Constant Companion: Bruton Town


I really enjoy working with traditional British repertoire. My current album, Constant Companion, is largely traditional songs.

I first heard Bruton Town on a Pentangle compilation about 30 years ago & loved the arrangement & the stark lyric. It’s a brutal tale of class, murder & grief. Ideal subject matter for an English folk song. I am particularly struck by the grief stricken sister dreaming the location of her dead lover.

Funnily enough it’s a very popular ballad not collected by Child. Bruton Town is in Somerset & they are proud of their association with the song. The song certainly turns up in early 20th century Somerset song collections. The story may be significantly older, from 14th century European tales which migrated over to England.

I originally came up with the arrangement on a banjo & then transferred the tuning over to guitar. CGCGCD is a fun tuning which suits modal playing.

I’m proud of my singing & playing on this song which was all one live take. The reviewer in fRoots commented that my guitar on this song was “distractingly percussive.” I disagree. But then again I would wouldn’t I.

If you want to listen to more, follow this link.


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