By: David Alton
David Alton writes: Vin Garbutt - a great folk singer who refused to sing songs that betrayed his beliefs- has died. The Teeside Troubadour was the northern antidote to metropolitan attitudes formed in the Islington wine bar and his songs combined social conscience, protest, humour and righteous anger.
He was never tamed by coercive liberalism. Revealingly, despite six acclaimed appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival and numerous awards he was never invited back to Cambridge after daring to sing two outspoken songs about the vulnerability and fate of unborn children. Songs like Little Innocents and The Secret will long endure as people come to appreciate Vin Garbutt's belief that through folk music "you hear songs about real things - coal mines, and shipyards closing down" - and that in singing and speaking about abortion and the unborn your music becomes part of "an underground movement of social songs of injustice".
May he rest in peace.