~Maggie Holland~

A brief canter through this site will result in a number of sightings of Maggie Holland. From her part in Hot Vultures with ex hubbie Ian A Anderson, to photos of slightly larger ensembles including Dave Peabody, Lackey and Sweeney and even our very own Terry, even via the Links to a list of cover versions of Al Stewart songs.

I have fond memories of Maggie and drunken Farnham nights following wonderful displays of her culinary skills. My first sighting of her was on the cover of one of Ian's albums - 'Royal York Crescent' if I'm not very much mistaken (mind you I usually am!). A wonderful source of help and advice for our clubs and particularly the festivals.

These days I only get reports of Maggie's doings from Al Stewart who seeks her out on his trips to the UK for an update on folk world gossip - then he tells me, works well as a system!

In search of Maggie's temporarily misplaced phone number I found this biography on Rhiannon Records website. I can do no better than pinch it!

~Maggie Holland was born and bred in Hampshire, and first became involved with music through the local folk scene in the late sixties. Her first professional musical work was as bass guitarist and, eventually, singer in the blues/goodtime duo, Hot Vultures, which also featured Ian A. Anderson (now of Folk Roots fame). The Vultures toured in Britain, Belgium, Germany and Holland, covering approx 30,000 miles per year during 1973-79; Maggie was also the sole driver! The duo expanded into the English Country Blues Band in the late seventies, with Rod Stradling and Sue Harris (later with Chris Coe).

By 1980, Maggie had started to work occasionally as a soloist, accompanying her voice on guitar and 5-string banjo on a mixture of modern songs with some traditional British/Appalachian ballads (and one or two Jimmie Rogers songs). It was in 1983 that she recorded her first solo album, 'Still Pause'. She worked in an occasional duo with Chris Coe, including a tour of the Far East for the British Council in 1985. In the meantime, the ECBB had further evolved into a country dance band called Tiger Moth which was not only very popular, but satisfyingly loud!

In 1985, Maggie was called on at very short notice to be the female singer in a three month run of the National Theatre production of Tony Harrison's stunning 'Mysteries' trilogy. Around this time she also did some work with Oxford melodeon player, Dave Parry, and continued to play in the Vacant Lot, a small country dance band based in N. Hampshire, in spite of her move to Oxford in 1986. She continued to work on her solo repetoire and in 1987 started to write some songs herself, initially cajoled/goaded into it by her Tiger Moth colleague, Jon Moore (with whom she had recorded the EP 'a Short Cut'). With Moore, and Kevin Mason on keyboards, she formed Maggie's Farm, which was able to develop the arrangements of the songs considerably. Maggie's Farm did a memorable tour of Bangladesh in 1988. In 1989 she started playing bass in songwriter Robb Johnson's occasional band, with fellow old Moth John Maxwell on drums.

By the beginning of the '90s the various band line-ups ha lived out their natural spans, for one reason or another, and in 1992 Maggie recorded her second solo album 'Down to the Bone'. It was received with almost universal acclaim and showered with compliments. Maggie emigrated to Scotland in 1993 and now lives in Edinburgh. Her solo album 'By Heart' was released on Rhiannon in September 1995. Reviews were as good as for 'Down To The Bone', focusing on Maggie's talent, not only as an interpreter of fine songs, but as a writer of them too. Touring subsequent to the release of 'By Heart' has seen Maggie making her first solo ventures around Europe, and her profile has been maintained with the re - release of the 'Best of Hot Vultures' on Ian Anderson's Weekend Beatnik label. Maggie has also recorded an album for her friend Robb Johnson's Irregular Records label.

That album was released in 1999 and is called 'Getting There' and amongst the 14 tracks are some Maggie originals notably 'A Place Called England' spotted regularly in June Tabor's repetoire plus songs by the likes of Bruce Cockburn, Dylan, Dick Gaughan, Robb Johnson, Ralph McTell and Al Stewart. Not easy to sing songs by some of these guys - Maggie does for Al's 'Accident on 34th Street' what Suzie Adams did for 'Nostradamus' all those years ago!