or strings, growing to a full jazz orchestra on her newest album, A Quiet Eye.
She is not a songwriter, but has exceptional taste in choosing the best work of contemporary British songwriters, including Billy Bragg, Shane MacGowan of the Pogues, and Ian Telfer of Oysterband (more about these writers can be found on the Contemporary Artists page). Tabor is especially known for her interpretations of Richard Thompson songs – most of her albums have one or two. One of her most devoted fans is Elvis Costello, who has written several songs especially for her.