Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

ELIZA CARTHY ~ ANGLICANA TSCD539

Eliza Carthy’s triumphant return to Topic Records after a period recording for Warner Brothers. Anglicana was nominated for BBC Radio 3 World Music Album of the Year and is a great new traditional album re-affirming her as one of the most important artists of her generation. As the title suggests, Anglicana is an expression of Englishness (as Eliza feels it), “with people who were around at the time, no border checkpoints, nobody pushed out, just what it is”.
It is built on the solid foundations of the traditional music of the country of her birth. There is no question that she has absorbed much of the great qualities of that tradition, but she is not interested in producing pastiche or sterile re-construction. She is one of the few people who can take this wonderful music and perform it in a totally convincing contemporary style – both true to its sources and firmly relevant to today’s values. This is what traditional music in the twenty-first century is all about!

• “Brilliant updating of the English folk tradition .. proper music, not museum art – her voice has never sounded fuller” ★★★★★ The Independent
• “Surely the best album of its type so far this century” fROOTS
• “faultless” www.Amazon.co.uk
Best folk album of the year Mojo

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IT FELL ON A DAY, A BONNY SUMMER DAY: BALLADS TSCD667

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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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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JOHN TAMS ~ UNITY TSCD508

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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TSCD464 BLOW THE MAN DOWN ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

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

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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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TSCD923 GUMBOOT GUITAR: ZULU STREET GUITAR MUSIC FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Remarkable rootsy guitar from the streets of Durban.
The guitar probably arrived in South Sfrica with Portuguese or Arab sailors back in the 16th century, but it only started to enter vernacular African traditions in the late 19th century. The discovery of gold and diamonds in South Africa at that time brought large numbers of African workers from all parts of the country – all looking for new forms of expression and relaxation. Music previously played on Zulu musical bows was transferred in the new urban environment to the guitar and often concertina and violin too. the music was called maskanda. 

Musicians played for their own enjoyment, but they also joined miners’ gumboot dance teams to accompany this exhilarating genre. Often lacking in formal performance areas, most of this music-making traditionally takes place on the streets of single-sex hostel compounds. These recordings from 1988 and 1996 feature musicians and gumboot players who live in one such hostel outside Durban.

• “Exciting, rough and ready grooves “ BBC Radio 2 World Music Reviews
• “This is the real deal, street music played by people who work hard all day and play at night or on the weekend. The real roots of South Africa umbaquanga music are right here. There’s a variety of sound on Gumboot Guitar as far as instruments are concerned: on gumboot-dominated tunes, the guitar plays rhythmic chords with a very percussive attack. A pounding beat is also belted out by an accordion or concertina on most tunes…powerful.” Worlddiscoveries.net

Recordings by Janet Topp Fargion & Albert Nene.

11  Kam and kossetina (comb and concertina)
2  Blanket’s guitar solo
3  Ma wenobba (Mother and Father)
4  Gumboot 1993
5  Guitar and kossetina
6  Gumboot
7  Ibhanoyi (Aeroplane)
8  Gumboot 1996
9  Albert Nene’s guitar solo -part 1
10  Albert Nene’s guitar solo -part 2



TSCD418 MARTIN CARTHY ~ SWEET WIVELSFIELD

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

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar

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BLUE MURDER ~ NO ONE STANDS ALONE TSCD537

The seven piece group Blue Murder, made up of Waterson:Carthy, Coope, Boyes and Simpson and Mike Waterson, has been described as “Harmony Heaven” and one listen is enough to explain why – seven of the greatest English folk voices performing together with passion and spirit. The repertoire ranges between great traditional standards, selected compositions and original songs by some of the band members. Whilst much of the album is the full glory of the seven voices, about half of the tracks have the added benefit of Martin Carthy’s understated but impeccable guitar work.

  • “..seldom has the unadorned human voice sounded more exhilarating. No One Stands Alone is destined to be one of the best British folk albums released this year.” ★★★★ The Times
  • “A glorious rush of perfectly pitched and counterbalanced vocals that offers up a spellbinding celebration of the human voice and makes this a firm contender for Folk Album of the Year” Netrhythms
  • “…singing and harmonising…top of the range…selection of songs…spot on, but more than that, there is a startling chemistry about them. There is a real mood of spontaneity and the idea of a group united by..a mutual love of the songs they are performing. Stand-out tracks include the rousing Bully in the Alley, the sentimental Land Where you Never Grow Old, and the devotional Standing on the Promises of God. Choruses made in heaven all. It is an album of qualities and values. Timeless.” fRoots
  • “The collective warmth of their intricately meshed harmonies fully bears out the togetherness made explicit in the title track. The septet’s burnished tones bring dignity and affection to their songs, with Norma Waterson’s commanding voice proud and plangent at its heart. – …beautiful renditions of traditional songs such as “Stars in My Crown” and “The Banks of Sweet Primeroses” tempered by the poignant sway of something like “The Land Where You Never Grow Old”. The Independent Review
  • “Performed in a dazzling array of harmonies by the best singers in the business – exhilarating – majestic and heartwarming. Essential” Mojo

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON TSCD567

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

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

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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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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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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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MELODEON GREATS ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD601 

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

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

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

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

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



TSCD476 SHIRLEY COLLINS ~ THE SWEET PRIMEROSES

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

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

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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



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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TSCD430 MARTIN SIMPSON ~ THE COLLECTION

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

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JUNE TABOR ~ A QUIET EYE TSCD510

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

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CHRISTINE COLLISTER ~ AN EQUAL LOVE TSCD1001

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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TSCD341 MARTIN CARTHY with DAVE SWARBRICK ~ SECOND ALBUM

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

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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TSCD918 HEALING, FEASTING & MAGICAL RITUAL: PAPUA NEW GUINEA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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



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

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

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

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



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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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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WALTER PARDON ~ A WORLD WITHOUT HORSES TSCD514 

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

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

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BOB FOX ~ THE BLAST TSCD555

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

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

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

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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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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



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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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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TSCD751 The Voice of the People

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

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

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

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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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THE WATERSONS ~ FROST AND FIRE TSCD563

The original classic album recorded in 1965 is now released in a re-designed package with extra photographs and with unbeatable remastered sound quality that makes it feel as though the group is in the room with you.
Seasons of anxiety, seasons of joy. The common people had their rites of propitiation and triumph, older than the rituals of the church and closer bound to their daily lives. This album takes us through a year’s calendar, displaying songs that accompanied these ceremonies, season by season.
The Watersons perform in the original classic lineup – Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson and John Harrison.

  • “Quite without parallel amongst British group singing” English Dance and Song
  • “Frost and Fire contains all the urgency of talented young people determined to record songs from a seemingly dying tradition. The results sound as fresh today as any recent Waterson:Carthy offering.” Morning Star
  • “The Watersons’ first album was released in 1965. It remains a revelation” ★★★★ Songlines
  • “These venerable releases shine in their newly remastered form.” Dirty Linen

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ TRUE STORIES TSCD578 

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

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

★★★★ Observer Music Magazine

“A very classy set” ★★★★ The Guardian

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

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

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

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

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

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TSCD345 MARTIN CARTHY ~ LANDFALL

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

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar

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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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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



TSCD485 DEEP LANCASHIRE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

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

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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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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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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ RIGHTEOUSNESS & HUMIDITY TSCD540

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

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

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

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TSCD340 MARTIN CARTHY ~ Martin Carthy

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

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
Dave Swarbrick fiddle, mandolin

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TOPIC70 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ THREE SCORE & TEN

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

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

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

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

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

.

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TSCD477 JACK ELLIOTT ~ RAMBLIN’ JACK

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

Jack Elliott vocals, guitar
Derroll Adams vocals, banjo

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

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

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

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



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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THE RADIO BALLADS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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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REG HALL

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

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

MICHAEL GORMAN ~ THE SLIGO CHAMPION TSCD525D

THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD602

PADDY IN THE SMOKE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD603

PAST MASTERS OF IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD604

PAST MASTERS OF IRISH FIDDLE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD605

ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS  TSCD606

ENGLISH COUNTRY MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD607



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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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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BRASS MONKEY ~ FLAME OF FIRE TSCD550 

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

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COME LET US BUY THE LICENSE: SONGS OF COURTSHIP & MARRIAGE TSCD651

tscd651 webVolume 1 of The Voice of The People.
Songs of courtship and marriage.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 SARAH MAKEM voice: I Courted A Wee Girl
2 GEOFF LING voice: The Green Bushe
3 MARY ANN HAYNES voice: Lovely Johnny
4 TOMMY McGRATH voice: The Colleen From Coolbaun
5 POP MAYNARD voice: Our Captain Calls All Hands
6 WILLIE CLANCY voice: The Song Of The Riddles
7 JIMMY McBEATH voice: The Bonnie Lass O’Fyvie
8 PADDY TUNNEY voice: The Old Man Rocking The Cradle
9 HARRY COX voice: The Bold Fisherman
10 ROSE MURPHY fiddle: The Lonely Maid
11 JOE HEANEY voice: Who Are You, My Pretty Fair Maid?
12 JACK NORRIS voice & accordeon: The Gown Of Green
13 BELLE STEWART voice: The Bonnie Wee Lassie Fae Gouroch
14 PHIL TANNER voice: The Sweet Primroses
15 EDDIE BUTCHER voice: David’s Flowery Vale
16 TURP BROWN voice: Abroad As 1 Was Walking
17 MARGARET BARRY voice & banjo: The Blarney Stone
18 WALTER PARDON voice: Peggy Benn
19 MARTIN GORMAN voice with chorus: The Little Drummer
20 JOSEPH TAYLOR voice: The Gypsy Girl
21 JIMMY McBEATH voice: Bound To Be A Row
22 MICHO RUSSELL voice: Nora Daly
23 PADDY TUNNEY voice: When A Man’s In Love He Feels No Cold
24 JEANNIE ROBERTSON voice with chorus: An Old Man Come Courting Me

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



THE BIG HEWER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD804

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

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

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

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TSCD427 ALISTAIR ANDERSON ~ STEEL SKIES 

TSCD427 webScored for a group of musicians including fiddles, flutes, mandolins and Alistair Anderson’s concertina and Northumbrian smallpipes, Steel Skies is a magnificent suite of composed tunes with roots deep in the traditional music of the British Isles. The compositions take from the tradition but expand on it creating a rich and rewardingly-subtle whole. Originally released in 1982, this wonderful album has a justly sterling reputation among those who have heard it, calling out for a re-release on CD. Alistair Anderson’s mastery of the concertina is legendary, but it is the concept and the beauty of the music here that may take your breath away.

“This is new music but with its roots deep in the traditional music of the British Isles. The traditional musician takes old tunes and polishes them like gemstones, revealing new facets of the melodies at every turn. The vitality such musicians bring to their music has always been an inspiration to me, and Steel Skies is a personal response to this.” – Alistair Anderson.

“The range and balance of Anderson’s melodies take your breath away” fROOTS

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TSCD472 THE WATERSONS ~ EARLY DAYS

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

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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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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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JOE HEANEY ~ THE ROAD FROM CONNEMARA TSCD518D 

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

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

Joe Heaney vocal

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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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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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ANNE BRIGGS ~ A COLLECTION TSCD504

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

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

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

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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



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



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

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

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

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



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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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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TIM VAN EYKEN ~ STIFFS LOVERS HOLYMEN THIEVES TSCD565

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

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

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THE 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 >>


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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TSCD410 JUNE TABOR with MARTIN SIMPSON ~ A CUT ABOVE

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

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

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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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WATERSON:CARTHY ~ BROKEN GROUND TSCD509 

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

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

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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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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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TSCD490 JUNE TABOR ~ ALEYN

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

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

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

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THE 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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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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WATERSON:CARTHY ~ FISHES & FINE YELLOW SAND TSCD542

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

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

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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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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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TSCD426 MARTIN CARTHY ~ OUT OF THE CUT

TSCD426 webAn updated Rigs of the Time and Jack Rowland‘s long story of magic metamorphosis are among the many arresting moments on this 1982 set, for which Martin Carthy is again joined by John Kirkpatrick and Howard Evans. Richard Thompson plays guitar on Old Horse.

Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
with
John Kirkpatrick accordion, concertina
Howard Evans trumpet, flugelhorn
Richard Thompson guitar

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