It took me a few days to get 'into' this book. I wasn't too sure what it was all about. I originally was attracted by the title as I've been running an acoustic club for 19years+ and I thought it might offer some insights.
Yes, Will was inspired by Cecil Sharp's life-time quest to record all the 'old songs' in the UK, before they 'died-out'.....but I couldn't quite square Will's journey as being even a teeny bit the same. This is an account of Will driving around the UK in his battered and 'extremely unpleasant white Vauxhall Astra' to get 'field recordings' of various singers and players he is 'guided to' meet over a few months. A lot of his meetings are random to say the least and I got the feeling that he must have been more bored with his life in Peckham SE London than inspired to 'discover' the music hidden away in little,local crevices. I suppose my disappointment was there was nothing 'new' in what he was doing and that the people he describes are what every folk/acoustic club in the UK comprises of. A variety of singing styles as different and unique as people are.....But not one of the meetings stuck in my memory, or made me want to know more about them. Maybe it's Will's rather 'English' style of writing, more restrained and self-deprecating. I got to the end of the book.....and felt rather flat.