Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

NORMA WATERSON ~ Bright Shiny Morning TSCD520

A significant album by the reigning doyenne of British Folk Music, Norma Waterson. Produced by her daughter, rising star Eliza Carthy, Bright Shiny Morning is a solo project which not only highlights Norma’s passion for traditional material, but proves her to be one of this country’s finest exponents.
Norma continues to breathe life into material often centuries old. Aside from her wonderful, rich and distinctive voice, Norma Waterson’s particular skill is in her choice of songs and how she makes each one relevant to a modern audience. Norma’s career, which began in the early 60s with folk supergroup The Watersons, has continued to blossom and grow and today she commands considerable respect amongst a wide and devoted following.
“This is a magnificent album….Norma Waterson can be just as riveting singing a solo a cappella ballad as she is when accompanied by other musicians or singing in harmony with other singers.” Sing Out

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Music of Cape Breton 1 TSDL353

This anthology of traditional, Gaelic singing and instrumental music has been selected from recordings made in the spring and summer of 1976 in Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Until recent decades Cape Breton has existed in relative cultural isolation, and is now the only region in North America to have retained the Gaelic language, along with the wealth of songs and instrumental tunes, that arrived with the early 19th-century immigrants from the Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland. Since that time a highly evolved and varied folk-culture has flourished in the Gaelic-speaking rural communities down to the present, making this small corner of the Canadian Maritimes one of the most important areas of living Gaelic tradition remaining today.

1.    An t-Each Ruadh  Alexander Kerr with the North Shore Singers
2.    Slow Air: Coilsfield House Dan Joe MacInnis violin with Theresa MacLean piano
3.    Hinn, Heinn Thog Iad Amach. Mrs Rod McLean
4.    March, Reel & Jig: The Glencoe March / The Sandpoint / Untitled Joe Burke harmonica with Marie MacLellan piano
5.     Mo Nigh An Donn As Bòidche Malcolm Angus MacLeod
6.     Strathspeys & Reels: Captain Campbell / Marnoch Strathspey / Mrs General Campbell / Allt a’Ghobhainn (The Smith’s Burn) / O, She’s Comical /  Sandy MacIntyre’s Trip to Boston / Sir Reginald MacDonald / Dan J Campbell’s Reel Mike MacDougall violin with Mary Jessie MacDonald     piano
7.     Ma Phosas Mi Lauchie MacLellan
8.     Maili Dhonn, Bhoidheach Dhonn John Shaw with the North Shore Singers
9.     Tha Mo Ghaol Air ‘Aird a’ Chuain Tommy MacDonald
10.    Strathspeys & Reels: Sir Thomas Sinclair Ray / The Highlanders’ Farewell / Miss Lyle’s Strathspey / Miss Lyle’s reel / Sandy is my Darling / Bonnie Annie Alex Francis MacKay violin with Fr. John Angus Rankin piano
11.    O A Hù A, Nighean Dubh, Nighean Donn Neil MacLean with the North Shore Singers
12.    Jig & Hornpipe: Paddy’s Resource / The Flowers of Edinburgh Alex MacNeil mandolin with Charlie Dobbin mandolin and and Kevin McCormick piano
13.     Na h-Ighneagan Donna, Boidheach Lauchie MacLellan
14.     Ma Bhuannaich Thu Nighean Ghrinn Murdo MacAskill with the North Shore Singers

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JOSIE McDERMOTT Darby’s Farewell TSDL325

Darby’s Farewell is a fine portrait of a working musician. Josie McDermott was a well-known player who played across the range of Irish music – trumpet or saxophone with ‘modern’ groups and whistle or flute with ceili bands. He was an All-Ireland champion many times on several instruments and lilting, and was a finalist three times in ballad-singing. This album, recorded in 1977, focuses on his traditional repertoire.

1   Reels: The Kerry Man / The Pigeon on the Gate flute
2   Jigs: Sixpenny Money / Garrett Barry’s Jig whistle
3   Hornpipes: The Bush Hornpipe / Dunphy’s Hornpipe flute
4   Song: Moorlough Mary
5   Slow air: An Cailin Rua flute
6   Reels: The Tap Room / Toss the Feathers whistle, bodhran
7   Jigs: Dominic’s Farewell to Cashel / Trip to the Cottage flute
8   Lilting: The Collier’s Reel / The Bank of Ireland
9   Reels: Micko Russell’s Reel / Trip to Birmingham flute, bodhran
10 Polkas: Murphy’s Polka / The Keadue Polka whistle
11  Reels: Peg McGrath’s Reel / GanIey’s Reel flute, bodhran
12  Song: Ballad of the O’Carolan Country
13  Reels: The Flowers of Ballymotel / Colemen’s Cross whistle
14  Song: Une Wan
15  Slow air: Ùna Bhán flute
16  Jigs: Boys of the Town / Dwyer’s Jig flute, bodhran
17  Reels: Father O’Grady’s Visit to Bocca / Darby’s Farewell to London whistle, bodhran

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GEORGE HANNA & SARAH ANNE O’NEILL On The Shores Of Lough Neagh TSDL372

“Many recordings of Ulster folk songs have been issued, but little or none from the Co. Tyrone. This record presents a sample from the repertory of a brother and sister, who come of a singing family within a singing region from which they have never moved. They are the carriers of a distinct and beautiful style. They are supported by their enthusiasm for songs which attract other singers who, with them, make a community within which an interchange of ideas is continually taking place. A delightful illustration of this is that Sarah Anne’s changes to John Reilly on track 9 are so pleasing to Brian Mullan, who gave her the song a year or so ago, that he plans to relearn it from her! Both these singers are intensely creative but in different ways. Geordie possesses the family style to a much higher degree than his sister. It entails a breaking up of the tune and words into short phrases delivered with great force. It is also distinct in the placing and shape of the decoration. This results from the shortness of the phrases and allows a highly meaningful performance without any overstatement. Sarah Anne’s ability to tidy up the words of a song or to lilt a tune to unsung verses complements Geordie’s skill and the two interact; they sing a large number of the same songs, share the same style and adopt one another’s changes. In short, these two singers represent the living tradition not its dying kicks.” from the original 1978 sleeve-notes.

GEORGE HANNA
1   Brockagh Brae
2   On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
3   The Blackbird of Sweet Avondale
4   Erin’s Lovely Home
5   Young Edmund in the Lowlands Low
6   Kate of Ballinamore

SARAH ANNE O’NElLL
7   The Rambler from Clare
8   A Fair Young Maid in Her Father’s Garden
9   John Reilly
10 Gosford’s Fair Demesne
11 Carrickmannon Lake
12 The Fisher’s Cot

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BERNARD O’SULLIVAN & TOMMY McMAHON Clare Concertinas TSDL1502

Bernard O’Sullivan was a farmer and concertina player of Country Clare, with an extensive repertoire of traditional tunes, when these recordings were made in 1975 by John Tams and Neil Wayne. His companion Tommy McMahon, a generation younger, learnt both from Bernard an from his wide contest experience, which included All-Ireland senior championship prizes in 1971, ’72 and ’73.

1   Polkas: The Babes in the Wood / Cooraclare Polka / Clare Dragoons Bernard O’Sullivan / Tommy McMahon
2   Jigs: The Shady Groves of Piedmont / The Humours of Ennistymon Bernard O’Sullivan / Tommy McMahon
3   Reels: The Old Torn Petticoat / Tommy People’s Favourite Tommy McMahon
4   Set dance: Mount Fabus Hunt Bernard O’Sullivan / Tommy McMahon
5   Reels: Ollie Conway’s Selection Tommy McMahon
6   Reels: Kilrush Races / The Clogher Reel / Burren Reel Tommy McMahon / Bernard O’Sullivan
7   Set dance: Bonaparte’s Retreat Tommy McMahon / Bernard O’Sullivan
8   March: Bonaparte’s March Bernard O’Sullivan
9   Jigs: Barron’s / Jackson’s / The Milltown Jig Tommy McMahon
10  Set dance: Rodney’s Glory Tommy McMahon / Bernard O’Sullivan
11  Reel: Tommy McMahon’s Reel Tommy McMahon
12  Waltz: Over The Waves Bernard O’Sullivan / Tommy McMahon
13  Polkas: Girl I Left Behind / Maggie in the Wood Bernard O’Sullivan
14  Jigs: Martin Talty’s / Thomas Friel’s / Joe Cunnean’s Tommy McMahon
15  Hornpipes: Sean Ryan’s / Danganella hornpipe Tommy McMahon
16  Set dance: Job O’ Journeywork Tommy McMahon / Bernard O’Sullivan
17  Reels: The Ash Plant / The Maid of Mount Cisco Bernard O’Sullivan / Tommy McMahon

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VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ Shining Bright TSCD519

In 1972 Mike & Lal Waterson released an extraordinary album of their original songs – Bright Phoebus – on Bill Leader’s Trailer label. This magical collection of very English songwriting as long been acknowledged a classic and one of the finest achievements of the British folk revival. Inexplicably Bright Phoebus was out of print for many years.

Performed by Norma Waterson, Dayteller, Maddy Prior, Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Blue Murder, Dick Gaughan, Linda & Teddy Thompson, Helen Watson, Billy Bragg & The Blokes, Martin Carthy, Christy Moore, Jody Stecher & Kate Brislin, Christine Collister & Oliver Knight … Shining Bright was conceived to pay tribute To Mike & Lal’s remarkable songs, and it draws upon the songs recorded for Bright Phoebus, and on a further dozen songs written at the same time but not previously recorded. Shining Bright has fifteen new recordings by some of the folk world’s finest performers. The songwriting of Mike and Lal is held in such high esteem that soon we had a queue of performers eager to contribute to this collection.

“The Coen brothers did it for the music of the deep south, Ry Cooder ditto for Cuban music.and now Topic Records have done it for Lal and Mike Waterson, two of English folk’s most original and searingly creative singers/songwriters. This is a collection that bristles and shines. A collection to bask in. A glorious gathering” Irish Times

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BOB COPPER Sweet Rose In June TSDL328

As a scion of the famous family of ‘singing coppers’,he irreplaceable Bob Copper grew up into a rich tradition of Southern song. In the 1950s he recorded many country singers for the BBC, an experience reflected in three best-selling books and partly documented in Songs & Southern Breezes (TSDL317). Sweet Rose In June presents his own beautifully sung versions of countryside songs from the South of England.

1   The Trooper
2   The Bold ‘Princess Royal’
3   The Farmer from Chester
4   The Mistletoe Bough
5   The Bold Dragoon
6   Young Johnnie
7   The Parson and The Sucking Pig
8   Lord Thomas
9   The Squire’s Lost Lady
10 Bold General Wolfe
11 Dick Turpin
12 The Fox
13 Dogs and Ferrets
14 The Fisherman
15 Rose in June

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Earl Soham Slog TSDL374

The traditional folk music of East Suffolk has probably been the best documented regional style in England over the past thirty years. Whereas much of the music and singing recorded in this period would appear to be indigenous to a general ‘East Anglian style’. It is possible. even within such a relatively small area. to detect various distinctive traditions often revolving around either a particular pub, village or influential musician. Basically during this period, there were four such quite separate local groupings in this area, with of course some interaction between them (primarily in the case of the travelling pub musician).
The best known of these was undoubtedly that centred around the singing pubs along the Aldeburgh coastal district, such as Blaxhall ‘Ship’ and the ‘Eel Foot Inn’ at Eastbridge. Here the music and singing was highly organised. generally as a Saturday night’s entertainment with chairmen introducing the singers and maintaining order. Secondly the nearby towns of Woodbridge and Wickham Market boasted a fair number of dance and string bands led by men such as Walter CIow, Fred Whent, Billy Hall and Lennie Pearce. A third tradition was active around the pubs in Halesworth and Yoxford area, revolving around the charismatic Seaman Family from Darsham. Finally_ the small villages between Framlingham and Debenham sported a great musical tradition dominated by melodeon players Walter Read and Alf Peachey and fiddlers Walter Gyford and Harkie Nesling. It is from the last two traditions and through four generations that this recording is drawn.

Harkie Nesling Fiddle
Reg Reeder Dulcimer
Font Whatling Melodeon
Fred Whiting Fiddle

1    Polkas (Harkie’s Polkas) Fred Whiting
2    Cat Among the Tails / Rakes of Mallow Reg Reeder
3    The Earl Soham Slog / Flowers of Edinburgh Fred Whiting
4    Mick’s Tune / Pigeon on the Gate Font Whatling
5    The Sultan’s Polka / Untitled Polka Harkie Nesling
6    Waltz Medley: Oscar Woods’ / Charlie Philpotts Reg Reeder
7    Jigs: The Maid at the Well / The Old Kerry Fiddler / The Priest and His Boots Fred Whiting
8    Come and Be My Little Teddy Bear Harkie Nesling
9    Polkas Font Whatling
10  Hornpipes: The Weaver’s / The Bristol Sailorman / Ballinalig in the Morning  Fred Whiting
11  Imprudence Schottische / Rakes of Mallow Harkie Nesling
12  Polka Medley : 1,2,3,4 5 / Jenny Lind / Joe, the  Boat is Going Over Reg Reeder
13  The Hurling Boys (‘Old Country Dance’)/ Jack Tar Hornpipe  Fred Whiting
14  Untitled Tunes Font Whatling
15  The Barn Dance Harkie Nesling
16  Off to California / Will the Waggoner (Gypsy Hornpipe ) Fred Whiting
17   Pigeon on the Gate Font Whatling

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The CAMERON MEN TSDL321

The Cameron Men is a superb collection of classic Scots Fiddle Recordings from the Thirties. The Cameron men were a group of brothers from Kirriemuir, with a strong family tradition of fiddling. This album, derived from 1930s Beltona and Edison Bell Winner 78s, includes solo fiddle pieces by William and James Cameron, and eight supremely graceful tracks by a fiddle trio (William, James and George) with a fourth brother Stewart, at the piano.

1  Cameron Men (M162, BL2087) March, Strathspey & Reel: The Abercairney Highlanders / Ballochmyle / Speed the Plough
2  Cameron Men (M160, BL2240) Polka
3  James Cameron (M585, BL2301) The Auld Lichties [John MacFadyen of Melfort / Brig of Perth / The Earl of Crawford’s Reel]
4  William Cameron (13956, Edison Bell Winner 5428) Farewell to Gartly / Stirling Castle / Soldier’s Joy
5  Cameron Men (M166, BL2241) Miss Drummond of Perth / Maggie Cameron / The Favourite
6  James Cameron (M14673, BL1988) Jigs: The Flock and Wee Pickle Tow / The Blackthorn Stick / Teviot Brig / Humors of Donnybrook
7  William Cameron (13960, EBW 5430) Air, Strathspey & Reel: Our Highland Queen / Forth Brig / Forth Brig
8  Cameron Men (M163, BL2120) March, Strathspey & Reel: Loch Katrine / Miss Lyall / Loch Leven
9 James Cameron (M587, BL2302) Rossity Ends (A Good Going Violin Medley) [unidentified 6/8 march / Smith’s a Gallant Fireman / Pretty Peggy]
10 James Cameron (M14678, 1989) Jigs: Cumberland Reel / Father O’Flynn / Auld Brig o’ Ayr / The Wind That Shakes the Barley
11 Cameron Men (M161, BL2241) March, Strathspey & Reel: Earl Dalhousie / Lady Mary Ramsey / Soldier’s Joy
12 William Cameron (13961, EBW 5431) Jig, Strathspey & Reel: Banks O’ Allan / Craigellachie Brig / Lasses o’Stewarton
13 Cameron Men (M165, BL2217) Dashing White Sergeant / My Love She’s But a Lassie Yet / The Rose Tree
14 James Cameron (M14674, BL1974) Jigs, Strathspey & Reel: The Rakes of Kildare / Swallow Tail / The Queen’s Welcome to Deeside / The Drummer
15  Cameron Men (M159, BL2217) Circassian Circle: Original / Brechin Brig / Victoria Hornpipe
16  Cameron Men (M164, BL2120) March, Strathspey & Reel: Bonnie Ann / Bob Johnston / Bob Johnston 

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ROY HARRIS By Sandbank Fields TSDL327

“In the course of singing these songs over the years I’ve probably altered them hugely from the way they came to me but I hope my informants won’t think them too much harmed. My thanks to them all anyway. However, dear listener, don’t run away with the idea that I spend my time singing nothing but songs such as these. After all, I have always loved singing and sung all the songs that were available to me. So, off-duty at least, these songs mix with the songs of Crosby, Jolson, Paul Robeson and Hank Williams, to name only four of my favourite singers. The real gift that the folk revival has given me is the knowledge of these traditional songs so that they can share a place in my affections with the radio songs I had known for years. I hope you will enjoy the songs here; if you want to learn any to sing yourself – go ahead!” Roy Harris from the original album sleevenotes.

1   As I Was Going to Banbury
2   The Knight and the Shepherd ‘s Daughter
3   The Baker of Colebrook
4   The 23rd of March
5   Go from My Window
6   Think on This (When You Smoke Tobacco)
7   The Dockyard Gate
8   The Lady of Carlisle
9   Robin Hood and Little John
10  Sandbank Fields
11  The Spithead Sailor
12  The Unhappy Parting

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JOHNNY DOUGHTY Round Rye Bay For More TSDL324

A former fisherman from Brighton, Johnny Doughty was discovered in his early seventies and recorded for Topic records. His songs, delivered with a vigorous sincerity that belied his age, ranged from classic Elizabethan ballads to locally composed ditties, as well as reflecting his extrovert personality.

1    Herring Heads
2    The Wreck of the Northfleet
3    When I was Single
4    The Golden Vanity
5    The Saucy Sailor
6    Baltimore
7    While Going Round the Cape/Round Rye bay for More
8    Spanish Ladies
9    The Sailor’s Alphabet
10   The Mermaid
11   Marry Me
12   I’m Going to be Mother Today
13   Barbar Allen
14   My Boy Billy
15   Dick Turpin/Let Her Go Back
16   Rye Harbour Girl
17   The Streets of Port Arthur

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JOHN BURGESS The Art Of The Highland Bagpipe vol. 2 TSDL326

John Burgess, master player, is again at the top of his form in this recording. His interpretation of the two piobaireachds will be treated by enthusiasts as archive material, to be savoured and enjoyed again and again. In the light music he is, as always, at his brilliant best, displaying an excellence of technique and a mastery of expression that can serve as a standard for pipers everywhere. He reveals also, for the first time on any recording, his considerable talent as a composer, his arrangement of the Mason’s Apron is exciting and unexpected and shows yet another facet of this great piper’s talent.

1   2/4 Marches: The Knightswood Ceilidh / Father John MacMillan of Barra
2   Slow airs: Leaving Loch Boisdale / The Angler’s Lament
3   6/8 Marches: Seumas MacNeill / John D Burgess
4   Strathspey & reel: Johnnie Ross, Craigard / Captain Lachlan MacPhail of Tiree
5   Jigs: Daphne Shephard / The Herring Wife
6   Piobaireach: The Lament for Duncan MacRae of Kintail
7   2/4 Marches: John MacFadyen of Melfort / Willie MacLean / Jeannie Carruthers / The Conundrum
8   Strathspey & reel: Lady Loudon / The Rejected Suitor
9   Piobaireach: The Lament for Mary MacLeod
10 Hornpipe: The Mason’s Apron

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JOHN WRIGHT Unaccompanied TSDL348

A revival musician with an unusual understanding of traditional music. John Wright is a fine singer and a performer on the fiddle and mouth-organ, an unquestionably one of the finest exponents of jew’s-harp playing.

1      Awake, Awake, You Drowsy Sleeper
2     Four-Hand Reel (mouth-organ)
3     Murphy’s Hornpipe (jew’s harp)
4     Gypsy Hornpipe (fiddle)
5     Henry Martin
6     Bridget Cruise Nos 2 & 3 (jew’s harp)
7     Tailor By My Trade
8     Dornoch Links / The Shepherd’s Crook / Lochiel’s Awa’ to France Scottish Pipe Tunes (jew’s harp)
9     Young Charlotte
10    The Varsoviana – Eng|and (mouth-organ)
11    La Valse Vienne – France (fiddle)
12    La Scottisch Anglaise – France (fiddle)
13    L’Angoise – France (fiddle)
14    Our Captain Cried All Hands / Country Dances (fiddle):
15   Ninepins
16   Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
17   The Punk’s Delight

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Music of Cape Breton 2 TSDL354

Scottish fiddle music arrived in Cape Breton Island with the Highland settlers over a century and a half ago, and the strongly Highland character of this region of Nova Scotia, in the Canadian Maritimes, remains to this day. Cape Breton with its harbours, heavily forested mountains and fertile valleys provided the Highlander with ample opportunity to exercise his old country skills in fishing, hunting and farming: the rural way of life of the Western Highland Gaels, together with their highly evolved oral and musical traditions, adapted easily to the new setting.

1    Strathspey, Hornpipe & Reel: The Sow’s Tail / Londonderry Hornpipe / Duncan on the Plainstones THERESA MacLELLAN (acc Marie MacLeIIan)
2    Strathspeys & Reels: The WarIock’s Strathspey/ Bog an Lochain (Athole Cummers) / The Nine Pint Coggie / Calum Fhionnlaidh / Prince Charlie / Tarbolton Lodge MIKE MacDOUGALL (acc Mary Jessie MacDonald)
3    March, Strathspeys & Reel: Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban / Cairistiona Chaimbeul (Christy Campbell) / Port ‘ic Artair (MacArthur’s Tune / Untitled JOHN WILLIE CAMPBELL (acc Kevin McCormick)
4    Strathspeys & Reels: Lucy Campbell / Calum Crùbach (Miss Drummond of Perth) / Untitled / Cota Mór Ealasaid (Elizabeth’s Big Coat) / Untitled MARY MacDONALD (acc Mary Jessie McDonald)
5    Slow Air, Strathspeys & Reels: Niel Gow’s Lamentation for Abercairney / Johnnie Pringle / Munlochie Bridge / The Duke of Gordon’s Birthday / Perrie Werrie / Peggie     Menzies / West Mabou Reel ALEX FRANCIS MacKAY (acc Fr John Angus Rankin)
6    Jigs: The Black Sporran / WaIking the Floor JOHN NEIL MacLEAN (acc Phyllis MacLeod)
7    March & Strathspey: A Sheana-bhean Bhochd (Glengarry’s March) / Donald MacMaster’s Strathspe DAN JOE and GEORGE MaclNNIS (acc Marie MacLe|Ian)
8    Strathspey & Reel: J Scott Skinner Strathspey / GiIlian’s Reel (Muir o’ Gellan) JOHN NEIL MacLEAN (acc Phyllis MacLeod)
9    Strathspeys & Reels: Unidentified / Calum Breugach /  The Duke of Athole / George the IV / The King’s / Miss Lyle’s Reel ALEX FRANCIS MacKAY (acc Fr John Angus Rankin)
10    Strathspey & Reels: Alex MacEachern’s Strathspey / Fear nan Casan Caola (The Rejected Suitor) / Untitled JOHN WILLIE CAMPBELL (acc Kevin McCormick)
11    Strathspeys & Reels: Miss Lyle’s Strathspey / The Highlanders’ Farewell to Ireland / King George / Tulloch Gorm (old setting with variations) / Lord MacDonald / Miss Johnstone MARY MacDONALD (acc Mary Jessie MacDonald)
12    Jigs: Untitled / Untitled / Dan the Cobbler JOE MacLEAN (acc Mary Jessie MacDonald)

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BRASS MONKEY Sound & Rumour TSDL501

Brass Monkey’s 1999 comeback album Sound & Rumour is an exhilarating blend of sea songs, Morris tunes, travellers’ songs and a pipe march. This album saw the band back on the road with Richard Cheetham taking over the trombone duties from Roger Williams.

Martin Carthy vocals [1, 4, 8b, 9, 11a], guitar, mandolin
John Kirkpatrick vocals [1, 3, 7, 9, 12], Anglo concertina, button accordion, single-row melodeon
Howard Evans trumpet
Richard Cheetham trombone
Martin Brinsford percussion and mouth-organ

  1. The Flash Lad
  2. Morris Tune / The Rose / Trunkles
  3. An Acre of Land
  4. Old Horse
  5. The Heroes of St Valéry
  6. The Charming Maid
  7. The Roving Journeyman
  8. Rodney / When I Was Young / The Quaker
  9. The Old Virginia Lowlands
  10. Auretti’s Dutch Skipper / An Adventure at Margate / The Spirit of the Dance
  11. Soldier, Soldier  / The Flowers of Edinburgh
  12. The Rambling Comber
  13. Betty Fitchett’s Wedding / The German Schottische

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ VAGRANT STANZAS TSCD589

Vagrant Stanzas is a splendid, intimate new recording from finger-style guitar maestro Martin Simpson. Encouraged by his near neighbour Richard Hawley, Martin set out to record his new album completely solo. The ambition was to record just one man and his guitar (or banjo) close-miked and personal. Most of the performances are first or second takes. So much material was recorded that the deluxe edition includes an extra CD of eight outtakes from the recording sessions – quite honestly they’d have made the cut on just about anybody else’s album.

“This is not a record of repairs and corrections, this is what I do at a gig. It’s the first time I’ve made a studio album which deliberately tries to capture the immediacy of a live performance…. in fact it is the intimacy of playing to a friend which is at the heart of this album.”

The album sees Martin collaborate with some of the best producers and engineers in the business, including multi-Grammy Award winning mastering engineer, Silas Brown. The CD has been co-produced by Martin alongside American producer Peter Denenberg and, our own Richard Hawley, who produced the UK part of the CD in Sheffield, at the legendary Yellow Arch Studios. Vagrant Stanzas is made up of a mixture of Martin’s original compositions, including a song commissioned by BBC Radio 2 for their award winning Radio Ballads series, alongside classic songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Chris Wood, Leon Rosselson and, of course, the ubiquitous ‘Anon’ of Folk ballad fame.

“One man with guitar and banjo and an acutely tuned ear for a good tune and a powerful lyric can certainly whip up a lot of different moods and styles. It’s all down to attitude.” fRoots

“There is a distinctive brilliance to Simpson’s guitar and voice – these are vocals from the back step, from the songs’ stark interiors, understood and played out by a man in the third age of life.★★★★ Songlines

“What you get is pure and fluent Simpson musicianship. A very fine record.” ★★★★ The Telegraph

CD 1
1 Diamond Joe
2 Jackie and Murphy
3 Shepherds Rejoice
4 Come Down Jehovah
5 Molly As She Swings
6 Palaces of Gold
7 Blue Eyed Boston Boy
8 Delta Dreams
9 Waly Waly
10 North Country Blues
11 Lorena
12 Lady Gay
13 Stranger Song
14 Come Write me Down

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ VAGRANT STANZAS TXCD589

Deluxe limited edition 2CD set

Vagrant Stanzas is a splendid, intimate new recording from finger-style guitar maestro Martin Simpson. Encouraged by his near neighbour Richard Hawley, Martin set out to record his new album completely solo. The ambition was to record just one man and his guitar (or banjo) close-miked and personal. Most of the performances are first or second takes. So much material was recorded that the deluxe edition includes an extra CD of eight outtakes from the recording sessions – quite honestly they’d have made the cut on just about anybody else’s album.

“This is not a record of repairs and corrections, this is what I do at a gig. It’s the first time I’ve made a studio album which deliberately tries to capture the immediacy of a live performance…. in fact it is the intimacy of playing to a friend which is at the heart of this album.”

The album sees Martin collaborate with some of the best producers and engineers in the business, including multi-Grammy Award winning mastering engineer, Silas Brown. The CD has been co-produced by Martin alongside American producer Peter Denenberg and, our own Richard Hawley, who produced the UK part of the CD in Sheffield, at the legendary Yellow Arch Studios. Vagrant Stanzas is made up of a mixture of Martin’s original compositions, including a song commissioned by BBC Radio 2 for their award winning Radio Ballads series, alongside classic songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Chris Wood, Leon Rosselson and, of course, the ubiquitous ‘Anon’ of Folk ballad fame.

“One man with guitar and banjo and an acutely tuned ear for a good tune and a powerful lyric can certainly whip up a lot of different moods and styles. It’s all down to attitude.” fRoots

“There is a distinctive brilliance to Simpson’s guitar and voice – these are vocals from the back step, from the songs’ stark interiors, understood and played out by a man in the third age of life.★★★★ Songlines

“What you get is pure and fluent Simpson musicianship. A very fine record.” ★★★★ The Telegraph

CD 1
1    Diamond Joe
2    Jackie and Murphy
3    Shepherds Rejoice
4    Come Down Jehovah
5    Molly As She Swings
6    Palaces of Gold
7    Blue Eyed Boston Boy
8    Delta Dreams
9    Waly Waly
10    North Country Blues
11    Lorena
12    Lady Gay
13    Stranger Song
14    Come Write me Down

CD 2
1    Fair Annie
2    Kaga Re
3    Blind Willie McTell
4    Old Paint
5    The Bell
6    Diamond Joe
7    The Death of Queen Jane
8    The Green Linnet

With ‘Vagrant Stanzas’ Martin Simpson makes a career defining statement
– solo, intimate performances captured in a series of jewel-like recordings.

Buy Vagrant Stanzas now from:
PROPERMUSIC.COM, AMAZON and ITUNES