Video Premiere | John Smith – ‘Master Kilby’

Just a couple of days ago, singer-songwriter John Smith dropped his new album, Hummingbird, for the world to lend its ears to. Replete with resplendent, acoustic storyteller’s music, it’s as much of a heartfelt humdinger as any for the For Folk’s Sake clan to surely enjoy. On the day of, we were glad to share a live performance of the album’s titular song, performed as part of a live session at Somerset’s Moo & Two. Now, in continuing an ‘online residency’ of sorts with us, Smith is generously sharing the next performance in that set in an exclusive premiere with the FFS audience today.

Unlike ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Master Kilby’ isn’t a Smith original. Rather, it’s a traditional folk song first recorded well over a century ago, as Smith recounts. He tells us, “I first heard ‘Master Kilby’ in a pub session in Liverpool, a song that has stuck with me ever since. The lyric ‘Her skin shines like silver in every part’ is surely one of the best. Cecil Sharp collected this song in 1904, in Somerset”


Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)