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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

HARRY BOARDMAN, DAVE HILLERY Trans Pennine TSDL215

TSDL215Harry Boardman sang both unaccompanied and accompanying himself on the anglo-concertina or banjo. He wasactive as a folk singer and collector of Lancashire folklore from the late 1950s with some collaboration from his wife Lesley. Dave Hillery appeared regularly with Harry at the Pack Horse Hotel in Bridge Street, Manchester in the early 1960s, developing his interest in Yorkshire regional material through their association.

Although most of the songs in this album represent well the character of their respective counties, there has been no attempt to create a definitive programme – they are simply the personal choice of two men from either side of the ‘backbone of England’.

  1. Scarborough Sands
  2. I’ll have a Collier for my Sweetheart
  3. Forty Miles
  4. Tommy Stroo’s Ghost
  5. Cowd Stringy Pie
  6. Tha’s Welcome, Little Bonny Brid
  7. Nellie o’ Bob’s o’t’ Crowtrees
  8. Weaver’s Song
  9. Happy Sam
  10. The Manchester Canal 
  11. Instrumental Dance-Tunes T-auld Wife of Coverdill/Lass O’ Dallogil/My Love, My Love
  12. The Cockfight
  13. Haley Paley
  14. With Henry Hunt We’ll Go
  15. The Ensilver Song

Recorded by Dick Swettenham in Manchester
First issued by Topic Records 1971

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BOB HART, PERCY WEBB, ERNEST AUSTIN Flash Company TSDL243

From the original LP notes:TSDL243

On this present recording the singers are elderly and it is interesting to note what (E J) Moeran had to say on this subject. ‘One of the singers there was a man of about fifty who learned his songs from his father. The latter was also present, singing in the quavering and asthmatic tones of old age, but it was only recently that he had allowed the young man of fifty … to ‘perform in public’ for he was determined that he must acquire the true traditional style, uncontaminated by outside influences, before so doing.’

1 The Bold Princess Royal – Bob Hart
2 Seventeen Come Sunday – Bob Hart
3 The Faithful Sailor Boy – Percy Webb
4 Flash Company – Percy Webb
5 Wheel Your P’rambulator – Percy Webb
6 Go and Leave Me – Percy Webb
7 Rap-a-Tap-Tap – Bob Hart
8 The Song of the Thrush – Bob Hart
9 John Barleycorn – Ernest Austin
10 The Gipsy’s Warning – Bob Hart
11 Hares on the Mountain/The Knife in the Window – Ernest Austin
12 Barbara Allen – Bob Hart

Production by Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1974

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An Introduction to June Tabor & An Introduction to Anne Briggs

The second two releases in our Introduction series are available now

An Introduction to June TaborAn Introduction to June Tabor (TICD003)
An introduction to the magical work of June Tabor. Covering songs from her many record releases on the Topic Record label between 1976 to 2011. June Tabor is quiet simply one of Britain’s greatest interpreters of popular Folk song and has been described by Elvis Costello as ‘The great voice of English folk music’.

Available now from the Topic Shop, Propermusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and all good music retailers.

Track list: 1. While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping / 2. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda / 3. The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn / 4. No Man’s Land / Flowers of The Forest / 5. Unicorns / 6. The Scarecrow / 7. Aqaba / 8. Hedger And Ditcher / 9. Shallow Brown / 10. A Place Called England / 11. Maybe Then I’ll Be A Rose / 12. Oh! Alas, I Am In Love / 13. The Rigs Of Rye / 14. Finisterre / 15. The Dark End Of The Street


An Introduction to Anne BriggsAn Introduction to Anne Briggs (TICD004)
An introduction to the magical work of Anne Briggs. Tracks include early recordings featured on albums ‘The Iron Muse’ and ‘The Bird In The Bush’ as well as material from her Hazards of Love E.P. and stunning solo album simply titled Anne Briggs. There is also the inclusion of tracks from her long-lost album ‘Sing A Song For You’.

Available now from the Topic Shop, Propermusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and all good music retailers.

Track list: 1. The Recruited Collier / 2. The Doffing Mistress / 3. Polly Vaughan / 4. Rosemary Lane / 5. Gathering Rushes In The Month Of May / 6. The Stonecutter Boy / 7. Blackwater Side / 8. Go Your Way (My Love) / 9. The Cuckoo / 10. Reynardine / 11. Young Tambling / 12. Maa Bonny Boy / 13. Sing A Song For You / 14. The Bonambuie / 15. Tongue In Cheek

An Introduction to Shirley Collins & Topic Records – The Real Sound of Folk Music

Topic Introducing

October 20th see’s two new catalogue releases from Topic Records, An Introduction to Shirley Collins and a Topic Records compilation titled The Real Sound of Folk Music.

An Introduction to Shirley Collins – CD (TICD002) and Vinyl (VIN180LP126)
Few singers of the English folk revival have attempted as much on record as Collins – an extraordinary combination of fragility and power. “I like music to be fairly straightforward, simply embellished – the performance without histrionics allowing you to think about the song rather than telling you what to think.”

Through an impressive series of experimental recordings Shirley established an extraordinarily sympathetic marriage of traditional songs handed down through generations of rural labouring people with ground breaking contemporary arrangements – recordings that have scarcely been equalled in subsequent decades. This collection of songs draws together some of her most iconic recordings and will serve as an Introduction to her very special catalogue of music.

Available now from:
The Topic Shop, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and all good record shops.

Topic Records – The Real Sound of Folk Music – 2CD (TICD001) and Vinyl (VIN180LP125)
The perfect introduction to Topic Records the worlds oldest surviving independent record label, The Real Sound of Folk Music is a 2CD set featuring 28 specially selected tracks from the labels vast catalogue.

The story of Topic is synonymous with the growth of folk as a musical and social movement in Britain and these recordings demonstrate the bridge between modern music and a traditional art form. On this 2CD set you will find some of the most remarkable singers, songs and tunes – either drawn directly from the tradition or inspired by it.

Many of the tracks deal with social issues of the time and there are also re-workings of great traditional story songs like Anne Briggs’ ‘Blackwater Side’, Mike Watersons’ ‘Tamlyn’, Nic Jones’ ‘Canadee-i-o’ and majestic performances by Martin Simpson, Shirley Collins, Davy Graham, Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy and The Watersons. Topic also offers up June Tabor and Oysterband cover version of Joy Divisions classic Love Will Tear Us Apart.

Pentangle, Andrew Cronshaw, Brass Monkey, Vin Garbutt, Johnny Handle, Bill Caddick, The Cheviot Ranters, Cilla Fisher and Artie Tresize, Silly Sisters, Tim Van Eyken, Peter Bellamy and Oak, the list goes on, a fulfilling and haunting introduction to the great legacy of the folk tradition and Topic Records.

Available now from:
The Topic Shop, Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and all good record shops.

Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band – Big Machine

Eliza Carthy & The Wayward BandPioneering English traditional folk powerhouse, Eliza Carthy, first assembled the Wayward Band in 2013 in order to explore and celebrate her long and varied career in folk music. To do this Eliza put together a team of hugely talented musicians from across the UK and together they hit the road to promote her “Best Of” compilation, ‘Wayward Daughter’ (Topic Records), which coincided with a biography of the same name. Eliza and the Wayward Band loved playing together so much – as well as becoming a festival favourite – that it seemed natural and inevitable, as well as characteristically ambitious, that this 12-piece would set about recording an album. The result is ‘Big Machine’, recorded at the renowned Real World and Rockfield Studios and produced by the multi-talented Jim Sutherland. The Wayward Band line-up is a veritable dream team of musicians comprising Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead), David Delarre (Mawkin), Barn Stradling (Blowzabella), Saul Rose, Beth Porter, Lucy Farrell (Emily Portman Trio), Will Molleson, Andrew Waite (Tyde), Laurence Hunt, Nick Malcolm and Adrien “Yen-Yen” Toulouse. ‘Big Machine’ (their debut album) will be released by Topic Records on 3rd February 2017.

The material on ‘Big Machine’ represents a healthy slice of everything good that is happening in traditional music now, across a sparkling spectrum of sound. The album features three contemporary songs; Eliza’s own “You Know Me” about the refugee crisis and notions of hospitality (featuring MC Dizraeli), a powerful cover of Ewan Maccoll’s Radio Ballad “The Fitter’s Song” (at the behest of Peggy Seeger – and the song which inspired the album title) and an affectionate reworking of “Hug You Like a Mountain” (Rory MacLeod), re-imagined here as a duet with Teddy Thompson.

There are also several examples of the Broadside ballad collections housed in Chetham’s Library in Manchester given a new twist with music by Eliza and the band. This follows a programme Eliza presented for BBC Radio 4 about the Manchester Ballads, covering everything from songs about and caused by domestic abuse (“Devil in the Woman”, the sumptuous and searing “Fade and Fall (Love Not)”, to the seafaring life in “The Sea”. Added to that a couple of brilliantly constructed instrumentals, a song about dying from custard poisoning and a heartbreaking traditional ballad “I Wish that the Wars were all Over” (performed live with the band onstage in Real World Studios’ Studio One and featuring Irish superstar Damien Dempsey), and you begin to get the picture. A very big picture, a Big Machine firing on all cylinders.

“Big Machine” is certainly one of Eliza Carthy’s most adventurous and accomplished works to date – and given that Eliza is the most passionate and groundbreaking English traditional singer of her generation, “Big Machine” is an album you really won’t want to miss.

BIG MACHINE is available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and SPOTIFY

“No quarter is spared in the pursuit of the grand gesture designed to sweep all before it in an exhausting whizz-bang barrage of sounds, ideas, technique and colour.”
fRoots (5 stars)

“an irresistible collection that amply demonstrates the vibrancy of today’s traditional music scene”
R2 (5 stars)

“This confident collection whips her characteristic fondness for adventure into ever grander and more colourful directions, aided by a 12-piece big band that includes urgent brass, searing guitar (Dave Delarre) and guest vocals from Teddy Thompson, Damien Dempsey and rapper MC Dizraeli..”
MOJO (4 stars)

“Big Band, big sound, big album, big machine. Bold, brassy and bendy, Eliza Carthy’s Big Machine is a monster of an album”
Songlines (4 stars)


New Internationalist Magazine

“Big Machine has all the hallmarks of a vastly important release, and should cement Eliza Carthy’s place as one of our most valuable musicians.”
Folk Radio UK

“Big Machine resets Carthy’s career as a big, big statement at a time of considerable turmoil and change. It is most welcome.”
The Arts Desk (4 stars)

“..Big Machine is grounded by Carthy’s voice. Her warm, intimate, earthy tone is perfectly suited to the material. In many ways this is Carthy’s album through and through. The first big hit of 2017.”
Bright Young Folk

TSCD679T “It was mighty!” The Early Days of Irish Music in London

TSCD679T pack shot

A new 3CD set featuring a total of more than 100 vital performances by, among others: Michael Gorman, Bobby Casey, Martin Byrnes, Julia Clifford, Jimmy Power, Nan Landers, Vincent Griffin, Edmond Murphy and Tommy McCarthy. Compiled and researched by Dr. Reg Hall, the acknowledged expert in this field, “It was mighty!” is a superb addition to the widely acclaimed Voice of the People series.

Some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London in the 1950s, working on the buildings and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like themselves. Music was played in pubs and dance halls and, for a decade or two almost every night of the week, Camden Town, Fulham and neighbouring boroughs were buzzing. Even as far as the outer suburbs, in some back-street pub or other, there was great music to be found, that is, if you knew where to look for it. Beyond the gaze of mainstream society and unknown to the media, promotion was solely by word of mouth among the Irish themselves. This three-CD collection of rare recordings gives us a very privileged view of a unique community who lived this music. Here are some great musicians, some great tunes, and great warmth and humanity. At the time, it was often said, that there was much better Irish music to be heard in London than in Ireland. An overstatement, of course, but there was certainly more of it to be heard in London than anywhere else in the world. A companion three-CD album, “It was great altogether!” The Continuing Tradition of Irish Music in London, Topic TSCD680T, brings the story up to the present time.

Track list:

CD1
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
1. Reel: The Jolly Tinker
2. Reel: Bonnie Kate
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Gerry Wimsey, flute (3), Clarke’s tin whistle (4).
3. Reel: The Boys of Ballisadare
4. Reel: The Copperplate
Recorded by Janet Kerr in Collooney, Co. Sligo, 31 January 1972.
Paddy Taylor, flute.
5. Hornpipe: Paddy Taylor’s
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
6. Reel: The Cabin Hunter
7. Slow Air: With Kitty I’ll Go
8. Slides: Pat Hanley’s No. 1 / Pat Hanley’s No. 2
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 2 December 1956.
Nan Landers, melodeon
9. Hornpipe: Nan Landers’
10. Slide: Nan Landers’
Recorded by Dick Landers at their home in Chiswick, London, probably mid-1960s.
Jimmy Power, fiddle; Patsy Goulding, piano.
11. Reels: The Wild Irishman / The College Grove / Jenny Picking Cockles
Recorded by Jimmy Power in London, circa 1959.
Danny McNiff, flute.
12. Slip Jig: Doherty’s
13. Polkas: Danny McNiff’s / Farewell to Whiskey
14. Reel: The Streams in the Valley
Recorded by Peter Kennedy & Sean O’Boyle, Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, 20 July 1952.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
15. Reel: The Beauty Spot
16. Hornpipe: Poll Ha’penny
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, London, 18 December 1956.
17. Jigs: Brian O’Lynn / The Maid in the Meadow
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Mick Gorman (nephew), fiddle.
18. Reels: The Girl that Broke My Heart / Dick Cosgrove
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Jimmy Hogan, accordeon; Bobby Hall, piano; Brian Green, drums.
19. Reels: The Copperplate / The Bunch of Keys
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 8 March 1958.
Martin Byrnes, fiddle.
20. Reels: St. Ruth’s Bush / Paddy Kelly’s Favourite
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Paddy Malynn, accordeon.
21. Jigs: Wallop the Spot / The Tongs by the Fire
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Norwood Hotel, West Norwood, London, 7 October 1962.
Julia Clifford, fiddle.
22. Slow Air: The Red-Haired Boy
23. Jig: The Cliffs of Moher
Recorded by Reg Hall at Lucy & Eric Farr’s house, Ladywell, London, 16 August 1964.
Paddy Breen, flageolet.
24. Hornpipe: The Cuckoo’s Nest
25. Polka: Tralee Gaol
26. Jig: The Pipe on the Hob
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, March 1952.
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Willie Clancy, uilleann pipes.
27. Jig: Munster Buttermilk
28. Reels: The West Wind / Sean Reid’s Fancy
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956.
Martin Byrnes, fiddle; Tony Howley, flute.
29. Reel: The Humours of Scarriff
30. Reels: The Galway Rambler / The London Lasses
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Martin Wynne, fiddle.
31. Jigs: The Rose in the Heather / The Gold Ring / The Maid on the Green / Saddle the Pony
Michael Gorman & Martin Wynne, fiddles; Bill Rollison, piano.
32. Reel: The Boys of the Lough
HMV recording studio, Oxford Street, London, probably 14 July 1948.
Jimmy Power, fiddle; Clancy, flute; Tommy Maguire, accordeon; Paddy Furey, piano.
33. Reels: The Liffey Banks / The Shaskeen
Recorded by Reg Hall in the Bedford Arms, Camden Town, London, 2 December 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Willie Clancy, uilleann pipes.
34. Jig: When We Were Drinking
35. Reels: The Old Bush / The Chicago
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956.

CD2
Roger Sherlock, flute; Liam Farrell, mandolin.
1. Reels: The Chicago / The Green Fields of America
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
2. Reels: Limerick Lasses / Come West along the Road
3. Reel: Cregg’s Pipes
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
4. Reel: Farrell Gara
5. Reel: Miss McLeod’s
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Paddy Breen, flageolet (6/7/8/9); lilting (10).
6. Hornpipe: The Red-Haired Lad
7. Set-Dance: The Orange Rogue
8. Set Dance: Rodney’s Glory
9. Fling: Green Grow the Rushes O
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, March 1952.
10. Katie’s Reel
Recorded by Bill Leader & Reg Hall at Bill Leader’s flat, Camden Town, London, 19 April 1967.
Sonny Murray, concertina.
11. Reel: Christmas Eve
Recorded by John Tams & Neil Wayne in Co. Clare, January 1974.
Jimmy Cleary, banjo; Margaret Barry, banjo.
12. Hornpipe: The Belfast
Recorded by Ewan MacColl at his house in Croydon, 10 March 1955.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
13. Reel: Put the Cake on the Dresser
14. Jig: The Strayaway Child
Michael Gorman, fiddle; Margaret Barry, banjo.
15. Reel: Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 21 August 1956.
Michael Falsey, flute.
16. Reel: Big Pat
17. Jig: Molloy’s Wife
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Seamus Ennis, uilleann pipes.
18. Slow Air: The Clay of Kilcreggan
19. Programme Piece: The Ace and Deuce of Piping
20. Jigs: Paddy O’Rafferty / The Sixpenny Money
Recording supervised by Paul Carter at the City of London Studios, London, 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
21. Reel: Sean sa Ceo
Bobby Casey, fiddle; Sean Kenny, piano.
22. Jig: The Frieze Britches
23. Reel: The Flax in Bloom
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at Cecil Sharp House, Camden Town, London, 18 December 1956 (21) & 20 May 1962 (22/23).
Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
24. Reels: The Salamanca / The Yellow Tinker
25. Jig: The Newport Lass
26. Reel: The Flogging
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Michael Gorman, fiddle.
27. Hop Jig: The Kid on the Mountain
28. Hornpipe: Dwyer’s
Recorded by Peter Kennedy at his flat in Belsize Park, London, 25 October 1952.
Gabe O’Sullivan, fiddle (29), flute (30).
29. Reel: The Lady on the Island
Recorded by Nic Kinsey & supervised by Peter Bellamy at Livingstone Studios, Barnet, London, April 1979.
30. Reel: Maud Miller
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Galtymore, Cricklewood, London, July 1964.
Liam Farrell, banjo.
31. Polka: The Mountain Pathway
Michael Daly, flute; Liam Farrell, banjo.
32. Reel: The Galway Rambler
Recorded by Michael Daly at Liam Farrell’s house, Epsom, Surrey. December 1962.
Johnny Discin, fiddle.
33. Reels: The Bunch of Keys / The Star of Munster
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
34. Reels: Mulhaire’s / Father Kelly’s
Recorded by Bill Leader, Reg Hall & Michael Plunkett at Michael Gorman’s house, Manchester, 5 July 1970.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
35. Reel: The Concert Reel
Recorded by Michael Daly, London, late 1950s-early 1960s.

CD3
The Hibernian Ceili Band: Brendan McGlinchey, fiddle; Roger Sherlock, flute; Raymond Roland, accordeon; Liam Farrell, banjo; PJ Hines, piano; Brian Green, drums.
1. Reel: The Dublin
Recording studio, Bayswater, London, 1960.
Bobby Casey, fiddle.
2. Reels: The Duke of Leinster & his Missus
3. Reel: The College Grove
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Oliver Roland, accordeon.
4. Reel: Kitty in the Lane
5. Jigs: The Rookery / The Cliffs of Moher
Recorded by Imelda Gardiner at the Roland family house, Loughrae, Co. Galway, mid-1960s.
Vincent Griffin, fiddle.
6. Reels: Night in Ennis / The Maid behind the Bar
7. Reels:    Paddy Ryan’s Dream / Mamma’s Pet
Recorded by Robin Morton, Ennis, Co. Clare, December 1976.
Roger Sherlock, flute.
8. Reels: The Galway Rambler / The London Lasses
Roger Sherlock, flute; Raymond Roland, accordeon; Liam Farrell, mandolin.
9. Reels: The Old Bush / The Galty
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
Martin McMahon, fiddle (10/11), accordeon (12); Teresa McMahon, guitar (10/11), keyboard (12).
10. Reel: Speed the Plough
11. Reel: The Bucks of Oranmore
Recorded by Teresa McMahon at their house, near Shannon, Co. Clare, c.1990.
12. Reel: The Star of Munster
Recorded by Austin Barrett in a north London pub, probably 1990s.
Tommy McCarthy, concertina (13); uilleann pipes (14).
13. Reel: The Laurel Tree
14. Jigs: The Miners of Wicklow / Paddy Taylor’s
London, 1970s. McCarthy Family collection.
Sean Maguire, fiddle
15. Jigs: Garrett Barry’s Favourite / The Luckpenny
Recorded by Seamus Ennis, Belfast, 1 January 1957.
Raymond Roland, accordeon; Benny O’Connor, drums.
16. Reel: The Eel in the Sink
Raymond Roland & Kit O’Connor, accordeon; John Joe Doyle, fiddle; Paddy Taylor, flute; Benny O’Connor, drums.
17. Reel: Sean sa Ceo / Come West along the Road
Recorded by Reg Hall at the Willesden Junction Hotel, Willesden, London, 15 March 1964.
Andy Boyle, fiddle; Michael Falsey & unidentified, flutes.
18. Reels: The Congress / The Bag of Spuds
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Joe Ryan, fiddle.
19. Reels: Dinny O’Brien / Farewell to Connacht
20. Reel: Tommy Potts’s
Recorded by Reg Hall at Breege McArdle’s flat, Crouch End, London, 5 November 2001.
Tommy McCarthy & Bobby Casey, fiddles.
21. Reel: Maud Miller
22. Reel: The New Custom House
Recorded by Tommy Keane, London, 1982.
Gerry Clancy, accordeon; unidentified, bodhran.
23. Reels: I’m Waiting for You & The Bag of Spuds
London, probably late 1970s, Larry Masterson Collection.
Johnny Hynes, Clarke’s tin whistle.
24. Reel: Carmel O’Mahony
25. Jigs: The Boys of the Town / We Drink and Kiss the Ladies
26. Reel: Scotch Mary
Recorded by Reg Hall at his flat, South Norwood, London, 14 February 1965.
Frank Mahoney, fiddle.
27. Reel: The Stoney Steps
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Galtymore, Cricklewood, London, July 1964.
Julia Clifford, fiddle; Billy Clifford, flute; John Clifford, piano-accordion.
28. Hornpipes: Bill Black’s / O’Byrne’s
Recorded by Reg Hall at Lucy & Eric Farr’s house, Ladywell, London, 16 August 1964.
Tommy McCarthy, uilleann pipes.
29. Jigs: Old Hag, You Have Killed Me / Old Tipperary
Recorded by Tommy Keane, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, 1998.
Raymond Roland & Kit O’Connor, accordeon; John Joe Doyle, fiddle; Paddy Taylor, flute; Benny O’Connor, drums.
30. Jig: Father Kelly’s
Raymond Roland, accordeon; Kevin Taylor, drums.
31. Reels: The Little Thatched Cottage / Down the Strand
Recorded by Reg Hall at the Willesden Junction Hotel, Willesden, London, 15 March 1964.
Michael Falsey, flute.
32. Reel: Sporting Paddy
33. Reel: Cregg’s Pipes
Recorded by Michael Daly in Pat Goulding’s flat, Pimlico, London, 1957.
Oliver Roland, accordeon.
34. Reel: Imelda Roland’s
Recorded by Imelda Gardiner at the Roland family house, Loughrae, Co. Galway, mid-1960s.
Edmond Murphy, fiddle; Mick Gorman (nephew), flute.
35. Reels: Colonel Roger’s / Happy Days of Youth
Recorded by Michael Daly at the Camden Stores, Camden Town, London, 1959.
The Hibernian Ceili Band: as track 1.
36. Hornpipes: The Friendly Visit / The Cuckoo
37. Reels: The Merry Harriers / The Hut in the Bog
Recording studio, Bayswater, London, 1960.

Buy It Was Mighty now from:
PROPERMUSIC.COM, AMAZON and ITUNES

THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE ~ IRISH MUSIC IN LONDON

Reg Hall’s monumental and comprehensive history of Irish music in London A Few Tunes of Good Musicis now available for free viewing and download as a fantastic online flipbook, complete with many illustrations, discography and original interview material.

book jacket web Reg Hall

On March 18th 2016 Topic Records released two magnificent compendiums of Irish Music in London:

TSCD679T “It was mighty!” ~ The Early Days
TSCD680T “It was great altogether!” ~ The Continuing Tradition

TSCD679T pack shot TSCD680T pack shot

Some of the most talented young traditional musicians from rural Ireland found themselves in London in the 1950s, working on the buildings and in heavy construction, away from home, but among hundreds of people like themselves. Music was played in pubs and dance halls and, for a decade or two almost every night of the week, Camden Town, Fulham and neighbouring boroughs were buzzing. Even as far as the outer suburbs, in some back-street pub or other, there was great music to be found, that is, if you knew where to look for it. Beyond the gaze of mainstream society and unknown to the media, promotion was solely by word of mouth among the Irish themselves.

As a lad in Roscommon in the 1930s, Jim Donahue played the flute regularly with an older man, Michael Coleman’s brother Jim. He recalled whenever Jim came to the house: “He’d take down the fiddle. Then you’d hear a few tunes of good music altogether!”

Compiled by Dr. Reg Hall, these two three-CD collections of rare recordings allow us a very privileged view of a unique community who lived this music. Here are some great musicians, some great tunes, and great warmth and humanity. At the time, it was often said, that there was much better Irish music to be heard in London than in Ireland. An overstatement, of course, but there was certainly more of it to be heard in London than anywhere else in the world.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS When Sheepshearing’s Done TSDL254

TSDL254From the original LP notes:

‘… and there would be calls for old David’s ‘Outlandish Knight’; not because they wanted particularly to hear it – indeed, they had heard it so often they all knew it by heart – but because, as they said, ‘Poor old feller be eighty-three. Let ‘un sing while he can’.’
Flora Thompson perfectly described a village singsong of the 1880s when she wrote of her childhood in the book Lark Rise (1939). The village stood among wheatfields in a north east corner of Oxfordshire and Miss Thompson felt that she was describing a way of life that had passed for ever.
But certain values have remained, as the singers on this record attest, and in their own way these singers are the direct descendants and carriers of ‘old David’s’ past.

1 The Fox and the Grey Goose – Freda Palmer, Witney, Oxfordshire
2 The Wandering Girl – Freda Palmer
3 All For the Grog – George ‘Tom’ Newman, Clanfield, Oxfordshire
4 The Broken Down Gentleman – Bill Whiting, Longcot, Oxfordshire
5 I’m Going to the Woods – Bill Whiting
6 Sing Ovy and Sing Ivy – George ‘Tom’ Newman
7 The Warwickshire R.H.A. – Freda Palmer
8 Oxford City – Freda Palmer
9 The Galloway Man – Wisdom Smith, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
10 When Sheepshearing’s Done – Bob Blake, Horsham, Sussex
11 As I Was A-Walking – Freda Palmer
12 Up in the North – Freda Palmer
13 (a) The Life of a Man – Harry Holman, Copthorne, Sussex and
(b) Toast – Harry Holman
14 The Thrashing Machine – George Spicer, West Hoathly, Sussex
15 The Lily White Hand – George Spicer
16 The Grey Hawk – Bob Blake
17 The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington – Freda Palmer
18 William and Mary – Freda Palmer
19 Maria Marten – Freda Palmer
20 Jolly Jarge – Bill Dore, Leafield, Oxfordshire

Produced by Mike Yates and Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1975

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FRANK HARTE Dublin Street Songs TSDL172

TSDL172Frank Harte (1933-2005) was a traditional Irish singer, song collector, architect and lecturer; a great exponent of the Dublin street ballad and widely known for his distinctive singing, his Dublin accent having a rich nasal quality complementing his often high register.

From the original LP notes:

The material is all his own, gathered from the abundant cornucopia of traditional Anglo-Irish folksong. He has been collecting since he was twelve years of age and his infallible ear and prodigious memory have recorded nearly a thousand songs, most of them unpublished, though many of the songs on this disc are in Colm O’Lochlainn’s Irish Street Ballads 1939 (C.O’L.,1) and More Irish Street Ballads 1965 (C.O’L.,2).

To explain in detail the history, the language, the music of these songs would require not a note which would fit on a record sleeve but a small book; but these are ballads of the Dublin streets, commonplace once, now remembered by a few. They were not all made in Dublin, but Dublin preserved their life.

1 The Traveller all over the World
2 The Shamrock Shore   acc
3 The Rag Man’s Ball   acc
4 Henry My Son   acc
5 The Bold Belfast Shoemaker
6 The Night That Larry was Stretched
7 The Twang Man   acc
8 The Finding of Moses
9 Father Murphy

Recorded by Bill Leader
First issued by Topic Records 1967

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Travellers: Songs, Stories and Tunes from English Gypsies TSDL395

I’m a stranger in this country,TSDL395
From America I came.

Chris Willett

Well, not quite from America! But gypsies, or travellers to use a preferred term, were strangers when they first set foot in the British Isles over 400 years ago.   To this day many have remained apart from the rest of society. And yet, as this album attests, they have integrated sufficiently to pick up and retain much of the musical heritage that was once common to all. Paradoxically, much of the music performed here was originally the creation of the non-gypsy community. Today this music is often best remembered by the gypsies.

1 The American Stranger – CHRIS WILLETT
2 Bold Keeper – HARRY BRAZIL
3 Go From My Window – WISDOM SMITH
4 Little Footman Boy – ALICE PENFOLD
5 God Killed the Devil-O/Meeting the Devil/Yonder Comes the Devil – LEMMIE BRAZIL/JASPER SMITH/JOE JONES
6 Sally Monroe – HARRY BRAZIL
7 Pepper and Salt – JASPER SMITH
8 Lovely Johnny – MARY ANN HAYNES
9 The Loyal Lover – HARRY BRAZIL
10 Climbing Up the Apple Tree/Tuning/Bird Scaring Cry/Hacking Clover – JASPER SMITH
11 Step Dance Tune – BILL ELSON
12 Barbara Allen – DEBBIE & PENNY HARRIS
13 Hares in the Old Plantation – WIGGY SMITH
14 Rambling Irishman – HARRY BRAZIL
15 Down in the Meadow/Love is Pleasing – JASPER SMITH/BILL ELSON
16 A Blacksmith Courted Me – HARRY BRAZIL
17 Once I Was a Servant – CHRIS WILLETT
18 The Gown So Green – HARRY BRAZIL
19 The Flower Show – HARRY BRAZIL
20 Waxey Candles – JASPER SMITH
21 The Coachman/Bonny Black Hare/The Cuckoo’s Nest – JASPER SMITH/LEMMIE BRAZIL/JOE JONES
22 Hopping Down in Kent/My Lovely Hops – MARY ANN HAYNES
23 Swinging Down the Lane – CHRIS WILLETT
24 Will There Be Any Travellers In Heaven – DERBY SMITH

Production by Mike Yates and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic 1985.

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JOHN REILLY The Bonny Green Tree TSDL359

thebonnygreentree_12t359A man who did not read or write but who was one of the most learned men to grace the roads of Ireland. John Reilly now lies with his mother in an un-marked grave in the cemetery of Ballaghadereen. But he has here a memorial more fitting than stone. The songs he loved and which were part of the very fabric of his existence still live on.

1. Adieu Unto All True Lovers
2. The Raggle Taggle Gypsy
3. The Well Below the Valley
4. Tippin’ lt Up to Nancy
5. Lord Baker
6. Old Caravee
7. The Bonny Green Tree
8. Once There Lived a Captain
9. Peter Heany
10. What Put the Blood?
11. Rozzin Box
12. The Braes of Strawblane
13. One Morning I Rambled from Glasgow
14. The Pride of Cloonkeen

Produced by Tom Munnelly, Roly Brown and Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1978.

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CHRIS FOSTER Layers TSDL329

TSDL329Chris Foster was born in Somerset. It is there that he first heard and started singing traditional songs. He trained as an artist at the Norwich, then Chelsea Schools of Art. His professional “break” came in the early 1970s when a music agent spotted him singing at Dingles Folk Club in London. This led to eight years as a professional solo folk singer/guitarist.

He recorded two, highly regarded albums in the late 1970s: “Layers” (1977) and “All Things in Common” (1979), both on Topic Records. Both featured mainly traditional songs with often complex fingerstyle accompaniments on a Fylde acoustic guitar.

  1. The Ranter
  2. The Coast of Peru
  3. Worcester City
  4. Glastonbury Town
  5. Lady Maisry
  6. Jack the Sailor
  7. The Golden Glove
  8. When a Man’s in Love
  9. The Buxom Lass
  10. The Flower of Serving Men
  11. The Banks of Newfoundland

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1977

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THE CHEVIOT RANTERS Cheviot Barn Dance TSDL245

TSDL245Cheviot Barn Dance is the third recording of The Cheviot Ranters Country Dance Band on Topic. As with their previous records The Sound of the Cheviots (12TS214) and The Cheviot Hills (12TS222) it is a programme of old time and country dances. Formed in 1955, the Cheviot Ranters were arguably the most distinguished and authentic of the English folk dance bands and grew out of the monthly meetings of the Northumbrian Pipers’ Society.

  1. DASHING WHITE SERGEANT: Original; Rakes of Mallow; Catherine’s Reel
  2. CALL OF THE PIPES: Barren Rocks of Aden; Sweet Maid of Glendaruch; The Earl of Mansfield
  3. NOTTINGHAM SWING: Marquis o’ Lorne; Showman’s Fancy; Beggar Boy
  4. MILITARY TWO STEP: I do like to be beside the seaside; Here we are again; Mademoiselle from Armentieres; Hello, hello, who’s your lady friend
  5. SWEDISH MASQUERADE: Original
  6. LUCKY SEVEN: Davy Davy Knick Knack; Toland Dance; Aiken Drum
  7. LA RUSSE: Original; Good Humour; Come let us dance and sing
  8. KEEL ROW: Original; There’s nae luck aboot the hoose; Castles in the Air
  9. BRIDGE OF ATHLONE: The frost is all over; Pet of the Pipers; Smash the Windows
  10. CIRCLE WALTZ: We parted on the shore; I belong to Glasgow; Oh Oh Antonio; Peggy O’Neill
  11. CHEVIOT RANT: Original; Cloudy Crags; Traditional Air
  12. POLKA: The Brownieside Polka

First issued by Topic Records 1974

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The New HIGH LEVEL RANTERS TSDL425

This was the first recording made by the New High Level Ranters. It sees the group changed by the departure of Alistair Anderson and Tom Gilfellon, wholeft to pursue their own ways in making their own kind of music. The two lads who replace them are Jim Hall and Peter Wood, who contribute their particular skills in playing and singing, thus continuing the Ranters’ commitment to British folk music and especially the music of the North East of England.

The original members of the group are Colin Ross and Johnnie Handle, who are perhaps too well-known to merit description. Anyway, Colin plays the fiddle and pipes and Johnnie sings and plays the accordion. There was never any doubt in their minds that the group would carry on after Ali and Tom left, so it was only natural that Jim and Pete, fellow members of Folk Song and Ballad Club, Newcastle, be asked to come into the Ranters.

1  Fisherman’s Friend / Black and Grey
2  Ca’ Hawkie
3  The Old Drove Road / Kennedy North
4  Jim Jones
5  The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade
6  John Peel
7  Durham Regatta / Little Jenny
8  The Snows They Melt the Soonest
9  Yellow Haired Laddie / The Glen Coe March
10  New Song of the Coal
11  Skipper’s Wedding
12  The Duke of Fife / Maggie Laudert

First published by Topic Records 1982

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ELIZA CARTHY in BBC Music ‘God Only Knows’ promotion

Eliza Carthy is one of the stars featured in the BBC Music ‘God Only Knows’ celebration video.

The BBC have unveiled a secretly-recorded new charity version of the Beach Boys’ hit ‘God Only Knows’ – with One Direction, Stevie Wonder, Kylie Minogue, Jamie Cullum, Emeli Sandé , Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Sir Elton John, Dave Grohl and Eliza Carthy among the many performers joining Brian Wilson.

The single will be available soon with all proceeds going to Children In Need.

There is a splendid behind the scenes video available here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028640w

For more information please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/music

 

ORKNEY TSCD678

Traditional dance music from Orkney, field recordings made by Peter Kennedy in 1955.
Selected and presented by Reg Hall.

The BBC, for whom Peter Kennedy was working part-time in 1955, had more or less left Orkney alone in its recording activity, except for some recordings about local customs and beliefs made on location in 1954. At the time, Orkney was seen as being at the extreme edge of Great Britain, and was virgin territory for a music collector such as Peter, who travelled there in 1955, recording singers and musicians in informal circumstances, amassing a wealth of songs, dances and some speech excerpts that still exist, and this CD presents a representative selection of the instrumental pieces from that treasure trove of traditional music.

1  The GARSON TRIO : The Greeny Hill March
2  The GARSON TRIO : King William’s March
3  The GARSON TRIO : The Victoria Waltz
4  JOHN FRASER : Napoleon Crossing The Rhine
5  JOHN FRASER : (Jig) Rory O’More
6  JOHN FRASER : The Foursome Reel
7  JOHN FRASER : Two Wedding Marches
8  THE ANDERSON BROTHERS’ BAND : Scapa Flow
9  BILLY & JIMMY MELL : Untitled Waltz
10  The ORKNEY STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY : (Hornpipes) Byrne’s / The Elk’s Festival
11  The ORKNEY STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY : (Polkas) Untitled / Untitled
12  PETER PRATT : Two Quadrille Tunes
13  PETER PRATT :  Miss Brown’s Horning
14  PETER PRATT : The Morning Star
15  PETER PRATT : (Strathspey) Kitty My Navel
16  PETER PRATT : (Barndance) Paddy Carter
17  BILL GRIEVE : Bob Johnstone’s Stathspey & Reel
18  TOM THOMSON : Deerness Quadrille Tune
19  The GARSON TRIO : The Venus Polka
20  The GARSON TRIO : (Jigs) Off She Goes / Dumfries House / Unidentified
21  JIM LESLIE : The Red House
22  JIM LESLIE : The House On The Hill
23  RONNIE AIM : The Glimps Holm March
24  RONNIE AIM : Untitled March
25  The ORKNEY STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY : The Grand March
26  JOHN BURGESS , MARY ORMAND & TOM THOMSON : (Strathspey) Smith’s A Gallant Fireman
27  JOHN BURGESS , MARY ORMAND & TOM THOMSON : (Two Quicksteps) Unidentified / Patience Quadrille
28  JOHN BURGESS , MARY ORMAND & TOM THOMSON : The Grand March No. 2
29  PETER PRATT : (Stathspey) Archie o’ Lamb Holm / (Pipe March) Unidentified
30  PETER PRATT : The Bride’s Reel
31  PETER PRATT : Tune for the quadrille (The Rose Tree)
32  The GARSON TRIO : (Strathspeys) The Monymusk / The Iron Man
33  The GARSON TRIO : (March) The House of Skene / (Strathspeys) The Four Stringer / MacDonald Black

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LINDA THOMPSON ~ Won’t Be Long Now TSCD822

The arrival of a new recording from Linda Thompson is always a cause for celebration. That the new album is as good as Won’t Be Long Now is really quite remarkable.

Won’t Be Long Now – her first album in six years -  was recorded in the UK and America with a rich array of contributing musicians. While it’s undoubtedly a family affair, featuring a duet with former husband Richard Thompson, regular contributions from their children Teddy and Kami, and grandson Zak Hobbs, Won’t Be Long Now also reflects Linda’s folk beginnings. This new album includes appearances by many alumni of the British folk scene, including John Kirkpatrick, Dave Swarbrick, Martin and Eliza Carthy, as well as American musicians like David Mansfield, Amy Helm, Sam Amidon, Jenni Muldaur and Tony Trischka, among others.

Linda Thompson has an ancient voice, wilting, wounded and wise. She sings with the conviction of an eyewitness of thieves, beggars, drunks, street urchins and circus freaks, spurned lovers and murdering swine, centuries-gone. The album is perhaps best summed-up by these wise words from MOJO: “The cover image of Thompson’s back as she stares at the horizon across a flat sea precisely represents the bulk of Won’t Be Long Now’s 11 songs. Men leaving by sea, women waiting, deceived and disappointed. Beautifully sung, often bleak and harking back in sombre mood to 1974’s Withered And Died.”

“Longstanding dysphonia problems make any Linda Thompson sighting precious. The fact that, now substantially beyond the full flush of youth, she can still make an album that makes your heart wobble fretfully is extraordinary… Kleenex is a must” Colin Irwin, fRoots

“It’s apparent how undimmed Thompson’s talent is, especially in the sheer confident power of her vocal performance. Long may she continue.” Record Collector

…and in the opinion of those fine people at Uncut magazine: “Folk-rock grande dame, still damned grand”

Track list:
1    Love’s For Babies & Fools
2    Never Put To Sea Boys
3    If I Were A Bluebird
4    As Fast As My Feet
5    Father Son Ballad
6    Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
7    Mr Tams
8    Paddy’s Lamentation
9    Never The Bride
10  Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk
11  It Won’t Be Long Now

TSCD822 : CD and DL
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12TS822 : LP
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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.

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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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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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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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JOHNNY HANDLE The Collier Lad TSDL270

Onetime member of the esteemed High Level Ranters, Johnny Handle is also a solo performer of great charm, humour and a wonderful songwriter. The Collier Lad mirrors many aspects of life in the North-east, from the lore of the miner to the lure of the Geordie streets.

Johnny Handle guitar, accordeon & piano with Alistair Anderson English concertina, Tommy Gilfellon Guitar and Colin Ross fiddle.

In Bye
1   The Collier Lad *
2   Dust
3   The Durham Big Meetin’ Day
4   The Old Man of the Village
5   The New Spotlight
6   Farewell to the Monty
7   Stottin’ Doon the Waal *
On Bank
8   The Day we went to the Coast
9   Schooldays
10  Is there Owt Secure?
11  The Old Pubs ±
12  Decorating
13  The Fearless Mariner
14  Danny’s *
* ably assisted by the rest of the High Level Ranters
± with Alistair Anderson, chorus

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The LING FAMILY Singing Traditions of a Suffolk Family TSDL292

Most of the people in Blaxhall will tell you that there are two big families in the village, the Smiths and the Lings. The Smiths are known as good stepdancers and the Lings as good singers. lntermarriage and the relatively stable population of the village, now altered by an influx of newcomers, has made a complex web of relationships which are very difficult to disentangle. It seems, however, that most of the population are related in some degree, and that people define their own relationships with each other broadly on the basis of a “close” relationship or a “back” relationship. Close relatives are mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins; all others are “back” relatives. Confusions arise through marriage when names are changed, but awareness of family is strong and identity is kept. Lings can be traced in the genealogies of every other local family. The Lings split into factions whereby some Lings say that they are not related to other Lings because they have different historical or geographic origins. Ruby Ling in Snape, Percy Ling’s wife’s family, who were also Lings, and George and Basil Bennett whose mother was a Ling, all say that they are not related to the Blaxhall Lings. The Lings identify themselves into family groups, and it is in one of these particular groups that several singers are found.

1    Green Bushes  Geoff Ling
2    On Board the Leicester Castle  George Ling
3    The Lobster  Percy Ling
4    Died for Love  Geoff Ling
5    Little Ball of Yarn  Geoff Ling
6    The Lakes of Coolfin  George Ling
7    The Deserter  George Ling
8    Little Sweetheart  Percy Ling
9    Jolly Jack the Sailor  George Ling
10   A Group of Young Squaddies  Geoff Ling
11   On the Banks of the Clyde  Geoff Ling
12   Underneath Your Apron  Percy Ling
13   The Bonny Bunch of Roses  George Ling
14   Nancy of Yarmouth  George Ling
15   The Man all Tattered and Torn  Percy Ling
16   Fagin the Cobbler  Percy Ling

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The STEWART FAMILY The Stewarts Of Blair TSDL138

There is a Scots saying that a Stewart is ‘either a tinker or sib to the King’. Nobody who knows the Stewarts of Blairgowrie, who spring from a long and famous line of Scots travelling folk, will feel like arguing the toss as to which of these possibilities confers the higher status. By general consent the Stewarts rank high among the singing ‘folk’ families of Europe and the world, and (as Robert Burns would have agreed) this and similar considerations of sense and merit confer the only patent of nobility worth a docken. The descendants of ‘auld Jimmy Stewart of Struan’, who crossed from Perthshire into Aberdeenshire via Glenshee and the Devil’s Elbow about the middle of the last century, are now scattered up and down the high roads and the low roads of Scotland, and there is a flourishing colony of them in Canada. There can be few more musically gifted clans or families in all Europe. Pipers, Fiddlers, melodeon players, tin whistlers can be counted among them in dozens, and you practically never encounter an indifferent performer. Alex’s father, old John Stewart, was one of the finest pipers in Scotland.

Alex, Belle, Cathie and Sheila Stewart recorded in 1965 by Bill Leader

1     Huntingtower
2     Caroline of Edinburgh Town
3     In London’s Fair City
4     Queen Amang the Heather
5     Dowie Dens o’ Yarrow
6     The Lakes o’ Shillin
7     Ower Yon Hill There Lives a Lassie
8     The Convict’s Song
9     Young Jamie Foyers
10    The Corncrake amang the Whinny Knowes
11    Busk, Busk, Bonnie Lassie
12    March; Strathspey; Reel

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ELIZA CARTHY Wayward Daughter TSCD772D

Eliza Carthy – The one indisputable young star of British folk” The Times – celebrates her first twenty one years as a professional musician with Wayward Daughter a career-spanning best of double album, with 31 tracks drawn from her diverse and award-winning back-catalogue including traditional and self-penned material. This 2CD is the perfect companion to Eliza’s recently released official biography, written by Sophie Parkes, also titled ‘Wayward Daughter’. There are also a couple of live tracks, samples of a few of her many collaborations with other artists – and previously unreleased material, too.

‘It’s a proud career CV but more importantly it stands powerfully alone on its own considerable merits – vibrant, modern and relevant’ – fRoots Magazine

‘Her vision remains absolutely faithful to the story and expresses the song’s essential emotions. She accomplishes this with wit and exuberance – And this is her genius.. Every home should have a wayward daughter’***** Songlines Magazine

‘A more fearsome performer than mum or dad, or indeed anyone else on the folk scene she’s helped to galvanise…a rich primer of a singular career’ – 8/10 Uncut

‘Headstrong, determined, incorrigible and irreverent, Eliza Carthy did more than anyone to revoluntionise and rid English folk music of staid cliche ridden images’ – **** Mojo

‘Whatever she addresses she does so with warmth, intelligence and crate loads of personality’ – **** Record Collector

CD1
1 Worcester City
2 Great Grey Back – with Tom Wright
3 Two Tears
4 The Rose And The Lily – Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson
5 Mr Walker
6 Colourblind – with the Ratcatchers
7 Jacky Tar
8 Grey Gallito – Salsa Celtica with Eliza Carthy
9 Newry Town – Waterson:Carthy
10 Blood On My Boots
11 Billy Boy / The Widow’s Wedding
12 The Forsaken Mermaid – Waterson:Carthy
13 I Know My Love – Eliza Carthy & Nancy Kerr
14 Gallant Hussar – with The Ratcatchers
15 Space Girl – Imagined Village
16 May Song – Waterson:Carthy

CD2
1 Little Big Man
2 Child Among The Weeds – with the Red Band
3 Rolling Sea
4 Cold, Wet & Rainy Night / The Grand Hornpipe
5 Lemady – Eliza Carthy & Martin Green, featuring Eddi Reader
6 Jack Frost – Waterson:Carthy
7 Willow Tree
8 The Company Of Men
9 Adieu, Adieu
10 Mother
11 Crystal Spring – Waterson Carthy
12 Blow The Winds / The Game Of Draughts
13 Mohair – with The Ratcatchers
14 The Nightingale / For Kate – Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson
15 Britain Is A Car Park

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TSDL146 HEDY WEST ~ Pretty Saro

HEDY WEST from North Georgia, at the southern end of the Appalachians. A L Lloyd regarded her as ‘far and away the of American girl singers in the revival.’ A sensitive and vibrant singer who accompanied herself in a distinctive style on the five-string banjo, her early recordings for the Topic label have had a remarkable influence on the folk song revival.

1    The House Carpenter
2    Pretty Saro
3    Old Smokey
4    Blow Ye Gentle Winds
5    My Soul’s Full Of Glory
6    Promised Land
7    Over There
8    Little Matty Groves
9    Rake And Rambling Boy
10  Joe Bowers
11  Whistle, Daughter, Whistle
12  I’m An Old Bachelor
13  Johnny Sands
14  My Good Old Man
15  Frankie Silvers
16  Lee Tharin’s Bar Room

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TERRY TEAHAN & GENE KELLY Old Time Irish Music In America TSDL352

Terry Teahan, of Kerry and Chicago, and Gene Kelly, of Kilkenny and Washington DC, were old-style Irish musicians in their 70s when this album was recorded. Both had been resident in the Us since the 1920s. Gene Kelly plays accordion, Terry Teahan melodeon and concertina. Though each had worked extensively in band settings, this record of solo performances concentrates on old-fashioned dance music.

1 Reels The Corner House / The Broomstlck Gene Kelly
2 Slide Tom Looney’s Terry Teahan
3 Slide Reagan’s Terry Teahan
4 Hornpipes The Sweep’s / Hennessey’s Gene Kelly
5 Barn Dance The Kerry Mills Terry Teahan
6 Polka Mike Howard’s Terry Teahan
7 Hornpipe The Bird’s Terry Teahan
8 Air Blind Mary Gene Kelly
9 Slide The Barrel Organ Terry Teahan
10 Slide The Evening I Spent With Mick Terry Teahan
11 Slide The Paper Plate Terry Teahan
12 Jigs Fahey’s / Gerry’s Beaver Hat Gene Kelly
13 Slide The Lonesome Road to Dingle Terry Teahan
14 Polka Mickey Chewing Bubble Gum Terry Teahan
15 Barn Dances Sean Hayes / If There Were’t Any Women In The World Gene Kelly
16 Hornplpe Tadgh’s Ailment Terry Teahan
17 Slide Going for Water Terry Teahan
18 Story and Air The Old Caubeen Gene Kelly
19 Waltz Tadgh and Buddy Terry Teahan
20 Fling Poll Hapenny Terry Teahan
21 Polka Paddy Kenny’s Terry Teahan
22 Jigs Father O Flynn’s / The Connaught Man’s Rambles Gene Kelly
23 Polka Jack Mitchell’s Terry Teahan
24 Sword Dance No Name Terry Teahan
25 Fling The Road to Glauntane Terry Teahan
26 Reels The Swallow’s Tail / Miss McLeod’s Gene Kelly

First published by Topic 1977

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JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND : RAGGED KINGDOM TSCD585

Twenty one years ago June Tabor and Oysterband collaborated on the classic Freedom And Rain album – frequently regarded as one of the Top 5 Folk albums of all time.

Over the intervening years they have occasionally performed together at gigs and in 2010 were invited to reunite for fRoots’ 30th birthday party at the Roundhouse. They all came off-stage determined to make a belated follow-up. The magnificent Ragged Kingdom arguably surpasses the earlier recording.

“There’s enough emotional power here to fuel a circuit of the sun. The reunion of Oysterband and Tabor has created a masterpiece.” ★★★★★ Songlines

“Striking gold by fusing the contemporary and traditional is at the heart of the folk process. Ragged Kingdom raises the alchemy of that process to the highest level.” The Independent

“This was worth waiting for.” ★★★★★ The Guardian

“Glorious.” ★★★★★ MOJO

“Oysterband provide tough textures and lyrical twists, while June Tabor could sing the washing instructions on a duvet and make it sound as profound as the Gettysburg Address.” The Word

“…one reunion that works so magnificently, it even overshadows the magical memories of their previous collaboration…” fRoots

Bonny Bunch Of Roses : JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND by Topic Records

track list:
1     Bonny Bunch Of Roses
2     That Was My Veil
3     Son David
4     Love Will Tear Us Apart
5     (When I Was No But) Sweet Sixteen
6     Judas (Was A Red-Headed Man)
7     If My Love Loves Me
8     The Hills Of Shiloh
9     Fountains Flowing
10    The Leaves Of Life
11    Seven Curses
12    The Dark End Of The Street

June Tabor voice
John Jones voice, melodeon
Ray Cooper cello, mandolin, bass guitar, harmonium, voice
Dil Davies drums
Alan Prosser guitars, kantele, fiddle, voice
Ian Telfer fiddle
Al Scott bass guitar, mandola

Further information can be found at: www.oysterband.co.uk

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

MARTIN SIMPSON : PURPOSE + GRACE TSCD584

TSCD584Guitar virtuoso MARTIN SIMPSON returns with a fabulous new album. “Purpose + Grace, is in many ways the epiphany of his career. Martin has never chosen the shortest root to stardom but the choices he has made along the way have made him the exceptional talent that he is today.” ★★★★★ Folk Radio UK

Purpose + Grace takes its very apposite title from the great American songwriter Yip Harburg (composer of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime’ and ‘Only A Paper Moon’) – “I am one of the last of a small tribe of troubadours who still believe that life is a beautiful and exciting journey with a purpose and grace well worth singing about.”

The album marks a bold and confident step for Simpson. Building upon the strengths of Prodigal Son and True Stories, like a movie producer, he conceived the whole project over a number of months and then invited some of his favourite musicians to bring their stellar talents to the recording sessions. Jon Boden, B J Cole, Dick Gaughan, Fay Hield, Will Pound, June Tabor and Richard Thompson join Martin’s regular band – Andy Cutting, Andy Seward and Keith Angel – on an exemplary series of performances. The material shifts from Anglo-American ballads, Scots and English traditional songs to new compositions from Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, the aforementioned Yip Harburg and Martin Simpson.

“It’s simply a great album from start to finish – wonderful tune, superb musicianship, star guests and a unity of purpose about delivering a fitting tribute to the music he loves that raises the album to such a high level.” ★★★★1/2 The Telegraph

“Martin Simpson has been a guitar hero, accompanist, folk singer and songwriter – and there are reminders of all these in what is surely his most commercial recording to date. It’s notable not just for his guitar and banjo playing and thoughtful vocals, but for the special guests who are often invited to sing lead vocals.★★★★ The Guardian

“Nothing rushed, nothing overdone, yet the playing remains astonishing.” ★★★★ Guitarist

“One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents.” ★★★★ UNCUT

“The breadth of this album makes it a joy to listen to, I’d be very hard pushed to choose a favourite but there is no doubt in my mind that it is a five star classic album!” Folk Radio UK

“It may well be the best album Simpson has made in his entire career.” Newcastle Chronicle

“An album of great love and joy, Purpose + Grace confirms that Simpson remains at the top of his game.” Colin Irwin / BBC Music online

>> Read more

Ragged kingdom

In 1990 June Tabor and Oysterband collaborated on the classic Freedom And Rain album – frequently regarded as one of the Top 5 Folk albums of all time.
Twenty one years later they’ve reconvened, to record the magnificent Ragged Kingdom. The album will be released on Monday 19th September.

Invited to reunite for fRoots’ 30th birthday party at the Roundhouse they all came off-stage determined to make a belated follow-up to their earlier collaboration.

”The spark” says Oysterband’s Ian Telfer “is we really feel we do something together which is different from what we do as separate acts. There is something in the combination of June’s exquisite dark voice with the supple energy of Oysterband that greatly pleases us. June comes to recording fantastically well prepared: every nuance of meaning and feeling considered in advance and plotted in her mind. Then she stands in the studio and delivers one perfect take, like an act of Chinese calligraphy. Or maybe Chinese cooking: the work is all in the preparation.”

JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND
Ragged Kingdom
Topic TSCD585

track list:

1     Bonny Bunch Of Roses
2     That Was My Veil
3     Son David
4     Love Will Tear Us Apart
5     (When I Was No But) Sweet Sixteen
6     Judas (Was A Red-Headed Man)
7     If My Love Loves Me
8     The Hills Of Shiloh
9     Fountains Flowing
10    The Leaves Of Life
11    Seven Curses
12    The Dark End Of The Street

Bonny Bunch Of Roses : JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND by Topic Records

That Was My Veil : JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND by Topic Records

“A marriage made in heaven.” Rolling Stone

“Glorious.” ★★★★★ Mojo

“This is one reunion that works so magnificently it even overshadows the magical memories of their previous collaboration 21 years ago.” Colin Irwin, fRoots


with thanks to Ian Anderson at fRoots

“Striking gold by fusing the contemporary and traditional is at the heart of the folk process. Ragged Kingdom raises the alchemy of that process to the highest level.” Tim Cumming / The Independent

Further information can be found at:  www.oysterband.co.uk

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

purpose + grace


Guitar virtuoso Martin Simpson will release his new album on Monday September 5th.
purpose + grace

takes its very apposite title from the great American songwriter Yip Harburg (composer of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime’ and ‘Only A Paper Moon’)
“I am one of the last of a small tribe of troubadours who still believe that life is a beautiful and exciting journey with a purpose and grace well worth singing about.”

This album marks a bold and confident step for Simpson. Building upon the strengths of Prodigal Son and True Stories, like a movie producer, he conceived the whole project over a number of months and then invited some of his favourite musicians to bring their stellar talents to the recording sessions. Jon Boden, B J Cole, Dick Gaughan, Fay Hield, Will Pound, June Tabor and Richard Thompson join Martin’s regular band – Andy Cutting, Andy Seward and Keith Angel – on an exemplary series of performances. The material shifts from Anglo-American ballads, Scots and English traditional songs to new compositions from Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, the aforementioned Yip Harburg and Martin Simpson.

Central to the whole project is a new Simpson composition based upon the words of Banjo Bill Cornett of Hindman, Kentucky, from a 1958 home recording. Cornett makes a heartfelt exposition of the beauty and purpose of traditional music-making: “This is Banjo Bill Cornett, I’m at home today, thirteenth day of February 1958. Here by myself, nobody but me around and that’s when I usually play the banjo and sing and whatever. My children grew up, and they fell for this rock’n’roll music – honky tonk music whatever you might call it. I don’t like that and I catch them all gone, my wife gone and then I carry on to suit my own self and I’m a making this record to give somebody – I don’t know who I’ll give this recording to, I want to give it to someone who will keep it and if there’s any people after I’m gone who’d like to hear my carrying on as far as my singing and banjo playing is concerned, I’d like them to keep it.”

MARTIN SIMPSON
purpose + grace
TSCD584

track list:
1     The Sheffield Apprentice
2     Bold General Wolfe
3     Brothers Under The Bridge
4     Little Liza Jane
5     Brother Can You Spare A Dime
6     Jamie Foyers
7     In The Pines
8     Strange Affair
9     Banjo Bill
10    Barbry Allen
11    Don’t Put Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson
12    Bad Girl’s Lament
13    Lakes Of Ponchartrain

Martin’s album is reviewed by Robin Denselow, Sam Lee and Julian May on the new weekly ProperMusic.Com Podcast. The podcast may be downloaded free : http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/propermusic.com-podcast/id463436857
or listened to: http://soundcloud.com/proper-music-distribution/proper-music-mix-final/s-QUqpQ

Little Liza Jane : MARTIN SIMPSON by Topic Records

Brothers Under The Bridge : MARTIN SIMPSON by Topic Records


with thanks to Ian Anderson at fRoots

“Simpson can seemingly do no wrong at the moment, his Indian summer turning into an extended heatwave on yet another brave and sometimes daring album… (purpose + grace) is an album of infinite range and moods and yet again must rank up there among his very best.” Colin Irwin, fRoots

Sadly, the great Mike Waterson, one of the finest singers of the folk revival died on June 22nd. Martin had composed a tune in honour of Mike and his banjo – “Sometime in the early 1970s I visited Hull to see the Watersons at their home, and I was greatly taken by an old fretless banjo they had – I coveted it a great deal actually! Almost 35 years later I did a gig with Mike, Martin Carthy and Chris Parkinson at Skipton Cattle Market. I asked Mike about the banjo, which he informed me was languishing in his shed. He told me I could have it if I got it fixed up. My friend Barry Murphy has painstakingly restored it to playing condition, straightening the warped neck, making new friction pegs and replacing the old split head. The first time I played it I started to write the tune for Mike – Don’t Put Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson.”

For details of Martin Simpson’s forthcoming gigs please visit: www.martinsimpson.com

“I am a big fan of Martin’s playing. Perhaps the highest praise I could give is to say that he never stops getting better!” Richard Thompson

Available now from:
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THE NEW VICTORY BAND One More Dance And Then TSDL382

A smile, a tear, a tapping foot – the New Victory Band can evoke them all with an enviable expertise. Old-time dances, music hall songs, even a ragtime tune on the harmonium was within their scope. Their sole album stands as an important example of the new movement in English country dance music that developed during the 1970s. ‘One More Dance and Then…’ is stuffed full of variety, humour, pathos, fine music and fun.
1  Polkas – Harper’s Frolick / Bonny Kate
2  Schottische – The Mountain Belle
3  You Can’t Take That on the Train
4  Waltzes – Charles Lynch’s / Cajun Waltz / The Banks of the Dee
5  Pretty Little Girl from Nowhere
6  Nellie’s First Rag
7  Polkas – Robbie Hobkirk’s / Father’s
8  Jigs – Mrs Grace Bowie / The Hogmanay
9  Mamie May
10  Polkas – (I’m Going To Get My) Moustache (Blacked As Soon As I Get There) / Corn Riggs
11  One More Dance and Then
12  Long, Long Trail

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BOB DAVENPORT Postcards Home TSDL318

Bob Davenport has one of the most distinctive styles and one of the widest repertoires among singers on the folkclub scene. A favourite performer at festivals and a regular guest at folk clubs throughout Britain, he is a staunch supporter of traditional music.
His 1977 record ‘Postcards Home’ examines hard times and war times through a powerful mix of song, music and speech. Songs by Richard Thompson and Bob Marley are interwoven with traditional music, poetry and music hall songs. As a contemporary Daily Telegraph review noted: “An impressive and timely achievment, full of poetry, irony and lively music.”
1  Byker Hill / Blackleg Miner
2  Durham Gaol Selection: Gypsy Poacher / Durham Gaol / First Time I Saw Durham City / Ball of Yarn / Breaking Sticks
3  Wait Till the Work Comes Round
4  The Winter Time is Coming In / Old Changing Way
5  When a Man Looks Pale / There’s Nae Much Luck About the House
6  We Plough and Sow / Get Up, Stand Up
7  Once I Had A True Love / Lowlands / My Bonnie Lad
8  Great Little Army March
9  Unemployed Men Stand on the Corner / McCafferty / I Don’t Want to Join the Army
10  The House is Crammed / Good Morning Good Morning / Our Soldiers Went to War / If I Was Fierce / If You Want to Find the Colonel / They Didn’t Believe Me
11  Have You Forgotten Yet / When this Bloody War is Over

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BOB DAVENPORT Down The Long Road TSDL274

Bob Davenport has one of the most distinctive styles and one of the widest repertoires of any singer performing in folk clubs. From the North East of England, he relished singing in the pubs of North London frequented by musicians from the Irish community – the Bedford Arms, The Laurel Tree and the Camden Stores. ‘Down The Long Road’ draws upon these two important strands in Bob’s repertoire, as well as the country music of Southern England. Mr. Davenport is variously accompanied by notable Irish musicians – Lucy Farr, Jimmy Power, Johnny Gorman, and by members of Webb’s Wonders, The Rakes and the Leeds Band.
1  Navvy Boots
2  Down the Long Road
3  The Rambling Man
4  Barn Dance Selection: Louis James’ Quadrille / The Dancing Dustman
5  When I Was Single
6  I’m a Poor Unhappy Married Man
7  Jig Selection: When There Isn’t a Girl About / Peggy Wood / Looking for a Partner
8  Wild Wild Whiskey
9  Whiskey in the Jar
10  Reels: The Steam Packet / The Sligo Maid
11  Herbert Smith’s Polka
12  One Day While in the North Country
13  A-Begging I Will Go
14  The Wealthy Squire
15  By Tyne’s Bonny Banks
16  Once I Had an Old Hen
17  Polka Medley: Jenny Lind / J B Milne / The Girl With the Blue Dress On
18  Bogie’s Bonnie Belle
19  Irish Molly Barn Dance
20  Toast / The Blarney Stone

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TSCD923 GUMBOOT GUITAR: ZULU STREET GUITAR MUSIC FROM SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

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

Recordings by Janet Topp Fargion & Albert Nene.

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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TSCD931 WOMEN OF EGYPT 1924-1931: PIONEERS OF STARDOM AND FAME

A CD compilation of fantastic Arab women, stars of Egyptian theatre and song who recorded in the nineteen twenties and early thirties. Taken from original 78rpm recordings of the time and remastered to the highest standards, this collection features among others the legendary Umm Kulthum.

Between 1890 and 1920, theatres and European-style cabarets sprang up all over Egypt. Performers flocked there from all over the Arab world and from Europe. Isadora Duncan, Pavlova and Mistinguette included Cairo in their world tours. At their peak, the most famous female Arabic women singers were earning as much, if not more, than their male counterparts. The 1920s was the heyday of this music and its recordings and these performers can be seen as having struck a blow for the emancipation of women. The Wall Street crash and the associated economic downturn marked the end of the recording industries’ boom years, leaving us a legacy of remarkable performances of immense power.

Winner of The German Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik). The award was inaugurated in 1963 to set the “most rigorous standards for supreme achievement” in the field of recording.

• “A fascinating variety of vocal styles covering the spectrum from Upper-Egyptian to quintessential Paris.” ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine
• “A painstakingly compiled and copiously annotated compendium of sixteen rare sides. One can’t help but compare the rare recording to its equivalents in American Appalachian and country blues music of the time, except for one primary difference – those genres arose from rural life, these Egyptian sounds very much emanate from urban – and urbane – society. Saniyyah Hassaneyn’s “Ataftu Wardah Hamra” (I Plucked a Red Rose) – a vocal so burdened by the weight of the world that Bessie Smith or Billie Holliday could easily have made it their own.” All Music Guide
• “Enormously evocative, these recordings open the door to a cast of larger than life characters.” fROOTS
• “The breadth of styles present on the compilation is remarkable. – an essential addition to both university library collections and private collections of Arab music.” Ethnomusicology

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TSCD935D SONGS OF SURVIVAL – TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF GEORGIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON – THE CONCERT DVD TSDVD580 

With the release of Prodigal Son (winner of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award’s album of the year 2008) Martin Simpson created a contemporary classic that effortlessly crossed musical boundaries and exhibited what many had known for years – here is one of this generation’s most talented songwriters, singers and guitarists.

Here on this special DVD, Martin takes us on a 2 hour live journey through that album, expanding and reinterpreting as only he can – and throws in a few more tunes for good measure. Filmed at a special concert at the Union Chapel in London, this professionally shot DVD has superb 5.1 sound and looks and sounds great. Martin is on top form, with the DVD highlighting his virtuoso playing and also the quality of his collaborative work when he is joined by Andy Cutting on Diatonic Accordion, Andy Seward on double bass and Kelly While on backing vocals. The evening is topped off by a stunning version of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award’s song of the Year, NEVER ANY GOOD.

As an added bonus, there is a unique short film made by Martin called YOU CAN GO HOME retracing the steps of his youth under the shadows of the blast furnaces in his native Scunthorpe. It is both a revealing and, at times, highly humorous backwards glance.
Running time: 130 minutes, Cert E 
Recorded live at the Union Chapel, Islington, London, – 13th November 2007.

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THE FIGHT GAME TSCD807

A radio-ballad about boxers by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

Part documentary, part allegory, The Fight Game takes the listener into the gladiatorial arena of professional boxing.

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

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THE BODY BLOW TSCD805 

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

Conceived as a documentary on the psychology of pain, The Body Blow focuses on five people partially or totally disabled by polio.

‘The rhythmic nuances of the interviewees were built into MacColl’s melodies; while the merciless impact of the debilitating illness breathed foreboding into the songs of The Body Blow – an examination of the ‘psychology of pain’. From these sprang some of MacColl’s most beautiful music.’ PETER RAPHIDES, TIME OUT

1  Introduction
2  What day did the world stop moving?
3  Do you recall how you climbed the Mountains?
4  Can’t breathe…
5  I often think back…
6  The world is a bed …
7  I wasn’t afraid while I was in the lung…
8  Well, first of all… appreciate the situation…
9  While there’s life, there’s hope…
10  It’s goodbye now…
11  Now I can do all the small things?
12  Stronger than pain is the human will to survive…
13  Closing announcement / The hidden foe…

Script, song lyrics and music: Ewan MacColl
Orchestration and musical direction: Peggy Seeger
Actuality recording: Charles Parker
Production: Charles Parker
Programme prepared with the help of The Polio Research Fund

Singers:
Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger

Instrumentalists:

Alf Edwards
English concertina, ocarina 
Alfie Khan flute, harmonica
 Brian Daly guitar 
Peggy Seeger guitar, 5-string banjo

This title is now deleted.

THE BIG HEWER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD804

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

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

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

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SINGING THE FISHING ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD803

A radio-ballad about Britain’s herring fishing communities by Ewan MacColl, Charles Parker & Peggy Seeger

Britain’s herring fishing communities are the subject of this, perhaps the best-remembered and most widely heard of all the radio-ballads. It was broadcast in more than 80 countries, and won the 1960 Prix d’Italia for radio documentary. Several of MacColl’s songs for Singing The Fishing quickly entered the repertoire of a generation of folk singers.

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THE RADIO BALLADS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HARRY COX ~ THE BONNY LABOURING BOY TSCD512D 

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

see also THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

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

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JOE HEANEY ~ THE ROAD FROM CONNEMARA TSCD518D 

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

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

Joe Heaney vocal

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STEVE ASHLEY ~ EVERYDAY LIVES TSCD526 

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

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

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BRASS MONKEY ~ GOING & STAYING TSCD531 

Another fine recording from this unique powerhouse band. “Going and Staying” features the band’s Deep English sound. Unique instrumentation and their approach to folk music give Brass Monkey an instantly recognisable sound and presence. For many of the tracks, the lineup expands to a six-piece featuring an extended brass section.

• “If there is a British folk supergroup these days, it’s surely this unusual band” The Guardian
• “…a vitality about the whole thing … lending majesty and a refreshingly different landscape on which to place these … songs” fRoots
• “The arrangements and playing are inventive and alive – played in a unique style which is eminently listenable” Get Rhythm

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JOHN TAMS ~ Home TSCD533

Home is the follow-up to John Tams’ award-winning Unity and reasserts the claim that there is no greater writer of English songs on the current folk scene. John Tams’ writing and performance grows with each new project and he and the band assembled for the previous album are now a fully integrated unit producing a new contender for “album of the year”.

“Understated drama…… sensitive arrangements – quality stuff” fROOTS
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THE COPPER FAMILY ~ COME WRITE ME DOWN (Early Recordings) TSCD534

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

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



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

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BLUE MURDER ~ NO ONE STANDS ALONE TSCD537

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

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

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ELIZA CARTHY ~ ANGLICANA TSCD539

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

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

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BRASS MONKEY ~ FLAME OF FIRE TSCD550 

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

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ELIZA CARTHY ~ ROUGH MUSIC TSCD554

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

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

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MARTIN SIMPSON ~ PRODIGAL SON TSCD567

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

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

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ELIZA CARTHY ~ DREAMS OF BREATHING UNDERWATER TSCD571

Winner of two Mercury Award nominations, three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and numerous other accolades, Eliza Carthy is easily the most impressive and engaging folk artist of her generation. She has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists including Paul Weller, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Joan Baez, Nick Cave and Peter Gabriel. And yet, while traditional music is her lifelong love, Eliza had always planned to stay with the songwriting thing she started eight years ago with “Angels & Cigarettes”, her only album for a major label. And a good thing for us that she did. Years in the making, Dreams of Breathing Underwater showcases a much more mature songwriting and performing talent – lyrically, musically and stylistically.
The overall spirit of Dreams of Breathing Underwater is one of coherent diversity. A chamber orchestra, Mariachi brass, grunge guitar, good-time jazz, sensual Edi Reader harmonies as well as Eliza’s inventive fiddle and earthy vocals provide some of the musical highlights of this highly original album. Early reviews point to Dreams of Breathing Underwater as being THE album of the modern folk movement.

  • “… Eliza delivers a fizzing firework display full of colourful narratives and big characters… sends you home whistling. It’s quite a party” ★★★★ Mojo Magazine
  • “It’s a fizz-bang jamboree bag of an album exploding with ideas, unexpected tangents and corking story songs.” fRoots
  • “Vocally and lyrically, this is Carthy’s strongest album. Add a beautifully designed CD package ..and you have one of the most startlingly original albums of the past year” Dirty Linen
  • “From the ethereal wonder of Lavenders …….the experimentation works. Tha fact that it works is partly due to the musicianship…it can also be put down to Eliza’s magnificent voice – one of the finest you will ever hear. Dreams of Breathing Underwater is a brilliant album that deserves applause. This album shows just why she is one of music’s, and not just folk’s, most important and innovative artists.” BBC Online
  • “Her most sophisticated album yet and one destined to win her a whole new set of admirers – the care and invention on display is striking.” ★★★★★ Observer Music Magazine
  • “The twice-Mercury-nominated singer’s eighth solo album might just be her boldest, most varied, most wild adventure yet. First up is Follow The Dollar which packs a solid rock punch. Rows Of Angels has a hip-hop vibe. Mr Magnifico is a riot of mariachi horns and Lavenders is washed with ravishing contemporary atmospherics. This is the work of a wonderful artist who refuses to stand still.” ★★★★½ The Sun
  • “It’s effortlessly confident, wildly varied and almost impossible to categorise. Magnificent.” ★★★★ The Guardian

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

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

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

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

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FAY HIELD ~ LOOKING GLASS TSCD573

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

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

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

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

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

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PAST MASTERS OF IRISH DANCE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD604

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

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PAST MASTERS OF IRISH FIDDLE MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD605

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

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ROUND THE HOUSE AND MIND THE DRESSER ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD606 

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

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

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ENGLISH COUNTRY MUSIC ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS TSCD607

Billy Cooper (1883), Walter Bulwer (1888) and Daisy Bulwer (c.1892) were active musicians in rural Norfolk for over half a century. These recordings, made together with visiting friends in the Bulwers’ cottage in the village of Shipdham, capture the style, vitality and robustness of the music they played for dancing in pubs and at Saturday night hops and wedding parties. Earlier editions of English Country Music appeared in 1965 and 1976. This third edition is re-mastered and contains new notes and many additional recordings.

“Unreservedly recommended” – fRoots magazine

“… right at the core of English identity” – Songlines Magazine

“The playing is wonderfully without affectation and superfluous ornamentation is left in the dooryard. English Country Music is a treasure chest packed with 27 selections of homemade music when the music was used as simple country entertainment. A gem!”
Sing Out magazine

Walter Bulwer fiddle & mandolin-banjo
Billy Cooper dulcimer
Reg Hall melodeon & fiddle
Daisy Bulwer piano
Mervyn Plunkett drums (snare, home-made tenor & tambourine)
Russell Wortley pipe & tabor
Scan Tester Anglo-German concertina
**** Hawkins banjo

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TOPIC70 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ THREE SCORE & TEN

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

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

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

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

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

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TSCD488 WATERSON:CARTHY ~ COMMON TONGUE

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

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

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

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TROUBLES THEY ARE BUT FEW: DANCE TUNES & DITTIES TSCD664

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

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

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

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

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

RANTING & REELING: DANCE MUSIC OF THE NORTH OF ENGLAND TSCD669

tscd669 webVolume 19 of The Voice of The People.
Dance Music of the North of England.
An anthology edited by REG HALL.

1 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Hexham Races / The Stool Of Repentance
2 TOM HUNTER & BILLY BALLANTINE fiddle & piccolo: The Gilsland Hornpipe
3 NED PEARSON fiddle: Untitled Hornpipe. Untitled Polka
4 BILLY BALLANTINE piccolo: Bonny North Tyne
5 WILLY TAYLOR fiddle: The Braemar Gathering /J.D. Burgess
6 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: The Friendly Visit / The Greencastle / The Lass On The Strand
7 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & WILL ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & rnouth-organ: Christie MacLeod / The Gallowglass Rant / Charlie Hunter
8 JIM RUTHERFORD fiddle: The Morpeth Rant
9 ARTHUR MARSHALL melodeon & THE LOFTUS SWORD DANCERS The Oyster Girl – lst Figure. The Lass Of Dallowgill – 2nd Figure.
10 WILLY TAYLOR fiddle: Willy Taylor’s Polka. There’s Nae Good Luck
11 WILLY TAYLOR accordeon: The Pop Along Polka
12 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & Will ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & mouth-organ: Mrs. Jamieson’s Favourite / Parnell’s March
13 NED PEARSON fiddle: The Polka Mazurka. Paddle Your Own Canoe
14 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Farewell To The Creeks
15 ADAM GRAY fiddle: Tom Hepple’s Polka. The Tow House Polka
16 ROB FORRESTER mouth-organ, with ALF ADAMSON’S BAND The Wild Rover / Copshawholm Fair / Yon Flowery Garden
17 WILL ATKINSON rnouth-organ: J.B.Milne / The New High Level
18 DAVIE ROGERSON fiddle: The Tenpenny Bit / The Rakes Of Kildare / I Lost My Love And I Care Not. Untitled Reel
19 BILLY BALLANTINE & JIMMY HUNTER piccolo & mouth-organ: Rosalie, The Prairie Flower. My Lodging / Blow The Wind Southerly
20 NED PEARSON fiddle: Corn-Rigs. Untitled Jig For The Sylph 1. Untitled Jig For The Sylph 2
21 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: Longueval
22 JAKE HUTTON, TOM HUNTER & BILLY BALLANTINE two fiddles & piccolo: The Kielder Schottische
23 BILLY BALLANTINE piccolo: The Sylph. Proudlock’s Hornpipe
24 NED PEARSON fiddle: The Highland Laddie. The Pin Reel The Cambo March
25 WILL ATKINSON mouth-organ: A.M.Shinnie / The Hogmaney Jig / Elizabeth Adair
26 DAVIE ROGERSON fiddle: Untitled Hornpipe. The Swallow’s Tail
27 THE CHEVIOT RANTERS band: The Ideal Schottische
28 WILLY TAYLOR, JOE HUTTON & WILL ATKINSON fiddle, small pipes & mouth-organ: Kelso Accordion And Fiddle Club / Linda McFarlane / The Scairlaveg

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

The Voice Of The People

THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE
THE TRADITIONAL MUSIC OF ENGLAND, IRELAND, SCOTLAND & WALES

The first TWENTY volumes : TSCD651-670

harry cox web margaret barry web scan tester web


“My favourite sit-down-and-listen records”
Norma Waterson

This series makes available nearly 500 recordings of English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh traditional music drawn from the archives of Topic Records and from private collections.

Compiled as thematic anthologies, each volume stands on its own, but the series as a whole presents an extensive and varied picture of traditional singing, instrumental music-making and dancing throughout the course of the 20th century. Many of the singers and musicians and their recorded performances presented here are classic, but the inclusion of some less well-known performers and genres broadens the horizon by offering glimpses at some little-known nooks and crannies of traditional music-making. This is the home-spun art and entertainment that enriched the lives of working people in pubs and cottages, in social clubs and village halls and on the street, and was made, in the words of one of the musicians in the series, “by people with dirt under their finger nails.”

Society has moved on, but the artistry of these singers and musicians and the emotional impact of their performances are timeless. The timbres and textures of the language and musical expression, the performance skills and techniques, the social values contained in both the material and the performers’ life stories, and the subtleties of meaning in the song texts could easily be lost sight of forever. The cultural voices of these farm workers and men on the buildings, the housewives, the shepherds and cowmen, the gardeners and estate workers, the miners and trawlermen, the dealers in scrap, the country policeman and the village postman, the chambermaid and the hospital nurse are therefore worthy of serious and prolonged attention. Their singing and music-making have made a striking and significant contribution to the cultural roots of these islands.

Best known as a dance musician, Reg Hall is a visiting research fellow at the University of Sussex and, in compiling and annotating this series, he has called on the experience of a long, personal involvement with traditional music-making and an academic historian’s view of its history and social context. His commentary pays tribute to the pioneer pen-and-paper folk-song-collectors of the Edwardian era and to those professionals in the early post-war years equipped with tape recorders. The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of a small number of enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, who recorded traditional music and broke new ground in discovery and evaluation, and this series owes a great deal to their creative efforts and co-operation.

Ever a critic of the concepts of ‘folk-song’ and ‘folk-dance’, Reg Hall challenges the ground rules of both movements and directs the emphasis in this presentation towards the lives of the performers and the communities and circumstances in which they performed. The songs and dance music had meaning and purpose for the singers and musicians, and the exploration of those realities, as far as we are able to understand them, is far more exciting than perpetuating the myths.

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