Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

A. L. LLOYD and EWAN MacCOLL English and Scottish Folk Ballads TSDL103

TSDL103‘Our ballads are well known in book versions, though it must be said that the great anthologies don’t always contain the best specimens. They are less well known in sung versions, though they were made to be sung, not read. In this connection, the poet Robert Frost has something pertinent to say: “Voice and ear are left at a loss what to do with the ballad until supplied with the tune it was written to go with… Unsung, it stays half-lacking.”   May this record do something to repair a lack.’

From the original sleevenotes by A. L. Lloyd

  1. Henry Martin A. L. Lloyd
  2. The Baron of Brackley Ewan MacColl
  3. The Cruel Mother A. L. Lloyd
  4. Lord Randal Ewan MacColl
  5. The Bitter Withy A. L. Lloyd
  6. The ‘Sweet Kumadie’ Ewan MacColl
  7. The Demon Lover A. L. Lloyd
  8. Hughie the Graeme Ewan MacColl
  9. The Prickly Bush A. L. Lloyd
  10. The Beggar Man Ewan MacColl

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JOE HEANEY Irish Traditional Songs in Gaelic & English TSDL091

TSDL091‘Whether he is singing in Irish or English, Heaney is a remarkably discreet singer, not given to dramatic or comic effect, with an uneventful surface to his songs, but a world of secrets underneath. Outside a few settlements in his native West, it would be hard to find his equal.’

From the original sleevenotes by A. L. Lloyd

1 THE ROCKS OF BAWN
2 ONE MORNING IN JUNE
3 CASADH AN t-SUGAIN   The Twisting of the Rope
4 THE WIFE OF THE BOLD TENANT FARMER
5 THE TREES THEY GROW TALL
6 PEIGIN IS PEADAR   Peggy and Peter
7 CUNNLA
8 CAOINEADH NA TRI MHUIRE   The Lament of the Three Marys
9 AN TIGHEARNA RANDAL   Lord Randal
10 BEAN AN LEANNA   The Woman with the Beer
11 JOHN MITCHEL

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Wide Midlands TSDL210

TSDL210The Wide Midlands: Songs, stories and tunes from the central Counties.

‘Birmingham, the Midland metropolis, was an important centre for the printing of broadsides and it is inevitable that this selection should lean towards the West Midlands. As well as broadsides, a number of industrial songs and fragments have been included, which have survived in oral tradition. The final song was written as lately as 1970. The toughness, the resilience, the humour and pride of the urban Midlander, both in hard times and in easier days, are the qualities which emerge from these songs and stories. They are as much ‘in the idiom of the people’ as their cousins from the country.’

 

1 The Dudley Boys  Sung by Peter Coe, Chris Richards, Mick Bramwich and Les Ivall, acc. Adrian Morris (whistle), Jim Haywood (tabor) & Helena Ivall (tenor drum)
2 When shall we get married, John? sung by Julie West & Roy Palmer, acc. Martyn Briggs (banjo) & Mick Nash (guitar)
3 The slap-bum tailor sung by Roy Palmer and chorus
4 Swaggering Boney/The black joke played by John Rose (fiddle) & Paul Hooke (guitar)
5 Stop that clock/Early in the morning/When you get up in the morning sung by Graham Langley, Doreen Davis, Pam Bishop & Steve Lynn
6 Jolly Joe the collier’s son sung by The Singing Tradition (Julie West, Martyn Briggs, Bob Lapworth & Mick Nash)
7 Owd never could told by Tom Langley
8 I can’t find Brummagem sung by Richard Hamilton, acc. Pam Bishop (guitar) & John Wrench (mouth organ)
9 The Birmingham Jack of all trades sung by Dave Rogers & chorus, acc. John Wrench (guitar) & Pam Bishop (concertina)
10 The nailmakers’ strike sung by Chris Rogers & Pam Bishop
11 The old miner sung by The Singing Tradition
12 Birmingham Sally sung by Chris Richards
13 Buffoon/Staffordshire Hornpipe played by John Rose (fiddle) & Paul Hooke (guitar)
14 Aye for Saturday Night sung by Joan Smith, acc. Pam Bishop (whistle)
15 The Aston Villa Supporter
told by Tom Langley
16 Motor Trade Workers sung by Graham Langley and Bob Etheridge, acc. John Wrench (guitar)

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THE HEMLOCK COCK & BULL BAND All Buttoned Up TSDL421

TSDL421The Cock and Bull Band were formed in 1979 from the ashes of Hemlock. Members were Brad Bradstock, John Maxwell, Jean-Pierre Rasle and Dave Whetstone. Paul Martin replaced Brad in 1980 and the band recorded this, their debut album, on Topic Records in 1981 and began their ascent in the folk festival and ceilidh world. Maxwell, Martin and Rasle then put Cock and Bull on hold for a spell in The Albion Band before returning to record and release their second Topic album, Eyes Closed and Rocking in 1985, also available as a digital download on Topic TSDL440.

1 POLKAS: Donkey Riding, Buffalo Girls
2 HORNPIPES: Portabello, Briggham
3 SONG/WALTZ: Berger, Bergère, Bourrée Berrichonne
4 JIGS: Tit for Tat, Princess Amelia’s Birthday
5 SCHOTTISCHES: Mon Rêve, William Irwin’s Quickstep
6 POLKAS: The Cockade, Corn Riggs, The Twin Sisters
7 SCHOTTISCHES: Latrigg Side, The Dorsetshire Hornpipe
8 SONG: Needle-Cases
9 JIGS: A Trip to Shorts, Lewis Castle
10 THE END: Huzza, Cock and Bull

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JACK ELLIOTT Muleskinner TSDL106

TSDL106‘In 1956 skiffle was going strong in London and Jack began to sing in pubs and create something of a name for himself. In 1957 he sent for his buddy Derroll Adams, banjo-picker from Portland, Oregon and together the two sang and made a Topic album billed as the Rambling Boys. This record is a release of material on JACK TAKES THE FLOOR, Topic 10T15, with additional songs.’

From the original sleevenotes

1 San Fancisco Bay Blues
2 Ol’ Riley
3 The Boll Weevil
4 Bed Bug Blues
5 New York Town
6 Old Blue
7 Grey Goose
8 Mule Skinner’s Blues
9 East Texas Talking Blues
10 Cocaine
11 Dink’s Song
12 Black Baby
13 Salty Dog

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HUGH GILLESPIE Classic recordings of Irish traditional fiddle music TSDL364

TSDL364The recordings of Hugh Gillespie have a quite different ‘feel’ from other American-Irish fiddle music of the late 1930s period. The somewhat unusual choice of guitar rather than piano for accompaniment certainly contributes to this distinctiveness, but probably the decisive factors are Gillespie’s ‘singing’ style and highly personal technique. He learned from Coleman a device he calls ‘back trebling’, and also uses drones and fractional flattening or sharpening of notes to great effect. Such techniques are by no means peculiar to Coleman or Gillespie – indeed, most Irish musicians use them in some degree – but every musician stamps them with his own particular emphases. In these recordings of Hugh Gillespie at his peak, between 1937 and 1939, the sum of these various elements is a unique and outstanding series of performances.

  1. Reel: Dowd’s Favorite
  2. Hornpipes: McKenna’s Farewell (The Liverpool/Hennessey’s)
  3. Reels: Master Crowley’s Reels
  4. The Irish Mazurka
  5. Reel: Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie
  6. Jigs:   Master Crowley’s Favourites
  7. Highland Flings: Finnea Lassies/Gurren’s Castle
  8. Reels: The Girl that Broke my Heart/Dick Cosgrove’s Reel
  9. Reels: Farewell to Leitrim/Tom Steele
  10. Jigs: Jackson’s Favorite/Kips
  11. Reels: Paddy Finley’s Fancy/Joe O’Connell’s Dream
  12. Waltz: Versevanna
  13. Reels: The Donegal Traveler/Miss Montgomery
  14. Hornpipes: Mountain Stream/Parker’s Fancy
  15. Jigs: Contentment is Wealth/Finley’s Jig
  16. Reels: Dowd’s Number Nine/Jackson’s

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EWAN MacCOLL with PEGGY SEEGER The Jacobite Rebellions TSDL079

TSDL079Songs of the Jacobite Wars of 1715 and 1745 sung by Ewan MacColl with guitar and banjo accompaniments by Peggy Seeger.

‘These songs recall a social order which has long since passed away under the wheels of the locomotive, the arterial road, the factory, and the hydroelectric power station. They recall the bravery of men who died for a cause in which they believed. And above all, they recall the loyalty felt towards the young prince who, with grace and charm, came to lead the clansmen in his fathers’ cause; and who, though doomed to failure, won the hearts and devotion of men and women in his own generation and in those which have followed..

From the original sleevenotes by Angus Buchanan

1 Ye Jacobites by Name
2 Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation
3 Will Ye Go to Sherriffmuir
4 Wae’s Me for Prince Charlie
5 Charlie Is My Darling
6 The Haughs of Cromdale
7 The Bonnie Moorhen
8 Johnnie Cope
9 Came Ye O’er frae France
10 There’s Three, Brave Loyal Fellows
11 This is no My Ain House
12 The Piper O’ Dundee
13 Donald MacGillavry
14 Maclean’s Welcome
15 Will Ye No Come Back Again?

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BOB HART Songs from Suffolk TSDL225

TSDL225Bob Hart, born 1892, belongs to the same grand company of East Anglian traditional singers as Harry Cox and Sam Larner, Jumbo Brightwell of Eastbridge and Bob Scarce of Blaxhall. Schooled in Southwold, Bob started farm work after a move to Trentham, but quickly left to work on a sailing trawler out of Lowestoft:

‘We used to travel as far as the Shetland Islands, from May to November, and work back to Grimsby. It was at Grimsby where I learned some of my songs, and where I first heard The Banks of Sweet Primroses. I learned As I Strolled out to Aylesbury from a man called Jack Harling, of Snape. Funny Little Place to Have One, Underneath her Apron, and The Female Cabin Boy are songs I seem to have always known. Broadside I learned from Bob Scarce of Blaxhall.’

1 Cod Banging
2 Australia
3 A Broadside
4 The Banks of Sweet Primroses
5 What a Funny Little Place to Have One
6 Bold General Wolfe
7 The Female Cabin Boy
8 As I Strolled out to Aylesbury
9 The Scarlet and the Blue
10 John Barleycorn
11 The Miner’s Dream of Home
12 The Young Sailor Cut Down
13 All Jolly Fellows that Follow the Plough
14 Underneath her Apron

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JACK ELLIOTT & DERROLL ADAMS Roll On Buddy TSDL105

TSDL105‘Together, they form a team, sometimes a little ragged, but never lacking in the fire which is essential to success.  Their joint travels around Europe taught them a great deal which home life could not have done and they came back to Britain, better than when they had first left it.  For a short time I was privileged to work with them on mandolin.  We had a ball as a trio and I learned more in a few weeks, more of the sheer pleasure of playing music, than I had done in several years of more serious attempts to progress.’

From the original sleevenotes by Alexis Korner

1          Rich and Rambling Boys  1,2
2          Buffalo Skinner  1
3          I wish I was a Rock  2
4          It’s Hard ain’t it Hard  1
5          All Around the Water Tank  1
6          Mother’s not Dead  1,2
7          East Virginia Blues  1,2
8          The Old Bachelor  2
9          Danville Girl  1
10       The State of Arkansas  1
11       The Death of Mr Garfield  2
12       Roll on Buddy  1,2

1  Jack Elliott
2  Derroll Adams

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DOMINIC BEHAN Easter Week and after TSDL044

TSDL044From Paddy Tunney’s notes in the 1965 issue of this classic Topic LP:

The songs he (Dominic Behan) has selected for this record number sixteen and all tell the story of the Irish Republican Army from the Easter Rising of 1916 to the present day. It is the story of hopes and aspirations, the heartbreaks and bitterness of a race that strove hard but stopped short of full nationhood.

1 Erin Go Brath
2 It’s a Grand Old Country
3 The Recruiting Sergeant
4 Slean Libh
5 Sergeant William Bailey
6 Barry’s Column
7 Roscarbery
8 The Boys of the County Cork
9 Johnston’s Motor Car
10 Sean Tracy
11 Take it Down from the Mast
12 The Castle of Drumboe
13 The Merry Ploughboy
14 Sean South
15 The Oul’ Alarm Clock
16 The Patriot Game

Recorded by Bill Leader 1958
First issued by Topic Records 1959

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