Headlining at the opening gig for St Albans Music in the Parks this weekend, is folk troubadour Pete Morton. Originally from Leicester, Pete now lives in Central London but honed his craft busking on the streets of Europe. It has lead to some intriguing projects.

Last year he released Casa Abierta - featuring ten songs in different languages.

The title track is Nicaraguan and there are songs in German, Gaelic, Eastern Persian, French, Swahili, Dutch, Kurmanji Kurdish, Korean and a version of one of Pete’s most well-known tracks, Another Train sung in Welsh.

Pete tells me Casa Abierta is all to do with having an interest in the English language.

“I was in Northern Germany and heard a dialect that led the locals to teach me a traditional song,” explains Pete. “I was planning to make an album of languages or dialects that are related to English, but the project just kept growing and I came across songs from much further afield. Then I realised a more global approach would be fun and it was great having a teacher for each language.

“I'm glad I’ve done the project even though it’s a wayward left-field thing to do. One of the things I find really interesting when travelling to a different country is the language. Of course, I don't get much practise because everyone is learning English.”

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album go to the Gambian Schools Trust.

“The album was about my education, therefore it seemed fitting to raise money for an education charity,” adds Pete.

In August, Pete takes on another persona as Geoff Chaucer Junior at the Edinburgh Fringe.

“In the last couple of years, Geoffrey has emerged as a happy alternative to the songwriter show. This too came about through an interest in the origin of English words, while I was learning Dutch, and then I read some Chaucer.

One day I was messing around with some pop songs and began re-writing them into middle English. Since then, A random history of Rock 'n' roll has come about.”

As a songwriter, Pete has recorded five solo albums of original material and a project album of traditional songs entitled Trespass. His CD Hunting the Heart was a MOJO folk album of the year in 2000. His more recent releases, Swarthmoor and Flying an Unknown Flag have also received favourable reviews. Pete’s songs tell compelling stories and speak of the human condition. They combine humour, politics, love and social comment, wrapped around the folk tradition.

“Most of my songs cannot resist some comment to present issues and reveal our shortcomings. From my late teens, my main influence has been the writers of the early ‘60s protest movement and contemporary songwriters who want to change the world.”

Music in the Parks, which is provided by St Albans City and District Council, is being run in association with Redbourn Folk Club and features a top class line-up of folk, bluegrass and blues artists. The event has been programmed to coincide with Redbourn Steam Fair so people will be able to see classic steam transport circling the common while listening to music.

Music in the Parks opens on Sunday June 20 at Redbourn Common, The Cricket Pavilion, Redbourn from 2pm to 6pm and admission is free.

Pete will be playing alongside other well known faces from the local folk and blues scene including Clive Carey, GBH (aka Graham Goffee, Bru Brown and Nigel Hyams), Bill Redway and Missing The Ferry, who will open proceedings with their lively Irish folk set.

Other Music in the Parks events include: + 24 Carot Purple, Straight Life, Rocking Ray and Olivia Riches play Verulamium Park (Beside The Inn On The Park), St Albans on Sunday, July 4 and on Sunday, July 18, Ron Trueman-Border, Fat Walters Band and Polly Poison & Her Electric Antidote play Rothamsted Park, Harpenden. On Sunday, July 25 it’s back over to Verulamium Park (Beside The Inn On The Park) for Nick Stephenson, Stuart O'Connor, Lea Andrews & The Tiny Band, Katie Masson and Rae Kelly. Music in the Parks events run until August.

Details: www.lemonrock.com/musicintheparks and www.myspace.com/saasharts