Skip to main content

Ian Anderson reveals folk-rock heroes

Ian Anderson has revealed a list of his 10 favourite folk-rock albums.

And while he credits artists including Roy Harper, Pentangle and Fairport Convention, he reserves special praise for English singer/songwriter Seth Lakeman.

Picking out Lakeman’s 2008 record Poor Man’s Heaven, Anderson reckons he’s “today’s top folk-rock musician.”

The Jethro Tull icon tells Music Radar: “He’s someone who I think has a musical approach that belongs right back in the early 70s but he’s doing it in the new millennium. To me he does it in a very familiar-sounding way.

Poor Man’s Heaven brought him into the more rock field and it’s more rhythmic and a lot more solid in the bass and drums department.

“For me, he definitely qualifies as today’s top folk-rock musician.”

Another album to make the shortlist is Steeleye Span’s Parcel Of Rogues from 1973. And while Anderson is credited as the producer on its follow-up, 1974’s Now We Are Six, he’s quick to play down his contribution.

He says: “I only really ‘produced’ in the sense that I supervised the mix – other than getting David Bowie to come and play saxophone on one of the tracks!”

Anderson recently revealed he’ll premiere five new tracks in his Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera shows. He’s also just started his ‘Best Of Jethro Tull’ tour which sees him play at the TeamRock-sponsored Ramblin’ Man Fair at Mote Park, Kent on July 26.

Anderson’s top 10 folk-rock albums

Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith – Roy Harper

The Pentangle – Pentangle

Liege And Lief – Fairport Convention

Parcel Of Rogues – Steeleye Span

John Barleycorn Must Die – Traffic

After The Break – Planxty

Vihma – Varttina

EastWind – Andy Irvine And Davy Spillane

Red – The Young Dubliners

Poor Man’s Heaven – Seth Lakeman


Jun 27: Kloften Festival, Denmark

Jul 18: Roots Festivalen, Norway

Jul 23: Winterback Festival, Germany

Jul 24: Ansbach Castle, Germany

July 26: Ramblin’ Man Fair, UK

Aug 28: Summerdays Festival, Switzerland

Aug 30: Bochum Zeltfestival Ruhr, Germany


Sep 18: The Anvil, Baningstoke, UK

Sep 10: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, UK

Sep 11: Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK

Sep 12: Barbican, York, UK

Sep 13: Sage Theatre, Gateshead, UK

Sep 14: Lowry Lyric Theatre, Salford, UK

Sep 18: Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia

Sep 19: DK Lensoveta, St Petersburg, Russia

Oct 24: Roundhouse, London, UK

Nov 01: Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL, USA

Nov 03: Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI, USA

Nov 05: Citi Performing Arts Centre, Boston, MA, USA

Nov 06: Kings Theatre, Brookyln, NY, USA

Nov 07: Academy Of Music, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Nov 08: Grand Theatre, Mashantucket, CT, USA

Nov 10: Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, USA

Nov 11: Prudential Hall, Newark, NJ, USA

Nov 20: Barts, Barcelona, Spain

Nov 21: Victo Villegas, Murcia, Spain

Nov 23: Nuevo Apolo, Madrid, Spain

Scott Munro

Scott looks after Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 25 years in newspapers and magazines and in 2014 joined our news desk, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more. Scott has previous written for the Daily Record, Sunday Mirror, The Herald and IGN.