Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

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

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

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

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

More Details >>



THE BALLAD OF JOHN AXON TSCD801

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

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

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

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

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

More Details >>



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



TSCD489 ELIZA CARTHY & THE KINGS OF CALICUTT

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



WE’VE RECEIVED ORDERS TO SAIL: JACKIE TAR AT SEA & ON SHORE TSCD662

tscd662 webVolume 12 of The Voice of The People.
Jackie Tar at sea and on shore.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

More Details >>



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.

More Details >>



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



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



TSCD914 GYPSY MUSIC FROM MACEDONIA & NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES

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

Collected in the field by Wolf Dietrich

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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



TSCD927 OUT OF CUBA: LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC TAKES AFRICA BY STORM

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

.

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



PETER BELLAMY ~ BOTH SIDES THEN TSCD582

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

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



TSCD126 LOUIS KILLEN ~ BALLADS & BROADSIDES

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

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

Louis Killen vocal, concertina

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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.

More Details >>



TSCD492 MARTIN CARTHY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ SKIN & BONE

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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



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

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

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

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



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



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



TSCD358 JACKIE DALY ~ MUSIC FROM SLIABH LUACHRA 

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

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

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

Jackie Daly accordion, single reed accordion, Anglo concertina

More Details >>



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

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

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

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

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



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

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

An anthology edited by REG HALL.

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

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



TSCD471 LEO ROWSOME ~ CLASSICS OF IRISH PIPING

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



BILLY BENNETT ~ ALMOST A GENTLEMAN TSCD780 

SONGS & RECITATIONS BY THE GREAT MUSIC HALL COMEDIAN

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



BOB FOX ~ BORROWED MOMENTS TSCD544

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



TSCD935D SONGS OF SURVIVAL – TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF GEORGIA

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

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

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

More Details >>



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 WATERSONS ~ SOUND SOUND YOUR INSTRUMENTS OF JOY TSCD564

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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.

More Details >>



TROUBLES THEY ARE BUT FEW: DANCE TUNES & DITTIES TSCD664

tscd664 webVolume 14 of The Voice of The People.
Dance Tunes & Ditties.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.
More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



TSCD930 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ BAGPIPES OF GREECE

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

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

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

More Details >>



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.

More Details >>



ON THE EDGE TSCD806 

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



BOB DAVENPORT ~ THE COMMON STONE TSCD552

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

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

More Details >>



LAL & NORMA WATERSON ~ A TRUE HEARTED GIRL TSCD507

In 1977 Lal and Norma Waterson, as a side project, recorded A True Hearted Girl – an album of solos, duos and trios (with Lal’s daughter Maria). Lal and Norma varied the tried and true vision of The Watersons on this outing, by only using female voices and in different combinations. This gives the album a different ambience and depth to The Watersons.

Highlights of A True Hearted Girl include The Flowers of the Forest, I Wish I Never Had and Grace Darling. This CD reissue includes two extra tracks; one from the 1966 Watersons album, A Yorkshire Garland, and a rare 1998 live recording of The Waterdaughters (Lal, Norma, Maria & Eliza Carthy).

Lal Waterson, Norma Waterson, Maria Waterson, Eliza Carthy vocals
with
Jim Eldon flute, whistle
Peta Webb fiddle
Rod Stradling melodeon
Tony Engle Anglo-concertina

More Details >>



TSCD912 MUSIC OF THE TATAR PEOPLE

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

Recorded by Laszio Vikar

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



STEVE ASHLEY ~ EVERYDAY LIVES TSCD526 

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

• “As his contemporary John Tams blind-sided fans last year, Ashley does the same here” Q
• “If British singer-songwriterdom is to enjoy a renaissance…then it is right and proper that Steve Ashley should be at the forefront…a distinctively English style….alluring tunes and deft lyrics” fROOTS

More Details >>



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.

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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



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



FAY HIELD ~ LOOKING GLASS TSCD573

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

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

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

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

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

More Details >>



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



TSCD411 NIC JONES ~ PENGUIN EGGS

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

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

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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



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

More Details >>



TSCD488 WATERSON:CARTHY ~ COMMON TONGUE

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

More Details >>



TSCD475 WATERSON:CARTHY ~ WATERSON:CARTHY

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

More Details >>



TSCD466 JOHN BURGESS ~ KING OF THE HIGHLAND PIPERS

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

More Details >>



MARTIN CARTY & DAVE SWARBRICK ~ STRAWS IN THE WIND TSCD556

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

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

More Details >>



TSCD485 DEEP LANCASHIRE ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

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

More Details >>



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

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

More Details >>



MARTIN SIMPSON ~ THE BRAMBLE BRIAR TSCD513

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

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

More Details >>