Maddy Prior MBE

Vocals 1969-1997; 2002-now

Original member, English Folk Legend, and almost ever-present Maddy is now synonymous with the band. 

Maddy first started singing in and around St Albans with Mac Mcleod ('Mac and Maddy') initially leaning towards singing a mainly American Folk repertoire. They did some recording together but it never surfaced unfortunately. Towards the end of 1966 Mac left for Sweden leaving Maddy to go solo for a time, singing 3 or 4 songs in Folk Clubs either unaccompanied or letting her banjo add a little instrumentation.
It was at this time,  working as a roadie for American singers 'Blind Gary Davis' and Sandy & Jeanie Darlington, that Maddy was persuaded by the American duo to change her material and sing predominantly English songs. Maddy said it was because they told her she was 'crap' at singing American music! and that she should learn the amazing traditional material from her own country. They gave her some tapes to listen to and Maddy then teamed up with Tim Hart who was keen on traditional music. After three years working with Tim Hart as a folk duo, (see their page HERE).  Maddy joined the first Steeleye line-up in 1969 while Ashley Hutchings was staying in the same house as her and Tim. The rest is history!

Since teaming up with June Tabor in 1976 and starting to release solo albums in 1978, Maddy has enjoyed a wide variety of solo activities outside the band and has amassed a huge back catalogue of solo albums, far too many to list here (yet!). For now we will focus on Maddy's other existing commitments.

Stones Barn

Along with her daughter Rose-Ellen, Maddy now spends a large part of her non-touring time running various singing, poetry, songwriting and performance weekend workshops for all abilities. It mostly takes place at Stones Barn, a peaceful rural hideaway in North Cumbria.

Click on the picture for details.


Maddy continues to enjoy an active solo career having released 20+ albums, starting in 1978 and continuing into the 80's as the 'Maddy Prior Band' and a number of solo albums in the 90's/00's. More recently Maddy has toured and worked with Hannah James and Giles Lewis, releasing the album 'Shortwinger' in 2017.
See Maddy's wiki page for full discography and click on the link in the picture to go to the Park Records site to buy this most recent, plus many older albums, and for the latest news of new tours & recordings.

Maddy Prior and the Carnival Band

Every other year Maddy usually does a seasonal tour with the Carnival Band. They play a wide range of 'popular' music from the 16th and 17th centuries, both secular and non secular with a focus on English 'early music'. They are informal, humorous and play a huge variety of old English musical instruments in the spirit of medieval Carnivals. The band was founded by Andy Watts and began a long association with Maddy in the 1980's, leading to a number of Albums. Click on Link for the Park Records page for more details.

Colourised by Mark Warbington. Taken 28th Nov 1973.
Upscaling and colourisation thanks to Mark Warbington