Rory McLeod (singer-songwriter)

Rory McLeod (born 1957) is a British folk singer-songwriter from London.[1] He grew up in Camberwell before moving to Northolt and later West Kilburn.[2] His career has included being a fire eater and circus clown[3] and his performances include storytelling in the tradition of the traveling minstrel or troubadour, and playing a wide range of instruments including guitar, harmonica, trombone and his personally-made stomp box. WoMAD have said: "With Rory McLeod, you get the music of the world in one suitcase.[...] You can hear flamenco, calypso, blues and Celtic influences in his music, all wrapped together in an inimitable style".[4] He has recorded and toured with (then) fellow Cooking Vinyl artist Michelle Shocked.[4][5]

He also performed on Puddle Dive, the 1993 album by fellow singer-songwriter, Ani DiFranco. In 1996, McLeod's song Invoking the Spirits, which was inspired by time he spent in Zimbabwe, was a BBC Radio 4 "pick of the week".[5] McLeod played the theme tune for the TV animation series, Creature Comforts.[6] Martin Newell has described McLeod as "a feral folk musician of enormous talent",[7] and writing in The Guardian Robin Denselow called him a "rousing harmonica player and guitarist".[8]

In 2002, McLeod was the winner of the Best Live Act title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.[9]

McLeod played harmonica on Nizlopi's 2008 album, Make It Happen.[10]


Contributing artist


  2. "London Voices - Rory McLeod - Singer/Musician". Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  3. Harris, Craig. "Artist Biography by Craig Harris". Allmusic. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  4. "Rory McLeod". WOMAD. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  5. Harris, Craig. "Artist Biography: Rory McLeod". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  6. "Rory McLeod / bio". Reverbnation. Retrieved 12 October 2014.
  7. Newell, Martin (4 July 2016). "Martin Newell's Joy of Essex - Will Latitude be as muddy as Glastonbury?". East Anglian Daily Times. Ipswich. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  8. Denselow, Robin (20 June 2011). "Celebrating Sanctuary festival - review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  9. "Folk honours its heroes". BBC News Online. 11 February 2002. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  10. "Nizlopi – Make It Happen". Discogs. Retrieved 26 June 2017.

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