Meic Stevens

Meic Stevens is a legend in his native Wales, even as he remains somewhat unknown outside of that country, due chiefly to his insistence on singing in his native Welsh language. The psych-folk singer and guitarist is often referred to as "the '60s Welsh psych-Dylan" and compared favorably with fellow astral-travelers like Syd Barrett. He was discovered by Jimmy Saville, a DJ who saw Stevens (from Solva, on the West Coast of Wales) performing at the Manchester University folk club in 1965. This discovery led to Meic Stevens recording his first single -- with producer John Paul Jones (later of Led Zeppelin) -- for Decca Records that same year. Stevens continued to perform around Britain and Wales during the '60s, playing on recording sessions and even reportedly turning down a five-album, five-year record contract with Warner Bros. in 1970 -- they wanted to turn him into the "Welsh Van Morrison" -- in order to concentrate on recording in his own language. His 1970 album Outlander, which features sitar and tablas courtesy of Magic Carpet's Keshav Sathe, is today -- like most of his albums -- considered quite rare and highly collectable among psych-folk fans.