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Mick Softley

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Mick Softley (Michael Softley, born 1941, in South Woodford, Essex) is a British singer/songwriter and guitarist. A figurehead during the British folk scene, Softley set up his own folk club, released three albums and has been known to work with Mac MacLeod , Donovanand Maddy Prior. Donovan even covered two of Softley’s songs (Goldwatch Blues & The War Drags On) on his early albums.

Born to Irish parents from County Cork, Softley first took up trombone in school and became interested in traditional jazz. He was later persuaded to become a singer by one of his school teachers, and this led to him listening to Big Bill Broonzy and promptly changed his attitude to music, to the extent of him buying a mail-order guitar and some tutorial books and teaching himself to play. By 1959, Mick Softley had left his job and home and spent time travelling around Europe on his motorbike. Ending up in Paris, he came into the company of musicians such as Clive Palmer , Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Wizz Jones . Here he improved his guitar skills and spent time busking with friends until his return to England in the early 1960s. Setting up a folk club at The Spinning Wheel in Hemel Hempstead. He became well respected amongst his peers due to the truly bohemian nature of his life during the previous six years.

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