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1969-1970 & 1994-2001
Off all the different phases of Gay Woods' career, the most talked about, perhaps even the most productive must be the time with
Steeleye Span
and why not ! She was there at the start and then again as the band lost its most prominent member when its future looked uncertain. During her second period with them, her creativity reached a peak it had not attained for many years and her recordings showed just how her voice had matured to be at ease with the experimental as well as the traditional. Yet even she could not have foreseen that thirty years after the beginning of her recording career, she would be back with the same group. 
Steeleye Span in 1970

(picture courtesy Richard Hollis)
Steeleye got together first in 1969. This is how Gay described their meeting back then and how she got invited to be part of it....
Well, I was married to Terry Woods and he went over to England and met Ashley Hutchings.Ashley was wanting to form another band after Fairport because he had left them...and Terry joined up. I went over to get a job as a Terry said that I could sing.It was all very casual, no record deal or nothing. We had to set up in Ashley Hutchings bedroom and sing a few songs to see what we wanted. Then Tim and Maddy were asked and they decided to give it a go.
The line-up made one album 'Hark the Village Wait' and then split without even playing live. Steeleye went on to bring in Peter Knight and Bob Johnson on their way to forming the classic line-up and the  Woods' duo recorded the brilliant 'Woods Band' LP. The story of Gay Woods time in Steeleye and the intervening years of the group before she rejoined are told by  exclusive interview and history on Richard Hollis' excellent website. Pushing this little button, will take you to it........

- 1994 - 2001
In 1994, after Gay had been out of the music business for several years, she was approached by Steeleye to rejoin the band for one tour. Maddy Prior had voice problems and needed help on stage. Gay had intended to turn down the offer but after discussion with a close friend, accepted and stayed for six years.
During that time, the band went through an extremely creative period. Having been without a sudio album for seven years, they suddenly came up with three in four - 'Time' (1996), 'Horkstow Grange' (1998) and 'Bedlam Born' (2000). During this time, Maddy quit leaving Gay as sole vocalist and this helped move the band away from their traditional sound into new areas including some Irish material and a very experimental phase on the last LP. With the 'Bedlam Born' tour finished, Gay too quit the band in order to record a solo record (which she had never done in her entire career) and to move into other, non-musical projects.