Offa Rex On World Cafe

By Talia Schlanger

Offa Rex

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

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Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

  • “The Queen of Hearts”
  • “Willie O’ Winsbury”
  • “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”
  • “Blackleg Miner”

Portland, Ore.’s The Decemberists and British singer-songwriter Olivia Chaney have teamed up to cover traditional English (and Irish and Scottish) folk songs under the name Offa Rex.

It’s a match made in harpsichord heaven. Colin Meloy of The Decemberists has always dreamed of recording an album of British folk songs, and found the perfect English collaborator in Chaney. For Chaney, Meloy’s slightly-less-reverent American perspective was the push she needed to cover the traditional songs she loves.

As you’ll hear in my chat with Chaney and Meloy, the collaboration was definitely a balancing act — and it kind of still is. We’ll also talk about how the idea for an old-timey album began with a tweet.

This episode also features a performance by Offa Rex of “The Queen of Hearts,” recorded live on stage at the XPoNential Music Festival in Philadelphia. Hear it all in the player above.

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Source:: http://www.npr.org/sections/world-cafe/2017/09/21/552590978/offa-rex-on-world-cafe?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=storiesfromnpr