Matt McGinn — a pair of sparkling eyes over a bushy red beard, a rich sonorous voice, and one of the wickedest wits in the folk song revival. Ever since Ewan MacColl devoted a whole side of his 'Revival In Britain' LP (Folkways 8728) to Matt's songwriting talents he has been a force to be reckoned with on the contemporary folk scene, likely to turn up at the Newport Folk Festival or a private party, without warning, turning the whole event into a one-man stand and vehicle for his satire.
He doesn't inspire universal love. Matt and I have crossed swords more than once over his more scurrilous lampoons — the sort that no one dare publish — which are as amusing as they are unfair.
In the great tradition of the bards of Dublin, Glasgow and Grub Street he will use any material to express his ire or his amusement or his joy, and if a great old song expires in the process, that's tough on the tradition. Matt is busy creating a tradition of his own.
There is always a danger, which Matt doesn't try to avoid, that people will not take him seriously enough. Wit he may be, lampooner he certainly is, but when he leaves off clowning Matt can write some of the most moving and profound songs in the songwriting revival. They are the ones that I wait for-and they are worth all the waiting time you've got.
Folk Columnist, Melody Maker
Managing Editor, Folk Music/Ballads & Songs