Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


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


Produced by The House Band and David Kenny

First issued by Topic Records 1987

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THE COCK AND BULL BAND Eyes Closed and Rocking TSDL440

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

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

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

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 HEDY WEST Ballads TSDL163

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

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The 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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A pioneering record of traditional East Anglian musicians playing functional music for dancing. This is the music of the rural public house tap room – step dances, polkas and waltzes. The exemplary location recordings capture “relaxed, unspectacular and homely but often highly skilled performances” from four of the finest country musicians – Billy Bennington (hammer dulcimer), Percy Brown (melodeon), Harold Colvill (mouth organ) and Oscar Woods (melodeon).

1  Jig – Oscar Woods
2  Gay Ladies – Billy Bennington
3  Old Joe, the Boat is Going Over / Untitled Polka – Percy Brown
4  Step dance tune (The Sailor’s Hornpipe) – Oscar Woods
5  Waltz: Dulcie Belle – Billy Bennington
6  Step Dance: Yarmouth Breakdown – Percy Brown
7  Italian’ Waltz – Oscar Woods
8  Untitled Polka – Oscar Woods
9  Step Dance: Yarmouth Hornpipe – Billy Bennington
10  Polka: On the Green – Billy Bennington
11  The Oyster Girl – Harold Covill
12  March: On Parade – Billy Bennington
13  Waltz for the Veleta – Percy Brown
14  Step Dance Tune – Oscar Woods
15  Slow Step Dance Tune – Billy Bennington
16  Oh, Joe the Boat is Going Over – Oscar Woods
17  Barn Dance Tune – Percy Brown
18  Sheringham Breakdown – Percy Brown
19  The Nutting Girl – Harold Covill
20  Jack’s the Lad (The Sailor’s Hornpipe) – Billy Bennington
21  Red Wing – Billy Bennington
22  Heel and Toe Polka – Percy Brown

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

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


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

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

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

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TSDL280 J SCOTT SKINNER ~ The Strathspey King

J SCOTT SKINNER (1843 – 1927) was in his time the chief composer and exponent of Scots violin music. His own pieces no less than his versions of traditional tunes became settled in the tradition, and a command of the Skinner repertoire and, equally important, the master’s style is among the most respected attainments of a Scots fiddler.

1     The President – Air and Variations
2     Lucania Polka
3     The Freebooter / Tullochgorum / The East Neuk o’ Fife
4     Allegory / The Miller o’ Hirn / Mackenzie Frazer / The Auld Wheel
5     Bagpipe Marches – Athole Highlanders’ Farewell to Loch Katrine / Cameron Highlanders / The Inverness Gathering
6     Celebrated Hornpipes – Arthur Seat / Eugene Stratton / The Banks
7     Highland Reels – Laird o’ Thrums / Gavin M’Millan / Laird o’ Drumblair / Gladstone’s Reel
8     Medley No. 2 – Bonnie Lass o’ Bon Accord / Marquis of Huntly’s Farewell / The Ten Pound Fiddle
9     Highland Schottische No. 2 – Sandy Cameron / Miller o’ Hirn / The Glenlivet
10   Triumph Country Dance – Triumph / Timour the Tartar / The Left Handed Fiddler / Speed the Plough / De’il Among the Tailors
11    Home Sweet Home / The Iron Man Strathspey / The Bungalow Reel
12    Cradle Song – Cradle Song / The Braes of Auchtertyre / The Athole Highlanders’ Farewell to Loch Katrine
13    Glengrant / Tulchan Lodge / The Parrot – Humorous Pizzicato
14    Mrs. Scott Skinner / Mackenzie Hay / The Devil’s Elbow

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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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RINGING STRINGS Fiddle Music of Norway-Shetland TSDL429

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

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

Recorded in Edinburgh, Jondalen and Oslo

First issued by Topic Records 1983

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A remarkable historical set, this record documents the recordings of a splendid early Irish-American dance band from Boston. Dan Sullivan was renowned in Boston as one of the finest fiddlers in the traditional style. The exhilarating ensemble that he led were in demand for dances in the area around Boston and made many recordings between 1926 and the mid-‘thirties. This collection includes some of their finest sides and recordings by individual members of the ensemble.
1  Irish Dance Set – Figure No.2
2  Dan Sullivan’s Favourite
3  Tickling Mary Jane
4  The Rabbit Catcher
5  Londonderry Hornpipe
6  Miller’s Reel / Duffy the Dancer
7  Bantry Bay
8  Billy Hanafin’s Reel
9  Green Grow the Rushes-O
10  Versouviana Dance
11  Boil the Kettle Early
12  Groves Hornpipe
13  Johnny Will You Marry Me?
14  Lord Longon’s Reel
15  Lanigan’s Ball
16  Blackberry Blossom / Bonnie Kate
17  I’m Leaving Tipperary
18  Silver Slipper / Jerry Daly’s Hornpipe

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VINCENT GRIFFIN Traditional Fiddle Music From County Clare TSDL338

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

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

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

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

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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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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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CURLEW Fiddle Music of Shetland & Beyond TSDL435

Uniting Davy Tulloch’s Shetland Reels and Veronique Nelson’s Wessex airs – with their differing techniques and oral traditions – provide dynamic two-part fiddle playing which combines with the jazzy ensembles of Dave Jackson’s guitar to create an exciting and original new sound. Curlew’s two fiddles adapt dance rhythms and songs, many from Shetland, Scandinavia and Galicia, with guitar and occasional string bass accompaniment. In some pieces a two-part invention or rhythmic counterpart is clearly discernible, making for an invigorating and distinctive style.
1  Shetland Reels: Tilley Plump / Auld Foula Reel / Oot and in da Harbour
2  Air & Hornpipe: Grenadier and his Lady / Eunyssagh Vana
3  Shetland Reels: Da Oyster / Yonder Hills / Fit da Gutter
4  Childgrove / Muiñeira de Cabanas
5  Hornpipe & Reels: Father Tom / Véronique’s Reel / Hamish’s Reel
6  Janne’s Reinlander / The Cambridge
7  Shetland Reels: Da Cauld Nights of Winter / Square da Mizzen / Da Ness of Sound
8  C’raad T’ou Goll my Veg Dhone / Ta Dick Veg Er Yannoo Mie / Nancy
9  Shetland Reels: Ramna Stacks / Da Spirit of Whisky / Gold for da Boannie Lasses
10  Two Norwegian Reinlanders
11  Alvadansur
12  Shetland Reels: Da Road to Houll / John Pottinger’s Compliments to Ronnie Cooper / Simon’s Wart

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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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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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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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EWAN MacCOLL Bundook Ballads TSDL130

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

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The WILLETT FAMILY The Roving Journeymen TSDL084

A very important recording of three members of a Southern English family of travellers – Tom, Chris and Ben Willett, showing their distinctive style of singing and a repertoire of fine country songs. Recorded on location in Middlesex and Kent, the record was the first album of English gypsy music to be released commercially.
1  Lord Bateman – Tom Willett
2  The Blacksmith Courted Me – Tom Willett
3  The Little Ball of Yarn – Ben Willett
4  Died For Love – Tom Willett
5  The Rambling Sailor – Chris Willett
6  Riding Down to Portsmouth – Tom Willett
7  As I Was Going to Salisbury – Chris Willett
8  The Roving Journeyman – Tom Willett
9  The Roving Journeyman – Chris Willett
10  While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping – Tom Willett
11  The Old Miser – Chris Willett
12  The Game of Cards – Tom Willett

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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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VARIOUS ARTISTS Songs Of The Open Road TSDL253

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

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The 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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JUMBO BRIGHTWELL Songs from the Eel’s Foot TSDL261

From the original LP notes:TSDL261

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

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

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

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From the original LP notes:TSDL243

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

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

Production by Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1974

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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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VIN GARBUTT Eston California TSDL378

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

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Lark In The Clear Air TSDL230

An important and influential record of song airs and dance tunes played on modest instruments such as would fit in your pocket, played by some of the finest London-based Irish musicians.
“The expertise of the performers is to be admired for its own sake… a delightful disc.”
New Statesman.
1  Gillian Apples / The Prize Jig – John Doonan & John Wright
2  The Shaskeen Reel – John Wright
3  The Coolin – Noel Pepper
4  Boys of the Laugh / The Trip to Durrow – Noel Pepper & Paddy Moran
5  Give Me Your Hand – John Doonan
6  Banish Misfortune – The Wrights
7  The Maid Behind the Bar – The Wrights with Paddy Neylan
8  Dunphy’s Hornpipe / The Derry Hornplpe – John Doonan
9  St Anne’s Reel – Noel Pepper & Paddy Moran
10  The Blackbird – John Doonan
11  The Spalpeen’s Lament – John Doonan
12  Miss McLeod / The Flowers of Edinburgh – John Doonan & John Wright
13  The Foxhunters’ Jig – The Wrights
14  The Skylark / Tie the Bonnet – John Wright
15  Clancy’s Fancy – John Wright
16  The Lark in the Clear Air – Noel Pepper
17  Unnamed Jig – Noel Pepper & Paddy Moran
18  Cherish the Ladles / Father O’Flynn – John Doonan, John Wright, Noel Pepper & Paddy Moran

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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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Des and Vince O’Halloran are from the tiny Inishbofin Island, off the coast of Connemara. Though relatively young when these recordings were made and from a region not noted for a strongly maintained musical tradition, they play wonderfully close-knit and exciting music.
1  Reels: The Music in the Glen / The Green Fields of America
2  Jigs: The Lark in the Morning / The Connaughtman’s Rambles
3  The Lowlands of Holland
4  Barn Dances: Stack of Barley / Johnny, Will You Marry Me?
5  Jigs: Pat Burke’s / Fraher’s
6  Sweet Inniscarra
7  Waltz and Jigs: Martin Byrne’s Waltz / A Hundred Pipers / Dingle Regatta
8  Granuaile
9  Reels: The Sailor on the Rock / The Maid I Ne’er Forgot
10  Reel: The Limerick Lasses
11  Jig: The Lake Shore / The Exile’s Return
12  Reels: The Eel in the Sink / Larry Redigan’s
13  Moorlough Mary
14  The Bucks of Oranmore / The Wind that Shakes the Barley

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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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JOHNNY DOUGHTY Round Rye Bay For More TSDL324

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

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

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CHRIS DRONEY The Flowing Tide TSDL1503

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

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

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

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‘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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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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The OLDHAM TINKERS Oldham’s Burning Sands TSDL206

The mighty Oldham Tinkers specialise in the local songs and ballads of their native South Lancashire. True inheritors of the spirit of great Lancashire mucial comics like George Formby. “All the salt and savour of Lancashire song and humour is to be enjoyed in their records.” ‘Oldham’s Burning Sands’ was the group’s first recording for Topic Records and a perennial favourite with the late John Peel.
1  Success to the Weavers
2  The Lancashire Miller
3  Charlie Chaplin
4  Eawr Market Neet
5  The Owdam Chap’s Visit to Th’ Queen
6  In Our Town
7  Oldham’s Burning Sands
8  A Fine Old English Gentleman
9  Peterloo
10  We’re Off In A Motor Car
11  The Oldham Pensioner
12  The Stockport Strike
13  Th’ Childer’s Holiday

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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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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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TSDL287 SEAN McALOON & JOHN REA ~ Drops Of Brandy

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

Sean McAloon Uillean Pipes & Fiddle
John Rea Dulcimer

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

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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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JEANNIE ROBERTSON Great Traditional Singer TSDL052

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

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

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VERA ASPEY The Blackbird TSDL356

TSDL356Vera Aspey’s 1977 solo LP garnered lavish praise on release, Maurice Rosenbaum of the Daily Telegraph declaring it one of his albums of the year. A selection of mostly traditional material, with one Gary and Vera Aspey original and an Alfred Noyes poem set to the music of Phil Ochs, this album showcased Vera’s range and talent to stunning effect.

1. The Blackbird
2. Owd Betty Barlow
3. Ladybird
4. The Maypole Inn
5. The Pit Brow Lassies
6. My Johnny Was a Shoemaker
7. Coal Black Faces
8. The Highwayman
9. Shule Agra
10. Aggie Bell
11. The Sprig of Thyme

Produced by Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1977.

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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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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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Bonny North Tyne is a splendid collection of Northumbrian Country Music played by John Armstrong fiddle, Billy Atkinson mouth organ, Billy Conran whistle, George Hepple fiddle, Joe Hutton small-pipes and Donald Ridley accordeon. These recordings were made in Northumberland by Tony Engle and Tony Wilson in the early 1970s.

1       Tell her I am / Teviot Brig  Billy Atkinson
2       Barrington Hornpipe / Rowley Bum  Joe Hutton
3       The Rowan Tree / Jock of Hazeldean  John Armstrong & Joe Hutton
4a     Green Castle / Spot On  Billy Conroy
4b     Corn Rigs  Billy Conroy
5       Sheffield Hornpipe / Untitled Hornpipe / Miss Thompson’s Hornpipe / Liddle’s Hompipe  George Hepple & Donald Ridley
6       Hexham Races / Stool of Repentance  Billy Atkinson
7       The Wonder Hornpipe / Navvie on the line  Joe Hutton
8       The Bum Divot  George Hepple & Donald Ridley
9       Horsley Lassies / Bellingham Boat / The Howlet and the Weasel  George Hepple & Donald Ridley
10      Sir Sidney Smith’s March  John Armstrong & Joe Hutton
11      Liverpool Hornpipe / Steamboat Hornpipe  Billy Conroy
12      J B Milne/The New High Level  Billy Atkinson
13      Bonny North Tyne/The Redesdale Hompipe  Joe Hutton
14      Drink to Me Only /Will Ye No Come Back Again  John Armstrong & Joe Hutton
15      Nancy / Whinshield’s Hompipe / Whinham’s Reel  George Hepple & Donald Ridley
16      Geordie’s Jig  George Hepple
17      Jenny Bell Polka  Billy Conroy
18      Napoleon’s Grand March / Untitled March  Billy Conroy
19      The Friendly Visit / Green Castle / Lass on the Strand  Billy Atkinson
20     The Girl with the Blue Dress On / The Big Ship  George Hepple & Donald Ridley

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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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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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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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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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“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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GARY & VERA ASPEY A Taste Of Hotpot TSDL299

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

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

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

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle
First published by TOPIC 1976

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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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VARIOUS ARTISTS Owdham Edge – Popular song & verse from Lancashire TSDL204

TSDL204Until Topic Records featured Harry Boardman singing six Lancashire songs on the 1965 LP ‘New Voices’, available recordings of songs with their roots in the North West of England were scarce. The growing demand for such material led to the release of ‘Deep Lancashire’ in 1968 and then, in 1970, ‘Owdham Edge’, featuring Harry Boardman once again, as well as the first recordings by one Mike Harding.

  1. Sam Shuttle and Betty Reedhook sung by Harry Boardman (banjo), acc. Lesley Boardman (mandolin) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  2. Owdham Edge sung by John Howarth and The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  3. Our Sarah’s Getten’ A Chap sung by John Howarth and The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  4. The Miners’ Lock-Out sung by Harry Boardman (banjo); acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Mike Harding (Jews Harp)
  5. Street Scene recited by Harvey Kershaw
  6. Pounds, Shillings and Pence sung by Tim and Robin Boardman, leading into Down at our School sung by The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, mandolin and guitar)
  7. The Little Piecer sung by Dave Brooks (concertina)
  8. Sammy Shuttleworth sung by Mike Harding (concertina), acc. Bernard Wrigley (bass concertina) & John Tenent (tenor horn)
  9. Bowton’s Yard sung by Harry Boardman (banjo) acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  10. Toddlin’ Whoam sung by Larry Kearns (guitar)
  11. The Bard’s Reformation sung by Harry Boardman (banjo), acc. Lesley Boardman (tenor banjo) & Bob Diehl (fiddle)
  12. Schoolyard Song sung by Harry Ogden (guitar), acc. Ian Hope (fiddle)
  13. Nobbut a Cockstride Away sung by Mary Kershaw acc. Harvey Kershaw (piano)
  14. Billy Suet’s Song sung by Harry Boardman (concertina)
  15. Canute sung by The Oldham Tinkers (with banjo, tin whistle and guitar)
  16. Our Bill sung by Bernard Wrigley (guitar)

Recorded by Sean Davies

First issued by Topic Records 1970

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BERNARD O’SULLIVAN, TOMMY McMAHON Play Irish Traditional Music of County Clare TSDL1505

TSDL1505This is the second Topic LP of the music of Tommy McMahon and Bernard O’Sullivan. Like the first record it illustrates the richness, depth and variety of Clare concertina music. The selection here is very varied and includes reels, jigs, hornpipes, set dances, polkas and waltzes. Anyone in search of good concertina music may find it in West Clare. This is really concertina country. Every village has a traditional musician and in many cases it is a concertina player. The concertina as a traditional instrument has been in Clare for well over a hundred years. With the decline of the pipes and fiddle the concertina was a practical replacement. It was ideal for playing the newly composed sets of the last century. Though it was not capable of the embellishments or expressiveness of the pipes it was nevertheless an excellent little reed instrument for playing for country dances.

1 Polkas: I Have a Bonnet Trimmed with Blue, The Rakes of Mallow  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
2 Reels: Farmer Moroney’s and Mulvihill’s reel  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
3 Reels: Maud Millar’s and Morrison’s  Tommy McMahon
4 Reel: The Bucks of Oranmore  Bernard O’Sullivan
5 Waltzes: My Heart’s in the Highlands and The Dewdrop  Bernard O’Sullivan
6 Jigs: The Blooming Meadows, Mullagh Jig, Ballinakill Jig  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
7 Reels: The Merry Sisters, Quilty Reel  Tommy McMahon
8 Hornpipes: The Cliff, The Derry Hornpipe  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
9 Jigs: The Rose in the Heather selection  Tommy McMahon
10 Reels: Flowery Mountains, Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel, The Milliner’s Daughter  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
11 Reel: A Trip to Durrow  Tommy McMahon
12 Polka: Stack Ryan’s Polka  Bernard O’Sullivan
13 Set Dance: The Garden of Daisies  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
14 Jigs: Andy Keone’s, Saddle the Pony, Tulla Jig  Tommy McMahon
15 Set Dance: The Three Sea Captains  Tommy McMahon
16 Reels: The Boys of Ballysadare, The Five Mile Chase  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan

Produced by Tony Engle, John Tams and Neil Wayne
First issued by Topic Records 1976.

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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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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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HUGH GILLESPIE Classic recordings of Irish traditional fiddle music TSDL364

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

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

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PADDY TUNNEY The Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow TSDL264

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

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

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

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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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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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RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOTT Talking Woody Guthrie TSDL093

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

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

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Flute player Packie Duignan was a fine musician who had many of the tunes of the Leitrim player John McKenna, a distinguished and prolific figure in Irish-American recording circles of the 1920s and ’30s. He is joined on this splendid record by another Leitrim musician, fiddler Seamus Horan.

1 Jigs: The Shores of Lough Gowna / The Rose and the Heather (flute/fiddle)
2 Slip Jigs: Devero the Dancer / Connie the Soldier (flute)
3 Reels: The Tailor’s Thimble / The Red-haired Lass (flute/fiddle)
4 Hornpipe/Reel: Sean Ryan’s Hornpipe / The New Found Out Reel (fiddle)
5 Reels: Sporting Paddy / Packie Duignan’s Reel (flute/fiddle/whistle)
6 Jigs: The Trip To Athlone / The Hag with the Money / The Castlebar Jig (flute/fiddle)
7 Reels: Crowley’s (fiddle)
8 Reels: Jackie Coleman’s / The Sailor on the Rock (flute/fiddle)
9 Reels: Bridie Morley / Duignan’s Favourite (fiddle/flute)
10 Slip Jig: The Kid on the Mountain (flute/fiddle)
11 Highland Fling/Reel: Monymusk / Mrs. Smollen’s Reel (fiddle/flute)
12 Reel: The House On The Hill (flute)
13 Reel: The Duke of Leinster (flute/whistle)
14 Reels: Dinny Ryan’s Reels (fiddle)
15 Reels: Tom Ward’s Downfall / The Mullaghnavat Reel (flute/fiddle)
16 Jigs: The Geese in the Bog / Your Jig (fiddle)

Sean Wynne plays whistle on tracks 5 and 10.
Robin Morton plays bodhran on tracks 2, 9, 11, 12 & 13

First published by Topic 1978

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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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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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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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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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LIZZIE HIGGINS Up And Awa’ Wi’ The Laverock TSDL260

This is the second solo record featuring the singing of Lizzie Higgins, one of our finest traditional singers, recorded in 1975 at the height of her powers.

The north-east of Scotland has been known for 200 years as a region rich in tradition, and recent collecting has shown this still to be the case. Lizzie features on this record some of the big ballads for which the area is famed, such as The Twa Brothers, The Cruel Mother and The Forester. Like her famous mother, the late Jeannie Robertson, she has the grandeur to give these pieces their full majestic impact. Her father, Donald Higgins, was equally important in her musical development, for his piping had a distinct effect upon her singing style, with its fluid decoration and its expressive and commanding tone.

1    Up and Awa Wi’ the Laverock
2    Lord Lovat
3    Soo Sewin’ Silk
4    Lady Mary Ann
5    MacDonald of Glencoe
6    The Forester
7    Tammy Toddles
8    Aul’ Roguie Gray
9    The Twa Brothers
10  The Cruel Mother
11   The Lassie Gathering Nuts

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JOE HEANEY Irish Traditional Songs in Gaelic & English TSDL091

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

From the original sleevenotes by A. L. Lloyd

3 CASADH AN t-SUGAIN   The Twisting of the Rope
6 PEIGIN IS PEADAR   Peggy and Peter
8 CAOINEADH NA TRI MHUIRE   The Lament of the Three Marys
10 BEAN AN LEANNA   The Woman with the Beer

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The STEWART FAMILY The Stewarts Of Blair TSDL138

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

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

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

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THE GAUGERS Beware of the Aberdonian TSDL284

TSDL284Formed on New Year’s Day, 1974, The Gaugers comprised Peter Hall, Tom Spiers and Arthur Watson. The Gaugers dispensed a heady distillate of 100 per cent proof North-East spirit. So fundamental was their commitment to the rich yet underexploited wealth of song from Buchan and wider Aberdeenshire, that Arthur Watson, once declared in an interview that “anything from south of Stonehaven would be considered ‘World Music’.

  1. Young Jackie Peter vocal/concertina, Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle
  2. The Cruel Brother Tom vocal/fiddle, Arthur dulcimer, Peter vocal
  3. Monymusk Lads Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina
  4. The Keys to the Cellar/Go to Berwick, Johnnie Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle/dulcimer, Peter concertina
  5. The Lass o’ the Moorland Hills Peter vocal, Tom fiddle
  6. The Bonny Lass o’ Anglesey Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina
  7. Sleep Sound in the Morning/Donald Blue Tom fiddle, Peter concertina, Arthur dulcimer/bodhran
  8. The Aberdonian Tom vocal, Peter vocal/baritone concertina, Arthur vocal/whistle
  9. Lochaber No More Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle, Peter concertina
  10. The Minister’s Sheep Peter vocal, Arthur and Tom chorus
  11. Bogie’s Bonnie Belle Tom vocal, Peter concertina, Arthur whistle
  12. The Ewie wi’ the Crookit Horn/The Jolly Shepherd/Polly Stewart Tom fiddle, Arthur whistle, Peter concertina
  13. The Scranky Black Farmer Arthur vocal, Tom fiddle, Peter concertina

Recorded by Tony Engle

First issued by Topic Records 1976

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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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GEORGE MAYNARD Ye Subjects Of England TSDL286

One of the greatest English traditional singers – George ‘Pop’ Maynard from Sussex recorded rarely. This splendid album showcases his majestic and powerful style.
1  Polly on the Shore
2  The Sweet Nightingale (The Birds In The Spring)
3  Locks and Bolts
4  Down by the Seaside
5  Jack the Jolly Tar-O
6  The Seeds of Love
7  Shooting Goshen’s Cocks Up
8  William Taylor
9  Rolling in the Dew
10  A Sailor in the North Country
11  The Banks of Claudy
12  Three Sons of Rogues
13  The Weaver’s Daughter
14  A Wager, A Wager
15  The Sun Being Set

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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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ANDREW CRONSHAW The Language Of Snakes TSDL1050

Muliti-instrumentalist Andrew Cronshaw variously draws upon the traditional music of the Scottish Highlands, Northern Spain, Finnland and his native England to weave a music of great beauty and originality. 1993’s The Language of Snakes was his sixth solo album. Working with a close band of musical collaborators, Cronshaw magically transforms his disparate source material with a series of unexpected textures and arrangements.
1  Through Moorfields
2  Kindness For Ever More
3  MacDonnel’s March / Kilcoy’s March
4  Baile de Procesión
5  Cronnan na Caillach a bhan sa Bhein Bhreic
6  Marcha Procesional do San Benito
7  Apple Praities
8  Ailean Duinn
9  A Maruxa
10  The Waterford Waltz
11  Tupakkarulla / Tuuti Hussaa Ja Lullaa / The Other Boot Dance
12  Hithil Ùil Agus Ò, Hithil O Hòrino
13  Tha Mi Sgith ‘m Ònaran
14  An Gille Donn / Vaskilinun Vaikerrus

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

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

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

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

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

First published by Topic Records 1982

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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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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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FRANK HARTE Dublin Street Songs TSDL172

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

From the original LP notes:

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

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

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

Recorded by Bill Leader
First issued by Topic Records 1967

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The whole guitar-based section of the late twentieth century British folk revival owes an enormous debt to Davy Graham. The ideas explored across his earliest recordings have had a huge impact and continue to resound through the work of succeeding generations of musicians. For innumerable young guitarists, Davy Graham was the undisputed guitar hero of the British folk-blues clubs in the early and mid-1960s: a remarkable and wildly inventive musician. This fabulous duo EP with Alexis Korner captures Davy at the beginning of his recording career.
1  Angi
2  Davy’s Train Blues
3  3/4 AD

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Shanties and forebitters sung with zest and a feeling for authenticity. Ballads of shipwreck and disaster, songs of humour and love performed by a ‘who’s who’ of the English folk song revival – Louis Killen, Cyril Tawney and Ian Campbell, accompanied by master-fiddler Dave Swarbrick.

1  The Wild Goose – Louis Killen
2  Lovely Nancy – Ian Campbell
3  The Nightingale – Cyril Tawney
4  Heave Away My Johnny – Louis Killen
5  Row Bullies Row – Ian Campbell Group
6  The Fireship – Cyril Tawney
7  Tom’s Gone To Hilo – Bob Davenport
8  Ship in Distress – Louis Killen
9  Lowlands Low – Ian Campbell Group
10  One Morning In Spring – Cyril Tawney
11  Hilo Johnny Brown – Louis Killen
12  Poor Old Horse – Ian Campbell Group
13  Bold Princess Royal – Louis Killen
14  Billy Boy – Bob Davenport
15  Bold Benjamin – Cyril Tawney
16  The Hog Eye Man – Ian Campbell Group
17  Goodbye, Fare Thee Well – Louis Killen

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