Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

MARTIN SIMPSON ~ KIND LETTERS TSCD553

Martin Simpson says of this release, echoing the words of the writer Kazuo Ishiguo, “Traditional music is a treasure chest waiting to be opened”, and he was never more aware of the beauty and the value of the contents of that hoard than in the process of making this recording. Kind Letters is a kind of follow-up to the his award-winning 2001 release The Bramble Briar (TSCD513) in that he has chosen songs largely from the English repertoire – some of which have been with him for as long as he can remember.
Martin’s unequalled talents on guitar, banjo and vocals are joined by a host of outstanding musical accompanists including Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Chris Parkinson and members of the celebrated Irish group, Danu.

• Top 10 Folk/World Album of the Year 2005 Record Collector
• “Simpson is one of the UK’s finest folk musicians, and his unique gift is to bring to bear the kind of fluid forward motion usually associated with American acoustic music on the more strident shapes of British traditional song. Kind Letters is full of spectacular moments.★★★★ Sunday Times
• “Although it’s his guitar virtuosity that’s frequently lauded, it’s as an interpreter of song that Martin Simpson really scores. Simpson delivers narratives with colour and conviction. Fittingly be-gonged several times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Martin Simpson is taking his place, not just as a hero for guitar-besotted acolytes but as one of the national treasures of English traditional music.” BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic Reviews
“He (Martin) has surely scarcely been in such a rich vein of form as he is now. The last couple of albums were both special…but with Danu – as well as Chris Parkinson, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr – co-opted as a backing band, this takes it somewhere else again. It’s a tender, emotional, profoundly moving album that portrays the immense reach of traditional balladry.” fROOTS
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TSCD309 PADRAIG O’KEEFE, DENIS MURPHY, JULIA CLIFFORD ~ KERRY FIDDLES

TSCD309 webThree notable figures in the annals of Irish fiddling, Padraig O’Keefe, Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, play fiddle solos, duets and trios in an exceptional collection of music chiefly from the Sliabh Luachra (Kerry/Cork) region of Ireland.
A classic collection of Irish traditional dance music

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JOHN TAMS ~ THE RECKONING TSCD551

John Tams is one of our finest musicians and singers and one of our greatest songwriters. He can sing traditional material wonderfully and, at the same time, has written some of our best songs ever. Harry Stone, otherwise known as Hearts of Coal, and the beautiful Hugh Stenson and Molly Green are just two of his songs that have entered the canon in the last few years.

On this album, John deals the tradition – reworking several classic songs – and then adds his own unmistakable originals to produce a landmark new album.

• Top 10 Folk Album of the Year 2005 Mojo
• ” An album that seems to grow in stature with every play – a poetic songwriter and singer of real character – a consummate reflection on an evocative, living tradition. An exceptional album. Album of the Month” ★★★★ Mojo
• “The true “Folk album of the year” is undeniably John Tams’ The Reckoning. A stunning collection of original and traditional material, the album defies easy categorisation. Outstanding” ★★★★ What’s On In London
• “Bitter Withy as arranged here is the best version I have ever heard. Brilliant.” fRoots
• “The new album, The Reckoning, is absolutely superb – one of the main folk happenings of the year.” Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
• “An absolutely fantastic album – I love Amelia, love Safe House, love it all, and the Bitter Withy is out of this world.” Linda Thompson
• “The Reckoning is a beautifully composed CD – masculine yet tender, full of integrity – so beautifully expressing things that should be said and felt. As for the Bitter Withy – it’s just wonderful – hypnotic, and moving forward in a quite extraordinary way; so steady – so compelling.” Shirley Collins

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TSCD340 MARTIN CARTHY ~ Martin Carthy

TSCD340 webFirst released in 1965 Martin Carthy is the debut album from the most creative folksong interpreter of his generation. His singing and guitar-playing have been imitated wherever the revival has reached, across North America and Europe no less than in Britain.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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SAM LARNER ~ NOW IS THE TIME FOR FISHING TSCD511

Sam Larner was born in 1878 in the village of Winterton in Norfolk. For most of his life he was a fisherman and developed his repertoire and style from the locality and his workmates. Now Is The Time For Fishing was originally recorded on location in 1958, ’59 & ’60 by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger and released in 1961, this record has come to be regarded as one of the most important recordings of an English traditional singer ever made. Alongside classic traditional repertoire, the CD features songs associated with the fishing industry as well as sea-lore and rhymes.

see also THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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TSCD904 FOLK MUSIC OF ALBANIA

Albania’s turbulent past, with its patchwork history of occupation, has produced a traditional rural music of remarkable variety as well as great beauty. Unaccompanied heroic ballads, funeral laments and political and lyrical songs are interspersed with dance-tunes on various lutes, flutes and reed instruments and by small bands. Recorded in the field in 1965 by A.L.Lloyd.

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TSCD341 MARTIN CARTHY with DAVE SWARBRICK ~ SECOND ALBUM

TSCD341 webDave Swarbrick’s increased contribution on this 1966 album was a signal that he and Carthy were rapidly forming folk music’s most potent collaboration, creating a clean, sharp sound that would be honed over the next three albums.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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MIKE WATERSON ~ MIKE WATERSON TSCD516 

The Watersons, the most influential and best loved English vocal group of its day, disbanded in the late 1960s only to reform again in 1973. In 1975, they released their finest recorded work, For Pence And Spicy Ale (TSCD574). Fired up and full of music, Mike Waterson stepped out of the shadows of The Watersons to record his only solo album. Upon its release in 1977, Melody Maker, which was the most popular music paper of the time, wrote of the album, “Almost every track emerges as an epic…no song defeats him…a monumental work”..
Regarded as one of the best singers to emerge from the English folk song revival, Mike Waterson’s voice is known to all those who are familiar with The Watersons. Here, however, the focus is on Mike alone and he brings depths to his material not possible on group projects.”
This reissue includes two extra tracks from the 1966 Watersons album, A Yorkshire Garland.

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JOHN TAMS ~ Home TSCD533

Home is the follow-up to John Tams’ award-winning Unity and reasserts the claim that there is no greater writer of English songs on the current folk scene. John Tams’ writing and performance grows with each new project and he and the band assembled for the previous album are now a fully integrated unit producing a new contender for “album of the year”.

“Understated drama…… sensitive arrangements – quality stuff” fROOTS
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TSCD927 OUT OF CUBA: LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC TAKES AFRICA BY STORM

This HMV GV series is a catalogue of roughly 250 double sided 78rpm discs issued between 1933 and about 1958, comprising almost entirely Latin music, mainly from Cuba but also from Puerto Rico and Brazil. It drew on recordings originated by Gramaphone and Victor (hence the GV prefix). The series was aimed initially at the West African market, but subsequently reached and became very popular across the entire African continent, particularly in the Congos.

This CD provides a snapshot of what African musicians heard as they listened to the GV recordings on record, on the radio and live in local bars.

• “If you want to understand why so many African bands have been so influenced by Cuban music, look no further than this great album. Superbly compiled, the album has informative liner notes (a neat mix of erudition and vivid anecdote) coupled with photos of the period.” ★★★★ Songlines

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TSCD464 BLOW THE MAN DOWN ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

TSCD464 webSea songs and shanties
A treasure-chest of seafaring songs delivered by such fine inter-preters as Louis Killen, The Watersons, Bob Davenport, Ian Campbell and Cyril Tawney. The two dozen performances include some of the best-known of all British sea songs and shanties, evoking a long and turbulent history of shipwrecks and sea-battles, of tall ships and whalers and the men who sailed in them.

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JUNE TABOR ~ APPLES TSCD568

Just when you thought that June had reached her peak, she surprises by sounding fresher than ever. A singer completely at home with her voice and her music.

“all immaculately arranged and superbly sung” The Telegraph
“a folk masterclass” The Observer
“music of great beauty” Songlines
“Tabor sings magnificently” Mojo
“Britain’s pre-eminent traditional voice, as impeccable as ever … an elegant collection” Uncut
“Tabor sings magnificently on her return to an album of predominantly folk song. Her true brilliance is exacting seismic levels of emotion from seemingly basic material.” fRoots

June Tabor voice
with
Andy Cutting diatonic accordion
Mark Emerson piano, viola & violin
Tim Harries double bass

1  The Dancing
2  The Old Garden Gate
3  The Auld Beggarman
4  The Rigs Of Rye
5  I Love My Love
6  Soldiers Three
7  Speak Easy
8  Au Logis De Mon Père
9  Standing In Line
10  Ce Fu En Mai
11  My Love Came To Dublin
12  Send Us A Quiet Night

Available now from:
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STEVE ASHLEY ~ TIME AND TIDE TSCD569 

Steve Ashley’s second release for Topic is a landmark in British folk song writing. On strong winds and rising tides, he takes us on a remarkable journey – over the cliffs and into the heart of the woods and towns of England. These are stirring songs that engage with many realities of life in 2007, including global warming and the continuing Trident missile threat. Rich in poetry and strong melodies, they once again demonstrate Steve’s deep regard for our folk traditions.
Time and Tide also resonates with his earliest recorded work, reuniting him with orchestral arranger Robert Kirby (Robert and Steve first recorded together on Steve’s 1974 classic debut album Stroll On). Among other musicians participating in support are Fairport’s Chris Leslie, Dave Pegg and Simon Nicol, plus Robin Williamson and Decameron’s Dik Cadbury.
With 15 new songs delivered with candour, humour and hope for the future, the innovative, challenging and compassionate Time and Tide waits for no one.

  • “If British singer-songwriterdom is to enjoy a renaissance…then it is right and proper that Steve Ashley should be at the forefront…a distinctively English style….alluring tunes and deft lyrics” fRoots
  • “On his new set the gentle, sturdy melodies are matched with a rare blend of emotion and anger. Ashley may not be prolific but his songs are worth the wait.” The Guardian
  • “Uniformly excellent” Net Rhythms

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TSCD925 THE KING’S MUSICIANS ~ ROYALIST MUSIC OF BUGANDA-UGANDA

Possibly no other African rulers maintained such a rich variety of musical ensembles at their courts as the Kabakas (kings) of Buganda. For several centuries their kingdom was the largest and most powerful state in central Africa and their palaces resounded throughout each day with music. Here is a unique sample of this musical richness, featuring the two different xylophone ensembles, the royal flute band, the songs of the king’s harpist and lyre players, as well as praise drumming and dancing.

In 1966 the kingdom was suppressed by Prime Minister Obote and King Mutesa died in exile. Though some of the old musicians gave an ecstatic musical welcome to his son, Mutebi on his return in 1987 (also recorded here), some of this music may soon become little more than dim memory.

• “Astonishing recordings from the 1960s and 80s – great recordings of a vanished tradition. A best album of 2003.” The Wire

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SHEILA STEWART ~ FROM THE HEART OF THE TRADITION TSCD515

In her own words, Sheila Stewart is probably the last in the line of a rich oral tradition of song, story and Scots Traveller culture. She is also one of the greatest singers of traditional song. From The Heart Of The Tradition was recorded by Doc Rowe in 1999 and captures her at the height of her powers.

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FIRST I’M GOING TO SING YOU A DITTY: RURAL FUN & FROLICS TSCD657

tscd657 webVolume 7 of The Voice of The People.
Rural fun and frolics.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 JOHNNY DOUGHTY voice: Herrings’ Heads
2 TOMMY McGRATH voice with chorus: Burke’s Engine
3 SCAN TESTER concertina: Untitled Schottische
4 JIMMY McBEATH voice: You Canna Put It On To Sandy
5 ROSE MURPHY fiddle: Ladybower’s / The Sister
6 POP MAYNARD voice: Three Sons Of Rogues
7 MARY ANN CAROLAN voice: Young Bob Ridley
8 BOB CANN melodeon: Uncle George’s Hornpipe / Tommy Roberts’ Hornpipe
9 JOHN MacDONALD voice: The Ball O’Kerriemeer
10 TOM BROWN voice: Widdlecombe Fair
11 SAM BOND mouth-organ: Oh, The Hampshires Do Like Duff
12 MAURICE voice: A Nice Piece Of Irish Pig’s Head
13 CURLY McKAY & WILLIE KEMP piano-accordion, voice & trump: Glendarel Highlanders /Kenmure’s On And Awa’ /Lovat Scouts /Monymusk
14 MAGGY MURPHY Voice: Clinking O’er The Lea
15 SID STEER voice: The Derby Ram
16 MARTIN GORMAN voice with chorus: Old King Cole
17 BAMPTON MORRIS with JINKY WELLS fiddle & voice: Live Perforrnance – Banbury Bill
18 FRED JORDAN voice: Down The Road
19 JOHN REILLY voice: The Rosin Box
20 ELLEN O’DWYER concertina: The Stack Of Barley
21 HENRY MITCHELMORE voice: Most Beautiful Leg Of The Mallard
22 JIM WILSON voice with chorus: The Keyhole In The Door
23 PADDY BREEN voice & tin-whistle: The Blue Meadow
24 NED PEARSON fiddle & voice: The Varsoviana (original tune) / The Varsoviana (later tune)
25 ALBERT RICHARDSON voice: The Old Sow
26 NORA CLEARY voice: The Codfish
27 WILL & IAN POWRIE accordeon & fiddle: Stirling Militia / Ruthven House / Fairy Dance
28 CHARLIE WILLS voice with chorus: Up To The Rigs Of London Town
29 JIM & SEAMUS DONAGHUE tin-whistle & tambourine: The Pigeon On The Gate

Available now from:
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IT FELL ON A DAY, A BONNY SUMMER DAY: BALLADS TSCD667

tscd667 webVolume 17 of The Voice of The People.
Ballads.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: A Beggar Man
2 JOHN REILLY voice: Lord Baker
3 WALTER PARDON voice: Jack Hall
4 JOHN MacDONALD voice & accordeon: The Bonnie Hoose O’Airlie
5 MARY DELANEY voice: Buried In Kilkenny
6 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Dowie Dens O’ Yarrow
7 PACKIE MANUS BYRNE (pictured) voice: Young Alvin
8 SHEILA STEWART voice with chorus: The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Grow
9 ROBERT CINNAMOND voice: There Was A Lady Lived In The West
10 HARRY COX voice: In Worcester City
11 MARY DELANEY voice: What Put The Blood?
12 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: Lady Mary Ann
13 JOHN REILLY voice: Once There Lived A Captain
14 JEANNIE ROBERTSON voice: The Gypsy Laddies
15 HARRY COX voice: Young Edmund
16 SARAH MAKEM voice: Barbara Allen

Available now from:
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TSCD418 MARTIN CARTHY ~ SWEET WIVELSFIELD

TSCD418 webFirst released in 1974 and produced by Ashley Hutchings, Sweet Wivelsfield is a classic Martin Carthy album and served as a benchmark recording for many other artists. The ominously chiming guitar chords of Trimdon Grange and the ingeniously borrowed melody of King Henry exemplify Carthy’s unceasing search for new ways to present old songs, a thread that runs all through this impressive recording.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar

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TSCD906 FOLK MUSIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

Visiting the Yugoslav republics of Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia and Macedonia, the collector Wolf Dietrich recorded these fascinating vocal solos and duets and tunes played on bagpipes, fiddles, flutes and clarinets. The raw part-singing of amateur village performers is of particular beauty.

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ELIZA CARTHY ~ DREAMS OF BREATHING UNDERWATER TSCD571

Winner of two Mercury Award nominations, three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and numerous other accolades, Eliza Carthy is easily the most impressive and engaging folk artist of her generation. She has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Joan Baez, Nick Cave and Peter Gabriel. And yet, while traditional music is her lifelong love, Eliza had always planned to stay with the songwriting thing she started eight years ago with “Angels & Cigarettes”, her only album for a major label. And a good thing for us that she did. Years in the making, Dreams of Breathing Underwater showcases a much more mature songwriting and performing talent – lyrically, musically and stylistically.
The overall spirit of Dreams of Breathing Underwater is one of coherent diversity. A chamber orchestra, Mariachi brass, grunge guitar, good-time jazz, sensual Edi Reader harmonies as well as Eliza’s inventive fiddle and earthy vocals provide some of the musical highlights of this highly original album. Early reviews point to Dreams of Breathing Underwater as being THE album of the modern folk movement.

  • “… Eliza delivers a fizzing firework display full of colourful narratives and big characters… sends you home whistling. It’s quite a party” ★★★★ Mojo Magazine
  • “It’s a fizz-bang jamboree bag of an album exploding with ideas, unexpected tangents and corking story songs.” fRoots
  • “Vocally and lyrically, this is Carthy’s strongest album. Add a beautifully designed CD package ..and you have one of the most startlingly original albums of the past year” Dirty Linen
  • “From the ethereal wonder of Lavenders …….the experimentation works. Tha fact that it works is partly due to the musicianship…it can also be put down to Eliza’s magnificent voice – one of the finest you will ever hear. Dreams of Breathing Underwater is a brilliant album that deserves applause. This album shows just why she is one of music’s, and not just folk’s, most important and innovative artists.” BBC Online
  • “Her most sophisticated album yet and one destined to win her a whole new set of admirers – the care and invention on display is striking.” ★★★★★ Observer Music Magazine
  • “The twice-Mercury-nominated singer’s eighth solo album might just be her boldest, most varied, most wild adventure yet. First up is Follow The Dollar which packs a solid rock punch. Rows Of Angels has a hip-hop vibe. Mr Magnifico is a riot of mariachi horns and Lavenders is washed with ravishing contemporary atmospherics. This is the work of a wonderful artist who refuses to stand still.” ★★★★½ The Sun
  • “It’s effortlessly confident, wildly varied and almost impossible to categorise. Magnificent.” ★★★★ The Guardian

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BRASS MONKEY ~ FLAME OF FIRE TSCD550 

Their best album so far. Brass Monkey return with their “Deep English” sound, and have never sounded better. Flame of Fire sees the band performing with a new intensity.
• “Anyone who shares a love of traditional music or enjoys being intrigued and pleasantly surprised should seek this album out. This is a great, sophisticated album which may confuse some pop music sensibilities. Long may Brass Monkey play with such subversive brilliance.” Morning Star
• “There is no doubt that Brass Monkey is one of the most important bands to appear in the world of folk music – top quality interpretations of English music – excellent.” The Living Tradition
• “An album of big tunes – it sparks powerful emotions.” fRoots magazine
• “If you like any form of brass-band music, from classical to New Orleans jazz, Brass Monkey’s uniquely English variant is guaranteed” Dirty Linen

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TSCD384 DICK GAUGHAN ~ GAUGHAN

TSCD384 webTraditional and contemporary songs sung with grace and feeling are interspersed with bagpipe jigs and fiddle reels transposed to guitar in this multifaceted collection. The CD includes bonus tracks from Dick’s 1977 instrumental collection Coppers And Brass and two songs from the 1975 The Bonnie Pit Laddie set.

Dick Gaughan guitar, vocals
with
Alistair Anderson English concertina
Barry Lyons bass guitar
Tom Hickland piano

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TSCD919 THE MOKEN: SEA GYPSIES OF THE ANDAMAN SEA

The Sea Gypsies of the Andaman Sea have been sailing up and down the west coast of the Malay Peninsula for hundreds of years. Traditionally living on their Kabang (self contained houseboats) and trading sea slugs, pearls, shells and bird’s nests for life’s necessities, many sea gypsies have now begun to settle permanently, and abandon their nomadic culture. Some like the Moken, continue to move between the islands, their ocean territory becoming ever more threatened by expanding tourism in Thailand and political repression in Myanmar. The Moken’s music collected on this CD, recorded on a deserted beach between surf and jungle, is wild and unpredicatable, full of warmth and drama and yet as detached from our world as their hard, uncertain sea-faring lifestyle.

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TSCD920 THE YEMEN TIHAMA: TRANCE & DANCE MUSIC FROM THE RED SEA COAST

The ferocious heat on Tihama, the Red sea coastal plain of Yemen, is matched in its intensity by the tibbal music, an Afro-Arabian amalgam that features lyres, reeds and, particularly, virtuoso drumming. Its practitioners are largely drawn from the akhdam, an outcast group with a reputation for sorcery, who bring passion, skill and stamina to performances which accompany acrobatic dancing and ceremonial trance.

“..uncompromising and raw music with a rhythmic intensity that will have you either transfixed or running from the room.” Songlines

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TSCD914 GYPSY MUSIC FROM MACEDONIA & NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

‘If davul and zurna are not present,’ runs the Turkish proverb, ‘I cannot be a bride.’ The coupling of drum (davul) and double-reed pipe (zurna), heard in many regions of the world, is particularly widespread among the gipsies of the Balkans. Collector Wolf Dietrich has followed the trail of its ‘vital and impulsive irresistibility’ from Greece to Kosovo, Rumania and Turkey, his selection climaxing in an astounding 17 minute suite of tunes from Macedonia played by two Albanian pipers.

Collected in the field by Wolf Dietrich

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON TSCD567

With Prodigal Son Martin Simpson has made what is undoubtedly his finest recording to date. The album reflects the full breadth of his creativity, drawing on both British and American traditions as well as including several of his own outstanding compositions.
Many of Martin’s good friends and favourite artists appear with him on the album, including Jackson Browne who adds a perfect harmony vocal to Martin’s beautiful version of Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927. Kate Rusby and Kellie While sing sublime harmonies on two of the tracks – Never Any Good [Martin’s song for his father] and Batchelor’s Hall. The album is further enhanced by Danny Thompson on bass, Andy Cutting on accordion, Alistair Anderson on concertina and Northumbrian pipes and Barry Philips on cello.

  • “A modern masterpiece. This remarkable collection of fifteen songs and tunes which, by any measure, is the best album that Simpson has recorded to date – he has produced a near-flawless folk masterpiece.” Sydney Morning Herald
  • “Prodigal Son is a triumph” Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 Late Junction
  • “The [album] has range, a relaxed mastery and emotional depth – this is roots music at its richest.
” ★★★★★ The List
  • “A quiet masterpiece. There are classic English ballads, excursions into Americana and a clutch of open-hearted originals- resulting in an album of easy elegance.” ★★★★ Observer Music Monthly

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MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ BOTH EARS AND THE TAIL TSCD572

One of the great duos of all time, Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick joined up in early spring 1966 as a performing unit. They were an immediate hit, becoming overnight the most popular group in the burgeoning folk club scene in Britain. Both Ears and the Tail was recorded live at the Folkus Folk Club in Nottingham in 1966 in the first flush of their success with both audience and performers hardly able to catch their breath.

This recording only came to light in recent times and it is astonishing in its fire and clarity. Many of the songs performed that night are to be found on the early Martin Carthy albums, but, on stage, the interplay between Martin and Dave virtually re-wrote all the material. This is a real live experience and an opportunity to “be there on the night”.

  • “On this crystal clear recording of the classic Carthy/Swarbrick duo partnership are caught early in their partnership. Swarb’s swooping fiddle coils with propulsive energy.” ★★★★ Uncut
  • “It’s a corker. The natural chemistry between them is irresistible.” Record Collector
  • “The attraction of the CD is in the live performance, the guitar and fiddle [and occasional mandolin] weaving in and out, responding to each other’s playing. And the recording quality is very good.” Derek Schofield, English Dance and Song

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TSCD490 JUNE TABOR ~ ALEYN

TSCD490 webTabor’s characteristic choice and blend of traditional songs and compositions by Richard Thompson, Ralph McTell and other contemporary songwriters are enhanced by sensitive arrangements.

‘Tabor’s singing is spellbinding. She is one of the great singers of any genre.’ The Guardian

June Tabor is accompanied by:
Andy Cutting
diatonic accordion
Mark Emerson violin, viola
Mark Lockheart clarinet, tenor & soprano saxophones
Dudley Phillips double bass
Huw Warren piano, piano accordion

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PAST MASTERS OF IRISH FIDDLE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD605

The fiddle occupies pride of place within Irish traditional music and this collection features the great players from the golden age of recording between 1922 and 1951. These virtuoso stylists are featured in solo, small group and various band combinations performing both classic repertoire and little known pieces. The CD has been re-mastered to the highest standards and is accompanied by in depth notes.
Edited by Reg Hall

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THE BIG HEWER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD804

A radio-ballad about Britain’s coal miners by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

The Big Hewer – ‘a poetic documentary with worker heroes,’ as The Times called it – charts the lives of Britain’s coal miners, in the Northeast, East Midlands and South Wales.

‘In The Big Hewer, about coal mining and The Fight Game, about boxing, the radio-ballads find men titanic enough to live up to their pretensions. Listening to these two, you can really believe that there were giants in those days.’ THE INDEPENDENT

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REG HALL

Reg HallBorn in 1933, Reg Hall has been a quietly important stalwart and historian of traditional music for wee over fifty years. Best known as a dance musician, Reg has had a long, personal involvement with traditional music-making and has played Irish music and English country music with most of the finest traditional musicians. For many years he accompanied Michael Gorman and later Jimmy Power in London pub sessions. Reg has played for the Bampton Morris for the past fifty years and was with the Padstow Blue Ribbon ‘Obby ‘Oss for forty years. He formed The Rakes with Michael Plunkett and Paul Gross in 1956, playing for dances and finding time to back Bob Davenport in concert and on record.

Though holding down a day job as a probabtion officer, Reg managed to both participate in the music performance and to document it in extraordinary detail. Reg’s enthusiastic contribution and his pioneering work documenting and encouraging traditional music has not always been widely acknowledged. Both an historian and a musician, he brings a rare understanding and insight to his writing and playing. His association with Topic Records began in 1963 when he wrote the sleeve notes for the Irish Pipe & Fiddle Tunes ep, two years later he collaborated with Bill Leader on The Paddy In The Smoke recording and has compiled and annotated many significant recordings, culminating in The Voice of the People series in 1999. He was awarded the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance And Song Society in 1987, a doctorate in history from Sussex University in 1994 and the Gradam Cheoil musician’s award from the Gaelic television company TG4 early in 2009.

MICHAEL GORMAN ~ THE SLIGO CHAMPION TSCD525D

THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD602

PADDY IN THE SMOKE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD603

PAST MASTERS OF IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD604

PAST MASTERS OF IRISH FIDDLE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD605

ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS  TSCD606

ENGLISH COUNTRY MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD607



FAREWELL, MY OWN DEAR NATIVE LAND: SONGS OF EXILE & EMIGRATION TSCD654

tscd654 webVolume 4 of The Voice of The People.
Songs of exile and emigration.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Green Fields Of Canada
2 MARY ANN HAYNES voice: Erin’s Lovely Home
3 EDDIE BUTCHER voice: Killyclare
4 WALTER PARDON voice: Van Dieman’s Land
5 MARGARET BARRY voice & banjo: If You Ever Go Over To lreland
6 MICHAEL COLEMAN fiddie with piano: Farewell To lreland / Unidentified
7 GEORDIE HANNA voice: Brockagh Brae
8 CYRIL POACHER voice: Australia
9 WILLIE ROSS bagpipes: Leaving St. Kilda
10 PADDY TUNNEY voice: Craigie Hill
11 TOMMY McGRATH voice: She Lived Beside The Anner
12 WILLIE SCOTT voice: You Boys O’Callieburn
13 MARGARET BARRY & MICHAEL GORMAN voice, banjo & fiddle: Eileen McMahon
14 SARAH ANNE O’NEILL voice: Carrickmannon Lake
15 MICHAEL GROGAN accordeon: My Love She’s In America / Hand Me Down The Tackle
16 WILLIE CLANCY voice: Erin’s Lovely Lee
17 CHRIS WILLETT voice: The Old Miser
18 MARGARET BARRY & MACHAEL GORMAN voice, banjo & fiddle: Farewell, My Own Dear Native Land
19 SARAH ANNE O’NEILL voice: John Reilly
20 PADDY BREEN voice: Sweet Inishcara

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



TSCD924 EWE DRUMMING FROM GHANA ~ The Soup Which Is Sweet Draws The Chairs In Closer

The Ewe people of Ghana and Togo are renowned for their polyrhymic drumming and beautiful call and response singing. Travelling through this region, one is struck by the way in which they have preserved their traditional music alongside the new cultural ideas brought by globalisation.

The Dzigbordi group is a community dance drumming group that people of all agescan join. On this CD they perform several classic dances from the Ewe repertoire. For this recording they chose a secluded courtyard outside the town, resulting in a crystal clear sound that showcases the drums and the songs.

Recorded by James Burns.

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TSCD918 HEALING, FEASTING & MAGICAL RITUAL: PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Songs and dances of hunting, war, work, totemistic ritual, cannibalism, myth, initiation, courtship, rain-making, funerals, magical healing, shark catching and marathon feasting, recorded in remote coastal and inland villages in five far-flung regions of Papua New Guinea, to the north of Australia. One of the world’s most mysterious countries, whose long, wide rivers are home to hundreds of different Melanesian cultures and languages.
These full-throated songs with their vibrant and often complex accompanimental drumming patterns show the richness and variety of the cultural traditions and beliefs of the communities of Papua New Guinea.

“… intense microtonal harmonies that are really arresting” Sing Out

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FAY HIELD ~ LOOKING GLASS TSCD573

Fay Hield has been singing traditional songs from an alarmingly early age. She was active in the lively music scene centred around the Famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley, was instrumental in launching the Haworth Arts Festival and was part of a highly-regarded duo with Damien Barber. In 2001 she helped form The Witches Of Elswick – a female acapella quartet.

After a year or two off the folk radar, Fay returned to public view via occasional performances with partner Jon Boden. By this time she and Jon had fetched up on the moorland fringes of Sheffield. In 2009 a new concert line-up with Rob Harbron (English Acoustic Collective) and Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead) came into being, built around a striking repertoire of often obscure material drawn from rarely-thumbed collections. The Trio’s first outing, at the Oxford Festival in 2009, was flagged up approvingly by Acoustic Magazine as their Gig Of The Month, commenting: “….. Contained within a festival bursting at the seams with talent, this performance really stood out as one of the highlights.”

Some months ago Topic’s Tony Engle heard Fay’s new recordings. Her classic voice and the unusual selection of material quickly resulted in Topic’s first signing in a number of years.

Fay Hield’s debut solo CD Looking Glass is a spicy stew of songs and ballads, catches and caprices. The title track is a Peter Bellamy setting of a Rudyard Kipling poem. Instrumentation includes fiddles, concertina, nyckelharpa and guitar. The sound is at once crafty and nimble, airy and graceful, full of zest and nuance, sensitive to the tradition yet utterly distinctive. Fay leads with a voice whose rough edges are still thrillingly intact, and which goes straight to the living heart of the songs.

  • “Looking Glass is one of the best albums Topic has released for many years. I absolutely love it.” Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2
  • “An album of real depth and substance.” Colin Irwin, fRoots
  • “Hield is a rare talent.” ★★★★ Uncut
  • “There’s a real depth and richness to her singing.” ★★★★ Mojo
  • “Her strong voice, with soft, comforting northern tones delivered songs from the length and breadth of the country… Contained within a festival bursting at the seams with talent, this performance really stood out as one of the highlights.” Acoustic Magazine

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TSCD484 TOMMY ARMSTRONG OF TYNESIDE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

TSCD484 webSONGS BY THE GREAT BALLADEER OF THE COALFIELDS
The remarkable writings of Tyneside ‘pit poet’ Tommy Armstrong (1848-1919), one of the finest of all  working class song-makers are celebrated in a recording by some of the North East’s finest folk musicians.

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TSCD126 LOUIS KILLEN ~ BALLADS & BROADSIDES

TSCD126 webLouis Killen is a hard-core, unadulterated folksinger whose passionate delivery is matched by a deep and wide-ranging knowledge of the songs and the working people who made them. Born in Gateshead in Co. Durham, he was noted for his love of sea songs, as well as the industrial and rural folk songs of his native North East of England. Released in 1965, Ballads and Broadsides was the first full album by a solo folk singer and was, and still is, hugely influential. A great album full of great performances it was, sadly, to be the only album he recorded for Topic Records as he left Britain within a couple of years for a new life in the USA.

“An absolute beauty” fRoots
★★★★ Record Collector
“Classic” Taplas
“A master balladeer already in complete control of his formidable range of skills.” Stirrings

Louis Killen vocal, concertina

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THE BALLAD OF JOHN AXON TSCD801

A radio-ballad about the railwaymen of England by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

The first of the radio-ballads was inspired by a steam locomotive driver who died performing an act of heroism. It was based, like its successors, on many hours of tape-recorded testimonies and reminiscences, mixed into a continuous narrative interspersed with MacColl’s songs and Seeger’s music.

‘A generation from now, listeners will surely still be moved by this recording’ NEW STATESMAN

‘The Ballad of John Axton was ostensibly about the life and death of a train driver but, like ensuing ballads about the building of the M1, herring fishing and coal miners, it was really about the complex relationship between men and their professions.’ TIME OUT

‘No wonder it knocked England out that July evening.’ THE OBSERVER

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WATERSON:CARTHY ~ FISHES & FINE YELLOW SAND TSCD542

Waterson:Carthy’s fifth album includes a characteristically eclectic selection of material from a formidable range of sources. Much of the album was recorded “live in the studio” with a view to retaining the essence of the group’s live interactive performance and this goal was successfully achieved. 

With one exception, the songs are about people who, whether or not they were born under a Bad Sign, certainly come – one way or another – under the Bad heading. It is almost a given that this makes for a programme of interesting and intriguing material. The set includes an outstanding reworking of the Jerry Garcia classic Black Muddy River, previously sung by Norma on her award winning solo album for the Hannibal label.
• “the synergy is quite electrifying” Observer Music Monthly Magazine
• “I urge everyone who is a traditional folk music fan to buy it. As always with these great performers, it was a pleasure.” folking.com
• “Something special happens when the first family of English folk gets together…This is folk music at its unadorned and traditional best. The uplifting harmonies of Norma and Eliza bring a joyous exuberance.” The Times

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WALTER PARDON ~ A WORLD WITHOUT HORSES TSCD514 

Walter Pardon was one of England’s great traditional singers. He lived all his life in the cottage where he was born in 1914 in the village of Knapton, Norfolk and spent all his working life as a carpenter. In 1974, a tape of his singing was received by the singer Peter Bellamy and this led to him being recognised as an outstanding singer of remarkable style and repertory. He was subsequently recorded extensively for a number of LPs on the Leader, Topic and Home Made Music labels and appeared in folk-clubs and festivals including the one held at the Smithsonian Institute of Folklife in Washington, DC in 1976.

He appears in the series The Voice Of The People but this is the first full length CD to be made available and features classic traditional repertoire from one of the true masters of the craft.

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TSCD419 DICK GAUGHAN ~ HANDFUL OF EARTH

TSCD419 webThis mixture of love songs, odes of parting and political commentaries such as Worker’s Song and World Turned Upside Down is Gaughan’s most complex and emotionally penetrating album, and has come to be recognised as a masterwork.
• “Album of the Decade.” Folk Roots
• “By turns defiant, inspired, hopeful and downright angry, this is a genuine benchmark album, adorned by Gaughan’s passionate and fearsome guitar.” All time classic album HMV Choice

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THE WATERSONS ~ FOR PENCE AND SPICY ALE TSCD574 

for pence and spicy ale introduced the “new” Watersons of the 1970s – when Martin Carthy joined the group. Two music papers judged it Folk Album of the Year in 1975 and, for many, it is the best album that The Watersons have ever produced. Topic has re-mastered the recordings from the original tapes to produce unparalleled sound quality, and re-packaged it in a handsome digipak. Between the opening song “Country Life” and the closing “The Good Old Way” are some of the most stirring performances ever committed to record.

  • This is the pinnacle of their prolific career – a wonderful collection of passionate solo voices and inspired harmonies. Ageless songs + sharp sense of adventure = certified genius. All time classic album.” HMV Choice
  • “A staggering album – the luminous power and rich texture of their acapella voices unmatched in English Folk Singing. This is traditional folk music elevated to the highest art. The finest, most fragrant flowering of the English Folk tradition in the past 50 years.” HMV Choice
  • “This classic album of British Folk Music sounds as fresh and astringently beautiful today as it did in 1975, when it was originally released…the harmonies they produce are sharply beautiful. The Watersons’ many fans will be thrilled to see this album newly available on CD with its tracklisting in the original running order – ESSENTIAL” All Music Guide
  • “This reissue of a classic album is a must-have” Dirty Linen More Details >>


TSCD935D SONGS OF SURVIVAL – TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF GEORGIA

Georgia lies to the south of Russia, bordered by the Black Sea to the west and by Turkey and Armenia in the south and Azerbaijan in the east. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Georgia is a small, very mountainous and poor country with a population of under five million but with a rich and ancient cultural life, mainly centering around music. Considering itself European, Georgia is at the crossroads of the east and west, a Christian country influenced by its Muslim neighbours.

Songs of Survival is a comprehensive survey of the traditional music of Georgia with well over two hours of mostly vocal music celebrating the three part polyphonies that lie at the heart of its musical life. There is a 28 page illustrated booklet with copious background notes as well as notes on the songs and performances – hymns, carols, lullabies, work songs, wrestling music, wedding songs, healing songs, city songs. Georgia’s male polyphony is one of the musical wonders of the world. Both archaic and modernist, and melding influences from east and west.

Winner of the German Critic’s Award [Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik] inaugurated in 1963 to set the ‘most rigorous standards for the achievement in the field of recording’.
• “The Georgians are probably the most musical people of earth: these recordings give a wonderful snapshot of a society in which many musicians would give their right arm to live. Here, the division between professional and amateur becomes meaningless – such is the commitment of the professional and the skill of the amateur. Everywhere we find their staggeringly beautiful three-part vocal polyphony – whether in a wedding song, lullaby or richly dissonant religious chant” Gavin Bryars
• “It’s important in that it’s the first collection to try to give an overview of Georgian music – there’s a huge variety here, making this a very good introduction to the world of Georgian music.” fRoots
• “Georgian music, with its other-worldly polyphonic singing style, is justly famous for its clashing dissonances and impressive sound, but recordings are few and far between. Highlights include the female choir Mzetamze, the Kesane Quartet and Georgian Voices – on disc two, there are wonderful hymn-like songs of St Panteleimon Chanters with strange unpredictable harmonies” ★★★★ Songlines
• “The CD is full of wonderful improvised polyphony. The soul of these songs arise from the fact that the performers feel the pinch of hard necessity, and sing of strong emotions that go beyond the personal. For these people “keeping it real” isn’t a problem: it’s a condition of life.” The Telegraph

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THE COPPER FAMILY ~ COME WRITE ME DOWN (Early Recordings) TSCD534

The Copper Family of Rottingdean in Sussex has roots in traditional song that are at least two hundred years old. Their rare southern English harmony is presented at its most outstanding in these classic performances from the 1950s and early ’60s. Bob and Ron Copper came to prominence outside their immediate local environment when recordings of the duo were released during the early part of the folk revival. These newly remastered recordings are included here in their entirety. In addition, earlier recordings involving Bob and Ron’s fathers – Jim and John – are available for the first time. There are three songs which feature the full quartet.

The special packaging includes a 60-page booklet of extensive history, biography and social context as well as a 36-page booklet of song texts. Both booklets also contain historic photographs.



  • “inspirational … a testament to the strength of songs that have endured so long and the spirit at the heart of their survival … the whole package (is) a lesson in quality” fRoots Magazine
  • “Topic Records reputation a the great UK folk label is further enhanced by the release of (this) wonderfully packaged collection of early recordings of the legendary Copper Family. More than just a record…both an historical document and a vital part of the living tradition of English folksong” Get Rhythm magazine
  • “Resonates with a weird primitivism” Sunday Times
  • “These robust mournful songs of life’s travails and treasures have a directness and authenticity that puts most rock music to shame”Mojo
  • “Make sure to buy three copies of this CD: one for yourself to play and play all day; one to give as a present to the person who means most to you; and one to bury in the garden for the Martians when they land, to show them us Human Race were capable of real excellence. …the first booklet contains the lyrics to the songs, but with the added bonus of deeply interesting notes by Steve Roud on every one of the songs. This booklet in itself would put most CD booklets in the shade. But then, even THIS is trumped by the second booklet: a 58 page “beaut” consisting of extensive notes…it is genuinely a compulsive page turner. As for the CD content…it is all sublime.” Musical Traditions magazine
  • “These extraordinary songs breathe life into a tradition that stretches back to the Napoleonic Wars and beyond. They are the aural equivalent of remote viewing on to a vanished world. There are seafaring ballads, aching laments and songs of farewell, drinking songs alongside more ancient ballads.” The Guardian

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TSCD936 POETRY AND LANGUID CHARM- SWAHILI MUSIC FROM TANZANIA AND KENYA FROM THE LATE 1920s TO THE 1950s

As recorded music developed in the early part of the 20th century, there was more and more pressure on commercial record labels to capitalise on indigenous music in Africa, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. This was not some sort of altruistic exercise, rather a market that was open to exploitation. On the East African coast, site of the present day Tanzania and Kenya, there was a “gold rush” fever in the 1930s to record the local music stars.

The music recorded was mostly “taarab”, sung poetry accompanied by an ensemble that played with both traditional African rhythms with Arabic influences and used Arabic and Indian instruments. This exciting music is being here released on CD for the first time, and has been remastered to produce outstanding sound quality from the original 78 rpm recordings.

“Drawn from the extraordinary collection of original recordings at the National Sound Archive, this project, overseen by Dr Janet Topp-Fargion, is, quite simply, a delight from the first second to the last. Wonderfully readable and enlightening notes, historic illustrations and full recording details, this new release presents an engaging portrait of its targeted time and place. The packaging and sound quality are faultless, the programme both enlightening and entertaining, and there’s almost nothing else like it available. Need any more hints?” fRoots

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TSCD496 A.L. LLOYD ENGLISH DRINKING SONGS

TSCD496 webA L ‘Bert’ Lloyd occupied a unique position in the folksong revival of the 1950s and ’60s. He was a musicologist with an international reputation, who wrote on the social history of British folk music and broadcast many series on traditional musics of the world. A learned and kindly mentor to younger singers, he was himself a performer of great charm, who united in his performances a scholar’s respect for text and a singer’s instinct for expression.

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TSCD905 FOLK MUSIC OF BULGARIA

Lying between Europe and Asia, Bulgaria displays in its traditional music both the formal solidity of the West and the exotic colouring of the East. These recordings, mostly collected by A.L. Lloyd on trips in 1954 and 1963, are very diverse, including instrumental solos on the stringed tambura, dyudyuk (flute) and gadulka (fiddle), band music and songs for various functions. Especially captivating is the women’s singing, whether solo or in group polyphony.

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TO CATCH A FINE BUCK WAS MY DELIGHT: SONGS OF HUNTING & POACHING TSCD668

Volume 18 of The Voice of The People.
Songs of hunting and poaching.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 BOB ROBERTS voice: While Gamekeepers Were Sleeping
2 GEORDIE HANNA voice: On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare
3 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Irthing Water Hounds
4 JOSEPH TAYLOR voice: The White Hare
5 JIMMY KNIGHTS voice: Out With My Gun In The Morning
6 BIG JOHN MAGUIRE voice: The Huntsman’s Horn
7 HARRY BURGESS voice: The Hungry Fox
8 WIGGY SMITH voice: The Oakham Poachers
9 FELIX DORAN uilleann pipes & voice: The Fox Hunt
10 JASPER SMITH voice: Thornymoor Park
11 PHILIP McDERMOTT voice: The Fair Of Rosslea
12 POP MAYNARD voice: Williarn Taylor
13 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Kielder Hunt
14 WIGGY SMITH voice: Hares In The Old Plantation
15 JACK ELLIOTT voice: Champion He Was A Dandy
16 PHILIP McDERMOTT voice: The Reaping Of The Rushes Green
17 HARRY BRAZIL voice: Bold Keeper
18 CHARLIE WILLS voice: The House That Jack Built
19 WALTER PARDON voice: The Poachers’ Fate
20 JIMMY HALPIN voice: Killafole Boasters
21 GEORGE TREMAIN melodeon: The Huntsman’s Chorus

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



HARRY COX ~ THE BONNY LABOURING BOY TSCD512D 

Harry Cox is, simply, the most important and the finest among the great English traditional singers. This release brings together 54 tracks from recordings made between 1945 and 1970 to produce a 2 CD set. Combined with a 60 page booklet containing a detailed biography, extensive notes and song texts, the result is over 2 hours of previously unissued recordings.

see also THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

  • “The quality of the repertoire and the standard of the singing are quite breathtaking. Even amongst the high standards that Topic have been setting in their recent releases of traditional music, this is outstanding” – FRoots Magazine
  • “Should be owned by anyone who professes an interest in English traditional song” – The Living Tradition Magazine
  • “an awesome 54-track compilation of one of the greatest traditional singers of them all – essential” Colin Irwin/Mojo
  • “A truly worthy testament to Harry’s remarkable, majestic…style…. superb quality of the remastering” Rock’n’Reel

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON – THE CONCERT DVD TSDVD580 

With the release of Prodigal Son (winner of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award’s album of the year 2008) Martin Simpson created a contemporary classic that effortlessly crossed musical boundaries and exhibited what many had known for years – here is one of this generation’s most talented songwriters, singers and guitarists.

Here on this special DVD, Martin takes us on a 2 hour live journey through that album, expanding and reinterpreting as only he can – and throws in a few more tunes for good measure. Filmed at a special concert at the Union Chapel in London, this professionally shot DVD has superb 5.1 sound and looks and sounds great. Martin is on top form, with the DVD highlighting his virtuoso playing and also the quality of his collaborative work when he is joined by Andy Cutting on Diatonic Accordion, Andy Seward on double bass and Kelly While on backing vocals. The evening is topped off by a stunning version of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award’s song of the Year, NEVER ANY GOOD.

As an added bonus, there is a unique short film made by Martin called YOU CAN GO HOME retracing the steps of his youth under the shadows of the blast furnaces in his native Scunthorpe. It is both a revealing and, at times, highly humorous backwards glance.
Running time: 130 minutes, Cert E 
Recorded live at the Union Chapel, Islington, London, – 13th November 2007.

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THERE IS A MAN UPON THE FARM : WORKING MEN & WOMEN IN SONG TSCD670

tscd670 webVolume 20 of The Voice of the People.
Working men and women in song.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 BELLE STEWART voice: TheOvergate
2 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Wee Weaver
3 FRED JORDAN voice: We Shepherds Are The Best Of Men
4 THE BELHAVEL TRIO fiddle, uilleann pipes & accordeon: The Job Of Journeywork
5 TED LAURENCE voice: The Flies Are On The Tummits
6 JIMMY MCBEATH voice: Come All You Tramps And Hawkers
7 JUMBO BRIGHTWELL voice: Muddley Barracks
8 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Shepherd’s Song
9 JACK ELLIOTT voice with chorus: In The Bar-Room
10 SEAN MAC DONNCHADNA voice: An Spailpin Finach (The Migrant Labourer)
11 JAMESY McCARTHY voice: Come To The Hiring
12 JOHN MacDONALD voice & accordeon: The Wandering Shepherd Laddie
13 HARRY HOLMAN voice: There Was A Poor Thresherman
14 BIG JOHN MAGUIRE voice: The Neatly Thatched Cabin
15 JACK ELLIOTT voice with chorus: The Banks Of The Dee
16 MARY ANN CAROLAN voice: My Father’s A Hedger And Ditcher
17 POP MAYNARD voice: Ground For The Floor
18 JIMMY McBEATH voice: Airlin’s Fine Braes
19 MARY ANN HAYNES voice: The Little Ball Of Yarn
20 PADDY & JIMMY HALPIN voices: To Reap And Mow The Hay
21 TOM WILLETT voice: The Roaming Journeyman
22 WILLIE SCOTT voice: When The Kye Comes Hame
23 BELLE STEWART voice: The Berry Fields O’Blair

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



ANNE BRIGGS ~ A COLLECTION TSCD504

Anne Briggs, a free spirit of the 1960s, was also one of the most distinctive and influential singers on the folk scene.
‘If I hadn’t heard her,’ says June Tabor, ‘I’d have probably done something entirely different.’
‘She was,’ writes Colin Harper in his accompanying biographical essay, ‘as the best of the music itself was, sexy, wild, mysterious, otherworldly and vulnerable all at the same time.’

A Collection gathers scattered tracks from rare compilations together with her eponymous Topic album of 1971.

Anne Briggs vocal, guitar (13 & 16), bouzouki (15 & 21)
with
Johnny Moynihan bouzouki (15)
Ray Fisher vocal (12)

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MARTIN CARTY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ STRAWS IN THE WIND TSCD556

The legendary, ground-breaking duo in a startlingly intense reunion on this 2006 album. All the old skills are demonstrated with a new collection of traditional songs and instrumentals. Their experienced approach to their art lacks none of the fervour of their early days, and brings a maturity born of many years living with the music that is an integral part of their beings.

• “Intense and demanding, this is hard core traditional music. Sublime fiddle playing and the passionate delivery of evocative old songs by their ablest interpretor.” Telegraph
• “The super-duo are back together after 14 years.” ★★★★ The Guardian
• “Swarbrick is an absolute revelation here, as instinctively sympathetic and wickedly inspirational as he ever was. It’s like they were a couple of twenty somethings again. To hear Swarb bowing with such soul and tenderness and dynamism too is an unconditional joy.” fRoots

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TSCD750 MARTIN CARTHY ~ A COLLECTION

tscd751 webDrawn from Martin’s first six albums (TSCD340-345) this specially priced collection is the perfect introduction to this unique figure and his early recording career.

1  The Trees They Do Grow High
2  Lord Franklin
3  The Bloody Gardener
4  Poor Murdered Woman
5  Seven Yellow Gypsies
6  The Bold Poachers
7  Scarborough Fair
8  Lowlands of Holland
9  Davy Lowston
10  Streets of Forbes
11  Polly on the Shore
12  Cold Haily Windy Night

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP and AMAZON



WATERSON:CARTHY ~ HOLY HEATHENS & THE OLD GREEN MAN TSCD562

This is the album that Waterson:Carthy have been wanting to make for a long time. In 1965, their forerunners The Watersons released the landmark album Frost and Fire – A Calendar of Ritual Magical Songs, and the concept continues to fascinate them. With Holy Heathens they have eclipsed even that seminal album, amd the sound is a resoundingly full blooded one. The resonant ensemble singing is bolstered by The Devil’s Interval, a young and exciting new vocal trio of Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman & Jim Causely. They are further accompanied by guitar, fiddle, mandolin, brass and percussion. This fuller sound harks back to The Watersons and Blue Murder, but surpasses them for sheer excitement and thrills.

In Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man, Waterson:Carthy have produced their best album to date – no question about it.

  • “Beautifully played and sung and illuminated by Martin Carthy’s scholarly sleeve notes.” ★★★★ The Guardian
  • “Their singing elevates the soul. Eliza Carthy has rarely performed more evocatively than on her uncle Mike Waterson’s ‘Jack Frost’ and Tim van Eyken’s version of ‘On Christmas Day It Happened So’ makes you shiver.” ★★★★ Mojo
  • “… Whether it’s the presence of The Devil’s Interval, the inspirational nature of the material or the power of the seasons, Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy sound positively reinvigorated in the midst of it all, their voices and total conviction immediately identifiable. It’s a genuinely uplifting collection with fire in its belly.” fRoots
  • “Eliza’s singing of her uncle Mike’s ‘Jack Frost’ is simply stunning. You should buy a copy of Holy Heathens for everyone you know.” The Living Tradition

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TSCD466 JOHN BURGESS ~ KING OF THE HIGHLAND PIPERS

TSCD466 webConnoisseurs recognise what amateurs feel instinctively, that John Burgess is the finest living exponent of the Scots bagpipes, equally impressive whether playing marches, airs, jigs, strathspeys or the majestic repertory of the pibroch, the classical music of the Highlands.

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TSCD930 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ BAGPIPES OF GREECE

An exciting collection of authentic Greek bagpipes recorded across the entire country over the last thirty years or more. Many of the musicians are shepherds and peasants and have been recorded in their homes or local environments. Recordings and notes by the noted ethnomusicologist Wolf Dietrich.

Currently, Greece appears to have no bagpipe revival (perhaps due to the lack of bagpipe makers) so these recordings chronicle a rare traditional culture.

• “There is some beautiful, flawlessly recorded material here – a well-edited labour of love” ★★★ Songlines
• “A labour of love and a work of true scholarship. Highly recommended.” fRoots

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TSCD751 The Voice of the People

TSCD751The Voice of the People is a tremendous collection of Traditional Music recordings from the British Isles – England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales. The series runs to 20 CDs and presents an extensive and varied picture of traditional singing, instrumental music-making and dancing throughout the course of the 20th century.

This specially priced twenty-track introduction to the Voice of the People series features a track from each of the original 20 albums together with an introductory note.

• “Great music in really vital – and absolutely unique – performances. An indispensable resource for anyone genuinely interested in traditional folk songs and their performance” NetRhythms

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TSCD463 EWAN MacCOLL ~ THE REAL MacCOLL

TSCD463 webThis powerful compilation from MacColl’s many recordings made for the Topic label during the 1950s and ’60s gathers ballads and songs of nationhood, crime and punishment, mining and weaving. Many are traditional, but some are MacColl’s own compositions and include such widely known pieces as Dirty Old Town and The Gresford Disaster.

Ewan MacColl vocals
Peggy Seeger accompaniments

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ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD606 

An outstanding and remarkable collection of Irish traditional music edited by Reg Hall. Round the House and Mind the Dresser could almost be described as “The other side of Irish traditional music” in that much of the recording of the music over the last eighty years or so has concentrated on a repertoire largely dominated by reels and jigs. On this record we have brought together a programme of polkas, slides, flings, hornpipes, the mazurka, waltzes and barndances – music of the country-house dances of rural Ireland and the dance halls of Irish-America.

About one third of the recordings are taken from superbly re-mastered 78s, made between 1925 and the 1950s while the balance comes from studio and live recordings from the 60s and 70s – and every one is a classic. An unusual and exiting repertoire played by some of the masters and mistresses of Irish Traditional Music including Michael Coleman, Johnny Doherty, Johnny O’Leary, Jimmy Power, Julia Clifford, The Flanagan Brothers, Hugh Gillespie, Paddy Killoran, Frank Quinn and many others.

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WORLD SERIES

The Topic World Series is widely praised as an important collection of the very best ethnographic recordings. Many releases have been made in conjunction with the International Music Collection of the British Library National Sound Archive.

Started in 1955, The British Library National Sound Archive is one of the largest in the world and now holds over a million discs, 175,000 tapes and many other sound and video recordings. Its aim is to collect, preserve and make accessible a comprehensive collection of music from all over the world. It covers thousands of styles and genres, both traditional and modern, from hundreds of countries.

International music has been a core collecting area for the NSA since its establishment and today the section is one of the largest and most wide-ranging in the world. One of the aims of the NSA is the wide dissemination of the music and information in its collections and the series of CDs produced in collaboration with Topic Records is a significant undertaking. For the most part the recordings are drawn from holdings of unpublished, unique field recordings, but they may also include reissues of 78rpm discs and LPs.

TSCD904 FOLK MUSIC OF ALBANIA
TSCD905 FOLK MUSIC OF BULGARIA
TSCD906 FOLK MUSIC OF YUGOSLAVIA
TSCD907 FOLK MUSIC OF GREECE
TSCD908
FOLK MUSIC OF TURKEY
TSCD911 MUSIC FROM THE SHRINES OF AJMER & MUNDRA
TSCD912
MUSIC OF THE TATAR PEOPLE

TSCD914 GYPSY MUSIC FROM MACEDONIA & NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES
TSCD917 ZANZIBAR: MUSIC OF CELEBRATION
TSCD918 HEALING, FEASTING & MAGICAL RITUAL: PAPUA NEW GUINEA
TSCD919 THE MOKEN: SEA GYPSIES OF THE ANDAMAN SEA
TSCD920 THE YEMEN TIHAMA: TRANCE & DANCE MUSIC FROM THE RED SEA COAST
TSCD922 DRUMMING & CHANTING IN GOD’S OWN COUNTRY: TEMPLE MUSIC OF KERALA
TSCD923 GUMBOOT GUITAR: ZULU STREET GUITAR MUSIC FROM SOUTH AFRICA
TSCD925 THE KING’S MUSICIANS: ROYALIST MUSIC OF BUGANDA-UGANDA
TSCD927
OUT OF CUBA: LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC TAKES AFRICA BY STORM
TSCD928 BLOWERS FROM THE BALKANS: CLASSIC HISTORIC RECORDINGS OF WIND INSTRUMENTS
TSCD929  SONGS FROM THE STEPPES : KAZAKH MUSIC TODAY
TSCD930 BAGPIPES OF GREECE
TSCD931 WOMEN OF EGYPT 1924-1931: PIONEERS OF STARDOM AND FAME
TSCD935D SONGS OF SURVIVAL – TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF GEORGIA
TSCD936 POETRY AND LANGUID CHARM- SWAHILI MUSIC FROM TANZANIA AND KENYA FROM THE LATE 1920s TO THE 1950s



BOB DAVENPORT ~ THE COMMON STONE TSCD552

A new album of traditional and original songs by one of the all time great voices of the English folk scene. Renowned on both sides of the Atlantic for his uncompromising, gritty talent, Davenport’s recording history goes back over four decades and has produced raw, idiosyncratic nuggets. His unique poetic realism has been a profound influence on such disparate artists as Richard Thompson and Ray Davies. Never one to court fashion, Bob has remained true to the living tradition while being on the cutting edge of revivalism.
When word got round that Bob was recording a new album, the cream of the current folk scene queued for a chance to participate. The final list includes appearances by Richard Thompson, Chumbawamba Acoustic, Martin Carthy, Linda Thompson, Mike and Norma Waterson, John Tams, Coope, Boyes and Simpson and Fi Fraser. The resulting album is raw, real and original.

• “A Folk Album of the Year 2004” Mojo
• “Few singers command the respect of their peers like Tyneside’s Bob Davenport – his radical fire is undimmed.” ★★★★ The Observer Music Monthly Magazine
• “… some sublime moments…such a strong sense of identity. Linda Thompson pops up and steals the whole album with her charged and atmospheric rendition of Davenport’s own song You Came Back Down That Long Road.”
FRoots
• “His more subdued approach lends a subtle reflective quality to his material. And what fine material he has here and what fine “assistants” to help.” Living Tradition
• “Warmth and sincerity – his unaccompanied version of the McGarrigles’ Heart Like a Wheel is a whimsical treasure. Few singers are as important to the revival.” The Telegraph

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BOB FOX ~ BORROWED MOMENTS TSCD544

Described by Ralph McTell as “one of England’s best voices”, Bob Fox makes his first recording for Topic, and we’re delighted for him to be here. He is one of the hardest working performers in the country, playing more dates than almost anyone else. 

His exceptional voice and inspired guitar have a lightness of touch and a sureness of purpose that go straight to the heart of the song, be it traditional or contemporary.

• “Bob’s interpretations are nothing short of superb. He’s in great voice, and his arrangements showcase well his often unsung instrumental prowess.” Netrhythms
• “This return to acoustic form puts Fox’s gorgeous voice in a setting of Class A songs, which mine the peaks and troughs of the human condition and emerge sparkling with Fox’s sensitive vocal interpretations and adroit tune adaptations…. this album exudes class…startling, moving stuff.” BBC Radio2 reviews
• Folk Album of the Year BBC Radio: Folk Waves

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ON THE EDGE TSCD806 

A radio-ballad about the teenagers in England and Scotland by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

Just as groups like The Beatles were about to redefine youth culture, the radio-ballad team produced this powerfully revealing account of the lives and dreams of British teenagers. MacColl harked back to the ancient song-form of the quest ballad to create a match with the frankness and sincerity of the young people interviewed.

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JUNE TABOR ~ A QUIET EYE TSCD510

A Quiet Eye features June Tabor backed by members of the Creative Jazz Orchestra. Not a jazz album this, however, but June in her finest voice with a selection of predominantly English material from both traditional and contemporary sources in settings ranging from solo to full ensemble with brass, reeds and strings.

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TONIGHT I’LL MAKE YOU MY BRIDE: BALLADS OF TRUE & FALSE LOVERS TSCD656

tscd656 webVolume 6 of The Voice of The People.
Ballads of true & false lovers.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 WALTER PARDON voice: The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies
2 BELLE STEWART voice: Here’s A Health To All True Lovers
3 EDDIE BUTCHER voice: Another Man’s Wedding
4 MARY ANN CAROLAN voice: The Maid Of Ballymore
5 STANLEY ROBERTSON voice with chorus: The Ballad Of The Ewe Buchts
6 NORA CLEARY voice: The Green Wedding
7 JIMMY KNIGHTS voice: Marrowbones
8 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Month Of January
9 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: The Forester
10 CYRIL POACHER voice: The Maid And The Magpie
11 PHOEBE SMITH voice: Young Ellender
12 POP MAYNARD voice: Colin And Phoebe
13 LIZ JEFFERIES voice: Matt Highland
14 PACKIE MANUS BYRNE voice: Molly Bawn
15 JOSEPH TAYLOR voice: Bold William Taylor
16 NORA CLEARY voice The Bold Trooper
17 GEORDIE HANNA voice: Kate Of Ballinamore
18 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: The Laird O’ The Dainty Doonby
19 MARY ANN HAYNES voice: Long A -Growing
20 PADDY TUNNEY voice The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow

Available now from:
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NIC JONES ~ GAME SET MATCH TSCD566

For over thirty years Nic Jones has been recognised as one of the finest artists to have emerged from the British folk revival of the mid twentieth century. He recorded a handful of important albums including his most highly regarded Penguin Eggs (Topic TSCD411), before a road accident ended his performing career in early 1982. Game Set Match gathers together a remarkable series of live performances from the late 1970s. Nic remains one of the most influential and respected musicians, and his reputation and available recordings continue to attract an audience too young to have seen him perform.

  • “These late 70s recordings are truly special. They capture Nic Jones at his finest.” ★★★★ Uncut
  • ★★★★★ ” Record Collector
  • “Fifteen faultless reasons why his name remains a mark of folk music supremacy. Utterly absorbing.” HMV Choice
  • “Reaffirms Nic’s rightful legend as a colossus of the folk revival with his relaxed vocal style, his light innovative, percussive guitar accompaniments and his unique way of storytelling. Just hearing him creates a warm glow of recognition, familiarity and joy.” fRoots
  • “A marvellously expressive voice and fingers that dance on his guitar. How glad we should be that a new generation can discover Nic through an album like this.” ★★★★ The Sun

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LINDA THOMPSON ~ FASHIONABLY LATE TSCD821

Time Magazine has said “Linda Thompson may be rock’s best woman singer”, and anybody with an interest in contemporary music would expect that description to be expanded to include folk music. Although Linda hasn’t made a recording for seventeen years, the pure, fragile beauty of her voice hasn’t deserted her – indeed, time has only increased the emotional quality of her performance. This is a remarkable comeback, featuring nine songs either written or co-written by Linda. The tenth, Evona Darling, is from the pen and free spirit of Lal Waterson.

• “Album of the year” Financial Times
• “The voice has never sounded more exquisite” ★★★★ Q magazine
• “Top 50 best album of the year” Mojo
• “Exquisite – now for the comeback concert.” ★★★★ The Guardian
• “Folk album of the year” Daily Telegraph
• “A long overdue gem from one of Rock & Roll’s finest voices. The real queen of Britain returns after a seventeen-year silence – with this record of magnificent anguish – the triumph is Linda’s alone” Rolling Stone
• “A superb collection rendered with consummate style and imagination – studded with brilliant individual performances. A marvelous return, impossible to recommend too highly” The Independent
• BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2003: Best Original Song (“No Telling”)
• “Fashionably Late is a gem that grows with each play. Linda’s voice is as wondrous as we remember it…Linda’s effortlessly supple vocals add colour and emotional depth to a sharply observed, highly melodic set of songs – highlights abound. A beautifully realised return to the musical spotlight” Get Rhythm

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TSCD908 FOLK MUSIC OF TURKEY

The village music of Turkey, collected by Wolf Dietrich in the ’60s and ’70s, includes pastoral airs on flutes, festival music on davul (drum) and zurna (oboe) and songs intricately accompanied on the saz and cumbus lutes. There are also examples of dance music on the bagpipe and kemence fiddle.

Central & Southern Anatolia
1  Anamur yollan
2  Üç oyan havansi
Sirtindaki yeleği / Kara tren gelmez mi? / Üçayakhalay havasi
3  Üçayak, halay
4  Uzun hava
5  Silifke oyun havasi
6  Avşar beyler
7  Sarasy yollan
Black Sea area
8  Maçka horon havasi
9  Yüksek Hemşin
Eastern Anatolia
10  Şeyh Samil
11  Kōylü düğün havasi
12  Dadaloğlu nun Avşar türküsü

Available now from:
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JOHN TAMS ~ UNITY TSCD508

John Tams‘ debut Topic album, Unity is a collection of great beauty and emotional depth. Collaboration has always been central to his work and although a solo record, this release is no exception. Keith Angel, Andy Seward and Barry Coope, (of Coope, Boyes and Simpson) were joined by former Albion Band comrade Graeme Taylor and Alan Dunn from the Bob Geldof Band.
The legendary Linda Thompson also makes a rare appearance, on an album that may yet prove to be the pinnacle of this anthemic and commanding style of folk music.

“(Unity is) one of the very finest records of the last century. A timeless expression of stories, people and deep emotion…songs of rare quality performed exquisitely.” fROOTS
Awarded the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Album & Best Song Harry Stone

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TSCD358 JACKIE DALY ~ MUSIC FROM SLIABH LUACHRA 

TSCD358 webReleased in 1977, Jackie Daly’s remarkable debut of music from the Sliabh Luachra, the mountainous border between Cork and Kerry, has long been recognised as an important landmark recording.

It captured Daly at the peak of his powers and helped to re-establish the accordion as an important instrument in Irish music.

From this impressive beginning, Jackie went on to play with the cream of Ireland’s musicians in such seminal groups as De Danann and Patrick Street and build a reputation as “the” Irish button accordion player – in other words the best in the world.
“Essential” Taplas
“It is a key recording – it’s a no-messing, consistently charming work” Stirrings

Jackie Daly accordion, single reed accordion, Anglo concertina

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TSCD931 WOMEN OF EGYPT 1924-1931: PIONEERS OF STARDOM AND FAME

A CD compilation of fantastic Arab women, stars of Egyptian theatre and song who recorded in the nineteen twenties and early thirties. Taken from original 78rpm recordings of the time and remastered to the highest standards, this collection features among others the legendary Umm Kulthum.

Between 1890 and 1920, theatres and European-style cabarets sprang up all over Egypt. Performers flocked there from all over the Arab world and from Europe. Isadora Duncan, Pavlova and Mistinguette included Cairo in their world tours. At their peak, the most famous female Arabic women singers were earning as much, if not more, than their male counterparts. The 1920s was the heyday of this music and its recordings and these performers can be seen as having struck a blow for the emancipation of women. The Wall Street crash and the associated economic downturn marked the end of the recording industries’ boom years, leaving us a legacy of remarkable performances of immense power.

Winner of The German Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik). The award was inaugurated in 1963 to set the “most rigorous standards for supreme achievement” in the field of recording.

• “A fascinating variety of vocal styles covering the spectrum from Upper-Egyptian to quintessential Paris.” ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine
• “A painstakingly compiled and copiously annotated compendium of sixteen rare sides. One can’t help but compare the rare recording to its equivalents in American Appalachian and country blues music of the time, except for one primary difference – those genres arose from rural life, these Egyptian sounds very much emanate from urban – and urbane – society. Saniyyah Hassaneyn’s “Ataftu Wardah Hamra” (I Plucked a Red Rose) – a vocal so burdened by the weight of the world that Bessie Smith or Billie Holliday could easily have made it their own.” All Music Guide
• “Enormously evocative, these recordings open the door to a cast of larger than life characters.” fROOTS
• “The breadth of styles present on the compilation is remarkable. – an essential addition to both university library collections and private collections of Arab music.” Ethnomusicology

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MARTIN CARTHY ~ WAITING FOR ANGELS TSCD527

Waiting For Angels was a very long-awaited solo album from Martin Carthy, the previous one Signs of Life was six years before. This splendid album was produced by Eliza Carthy & Ben Ivitsky, sees Martin at the peak of his creativity and ability and the Carthy/Ivitsky production puts the music firmly in 21st century. Four of the tracks feature Martin solo, and on the remainder, he is marvellously and creatively backed by a number of great musicians. The album includes four instrumental tracks showcasing Martin’s unique skills – the title track itself is a Carthy composition. He also revisits the remarkable Famous Flower of Serving Men to produce the definitive version of this classic (his earlier recording was recorded back in 1972, nearly 30 years before.

• “A remarkable album” A Folk Album of the Year 2004 ★★★★ Mojo
• “Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector end editor of them all….his guitar playing is stunning. The undisputed highlight is…Famous Flower of Serving Men.” Q Magazine
• “As much of a landmark as anything he did in ….the sixties and seventies…the key track is Famous Flower of Serving Men…you hang on for dear life to every word as the horrific story of infanticide, evil and bloody revenge unfolds…..plenty of outstanding guitar.” fROOTS

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TSCD928 BLOWERS FROM THE BALKANS: CLASSIC HISTORIC RECORDINGS OF WIND INSTRUMENTS

Blowers from the Balkans presents a remarkable collection of historic recordings from virtuoso players of wind instruments from the countries that make up the Balkans – Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and the newly independent parts of the former Yugoslavia. The recordings were made over a period spanning from the 1906 through to the mid 1940s. All have been re-mastered to the highest standards to produce outstanding sound quality. 

The featured instruments include clarinets (and related reed instruments), panpipes, bagpipe and flutes with a variety of backings and the package is completed with detailed notes from the compiler Risto Pekka Pennanen as well as historic photographs.

• “An indispensable historical record – transfer to a high standard – sleeve notes of quite remarkable accuracy and historical interest. Highly recommended.” fRoots magazine
• “It’s 1927 in Chicago, Louis Armstrong is recording his classic hot 7 tracks – at the same time in New York the obscure Romanian, Joan Hartegan, has almots the same instrumentation laying down Invertita dela Chicago….the transfers are expertly done” SongLines
• “Sound quality is impressive, and the music seems to have been selected with an ear for strongly melodic tunes.” Dirty Linen

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TOPIC70 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ THREE SCORE & TEN

TOPIC70 packshot webTHREE SCORE AND TEN is seven CDs in a ten by ten inch hardback book, with dust jacket containing 108 profusely illustrated, full colour pages with a narrative portrait of Topic from 1939 to the present day. Also included separately is a complete discography of every Topic release from 1939 to the newest releases in 2009.

There are 144 tracks that cover all aspects of Topic’s recording history in 7 themed CDs with many rare tracks never before on CD. The extensive text gives a detailed recording and social history with profiles of the essential recordings, principle artists and key personages. The many hundreds of illustrations are a revelation in themselves, anchoring the whole project with photos of the artists, album sleeves, advertising leaflets, snapshots and memorabilia.

A quote from page 92 of Three Score and Ten sums it all up pretty nicely:

“From its first release in 1939 and it’s origins in the Workers’ Music Association through the folk revival to the present day Topic Records has always endeavoured to make classic and definitive recordings of traditional music available to the public; a catalogue of records to inform and inspire the listener.” Since the 1950s, Topic has stood virtually alone in continuing to make recordings of traditional music and the tradition based music of the British Isles.

The aims and objects of the Workers’ Music Association (as published in 1944) still stand as a fair description of the ambitions of Topic Records in 2009:
- To present to the people their rich musical inheritance
- To utilise fully the stimulating power of music to inspire people
- To stimulate the composition of music appropriate to our time
- To foster and further the art of music on the principle that true art can move the people
- to work for the betterment of society

.

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TSCD469 ALY BAIN & TOM ANDERSON ~ THE SILVER BOW

TSCD469 webTom Anderson MBE, fiddler, composer, folklorist and teacher, was a profoundly influential figure in Shetland music. He and Aly Bain, with Trevor Hunter and Davie Tulloch, spanning three generations of music-making in the islands, play fiddle duets and quartets in the distinctive Shetland idiom.

Tom Anderson fiddle
Aly Bain fiddle
with
Trevor Hunter fiddle
Davie Tulloch fiddle
Violet Tulloch piano
Willie Johnson guitar

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TSCD450 SILLY SISTERS ~ NO MORE TO THE DANCE

The inspired collaboration of Maddy Prior and June Tabor, two of the most individual singers in folk music, is enhanced by musicians such as the Breton guitarist Dan Ar Braz, ex-Steeleye Span bass guitarist Rick Kemp and producer Andrew Cronshaw.

June Tabor and Maddy Prior vocals
with
Dan Ar Braz
guitar
Huw Warren keyboards
Jim Sutherland percussion
Rick Kemp bass guitar
Andrew Cronshaw Chinese flutes, whistles, bombarde, concertina
Sileas (Pasty Seddon & Mary MacMaster) clarsachs
Bernard O’Neill cello
Paul James soprano saxophone, half-long bagpipes
Nigel Eaton hurdy gurdy
Mark Emerson violin

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THE McPEAKE FAMILY ~ WILD MOUNTAIN THYME TSCD583

The McPeake Family’s Wild Mountain Thyme, also known as Will Ye Go Lassie, Go, is one of the most famous songs to emerge from the folk revival of the 1950s, being covered by an incredible variety of artists including Fotheringay, The Byrds, Mark Knopfler and Rod Stewart as well as Ewan MacColl, The Chieftains and Clancy Brothers.

Often containing as many as three generations, the Belfast born and bred McPeake Family played as far afield as Moscow and was a great favourite on the BBC. Their distinctive combination of uilleann pipes, harps and harmony vocals set a new standard for Irish music in the 1950s & 60s. Not content to showcase instrumental virtuosity, their warm ensemble sound brought out the depth of the songs making them one of the most loved Irish groups on the 1950s and early 60s.

“The combination of harp with harmony vocals, traded between three generations, and uilleann pipes was unique” Songlines

The McPeake Family uilleann pipes, harp and harmony singing

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RANTING & REELING: DANCE MUSIC OF THE NORTH OF ENGLAND TSCD669

tscd669 webVolume 19 of The Voice of The People.
Dance Music of the North of England.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Hexham Races / The Stool Of Repentance
2 TOM HUNTER & BILLY BALLANTINE fiddle & piccolo: The Gilsland Hornpipe
3 NED PEARSON fiddle: Untitled Hornpipe. Untitled Polka
4 BILLY BALLANTINE piccolo: Bonny North Tyne
5 WILLY TAYLOR fiddle: The Braemar Gathering /J.D. Burgess
6 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: The Friendly Visit / The Greencastle / The Lass On The Strand
7 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & WILL ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & rnouth-organ: Christie MacLeod / The Gallowglass Rant / Charlie Hunter
8 JIM RUTHERFORD fiddle: The Morpeth Rant
9 ARTHUR MARSHALL melodeon & THE LOFTUS SWORD DANCERS The Oyster Girl – lst Figure. The Lass Of Dallowgill – 2nd Figure.
10 WILLY TAYLOR fiddle: Willy Taylor’s Polka. There’s Nae Good Luck
11 WILLY TAYLOR accordeon: The Pop Along Polka
12 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & Will ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & mouth-organ: Mrs. Jamieson’s Favourite / Parnell’s March
13 NED PEARSON fiddle: The Polka Mazurka. Paddle Your Own Canoe
14 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Farewell To The Creeks
15 ADAM GRAY fiddle: Tom Hepple’s Polka. The Tow House Polka
16 ROB FORRESTER mouth-organ, with ALF ADAMSON’S BAND The Wild Rover / Copshawholm Fair / Yon Flowery Garden
17 WILL ATKINSON rnouth-organ: J.B.Milne / The New High Level
18 DAVIE ROGERSON fiddle: The Tenpenny Bit / The Rakes Of Kildare / I Lost My Love And I Care Not. Untitled Reel
19 BILLY BALLANTINE & JIMMY HUNTER piccolo & mouth-organ: Rosalie, The Prairie Flower. My Lodging / Blow The Wind Southerly
20 NED PEARSON fiddle: Corn-Rigs. Untitled Jig For The Sylph 1. Untitled Jig For The Sylph 2
21 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Longueval
22 JAKE HUTTON, TOM HUNTER & BILLY BALLANTINE two fiddles & piccolo: The Kielder Schottische
23 BILLY BALLANTINE piccolo: The Sylph. Proudlock’s Hornpipe
24 NED PEARSON fiddle: The Highland Laddie. The Pin Reel The Cambo March
25 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: A.M.Shinnie / The Hogmaney Jig / Elizabeth Adair
26 DAVIE ROGERSON fiddle: Untitled Hornpipe. The Swallow’s Tail
27 THE CHEVIOT RANTERS band: The Ideal Schottische
28 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & WILL ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & mouth-organ: Kelso Accordion And Fiddle Club / Linda McFarlane / The Scairlaveg

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



WATERSON:CARTHY ~ A DARK LIGHT TSCD536

Another outstanding collection from Waterson:Carthy England’s leading folk group.
The core trio of Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy are joined by new member Tim van Eyken on vocals and melodeons. Also contributing to the album are Martin Simpson on guitar, Ben Ivitsky on fiddle and Barnaby Stradling on acoustic bass guitar.
A Dark Light, first released in 2002, reflects the influence on the group of some of the great singers from the tradition, and therefore features a selection including songs from The Copper Family, Packie Byrne, Seamus Ennis and Sam Larner.

• “This great album…bringing a creative continuity to some of the great source material of the folk revival” BBC Radio 2 folk reviews

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ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON ~ GIFT TSCD579


Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson are quite simply two of Britain’s finest exponents of traditional song. They have recorded independently and together on many occasions over the years. GIFT is the first duo release from this widely acclaimed mother and daughter.
With their rich, distinctive and authentic voices they have effortlessly engaged new audiences and admirers across the generations. Widely acknowledged leading lights of the folk scene with enviable international reputations, both have received numerous BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards during the past decade, and nominations for the prestigious Mercury Music Award.

GIFT is the album that their fans have been waiting for, and features an intriguing and powerful mix of traditional and contemporary songs. From traditional folk classics – Poor Wayfaring Stranger, Bunch of Thyme – through jazz-infused or Old Timey gems – Ukelele Lady, Prairie Lullaby – the album continues to enchant the listener. No matter what the origin, Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson bring all these songs to life with their great musicality and wonderfully compassionate voices.

Mojo Magazine has already declared GIFT to be “a classic” The album, produced at Panda Sound by Oliver Knight and Eliza Carthy, features a stellar supporting cast of friends and family, including Anne, Mike and Marry Waterson (vocals), Danny Thompson (double bass), Martin Simpson (banjo), Aidan Curran (guitar), Martin Carthy (guitar) and Roger Williams from Brass Monkey (trombone).

Poor Wayfaring Stranger : ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON by Topic Records

Eliza Carthy – “Eliza Carthy is one of the figureheads of the English folk revival…compelling” Evening Standard
Norma Waterson“Possibly the finest English singer alive today” Mojo

ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON’s splendid duo album GIFT scooped two awards at the prestigious 2011BBC Radio2 Folk Awards in London.

Album of the Year
Gift by ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON

Traditional Recording of the Year
Poor Wayfaring Stranger by ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON

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THEY ORDERED THEIR PINTS OF BEER & BOTTLES OF SHERRY : THE JOYS & CURSE OF DRINK TSCD663

tscd663 webVolume 13 of The Voice of The People.
The Joys & Curse of Drink.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

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JUNE TABOR ~ AN ECHO OF HOOVES TSCD543

June Tabor makes the ultimate album for all discerning folk fans, featuring a programme made up exclusively of the great traditional folk ballads – story telling at its dark, urgent best. June’s regular trio of accompanists (Huw Warren – piano, cello; Mark Emerson – violin, viola; Tim Harries – double bass) are joined by Martin Simpson, guitar and Kathryn Tickell, Northumbrian pipes).

• Best Folk Album of the Year ★★★★★ Mojo
• “June’s best album for years…sheer majesty…a return to the very heart of what she does best.” FROOTS
• “Outstanding…the year’s finest folk record” The Sunday Times
• “her richly expressive delivery probes deeply into tragic and often violent scenarios.” ★★★★ The Scotsman
• “Folk album of the month” “In one dramatic, spine chilling album (June Tabor) blows all else out of the water…this is the storyteller’s art and the full achievement of this majestic album. A stunner.
” ★★★★★ Mojo
• “This year’s finest traditional album.” The Guardian
• “I doubt if I will ever hear a better recording.” The Canberra Times

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MY SHIP SHALL SAIL THE OCEAN: TEMPEST & SEA BATTLES, SAILOR LADS & FISHERMAN TSCD652

tscd652 webVolume 2 of The Voice of The People.
Songs of tempest & sea battles, sailor lads and fishermen.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 CYRIL POACHER voice: A Broadside
2 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Lowlands Of Holland
3 TOM WILLETT voice: Riding Down To Portsmouth
4 JOHNNY DOUGHTY voice: Come My Own One, Come My Fond One
5 JOHN RAE dulcimer: The Sailor On The Rope / The Bonnie Bunch Of Roses
6 SAM LARNER voice: In Scarborough Town
7 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice, with chorus: Sandy’s A Sailor
8 TURP BROWN voice: The Streams Of Lovely Nancy
9 GEORGE LING voice: On Board The Leicester Castle
10 MARY ANN CAROLAN voice: In London So Fair
11 WALTER PARDON voice: A Ship To Old England Came
12 FRANK VERRILL voice: Jesus At Thy Command
13 HARRY UPTON voice: The Royal Albion
14 HARRY COX voice: The Pretty Ploughboy
15 MICHO RUSSELL voice: The Poor Little Fisherboy
16 BOB HART voice: Cod Banging
17 JOHNNY DOUGHTY voice: Round Rye Bay For More
18 PHIL TANNER voice: Young Henry Martin
19 CYRIL POACHER voice: A Sailor And His True Love
20 BOB ROBERTS voice, with chorus: The Fish And Chip Ship
21 JUMBO BRIGHTWELL voice: The Oak And The Ash
22 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Banks Of Newfoundland
23 FRED JORDAN voice: The Dark-Eyed Sailor
24 WALTER PARDON voice: Jack Tar Ashore

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



BILLY BENNETT ~ ALMOST A GENTLEMAN TSCD780 

SONGS & RECITATIONS BY THE GREAT MUSIC HALL COMEDIAN

Years before Monty Python, a red-nosed comedian in disreputable tails and an improbable moustache created a world all his own. With his spoofs of well-loved poems, raucous street-corner singing and surreal narratives of life in the saveloy-and-gin class, Billy Bennett brought a spirit of daring and rebellion to English music hall and variety stages in the 1920s and ’30s.

“Billy Bennett will live in the annals of the music-hall. Nobody who saw him is likely to forget that rubicund, unaesthetic countenance, that black, plastered moustache, that dreadful dinner jacket, that well-used dickey and seedy collar, the too-short trousers, the hobnailed boots, the continual perspiration which was the outward and visible sign of a mind struggling for expression – these things will not be forgotten… Let it be said of Billy Bennett that he raised every night in the week to the level of Saturday night.” from James Agate’s Sunday Times obituary

Billy Bennett can now be seen as a street-wise surrealist and his remarkable humour shines as bright today as it did then. The CD is remastered to the highest standard from the best condition original 78-rpm discs.

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CHRISTINE COLLISTER ~ AN EQUAL LOVE TSCD1001

Quite simply: one of England’s greatest voices has now made the ultimate recording. An Equal Love demonstrates Christine’s growth as both a singer and a songwriter – half the album is written by her. “Collister’s effect is transfixing” – fROOTS.

“….her finest hour. She combines amazing vocal control with emotional authority….the title track is one of the most affecting vocals she’s yet committed to record” fROOTS

“..true edge of the seat stuff.. a classy package that transcends generic branding.. a superb release, for which Christine’s stop-you-dead version of Moon River is the perfect closer.” Traditional Music Maker

“She is absolutely fearless tackling very thorny material. Her artistic restlessness is exciting. Strong recommendation” Sing Out

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TSCD495 BOLD SPORTSMEN ALL ~ EWAN MacCOLL, A.L. LLOYD, ROY HARRIS

TSCD495 webGamblers and sporting blades
These songs of sport and betting evoke a packed landscape of hunts and racecourses, boxing rings and football pitches, cockfighting pits, card tables and poolrooms, in boisterous renditions by Ewan MacColl, A.L.Lloyd and Roy Harris.

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AS ME & MY LOVE SAT COURTING: SONGS OF LOVE, COURTSHIP & MARRIAGE TSCD 665

tscd665 webVolume 15 of The Voice of The People.
Songs of Love, Courtship & Marriage.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 BILL KIMBER concertina: Haste To The Wedding
2 BELLE STEWART voice: Queen Among The Heather
3 JIMMY HALPIN voice: Johnny Harte
4 POP MAYNARD voice The Aylesbury Girl
5 MARGARET BARRY & MICHAEL GORMAN voice, banjo & fiddle: The Half-Door
6 LOUIE FULLER voice: Green Grow The Laurels
7 JOHN REILLY voice: Old Carathee
8 DIDDY COOK voice, with chairman & chorus: The Blackbird
9 JAMESY McCARTHY voice: Coochie Coochie Coo Go Way
10 WALTER PARDON voice: I Wish, I Wish
11 JANE TURRIFF voice & piano: What Can A Young Lassie Dae Wi’ An Auld Man?
12 PADDY TUNNEY voice: Johnny, Lovely Johnny
13 MARY ANN CONNELLY voice: Lurgan Stream
14 MICHAEL GORMAN & MARGARET BARRY fiddle & banjo: I’ll Marry And I Won’t Be A Nun
15 WALTER PARDON voice: One Cold Morning In December
16 LIZ JEFFERIES voice: Rosemary Lane
17 ROBERT CINNAMOND voice: It Was Early, Early All In A Spring
18 STANLEY ROBERTSON voice with chorus: Moorlough Maggie
19 STEPHEN BALDWIN fiddle: Just As The Tide Was Flowing
20 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Wearing Of The Britches
21 HARRY BURGESS voice: A Week Before Easter
22 JIMMY McBEATH voice: I’m A Stranger In This Country
23 BOB BRADER voice: The Banks Of Sweet Dundee
24 TOM LENINAN voice: Sixteen Years, Mama
25 PADDY TUNNEY voice: Bonny Tavern Green

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



BOB FOX ~ THE BLAST TSCD555

John Tams, multi award winning producer of The Blast says -

 ” Bob Fox has rightly occupied high office in the ranks of great North Eastern singers and the decision to reduce the division of labour to it’s barest, a painstakingly devoted singer and magnificent guitarist, and a ‘bloke behind the glass’ was one of the best experiences of over forty years of recording. This is Bob Fox holding his ground, a stand alone album from a great stylist.”

• “At last, the record we’ve been waiting for – that astonishing guitar technique coupled with one of England’s finest voices” Ralph McTell
• “The voice and guitar of Bob Fox are always a delight to listen to and the production by John Tams ensures a full and rich sound. It’s a well balanced, beautifully produced album that is a pleasure to listen to, again and again.” Taplas
• “Today I’ve been listening to a CD that has me entranced, delighted and excited all at once. Fox is a supreme guitarist with a deft touch and rhythmic sense – a voice as sweet and strong as blackstrap molasses. It’s the best thing I’ve heard from the revival in ages.” Living Tradition
• “A richly warm voice gives his storytelling real credibility and engagement” fRoots

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TSCD452 MARTIN CARTHY ~ RIGHT OF PASSAGE

TSCD452 webOn Right Of Passage from 1988, Carthy draws tunes from Quebec, Brittany and Mozart, songs from Leon Rosselson and Mike Waterson and poems from e.e.cummings and an anonymous 17th-century pamphleteer into a surprising but successful union of old and new, traditional and individual.

• “An absorbing album, rich in detail and character.” Sounds

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
with
John Kirkpatrick one-row melodeon , button accordeon
Chris Wood fiddle
Dave Swarbrick fiddle

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TSCD430 MARTIN SIMPSON ~ THE COLLECTION

TSCD430 webThis collection, drawn from Martin Simpson’s three earliest Topic albums, finds him working both solo and with other musicians in a variety of inventive settings.

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TSCD467 BRASS MONKEY ~ THE COMPLETE BRASS MONKEY 

TSCD467 webThe group’s two ’80s albums, combined here, are full of fresh arrangements of traditional songs and tunes. ‘Brass Monkey was a great idea,’ said Martin Carthy. ‘A phenomenal experience.’ Q called it ‘the finest folk group of the 1980s.’

It should have been acknowledged in the booklet for this CD that the image used is an enlarged detail from “Stooking”, from “The Farmer’s Year” (1933, Collins & Co, London) by Clare Leighton, copyright Clare Leighton Estate.

Martin Carthy guitar, mandolin, vocals
John Kirkpatrick Anglo-concertina, melodeon, button accordion, vocals
Howard Evans trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals
Martin Brinsford c-melody saxophone, mouth-organ, percussion
Roger Williams trombone, vocals
Richard Cheetham trombone

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THE WATERSONS ~ SOUND SOUND YOUR INSTRUMENTS OF JOY TSCD564

For the first time on CD, the complete album as recorded in 1977 with Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy. Remastered for outstanding sound quality and presented in a redesigned digipack.
On this record The Watersons give us a panorama of sacred song – from the deep folklore of wassail songs and vernacular carols, through various folky kinds of meeting-house hymn, and on to exuberant camp meeting pieces – folk songs, or near folk songs that we have lost or that have become unfamiliar – but all worth restoring to life.

  • “This album displays the rich a cappella polyphonies that were the Watersons’ trademark.” The Independent Music Review
  • “These releases, beautifully packaged and re-mastered in such stunning clarity, will blow away any complacency that familiarity may have bred and will serve as a reminder of what groundbreaking albums they were upon release and remain today.” Properganda
  • “Truly glorious” ★★★★★ Songlines
  • “These venerable releases shine in their newly remastered form.” Dirty Linen

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TSCD471 LEO ROWSOME ~ CLASSICS OF IRISH PIPING

TSCD471 webRowsome was one of the great style-makers of Irish pipe music. ‘Everywhere he went,’ writes his friend Sean Reid in the notes, ‘he added glamour to a unique, expressive and truly native instrument, a living link with the historic Irish nation.’
This collection, accurately remastered from recordings spanning 1926-48, exhibits his highly personal approach in a programme of tunes both familiar and rare.

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JOE HEANEY ~ THE ROAD FROM CONNEMARA TSCD518D 

One of the world’s greatest ever traditional singers is celebrated on this magnificent double CD of previously unissued material recorded by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger in 1964, when Joe Heaney was at the height of his powers. 39 tracks and a 60 page booklet, which includes a full transcript as well as detailed notes on the man, his songs and his tradition

“These superb recordings…..exceptional liner note essays…the presentation of both Gaelic and English songs makes the collection accessible and essential for anyone seeking to get a little closer to the roots of a unique man whose legacy is well captured by this release” Sing Out Magazine

Joe Heaney vocal

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ENGLISH COUNTRY MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD607

Billy Cooper (1883), Walter Bulwer (1888) and Daisy Bulwer (c.1892) were active musicians in rural Norfolk for over half a century. These recordings, made together with visiting friends in the Bulwers’ cottage in the village of Shipdham, capture the style, vitality and robustness of the music they played for dancing in pubs and at Saturday night hops and wedding parties. Earlier editions of English Country Music appeared in 1965 and 1976. This third edition is re-mastered and contains new notes and many additional recordings.

“Unreservedly recommended” – fRoots magazine

“… right at the core of English identity” – Songlines Magazine

“The playing is wonderfully without affectation and superfluous ornamentation is left in the dooryard. English Country Music is a treasure chest packed with 27 selections of homemade music when the music was used as simple country entertainment. A gem!”
Sing Out magazine

Walter Bulwer fiddle & mandolin-banjo
Billy Cooper dulcimer
Reg Hall melodeon & fiddle
Daisy Bulwer piano
Mervyn Plunkett drums (snare, home-made tenor & tambourine)
Russell Wortley pipe & tabor
Scan Tester Anglo-German concertina
**** Hawkins banjo

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TSCD492 MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ SKIN & BONE

TSCD492 webThis lively collaboration from two master musicians, recorded 1992, features a poignant reading of the ballad Lucy Wan and a long medley of tunes by the Irish harpist O’Carolan.

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TSCD917 ZANZIBAR: MUSIC OF CELEBRATION

Taarab is the most common style of music performed at weddings on the island of Zanzibar – a unique blend of musical elements from the Middle East, India and the West, combined with, to varying degrees, local African musical practices. It is an essential ingredient of most celebrations. And when Zanzibaris are not playing taarab, they are playing maulidi. Although this is primarily a sober religious performance style (celebrating the birth of the Prophet Mohammed) it is also becoming common at wedding celebrations, albeit in a more extrovert guise. Here, recited chapters of the Koran are interspersed with kasida (hymns) accompanied on several tuned frame drums. These recordings, made at actual celebrations and in rehearsal for big events, give us a glimpse of the ethnic, religious, and gender composition of this Indian Ocean island culture.

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TIM VAN EYKEN ~ STIFFS LOVERS HOLYMEN THIEVES TSCD565

Collecting together a band of like-minded musicians in Nancy Kerr, Oliver Knight, Pete Flood and Colin Fletcher, Tim has produced an astonishingly impressive debut album from the band – Van Eyken.
It’s a “band album” in the best sense, with remarkable, imaginative and contemporary arrangements of electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, accordion, bass and drums that still maintain the essential integrity and gritty reality of the traditional songs and tunes, pacing it firmly in the future, firmly from the past and … firmly of today. This is the first Topic album by this exceptionally assured singer and musician. The production by Tim and Oliver Knight sets new standards for the presentation of contemporary/traditional folk music in England.
.

  • “An album full of thought, variety and surprises … but a real sense of history and tradition is its essential heartbeat.” fRoots
  • “Tim van Eyken delivers a clarion call for tradition – a triumph.” The Observer Review
  • “What makes this set special are the arrangements and inspired instrumental work. The variety is remarkable, from the gently textured wash of guitar and fiddle on Bold Fisherman to the spitting drums on Fair Ellen of Ratcliffe or the carefully uneasy lend of brooding and jaunty styles on the bleak story of Babes in the Wood. It’s been a great year for the new folk scene, and this fresh, compelling album is one of the high points.” ★★★★ The Guardian
  • “…quietly radical … van Eyken – at his best – encourages the songs to speak for themselves, and finds that they still have plenty to say.” ★★★★ CD of the Week Sunday Times

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THE FIGHT GAME TSCD807

A radio-ballad about boxers by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

Part documentary, part allegory, The Fight Game takes the listener into the gladiatorial arena of professional boxing.

‘In The Big Hewer, about coal mining and The Fight Game, about boxing, the radio-ballads find men titanic enough to live up to their pretensions. Listening to these two, you can really believe that there were giants in those days.’ THE INDEPENDENT

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