Steve Jordan

Entertaining in the tradition

Visit Steve Jordan'a own minimalist site (with further links)

Steve is a hard performer to categorise; perhaps the best description of him is "story-singer", a teller of musical tales. Brought up in a remote Devon hamlet, he spent much of his boyhood spare time helping out on the local farm. This has remained a powerful influence on him, as has the Baptist Chapel, which expected Sunday School pupils to be able to recite in public from the age of six or seven! He became interested in traditional music while still at school, and (having moved to Hampshire in 1967), made his recording debut in the early 70s (with Dave Williams and others) on the Forest Tracks albums of songs from Hampshire and Dorset. The intervening years have only served to mellow his voice and to deepen his knowledge, understanding and love of his material. As well as songs and ballads from the tradition, Steve sings music hall songs, in a manner which ably recaptures the spirit of the times. For several years a member of Fieldwork Productions, he appeared in "A Tolpuddle Man", and took the leading role of the conscientious objector in Mick Ryan's "A Day's Work". A performance by Steve is interwoven with hilarious stories (mostly true), some gleaned from his early days in Devon, and others from his more recent life as a gardener in Hampshire. More than just a fine singer, natural storyteller and inspired Master of Ceremonies, Steve is a performer who possesses that rare, indefinable quality "charm".

"With his expressive voice, varied repertoire and quietly charming stage manner, Steve is worth a place on anybody's bill."
Roy Harris
"When we worked with Steve at Chippenham Folk Festival, we were impressed by his wide ranging and varied material. We were, of course, particularly interested in his choice of Music Hall songs, which he performed with style, wit and - more importantly - charm. We were captivated. You will be too."
Dave and Al Sealey, Cosmotheka.

"Steve has a tuneful voice, an excellent choice of songs and a wonderfully dry sense of humour. Having seen him win over a mainstage festival audience with a disarmingly modest but highly professional and entertaining performance, I can only say that he should be performing in such places more often."
Brian Peters

Steve's 2003 CD "The Trees Scarce Green"

with Geoff Jerram, Sarah Morgan, Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson
Forest Tracks FTCD 206

"...a "story-singer" of high renown, a performer of real "character" and straightforward honesty who, while taking the professional approach to his chosen material (he's equally fastidious whether it be classic balladry or songs from the tradition or the music-hall), is also able to effortlessly charm his audience with his performance, putting them at ease and encouraging them to laugh with him at his inimitable introductions (which, as you hear, actually prove valuable rather than irritating). "
Folk Roundabout

"His tenor voice is a curious mix of the brio of his namesake Fred, and the deliberate understatement of a Walter Pardon. (That is when he does not curiously transform himself into Bob Copper, which he does uncannily...)...A man with a serious voice and a nice line in humour." Living Tradition.

"This CD contains some 19 tracks, the first 6 being recorded in a little thatched room at the back of the White Lion in Wherwell, Hamps, where Steve holds his monthly "Song and Supper" nights. Tracks 7 - 19 were recorded "In Concert" at Wherwell, Hamps on the 1 2th January 2003. Steve has a light tenor voice, works well as a solo performer or with other singers, is a good raconteur and entertainer. He obviously enjoys the live performance, interacting well with his audience. The CD starts off with "Fanny Blair" and includes traditional songs, ballads, music hall and a monologue. I particularly liked the duets, one with Geoff Jarram, one with his wife Sarah Morgan and "Babes in the Wood" with Geoff could have been taken for the Copper family. Their voices worked so well together. It is difficult to put together a live CD without the chat and anecdotes losing their interest after a few times of listening. Steve has got round this by listing the applause and chat as separate tracks and he suggests you can skip tracks and just listen to the songs. The sleeve notes are excellent and informative, giving background information on the songs, their collectors, and source singers. A good one for the collection."
Jennifer Stapleton, English Song & Dance (magazine of the EFDSS)

Go to Forest Tracks website for tracklist and samples

Shows and workshops

"Chiefly Yourselves"

Steve Jordan, aided and abetted by Mr. Ron Harries, presents some of the best songs and singers of The Good Old Days. A workshop style lighthearted and intriguing look at the history of the music hall.

"No ordinary working man "

In this workshop Steve recounts his research into the life and times of Richard Hall, a great character and one of the sources from whom Dr. George Gardiner collected songs at the turn of the century. Steve sings many of Richard Hall's songs, and illustrates the show with slides of the Hall family and of the area in Hampshire in which they lived. A fascinating insight into the collecting process, and a must for anyone interested in traditional song and traditional singers.

"A most entertaining account of a painstaking piece of detective work. The joys and frustrations of the researcher are brought vividly to life, as indeed is the bygone singer himself. Steve is an excellent communicator, has some really nice slides, and sings the songs well, too!" Brian Peters

Steve is experienced at both performing in and chairing Ballad Sessions, and has led workshops on the singing and presentation of ballads and narrative songs. Other workshops are also possible - please ask!

For further information please contact The Fo'c'sle Folk Club 02380 456337

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