Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


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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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.

Silver Spear / Humours of Tulla
The Shipyard Apprentice
The Cruel Brother
Ge Do Theid Mi Do M’Leabaidh
The Battle of Harlaw
Jenny Nettles / The Grays of Tongside
Tae The Beggin’
The Tamosher
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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EWAN MacCOLL & PEGGY SEEGER Steam Whistle Ballads TSDL104

TSDL104From the original LP notes:

The British Labour Movement has a rich heritage of songs – songs that convey a sense of history, as well as imagery and emotion for present day industrial workers and their friends.

The force and tang of these songs proves irresistible to modern tastes, and many talented song-makers outside of industry as well as within it have been fired to imitate this kind of do-it-yourself workers’ song. Among the best of these is Ewan MacColl, who presents here a number of songs created by industrial workers, interspersed with songs on industrial themes made by himself.

1 The Wark of the Weavers
2 Droylsden Wakes
3 The Four Loom Weaver
4 The Calton Weaver
5 Oh, Dear Me
6 The Coal-Owner and the Pitman’s Wife
7 Fourpence a Day
8 The Gresford Disaster
9 Will Caird
10 The Iron Horse
11 Poor Paddy works on the Railway
12 Cannily Cannily
13 The Song of the Iron Road
14 The Blantyre Explosion
15 The Collier Laddie
16 Moses of the Mail

Recording by Bill Leader.
First issued by Topic Records 1964.

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VIN GARBUTT Tossing A Wobbler TSDL385

Born in Middlesborough of Anglo-Irish descent, Vin Garbutt has an enviable reputation as a singer and songwriter of fine socially conscious, and environmentally aware songs. ‘Tossin’ A Wobbler’ from 1978 is regarded as one of his finest recordings.
1  Man of the Earth
2  Legend of Roseberry
3  Long Note / Lads of Laois / Le Reel Jeune Marie
4  Photographic Memory
5  Yorkshire Volunteer’s Farewell to the Good Folks of Stockton / Push About the Jorum
6  St. Helena’s March
7  Carrigdhoun
8  The Freemantle Doctor
9  One-Legged Beggar
10  They Don’t Write ‘Em Like That Any More

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The Oldham Tinkers from Oldham in South Lancashire made their debut on the best selling ‘Deep Lancashire’ collection in 1968. Throughout the next decade they took their music to a wide international audience. Their fourth ‘solo’ album for the Topic label was a powerful mixture of Lancashire humour and pathos. Their songs are derived from the poems of local dialect writers, from Music Hall entertainers and from the traditional music of the North West.
1  The Maid in the Calico Dress
2  Elsie Bell
3  Pity Me My Darling
4  The Talking Dog
5  To Sarah
6  Tall Tales Medley
7  Sit Thee Down
8  John Willie’s Ferret
9  The Deserter
10  Poor Little Hauve-Timer
11  Dad’s Medals
12  Fishing
13  Jumping Jack
14  Jim’s Medley

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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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John Doonan was born and bred in Newcastle of an Irish father and mother and brought up in an atmosphere strictly Irish. His father was a well respected traditional fiddle player in the Newcastle area and it was through his strong influence that John inherited his fine style of flute-playing.

Irish Traditional Dance Music In Strict Tempo
1 Reels: Jackie Coleman’s / Paddy Cavanagh’s / John Brennan’s
2 Slip jigs: Any Old Jig Will Do / The Butterfly
3 Set Dance: Rodney’s Glory
4 Slow jigs: The Idle Road / The Frost is All Over / The Black Rogue
5 Air: The Spalpeen’s Lament
6 Jigs: The Kesh / Morrison’s / Old Joe’s
7 Reels: The Shannon Breeze / Heathery Breeze / The Green Fields of America
8 Set Dance: The Blackthorn Stick
9 Set Dance: Hurry the Dance
10 Set Dance: Rub the Bag
11 Air & Set Dance: The Blackbird
12 Hornpipes: Spellan the Fiddler / The Rights of Man
13 Jigs: The Irish Washerwoman / Father O’Flynn / The Lilting Fisherman

John Doonan is accompanied by Malcolm Armstrong on tracks 1,6,7 and 13
and Brian Pandrich on piano tracks 3, 8, 9, and 10

First published by Topic Records 1978

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HEDY WEST Old Times And Hard Times TSDL117

Hedy West comes from North Georgia, at the southern end of the Appalachians. A sensitive and vibrant singer, she accompanies herself in a distinctive style on 5-string banjo. A L Lloyd though her ‘far and away the best of American girl singers in the revival’.
1  The Wife Wrapt in Wether’s Skin
2  Fair Rosamund
3  Barbara Allen
4  Old Joe Clark
5  The Coalminer’s Child
6  Gambling Man
7  Brother Ephus
8  Polly
9  The Davidson-Wilder Blues
10 The Rich Irish Lady
11  Shut Up in the Mines at Coal Creek
12  The Wife of Usher’s Well
13  Lament for Barney Graham

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PAT MITCHELL Uilleann Pipes TSDL294

The several strands that make up Pat Mitchell’s piping are none of them especially unusual, but cumulatively interesting in the way they reveal how Pat’s music has evolved without what has always been held to be the massive benefit of an immediate environment in which traditional music is alive and esteemed. Pat, like many other people who might be classed as urban, twentieth century – some would say, disinherited – has gone looking for his music, and it’s important to document his case for an understanding of how such a person fares, and for some insight into the state of traditional music in Ireland today.

1      Reels: Garrett Barry’s / The Virginia  
2      March: Sullivan’s March 
3      Reel: Concertina Reel  
4      Air: Lord Mayo 
5      Reel: College Groves
6      Double Jigs: Port Liadroma / Sean Tiobraid Arann  
7      Reel: Star of Munster
8      Single Jig and Double Jig: Frieze Breeches
9      Descriptive Piece: Máirseáil Alasdruim
10    Single Jig: Willie’s Single
11    Hompipe and Reels: Kildare Hornpipe / Castle Kelly / Sailor’s Bonnet
12    Marching tune: Eagle’s Whistle
13    Double Jig: The Maiden That Jigged it in Style
14    Air: An Draighnean Donn
15    Double Jig: The Old Hag in the Kiln
16    Reel: Galtee Reel
17    Double Jigs: The Lark in the Morning
18    Reels: Patsy Tuohey’s Reel/The Green Fields of Rossbeigh
19    Piece: Nora Criona
20    Reel: Flogging Reel

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

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

From the original sleevenotes by A. L. Lloyd

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

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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.
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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BARRY DRANSFIELD Bowin’ and Scrapin’ TSDL386

Barry Dransfield recorded this unusual and exciting album of fiddle music for Topic in 1978.

A professional folk singer since 1965, Barry’s first recording success came with brother, Robin, in 1970 with their Melody maker Folk Album of the year, The Rout of the Blues. He made two more albums with his brother and collaborated with Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, John Kirkpatrick and Shirley Collins on the seminal Morris On featuring his singing and fiddle playing.

Rattling Roaring Willie / Metal Man
Fiddler’s Progress
Who Knows Where the Time Goes? / My Lagan Love
Sheffield Hornpipe / Pet of the Pipers
Up the Aisle: Swedish Wedding March
Wedding Song / Bridie’s Wedding / Norwegian Wedding March / Wedding Morris
Sandy Bell’s
Obliged to Fiddle / Planxty Davy / Spanish Cloak
Bushes and Briars / Swedish Air
O’Carolan’s Concerto
10  Recitation upon a Gentleman Sitting on a Cremona Violin
11  Sally Gardens / Clonmel Races

Barry Dransfield : vocals, violin, cello, gimbri, bowed Appalachian dulcimer;
Robin Dransfield : vocals [2]

Recorded and produced by Nic Kinsey at Livingston Studios
First published by Topic 1978

DICK GAUGHAN Coppers & Brass TSDL315

The first album recorded for Topic by the reknowned Dick Gaughan, ‘Coppers & Brass’ is an impressive instrumental set from one of Scotland’s finest folk musicians. Dick Gaughan performs a collection of jigs, hornpipes, reels and marches, learned from pipers and fiddlers and skilfully transferred to the guitar.
1  Coppers and Brass / Gander in the Pratie Hole
2  O’Keefe’s / The Foxhunter’s
3  The Flowing Tide / The Fairies’ Hornpipe
4  The Oak Tree / The Music in the Glen
5  Planxty Johnson
6  Gurty’s Frolics
7  The Spey in Spate / The Hurricane
8  Alan McPherson of Mosspark / The Jig of Slurs
9  The Thrush in the Storm / The Flogging Reel
10  Ask My Father / Lads of Laoise / The Connaught Heifers
11  The Bird in the Bush / The Boy in the Gap / MacMahon’s Reel
12  Strike the Gay Harp / Shores of Lough Gowna
13  Jack Broke the Prison Door / Donald Blue / Wha’ll Dance wi’ Wattie

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Travelling Songster TSDL304

An anthology from Gypsy singers recorded in Southern England by Mike Yates. Music of English travellers, ranging from broadside ballads to mouth-organ tunes, and including examples of the gypsy mouth-music called ‘tuning’ – all performed by members of the great Smith clan, from Surrey, Kent and Suffolk.

1    The Small Birds Whistle  Jasper Smith
2    The Sheepfold  Phoebe Smith
3    One Penny  Levy Smith
4    The Basket of Eggs  Minty Smith
5    The Pony March / Whistling Rufus / Tuning  Jasper
6    Green Bushe  Phoebe
7    Raking the Hay  Phoebe
8    The Moon Shines Bright  Jasper
9    Father Had a Knife Jasper
10  The Jew’s Garden  Minty
11   Step Dance Tunes  Jasper  Tuning  Minty
12   Sweet William  Phoebe
13   Johnny Abourne  Phoebe
14   Died for Love  Jasper
15   The Irish Girl  Levy
16   Captain Thunderbold  Phoebe
17   Jigs & Polkas including: Cock of the North / Flowers of Edinburgh / The Girl l left Behind Me / Tuning   Jasper & Levy

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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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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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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 CAMPBELL FAMILY The Singing Campbells TSDL120

Two generations of the Campbell family and their lodger recorded during a family get-together. The older Campbells recalled songs from their youth in Scotland; Bob Cooney, the lodger, remembered children’s rhymes from childhood; Ian and Lorna (from the influential Ian Campbell Folk Group) and their sister Winnie sand ancient songs freshly learned through the folk revival.
1  Faur does Bonnie Lorna Lie / Sleep Till Yer Mammy – Betty Campbell
2  Nicky Tams – Dave Campbell
3  The Road and the Miles to Dundee – Betty Campbell
4  Drumdelgie / I Ken Fur I’m Gaun – Dave Campbell & Bob Cooney
5  My Wee Man’s a Miner / Fa, Fa, Fa wid be a Bobby / Foul Friday / Me an’ Mi Mither / We Three Kings – The Campbell Family
6  Bogie’s Bonnie Belle – Winnie Campbell
7  The Cruel Mother – Ian Campbell
8  Lang a’Growin’ – Lorna Campbell
9  Lady Eliza – Winnie Campbell
10  Will Ye Gang Love – Ian Campbell
11  I Wish, I Wish – Lorna Campbell
12  McGinty’s Meal and Ale – Bob Cooney and the family

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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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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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John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris were a duo which achieved an enviable reputation in the British folk scene of the 1970s. Their repertoire focussed on English country music and songs. John recorded ‘Morris On’ with Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson and Barry Dransfield ushering a new appreciation of Morris music. The purely instrumental ‘Facing The Music’ was the duo’s fourth record for the Topic label and represents a high point of their recording career. The splendid tunes are drawn from a bewildering variety of sources; from rural musicians and from published tune books, from the Bahamas, from the Appalachians and from Orkney.
1  John Locke’s Polka / Three Jolly Sheepskins
2  Kettle Drum
3  Trip to the Cottage / Hunting the Squirrel / Jack of the Green
4  A Shelter in the Time of Storm / We Shall be Happy
5  Millfield / Saturday Night and Sunday Morn
6  Garrick’s Delight / The Flaxley Green Dance
7  Crocker’s Reel
8  Roast Beef / All Flowers in Broome
9  The Rope Waltz
10  A Cheshire’s Hornpipe / Black Mary’s Hornpipe

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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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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 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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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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DOMINIC BEHAN Easter Week and after TSDL044

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

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

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

Recorded by Bill Leader 1958
First issued by Topic Records 1959

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

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

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

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

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

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

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OAK Welcome To Our Fair TSDL212

The four piece ensemble Oak were the leading lights of a movement to rediscover English country music in the early 1970s. The group comprised Rod and Danny Stradling, Peta Webb and Tony Engle. Their songs, music and style were derived from traditional country performers. Their sole album – ‘Welcome To Our Fair’ – has been an tremendously influential recording for a whole generation of British folk musicians.

1  Thousands or More
2  New Rigged Ship / Rig-a-jig-jig
3  The Lakes of Cool Flynn
4  The Nutley Waltz / The Faithful Sailor Boy
5  Roving Round the County Tyrone
6  The Scarlet and the Blue
7  Shepherds Arise
8  Scan’s Polka
9  Australia
10  Cupid’s Garden
11  False, False
12  Our Good Ship Lies in Harbour
13  The Bunch of Thyme / The Perfect Cure / The Sweets of May

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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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EWAN MacCOLL Chorus From The Gallows TSDL502

Ewan MacColl was one of the architects of the folksong revival. Whether as an interpreter of ancient ballads or as a writer of new songs, he influenced almost everyone involved in folk music in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. He brought the same skill and understanding to songs of Britain’s industrial cities, ballads of Scots history and lyrics from the English countryside. His own compositions, many of which have passed into the common currency of folk music, are featured both on his own albums and on The Radio-Ballads.
Chorus From The Gallows, first released in 1960, opens with the tale of Craig and Derek Bentley and closes with “Go Down Ye Murderers,” which relates the story of Timothy John Evans, convicted and executed for murders he did not commit, both true and awful stories from the annals of 20th century British justice. The repertoire ranges from the cattle-rusting border raiders of the Middle Ages and the 18th-century highwayman Dick Turpin to MacColl’s own compositions about controversial murder trials of the 1950s.
1  Derek Bentley
2  The Black Velvet Band
3  Jamie Raeburn’s Farewell
4  Johnny O
5  Hughie The Graeme
6  Minorie
7  The Treadmill Song
8  Turpin Hero
9  The Crafty Farmer
10  McKaffery
11  Jimmy Wilson
12  The Lag’s Song
13  Van Dieman’s Land
14  Go Down Ye Murderers

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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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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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The High Level Ranters were among the liveliest folk music groups in Britain, one of the longest-established and most popular bands. The incredible instrumental versatilty of the four piece – Alistair Anderson, Tom Gilfellon, Johnny Handle and Colin Ross – took the music of their native Northumberland around the world. The group researched much of their repertoire from 19th century tune books, helping to revive and bring before a new audience a vast repertory of local traditional music. All members of the group recorded solo records, but their most powerful recordings were undoubtedly made as an ensemble.
1  Fairly Shot of Her / A Wife of My Own
2  Dance to Yer Daddy
3  The Lass Doon On The Quay
4  The Kielder Hunt
5  Hornpipes – Alston Flower Show / Jane of Biddlestone
6  Fortune Turns The Wheel
7  Fenwick of Bywell
8  Elsie Marley / Hoop Her And Gird Her
9  Captain Bover / Here’s The Tender Comin’ / Success To The Fleet
10  Proudlock’s Hornpipe / The Hesleyside Reel
11  Stanley Market
12  Hornpipes – The Marquis of Waterford / Bottle Bank / The Hawk

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Green Grow The Laurels TSDL285

Green Grow the Laurels is a representative anthology of songs from southern England. Some of these songs stem from long blackletter broadsides of the 16th and 17th centuries, whilst others are of very recent origin, reflecting the cosmopolitan taste of folksingers throughout the ages. Personal preference obviously plays its part in
the transmission of folksongs, but other factors are also involved. Recorded by Mike Yates between 1972-75.

1     Green Grow the Laurels Louise Fuller, Lingfield, Surrey
2    The Rich Lady Gay Harry Upton, Balcombe, Sussex
3    Wexford Town Mary Ann Haynes, Brighton, Sussex
4    The Aylesbury Girl Jack Goodban, St Margarets-at-Cliffe, Kent
5    The Tree in the Wood George ‘Tom’ Newman, Clanfield, Oxford Oxfordshire
6    I Am a Donkey Driver Harry Upton
7    The Molecatcher Louise Fuller
8    Hopping Down in Kent Louise Fuller
9    ‘The Shannon’ Frigate Jack Goodban
10   Young Maria Louise Fuller
11   The Colour of Amber Mary Ann Haynes
12   The Banks of the Sweet Dundee Harry Upton
13   A Single Life Harry Upton
14   A Woman’s Work is Never Done Harry Upton

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JESSE FULLER Move on down the line TSCD134D

Jesse Fuller, “The Lone Cat” (1896 – 1976) was one of the great blues troubadours. A remarkably expressive singer and fine 12-string guitarist, Fuller developed his unique one-man-band style around his fotdella (foot-operated bass) and harmonica/kazoo rig. This collection includes his earliest recordings, including the original version of his classic San Francisco Bay Blues, together with a session taped in London in 1965 for Topic Records.

This album is available on CD from Fledg’ling Records

1  Move On Down The Line
2  Stealing
3  Ninety-nine Years and One Dark Day
4  Animal Fair
5  Sleeping in the Midnight Cold
6  Stackolee
7  John Henry
8  Railroad Worksong
9  Lining up the Track
10  Hangin’ Round a Skin Game
11  Railroad Blues
12  San Francisco Bay Blues

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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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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 The Great Australian Legend TSDL203

This album offers a collection of traditional song from Australia. The great folksong collector and singer, A L Lloyd is accompanied by Trevor Lucas, Martyn Wyndham-Reade, Dave Swarbrick & Alf Edwards.
1  Waltzing Matilda – A L Lloyd
2  Jim Jones at Botany Bay – A L Lloyd
3  The Wild Colonial Boy – A L Lloyd
4  The Streets of Forbes – Trevor Lucas
5  The Hold-up at Eugowra Rocks – A L Lloyd
6  The Flash Stockman – Martyn Wyndham-Reade
7  Five Miles from Gungadai – Trevor Lucas
8  The Lime Juice Tub – A L Lloyd & Martyn Wyndham-Reade
9  Euabalong Ball – A L Lloyd
10  Banks of the Condamine – Trevor Lucas
11  Click Go the Shears – Martyn Wyndham-Reade
12  Flash Jack from Gungadai – A L Lloyd
13  The Road to Gungadai – Martyn Wyndham-Reade
14  Hard Tack – Martyn Wyndham-Reade
15  On the Road with Liddy – A L Lloyd

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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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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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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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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Breeze From Erin TSDL184

The Breeze From Erin
Irish Folk Music on Wind Instruments

A splendid collection of Irish instrumental music recorded by several generations of musicians.
“Vital recordings, real examples of a live, healthy tradition.”

Willie Clancy : bagpipes and whistle
Festy Conlan : whistle
Eddie Corcoran : whistle
Tim Lyons : accordion
Tony McMahon : accordion
Seamus Tansey : flute, whistle and tambourine
with Reg Hall : piano

1   The Choice Wife (slip jig) Clancy, bagpipes
Banish Misfortune (jig) Conlan, whistle
The Bag of Potatoes : Sligo Maid (reels) Conlan. whistle, Lyons, accordion
Róisin Dubh (air) Tansey, flute, Dublin Reel : The Steampacket (reels) Tansey, flute, Hall, piano
Boil the Breakfast Early (reel) Tansey and Corcoran, whistle
Bean Dubh an Ghleanna (air) : The Ewe (reel) McMahon, accordion
The Morning Dew : The Woman of the House (reels) Clancy, whistle
8 The Queen of the Rushes (jig) Conlan, whistle Lyons, accordion
Paddy Ryan’s Dream : Mamma’s Pet (reels) Tansey, flute, Hall, piano
10  An Raibh Tú Ar an gCarraig (air) Conlan, whistle
11 The First House in Connacht : Miss McLeod (reels) Conlan, whistle
12 Bonny Kate : Jenny’s Chickens (reels) Corcoran, whistle, Tansey, tambourine
13 Taimse im Chodladh (air) Clancy, bagpipes

Recorded by Bill Leader
First issued by Topic Records 1969

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BILL HARDIE / SCOTT SKINNER The Music of Scott Skinner – Traditional Scots Fiddling TSDL268

TSDL268It is very appropriate that the artistry of William Hardie should be featured on this disc along with that of J. Scott Skinner, for many authorities believe him to be the finest living exponent of the Scott Skinner style.

William Hardie, accompanied on this record by his son, comes from a family with a long and honoured place in Scottish musical life – his great-great grandfather, Peter Hardie, (1775 – 1863), was a pupil of Niel Gow and a violin maker and composer of note; Peter’s cousin, Matthew Hardie (1755 – 1826), is widely regarded as the doyen of Scottish violin makers, and Charles Hardie (1849 – 1893), the grand-uncle of the present artist, was considered one of the best violinists in Scotland in his day, and held by Skinner to excel particularly in slow airs, light reels and hornpipes.

Bill Hardie / stereo

1 The Marquis of Huntly’s Snuff Mull/Mrs Chree/Carnie’s Canter
2 James F. Dickie’s Delight/The Laird o’ Drumblair/James F. Dickie’s reel
3 MacPherson’s Rant/Tullochgorum/The East Neuk o’ Fife
4 Master Francis Sitwell & variations/Newcastle Hornpipe]
5 Hornpipes: The North Shore/The Liverpool
6 The Dean Brig o’ Edinburgh/Banks Hornpipe

Bill Hardie is accompanied by his son, Alastair Hardie, on piano on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 – tracks 3 and 5 are solo.

Scott Skinner / 78rpm discs / mono

7 The Laird o’ Drumblair (1683e) (Zonophone X-47905)
(The Laird o’ Drumblair/The Baker Reel/Will ye no come back Again?)
8 The Freebooter
(Is Your War Pipe asleep) (26746) (Rena Double Face 1285) (MacPherson’s Rant/Tullochgorum & variations/The East Neuk of Fife & variations)
9 Birlin Reels
(26749) (Rena Double Face 1283)
(The Auld Wheel/Spinning Wheel/Bride’s Reel/MacKenzie Frazer/Fairy Dance)
10 German Schottische
(26760) (Rena Double Face 1286)
(Bohemian Melodies)
(a) Goodbye Gramin (b) Johnny Steele (strathspey) (c) James Hardie (reel) (73072) (Regal G8021)
12 Highland Schottische (26761) (Regal Zonophone G6617
Maggie Cameron/Athole Brose/The Devil in the Kitchen/Forbes Morrison
13 Sean Trews
and Whistle o’er the Lave O’t, and Wha widna Fecht for Charlie? (Antique Dance) (26764) (Regal G6625)

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic 1975.

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The STEWART FAMILY The Travelling Stewarts TSDL179

The Stewarts are a proud family of Scots travellers who claim descent from the Royal House of Stewart and who have music in their bones. Belle Stewart was one of the great traditional ballad singers and her daughters, Sheila and Cathie, inherited the family talent in full measure. Belle’s husband Alex Stewart was a fine exponent of the Highland warpipes. For The Travelling Stewarts album the family were joined by many of their relatives, including Jeannie Robertson, Lizzie Higgins and Davy Stewart.

‘You’ll never see me laughing or shouting at a Pakistani or anybody like that; no, never… Long, long years ago when I was a wee boy. My auld mother told me that all travellers came from the same place as these people. and so I never do anything that might offend them. Anyway, they`re having a hard time of it. just like the travellers…’
Davy Stewart, itinerant singer.

1    Johnnie, My Man  Lizzie Higgins
2    Willie’s Fatal Visit  Jeannie Robertson
3    The Battle’s O’er; Scotland the Brave; The 51st Division in Egypt  Played by Donald and Isaac Higgins, pipes
4    Bogie’s Bonnie Belle  Jane Stewart
5    McGinty’s Meal and Ale  Davy Stewart
6    My Bonnie Tammy  Christina Stewart
7    MacPherson’s Lament  Maggie McPhee
8    The Drunken Piper; Brig o’ Perth; Reel o’ Tulloch  Played by Alex Stewart, pipes
9    Loch Dhui  Belle Stewart acc. Alex Stewart, goose
10   The Dawning of the Day  Cathie Stewart, acc. Alex Stewart, goose
11   Donald’s Return to Glencoe  Sheila Stewart

Recorded in Scotland by Bill Leader, 1967
First Issued by Topic 1968

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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 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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TSDL439The House Band’s first album, and the first of three for Topic, this was recorded in January 1985, just before a long European tour for the band that year, and a tour of New Zealand at the end of the year and into 1986.   They played original and traditional compositions in a Celtic/British folk style, with influences from reggae, country, pop, jazz and world music.

1 The Tornado Two-Step – The Cooper – The Woodpecker
2 Here’s The Tender Coming
3 Major Harrison’s Fedora
4 War Party – Lost Night
5 An Erminig Hag An Greskenn – The Anti-Social Worker
6 The Pitman’s Grievance
7 E I Ah Could Hew
8 Green Fields of Canada –The Amalgamation
9 Cawsand Bay
10 The Swallowstail – Lady Charlotte Campbell’s – Gordon Campbell’s “Mess”

First issued by Topic Records 1985

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Harry Boardman was a mainstay of the folkscene in his native Lancashire and a singer of great vitality. His extensive repertoire focused on local songs old and new.
Harry Boardman is par excellence Lancashire’s native son. He was born in the cotton town of Failsworth, near Oldham, in 1930. His mother and grandparents were weavers and spinners. Harry himself has worked on the railways and as a printer. He began singing Lancashire songs in his early twenties, and is an outstanding pioneer of the folk song revival in the North-west. The folk song club he founded in Manchester in 1954 was among the first in the country.
He is a devoted researcher into the local traditions of Lancashire – not only the songs but the tales, sayings, speechways and the like, and few can match him for knowledge of the dialect poetry of the region. Not that his interest is merely antiquarian, for he is much concerned with the current history and social developments of his area, as well as its dramatic past.
Lancashire is indeed fortunate to have such a fond delver into its working class culture, and such a fine exponent of its varied and vital traditions.

1 A Lancashire Mon acc. Harry Boardman (banjo) Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) Gerry Murphy (concertina) Bob Diehl (fiddle)
2 T’Spinner’s Tale recitation
3 The Radcliffe Otter Hunt acc. Gerry Murphy (concertina) Leslie Boardman (mandolin) Bob Diehl (fiddle)
4 Victoria Bridge on a Saturday Night unacc.
5 Kitty and Robin acc. Gerry Murphy (concertina)
6a Saddleworth Buck Rabbit recitation
6b Whoam Brewed acc. himself (melodeon)
7 Warrikin Fain acc. Bob Diehl (fiddle) Gerry Murphy (concertina) Lesley Boardman (mandolin) Tim Boardman (whistle)
8 Spinning Shoddy acc. Harry Boardman (banjo) Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo)
9 To the Begging acc. Lesley Boardman (mandolin) Bob Diehl (fiddle) Gerry Murphy (concertina)
10 The Beltane Song acc. Gerry Murphy (smallpipes) Bob Diehl (fiddle) Lesley Boardman (mandolin) Harry Boardman (drum)
11 The Garland unacc.
12 Owdham on a Saturday Night acc. Bob Diehl (fiddle) Gerry Murphy (concertina) Lesley Boardman (mandolin)
13 Nine Times a Night acc. himself (concertina)

First published by Topic 1973

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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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ROSE MURPHY Milltown Lass TSDL316

The captivating fiddle and accordion player, Rose Murphy, was born in 1900 into an intensely musical family in Milltown, County Galway. She spent much of her adult life living around Rotherham in South Yorkshire, and was 76 years young when this recording was made. The album delightfully recaptures the dancing repertoire styles of her youth in the West of Ireland.
1  Reel: Salamanca / The Milltown Lasses
2  Trim the Velvet
3  Jig: The Silver Tip / The Frog in the Well
4  The Lark in the Clear Air
5  Polkas: The First of May / The Last of June (Jenny Lind)
6  Jigs: Paddy in London / Over the Garden Wall
7  Hornpipe: Road to Ballysodare
8  Reels: The Teetotaller / The Bunch of Keys
9  Reel: The Whistler and His Dog
10  Reels: The Flax in Bloom / The College Grove / The Maid on the Mountain
11  Reel: Ladybower’s Reel / The Sister Reel
12  Reel: Drowsy Maggie
13  Hornpipes: The Harvest Home / The Londonderry
14  Jigs: The Frost Is All Over / The Goose in the Bog
15  Reel: The Lonely Maid
16  Air: The Coolin
17  Barn Dance: Turkey in the Straw
18  Slip Jig: Mother I’m Up In the Roost (What Are You Doing, You Divil You!)
19  Miss Monahan’s / Miss Gallagher’s
20  Reel: Rakish Paddy
21  Hornpipe The Belfast (or Sweep’s) Hornpipe

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BOB HART Songs from Suffolk TSDL225

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1977

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The High Level Ranters were one of the longest-established and most popular bands in Britain. A rare combination of individual talents, the group play the music of their native Northumbria with a command born of skill and understanding. ‘Four In A Bar’ is an all-instrumental collection, typical of the repertoire they played at regular sessions in Newcastle’s weekly ‘Folksong & Ballad’ club.
1  Whinham’s Jig / Billy’s Jig
2  Chips and Shavings / Jack’s Alive / Dear Tobacco
3  Town Green Polka / Jenny Bell Polka
4  The Biddlestone Hornpipe / The Last of the Twins
5  The Ruby / The Quarrelsome Piper
6  Rowly Burn / Coates’s Hornpipe
7  La Russe / The Winshield’s Hornpipe / Jane’s Fancy / Da Road to Houll
8  Blinkin’ Tibbie / The Pear Tree
9  Swalwell Lasses / South Shields Lasses
10  Moonshine Polka
11  The Quayside / Miss Ward’s Reel
12  The Butterclout / Such a Wife as Willie Had / Willy is a Bonny Lad

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Few singers match the assurance and intensity of Frankie’ Armstrong’s singing. Born in Cumberland, Frankie typically came to folk song as a teenager and member of an amateur skiffle group. She was a member of the influential Critics Group led by Ewan MacColl and first recorded on A L Lloyd’s ‘The Bird In The Bush’ project. In Lloyd’s memorable phrase “she can sing to pull down the stars”. Armstrong is an important interpreter of ballads, often approaching her material from a feminist perspective.
1  Tarry Trousers
2  The Green Valley
3  Low Down in the Broom
4  The Cruel Mother
5  The Crafty Maid’s Policy
6  The Maid on the Shore
7  The Frog and the Mouse
8  Lovely on the Water
9  The Brown Girl
10  The Young Girl Cut Down in Her Prime
11  The Saucy Sailor
12  The Two Sisters

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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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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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FELIX DORAN The Last Of The Travelling Pipers TSDL288

Traveller, horse-dealer and uilleann piper, Felix Doran was also a great-grandson of the famous 19th-century piper John Cash of Wexford. Carrying on the tradition of that extraordinarily influential musician, Doran played all over Ireland for many years.

1 Air: Mary of Murroe / Reel: The Green Gates
2 Air: The Dear Irish Boy / Reel: The Primrose Lass
3 Reel: Rakish Paddy
4 Air: Rolandstown Churchyard
5 Reel: The Ash Plant
6 Jig: The Lark in the Morning
7 The Fox Hunt
8 Reels: George White’s Favourite / The Ivy Leaf
9 Air: The Coolin
10 Reel: Boys of the Lough
11 Reels: Pigeon on the Gate / Miss Monaghan

First published by Topic Records in 1976

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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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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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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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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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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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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Music of Cape Breton 1 TSDL353

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

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

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

From the original sleevenotes by Alexis Korner

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

1  Jack Elliott
2  Derroll Adams

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JOHN KIRKPATRICK & SUE HARRIS Among The Many Attractions At The Show Will Be A Really High Class Band TSDL295

A hugely popular act on the British folk scene, John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris, made a series of fine records for the Topic label. John had also recorded with Ashley Hutchings’ Morris On band and with Richard Thompson; both were founder members of the Albion Country Band and John would later join Steeleye Span. Their duo records are cherished by aficionados of the finest English country music from the mid-20th century revival.
1  The Edgmond Men’s Souling Song
2  Artichokes and Cauliflowers
3  The Bricklayers / Double Change Sides
4  The Cherry Tree Carol
5  John of the Greeney Cheshire Way
6  A Shropshire Lad
7  I Wish, I Wish
8  Old Sir Simon the King
9  Adieu to Old England
10  The Blue Eyed Stranger / The Winster Morris Reel
11  Jim Jones
12  Blacksmith’s Morris / Charles’s Hornpipe
13  Cold Blows the Wind
14  Wilson’s Favourite / Shrewsbury Wakes

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‘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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BILL CADDICK The Wild West Show TSDL441

Bill Caddick has an enviable reputation – sometime member of the Albion Band, Home Service and songwriter of choice for June Tabor. He has recorded few albums during his long performing career; many fans regard The Wild West Show as one of this finest recordings. The album was recorded by Andrew Cronshaw and sees a crack team of close friends and former Home Service colleagues accompany Caddick, including June Tabor who adds sublime duet vocals to ‘Eights And Aces’.
1  Superman
2  Spanish Nights
3  Fork-lift Truck
4  Moses (Smooth Talking)
5  Two-Fisted Heroes
6  Forgotten The Blues
7  Dance To The Music Of Time
8  Stay On The Line
9  Eights And Aces
10  The Wild West Show

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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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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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Few could match the assurance and intensity of Frankie Armstrong’s singing. A committed feminist and radical, Frankie brought a refreshing energy to her performance of traditional and contemporary song. Songs and Ballads her debut album dates from 1975.

Frankie Armstrong vocals with Andrew Brown fiddle, Graham Goffee guitar, Susie Rothfield Appalachian dulcimer and voice, Heather Wood voice and Brian Pearson voice.

1    Little Duke Arthur’s Nurse (acc. fiddle, guitar, dulcimer)
2    The Pitmen’s Union (acc. guitar)
3    Lady Diamond (unacc.)
4    Lament for the Hull Trawlers (acc. fiddle and guitar)
5    The Month of January (duet with Heather Wood)
6    Three Drunken Maidens (vocal trio with Heather Wood and Susie Rothfield)
7    Jack the Lad (acc. fiddle and guitar)
8    The Whore’s Lament (acc. fiddle, with chorus)
9    Little Musgrave (acc. dulcimer)
10   The Collier Lass (unacc.)
11   The Female Drummer (acc. fiddle, guitar, dulcimer, with chorus)

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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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A.L. LLOYD Outback Ballads TSDL051

A colourful collection of ballads and songs from Australia. A L (Bert) Lloyd was a leading architect of the British folk song revival and spent an early part of his life working in the Australian outback. Lloyd learnt these songs in the usual manner of folk singers; that is by picking them up from the singing of his workmates – sheep shearers, cattle drovers, farm hands and so on – in the bush. He is accompanied by three fine instrumentalists – Peggy Seeger, Ralph Rinzler and John Cole.
1  Flash Jack From Gundagai
2  Lachlan Tigers
3  The Cockies Of Bungaree
4  South Australia
5  Banks Of The Condamine
6  Bluey Brink
7  The Overlanders
8  1,000 Miles Away
9  The Flash Stockman
10  The Wild Colonial Boy
11  Brisbane Ladies
12  Bold Jack Donahue
13  The Shearer’s Dream
14  The Derby Ram

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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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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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‘New Voices’ was a ground-breaking collection, one of the first albums to feature the younger generation singers of the mid 20th century British folk revival. The record featured the recording debuts of Maureen Craik and Harry Boardman alongside the Watersons’ first recordings for Topic records. Boardman was an important agent in the later ‘Deep Lancashire’ and ‘The Wide Midlands’ projects and made several solo albums for the label. The Watersons career has gone from strength to strength, at the time of writing the various members of the family have continued their recording relationship with Topic for over forty years.
1  Boston Harbour –The Watersons
2  To The Begging – Harry Boardman
3  The White Cockade – Maureen Craik
4  Owdham – Harry Boardman
5  The Greenland Whale Fishery – The Watersons
6  Hard Times – Harry Boardman
7  The Sandgate Girl’s Lament – Maureen Craik
8  Three Score And Ten – The Watersons
9  The Broom of Cowdenknowes – The Watersons
10  Bonny At Morn – Maureen Craik
11  The Hand-Loom Versus The Power-Loom – Harry Boardman
12  A U Hinny Burd – Maureen Craik
13  The Shurat Weaver – Harry Boardman
14  King Arthur’s Servants – The Watersons
15  The Weaver of Wellbrook – Harry Boardman

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TSDL165 PADDY TUNNEY ~ The Irish Edge

First released in 1966, this collection by the great lyrical Donegal singer is one of his finest. The songs he sings are as deeply and genuinely romantic as the green countryside and dark mountains of his native country.

1    Craighie Hill
2    The Lark In The Morning
3    Johnny, Lovely Johnny
4    The Cow That Drank The Poteen
5    Blackwater Side
6    Out of The Window
7    The Month of January
8    The Rambling Boys of Pleasure
9    The Lowlands of Holland
10  The Wearing Of The Britches
11  The Old Man Rocking The Cradle
12  She’s A Gay Old Hag
13  St Peter’s Day Was a-Dawning

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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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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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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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VARIOUS ARTISTS Folk Music of Norway TSDL351

Genuine folk music as part of an old and lively national culture is still flourishing in Norway, a country with a wild nature, numerous valleys, snow-covered mountains, lakes, deep forests, glorious fjords, remote communities, dark and long winters and shining summer nights. Norway has a long and rich tradition of musical expression. Norwegian folk music has survived through many generations and historical changes. Old folk tunes have kept surprisingly well, better than in the neighbouring lands and in some of the other industrial countries. The selection on this record represents some of the main types and styles of living folk-playing and singing, with their special sound and moods, from south west and central parts of Norway. The players and singers are some of the most outstanding folk musicians of the younger generation who carry on the folk traditions of their districts.

1 Fanitullen (The Devil’s Tune) Knut Buen Hardanger fiddle
2 Kjerringa med staven (The Old Wife with the Staff) Hanne Kiersti Buen singing with Knut Buen Hardanger fiddle
3 Rotnheimsknut (hailing)
4 Gangar etter Myllarguten (walking dance) Knut Buen Hardanger fiddle
5 Moykjaeringsvise (spinster’s song)
6 Three stev about the hulder (cattle songs)
7 So er drengjen i uppvokstre (Boys in Their Youth)
8 Bånsu|ler (three lullabies) Hanne Kjersti Buen singing
9 Katt-Ola-Visa Edvard Ruud singing
10 Nordfjordingen (springar)
11 Ramsen (springar) Hauk Buen Hardanger fiddle
12 Bruremarsj (wedding march) Knut and Hauk Buen Hardanger fiddles
13 Hamburger-polka fra Hardanger
14 Springleik fra Jostedalen Vestlandsgruppa band
15 Springar fra Hardanger fiddlers of Vestlandsgruppa
16 Slåttestev (dance songs)
17 Haugebonden (ballad) Agnes Buen Garnås singing
18 Fanteladda (dance tune)
19 I Oletiadden (pastoral melody) Elizabeth Kvaerne langeleik
20 Når mitt pie, trett av moie (When My Eye, Tired of Troubles) (hymn)
21 Store Store Gud (Great Great God) (hymn) Sondre Bratland singing
22 Myllarguten bruremarsj (bridal march by Myllarguten)
23 Fanitullen (The Devil’s Tune) (second version) Knut Buen Hardanger fiddle

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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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JIMMY POWER Irish Fiddle Player TSDL306

Jimmy Power was one of the finest Irish traditional fiddle players. He was also one of the most familiar and best-respected figures on the London-Irish music scene of the 1970s. His exceptional repertoire was developed playing for dancing in English pubs and at the grueling feisanna competitions. Power was a very individual player with a unique style embracing short, sharp bowing and plenty of trebling. He is accompanied by pianist Reg Hall on this fine album.
1  Tommy Potts’ Rambling Pitchfork / The Strayaway Child
2  The Chorus / McKenna’s
3  Jockey to the Fair / Miss Brown’s Fancy
4  Coleman’s Favourite / The Promenade
5  Dwyer’s / The Harvest Home
6  Jackie Coleman’s / The Castle
7  The Nine Points of Roguery / The Crib of Perches
8  Whelan’s / The Old Lark in the Morning
9  The Mountain Road
10  Follow Me Down to Limerick / Hardiman the Fiddler
11  Youghal Harbour
12  The Walls of Liscarrol
13  The Jug of Punch / The Moving Bogs of Powelsborough
14  Statia Donnelly’s

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TOM GILFELLON In The Middle Of The Tune TSDL282

A founder member of the High Level Ranters, Tom Gilfellon emerged occasionally with an inimitable collection of songs and tunes evoking the North-Eastern and the Irish strains of his background. Tom Gilfellon vocals, guitar, cittern  with Martin Carthy guitar, Johnny Handle vocal, accordian, piano and Liz Sobell dulcimer, harmonium and Stefan Sobell cittern, concertina

1     The Banks of Red Roses / The Boys of Ballysadare  Tom vocal/cittern; Stefan cittern; Liz dulcimer
2     The Workers’ Song  Tom vocal; Liz harmonium
3a   The Celebrated Working Man  Tom vocal; Johnny accordeon/chorus
3b   Uncle Albert’s last heroic farewell to the world  Tom recitation
4     Reels; Lady Ann Montgomery / The Wind that Shakes the Barley / The Foxhunter’s Reel  Tom cittern; Martin guitar
5     The Snow it Melts the Soonest  Tom vocal
6     The Bonny Gateshead Lass  Tom vocal; Stefan English concertina
7     Jigs: Thomas Friel’s/ The Battering Ram  Tom cittern; Martin guitar
8     The Two Sisters  Tom vocal
9     The Row in the Gutter  Tom vocal; Johnny piano
10   The Fiery Clockface  Tom vocal/guitar
11   Johnny Miner  Tom vocal

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TSDL143 The EXILES ~ Freedom, Come All Ye

The EXILES – Enoch Kent, Bobby Campbell and Gordon McCulloch – were an innovative group of Scots singers and instrumentalists, away from their native home, whose repertoire extended over both traditional and contemporary fields. Freedom, Come All Ye was their debut Topic recording from 1966 is acknowledged as a classic.

Enoch Kent – vocal & whistle
Bobby Campbell – vocal, fiddle, mandolin, mandola & guitar
Gordon McCulloch – vocal, guitar, banjo & harmonica
Paul Lenihan – vocal *

1     The Ballad of Accounting
2    The Moving-On song
3    We’re Only Over Here For Exploration*
4    Thank Christ for Christmas
5    The Pigeon
6    The Poud-a-Week Rise
7    Freedom, Come All Ye
8    For A’ That and A’ That
9    Arthur MacBride
10  Willie Brennan
11  Wae’s Me for Prince Charlie
12  La Pique
13  Van Dieman’s Land
14  Twa Recruiting Sergeants

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THE HOUSE BAND Word of Mouth TSDL451


The last Topic album recorded by The House Band, by this time (1988) a three-piece after the departure of Brian Brooks; ‘Word of Mouth’ was recorded at Ideal Sound in London.


Produced by The House Band and David Kenny
First issued by Topic Records 1988

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JOHN WRIGHT Unaccompanied TSDL348

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

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

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“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.

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

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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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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‘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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GARY & VERA ASPEY From The North TSDL255

Gary and Vera Aspey from Atherton, near Manchester.

“If they find a rare and singable set of words with out a tune, then in the true spirit of the folk revival they make a melody for it, and a convincing one at that. Recently they have been seeking songs from the Lake District, an area rather neglected by the great song collectors of the past. Gary and Vera have a lively following in their beloved North, but already their reputation is spreading far out of their native territory.”

From the North  Gary and Vera vocal
The Parting  Vera vocal and concertina
Coal Picking  Gary vocal
The Three Foot Seam  Gary and Vera vocal, Vera and Bernard Wrigley, concertinas
Mill Girl’s Lullaby  Vera vocal and guitar, Wilf Darlington mandolin
King Cotton  Gary and Vera vocal and concertina
Auntie Ketyll  Vera vocal and guitar
Cum t’ thi Tay  Vera vocal and guitar
9   The Cradle Song  Gary and Vera vocal and guitar
10  The Roving Navvy  Gary and Vera vocal and concertina, Bernard Wrigley and Wilf Darlington, chorus
11  The Ship Canal Song  Gary and Vera vocal
12  Hailey-Go  Gary and Vera vocal and guitar
13  Tuppence on the Rope  Gary and Vera vocal and concertina, Bernard Wrigley bass concertina
14  A Bit of a Sing  Gary and Vera, Bernard Wrigley, Will Darlington

First published by Topic 1975

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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.


First issued by Topic Records 1967.

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CHRIS FOSTER All Things in Common TSDL391

TSDL391The second of Chris Foster’s highly regarded Topic albums. Chris Foster is a master of his trade. Alongside Nic Jones, Dick Gaughan and June Tabor, he established himself in the 1970s as one of the finest interpreters of the traditional ballads of the British Isles with tales of romance, magic, murder, liquor, love, adultery and cross dressing.

‘As one who has witnessed the development of ‘English’ guitar accompaniment to traditional songs, I have always ranked Chris as one of our most exciting interpreters…. My old vinyl copies of his 2 Topic albums remain precious. Chris remains a consummate artist.’   Graham Lobb – The Living Tradition.

  1. Black Fox
  2. Low Down in the Broom
  3. Grey Cock
  4. Pigeon on the Gate
  5. Unicorns
  6. King John and the Abbot of Canterbury
  7. Jump at the Sun
  8. The Working Chap
  9. When This Old Hat Was New
  10. The World Turned Upside Down

Record produced by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1979

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The LING FAMILY Singing Traditions of a Suffolk Family TSDL292

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

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

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