This Rough Guide profiles a small selection of influential and talented musicians who have both established and revived English folk music. Often overlooked in favour of its more high-profile Celtic neighbours, England's musical history, with its complex tapestry of influences from royal courts to local alehouses, is rich and should be celebrated. Musicians such as Billy Pigg, Louise Fuller and Harry Cox have kept the community and family traditions alive and have in turn influenced and inspired the new wave of English artists. Many of the artists on this album have been pioneers, expanding traditional music outwards, as witnessed by the electric guitar of Martin Carthy, the folk rock of the Oysterband, the reggae of Edward II and the eclectic mix of Rory McLeod. Thanks to these musicians there has begun to be a sea-change in attitudes, a rekindling of pride and the beginnings of mainstream success, from Billy Bragg and June Tabor to the new roots of Eliza Carthy and the Hank Dogs. Open your ears and enjoy!