Inner Asian Music


Carole Pegg
ethnomusicologist, musician and singer-songwriter , broadcaster

Carole Pegg can be booked solo, & with Tuvan throat singer Radik Tülüsh as ‘Goshawk’, for concerts and workshops.

She is also available to give lectures on her research.

Director of Inner Asian Music, 7-Star Records & The Goshawk Project. Senior Research Scholar, University of Cambridge.




Carole Pegg (BA MA (Cantab) PhD) is a Senior Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she has lectured on Inner Asian music and dance (including Mongolian, Khakas, Altaian and Tuvan musics), traditional musics of the UK, the anthropology of music and performance, ethnomusicology and social anthropology for the last 25 years. She has given lectures, held seminars, run workshops and worked with experimental musicians, actors and dancers in the U.K., USA, Hong Kong, Mongolia and China. She has served as Chairperson of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology, was the Ethnomusicology Editor for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, a founding Co-editor and Reviews Editor of The British Journal of Ethnomusicology and on the Editorial Board of the journal in its new format, Ethnomusicology Forum (Routledge). She has also toured in the UK musicians from Altai, Khakassia, Tuva and Mongolia, bringing her in-depth knowledge of these areas to local audiences through workshops and concerts in churches, folk clubs, arts centres and festivals.


Carole was lead singer and fiddler in the classic folk-rock band Mr Fox, formed with ex-husband Bob Pegg in the early 1970s. Being the first band to cross English traditional sounds with rock music, Mr Fox has a prominent place in Brit-folk history. Carole also introduced to the Folk Revival the southern English traditional fiddle style, using it to accompany her own self-penned and traditional songs.

After 25 years of doing research and living for long periods in Inner Asia, Carole has begun writing songs and performing again. Her current ‘Goshawk’ project draws together those Inner Asian experiences and earlier periods in her life. Some recent songs, for instance, connect to her hometown, Nottingham, while others continue the supernatural leanings of the Mr Fox folk-rock years, her solo Carolanne Pegg album, and the time she spent with Magus, the band she formed with Graham Bond, a founding father of English R & B. A decade spent in East Suffolk doing field research for her Cambridge PhD, consolidated Carole’s English traditional roots. She was priviledged to play in ‘tune-ups’ in a network of pubs, including the Blaxhall Ship, with traditional East Suffolk music greats such as melodeon player Oscar Woods, fiddle-singer Fred ‘Pip’ Whiting, dulcimer player Reg Reeder, singers Percy and Geoff Ling, and step-dancers ‘Font’ Whatling and Kensor Diaper.


Mr Fox: Join Us in Our Game – The Transatlantic Recordings. Castle Music CMRCD1049 (2004) assembles the two albums they recorded for Transatlantic in the early 1970s (Mr Fox and Mr Fox: the Gypsy). Influenced by sources as diverse as early 20th-century Yorkshire Dales village bands and the Velvet Underground, these albums have become folk-rock classics.    

Carole also recorded with Bob He Came from the Mountains (1971) and an album of Sydney Carter songs And Now it is So Early (1973). Her singer-songwriter album Carolanne Pegg (1973; reissued as PIERCD 503, 1998), a rockier sound with country and traditional music influences, was recorded at Rockfield. Carole was joined by ace guitarist Albert Lee, bass player Dave Peacock (of ‘Chas and Dave’), and Mr Fox’s drummer Alan Eden.

‘All the songs are Carolanne’s, and she sings them in a quivering, sensuous voice slightly reminiscent of Buffy Saint Marie, but unquestionably her own … There are several contenders for the title of Top British Female Singer songwriter. Some stick with Sandy Denny…. My money’s on Carolanne Pegg. With this album, she’s outdistanced them all’ Charles Shaar Murray, New Musical Express, 1973.


‘prefigures Kate Bush’ – Classic Artist Profile, 2000


‘a superb album brimming with mystical imagery and ancient lore. Without forsaking her folk credentials, Carolanne, with the notable assistance of Albert Lee, creates a rockier sound, contrasting with harmonium-led, brooding pieces like “The Sapphire”. If you like the solo work of Sonja Kristina, you’ll feel well disposed to this, their voices being very much alike. Similarly, their subject matter covers love and the supernatural, and this would sit nicely in Kate Bush’s personal LP collection!’  – Trevor King, Record Collector 237, May 1999.


Carole Pegg ’s Carolanne originally crept out in 1973 in the wake of the explosive split of mighty folk-rockers Mr Fox. …out on CD for the first time, its mix of spooky ballads, personal angst and hoarse fiddle on her only solo outing still makes for a stunning and ludicrously underrated work’. Moby, 1999.


‘a dazzling version of Lucy Wan emerges halfway through the epic Fair Fortune’s Star’, Nick Beale, fRoots.    


Carole’s Mongolian field recordings were used in the National Geographic television programme ‘Ice Tombs of Siberia’ (1994). They also provide the basis of The Mongolian Felt Tent, a CD-Rom that toured USA museums for a year as part of the exhibition ‘Mongol Renaissance: the Legacy of Chinggis Khan’ before being acquired by the New York Museum of Natural History. Her field recordings from East Suffolk, UK, are housed in the British Library National Sound Archive (Traditional Music in England project).

She has produced 2 video films:

Tune-up at the Ship, including music, step-dancing and song at the Blaxhall Ship, East Suffolk, and interviews with traditional musicians Fred ‘Pip’ Whiting and Geoff Ling.

Half a Life: a Zoologist’s Quest for Music. Carole Pegg interviews the musicologist Laurence Picken about his life and work. Produced in conjunction with the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology and the Cambridge Audio Visual Aids Unit, a copy has been deposited in the British Library’s National Sound Archive.

She has broadcast a number of times on Mongolian music (Radios 2, 3 and 4) and appeared widely on television and radio as a musician.