Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

TSCD342 MARTIN CARTHY with DAVE SWARBRICK ~ BYKER HILL

TSCD342 webAs he grew in confidence and dexterity Martin Carthy tested himself with tricky rhythms and challenging songs, and the title track of Byker Hill (1967) electrified the folk scene with its audacious syncopation. His most carefully planned and executed album up to that point, it remains an outstanding achievement.

“An audacious recording that remains Carthy’s benchmark album. A giant step on the road to immortality.” All time classic album HMV Choice

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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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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TSCD476 SHIRLEY COLLINS ~ THE SWEET PRIMEROSES

TSCD476 webShirley Collins’s sweet, self-effacing singing keeps her closer to the core of traditional song than many a more histrionic singer. Yet her work has been extraordinarily diverse: she has collaborated with the guitarist Davy Graham, the Incredible String Band, the Albion Country Band and her sister Dolly.

The limpid versions of Southern English songs on the 1965 The Sweet Primeroses album established Shirley Collins as a unique and influential voice on the folk scene.

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O’ER HIS GRAVE THE GRASS GREW GREEN: TRAGIC BALLADS TSCD653

tscd653 webVolume 3 of The Voice of The People.
Tragic Ballads.

An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 PACKIE MANUS BYRNE voice: The Holland Handkerchief
2 FRED JORDAN voice: The Bonny Boy
3 PADDY TUNNEY voice: What Put The Blood?
4 JOSEPH TAYLOR voice: Worcester City
5 LIZ JEFFERIES voice: Willie, The Bold Sailor Boy
6 STANLEY ROBERTSON voice: The Clattering Of The Clyde Waters
7 GEORDIE HANNA voice: Young Edmund In The Lowlands Low
8 FRED HEWETT voice: The Prickle Holly-Bush
9 JOHN MacDONALD voice & accordeon: Lord Ronald
10 JUMBO BRIGHTWELL voice: Newry Town
11 BEN BUTCHER voice: Cruel Lincoln
12 FREDA PALMER voice: Maria Marten
13 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: The Cruel Mother
14 PADDY TUNNEY voice: Lady Margaret
15 JOHN REILLY voice: The Well Below The Valley
16 JOHN MacDONALD voice: The Dewie Dens Of Yarrow
17 PHOEBE SMITH voice: Molly Vaughan
18 ENOS WHITE voice: George Collins
19 BELLE STEWART voice: The Two Brothers
20 SCAN TESTER voice: The Lakes Of Coalflin
21 NORA CLEARY voice: Willie-O

Available now from:
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SCAN TESTER ~ I NEVER PLAYED TO MANY POSH DANCES TSCD581D 

A labour of love, this double CD is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest traditional musicians this country has produced.
In the mid 1950s, folklorist and musician, Reg Hall met Scan Tester and invited him to play in his loose-knit band of musicians. Their playing schedule covered the usual pub gigs and private parties and also included a trip to London where Scan played before a full house at the Royal Festival Hall. Game to go anywhere, Scan accepted invitations to clubs and festivals around the country and thus became known and loved by a public beyond his own place and time. Mostly recorded by Reg Hall, these 55 tracks – expanded and remastered from the 1990 vinyl LP – open a window to our musical past.

“The crowded rolling gate of Scan’s country dance band must be one of the most joyous noises to emerge from a pub’s doors”★★★★★ Songlines

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RIG-A-JIG-JIG: DANCE MUSIC OF THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND TSCD659

Volume 9 of The Voice of The People.
Dance music of the South of England.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 SCAN TESTER & RABBITY BAXTER concertina & tambourine: Jenny Lind
2 JINKY WELLS fiddle & voice The Flowers Of Edinburgh / Bobbing Around
3 PERCY BROWN melodeon: The Yarmouth Breakdown
4 OSCAR WOODS melodeon: The Italian Waltz
5 THE BOSCASTLE & TINTAGEL PLAYERS concertinas, cello & stepping: The Boscastle Breakdown
6 JACK HYDE mouth-organ: Shepherd’s Hey
7 SCAN TESTER concertina: In And Out The Windows / The Monkey Hornpipe
8 THE DORSET TRIO fiddle, concertina & cello: Hands Across / The Four-Handed Reel
9 BOB CANN melodeon: Woodland Flowers / Uncle Jim’s Barndance
10 STEPHEN BALDWIN fiddle: Greensleeves. Napoleon’s March
11 JIMMY DIXON & RON WHATMORE mouth-organs: Over The Waves / The Cuckoo Waltz
12 WALTER BULWER mandolin-banjo: Old Mrs Cuddledee WALTER BULWER fiddle: The Egg Hornpipe / The Shipdham Hornpipe / The Sailor’s Hornpipe
13 SCAN TESTER & RABBITY BAXTER concertina & tambourine: Untitled Polka
14 ARNOLD WOODLEY fiddle: Johnny’s So Long At The Fair
15 BILL KIMBER concertina: Over The Hills To Glory
16 FONT WHATLING melodeon: Untitled Polka / Golden Slippers / Mick’s Tune.
17 BILLY COOPER dulcimer: The Irish Washerwoman / Garyowen / Rory O’More / St Patrick’s Day
18 THE DORSET TRIO fiddle, melodeon & cello: The Italian Schottische
19 STEPHEN BALDWIN fiddle: The Gypsy Hornpipe. Untitled Schottische
20 SCAN TESTER & DAISY SHERLOCK concertina & piano: Untitled Schottische
21 PERCY BROWN melodeon: The Veleta / The Heel And Toe Polka
22 FRED WHITING fiddle: The Earl Soham Slog. Harkie Nestling’s
23 RUTH ASKEW & GEORGE PRIVETT melodeon & spoons: The Manchester Hornpipe / Click Go The Shears
24 THE DORSET TRIO fiddle, concertina & cello: Sheep-Shearing. Untitled Polka
25 OSCAR WOODS melodeon: Untitled Polka. Untitled Polka
26 BERTIE CLARK fiddle: The Maid Of The Mill. Bacca Pipes / Jockey To The Fair.
27 JIMMY DIXON & RON WHATMORE mouth-organs: Nobody’s Darling But Mine / Untitled. Quick- Step Medley
28 THE SAILORS’ HOBBY HORSE melodeon & two drums: Live Performance

Available now from:
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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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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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THE RADIO BALLADS

A UNIQUE PROJECT IN THE HISTORY OF BOTH BRITISH FOLK MUSIC AND BRITISH RADIO
devised by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger
“… the work of a team of singers, songwriters, technicians, instrumentalists and others who were consciously attempting to apply the techniques of folk creation to one part of the mass media radio.

Devised by Ewan MacColl, radio producer Charles Parker and Peggy Seeger, the Radio-Ballads set out to crystallise in words and music the experience of different ways of life – the words being supplied not by actors but by the real occupants of those lives and jobs, whether miners, fishermen, boxers or teenagers. The eight programmes were first broadcast by the BBC between 1958 and 1964. Six of them were subsequently issued on LP but have been unavailable since the early ’80s. Song of a Road and The Body Blow have never hitherto been issued in any format. ‘The radio-ballads,’ wrote a reviewer at the time, ‘are about the way we live now, attempting to give this life the quality of epic – “to make”, as the documentary film-maker John Grierson once said, “the everyday significant.”‘ The social historian Eric Hobsbawm, writing as Francis Newton in the New Statesman, called them ‘The most valuable products of the British folk-music movement‘.

Ewan MacColl scripts, song lyrics & music
Peggy Seeger orchestration & music direction
Charles Parker production

For a generation of musicians, broadcasters and media writers, the term radio-ballad is an icon, a benchmark, a milestone. When they were first broadcast, our daily lives revolved much more around the wireless than nowadays, even though network television was by then already well established, and for many listeners the cultural impact was profound and enduring.

For today’s listening public, the term radio-ballad may no longer carry that weight of meaning, but these programmes are as entertaining and stimulating as when they were first created. Perhaps this series of CD re-issues will help to put into context so much that followed in both radio and television and will find new resonance among older and younger listeners alike.

The series was originally transmitted on the BBC Home Service as follows:
The Ballad of John Axon 2 July 1958
Song of a Road 5 November 1959
Singing the Fishing 16 August 1960
The Big Hewer 18 August 1961
The Body Blow 27 March 1962
On the Edge 13 February 1963
The Fight Game 3 July 1963
The Travelling People 17 April 1964
Parker had recognised almost immediately that there was a ready-made audience for LP versions. Even before John Axon was broadcast, he was conducting a memo-writing campaign aimed at the BBC mandarins responsible for what were then called ‘transcription rights’, insisting that, with the co-operation of MacColl and Seeger, the necessary contractual formula could be found to make commercial release possible.Immediately after The Ballad of John Axon was first broadcast, letters started arriving at the BBC requesting that the programme be repeated, which it was, on 5 August l958. Several of the programmes were repeated one or more times on the Home Service after their first broadcast, during the period up to l964. Singing the Fishing, which won the Prix d’Italia in October 1960, was also re-broadcast on the BBC Home Service and later on Radio 4 a number of times. More significantly, there were quite a lot of people – particularly teachers – who wrote to Charles Parker singing the praises of the radio- ballad format as a learning resource and enquiring whether copies could be made for educational use. Parker was particularly inundated with requests for LP or tape copies of On the Edge, soon after its first transmission. Letters were also received from listeners who found the texture of some of the programmes sometimes so rich that they missed much of them in a single hearing, and felt frustrated.

THE BALLAD OF JOHN AXON TSCD801
SONG OF A ROAD TSCD802
SINGING THE FISHING TSCD803
THE BIG HEWER TSCD804
THE BODY BLOW TSCD805
ON THE EDGE TSCD806
THE FIGHT GAME TSCD807
THE TRAVELLING PEOPLE TSCD808

A 16 page full colour booklet describing the series and its background in detail is available separately and at no charge.



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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SONG OF A ROAD TSCD802

A radio-ballad about the building of the M1 Motorway by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

The second of the remarkable Radio Ballads Song of a Road tells the story of the making of the M1, Britain’s first motorway. The road building was a suitably iconic and newsworthy project for Parker, MacColl and Seeger to develop their ground-breaking radio techniques. Among the songs MacColl created for this radio-ballad was Hot Asphalt.

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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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THE TRAVELLING PEOPLE TSCD808

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

The last of the radio-ballads deals with gypsies, tinkers and the rest of Britain’s travellers – ‘people talking about what it means to be a tenth-rate citizen in a civilised land.’ MacColl’s song The Travelling People was so true to their lives that it was taken up by travellers and absorbed into their repertoire.

‘The final episode, The Travelling People, had MacColl at the peak of his lyrical intonation.’ DAVE HENDERSON, Q

‘The Radio-Ballads are, in the literal sense of the word, wonderful ….. they changed the course of broadcasting history. What makes them so important now is that, at their best, they tell you things you don’t forget. The Travelling People is even more powerful than it was in 1964’ GILLIAN REYNOLDS, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

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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:
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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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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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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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THE BODY BLOW TSCD805 

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

Conceived as a documentary on the psychology of pain, The Body Blow focuses on five people partially or totally disabled by polio.

‘The rhythmic nuances of the interviewees were built into MacColl’s melodies; while the merciless impact of the debilitating illness breathed foreboding into the songs of The Body Blow – an examination of the ‘psychology of pain’. From these sprang some of MacColl’s most beautiful music.’ PETER RAPHIDES, TIME OUT

1  Introduction
2  What day did the world stop moving?
3  Do you recall how you climbed the Mountains?
4  Can’t breathe…
5  I often think back…
6  The world is a bed …
7  I wasn’t afraid while I was in the lung…
8  Well, first of all… appreciate the situation…
9  While there’s life, there’s hope…
10  It’s goodbye now…
11  Now I can do all the small things?
12  Stronger than pain is the human will to survive…
13  Closing announcement / The hidden foe…

Script, song lyrics and music: Ewan MacColl
Orchestration and musical direction: Peggy Seeger
Actuality recording: Charles Parker
Production: Charles Parker
Programme prepared with the help of The Polio Research Fund

Singers:
Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger

Instrumentalists:

Alf Edwards
English concertina, ocarina 
Alfie Khan flute, harmonica
 Brian Daly guitar 
Peggy Seeger guitar, 5-string banjo

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



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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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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CHRISTINE COLLISTER ~ INTO THE LIGHT TSCD1002

Christine’s second solo album for Topic finds her great voice in even better form, if that is possible. Into the Light is the closest thing yet to capturing the live quality and personality of this outstanding singer. Its style is more acoustic than “An Equal Love” and again, it features her unique songwriting skills alongside a selection of specially chosen covers of classic contemporary song.

“Christine’s soulfully smoky and superbly controlled vocal work reigns supreme”. Folk Roundabout

“Into the Light is a subtle grower of a recording, that reflects the maturity of its creator and her own creativity, that, right now, is liberal and assured. A quite beautiful step forward.” fROOTS

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EWAN MacCOLL ~ BALLADS: MURDER, INTRIGUE, LOVE, DISCORD TSCD576D

The great traditional ballads are storytelling at its dark, urgent best and the greatest exponent of this folk art was Ewan MacColl. Traditional narrative ballads are at the centre of the British Folk Tradition. They told stories which helped define the English and Scottish national characters; stories about murder and intrigue, love and discord on both the epic and domestic scale, but stories that told us about ourselves.
Ewan MacColl was the folk revival’s greatest proponent of the ballad; ballads were central to his conception of the folk revival and at the core of his recordings and performances. His commitment showed in his performances, where the story was everything. No one who ever witnessed him performing one of the great ballads live will ever forget it. Ballads: Murder, Intrigue, Love, Discord is a great selection of performances originally released in 1956 and never before on CD. This beautiful double CD is lovingly remastered and packaged in a slipcase with a 64 page booklet with extensive notes and full texts of all the songs.
• “An unmissable collection celebrating the man’s interpretative genius★★★★ Uncut
• “Majestic – the intensity, power, drive and drama of these performances are undiminished” ★★★★★ Songlines
•  ★★★★★ Record Collector
• “This lovingly compiled double disc of previously unreleased [on CD] material, with its richly detailed booklet, provides both a fascinating archive and an authentic naked plunge into the deep wellspring of traditional song” Acoustic

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TSCD432 JUNE TABOR ~ ABYSSINIANS

TSCD432 webJune Tabor’s vocal artistry is especially vividly captured in this 1983 album, produced by Andrew Cronshaw. It opens with a song by Lal & Mike Waterson, closes with one by Joni Mitchell and takes in on the way the African-American spiritual Lay This Body Down.

June Tabor vocals
with
Dave Bristow keyboards
Martin Simpson guitar
Ric Saunders violin

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TSCD912 MUSIC OF THE TATAR PEOPLE

The music of the Tatar people of the Central Volga region of Russia is an important link, according to the collector Laszlo Vikar, in the vast east-west chain that connects the musics of China and Hungary. In these unique field recordings, made by Vikar as assistant to the composer and musicologist Zoltan Kodaly, Tatars sing and play flute, jew’s harp and fiddle.

Recorded by Laszio Vikar

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ TRUE STORIES TSCD578 

Everyone knows that Martin Simpson is one of the greatest guitarists in the world, combining immaculate technique with a highly musical sensitivity and sensibility.
Martin Simpson’s last album was a breakthrough, establishing him as a songwriter of real character and understanding as well as a master musician, propelling him to a new level in his career. Always energetic, always resourceful and never content to stand still, Martin continues to grow as an artist – musician and composer – putting his all into each new project, with the result that True Stories is his best album yet.

True Stories is evenly divided between traditional songs and tunes (English and American) and Martin’s original compositions. It ranges from solo guitar instrumentals to full band arrangements featuring some of the finest musicians anywhere: Danny Thompson on bass, Radiohead’s drummer Philip Selway, B J Cole on pedal steel, fiddle from Bellowhead’s frontman, Jon Boden and accordion from Andy Cutting …. and many others.

★★★★ Observer Music Magazine

“A very classy set” ★★★★ The Guardian

“True Stories is awash with things to admire and love.” Guitar & Bass Magazine

“Martin Simpson returns with an album that confidently walks a tightrope over the gulf between tradition and contemporary songwriting – this is folk at its finest” Sunday Mercury

“A very different animal to Prodigal Son, but in its own way, equally formidable. He sweeps from down’n’dirty to tender reflection in the blink of an eye” ★★★★ MOJO

“A guitar god in the US, Simpson has been blending folk and country blues for four decades. Danny Thompson and Radiohead’s Philip Selway are among his helpers on this tasty mix of trad and original material” ★★★ Q Magazine

“Featuring seven consummately crafted originals interspersed with six standards True Stories eclipses his 2007 masterpiece Prodigal Son in terms of execution and eclecticism” ★★★★★ The Australian

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TSCD472 THE WATERSONS ~ EARLY DAYS

TSCD472 webIntroducing these recordings on their first appearance in the mid-’60s A.L. Lloyd wrote of this new singing group’s ‘hand-crafted harmonies, an immediately recognisable and uniquely distinctive group sound which is uninhibited, spontaneous seeming and rich in texture.’ What became of The Watersons after that is history, and can be followed step by step in Topic’s other Watersons CDs. Early Days recaptures the youthful sound of the original quartet in 27 performances from long-deleted albums.

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TSCD477 JACK ELLIOTT ~ RAMBLIN’ JACK

TSCD477 webWoody Guthrie’s most famous sidekick (and an early influence on Bob Dylan) celebrates his old friend in poignant versions of his most celebrated songs, then joins singer and banjoist Derroll Adams in a session of classic old-time country songs. Ramblin’ Jack draws upon the influential body of recordings Elliott recorded for Topic Records in the late 1950s.

Jack Elliott vocals, guitar
Derroll Adams vocals, banjo

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JUNE TABOR ~ ROSA MUNDI TSCD532

Any new album from a performer described by The Guardian as “one of the great singers of any genre” is an event in itself, but this time, June has chosen a programme of material reflecting her two great passions – music and the land. The material is drawn from an extraordinarily varied range of sources ranging from Tchaikovsky to Les Barker, from the 15th Century to the present day, from the esoteric to the beautifully simple. All centre on tales of the rose; whether sacred, secular or as a symbol of love.

Rosa Mundi, June Tabor’s celebration of the rose, re-enforces her standing as a singer of considerable importance with a startling ability to imbue material with clarity and exquisite beauty, using a voice that, over a thirty year period, has won her world-wide admiration and acclaim.

“the greatest folk singer currently working …. a set that both transcends its theme and makes complete sense of it” ★★★★ Q Magazine

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TSCD300 MARTIN CARTHY ~ CROWN OF HORN

TSCD300 webThough on its first release in 1976 Crown of Horn attracted attention with its unpredictable elements, such as Leon Rosselson’s mordant song Palaces of Gold, the album can now be seen as a logical stage in Carthy’s development, as well as a further bold demonstration of his creative approach to traditional song.

“Martin Carthy has the ability to make singing sound easy – he tells stories to tunes, sometimes unaccompanied, and Crown of Horn shows the master of English folk song at his best.” Songlines

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar

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MELODEON GREATS ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD601 

A collection of melodeon masterpieces
Amidst the popular singers and military bands in the catalogues of early British record companies like Imperial, Invicta and Guardsman were a number of remarkable melodeon players with a mature command of traditional repertoire. Carefully transferred from largely acoustic recordings going back to 1909, these performances by Scots and Northern English musicians are a hidden treasury of traditional styles. Compiled, with detailed notes, by the traditional music historian Keith Chandler.

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COME ALL MY LADS THAT FOLLOW THE PLOUGH: THE LIFE OF RURAL WORKING MEN & WOMEN TSCD655

Volume 5 of The Voice of The People.
The Life of Rural Working Men & Women.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 MARY ANN HAYNES voice: Hopping Down In Kent
2 JOE HEANEY voice: The Rocks Of Bawn
3 DAVIE STEWART voice: The Tarves Rant
4 SAM LARNER voice: The Pleasant Month Of May
5 BOB FORRESTER voice: Copshawholm Fair
6 POP MAYNARD voice: The Weaver’s Daughter
7 JINKY WELLS fiddle & voice: The Maid Of The Mill
8 STRAIGHTY FLANAGAN voice: The Grazer Tribe
9 JOHN MacDONALD voice & accordeon: The Mains O’Fogieloan
10 FRED JORDAN voice: We’re All Jolly Fellows As Follow The Plough
11 BOB HART voice: The Farmer’s Servant
12 DAVIE STEWART voice: I am a Miller To My Trade
13 HOCKEY FELTWELL voice: Four Horses
14 JIMMY MCBEATH voice: Nicky Tams
15 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Lark In The Morning
16 LIZZIE HIGGINS voice: Lovely Molly
17 PADDY BEADES voice with fiddle & piano-accordion: The Bonnie Labouring Boy
18 JIMMY McREATH voice: The Barnyards O’Delgaty
19 HARRY UPTON voice: The Rich Lady Gay
20 TOM LENINAN voice: The Cranbally Farmer
21 WILLIE KEMP & CURLY MacKAY voice & piano-accordion: Wi’ Ma Big Kilmarnock Bonnet
22 WILLIE SCOTT voice: The Lads That Was Reared Among Heather
23 EDDIE BUTCHER voice: Tossing The Hay
24 JOHN MacDONALD voice: Sleepytoon
25 THE HYDE BROTHERS melodeons: Back O’ The Haggart

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



SINGING THE FISHING ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD803

A radio-ballad about Britain’s herring fishing communities by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

Britain’s herring fishing communities are the subject of this, perhaps the best-remembered and most widely heard of all the radio-ballads. It was broadcast in more than 80 countries, and won the 1960 Prix d’Italia for radio documentary. Several of MacColl’s songs for Singing The Fishing quickly entered the repertoire of a generation of folk singers.

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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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BRASS MONKEY ~ HEAD OF STEAM TSCD575

The original English powerhouse brass-meets-folk band returned with a new album for 2009.

• “..a swashbuckling selection of tunes and songs performed so invigoratingly……” fRoots
• “The tunes in particular take on a new life, as the brass dominates the guitar and Kirkpatrick’s excellent melodeon, but the songs are also wonderful.” Acoustic
• “Since the early 80s they have brought the emotional fervour and rhythmic fire of colliery bands to English dance music and traditional songs – their recordings are a delight. Mighty and joyful.” ★★★★ Songlines

Paul Archibald trumpets, piccolo trumpet, flugelhorn, chorus vocals
Martin Brinsford percussion, harmonica, saxophone, chorus vocals
Martin Carthy guitar, vocals
John Kirkpatrick button accordion, anglo concertina, melodeon, vocals
Roger Williams bass and tenor trombones, euphonium, chorus vocals

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TSCD411 NIC JONES ~ PENGUIN EGGS

TSCD411 webThis mature work of a brilliant song-interpreter and guitarist, packed with fresh songs and novel settings, is rendered all the more valuable by the scarcity of his recordings. When Bob Dylan appropriated his arrangement of Canadee-I-O, it was just one sign of Jones’ status among musicians as well as lay listeners.
“Penguin Eggs may be the best British acoustic folk album ever made” Stuart Maconie, BBC Radio 2

“This is simply the most committed folk music ever recorded. Jones’ guitar playing is diamond-hard while his vocals hit both head and heart. A written in stone masterpiece from a true folk icon.” All time classic album HMV Choice

“Penguin Eggs should be in every folkie’s music collection. It is one of those rare, nearly perfect recordings.” Celtic Heritage

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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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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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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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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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TSCD474 MARGARET BARRY & MICHAEL GORMAN ~ HER MANTLE SO GREEN

TSCD474 webWith her flamboyant delivery and idiosyncratic banjo-playing Margaret Barry brought the art of the street-singer into the pubs and clubs of Irish London in the 1950s and ’60s, frequently accompanied by the fiddler Michael Gorman.

‘To be confronted with a past so recent, so arrestingly singular and so irrecoverable catches alike the heart and the imagination.’– Mojo

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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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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



TSCD478 LAL WATERSON & OLIVER KNIGHT ~ ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

Lal Waterson, an original member of The Watersons, and her son, guitarist Oliver Knight, have written some of the most captivating new songs to have been heard on the folk scene in many years. Other members of the Waterson clan often joined them on their records.
An entirely original collection of songs inspired by love, landscape, family and questing imagination.

  • ‘Up with Nick Drake and Richard Thompson in the very front rank of English songwriters.’ Mojo
  • ‘The most innovative English folk-related album of recent years’ The Independent
  • ‘English as anything, poetic to a quite scary degree and harshly beautiful’ The Independent
  • “One of those gems that deserves to be heard by a wider audience – a must-have.” ★★★★ Record Collector
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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:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



TSCD493 ELIZA CARTHY ~ RED

TSCD493 webRed presents original compositions with contemporary beats.
‘If this is the future of British folk music, it is in good hands.’ – Mojo

‘Audaciously Brilliant.’ – The Observer

Album of the Year – Folk Roots

Nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize Album of the Year

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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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TSCD410 JUNE TABOR with MARTIN SIMPSON ~ A CUT ABOVE

TSCD410 webThis album glows with the very special energy of a natural musical partnership, as June Tabor’s bold steps are faultlessly tracked by guitarist Martin Simpson. As well as compositions by Richard Thompson, Bill Caddick and other contemporary writers, Tabor offers a song in French, Le Roi Renaud.

June Tabor vocals
with
Martin Simpson guitar
Ric Saunders violin
Dave Bristow keyboards
Jon Davie bass

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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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BRASS MONKEY ~ GOING & STAYING TSCD531 

Another fine recording from this unique powerhouse band. “Going and Staying” features the band’s Deep English sound. Unique instrumentation and their approach to folk music give Brass Monkey an instantly recognisable sound and presence. For many of the tracks, the lineup expands to a six-piece featuring an extended brass section.

• “If there is a British folk supergroup these days, it’s surely this unusual band” The Guardian
• “…a vitality about the whole thing … lending majesty and a refreshingly different landscape on which to place these … songs” fRoots
• “The arrangements and playing are inventive and alive – played in a unique style which is eminently listenable” Get Rhythm

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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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TSCD485 DEEP LANCASHIRE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

TSCD485 webFolk music from industrial NW England from the Oldham Tinkers, Harry Boardman, Mike Harding etc.

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A STORY I’M JUST ABOUT TO TELL: LOCAL EVENTS & NATIONAL ISSUES TSCD658

tscd658 webVolume 8 of The Voice of The People.
Local Events & National Issues.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 JOHN MacDONALD accordeon: Majuba Hill
2 BOB HART voice: A Broadside
3 MARGARET BARRY & MICHAEL GORMAN voice, banjo & fiddle: The Wild Colonial Boy
4 JOE HEANEY voice: The Wife Of The Bold Tenant Farmer
5 DAVIE STEWART voice & accordeon: MacPherson’s Rant
6 MARTIN HOWLEY voice: The Young Horseman
7 JOHN MacDONALD voice & accordeon: The Haughs O’Cromdale
8 ROBERT CINNAMOND voice: The Aghalee Heroes
9 SHEILA STEWART voice: Young Jimmy Foyers
10 TOM COSTELLO voice: A Grand Conversation On Napoleon
11 LUCY FARR fiddle: The Glen Of Aherlow
12 JOSEPH TAYLOR voice: Creeping Jane
13 FREDDY McKAY voice: Skibbereen
14 WILLIE SCOTT voice: Bloody Waterloo
15 TOMMY McGRATH voice: Down In The Town Of Old Bantry
16 DAVIE STEWART voice & accordeon: Boulavogue
17 BERNARD O’SULLIVAN & TOMMY McMAHON concertinas: Bonaparte’s Retreat
18 SARAH MAKEM voice: The Wind That Shakes The Barley
19 JASPER SMITH voice: Hartlake Bridge
20 JOE HEANEY voice: Morrissey And The Russian Sailor
21 CYRIL POACHER voice: The Bonny Bunch O’Roses
22 MAY BRADLEY voice: Calvery
23 STRAIGHTY FLANAGAN voice: Michael Power
24 MARGARET BARRY voice & banjo: The Bold Fenian Men

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



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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YOU LAZY LOT OF BONE SHAKERS: SONGS & DANCE TUNES OF SEASONAL EVENTS  TSCD666

tscd666 webVolume 16 of The Voice of The People.
Songs & Dance Tunes of Seasonal Events.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 THE BRITANNIA COCONUT DANCERS with The Nutters Band Live Performance – The Nut Dance
2 JINKY WELLS (of Bampton Morris) fiddle & voice: Highland Mary
3 BAMPTON MORRIS Live Performance – The Quaker
4 EMMA VICKERS (of Burscough Pace-Eggers) voice: The Pace-Egging Song
5 THE MERRYMAKERS (Padstow) Live Performance – The Happy Wanderer
6 GEORGE DUNN voice: While Shepherds Were Watching Their Flocks By The Night
7 WRENBOYS (Listowel) Live Performance – By The Bright Silvery Light Of The Moon. Live Performance – Highland Fling
8 BILL KIMBER (of Headington Quarry Morris Dancers) concertina: Double Set Back
9 MUMMERS voice & melodeon: So Now We’ve Gained Our Victory. The Quaker
10 WAPPING IRISH FLUTE & DRUM BAND & GUEST PIPERS Live Performance – Dublin Fair / The Boys Of Wexford. Live Performance – Garryowen
11 STEPHEN BALDWIN fiddle: The Girl I Left Behind Me
12 THE RIPON SWORD DANCERS (Mummers) Live Performance
13 ABINGDON TRADITIONAL MORRIS DANCERS Live Performance – Jockey To The Fair
14 PHIL TANNER voice: The Wassail Song
15 HELSTON TOWN BAND Live Performance – The Furry Dance
16 SCAN TESTER concertina: While Shepherds Watch Their Flocks By Night
17 FRANK BOND (of North Waltham Jolly Jacks) voice: God Bless The Master Of This House
18 SAM BOND (of North Waltham Jolly Jacks) voice: Where Does Father Christmas Go To?
19 BAMPTON MORRIS Live Performance – Bobbing Around
20 THE SAILORS’ HOBBY HORSE (Minehead) Live Performances
21 BILLY BUCKINGHAM & OTHERS voices: The Waysailing Bowl
22 WIDNES STAR NOVELTY BAND The Great Little Army March
23 WASSAILERS (Bodmin) voices Live Performance
24 THE ABBOTS BROMLEY HORN DANCERS Live Performance – Cock O’The North
25 THE BRITANNIA COCONUT DANCERS with The Nutters Band Live Performance – The Garland Dance No.3
26 THE MERRYMAKERS (Padstow) Live Performance – The Sash

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



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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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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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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TSCD345 MARTIN CARTHY ~ LANDFALL

TSCD345 webMartin Carthy’s 1971 solo album tunnels further than its predecessors into contemporary song, coming up with memorable performances of Dave Goulder’s January Man John Kirkpatrick’s Dust To Dust and David Ackles’ His Name is Andrew.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar

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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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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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TSCD491 MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ LIFE & LIMB

TSCD491 webCarthy and Swarbrick celebrated their 1990 reunion by adding many new songs and tunes to their repertoire as well as taking a fresh look at old favourites like Sovay and Byker Hill.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle

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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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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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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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PADDY IN THE SMOKE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD603

Irish Dance Music From A London Pub
These highly atmospheric recordings were made during Sunday morning sessions at one of London’s most celebrated Irish pubs, The Favourite in Holloway, and feature highly regarded members of the London Irish community such as Martin Byrnes, Bobby Casey, Julia Clifford and Jimmy Power, in fiddle solos, duets and trios.

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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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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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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:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



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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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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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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WATERSON:CARTHY ~ BROKEN GROUND TSCD509 

The great family tradition returns to record their third album, this time as a four piece, with Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy and Liza Carthy joined by Saul Rose on melodeons and voice. The extended line-up results in a jewel of an album. Stand out tracks are Raggle Taggle Gipsies featuring Liza, The Bay of Biscay featuring Norma, the staggering instrumentals and Martin’s Bald Headed End of the Broom with New Orleans marching band added for good measure.

Norma Waterson vocals, triangle
Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Eliza Carthy vocals, fiddle, viola
Saul Rose vocals, melodeon
Ben Ivitsky low whistle
+ The Phoenix New Orleans Parade Band

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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:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



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



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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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:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



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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TSCD489 ELIZA CARTHY & THE KINGS OF CALICUTT

TSCD489 webThe Kings of Calicutt join Eliza Carthy in a buoyant selection of songs and tunes.
‘The ideas are incessant, the technique superb and the energy irresistible.’ – Folk Roots

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ASHLEY HUTCHINGS & VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ STREET CRIES TSCD535

A collection of dark traditional songs reset in the present day by Ashley Hutchings. Sung by Coope, Boyes & Simpson, Steve Knightley, Cara Dillon, Dick Gaughan, Helen Watson, Vin Garbutt, Judy Dunlop, Dave Burland, Kathryn Roberts with Equation, John Tams, June Tabor, Pete Morton and Nasreen Shah.
An outstanding new album conceived and produced by one of the most significant creators in the folk music field. Traditional music has always changed and adapted to fit and respond to the society that it reflects. Ashley Hutchings has re-written a dozen traditional songs and set them in the present day – don’t be alarmed, the experiment has worked beautifully and the results may well pass into tradition themselves.
Each song is based on a traditional work and has retained the original tune – only the words have been changed. A cast of major contemporary interpreters of traditional song was chosen, song by song, and each has contributed mightily – producing a program of outstanding performance. In addition to that, the sensitive arrangements and backings have enhanced the whole project still further – producing an album that is both adventurous and highly enjoyable.

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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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TSCD360 JUNE TABOR ~ ASHES & DIAMONDS

TSCD360 webAccompanied, as on Airs and Graces, by Nic Jones (guitar), Tony Hall (melodeon) and other notable players, Tabor again blends striking revisions of traditional songs with new pieces by Eric Bogle No Man’s Land, Now I’m Easy and Dave Goulder The Easter Tree.

June Tabor vocals
with
Tony Hall melodeon
Nic Jones guitar & fiddle
Jon Gillaspie keyboards
Nigel Pegrum drums
Doug Morter electric guitar

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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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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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TSCD298 JUNE TABOR ~ AIRS & GRACES

TSCD298 webIn this impressive debut Tabor tackles not only the traditional stories of Reynardine and the Plains of Waterloo but the harrowing narrative of Eric Bogle’s World War I song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, in what is now recognised as its definitive version
‘She has the rare gift of releasing the innermost warmth and light of the old songs’ – DAILY TELEGRAPH

June Tabor vocals
with
Nic Jones guitar & fiddle
Jon Gillaspie keyboards

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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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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ RIGHTEOUSNESS & HUMIDITY TSCD540

“The nearest thing this country has to Ry Cooder” The Big Issue.

Released in August 2003, this follow up to the award-winning album The Bramble Briar is a collection of new recordings, this time drawn from the American tradition and featuring his unequalled instrumental and vocal ability. As Martin says in his album notes, this record allows him to tip his hat to the music and people of the Southern US, and features a mix of traditional song and Martin’s own compositions. Alongside his singing, Martin plays acoustic guitar, ukulele, electric guitar, lap-steel, percussion, 5-string banjo and slide guitar. Much of the album was recorded in New Orleans and he is joined by a crack team of local musicians. Steeleye Span’s Rick Kemp features on some of the tracks recorded in the UK.

• “Martin Simpson demonstrates all over again that he is one of the great exponents of folk-blues guitar playing and his evocative vocal style fits the material perfectly.” The Scotsman
• “Martin Simpson is a guitarist of extraordinary accomplishment and versatility – creates the sound-world in which dramas are played out….instrumental brilliance” ★★★★ Songlines
• “16 wonderful and varied pieces – it is a hell of a musical experience – another stunning piece of work to cherish” Rogue Folk Magazine

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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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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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TROUBLES THEY ARE BUT FEW: DANCE TUNES & DITTIES TSCD664

tscd664 webVolume 14 of The Voice of The People.
Dance Tunes & Ditties.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.
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MARTIN CARTHY ~ SIGNS OF LIFE TSCD503

Perhaps only Martin Carthy would open a folk album with a Bee Gees songs, let alone continue with pieces from Elvis Presley, Hoagy Carmichael and Bob Dylan, mixed in with such timeless traditional songs as Sir Patrick Spens and The Wife of Usher’s Well. Martin also revisits a classic from his repertoire – the remarkable and chilling ballad Prince Heathen. Eliza Carthy plays fiddle on four songs.

• “Human emotions are rarely delivered with such guile and profundity.” Mojo
• “A subtle masterpiece.” ★★★★★ The Guardian

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
with
Eliza Carthy fiddle
Chris Parkinson harmonica

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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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TSCD343 MARTIN CARTHY with DAVE SWARBRICK ~ BUT TWO CAME BY

TSCD343 webMartin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick continue their bold and virtuosic transformation of traditional songs and melodies on this 1968 set, adding a memorable treatment of Sidney Carter’s Lord of the Dance.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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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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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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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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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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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



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 ~ 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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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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