With family members in The Watersons, Lal created classic performances of folksongs - the rich textures of their voices, inspired harmonies and feeling for words and music bringing meaning and currency to what had previously been a stilted, schoolroom genre. In 1972, Lal and Mike Waterson's Bright Phoebus then provided a conclusive demonstration that Lal's own songmaking was equally resonant and lasting - it was, critics have since concluded, probably the best folk rock album ever made.
As a songwriter, Lal Waterson had few equals. Evoking a lyrical, mysterious world, her images of light and shadows, sudden bursts of sun and brilliant colour are haunting - peopled with characters sketched in a few lines but whose presence live in the memory. Her songs have been recorded by Christine Collister, Tanteeka and June Tabor, but it was her own 1996 album Once in a Blue Moon Topic TSCD 478 - made in collaboration with her son Oliver Knight - which confirmed her status as Britain's most distinctive innovator. A second collaboration A Bed of Roses TSCD 505 completed by Oliver after her death was released on the Topic label (www.topicrecords.co.uk) in 1999.
Lal Waterson (1943-98) was a longstanding and valued member of No Masters Co-operative - she is greatly missed..