Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

DIGITAL RELEASES

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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The LIVERPOOL SPINNERS Songs Spun In Liverpool TSDL069

Debut recording from the LIVERPOOL SPINNERS (soon to be well-known internationally as the Spinners). This spirited collection was recorded by Bill Leader live at the folk club run by the group at Samson and Barlow’s on London Road Liverpool in 1961. Tony Davis, Mick Groves, Cliff Hall, Hughie Jones and Jacqueline Macdonald.
Songs Spun in Liverpool was first released by Topic Records in 1962.

  1. Whip Jamboree
  2. The Liverpool Barrow Boy
  3. Hayarden
  4. The Champion of the Seas
  5. Judy Drownded
  6. John Peel

 

 

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RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT Talking Woody Guthrie TSDL093

One generation thinks of the Ramblin’ Jack Elliott who brought the image and songs of Woody Guthrie to an eager Europe in the 1950s. Another knows him as a guiding hand behind Bob Dylan and all the singers after him. To others, again, he is a travelling songster in the great American tradition.
1  Talking Columbia Blues
2  Pretty Boy Floyd
3  Ludlow Massacre
4  Talking Miner Blues
5  Hard Travelling
6  So Long its Been Good to Know You
7  Talking Dustbowl Blues
8  1913 Massacre
9 Rambling Boys
10  Talking Sailor Blues

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WILLIE SCOTT The Shepherd’s Song TSDL183

Willie Scott, recorded in his 70s, came from a long line of singing Scots, bred to the trade of shepherd in the rolling Border country where the North of England and the South of Scotland march together.

1  The Shepherd’s Song
2  Piper MacNeil
3  The Kielder Hunt
4  Jamie Reaburn
5  Bonnie Wee Trampin’ Lass
6  Bloody Waterloo
7  Jock Geddes
8  The Dowie Dens of Yarrow
9  Herd Laddie o’ the Glen
10  The Lads That Were Reared Among Heather

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WILLIE CLANCY The Minstrel From Clare TSDL175

The musicians who have truly influenced Irish music in this century have not been many. Willie Clancy, piper, whistle-player and singer of Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, was indisputably one of them. He belonged to a strong tradition and left one after him.
1  Langstern Pony
2  The Templehouse / Over the Moor to Maggie
3  Bruachna Carraige Báine (The Brink of the White Rock)
4  Erin’s Lovely Lea
5  The Killavel Fancy / The Dogs Among the Bushes
6  The Family Ointment
7  The Dear Irish Boy
8  Caoineadh an Spailpín (The Spalpeen’s Lament)
9  The Pipe on the Hob
10  The Gander
11  The Legacy Jig
12  The Flogging Reel
13  The Song of the Riddles
14  Spailpín a Rúin (Spalpeen, my love)

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

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

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

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Devon Tradition TSDL349

An Antholoqy from Traditional Singers from Devon with Amy Birch, Phoebe Birch, Avice Clarke, Nobby Clarke, Joe Davies, Harold Gill, Charlie Hill, Brian Holland, Sophie Isaacs, Henry Mitchemore, Tom Orchard snr, Tom Orchard jnr, Bill Parnell, Bob Penfold, Nelson Penfold, George Roberts, Jim Sanders and Bob Small.

The Rev. S. Baring-Gould, who collected folksongs in the West country during the 1880s, wrote in his reminiscences that “the old fellows who had these songs were fast dying off, and their sons and grandsons despised the ballads and the tunes in the Gregorian modes and sang only the last vulgar music-hall ditties.” Many song hunters from that day to this have thought the same. Are they right? Well, this record of pieces recently collected in Baring-Gould’s own county of Devon gives some answers.

1 The Exmoor Ram Nobby Clarke
2 The Molecatcher Amy Birch
3 When I Was a Young Man Bob Small
4 Tuning Brian Holland (melodeon), Tom Orchard snr (vocal), Tom Orchard jnr (dancing) and Bob Penfold (vocal)
5 Barbara Allen George Roberts
6 Head-a-nodding Avice Clarke
7 The Thrashing Machine Joe Davies
8 Sweet Willie Sophie Isaacs
9 Navvy Boots Bill Parnell
10 The Leg o’ the Mallard Henry Mitchemore
11 Royal Comrade Amy Birch
12 Three Men Went a-Hunting Charlie Hill
13 The Farmer in Leicester Nelson Penfold
14 Tuning Tom Orchard snr (vocal & melodeon) and Tom Orchard jnr (melodeon)
15 Seven Nights Drunk Harold Gill
16 The Fremington Great Meat Pie Phoebe Birch
17 Up the Green Meadows Amy Birch
18 Rattling Irish Boy Bob Penfold
19 Mortal Unlucky Old Chap Jim Sanders

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CILLA FISHER & ARTIE TREZISE Cilla & Artie TSDL405

‘Cilla & Artie’ is a splendid album from Cilla Fisher (a member of the influential Fisher Family) and her husband Artie Trezise. The record was ‘The Melody Maker Folk Album of the Year – 1979′. Joining Cilla and Artie is an international collection of “session” musicians including Alistair Anderson, Johnny & Phil Cunningham, Rick Lee, Brian McNeill and Bob Zentz. The songs are mostly from the tradition with, “Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk” and “The Gypsy Laddies” but also include a grand version of Stan Rodgers’ “The Jeanie C” and the wildest ever arrangement of Ewan MacColl’s “Fisher Lassies”.
1  Norland Wind
2  The Beggar Man
3  What Can A Young Lassie
4  Fisher Lassies
5  Generations of Change
6  Fair Maid of London Town
7  The Wicked Wife
8  The Gypsie Laddies
9  Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk
10  John Grumlie
11  The Jeannie C

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 HEDY WEST Ballads TSDL163

Many of the finest traditional ballads from the British Isles were preserved by the families of settlers in the American South, where they existed alongside native American balladry. Hedy West, a native of North Georgia in the Appalachians, was one of the very few performers who were at home with the various manners of performing these ballad traditions. ‘Ballads’ is a splendid recording from 1967 which continues to influence contemporary musicians like Martin Simpson, three decades later.
1  The Foggy Dew
2  Girl I Left In Danville
3  The Unquiet Grave
4  Beaulampkin
5  Down In Adairsville
6  The Sheffield Apprentice
7  Lucy Wan
8  Little Sadie
9  The Cruel Mother
10  Love Henry
11  The Texan Rangers
12  George Collins

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The RUSSELL FAMILY of Doolin, County Clare TSDL251

Miko, Pakie and Gussie Russell of Dolin, Co Clare, were an Irish musical family of singular attractiveness and interest, with aremarkably rich store of local Clare music. This record was recorded on location by John Tams and Neil Wayne in 1977, and is an exceptional document of the traditional music making still to be heard in the Irish countryside during the mid-1970s.
1  Campbell’s Reel
2  The Heather Breeze / The Traveller
3  St. Kevin of Glendalough
4  The Potlick / The Peeler’s Jacket
5  The Five Mile Chase
6  Russell’s Hornpipe / Fisher’s Hornpipe
7  The Poor Little Fisher Boy
8  The Walls of Liscarroll / The Battering Ram
9  Garret Barry’s Reel
10  Tommy Glenny’s Reel
11  The Connemara Stockings / The Westmeath Hunt
12  When Musheen Went to Bunnan
13  Tatter Jack Walsh
14  The De’il Among the Tailors
15  The Roscrea Cows
16  Fair Haired Boy / The Black Haired Lass
17  Off to California
18  Give the Girl her Fourpence
19  Nora Daly

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LIZZIE HIGGINS Princess of the Thistle TSDL185

Lizzie Higgins was born in the centre of Aberdeen in 1929, the daughter of Jeannie Robertson the world-renowned ballad singer and the great piper Donald Higgins. Her forbears on both sides were travellers and she inherited a rich heritage of traditional music. At the time of these recordings Lizzie was regarded as the finest living interpreter of Scots traditional song.
1 Wha’s at the Windy
2  Lovely Molly
3  The Fair of Ballnafannin
4  Young Emsley
5  Bonnie Udny
6  Far Over the Forth
7  Laird of the Dainty Doonby
8  The Seasons
9  Davy Faa
10  The Banks of Red Roses
11  The Maid of Glenshea
12  The College Boy

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EWAN MACCOLL The Manchester Angel TSDL147

Ewan MacColl was one of the architects of the mid twentieth century British folk revival. A polemicst, writer and a singer of extraordinary dramatic power. His influence on the whole movement has been of the utmost importance. MacColl’s singing brings both the past alive and expresses the mood of his own times.
1  We Poor Labouring Men
2  Georgie
3  Barbara Allen
4  Sheepcrook and Black Dog
5  Bramble Briar (Strawberry Town)
6  One Night As I Lay On My Bed
7  The Grey Cock
8  To the Begging I Will Go
9  The Sheep-Stealer
10  The Manchester Angel
11  The Bold Richard
12  The Press Gang
13  Round Cape Horn
14  Through Moorfields
15  Homeward Bound

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Morpeth Rant TSDL267

A collection of instrumental country music from the North-east of England. Of all the regions in England where traditional music exists, the North East is probably where it flourishes most strongly. Morpeth Rant is the second record of Northumbrian music to be published from a series of recording field trips made over the past three years. The first was Bonny North Tyne on Topic. The two records demonstrate some of the wide-ranging aspects of the music to be found in a variety of landscapes from the bleak, sheep-inhabited moorlands to the industrial and mining areas. The proximity of Scotland with its many well known country dance bands has had a great effect on local repertoires – as has the migration of Irish musicians to Tyneside. Northumbria has its own very strong tradition of indigenous music – often from the small-pipe repertoire – and concern and love for the local music has led to the composition of many tunes in the traditional form. The tunes on this record reflect the varied influences which have come to bear on the music of the North East.

1     Morpeth Rant / Miss Gayton’s Hompipe / Kathleen’s Fancy / Morpeth Rant Tommy Edmondson
2     Jig selection: AM Shinnie / The Hogmanay Jig / Elizabeth Adair Billy Atkinson
3     Strathspey Medley: Laird o’ Thrums / Iron Man / Laird o’ Drumblair Jimmy Pallister
4     Medley of Scott Skinner Waltzes including Our Highland Queen and Piper’s Wait Alan Coulson & Geoff Purvis
5     Kinclaven Brig / Bill Sutherland Martin Dunn
6     Hornpipes: The Glen Aln / The Redeside Billy Atkinson
7     The Crusaders March Billy Atkinson
8     Jig & hornpipe: Bill Charlton’s Fancy & Madam Bonaparte Geoff Purvis & Alan Coulson
9     Military Two Step: Doctor Angus Tommy Edmondson
10   The Beeswing with variations Martin Dunn
11   Jimmy Allen / The Girl with the Blue Dress On Jimmy Pallister
12   The Cheviot Hills Jimmy Pallister
13   Crossing The Minch / Banjo Breakdown Alan Coulson
14   Latham Ladies Alan Coulson & Geoff Purvis
15   Farewell to the Creeks Billy Atkinson
16   Longueval – waltz Billy Atkinson
17   The Farewell with variations Martin Dunn

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SEAMUS ENNIS The Wandering Minstrel TSDL250

Séamus Ennis was an inspiration to countless musicians around the world. He is numbered amongst the greatest Irish pipers of the twentieth century (as well as a tremendous storyteller and an inveterate folksong collector). His sole album for Topic records captured his pipe playing during a highpoint of his career and is regarded by many afficionados as one of his finest recordings.
1  The Wandering Minstrel / Jackson’s Morning Brush
2  The Boys of Bluehill / Dunphy’s Hornpipe
3  The Glen-Nephin Cuckoo / The Little Fair Cannavans
4  The Frieze Britches
5  The Flags of Dublin / The Wind that Shakes the Barley
6  The Little Stack of Barley / Cronin’s Horpipe
7  The New Demesne
8  The Blackbird
9  Gillan’s Apples / The Walls of Liscarroll / The Stone in the Field
10  Molly O’Malone
11  Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel
12  Happy to Meet & Sorry to Part

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BOB DAVENPORT AND THE RAKES 1977 TSDL350

Bob Davenport has one of the most distinctive styles and one of the widest repertoires among singers on the folkclub scene. A favourite at festivals and a regular guest at folk clubs throughout Britain, he is a staunch supporter of the traditional music of the working people. He is at his finest when accompanied by the Rakes, surely the best English country ensemble of them all.
1  Waltzes: With my Love on the Road / Wild Colonial Boy
2  The Ploughboy Lad
3  Single Jigs: Patsy Geary’s / The Peeler and the Goat
4  Princess Royal
5  Lake of Coolfin
6  The Man in the Moon / The Jealous Sailor / Jealous Heart
7  Keep Your Feet Still Geordie Hinnie
8  Three Men Went A-Hunting
9  Country Dance: Three Around Three
10  The Dowie Dens ofYarrow
11  Polkas: McCusker’s No. 1 / McCusker’s No. 2 / Jenny Lind
12  Slieve Gallion Braes
13  The Star of the County Down
14 Old Green River

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KEVIN MITCHELL Free and Easy TSDL314

Kevin Mitchell one of the finest singers of song from North Ulster was born in the city of Derry 36 years ago. In 1969 he settled in Glasgow where he worked as an industrial painter, and is married, with two children. When asked to describe his singing voice, words like distinctive, personal style, lyrical and even beautiful come to mind, but none of them are enough. One thing is certain, if you ever hear him singing you will remember it.

1    Free and Easy
2    The Lurgy Streams
3    The Mickey Dam
4    Nancy Bell
5    The Boys of MuIlaghbawn
6    Going to Mass Last Sunday
7    The Magherafelt May Fair
8    The Light Horse
9    The Moorlough Shore
10   Two Strings on a Bow
11   Seán Ó Duibhir (Sean O’ Dwyer)
12   The Oul’ Grey Man

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JACK AND CHARLIE COEN The Branch Line TSDL337

The Coen brothers, Galwaymen by birth, were both resident in New York when this fine location recording was taped. Jack played the flute and Charlie the concertina, both were distinguished members of the New York Irish community when the folklorist Mick Moloney encouraged them to make this album.
1  Scatter the Mud / Larry Redican’s Jig
2  The Sailor’s Cravat / Repeal of the Union
3  John Conroy’s Jig / Jim Conroy’s Jig
4  The Peach Blossom / The Fiddler’s Contest
5  Jim Conroy’s Reel / The Pullet
6  Redican’s Mother / The Humours of Kilkenny
7  Mike Coen’s Polka / The Branch Line
8  Have a Drink with Me / The Blarney Pilgrim
9  Two Woodford Flings
10  The Waddling Gander / O’Connell’s Jig on Top of Mount Everest
11  Lads of Laois / Green Groves of Erin
12  The Tongs by the Fire / The Spinning Wheel
13  Whelan’s Reel / Jenny Dang the Weaver
14  Jack Coen’s Jig / Paddy O’Brien’s Jig

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EWAN MacCOLL with PEGGY SEEGER The Jacobite Rebellions TSDL079

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

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

From the original sleevenotes by Angus Buchanan

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

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THE FISHER FAMILY Traditional & New Songs From Scotland TSDL137

The Fisher family – stalwarts of the folk song revival – captured at a family get-together; a series of magical recordings by Bill Leader devoted to the family’s younger generation. Ray and Archie Fisher together with their sisters come into their own on this delightful anthology of Scots songs old and new.
1  Come All Ye Fisher Lassies – The Fisher Family
2  Schooldays Over – Ray & Archie Fisher
3  The Rigs O’Rye – Archie Fisher
4  Donal Ogue – Joyce Fisher
5  For Our Lang Biding Here – Archie Fisher
6  Joy of My Heart – The Fisher Family
7  Hey Ca Through – Ray, Joyce, Audrey & Priscilla Fisher
8  What’s Poor Mary Weeping For? / Bonnie Lass O’Ballochmyle – Ray & Archie Fisher
9   Am A Miller Tae Ma Trade – Cindy & Joyce Fisher
10  I Am A Freeborn Man – Archie Fisher
11  The Birkin Tree – Joyce & Cindy Fisher
12  Aince Upon a Time – Ray & Archie Fisher

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JOSIE McDERMOTT Darby’s Farewell TSDL325

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

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

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THE OLDHAM TINKERS Best O’T’ Bunch TSDL237

The Oldham Tinkers specialise in the local songs and ballads of South Lancashire, and have an immense following their. Their debut album soon caught the attention of John Peel and brought their music to a much wider audience.
1  The Rochdale Mashers
2  Seeing Double
3  The Pennine Rangers
4  The Two Jews
5  A Piecer’s Tale
6  Best o’t’ Bunch
7  The Lancashire Toreador
8  A Cob-Coaling Medley
9  The Four-Loom Weaver
10  John Willie’s Ragtime Band
11  Platt’s
12  Good Time Coming
13  I Mean to Wait for Jack
14  Skiing Owdham Style
15  A Mon Like Thee

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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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JOHN KIRKPATRICK & SUE HARRIS The Rose Of Britain’s Isle TSDL247

John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris play and sing English country music with a rare authority. John is a well known session musician, recording with Richard and Linda Thompson, Gerry Rafferty, Pere Ubu, Roy Bailey and many others. John and Sue were founder members of the Albion Country Band, and John has been a member of Steeleye Span and Brass Monkey. ‘The Rose Of Britain’s Isle’ was voted the record of the year 1974 by Folk Review.
1  The Rose of Britain’s Isle / Glorishears
2  Up in the North
3  Hunsden House and Whimbleton House
4  Queen of the May
5  Old Man Jones
6  Not for Joe
7  Weyhill Fair
8  The Milkmaid’s Song
9  Rising Sun and the Crown
10  Sweet Swansea
11  The Yellow Joak and The White Joak
12  The Lady and the Soldier
13  Fireside Polka / Down Sides and up the Middle

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Songs Of The Open Road TSDL253

Gypsies and travellers have preserved a wealth of English traditional song, which has been rarely collected. This splendid and influential collection of English traditional song performed by some of the finest Gypsy singers of Southern England, draws upon the diligent field recordings of the collector Mike Yates.
1  You Subjects of England – Jasper Smith
2  Little Dun Dee – Mrs Haynes
3  Hartlake Bridge – Jasper Smith
4  The Young Officer – Mrs Haynes
5  All Through Mi Rakli – Mrs Haynes
6  At the Atchin Tan – Mrs Haynes
7  The Oakham Poachers – Wiggy Smith
8  Thorneymoor Park – Jasper Smith
9  The Farmer of Chester – Joe Jones
10  The King and the Keeper – Joe Jones
11  Georgie – Levi Smith
12  The Haymakers – Levi Smith
13  The Broomdasher – Levi Smith
14  Barbara Allen – Phoebe Smith
15  Lavender – Bill Ellson
16  The Squire and the Gypsy – Jasper Smith
17  Erin’s Lovely Home – Mrs Haynes
18 The Game of Cards – Levi Smith
19  While the Yogger Mush Lays Sleeping – Jasper Smith
20  The Deserter – Wiggy Smith

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The BATTLEFIELD BAND : Opening Moves TSDL468

This collection is drawn from the first three albums recorded by the Battlefield Band for Topic Records in 1977, ’78 and ’79.
Tracks 1-3 come from The Battlefield Band (12TS313), 4-12 from At the Front (12TS381) and 13-17 from Stand Easy (12TS404)
The Battlefield Band were made up of core members Brian MacNeill and Alan Reid with Jamie McMenemy and John Gahagan. For the second album, John was replaced by Pat Kilbride and, for Stand Easy, Pat and Jamie had left, and the new members were Duncan MacGillivray and Jenny Clark. Since making these recordings the band has gone on to become one of the mainstays of the progressive folk music scene in Scotland.

1  Silver Spear / Humours of Tulla
2  The Shipyard Apprentice
3  The Cruel Brother
4  Ge Do Theid Mi Do M’Leabaidh
5  The Battle of Harlaw
6  Jenny Nettles / The Grays of Tongside
7  Tae The Beggin’
8  The Tamosher
9  The Blackbird & the Thrush / The Moray Club
10  Lang Johnnie Moir
11  The Brown Milkmaid / Dunnottar Castle / Maid of Glengarrysdale / Disused Railway
12  The Lady Leroy
13  Miss Drummond of Perth / Fiddler’s Joy / Traditional Reel / The Shetland Fiddler
14   My Last Farewell to Stirling / Cuidich’n Righ
15   I Hae Laid a Herrin’ in Salt / My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing / The Banks of the Allan
16  The Battle of Falkirk Muir
17  Joe McGann’s Fiddle / Center’s Bonnet

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THE COCK AND BULL BAND Eyes Closed and Rocking TSDL440

TSDL440The Cock and Bull Band were formed in 1979 from the ashes of Hemlock. Members were Brad Bradstock, John Maxwell, Jean-Pierre Rasle and Dave Whetstone. Paul Martin replaced Brad in 1980 and the band recorded their debut album All Buttoned Up on Topic Records in 1981 and began their ascent in the folk festival and ceilidh world. Maxwell, Martin and Rasle then put Cock and Bull on hold for a spell in The Albion Band before returning to record and release their second Topic album, Eyes Closed and Rocking in 1985.

  1. One for Dan
  2. Valse Villageoise – Bourrée à Ruols
  3. The Banister
  4. Sugar on the Doughnut – Advice to the Ladies
  5. The Wonder – Ridotta Rock
  6. Prince Frederick’s – Suky’s Delight
  7. Les Violettes Roses – Hop and Skip – Circle
  8. William Irwin’s I, II & III
  9. The Welch Rabbit – Hotfoot

Produced by Dave Whetstone and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1985.

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PEGGY SEEGER Come Along John TSDL018

Peggy Seeger performs eight songs for children from the American tradition, accompanied by her sisters Penny and Barbara. First released in 1958.

 

1    All Around The Kitchen
2   Come Along John
3   Billy Barlow
4   Old Aunt Kate
5   Little Bird, Little Bird, Go Through My Window
6   Lula Gal
7   Rissolty, Rossolty
8   The Derby Ram

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JOHN LYONS ~ The May Morning Dew TSDL248

JOHN LYONS of Crussa, County Clare, lived amidst the traditional music of his area of Ireland all of his life and was a very fine singer and melodeon player. This recording from 1974 manages to capture both the nuances and strengths of his music.

“The fervour and humour of these performances make attractive listening.” Ballymena Guardian.

1  The Maid on the Shore
2  The May Morning Dew
3  Morrison’s Jig / The Pipe on the Hob
4  The Tailor Bawn
5  After Aughrim
6  The Boys of Barna-shraide
7  Erin’s Lovely Lea
8  The Blackthorn / Unnamed reel
9  Farmer Michael Hayes
10  The Lambs on the Green Hills
11  Fiac an Madrarua
12  Kitty’s Wedding
13  Farewell, Lovely Mary

First published by Topic 1974

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JOHN KIRKPATRICK & SUE HARRIS Shreds And Patches TSDL355

John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris play a beautiful blend of Kirkpatrick’s morris dance based accordion-driven music and Sue’s classically trained oboe arrangements. Throughout the 1970s they were a sought after act on the UK folk scene and recorded a number of fine albums for the Topic label. ‘Shreds and Patches’ is regarded by many aficionados as one of their finest.
1  Waterman’s Dance
2  The Gipsy Laddie
3  Apple Core / Nipper
4  The Tailor and the Louse
5  Peg Huglestone’s Hornpipe
6  Little Sir William
7  The Game of All Fours
8  Penny For Them
9  Whitefryer’s Hornpipe / Shreds and Patches
10  Johnny Sands
11  Oakham Poachers
12  Bread and Jam Waltzer / Mr Gubbin’s Bicycle

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ALISTAIR ANDERSON Corby Crag TSDL371

Solo recording from one of the leading figures in music from the North East of England and inded in the English folksong revival of the late twentieth century. English concertina and smallpipe maestro Alistair Anderson has been at the forefront of the performance of traditional music for over four decades. An internationally recognised ambassador for the music of Northumberland, between 1968 and 1979 he toured the world as a member of the High Level Ranters. He has an enviable reputation as a solo performer and an enthusiastic educator and folk activist. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
1  The Hawk Polka / Thrunton Woods
2  The Keelman’s Petition / The Tipp Staff
3  La Fille de Lyon / Cotillion des Marionettes
4  Blake’s Hornpipe / President Garfield’s Hornpipe / Bonny Broom Hill
5  Felton Ionnin
6  Kriden Fair / Tich Richardson’s Favourite / Hey to the Camp / Brosehill
7  Alistair Anderson’s Favourite / Old French
8  The Belfast Hornpipe / The Prize Potato
9  The Trip to Carlisle / Corby Crag
10  Ali Anderson / Henry Atkinson
11  Blaydon Flats / Whittingham Games / James Brown
12  Derwent Water’s Bonnie Lord / The Bride’s Favourite
13  Remember Me / The Left Handed Fiddler
14  Geld Him Lasses, Geld Him / Uncle John
15  The Darkening

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TSDL283 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ Holey Ha’penny

Classic recordings of Traditional Music from the North-East of England
This record serves as a documentary of the thriving North-Eastern country music tradition in the second half of the 20th century. A tradition that continues to this day. Holey Ha’Penny is chiefly drawn from the 1954 field recordings by Peter Kennedy, with the addition of the only known record of the famous Northumbrian piper Tom Clough.

Tom Clough – Northumbrian Pipes        4.1.29
Jake Hutton – Fiddle, Bewcastle Fells, Cumberland 30.6.54
Tom Hunter – Fiddle, Bewcastle Fells, Cumberland 30.6.54
Billy Ballantine – Piccolo, Bewcastle Fells, Cumberland 30.6.54, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland 6.7.54 and Wark, Northumberland 29.6.54
Jimmy Hunter – Mouth organ, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland 6.7.54
Jim Rutherford – Fiddle, Otterburn, Northumberland 8.7.54
Ned Pearson – Fiddle, Cambo, Morpeth 16.6.54
Joe Hutton – Pipes, Stuart Shields, Otterburn, Northumberland 11.7.54
Adam Gray – Fiddle, Barden Mill, Northumberland 1.7.54
Willy Taylor – Melodeon, Warenford, Northumberland 7.6.54, Fiddle, Warenford, Northumberland 7.6.54
Bob Clark – Jews harp, Wltittingham, Northumberland 9.6.54
John Hepple – Pipes, Haltwhistle, Northumberland 1.7.54
George Hepple – Fiddle, Haltwhistle, Northumberland 1.7.54

1    Ho’ley Ha’Penny/Elsie Marley Tom Clough
2    The Gilsland Hornpipe Tom Hunter, Billy Ballantine
3    Morpeth Rant Jim Rutherford
4    Proudlocks Hompipe Billy Ballantine
5    Billy Ballantine’s Reel Billy Ballantine
6    Father’s Polka Ned Pearson
7    Schottische Ned Pearson
8    Varsoviana (Old and New) Ned Pearson
9    Highland Laddie  Ned Pearson
10   My Lodging is on Cold Ground/Bonnie Dundee Joe Hutton
11   Roxburgh Castle/Devil among the Tailors Joe Hutton
12   The Roman Wall Adam Gray
13   Tom Hepple’s Polka (The Girl with the Blue Dress On) Adam Gray
14   The Tow House Polka Adam Gray
15   The Kielder Schottische Jake Hutton, Tom Hunter, Billy Ballantine
16   The Keel Row (with variations) Tom Clough
17   Schottische Billy Ballantine, Jimmy Hunter
18   My Lodging’s on Cold Ground/Blow the Wind Southerly Billy Ballantine, Jimmy Hunter
19   Corn Rigs/The Manchester Hornpipe Bob Clark
20   The Linehope Lope Willy Taylor
21   Willy Taylor’s Polka Willy Taylor
22   Nae Good Luck – jig Willy Taylor
23   Whittingham Green Lane/Ward’s Brae John Hepple, George Hepple
24   Bonny North Tyne Billy Ballantine
25   Mosstrooper’s Polka Billy Ballantine
26   The Coquet Reel Billy Ballantine
27   Heel and Toe Polka Ned Pearson
28   The Pin Reel – jig Ned Pearson
29   Cambo March Ned Pearson
30   The Ferry Boat George Hepple
31   Malorca/Herd on the Hill/Devil among the Tailors John Hepple, George Hepple

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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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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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THE OLDHAM TINKERS That Lancashire Band TSDL399

The Oldham Tinkers from South Lancashire made their recording debut on the best selling ‘Deep Lancashire’ collection in 1968. Throughout the next decade they took their music to a wide international audience. Their fifth ‘solo’ album for the Topic label is another powerful mixture of Lancashire humour and pathos. Their beguiling songs are derived from the poems of local dialect writers, from Music Hall entertainers and from the traditional music of the North West of England.
1  Old May Song
2  John Willie’s Performing Newt
3  Nowt About Owt
4  Children’s Chants & Songs – Captain’s Medley
5  Eawr House – As Was
6  Oh! That Lancashire Jazz Band
7  The Lark
8  John Willie’s Grand-Dad
9  Tribute to Owd Paddy
10  Old King Coal
11  Steeple Jack
12  The Crime Lake Boggart
13  An Oldham Rugby Medley
14  McCarthy’s Party

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JACK ELLIOTT Muleskinner TSDL106

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

From the original sleevenotes

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

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Lambs on the Green Hills TSDL369

TSDL369County Clare has long been known as one of the richest areas for music and song throughout Ireland. Petrie, writing in his ‘Ancient Music of Ireland’, published in 1855, was enthusiastic about the tunes he heard. His remarks spring from his travels through Clare during the early 1820s and throw into relief musical traditions that clearly go back deeply into the eighteenth century at least. Even if it’s felt that Petrie’s enthusiasm may have run away with him we can’t doubt the more recent, towering figures of Garrett Barry, George Whelan (Kerry born), or Willie Clancy, and the Bobby Caseys, Miko Russells and John Kellys of today; all of whom testify to the strength of the musical heritage of the people of the Dal Cais.

1          The Bold Trooper – Nora Cleary
2          The Grey Mare – Ollie Conway
3          Farewell to Lissycasey – Siney Crotty
4          An Cailín Deas – Siney Crotty
5          The Lambs on the Green Hills – Mick Flynn
6          Lovely Mary to the Sea Do Not Go – Siney Crotty
7          Pat O’Donnell – Mick Flynn
8          Stór Mo Chroi – Mick Flynn
9          Bessie of Ballantown Brae – Nora Cleary
10        Farewell to Milltown – Nora Cleary

Recorded and produced by Roly Brown.
Editing and mastering by Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1978.

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PETER BELLAMY The Fox Jumps Over The Parson’s Gate TSDL200

Peter Bellamy (1944 – 1991) was one of the most distinctive voices of the British folk revival, a singer who made the traditional songs and ballads of England vital, exciting and entertaining. As a member of the powerful acapella group the Young Tradition, he helped reawaken an interest in the traditional songs of England. Bellamy’s influences drew on a wide musical world; he was as passionate about the singing of the Copper Family, Ewan MacColl, Harry Cox and the prisoners of Parchman Farm as he was the music of the Rolling Stones. Bellamy’s recordings continue to inspire musicians around the world.
1  The Spotted Cow
2  Two Pretty Boys (The Two Brothers)
3  The Female Drummer
4  Here’s Adieu, Sweet Lovely Nancy
5  The Ghost Song (The Cruel Ships Carpenter)
6  The Carnal and Crane
7  The Little Black Horse (The Penny Wager)
8  The Barley and the Rye
9  The Turkish Lady
10  The Warlike Seaman (The Irish Captain)
11  The Blackberry Fold
12  Saint Stephen
13  The Rigs of London Town
14  The Fox Jumps Over the Parson’s Gate

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HUGH GILLESPIE Classic recordings of Irish traditional fiddle music TSDL364

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

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

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BRASS MONKEY Sound & Rumour TSDL501

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

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

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

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LEN GRAHAM Wind And Water TSDL334

Len Graham of Antrim has been studying and performing the song tradition of Ireland, especially that of his native Ulster, for many years, and is well known and respected for both his scholarship and his singing. Wind and Water was his first solo recording.

“This is not a record of sea songs and shanties, so you may wonder why ‘Wind and Water’ for its title? It was wind and water that brought our ancestors to these shores, be they Celts, Norsemen, Normans or planters. It was also wind and water that propelled the missionaries, the ‘Wild Geese’ and the emigrants to foreign parts… These various comings and goings have left their mark
on the traditional songs of Ireland and, in particular, Ulster where forever history seems to stare one in the face. I hope the choice of songs on this record will in some way illustrate and reflect some of these influences.”
Len Graham

1 My Parents Reared me Tenderly
2 Maggie Picken
3 Séan Ó Duibhir a’ Ghleanna
4 The County Mayo
5 The Star of Moville
6 The Green Fields of Amerikay
7 Western Winds
8 Paídín Ó Raibheartaigh
9 My Willie-O
10 Daniel O’Connell and his Steam Engine
11 The Rights of Man
12 One Morning in May
13 The Knight Templar’s Dream

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BOB COPPER Sweet Rose In June TSDL328

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

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

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A L LLOYD First Person TSDL118

A L Lloyd occupied a unique position in the British folksong revival. Much-loved father-figure and mentor to many younger singers, he was a performer of persuasive charm, as well as an international authority on folklore and a frequent broadcaster. Lloyd was for a while artistic director of Topic Records and encouraged the early recordings of many of the folk scene’s finest performers. ‘First Person’ is a remarkable selection of his own favourite English folk songs. Lloyd is accompanied by Alf Edwards – concertina and Dave Swarbrick – fiddle.
1  Four Drunken Maidens
2  St. James’ Hospital
3  Kelly Gang
4  I Wish My Love
5  Jack Orion
6  Lover’s Ghost
7  Rocking the Cradle
8  Drover’s Dream
9  Short Jacket and White Trousers
10  Sovay, the Female Highwayman
11  Reynardine
12  Farewell Nancy
13  Fanny Blair
14  Shickered As He Could Be

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PADDY TUNNEY The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow TSDL264

Paddy Tunney established himself as that rare thing a singer really in a class of his own. One of Paddy`s peculiarities is that he chooses a high proportion of songs that are hexatonic or pentatonic. ‘ln the present instance. these ‘gapped‘ scales. along with the decorated styles of his singing, produce a homogeneity of character which alone would make this a record for the connoisseur of traditional singing.’ Recorded in London in 1975 The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow is a splendid collection of songs and ballads from Paddy’s large repertoire.

1     The Mountain Streams where the Moorcocks Crow
2     The Wee Weaver
3     The Boys of Mullaghbawn
4     The Old Petticoat
5     Coinleach Glas An Fhomhair
6     Donall Og
7     The Reaping of the Rushes Green
8     One Morning in June
9     Lady Margaret
10   Inis Dhun Ramha
11   The Old Oak Tree
12   Drinking Good Whiskey
13   Sweet Omagh Town
14   The Green Fields of Canada

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CHRIS DRONEY The Flowing Tide TSDL1503

TSDL1503Chris Droney’s repertoire, unlike that of many musicians, is not dominated by the reel and the jig; his playing is well leavened with the set dances, marches, polkas, hornpipes and slow airs of Clare, music that epitomizes the true traditional repertoire of one of the finer concertina players of County Clare.

1 Bellharbour Reel/Tim Maloney’s Reel
2 The Cuckoo Hornpipe
3 Three Little Drummers/The Eagles Nest – jigs
4 Burren No.1/Chris Droney’s favourite – reels
5 Sliam na Gapall/The Lakes of Sligopolkas
6 The Blue Gentian Waltz
7 Roddy McCorley’s March
8 The Treble Jig/The Battering Ram
9 The Union Reel/The Kilfenora Reel
10 The Three Part Jig/The Moate Hunt – jigs
11 The Templehouse Reel/Matt Molloy’s Reel
12 The Killy Hornpipe/The Flowing Tide (Ann’s favourite) – hornpipes
13 The Sailor’s Polka/The Old Time (Rakes of Mallow) – polka
14 Untitled Slow Air
15 Down the Broom Reel/Sheehy’s Reel

Produced by Tony Engle, John Tams and Neil Wayne.
First issued by Topic Records 1975.

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MARTIN & JESSICA SIMPSON True, Dare or Promise TSDL446

A remarkable album from Martin Simpson and his then wife, Jessica, with the band Flash Company. True, Dare or Promise features some of Martin Simpson’s most imaginative guitar playing through a remarkable series of arrangements that stretch British folk-rock towards the avant garde! The ensemble also features the fine (and much lamented) songwriter John B Spencer. Although they only performed a handful of gigs this album captures all the early promise of a fine ensemble.
1  Doney Girl
2  Past Caring
3  Not the Whiskey Talking
4  Young Man
5  Bedlam Boys
6  Wholly In My Keeping
7  Rising of the Woman
8  Man Smart, Woman Smarter
9  Essequibo River
10  The Keel Row

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ANDREW CRONSHAW Till The Beasts’ Returning TSDL447

Andrew Cronshaw – musical explorer and enthusiast – recorded several fine albums for Topic records during the 1980s and ’90s. Till The Beasts’ Returning is undoubtedly the finest – a magical collection of tunes from the far north of Scotland, from the pen of Mr Cronshaw plus a delightful solo reading of ‘Our Captain Cried’ by the incomparable June Tabor.
1  The Dark-Haired Youth / Taladh ar Slanair
2  Freumh as Craobh Taigh Challadair (The Hawthorn Tree of Cawdor)
3  Wasps In The Woodpile
4  Turning The Tide
5  Alala de Castro / Ronda de Cuestacion
6  Seana Mhellan
7  Giullan nam Bo (The Cow Boy)
8  Our Captain Cried
9  Ho Ho Nighean Donn (Ho Ho, Brown Maid) / The First of May / The Prince of Wales’ Jig
10  The Saratoga Hornpipe
11  An Old Highland Air

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The CAMERON MEN TSDL321

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

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

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DAVE AND TONI ARTHUR The Lark In The Morning TSDL190

The debut recording from Dave and Toni Arthur has become a much sought after recording amongst collectors of the finest British folk music. The Arthurs were an influential pair on the club scene, particularly admired for their powerful harmony singing.
1  All Frolicking I’ll Give Over
2  The Death of Queen Jane
3  Creeping Jane
4  The Merchant’s Daughter of Bristol
5  The Bold Dragoon
6  Cold Blows the Winter’s Wind
7  The Lark in the Morning
8  Poor Old Horse
9  Hey John Barleycorn
10  Bedlam
11  Admiral Benbow
12  Father, Father Build Me A Boat
13  The Press Gang
14  Six Jolly Miners

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VARIOUS ARTISTS THe Wild Hills O’Wannie TSDL227

The Wild Hills O’Wannie is a tremendous collection of some of the finest exponents of the Northumbrian Small Pipes – George Atkinson, Diana Blackett-Ord, Tommy Breckons, Colin Caisley, Forster Charlton, Joe Hutton and Billy Pigg.

The pipes have at various times been called seductive, wild, plaintive, lyrical, exciting, and sophisticated. These apparently contradictory descriptions result from the unusual versatility of the instrument as well as from differences in the tonal quality of individual sets of pipes. Thus, it is possible for each performer to develop his own characteristic style of playing and if you listen carefully to this record you will soon become able to identify the player from the sound of the first few notes of a tune.

1    The Morpeth Rant  BILLY PIGG
2    Skye Crofters/ The SwalIow’s Tail BILLY PIGG
3    Sir Sidney Smith’s March TOMMY BRECKONS
4    The Barrington Hornpipe GEORGE ATKINSON
5    Blow the Wind Southerly DIANA BLACKETT-ORD
6    Lovat Scouts / Roxburgh Castle / Bonny North Tyne / Alston Flower Show JOE HUTTON
7    The Navvy on the Line / The Friendly Visit / Remember Me / Biddv the Bold Wife / Lamb Skinnet /
De ‘il amang the Tailors
GEORGE ATKINSON
8    Londonderrv Hornpipe / Boys of the Blue Hills / Corn Rigs / Harvest Home DIANA BLACKETT-ORD
9    The Blackthorn Stick / Biddv the Bold Wife JOE HUTTON
10   The Holey Ha’penny BILLY PIGG
11   The Humours of Bandon / Saddle the Pony JOE HUTTON
12   Noble Squire Dacre COLIN CAISLEY & FORSTER CHARLTON (duet)
13   Rowlev Burn Hornpipe JOE HUTTON
14   The Wild Hills o’Wannie BILLY PIGG
15   Westering Home DIANA BLACKETT~ORD
16   The Midlothian Pipe Band / Charlie Hunter JOE HUTTON
17   The Lark in the Clear Air BILLY PIGG
18   Fenwick o’ Bywell TOMMY BRECKONS
19   Variations on ‘Oh dear, what can the matter be’ GEORGE ATKINSON
20   The Gypsy’s Lullaby  / The Hawk  / Memories / Coates Hall BILLY PIGG
21   Salmon Tails up the Water / The Herd on the Hill / Sweet Hesleyside COLIN CAISLEY & FORSTER CHARLTON (duet)

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Sussex Harvest TSDL258

TSDL258From the original LP notes:

Sussex has long been a county associated with folksong. In 1843 the Reverend John Broadwood published his Old English Songs with tunes, ‘set to Music exactly as they are now sung, to rescue them from oblivion’, and words, ‘in their original Rough State, with an occasional slight alteration to render the sense intelligible’. Broadwood, a Sussex country vicar, had played the tunes on the recorder to his organist, so that the latter might write them down, but was surprised to be told that he had ‘got them all wrong’. It was only when the organist heard the singers for himself that he realised, to his amazement, that supposedly illiterate peasants were singing perfect melodies outside the common major and minor scales.

To Broadwood, as to almost every subsequent collector, the folksongs were to be collected because it was believed they would be gone from us within a generation. This record attests that this was not to be so, that songs and singers were to remain active, if not exactly common.

1 Canadee-I-O     Harry Upton
2 The Female Drummer     Mrs Haynes
3 Poor Leonard     Mrs Haynes
4 The Freckless Young Girl     Harry Upton
5 The Basket of Eggs     Bob Blake
6 The Old Miser     Mrs Haynes
7 Riding Down to Portsmouth     Mrs Haynes
8 Will the Weaver     Rabbidy Baxter
9 The Wreck of ‘The Northfleet’     Harry Upton
10 Long a-growing     Mrs Haynes
11 The Bonny Labouring Boy     Bob Blake
12 Poison in a Glass of Wine     Harry Upton
13 The Ball of Yarn     Mrs Haynes

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

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Mrs SARAH MAKEM Ulster Ballad Singer TSDL182

Sarah Makem was one of the finest singers of Ulster singers. This recording made in 1967 is a fine portrait of the traditional Ulster repertoire – an area where Irish, English and Scots traditions to some extent converge. Sarah learnt her songs in the traditional way – “When I was young we used to have dances in the street to the music of a mouth organ, or if the mouth organ wasn’t available then someone had to lilt. Well, at these street dances anyone was likely to be asked for a song, so I always tried to have one or two ready and I kept learning as many as I could from my mother singing around the house.”
1  Farewell My Love, Remember Me
2  The Banks of Red Roses
3  It was in the Month of January
4  Robert Burns and His Highland Mary
5  The Factory Girl
6  The Jolly Thresher
7  Caroline and her Young Sailor Bold
8  The Wind that Shakes the Barley
9  I Courted A Wee Girl
10  A Servant Maid in Her Father’s Garden
11  Barbara Allen

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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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JEANNIE ROBERTSON Great Traditional Singer TSDL052

JEANNIE ROBERTSON comes of roving stock – on both her father’s and mother’s side, her ancestors belonged to the travelling clans (Stewarts and Robertsons) who roamed the North-East of Scotland. Jeannie herself, although born in the city, spent much of her youth travelling “up the Dee and down the Don” with her people, and learned many of her songs at their campfires.

1 The Bonny Wee Lassie Who Never Said No
2 What a Voice
3 My PIaidie’s Awa’
4 The Gipsy Laddies
5 When I Was No but Sweet Sixteen
6 MacCrimmon’s Lament
7 Roy’s Wife of Aldivalloch
8 Lord Lovat

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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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RINGING STRINGS Fiddle Music of Norway-Shetland TSDL429

TSDL429The selections on this record reflect a certain affinity between Norwegian and Shetland musical traditions: a kind of musical bridge over the North Sea. These are conventional recordings, without gimmicks, intended to deepen the appreciation of this unique fiddle music from Northern Europe. This fiddling style is rich in tone-colours, original sounds and lively rhythms. Listeners with a good will and a sense of exploration will come across many fascinating finds.

1     HAUGELATTEN (The Tune from the Hills) Hauk and Knut Buen
2     SELJORD BRIDAL MARCH Tom Anderson with Hauk and Knut Buen
3     GRAVBAKKEN (The Grave Yard) Vidar Lande
4     FILLE-VERN (Ragged-Vern) – walking dance Vidar Lande
5     SORDALEN (Setesdalgangar) Vidar Lande
6     MAGGIE O’HAM (Foula Shaalds Dance) Tom Anderson and Knut Buen with Debbie Scott and Catriona MacDonald
7     PRESTEGANGAREN (The Parson’s Dance) Hauk Buen
8     FYKERUDEN (Homage to Fykerud) Hauk Buen
9     MARKENSMANDAGEN (The Market-Monday) Hauk Buen
10   KNUT LURASEN I (Hjerki Haukeland) Knut Buen
11   MARGIT HJUKSE (Listening Tune) Knut Buen
12   SIRI RUKAREN (Fiddler’s Wife) Hauk Buen
13   BOKKOEN (Dance tune by Bokko) Hauk Buen
14   UNST BRIDAL MARCH/DA BRIDE’S A BOANNIE TING Tom Anderson and Knut Buen
15   HOMSLIEN (Tune of the Goblins) Vidar Lande
16   SKRUBBEN (The Wolf) Vidar Lande
17   NORAFJELLS (North of the Mountains) Vidar Lande

Recorded in Edinburgh, Jondalen and Oslo

First issued by Topic Records 1983

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The HIGH LEVEL RANTERS NORTHUMBERLAND FOR EVER TSDL186

The debut album from the mighty HIGH LEVEL RANTERS is a tremendous collection of dance and song from the North East of England. The Ranters were a group of Northeastern musicians whose regular meeting-place was the Bridge Inn under the shadow of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s High Level Bridge (hence their, conceivably punning, name). They comprise Johnny Handle (accordion and sundry other sonorous engines), Colin Ross and Foster Charlton (both fiddlers doubling on small-pipes), Alistair Anderson (concertina), Tom Gilfellon (guitar);

1 Shew’s the way to Wallington /The Peacock Followed the Hen Band
2 The Sandgate Girl’s Lament / Elsie Marley Johnny Handle acc Band
3 Bellingham Boat / Lambskinnet Band
4 Adam Buckham Johnny Handle acc Band
5 Meggy’s Foot Concertina Guitar Jews Harp
6 The Lads of North Tyne / The Redesdale Hornpipe Band
7 The Hexhamshire Lass Tom Gilfellon acc Band
8 The Breakdown / Blanchland Races Band
9 The Lads of Alnwick / Lamshaw’s Fancy Band
10 Byker Hill Tom Gilfellon acc Band
11 Whinham’s Reel / Nancy Band
12 Because he was a Bonny Lad / Salmon Tails up the Water /
Sweet Hesleyside
Small-pipe Duet
13 Dance to Your Daddy Band featuring fiddle duet
14 Billy Boy Tom Gilfellon acc Band
15 Nae Guid Luck Aboot the Hoose Concertina solo
16 Mi’ Laddie sits ower late up Johnny Handle acc Jews Harp
17 The Keel Row / Kafoozalum / The Washing Day Band

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SAM LARNER A Garland For Sam TSDL244

TSDL244This record celebrates one of the finest folk singers of our time, Sam Larner, born in Winterton, Norfolk, in 1878. Winterton is just north of Yarmouth, on the coastal edge of a stretch of flat watery country that, half a century ago, within a few square miles, sheltered a remarkable nest of singing birds, including Harry Cox of Barton (later Catfield), Ted Goffin of Catfield, Bob Miller of Sutton, and Jimmy Sutton (called ‘Old Larpin’) of Winterton. The composer E J Moeran noted fine songs from all these men during and shortly after the first world war, but he missed Sam Larner, who was perhaps away at sea.

  1. Alphabet Song
  2. Merry Month of May
  3. Napoleon’s Dream
  4. London Steamer
  5. Bonny Bunch of Roses
  6. Barbara Allen
  7. The Smacksman
  8. The Lofty Tall Ship
  9. Raking the Hay
  10. Will Watch
  11. The Outlandish Knight
  12. Haisboro Light Song
  13. Old Bob Ridley-o
  14. The Bold Princess Royal
  15. In Scarboro’ Town

Produced by Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1974.

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SHIRLEY & DOLLY COLLINS For As Many As Will TSDL380

‘For As Many As Will’ dates from 1978 and was the last studio recording by Shirley & Dolly Collins. The sisters were brought up on the Sussex coast with a strong intuitive for English traditional song. Through a remarkable series of landmark recordings during the 1960s and ’70s they helped define the possibilities of the English folksong revival. ‘For As Many As Will’ includes a stunning reading of Richard Thompson’s ‘Never Again’, alongside fine traditional material like ‘Lord Allenwater’, ‘Gilderoy’, ‘The Moon Shines Bright’ and a medley from John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’.
1  Lancashire Lass
2  Never Again
3  Lord Allenwater
4  The Blacksmith Courted Me
5  Beggar’s Opera Medley – Can Love Be Control’d by Advice? / O Polly You Might Have Toy’d and Kist / Oh What Pain it is to Part / The Miser Thus a Shilling Sees / Youth’s the Season Made For Joys / Hither Dear Husband, Turn your Eyes; Lumps of Pudding
6  Gilderoy
7  Rockley Firs / Sweet Jenny Jones
8  German Tune
9  The Moon Shines Bright
10  Harvest Home Medley – Peas, Beans, Oats and the Barley / The Mistress’s Health / Poor Tom

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RAY & ARCHIE FISHER et al Bonny Lass Come O’er the Burn TSDL128

tsdl128

The brother and sister team of Ray and Archie Fisher first became known to a wider audience in 1961 when they appeared for a long run in the Scottish Television documentary ‘Here and Now’, and as regular guests on B.B.C. ‘Hootenanny’ and ‘Singalong’. But they were already well established among Scottish folk-enthusiasts.

Dolina Maclennan is a native of the island of Lewis. English is in fact her second language, although she makes light of its difficulties. Her Gaelic songs have been passed down to her through her family.

Robin Gray is of mixed Lewis and Shetland descent, but has lived most of his life in Edinburgh. His maternal grandmother was a well known Gaelic bard.

In Enoch Kent you will find a living synopsis of most of the best characteristics of the folk-song revival. He was ready and eager to learn from the great ethnic singers of Scotland like Jeannie Robertson and Jimmy Macbeath.

1. The Twa Corbies – Ray Fisher acc. Archie Fisher (guitar)
2. Fil U O Ru Hu O  – Dolina Maclennan unacc.
3. Gypsy Laddie – Robin Gray acc. himself (guitar)
4. Beggar Man – Enoch Kent unacc.
5. Hug O Ran O Ru – Dolina Maclennan unacc.
6. Donal Don – Enoch Kent acc. himself (guitar)
7. Kilbogie – Ray & Archie Fisher acc. Archie Fisher (guitar)
8. The Night Visiting Song – Ray & Archie Fisher acc. Archie Fisher (guitar)
9. Bonny Lass Come O’er the Burn – Enoch Kent unacc.
10. Far Over the Forth – Ray Fisher unacc.
11. The Butcher Boy – Enoch Kent acc. himself (guitar)
12. Port a Beul – Dolina Maclennan unacc.
13. Erin Go Brath – Enoch Kent unacc.
14. Bratach Bana – Dolina Maclennan acc. Robin Gray (guitar)

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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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MARTIN SIMPSON Sad or High Kicking! TSDL438

Martin Simpson has spoken of his early studio recordings as “scrapbooks of the millions of things that I was into at that time.” For most fans this 1986 album displays a young master developing a remarkable relationship with his guitar.
1  Jazzman
2  Shawnee Town
3  Moth
4  Living Without You
5  For Jessica, Sad or High Kicking / My Dearest Dear
6  Icarus
7  No Depression in Heaven
8  Let It Be Me
9  Stillness in Company
10  The Lakes of Ponchartrain

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EWAN MacCOLL Bundook Ballads TSDL130

An anthology of soldiers songs, ribald, cynical and occasionally sentimental. Performed in his inimitable style by Ewan MacColl with Peggy Seeger, Jimmy MacGregor and John Cole.
1  Any Complaints
2  The Fortress Songs
3  Farewell to Sicily
4  The Ballad of Wadi Maktilla
5  The Dying Soldier
6  The Ghost Army of Korea
7  Browned Off
8  When this Ruddy War is Over
9  Join the British Army
10  On the Move Tonight
11  The Second Front Song
12  Seven Years in the Sand
13  Hand Me Down Me Petticoat
14  The Young Trooper Cut Down In His Prime
15  Bless ‘Em All

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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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TSDL289 PADDY TUNNEY ~ The Flowery Vale

Irish traditional song runs the gamut between heroic and lyric. The great Donegal singer Paddy Tunney was a supremely lyrical singer and a master of intricate vocal ornament. The Flowery Vale was recorded in London in February 1975.

1    Tis Pretty to be in Ballinderry
2    Captain Coulson
3    Ta Me Mo Shui
4    What Brought the Blood
5    The Blighted Lover
6    The Twisting of the Rope
7    The Blackbird
8    Old Ardboe
9    The Old Man Rocking the Cradle
10   Siubhan Ni Dhuibhir
11   Dobbin’s Flowery Vale
12   Going to Mass Last Sunday

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Streets of Glasgow TSDL226

tsdl226This record is a partial musical portrait of Glasgow, the city that more than any other in these islands, arouses shame, admiration and very real fear – the Glasgow of the old tradition, half-pastoral, half-urban, and nothing at all to do with the haggis or saffron kilts or tongued brogues; the Glasgow where the bewildered newcomer from the Highlands faces the line of a hundred grimy tenements; the Glasgow of the Hampden roar, of the bitter snarl of Orange against Green, of the shrill ironies of tough ten-year-olds of the courts of Govan and the concrete wastes of Easterhouse; the Glasgow of the factory gate demo, the Social Security queue, and the UCS work-in.

The Clutha, Terry Dick, Flora MacNeill, Geordie McIntyre, Freddie Anderson, Mick Broderick, Gordeanna McCulloch, Duncan Cameron, John Cameron, children from Barmulloch Primary School

1. DANCE TUNE MEDLEY played by The
Clutha (Calum Allan & Erlend Voy – fiddles; Ron
Alexander – guitar; John Eaglesham – concertina)
2. FOOTBALL SONGS Sung by Terry Dick with
chorus
3. MACDONALD’S FIRST VISIT TO GLASGOW
sung by Flora MacNeill
4. THE SPORTS O’ GLASGOW GREEN sung by
Geordie McIntyre
5. LET GLASGOW FLOURISH recited by
Freddy Anderson
6. THE COLLIER’S EIGHT HOUR DAY sung by
John Eaglesham acc The Clutha
7. THE WEEKEND SONG sung by Gordeanna
McCulloch
8. O’REILLY AND THE BIG MACNEILL sung by
Geordie McIntyre acc. Duncan Cameron – banjo;
Johnny Cameron – guitar
9. BOTTLING SONGS sung by Gordeanna
McCulloch, Sheila Christie with chorus, acc. The
Clutha
10. THE BLEACHER LASSIE O’ KELVINHAUGH
sung by Gordeanna McCulloch
11. THREE NIGHTS AND A SUNDAY DOUBLE
TIME sung by Geordie McIntyre acc. Johnny
Cameron – acoustic guitar; Duncan Cameron –
bass guitar
12. CHILDREN’S STREET & PLAYGROUND
SONGS sung by children of Barmulloch Primary
School
13. THE BALLAD OF THE Q4 sung by Mick
Broderick acc. Johnny Cameron – acoustic guitar;
Duncan Cameron – bass guitar
14. THE WORKS OUTING sung by Geordie
McIntyre acc. Erlend Voy & John Eaglesham –
concertinas
15. MARCH TUNE MEDLEY played by The
Clutha

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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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PADDY TUNNEY & ARTHUR KEARNEY Ireland Her Own TSDL153

tsdl153When Chesterton wrote of the Irish ‘All their wars were merry and all their songs are sad’ he was sacrificing accuracy for the sake of a paradox. The wars themselves were ruthless savage campaigns of destruction on the one hand and desperate struggles for existence on the other. The British fought as conquerors with scant regard for the rules of war, the Irish fought for something ancient and good, and they fought as crusaders. Their songs reflected their attitude, full of sadness for previous defeats, but convinced of the justice of their cause and confident that the final battle would be won.

Tudors, Stuarts, Commonwealth and After
1. Follow me up to Carlow  Arthur Kearney
2. Sean O’Dwyer a Gleanna  Paddy Tunney
3. Jackets Green  Arthur Kearney
4. The Battle of Aughrim  Frank Kelly – violin, Joe Tunney– melodeon
The United Irishmen and the Rebellion of 1798
5. The Ribbon Blade  Paddy Tunney
6. General Munro  Arthur Kearney
7. The Memory of the Dead  Frank Kelly – violin, Joe Tunney – melodeon
The Young Ireland Movement and the Fenians
8. The Bold Fenian Men  Paddy Tunney
9. John Mitchel  Paddy Tunney
10. The Felons of our Land  Arthur Kearney
The Sinn Fein and the War of Independence
11. The Dawning of the Day  Frank Kelly – violin, Joe Tunney – melodeon
12. The Song of the Dawn  Arthur Kearney
13. The Valley of Knockanure  Paddy Tunney
14. The Grand Oul’ Dame Britannia  Paddy Tunney
15. Kevin Barry  Paddy Tunney

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ROY HARRIS Champions Of Folly TSDL256

Few singers have such a vigorous, broad-ranging, fresh-sounding repertoire as Roy Harris from Nottingham, and none can handle it more convincingly. Guest musicians include Martin Carthy (guitar, mandola), Bobby Campbell (fiddle) and Vic Gammon (melodeon).
1  The Saucy Bold Robber
2  Bold Lovell
3  Steepleford Town
4  Captain Ward
5  The Methody Parson
6  Caroline and her Young Sailor Bold
7  The Beggar’s Song
8  When I was A Little Boy
9  The Dragoon’s Ride
10  Cropper Lads
11  The ‘Royal Charter’
12  The Topman and the Afterguard
13  The Jovial Hunter
14  Hard Times of Old England

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THE OLDHAM TINKERS For Old Time’s Sake TSDL276

The Oldham Tinkers specialise in the local songs and ballads of their native South Lancashire, and have an immense following. All the salt and savour of Lancashire song and humour is to be enjoyed in their records. ‘For Old Time’s Sake’ their third album for the Topic record label was popular with the late John Peel. He played their material often on his BBC radio programme, especially the tall tale of ‘John Willie’s Horse’.
1  Signora
2  Eaur Joe’s Lad
3  John Willie’s Horse
4  Barefoot Days Medley
5  Lancashire Witches
6  Come Whoam to Thi Childer an’ Me
7  Johnny Bugger
8  Billy Winker
9  Bits O’ Bromley Street
10  The Condemned Cell
11  The Maypole
12  For Old Time’s Sake

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VIN GARBUTT Eston California TSDL378

A singer of extraordinary power, a gifted guitarist and whistle-player, Vin Garbutt has been one of the most popular performers on the folk scene for nearly forty years. This, his first album recorded for Topic records is a career highlight.
1  Bantry Bay / Den Toppede Høne
2  The Land of Three Rivers
3  Gentle Annie
4  Hornpipes – The Belfast / The Japanese
5  The Hartlepool Monkey
6  Tonto McGuire
7  The Ring of Iron
8  Skibbereen
9  Their Ulster Peace
10  Reels – Tear the Calico / The Providence
11  The Waters Of Tyne

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TSDL287 SEAN McALOON & JOHN REA ~ Drops Of Brandy

SEAN McALOON from Co. Fermanagh and JOHN REA from Co. Antrim, were traditional musicians of choice quality. McAloon was a master of the fiddle and uilleann pipes, Rea the hammer dulcimer, and their duets on the latter two instruments are rare delights. These magnificent performances were recorded by Robin Morton (of the Boys of the Lough).

Sean McAloon Uillean Pipes & Fiddle
John Rea Dulcimer

1  Jigs: The Maid in the Meadow (dulcimer) / The Castlebar Races / Trip to the Cottage (dulcimer and concert pipes)
2  Reels: The Mountain Lark / Crooked Road to Dublin (concert pipes)
3  Jigs: Jackson’s Drum / Jackson’s Mistake / Jackson’s Coagy (dulcimer)
4  Air: Blind Mary (flat pipes)
5  Hornpipes: Madame Bonaparte / O’Dwyer’s Hornpipe (dulcimer)
6  Reels: Crowley’s No. 1 / Crowley’s No. 2 (fiddle)
7  Jigs: Moloney’s / Paddy O’Brien’s (concert pipes)
8  Reels: First House in Connaught (concert pipes ) / The Copperplate (dulcimer and concert pipes)
9  Air: An Buachaill Caol Dubh (The Dark Slender Boy) /  Slip Jig: Drops of Brandy (flat pipes)
10  Reels: Coil the Hawser / Lord McDonald’s (dulcimer)
11  Hornpipes: Alexandria’s / Higgin’s (flat pipes)
12  Reels: The Sligo Maid (fiddle) / Sheehan’s (fiddle and dulcimer)
13  Jigs: Wandering Minstrel / Katy is Waiting / The Basket of Shamrocks (dulcimer)
14  Hornpipes: Tim the Turncoat / The Quarrelsome Piper (concert pipes and dulcimer)
15  Jigs: The Old Siege of Valencia (dulcimer) / The Lark in the Morning (dulcimer, fiddle and bodhran)

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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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BERNARD O’SULLIVAN & TOMMY McMAHON Clare Concertinas TSDL1502

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

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

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VINCENT GRIFFIN Traditional Fiddle Music From County Clare TSDL338

A chance meeting with the Boys of the Lough in California led to Vincent Griffin making his first solo record in 1977. His playing has plenty of character and his repertoire is full of grand fiddle tunes.

*1 Reels: Fahey’s 1 & 2
*2 Jigs: Paddy Fahey’s / The Cliffs of Moher
3 Reels: Paddy Ryan’s Dream / Mammy’s Pet
*4 Reels: Martin Rocheford’s / The Sligo Maid
*5 Hornpipes: The New Century / The Cuckoo
6 Jigs: Coleman’s
7 Reels: Lord McDonaId’s / Ballinasloe Fair
*8 Reels: The Reefs/McFadden’s Favourite
*9 Reels: The New Year’s In / Youghal Quay
10 Air: Se Bhfath mo Bhfuartha (The Cause of my Sorrow)
11 Reel: Lord Gordon’s
*12 Reels: Dr. Gilbert / The Queen of May
*13 Jigs: The Trip to Sligo / Garrett Barry’s
14 Reels: The Night in Ennis / The Maid Behind the Bar
*15 Reels: Crow|ey’s
*16 Reels: Lady Anne Montgomery / Down the Broom /T he Gatehouse Maid

On tracks marked * Vincent is accompanied on piano and ** on harp by Geraldine Carrig.

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ARCHIE FISHER Will Ye Gang, Love TSDL277

Archie Fisher’s is a multifaceted talent. He is simultaneously a singer with great interpretive flair, a songwriter whose compositions have been taken up by many leading singers, a musician of outstanding ability and a skilled raconteur. Above all else he is a man of influence, whose taste and style have shown the way for many artists. ‘Will Ye Gang, Love’ was recorded in 1976 and captures a musician at the height of his powers.
1  O Charlie, O Charlie
2  Lindsay
3  The Broom a’ the Cowdenknowes
4  Mally Lee
5  Will Ye Gang, Love
6  The Flower of France and England, O
7  The Laird o’ Windy Wa’s
8  Men O’ Worth
9  Looly, Looly
10  Dreg Song
11  Adam Cameron
12  Blackbirds and Thrushes
13  The Gallant Ninety Two
14  The Rovin’ Ploughboy

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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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GARY & VERA ASPEY A Taste Of Hotpot TSDL299

Gary & Vera Aspey‘s very popular, highly enjoyable (and often hilarious) stage act captured on a 1976 live album.

Recorded in performance at the Scotgate Folk Club, Scotgate Inn, Stamford, Lincs, March 1976; the Chipping Sodbury Folk Club, The George, Chipping Sodbury, Glos, March 1976; and the Lord Coniers, Kiveton, Yorks, May 1976.

1  The Eekdale And Ennerdale Hunt Song
2  Weepin’ An’ Wailin’ Away
3  The Shuttle Kissing Song
4  Foddered Me Yowes
5  The Nightingale
6   Don’t Married Girls
7   Kids’ Songs
8   The Coal Hole Cavalry
9   Morning Stands On Tiptoe

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle
First published by TOPIC 1976

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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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GARY & VERA ASPEY Seeing Double TSDL407

photoGary & Vera Aspey’s 1979 album was their last for Topic, continuing the effective combination of sensitive instrumentation from Vera with well-matched vocals from them both.

1. Seeing Double
2. My Good-Looking Man
3. Miss Tickle Toby
4. The Dowie Dens of Yarrow
5. The Cruise of the Calibar
6. Hounds and Horn Together
7. The Bolinder Boatman
8. The Testimony of Patience Kershaw
9. July Wakes
10. Knocker-Upper Man
11. The Price of Coal
12. The Coal and Albert Berry

Produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic 1979.

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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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BOB ROBERTS Songs From The Sailing Barges TSDL361

A fine traditional singer from a bygone world. Bob Roberts was Dorset-born but grew up in Suffolk. He spent most of his working life on sailing barges carrying cargo round Britain or across the Channel to Europe. His repertoire was a treasury of bargemen’s songs, which he sang with a mellow grace to his own melodeon accompaniment. Roberts was active on the folk scene during the 1950s and 60s, but was seldom heard before these recordings made in 1977 returned him to clubs and festivals.
1  The Candlelight Fisherman
2  The Grey Hawk
3  Stormy Weather Boys
4  Waltz with Me
5  Haul Away Joe
6  The Oily Rig (recitation)
7   The Little Ball of Yarn
8   The Single Sailor
9   Young Collins
10  The Fish and Chip Ship
11  While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping
12  Windy Old Weather
13  The London Waterman
14  Bob Robert’s Waltz
15  Whiskey Johnny
16  The Foggy Dew
17  Bell Bottom Trousers
18  The Black Shawl
19  Little Boy Billee
20  The Collier Brig
21  Leave Her, Johnny

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Music of Cape Breton 2 TSDL354

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

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

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Bird In The Bush TSDL479

TRADITIONAL SONGS OF LOVE & LUST – A collection of erotic folk song.

These songs were made by men and women in close touch with nature, in tune with the run of the seasons, the growthy of crops, the increase of stock, the fruitfulness of their own kind. They are mainly concerned with the great clean truths of desire and fulfilment, love and fruitfulness.

1   The Two Magicians — AL Lloyd (with Dave Swarbrick)
2   The Old man From Over the Sea — Frankie Armstrong
3   The Wanton Seed — AL Lloyd
4   Gathering Rushes in the Month of May — Anne Briggs
5   The Banks of Sweet Primroses — Louis Killen (acc. concertina)
6   The Maid on the Shore — Frankie Armstrong
7   The Bonny Black Hare — AL Lloyd (with Dave Swarbrick)
8   The Whirly Whorl — Anne Briggs
9   Pretty Polly — AL Lloyd
10  The Night Visiting Song — Norman Kenneddy
11  The Old Bachelor — AL Lloyd (with Dave Swarbrick & Alf Edwards)
12  The Cock — Louis Killen
13  The Stonecutter Boy — Anne Briggs
14  The Mower — AL Lloyd
15  The Bird in the Bush — Frankie Armstrong
16  The Pegging Awl — AL Lloyd (with Alf Edwards)
17  One May Morning — Louis Killen
18  Martinmas Time — Anne Briggs
19  The Widow of Westmorland’s Daughter — AL Lloyd (with Dave Swarbrick & Alf Edwards

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TSDL317 VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ Songs & Southern Breezes

A collection of Country Singers from Hampshire and Sussex recorded by Bob Copper
In the summer of 1954, the singer and folksong collector Bob Copper went recording in the countryside of Sussex and Hampshire. He collected numerous fine songs from old country singers. This 1977 collection made those important recordings accessible for the first time.

1   The Bonny Bunch of Roses Noah Gillette
2   Epsom Races George Attrill
3   The Banks of The Mossem Jim Swain
4   False Lanky George Fosbury
5   Cruel Lincoln Ben Butcher
6   The Silver Pin Mrs Chapman
7   The ’Chiner’s Song Frank Bond
8   God Bless the Master Frank Bond
9   The Prickle-Holly Bush Fred Hewett
10  Three Maidens a-Milking Did Go Fred Hewett
11   Her Servant Man Gladys Stone
12   Rolling in the Dew Leslie Johnson
13   George Collins Enos White
14   In Sheffield Park Ben Butcher
15   The Streams of Lovely Nancy Victor ‘Turp’ Brown
16   As Broad As I Was Walking Victor ‘Turp’ Brown
17   Six Jolly Miners Victor ‘Turp’ Brown

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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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BOB CANN West Country Melodeon TSDL275

Bob Cann is an exceptional melodeon player from the south edge of Dartmoor in Devon. As a young man he played for hours-long step-dancing competitions; in middle-age he won an all-England folk instrumentalist trophy (beating the renowned piper Billy Pigg) from the English Folk Dance and Song Society. His repertoire is typical of the finest country dance musician but his playing is of the highest order – exciting and eminently danceable.
1  Uncle George’s Hornpipe (The Cliff) / Tommy Roberts’ Hornpipe
2  Hot Punch / Uncle’s Jig
3  Uncle George’s Waltz / Uncle Jim’s Waltz
4  The Primrose Polka
5  Dorsetshire Hornpipe
6  The Kester Rocky Waltz
7  Family Jig / Uncle George’s
8  Woodland Flowers / Uncle Jim’s
9  Ford Farm Reel / Cornish Quickstep
10  Harry Gidley’s Waltz
11  When its Nightime in Italy (It’s Wednesday Over Here) / Climbn’ Up de Golden Stairs
12  Lyrinka
13  Schottische Hornpipe / Cokey Hornpipe

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THE HOUSE BAND Pacific TSDL445

TSDL445After a long European and New Zealand tour in 1985/6, the original line-up of The House Band disbanded, and Chris Parkinson and Ged Foley formed a new group with Brian Brooks and John Skelton. This line-up recorded ‘Pacific’ for Topic in 1987, with the band touring America extensively in the late 1980s and 1990s.

  1. PACIFIC
  2. DIAMANTINA DROVER
  3. JOY AFTER SORROW
  4. IN AT THE DEEP END
  5. OLD MAN RIVER
  6. THE PIT STANDS IDLE
  7. GOING PLACES
  8. FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE
  9. BLAZING RUSE

Produced by The House Band and David Kenny

First issued by Topic Records 1987

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JUMBO BRIGHTWELL Songs from the Eel’s Foot TSDL261

From the original LP notes:TSDL261

As at many local pubs, Saturday nights were for singing and the Eel’s Foot was no exception, having a Chairman – Philip Lumpton – who would keep the tiny bar in order with a gavel or the cribbage board and the ruling was that everyone had ‘to sing, say or pay’. Jumbo however remembers one chap, a steamroller driver, who ‘whenever it was his turn to sing someone would generally pay him a tanner not to – he wasn’t all that good.’ The money went into a kitty to supply the singers with beer which had to be brought by hand from the cellar to the bar, one pint at a time.

1 The Flower of London
2 The Derby Miller
3 The Loss of the Ramillies
4 The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea
5 Blow the Candle Out
6 The Bold Princess Royal
7 Newry Town
8 The Indian Lass
9 Muddley Barracks
10 The False Hearted Knight
11 The Lost Heiress
12 Down in the Fields Where the Buttercups Grow
13 Rambleaway
14 The Life of a Man

Produced by Tony Engle and Keith Summers
First issued by Topic Records 1975

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VIN GARBUTT Little Innocents TSDL428

Vin Garbutt’s third album for Topic, from 1983. TSDL428Expecting their third child, Garbutt and his wife, Pat, made a routine visit to their GP. They were stunned when the doctor asked them if they wanted to keep their baby. It was the cold casualness of the question that made Garbutt realise that he had just found an unlikely muse: the unborn child. A rich crop of almost unbearably moving hymns to the unborn baby resulted.

1 The Royal Blackbird
2 The Fear of Imperfection ~ Lynda
3 Calum More
4 The Coalman
5 Leslie
6 Dormanstown Jimmy
7 If
8 Blue Sunset
9 Little Innocents

First issued by Topic Records 1983.

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JOHN KIRKPATRICK & SUE HARRIS Stolen Ground TSDL453

Accordion maestro John Kirkpatrick and the classically-trained oboist Sue Harris created a beautiful blend of English country dance tunes and songs with influences from Music Hall, Flaco Jimenez and Ry Cooder. Throughout the 1970s they were a sought after act on the UK folk scene and recorded a number of fine albums for the Topic label. 1989’s Stolen Ground, the duo’s final album for the Topic label, is undobtedly one of their finest records.
1  Arthur McBride
2  The Juggler
3  Clee Hill Tunes
4  Mother Earth
5  Black Deer
6  Must I Be Bound / Mrs Saggs
7  The Chickens They Are Crowing
8  Shepherd’s Branle
9  The Old Miner

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JOHNNY DOUGHTY Round Rye Bay For More TSDL324

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

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

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MARTIN SIMPSON Grinning In Your Face TSCD430D

Martin Simpson is justifiably regarded as one of the finest finger-style guitarists to have emerged from the British Isles. ‘Grinning In Your Face’ (1983) captures him at an early stage in his recording career, and is a remarkably assured and exuberant recording.
1  It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
2  Little Birdie
3  The First Cut is the Deepest
4  Roving Gambler
5  This War May Last for Years
6  Masters of War
7  Reuben’s Train
8  Your Cheatin’ Heart
9  Handsome Molly
10  Townships – Biko
11  Moonshine
12  Green Linnet / Grinning in your Face

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SARAH OGAN GUNNING A Girl of Constant Sorrow TSDL171

From  the original LP notes:TSDL171

Like other folksingers, her repertoire encompasses a variety of emotions: anger at needless poverty and exploitation, affirmation of self-help as a way of life, pleasure in love, solace in religion, peace in death. Sarah’s prodigious talent has permitted her to fuse disparate radical elements with traditional forms to create a handful of significant songs beyond the legacy of well-known material left to her by her family.

1 I AM A GIRL OF CONSTANT SORROW
2 LOVING NANCY
3 OLD JACK FROST
4 MAY I GO WITH YOU JOHNNY?
5 THE HAND OF GOD ON THE WALL
6 DOWN ON THE PICKET LINE
7 I HATE THE COMPANY BOSSES
8 I’M GOING TO ORGANIZE
9 CHRIST WAS A WAYWORN TRAVELER
10 WHY DO YOU STAND THERE IN THE RAIN?
11 DREADFUL MEMORIES
12 OLD SOUTHERN TOWN
13 I HAVE LETTERS FROM MY FATHER
14 CAPTAIN DEVIN
15 GEE WHIZ WHAT THEY DONE TO ME
16 DAVY CROCKETT
17 BATTLE OF MILL SPRING
18 JUST THE SAME TODAY
19 SALLY
20 OH DEATH

First issued by Topic Records 1967.

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SCAN TESTER, WALTER & DAISY BULWER, BILLY COOPER AND OTHERS Boscastle Breakdown TSDL240

An important collection of field recordings made between 1940 and the late 1960s, which focus upon the traditional instrumental music of rural England. Most of the musicians featured were born towards the end of the 19th century and developed their musical skills in the years before the Great War. The carnage of World War 1, the movement towards towns in search of employment and the influence of mass media, all served to bring about a decline in country music. This recording captures some of the finest surviving performers and the repertoire they played for social dancing in country pubs and village halls.
1  Jenny Lind / Untitled Polka – Scan Tester and Rabbidy Baxter
2  The Irish Washerwoman / Garryowen / Rory O’More / St Patrick’s Day – Billy Cooper
3  The Boscastle Breakdown – The Tintagel and Boscatle Players
4  The Boscastle Breakdown (six hornpipes) – William Hocken
5  The Helston Furry Dance – Mr Dangar’s Trio
6  Lady Evesham’s Jig – Mr Dangar’s Trio
7  Untitled Polka – Walter and Daisy Bulwer and Reg Hall
8  The Yarmouth Hornpipe introducing The Four Hand Reel / The Sailor’s Hornpipe – Billy Cooper
9  Dulcie Bell – Billy Cooper
10  The Breakdown / The Flowers of Edinburgh – Harry Lee
11  The Italian Schottische – The Dorset Trio
12  The Lass of Dalogil – The Dorset Trio
13  Bonfire Tune / Untitled Polka – Albert Farmer
14  Untitled Waltz / The Cuckoo Waltz – Albert Farmer
15  Unidentified Tune – Harry Lee
16  The Sailor’s Hornpipe / The Shipdham Hornpipe / Untitled Polka / The White Cockade / Untitled Polka – Walter and Daisy Bulwer

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DAVIE STEWART TSDL293

TSDL293

“In a form of music that is mainly about continuity and convention, it is a rarity to come across an innovator, a rule-breaker; Davie Stewart was just such a character.  He deserves the overused word, ‘unique’; they made Davie and then they broke the mould.  His song accompaniments on melodeon or piano accordion have a peculiar otherworldly effect.  It is weird and wonderful stuff.”  Vic Smith

1 MacPherson’s Rant
2 The Jolly Beggar
3 Cantering: The 74th Highlanders’ Farewell to Edinburgh/The Piper’s Bonnet/Mrs
MacLeod of Raasay
4 I’m Often Drunk and I’m Seldom Sober
5 Jigs: Taghter Jack Walsh/The Connaughtman’s Ramble
6 The Overgate
7 The Merchant’s Son
8 The Daft Piper
9 Boolavogue
10 Hornpipe: Harvest Home
11 The Dowie Dens o’Yarrow

Production for Topic by Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1978

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PETA WEBB I Have Wandered In Exile TSDL223

TSDL223Peta Webb’s 1973 LP for Topic came after great interest in her work with Oak; this album showcases her individual vocal style, with songs learned from some of the great Irish traditional singers, Brigid Tunney, Winnie Ryan and John Docherty among them.

  1. I have wandered in exile  with Lucy Farr, fiddle
  2. Oxford City
  3. The Moorlough Shore
  4. The Blackbird of Avondale with Lucy Farr, fiddle; Reg Hall, melodeon
  5. Blackwater Side
  6. The Pride of Glencoe with Michael Plunkett, fiddle
  7. I am a poor girl
  8. Moorlough Mary
  9. The Lovely Banks of Lea with Lucy Farr, fiddle

Recorded by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1973

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FRANK HINCHLIFFE In Sheffield Park TSDL308

A wonderfully gifted and delicate singer, Frank Hinchliffe of Sheffield was also the possessor of numerous fine traditional songs, many in uncommon versions. He was undoubtedly one of the major traditional singers to come to public notice in the 1970s.

Traditional Songs from South Yorkshire

1 The Pear Tree
2 The Golden Glove
3 The Spotted Cow
4 Mary Across the Wild Moor
5 The Nobleman and Thrasherman
6 Wilkins and Dinah
7 The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea
8 Wild and Wicked Youths
9 Sheffield Park
10 Hear the Nightingales Sing
11 The Poor Old Weaver’s Daughter
12 It Hails, It Rains
13 Nothing Else to Do
14 Edward
15 We’ve Been a While a-Wassailing

First published by Topic 1977

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PACKIE MANUS BYRNE Songs Of A Donegal Man TSDL257

PACKIE BYRNE was born in Co. Donegal in 1917 into a community where traditional music and song were deeply imbedded, Packie could not help but continue this tradition. Throughout his life he was a notable singer, also becoming very well-known in the London area as a whistle player of great skill. This album shows a less well-known side of Packie – a carrier of fine traditional ballads, some of which were quite rare.

1   John and the Farmer
2   The Rich Man’s Daughter
3   The Holland Handkerchief
4   Molly Bawn
5   The Jolly Ploughboy
6   Young Alvin
7   Johnny o’ Hazelgreen
8   Lament to the Moon
9   The Creel

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ALISON McMORLAND & PETA WEBB TSDL403

“Alison McMorland and Peta Webb are two ladies of immense talent and can be counted among the handful, of either sex, who are supreme in their art. Individually they are well respected; together they make that rare blend that is only to be found in singing of this quality, complementing each other perfectly and, even more rare, each somehow adding to the other to come up with something which is more than the combination of two voices. It is only after listening to the whole record that one becomes aware that there is no instrumental accompaniment.” Dick Gaughan from the original 1980 sleeve notes.
1  Two Pretty Boys
2  What Can A Young Lassie?
3  Jogging Up To Claudy
4  In London So Fair
5  The Convict’s Song
6  Sailing’s A Weary Life
7  The Factory Girl
8  The May Morning Dew
9  The Green Banks Of Yarrow
10  The Dowie Dens Of Yarrow
11  Our Ship Is Ready

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DOMINIC BEHAN Down By the Liffeyside: Irish Street Ballads TSDL035

Long the enfant terrible of the folk revival, Dominic Behan – poet, patriot, playwright and rebel – spills over with outrageous talent. This archive recording from 1960 shows him as a powerful and honest singer, a worthy heir of the great Dublin heritage of song and ballad. Behan is accompanied by Peggy Seeger, Leon Rosselson and Ralph Rinzler.

1  Get Me Down Me Filling Knife
2  The Saint
3  Down By the Liffeyside
4  Ross’ Farewell to Dublin
5  Waxy Dargell
6  Red Roses For Me
7  Thank You Mam, Said Dan
8  John Mitchell
9  The Finding of Moses
10  Master McGrath
11  Dicey Riley
12  Finnegan’s Wake
13  The Women are Worse that the Men
14  Easy and Slow
15  The Spanish Lady
16  The Twang Man
17  Bold Robert Emmett
18  Biddy Mulligan

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