Miriam Backhouse-Erasmus

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Mim’s roots go back to the UK Folk Scene of the ’70s when “Our Mim” was likened to Joan Baez, and ranked alongside Maddy Prior and other revivalists of the time.

Then, she played a significant role in the folk revival, appearing at most of the Folk Clubs and Festivals of the time, including Edinburgh and Cambridge, with acclaim from all the leading critics of the day. Miriam’s interpretation of traditional and modern folk songs are unique, and her ability to lead a Folk audience into chorus singing, particularly, ‘Keys of Canterbury’ at Cambridge Folk Festival 1976, is the stuff of legends.

Over the years in South Africa, she has entertained for many concerts and festivals, including Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth and Splashy Fen  ‘Over Africa’ features on the 10 years CD – and established herself as a shining light in the entertainment business.

She is unique in South Africa, her songs, like ‘The beautiful pass at Van Reenen’ and ‘Over Africa’ have become part of their music heritage.

Her ‘protest’ songs about the border war ‘I don’t want my child to die’ (Richard Haslop featured this on his ‘Roots to Fruits’ radio show) and ‘Mother’s lament’ have been recognised as some of the best, ranking alongside those from other troubled lands like Ireland, USA etc.

These songs, and the music of South Africa, are becoming world renowned now, and Mim is part of this surge.

She originally retired from the UK Folk Scene in 1977, to have a family, and now they have flown the nest, the family encouraged her to get back ‘out there’, and she is now re-established as Miriam Backhouse-Erasmus, Professional Folk Singer, in the UK.  Folk Club, Arts Centre and Festival appearances there have been a great success and Miriam’s UK 2007 tour was a sell out.

Since marrying John Erasmus, relocating to South Africa, in 1977, and raising a family, she has diversified into the full range of music, playing ‘Anna’ in ‘The King and I’ under the direction of EOH’s Steven Stead, amongst countless other musicals, concerts, Radio and TV appearances.

“A lady of exceptional talent, Her voice is immaculate, impeccable and scintillating.. What a joy to hear every word she sings with perfect diction. ‘Mim has a delightful personality that immediately envelopes her audiences, her enchanting voice and easy-going banter captivates every audience whatever age… from toddlers to serene-agers.

We have often used her various talents for product launches… fashion shows… celebration entertainment and social events. One of the few entertainers that make one’s heart smile.” Sandy Day Promotions sandyday@telkomsa.net

“Together with a professional approach to audiences, Miriam’s haunting voice and tasteful instrumental work never fail to impress”. John Leonard. Smooth Operations. Producer of Radio 2 Mike Harding Show

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