Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

TSCD904 FOLK MUSIC OF ALBANIA

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

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ THE BRAMBLE BRIAR TSCD513

Arguably the finest finger style acoustic guitarist on the planet, Martin Simpson returns to Topic Records after a break of almost fifteen years. Surprisingly, this is his first recording of exclusively English material – predominately traditional, completely English and totally outstanding. Martin Simpson’s guitar and vocals have never sounded better and classic traditional material is delivered in subtle and innovative ways.

• Best Album of the Year & Instrumentalist of the Year – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2002
• Included in the Mojo Magazine “Top 10 Folk Albums of 2001”
• “a musical genius at the height of his powers” folk buzz
• “Simpson is a master of acoustic guitar styles. His supreme musicianship raises this CD of predominantly traditional and exclusively English songs to new heights.” Daily Telegraph

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TSCD488 WATERSON:CARTHY ~ COMMON TONGUE

TSCD488 web‘This is deliberately an album of English music,’ writes Martin Carthy in his notes. ‘It is neither possible nor desirable to set up musical border checkpoints anywhere. However, there is that elusive and ever changing thing called identity.’ Assisted by members of Eliza Carthy’s band and the voices of other members of the family, Waterson:Carthy sing and play such timeless English anthems as Claudy Banks and Hares in the Old Plantation, ending with a stirring performance of the hymn Stars in My Crown, dedicated to the English playwright Dennis Potter.

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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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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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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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STEVE ASHLEY ~ EVERYDAY LIVES TSCD526 

With Everyday Lives Steve Ashley created an extraordinary album of contemporary songs. Songs which are informed, but never overwhelmed, by the folk tradition. As the title suggests, they focus on aspects of everyday lives and loves, but that shouldn’t mislead the reader into thinking they are mundane. Far from it, this is a very special evocation of ENGLISH culture with no apologies (and why should there be?). A deeply atmospheric collection of remarkable songs.

• “As his contemporary John Tams blind-sided fans last year, Ashley does the same here” Q
• “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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MY FATHER’S THE KING OF THE GYPSIES: MUSIC OF ENGLISH & WELSH TRAVELLERS & GYPSIES TSCD661

tscd661 webVolume 11 of The Voice of The People.
Music of English & Welsh travellers & gypsies.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

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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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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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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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ELIZA CARTHY ~ ROUGH MUSIC TSCD554

Rough Music is a step on from the multi-award winning Anglicana, and is a powerful, vital, multi-layered collection full of dark rhythms in Eliza’s vision of English Traditional Music for the new millennium. Her backing band, The Ratcatchers, includes her long time collaborator Ben Ivitsky, and two of the fastest rising stars of the folk scene, Jon Boden and John Spiers.
The album features dense arrangements of traditional songs showcasing Eliza’s incomparable voice as well as spirited, highly original performances of English instrumental music. Billy Bragg’s King James Version and Eliza’s own Mohair complete the unique blend of old and new.
The title notwithstanding, there is nothing rough about the quality of the music – Eliza has taken the name of the album from an age-old custom and she explains it…..
“Rough Music is in the Book of Days on October 28th and is described as a form of community punishment practiced all over England. If a man were seen to be (say) beating his wife, or ‘allowing himself to be hen-pecked’ it says here, he could expect to receive a concert of Rough Music. Basically if they thought you had been naughty (it doesn’t say how or if they proved this) all the men, women and children of the village would go round to your house in the middle of the night, call out your name and proceed to bang pots, pans, tin lids and buckets or whatever came to hand, to bring your crimes to attention and drive you out. When my family moved to North Yorkshire at the beginning of the seventies there was a case of a man being driven from our area by this method. However, we’ve tried to make the album a bit nicer than that.”

• “Top 10 Folk Album of the Year 2005” Mojo
• “An instant winner. Great singing, rousing instrumentals, fabulous album. A Best Album of the Year.” Daily Telegraph
• “Rough Music feels fearless, certain and solid, putting all of Carthy’s many and varied skills into service. She can do it just by being brilliant.” ★★★★ Sunday Times
• “One of the brightest stars in the folk firmament. Eliza’s exquisite voice and fiddle playing make this a vibrant take on centuries-old tradition.” ★★★★ The Sun
• “Singer and violinist Eliza Carthy is one of the figureheads of the English folk revival and this album demonstrates why – compelling music.” ★★★★ Evening Standard
• “..the 29-year-old’s rawest collection to date. ..her voice lies at the centre of Rough Music’s most powerful moments.” ★★★★ Mojo

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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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HARRY COX ~ THE BONNY LABOURING BOY TSCD512D 

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

see also THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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

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MARTIN 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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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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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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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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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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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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TSCD922 DRUMMING & CHANTING IN GOD’S OWN COUNTRY: TEMPLE MUSIC OF KERALA

Cut off from the rest of the Indian mainland by the expansive Western Ghats mountain range, and open to the influences of the Arabian Sea via its 1000km coastline, the culture of the tiny Indian state of Kerala in the very south west of the country, is quite different from that of the rest of the Indian subcontinent.

In addition to the friendly people and the endless green of the countryside dotted with coconut trees, Kerala impresses through its man-made soundscape, largely centred around the ubiquitous Hindu temples. Derived from ancient forms and supplemented with performance and visual arts, brightened with elephant processions, special pujas (worshipping forms) and fancy shops, these events form the main leisure time attraction of the Hindu population.

The recordings on this CD, made in and around these between 1995 and 1997, demonstrate the vast range of performance genres. The huge percussion orchestra performances, the ancient styles of devotional singing, and the small music ensembles featuring rare traditional instruments like the huge C-shaped horn, the kombu, are some of these electrifying styles.

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IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD602

Two dozen recordings “illustrate”, according to the album’s producer Reg Hall, “traditional dance-music repertoires, styles and contexts found in Ireland, Britain and America in the first half of this century.” Some 50 tunes are played by soloists, duets, small groups and ceilidh bands, including many of the leading Irish fiddlers, accordionists and flute-players of their day. The recordings, spanning 1922-48, have been scrupulously remastered and are accompanied by Hall’s detailed historical notes.
Edited by Reg Hall

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OLIVER KNIGHT ~ MYSTERIOUS DAY TSCD528 

Mysterious Day is Oliver Knight‘s first solo project and, in truly typical fashion, it is a collaboration with others. The vocals on the album are handled by Christine Collister, Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson, Maria Gilhooley, John Tams and Barry Coope and additional instrumentation is provided by Chris Parkinson (piano & harmonica), Jo Freya (sax), Alice Kinloch (tuba) and Andy Cutting (melodeon). A long time in gestation, the album continues in the family “tradition” of highly original English composition which, although owing much to the folk tradition, is not beholden to it. He has written all the material except for Evona, written by Lal Waterson, Once In a Blue Moon, co-written with Lal Waterson and the traditional Go From My Window, arranged with Eliza Carthy. As well as producing and engineering the album, Oliver Knight played all guitars and arranged all the music.
Mysterious Day shows Oliver Knight to be a genuinely original songwriter whose style could be compared with that of Nick Drake.
“It’s hard to pick out a track that isn’t a highlight…a really refreshing album…File under fantastic” BBC Radio 2

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ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD606 

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

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

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WORLD SERIES

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

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

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

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

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



PAST MASTERS OF IRISH FIDDLE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD605

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

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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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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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THE WATERSONS ~ FOR PENCE AND SPICY ALE TSCD574 

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

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


MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON TSCD567

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

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

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TSCD494 ELIZA CARTHY ~ RICE

TSCD494 webOn Rice Eliza Carthy looks afresh at British – and other – traditional musics.
‘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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TIM VAN EYKEN ~ STIFFS LOVERS HOLYMEN THIEVES TSCD565

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

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

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ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON ~ GIFT TSCD579


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

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

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

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

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

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

Album of the Year
Gift by ELIZA CARTHY & NORMA WATERSON

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

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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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TSCD466 JOHN BURGESS ~ KING OF THE HIGHLAND PIPERS

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

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TSCD344 MARTIN CARTHY with DAVE SWARBRICK ~ PRINCE HEATHEN

TSCD344 webIn this 1969 album Martin Carthy focuses on traditional songs, producing powerful readings such as the title track and his lengthy retelling of the ballad Little Musgrave & Lady Barnard.

“One of the best albums anyone’s ever done” Folk Roots

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

1  Arthur McBride & the Sergeant
2  Salisbury Plain
3  Polly on the Shore
4  The Rainbow
5  Died for Love
6  Staines Morris
7  Reynardine
8  Seven Yellow Gypsies
9  Little Musgrave & Lady Barnard
10  Prince Heathen
11  The Wren

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

Enter your name and email address to download MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICKÂ Prince Heathen pdf booklet

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TSCD914 GYPSY MUSIC FROM MACEDONIA & NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

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

Collected in the field by Wolf Dietrich

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TSCD750 MARTIN CARTHY ~ A COLLECTION

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

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

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP and AMAZON



TSCD389 MARTIN CARTHY ~ BECAUSE IT’S THERE

TSCD389 webHis musical thinking enriched by his experience in folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span, Martin Carthy approached this 1979 album (produced by Ashley Hutchings) with fresh ideas and collaborators such as trumpeter Howard Evans and John Kirkpatrick on accordion and concertina.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
with
John Kirkpatrick accordion, concertina
Howard Evans trumpet
Bruce Rowlands drums

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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:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY



TSCD463 EWAN MacCOLL ~ THE REAL MacCOLL

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

Ewan MacColl vocals
Peggy Seeger accompaniments

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

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

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

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



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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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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TSCD309 PADRAIG O’KEEFE, DENIS MURPHY, JULIA CLIFFORD ~ KERRY FIDDLES

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

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

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

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TSCD449 JUNE TABOR ~ AQABA

TSCD449 webAnother collaboration of Tabor and producer Andrew Cronshaw, Aqaba contains the Jewish lament Mayn Rue Plats, more pieces by Bill Caddick and Dave Goulder and the noble cadences of the traditional songs Searching for Lambs and Bogie’s Bonnie Belle.

June Tabor vocals
with
Huw Warren piano
Ric Saunders violin
Martin Simpson guitar
Dave Bristow synthesizer
Ian Blake bass clarinet

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WATERSON:CARTHY ~ A DARK LIGHT TSCD536

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

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

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JUNE TABOR ~ AT THE WOOD’S HEART TSCD557

This is the June Tabor album – from the opening track, a magisterial reading of The Banks of Sweet Primeroses, through Anna McGarrigle’s Heart Like A Wheel and her in-concert showstopper, Duke Ellington’s Do Nothing ‘Till You Hear From Me. June has also chosen a new song from the pen of one of her favourite English songwriters – Bill Caddick’s The Cloud Factory.
The inspiration for June’s choice of songs was the particular group of musicians she brought together for her BBC4 Sessions concert in 2004. “Obviously I was already aware of the strong character of each musician’s playing, but what I was not prepared for was the impact of the ensemble as a whole, as well as the undreamed of textures and colours of new permutations within the group”. The effect is remarkable, and June’s voice and performance have moved into even more impressive new territory.

• “No one else has come close to Tabor’s clarity and strength of expression. Her instinct and training make every phrase count.” The Daily Telegraph
• “From the opening notes…you realise you are in safe hands… coaxes unimagined sensations out of traditional tunes and performs elegant arrangements of new ones” ★★★★ The Sunday Times
• “To describe June Tabor as simply a folk singer is to ignore her achievements – and this new album proves she is one of our finest interpreters of songs of almost any kind. The starting point is traditional material, but her treatment of The Banks of the Sweet Primroses shows how she makes a song her own with her story-telling. A Chaucer song is followed by an exquisite, pained treatment of Anna McGarrigle’s Heart Like A Wheel, while the traditional Oh! Alas I Am in Love leads in to a drifting Duke Ellington ballad. A thoughtful, personal album”. ★★★★ The Guardian
• “She’s a national treasure” The Independent on Sunday
• “At the Wood’s Heart finds the powers in enthralling form. That sinuous, melancholy voice still does ‘dark’ impeccably – but always verdant, always human.”  ★★★★ The Observer

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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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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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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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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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FAY HIELD ~ LOOKING GLASS TSCD573

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

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

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

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

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

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TSCD475 WATERSON:CARTHY ~ WATERSON:CARTHY

TSCD475 webWith an eclecticism characteristic of its members, Waterson:Carthy’s first album draws upon not only the archives of British folksong but a Morris tune and a Texas waltz. What is transmitted to the listener, however, is not so much the skill of their research as the virtuosity with which they breathe life into its matter.

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TSCD935D SONGS OF SURVIVAL – TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF GEORGIA

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

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

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

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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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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



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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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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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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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



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

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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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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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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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TSCD471 LEO ROWSOME ~ CLASSICS OF IRISH PIPING

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

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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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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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THE WATERSONS ~ GREEN FIELDS TSCD500

Another masterful performance by the latter-day Watersons. Again, an original album by the full group has been supplemented with solo tracks by Mike and solo and duet tracks by Norma and Lal. In keeping with its title, the album focuses on songs of country life like While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping, We’ll All Go a-Hunting Today and The Brave Ploughboy.

Lal Waterson, Mike Waterson, Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy vocals

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PAST MASTERS OF IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD604

This album serves as a complementary release to TSCD602 Irish Dance Music It is a collection of early recordings (1923-49) of some of the greatest Irish traditional musicians ever to set foot in the recording studio. As well as solos from pipes and accordion there are duets, small groups and ceilidh bands. The album is accompanied by detailed historical notes and biographies, and has been re-mastered from rare original recordings to the highest standards.

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

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

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

Recorded by James Burns.

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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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DAVE SWARBRICK ~ RAGS, REELS & AIRS TSCD517 

A lost classic, first released in 1967 and immediately recognised as a recording landmark. Rags, Reels & Airs focuses solely on Dave Swarbrick and it finally gave him a chance to really stretch out and demonstrate his leading instrumental prowess. The result was a new era of English instrumental folk music and a new approach to folk music altogether.

Rags, Reels & Airs was produced by Joe Boyd, who would soon introduce Dave Swarbrick to Fairport Convention – the result of which was Liege & Lief and a whole new era for folk and rock music. Joe Boyd’s sleeve notes included this comment: ‘This record should provide ample evidence of the fact that Dave Swarbrick is doing perhaps the finest job of reconciling traditional instrumental styles with modern ideas and technique’.

Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin, 8-string fiddle
with
Martin Carthy guitar
Diz Disley guitar

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

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

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



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

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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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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



MARTIN SIMPSON ~ KIND LETTERS TSCD553

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

• Top 10 Folk/World Album of the Year 2005 Record Collector
• “Simpson is one of the UK’s finest folk musicians, and his unique gift is to bring to bear the kind of fluid forward motion usually associated with American acoustic music on the more strident shapes of British traditional song. Kind Letters is full of spectacular moments.★★★★ Sunday Times
• “Although it’s his guitar virtuosity that’s frequently lauded, it’s as an interpreter of song that Martin Simpson really scores. Simpson delivers narratives with colour and conviction. Fittingly be-gonged several times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Martin Simpson is taking his place, not just as a hero for guitar-besotted acolytes but as one of the national treasures of English traditional music.” BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic Reviews
“He (Martin) has surely scarcely been in such a rich vein of form as he is now. The last couple of albums were both special…but with Danu – as well as Chris Parkinson, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr – co-opted as a backing band, this takes it somewhere else again. It’s a tender, emotional, profoundly moving album that portrays the immense reach of traditional balladry.” fROOTS
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TSCD482 ELIZA CARTHY ~ HEAT LIGHT & SOUND

TSCD482 webThe most accomplished and adventurous debut album the British folk scene has witnessed in more than 20 years, Heat Light & Sound declares Eliza Carthy’s talent as a singer and fiddler in songs and tunes from the British tradition.

  • ‘A superbly assured debut album.’ – The Observer
  • ‘The future of British folk music.’ – Mojo

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TSCD905 FOLK MUSIC OF BULGARIA

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

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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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PETER BELLAMY ~ BOTH SIDES THEN TSCD582

Peter Bellamy’s passions – from the great English traditional singers to the prisoners of Parchman Farm, the mountain music of the Appalachians, the Rolling Stones and especially the poems of Rudyard Kipling, were too wide-ranging to be tied to any one sort of music.

BOTH SIDES THEN – originally released in 1979 and generally considered to be his finest solo album – is a superb integration of his varied musical interests, drawing on English, Irish and Appalachian traditions. Working with close friends from The Young Tradition, The Watersons, Louis Killen and Dave Swarbrick, he explores the richness of traditional music. Peter Bellamy, who sadly died in 1991, left a remarkable body of recording which continues to inspire musicians around the world.

“Peter Bellamy’s finest hour” ★★★★★ Songlines
“Classic” Taplas

Peter Bellamy
with
Anthea Bellamy, Louis Killen, Bill Shute and Lisa Null, Dave Swarbrick, Royston Wood, Heather Wood and The Watersons

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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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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



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

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

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

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



JUNE TABOR ~ AN ECHO OF HOOVES TSCD543

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

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

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LAL WATERSON & OLIVER KNIGHT ~ A BED OF ROSES TSCD505

A Bed Of Roses was the second album from Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight. Another collection of luminous songs and riveting performances. Sadly, this was to be Lal Waterson’s last recording, completed just before before her death in 1998.

Mojo magazine has declared Lal Waterson “up with Nick Drake and Richard Thompson in the very front rank of English songwriters.

Lal Waterson vocals
Oliver Knight guitars
Maria Gilhooley vocals
Charles O’Connor fiddles
Jo Freya saxophone
Alice Kinloch trombone
Jody Stecher mandolin
Ray Cooper “Chopper” ‘cello

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

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

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

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



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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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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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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