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Folk singer Peggy Seeger to play Haverhill Arts Centre

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Born in New York in the mid-thirties, folk musician Peggy Seeger has lived on both sides of the Atlantic, released more than 20 albums, is said to play half-a-dozen instruments. . . and is about to set off on a UK Tour, beginning at the Haverhill Arts Centre on February 28.

Peggy’s first spell on British soil, when she was in her twenties, would see her meet and fall in love with Ewan MacColl and put roots down until the mid-nineties, when she moved back to America after the death of her husband. But, missing the British way of life, Peggy returned a little over a decade ago to be with her family.

A first album release, back in 1955, through to her latest offering, First Farewell, 86-year-old Peggy’s has certainly been a life well lived, and then some.

Folk singer Peggy Seeger (54635621)
Folk singer Peggy Seeger (54635621)

“I actually sang on my own for the first years, then with Ewan until he died [October 1989], during which I never did anything solo,” began Peggy.

“Then I was performing with my second partner before launching out on my own. Now though, I have one of my boys out gigging with me, where I perform solo and we do duets, but the big thing now is, I have a team around me.”

But where did it all start for Peggy?

“I grew up in Washington DC, on the edges of Capitol Hill, until I was 18,” she said.

“We lived beyond our means, in what was an upper middle-class suburb, and I was given a lot of leeway as a child.

“But moving to England, and living most of my adult life here, that’s where I felt the most comfortable.

“I see my life in a series of blocks, though, having lived in two different countries – there’s been seven different places over the past 25 years.

“I was footloose and fancy-free before I met Ewan, and I love all the ruralness, the changes of accent and Britishness that’s on offer.

“That’s why I moved back – I missed the smallness (compared to the vast size of America), the quirkiness; there’s a strangeness and variety to the British people and, yes, I missed my children.

“The highlight though, it has to be my children and the fact I can play music with them.

“Something like that is absolutely wonderful and it was absolutely the right thing to do.”

Right here, right now it’s all about the upcoming The First Farewell Tour with Peggy Seeger and Calum MacColl, a tour that comes after what has been a difficult few years for everyone.

It’s a near 30-date tour, beginning in Haverhill on February 28 and finishing in Glasgow on April 9. “It’s not a farewell tour though,” explains Peggy. “It’s a double entendre for a tour that will see my zig-zagging all across the country, and I’m hoping to begin with a bang in Haverhill.

“Now I’m more of an entertainer than a folk musician and the whole idea, concept of folk music is different to when I was starting out, a specific style.”

The First Farewell Tour with Peggy Seeger and Calum MacColl, Monday, February 28, Haverhill Arts Centre. Call 01440 714140 or visit haverhillartscentre.co.uk