Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

NEWS

MARTIN & ELIZA CARTHY ~ The Moral of the Elephant TSCD587

It’s nearly 50 years since Martin Carthy recorded his iconic, eponymous first album and more than 20 years since his daughter Eliza Carthy’s recording debut. Throughout their respective careers both have toured and recorded with many others (Eliza shared the bill with her acclaimed mother, Norma Waterson, on their award-winning ‘Gift’ album in 2010) but finally, this trail-blazing dad and daughter have made their first ever duo album, The Moral of the Elephant which will be released on  Monday 2nd June 2014.

Two tracks were released on a 7″ vinyl single for Record Store Day 2014 – Happiness, which was written by Nick Drake’s Mum, Molly, is one of a number recorded at home by her in the 1950s and only recently unearthed. It’s the first time this wistful song has been covered by a major recording artist. Meanwhile, The Queen of Hearts is a new version of a song which Martin first recorded on his debut album in 1965.

“This album is coal, not fireworks. It burns with the slow, deep flame which is the mark of timelessness.” Stirrings

“This is a magnificent album, bridging the generation gap and reminding the listener just how vital and pertinent folk music can be.” Record Collector

The full album features 11 (mostly) traditional music tracks, including The Elephant, on which the title of the album is based. It’s an interpretation of a setting of the 19th poem by John Godfrey Saxe, which itself is an adaptation of an ancient Indian parable.

Produced by Oliver Knight with Martin and Eliza, the duo reinterpret and revisit a number of songs on this stunning new album.  Bonny Moorhen  is about a fight between starving lead miners and a gang representing the landowners. Martin learnt The Grand Conversation on Napoleon from the Vaughan Williams collection at Cecil Sharp House, the home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society. This was one of many songs by the English proclaiming their love of Napoleon who they hoped would rescue them from poverty. Monkey Hair is a song by late Michael Marra about a Scottish minister’s wife who doesn’t want any more children as her husband keeps sending them off to war to be killed. Fittingly, several of the songs on The Moral of the Elephant take the form of conversation between parent and child.

Track List :
Her Servant Man
Happiness
Blackwell Merry Night
Queen Caraboo
Grand Conversation on Napoleon
The Elephant
Waking Dreams
Bonny Moorhen
The Queen of Hearts
Monkey Hair

Here’s a short video where Martin and Eliza describe making the album and the material recorded:

Order The Moral Of The Elephant PURCHASE @ £12.00


ANNE BRIGGS : The Hazards of Love STOP2014

To celebrate Record Store Day  – April 19th 2014 – Topic Records released a 50th anniversary limited edition 7” vinyl facsimile of this historic early recording from Anne Briggs.

One of many jewels in Topic Record’s extensive catalogue, The Hazards Of Love EP has been an important touchstone for myriad singers, songwriters and performers – on a rare visit to London, June Tabor was bought a copy by her older sister: “She took me to Dobell’s and said she’d buy me a record. I got that Anne Briggs EP, Hazards of Love… I was captivated by this woman’s voice and what she did with it…”

The Hazards of Love became the calling card for Anne Briggs – one of the most influential figures in the English folk revival, with Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page, The Watersons and Sandy Denny all acknowledging that influence, and it continues years after its release, with The Decemberists 2009 album title directly taken from the EP which inspired it.

“…a brilliant singer, really brilliant, very natural.”  BERT JANSCH

We have endeavoured to faithfully match the original Topic EP sleeve with a leaflet of song notes by A.L. Lloyd inside a beautiful gloss-laminated limited edition flip-back sleeve.

Order The Hazards Of Love PURCHASE @ £6.00


ANOTHER FOUR VOLUMES IN THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE

TOPIC Records are very proud to announce the release of four further volumes in the widely acclaimed The Voice of the People series:

TSCD675 – “Good humour for the rest of the night” Traditional Dance Music in Northumberland and Cumberland

TSCD676D - The Barley Mow Field recordings and a film made in Suffolk in the 1950s (CD and DVD set)

TSCD677T - The Flax In Bloom Traditional songs, airs and dance music in Ulster (3CD set)

TSCD678Orkney Traditional dance music from Orkney

Continuing Topic Records’ widely-acclaimed and seminal traditional music series, Series Editor Reg Hall has selected for the latest four volumes a range of music from the astonishing collection of field recordings made by Peter Kennedy; working part-time for the BBC and the EFDSS, Peter continued with his own recording projects, sometimes collaborating, with Seamus Ennis at the BBC, Alan Lomax and in Ulster with Sean O’Boyle, their work together presented in the third of this new set of CDs.

The geographical spread covered in these four new volumes illustrates the lengths Peter would go to in order to discover the traditional music and dance of the British Isles, and his passion in bringing these to a wider community outside the working rural communities of the people he recorded; Peter’s aim, presenting the voice of the people, is recognised and acknowledged with this essential addition of four stunning new titles to an invaluable catalogue.

Order ORDER THE COMPLETE NEW SET PURCHASE @ £40.00


COMPETITION TIME

COMPETITION TIME – we have two limited edition 7″ vinyl releases scheduled for Record Store Day on Saturday 19th April. One is the splendid new Martin and Eliza Carthy recording of Molly Drake’s ‘Happiness’. Guess the title of the other release to enter our prize draw to win a copy of both. There are two picture clues below. The third and final clue is – the second Record Store Day 2014 7″ will be an anniversary facsimile of a classic EP from the early 1960s.

The competition is now closed - Congratulations to Reinhard Zierke who correctly identified the Anne Briggs re-issue for UK Record Store Day 2014. A copy of ‘The Hazards of Love’ EP and Martin & Eliza Carthy’s ‘Happiness’ 7″ will be in the post very soon.

  
 

 

 

 

 

 



BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Winners!

A fabulous night at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on February 19th included some stunning live music and resulted in well-deserved awards for all of the winners, including a Lifetime Achievement award for Martin Carthy and two headline awards for The Full English, named as Best Group and for Best Album.
Martin has been part of the bedrock of folk music for half a century, and continues to plough a fertile furrow – his new album with daughter Eliza will be released by Topic later this year.

Fay Hield has worked tirelessly to bring The Full English to glorious fruition, and Topic has been proud to be part of such an important project. The very best traditions of folk music are encompassed in The Full English, presented beautifully through the talents of the wonderful musicians involved,  Ben Nicholls, Martin Simpson, Seth Lakeman, Rob Harbron, Sam Sweeney, Nancy Kerr and Fay Hield. Congratulations to them all!

 



75th Anniversary

In 2014 Topic Records will celebrate 75 years of recording the finest folk music. We have a number of exciting new releases and special events planned. More details as the year unfolds.

Each month we will be discounting 7 classic CDs from the Topic catalogue to the special mail order price of only £5.00 per CD

The seven chosen titles for September are:

TSCD452  MARTIN CARTHY ~ Right of Passage
TSCD490  JUNE TABOR ~ Aleyn
TSCD520  NORMA WATERSON ~ Bright Shiny Morning
TSCD531  BRASS MONKEY ~ Going & Staying
TSCD540  MARTIN SIMPSON ~ Righteousness & Humidity
TSCD544  BOB FOX ~ Borrowed Moments
TSCD603  VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ Paddy In The Smoke



LINDA THOMPSON ~ Won’t Be Long Now

Topic will release their first vinyl LP in over 25 years on Monday 18th November when Linda Thompson‘s splendid new album Won’t Be Long Now will be released. The LP is pressed on 180gm audiophile vinyl within a gatefold sleeve.

Won’t Be Long Now is Linda Thompson’s first album in six years and is a return to her folk roots and a bit of a family affair – featuring a duet with former husband Richard Thompson, regular contributions from their children Teddy and Kami, and grandson Zak Hobbs. Won’t Be Long Now also  includes appearances by many alumni of the British folk scene, including John Kirkpatrick, Dave Swarbrick, Martin and Eliza Carthy, as well as American musicians like David Mansfield, Amy Helm, Sam Amidon, Jenni Muldaur and Tony Trischka, among others.

NPR urges “getting to listen to Thompson’s rich voice is well worth the wait.” Recorded mainly in New York City, but also at sessions in Scotland and various London studios including Abbey Road, with longtime producer Ed Haber, the album features nine songs penned by Thompson as well as collaborators, including son Teddy Thompson and Ron Sexsmith.

Track list side A:
1  Love’s For Babies and Fools
2  Never Put To Sea Boys
3  If I Were a Bluebird
4  As Fast As My Feet
5  Father Son Ballad
Side B:

6  Mr. Tams
7  Nursery Rhyme of Innocence and Experience
8  Paddy’s Lamentation
9  Never the Bride
10  Blue Bleezin’ Blind Drunk (recorded live at The Bottom Line)
11  It Won’t Be Long Now

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

Order Won't Be Long Now LP PURCHASE @ £15.00


LAL WATERSON ~ teach me to be a summer’s morning

Marry Waterson’s introduction to this collection of her Mum’s artistic creations begins: “Mum would really rather go without breakfast, dinner and tea than lose creative flow, living on coffee and Woodbines, her pen lagging behind her brain, refusing to pause to spell correctly through crossings out, torn pages, shopping lists and knitting patterns.” Lal Waterson is known primarily as a singer and songwriter, a member of the wonderful Watersons.

teach me to be a summer’s morning shows the full range of her creativity. The limited edition hardback book publishes, for the first time, a selection of her drawings, painting, lyrics, thoughts and poems to present a portrait of her extraordinary tender, intense, complex but ultimately very human artistic talents. ORDER your copy of teach me to be a summer’s morning from the Fledg’ling shop.

Here’s a little video opening the book for the first time and exploring the contents:

A CD is included inside the book – collecting together 15 songs drawn from her home recordings – serves to confirm her stature as a songwriter of rare imagination, depth and rich beauty. Just as teach me to be a summer’s morning was being prepared for printing and CD manufacture we finally tracked-down the original two reels of demo tapes from 1971 of the songs written for Bright Phoebus. Many of these songs have never been released previously, none have ever sounded so magnificent.

track list:
1 Never The Same
2 The Scarecrow
3 Evon Our Darling
4 May Butterfly
5 To Make You Stay
6 Marvellous Companion
7 Red Wine and Promises
8 Shine
9 Piper’s Way
10 Black Horse
11 Song For Thirza
12 Shady Lady
13 Once In A Blue Moon
14 Anna Dixie
15 Telephone Raider

teach me to be a summer’s morning was published in a limited edition of only 1500 copies on Monday 21st October. ORDER your copy of teach me to be a summer’s morning from the Fledg’ling shop.



LINDA THOMPSON ~ Won’t Be Long Now TSCD822

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TSCD822 : CD and DL
Release date : 14th October 2013

12TS822 : LP
Release date : 18th November 2013

Order Won't Be Long Now CD PURCHASE @ £9.00


The FULL ENGLISH ~ TSCD823

The Full English is a groundbreaking project sponsored by the English Folk Dance and Song Society that draws together for the first time the early 20th century folksong collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Alfred Williams. The result is the most comprehensive searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world.

To mark the launch of the project, folksong scholar and acclaimed singer Fay Hield has assembled The Full English band, pulling together half a dozen of the top talents on the English folk music circuit for an evening of songs drawn from these unique collections. Together the band have recorded a tremendous album of material drawn from these historic collections. Rapidly becoming identified as a folk supergroup the Full English includes singer and fiddle player Seth Lakeman, who has successfully steered English folk into the musical mainstream with his high-energy performances and a series of best-selling albums, and one of the world’s finest and most admired guitarists, Martin Simpson. Nancy Kerr is another fiddler/singer with a deep commitment to the English traditional repertoire, celebrated for her boundary-smashing partnerships with Eliza Carthy and James Fagan. Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) are formidable instrumentalists who feature in Fay’s backing band The Hurricane Party as well as in Jon Boden’s Remnant Kings, and are two of the most in-demand session musicians on the scene. Nailing all this multi-instrumentality down is Ben Nicholls, double bassist of choice for artists as diverse as the Seth Lakeman Band, Martin Carthy and Jimmy Somerville.

Seth LAKEMAN    Martin SIMPSON    Fay HIELD    Nancy KERR     Sam SWEENEY    Rob HARBRON    Ben NICHOLLS

All photographs by Elly Lucas

“It is a brilliant sucess.”
Paddy Bullard, Times Literary Supplement

Track list:
1   Awake Awake
2   Stand By Your Guns
3   William And Nancy
4   Creeping Jane
5   Arthur O’Bradley
6   Portrait Of My Wife
7   Fol The Day-o
8   Brigg Fair
9   Rounding The Horn
10 The Servant Man
11 Man In The Moon
12 Linden Lea

TSCD823 : CD and DL
Release date : 7th October 2013

Order The Full English PURCHASE @ £9.00


MARTIN SIMPSON ~ VAGRANT STANZAS TXCD589

Deluxe limited edition 2CD set

Vagrant Stanzas is a splendid, intimate new recording from finger-style guitar maestro Martin Simpson. Encouraged by his near neighbour Richard Hawley, Martin set out to record his new album completely solo. The ambition was to record just one man and his guitar (or banjo) close-miked and personal. Most of the performances are first or second takes. So much material was recorded that the deluxe edition includes an extra CD of eight outtakes from the recording sessions – quite honestly they’d have made the cut on just about anybody else’s album.

“This is not a record of repairs and corrections, this is what I do at a gig. It’s the first time I’ve made a studio album which deliberately tries to capture the immediacy of a live performance…. in fact it is the intimacy of playing to a friend which is at the heart of this album.”

The album sees Martin collaborate with some of the best producers and engineers in the business, including multi-Grammy Award winning mastering engineer, Silas Brown. The CD has been co-produced by Martin alongside American producer Peter Denenberg and, our own Richard Hawley, who produced the UK part of the CD in Sheffield, at the legendary Yellow Arch Studios. Vagrant Stanzas is made up of a mixture of Martin’s original compositions, including a song commissioned by BBC Radio 2 for their award winning Radio Ballads series, alongside classic songs by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Chris Wood, Leon Rosselson and, of course, the ubiquitous ‘Anon’ of Folk ballad fame.

“One man with guitar and banjo and an acutely tuned ear for a good tune and a powerful lyric can certainly whip up a lot of different moods and styles. It’s all down to attitude.” fRoots

“There is a distinctive brilliance to Simpson’s guitar and voice – these are vocals from the back step, from the songs’ stark interiors, understood and played out by a man in the third age of life.★★★★ Songlines

“What you get is pure and fluent Simpson musicianship. A very fine record.” ★★★★ The Telegraph

CD 1
1    Diamond Joe
2    Jackie and Murphy
3    Shepherds Rejoice
4    Come Down Jehovah
5    Molly As She Swings
6    Palaces of Gold
7    Blue Eyed Boston Boy
8    Delta Dreams
9    Waly Waly
10    North Country Blues
11    Lorena
12    Lady Gay
13    Stranger Song
14    Come Write me Down

CD 2
1    Fair Annie
2    Kaga Re
3    Blind Willie McTell
4    Old Paint
5    The Bell
6    Diamond Joe
7    The Death of Queen Jane
8    The Green Linnet

With ‘Vagrant Stanzas’ Martin Simpson makes a career defining statement
- solo, intimate performances captured in a series of jewel-like recordings.

Order Vagrant Stanzas deluxe edition PURCHASE @ £15.00


ELIZA CARTHY Wayward Daughter TSCD772D

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Order Wayward Daughter 2CD set PURCHASE @ £10.00


The TOPIC big digital archive project

Early in 2013, Topic Records will begin to publish digital booklets for each album available for digital download. Topic has always had the underlying philosophy of making traditional-based music as widely available as possible. Currently, digital delivery all too often seperates the audio recording from all artwork, documentation and sleeve-notes. The plan at Topic is to restore and include all of the information that originally accompanied the vinyl release and wherever possible add photographs and ephemera from our archive.

In January 2013, 84 archive albums will be available to download complete with new digital booklets. Each month throughout the year we intend to publish further ‘currently out of print’ albums from our archive and to make available digital booklets for all current releases, artist by artist, as well as new ‘themed’ digital collections.

More news soon…



Fay Hield’s second album released 28th May

Orfeo the remarkable second album from Fay Hield has been collecting an enviable series of reviews ahead of the release on Monday 28th May. Fay leads the virtuoso all-star HURRICANE PARTY Jon Boden (fiddle, guitar, percussion, double bass, mandolin, additional banjo and vocals), Andy Cutting (button accordions, melodeon), Rob Harbron (English Concertina, fiddle, vocals), Sam Sweeney (fiddle, viola, cello, nyckelharpa, vocals) and special guest Martin Simpson (banjo, guitar).



Proper Podcasts

Propermusic.com publish a series of weekly podcasts which are available for free streaming and download through iTunes and SoundCloud. In the current edition, the first of  a two-part Topic Records special, David Suff and Tony Engle join award-winning broadcaster Trevor Dann to discuss the label’s 70+ year history and some of our classic releases, from Nic Jones to June Tabor & Oysterband and Topic’s Three Score & Ten box set.

Check out this week’s podcast on the blog and find out what Topic MD David Suff has been listening to lately:

http://blog.propermusic.com/propermusic-com-podcast-34-topic-records-part-1/

Part 2 with Reg Hall and Tony Engle discussing the new Voice of the People releases will be available next Monday.

Catch up on all the Proper podcasts via iTunes:

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/propermusic.com-podcast/id463436857



FOUR NEW VOICE OF THE PEOPLE VOLUMES (2012)

Drawn from recordings made during the 1950s and 60s these four volumes capture the music making of working people. This is the home-spun art and entertainment that enriched the lives of working people in pubs and cottages, in social clubs and village halls and on the street, and was made “by people with dirt under their finger nails.” This is music that has been largely ignored by the vagaries of the commercial recording industry. The emphasis in the presentation of this series has been weighted towards the social lives and values of the performers.

Series Editor Reg Hall has chosen individual experts to select and compile these four volumes – Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling.

TSCD671 YOU NEVER HEARD SO SWEET : Songs by Southern English Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper
TSCD672D I’M A ROMANY RAI : Songs by Southern English Gypsy Traditional Singers.

Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy
TSCD673T  GOOD PEOPLE, TAKE WARNING : Ballads by British and Irish Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Steve Roud from classic recordings made in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s
TSCD674  SARAH MAKEM : The Heart Is True

Classic recordings of this important Northern Irish Traditional singer selected and presented by Rod Stradling

“Topic’s original 20-volume The Voice Of The People series in 1998 provided a plethora of superb material for UK folk’s productive new wave to gorge on. Now, courtesy of another goldmine of 1950s field recordings salvaged largely from the late collector Peter Kennedy’s archive, Reg Hall, Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling have compiled a cracking new series with detailed, illuminating booklets shining a revelatory light on Britain and Ireland’s ‘old music’. Hopefully it will inspire future generations… Magnificent” ★★★★ Colin Irwin, MOJO

“The Voice Of The People is the most important and rewarding series of British folk song recordings ever issued.” fRoots Magazine

★★★★★ Songlines    ★★★★★ Record Collector   ★★★★ Q   ★★★★ MOJO

Order COMPLETE SET PURCHASE @ £40.00


JUNE TABOR won the prestigious SINGER OF THE YEAR award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk awards ceremony on Wednesday February 9th. Alongside the OYSTERBAND she also scooped the awards for BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Ragged Kingdom, BEST TRADITIONAL TRACK – Bonny Bunch Of Roses and BEST GROUP.

photograph by Judith Burrows



JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND : RAGGED KINGDOM TSCD585

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

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

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

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

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

“Glorious.” ★★★★★ MOJO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Order RAGGED KINGDOM PURCHASE @ £12.00


MARTIN SIMPSON : PURPOSE + GRACE TSCD584

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

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

The album marks a bold and confident step for Simpson. Building upon the strengths of Prodigal Son and True Stories