MT's Daisy Chapman CD released:
After a very long gestation period - when a CD was ready but the booklet notes were almost nonexistent - I'm extremely pleased to tell you that our record of this fine Buchan (northeast Aberdeenshire) singer - Daisy Chapman: Ythanside (MTCD308) - is now available. The official launch will be at the Cullerlie Singing Weekend on 22nd July, but copies are now available for sale here - see Records Page for further details and ordering.
The wait was well worth it, as a number of additional recordings have come to light and I have been enormously helped by Springthyme Records' Pete Shepheard in getting the booklet together. As usual, the Notes from this now appear as an Article in these pages
MT Records - plastic sales facility:
A number of readers, particularly those from outside the UK, have asked if we can accept VISA payments for MT records. Unfortunately, the costs involved in this would mean that our sales figures would have to increase ten-fold before it became a feasible option! However, we have now concluded an agreement with Topic Records to sell our records through their Mail Order operation.
Anyone wishing to buy MT records by Credit or Debit card should telephone Topic Mail Order, or fill in and post/FAX one of our printed Order Forms - full details appear on the new Records page. Topic also keep a stock of our CDs, so dispatch should be immediate. This arrangement is mainly to enable overseas customers to buy our records more easily - we hope that UK customers will continue to deal with us directly, as our profits from the Topic deal will be severely limited since they have to include VAT and other costs in their price.
So now readers will have access to the majority of the UK production of traditional music CDs from a single source, with just the one letter / e-mail / phone call - and just one payment ... by cheque from us, or plastic from Topic.
We are also now selling Topic traditional music CDs through the magazine - see the new MT Records page for full details.
Blood, Booze and Bedlam - Doc Rowe
Special event at The Tate (Britain), Millbank, London W1
16th Sept 2000 - 1400 -1630 Free event
A celebration of contemporary seasonal events and traditions of the British Isles and Ireland by Doc Rowe, who has been documenting cultural tradition in both audio and visual means for over thirty years. The richness, colour and variety of the vernacular folk arts of our islands is often overlooked, ignored or quite simply unknown. This lively presentation will be using photographic and video examples from the Doc's own archive collection and should be both stimulating and surprising.
The 'Booze' has been generously provided by Smiles Brewery, Bristol. 'Blood' and 'Bedlam' may follow in consequence!
Doc Rowe is at: Rowedoc@aol.com Phone 020 7405 1386
Reg Hall / VotP Interview on the Net:
Readers might wish to have a look at another Reg Hall / VotP interview, this time carried on the Offbeat Roots site. Reg is interviewed by Ed Baxter, who also then reviews the Series, from a somewhat different prespective to that normally found in these pages. Worth a look, at:
New MT double CD of Walter Pardon released
Our latest CD release is now on sale. This double CD, certainly our most lavish production to date with a 32 page A5 booklet, contains pretty well all the songs (49 tracks) Walter recorded for Mike Yates in 1978-80 which are not currently available on CD elsewhere. See our Records page for more details.
Royal Oak Club dates:
Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays
Further info at: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic
- Thursday 1st June - Jeff Wesley
- Thursday 8th June - Official launch of MT's George Townshend CD
- Thursday 15th June - Pete Morton
- Thursday 22nd June - James Fagan & Nancy Kerr
- Thursday 29th June - Dave Burland
- Thursday 6th July - Jim & Seamus McFarland
- Thursday 7th September - Will Atkinson and Alistair Anderson
- Thursday 12th October - Jim Bainbridge
- Thursday 16th November - Tim Lyons
Bobby Casey dies:
We were saddened by the news of the sudden death of Clare fiddler, Bobby Casey, on Saturday (13th May) evening at 8.30 in Northampton General Hospital. He was admitted on Thursday and was found to have cancer.
Bobby was widely regarded as one of the most outstanding fiddlers of his generation. He emigrated to London in 1952 with his musical partner, Willie Clancy who later returned to Ireland. Casey remained to become one of the catalysts which created the great renaissance of Irish traditional music in London in the '60s and '70s.
In 1992 he and his late wife, Ann moved out London and settled in the small village of Weedon in Northamptonshire.
He is survived by his son, Seán and two daughters, Susan and Angela.
(It is hoped that a proper Obituary will appear here later - Ed.)
MT George Townshend CD - Official Launch
The Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - 8th June, at 8:00
Vic Smith writes:
The launch party for this totally commendable example of authentic tradition, George Townshend - Come, Hand to Me the Glass (MTCD304) will take place in the Royal Oak on June 8th. This was one of the pubs that George used to sing in.
It's intended, I believe, to make the event free entry with a collection for expenses, so as to allow you all pleny of money left to spend on buying the CDs!
Rod Stradling got to hear that Brian Matthews of Punnetts Town had some tapes of this Lewes traditional singer. The permission to clean them up and release them results in this wonderful example of 25 songs from our local tradition. George, who died in 1967, had a delightful tenor voice and a wonderfully clear and light, but firm way of delivering his songs. His voice is sure and very pleasing. Some of the songs are slightly different versions of songs that exist in the Copper Family's repertoire. Amongst some real delights - songs that have initially caught these ears - are Pretty Nancy From Yarmouth, Young Collins and 'Twas Early One Morning. As delightful and interesting as the recordings is the well-researched accompanying booklet.
For further details contact Vic at:
Tel: 01273 478124. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Email: email@example.com
Royal Oak Website: http//www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic
MT Daisy Chapman CD - Official Launch
In a similar vein to the above piece, this one is to give notice of our intention of holding the Official Launch of the long-awaited Daisy Chapman CD (MTCD308) at the Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie Farm Park, Echt, Skene, Aberdeenshire on Saturday the 22nd of July, at lunchtime. Details of the Weekend can be found below.
Since this event is nearly three months away, it is possible that the CD may not actually be available at that time, but we are pretty confident that it will be, and will keep readers informed if the schedule looks as if it won't be adhered to.
New EFDSS Supremo revealed as human being!
Shock news from the North: new Society CEO Phil Wilson was seen by one of our roving reporters at both the Midgley and Bacup events - actually watching the traditional rituals with apparent interest, rather than the more normal networking with area bigwigs.
As if this scandalous behaviour were not enough to destroy his credibility entirely, he was later seen in a session in a local public house, playing a melodeon and, later (well after lawful closing time, in fact) also playing a euphonium! This final enormity was captured by society paparazzo Doc 'Scoop' Rowe and passed to us as a public sevice.
Clearly, things will soon be at a pretty pass in Regent's Park Road, and we await further developments (not to say resignations) with considerable interest.
Discoverers of Tradition
The Traditional Song Forum's April newsletter includes details of the TSF meeting on 20th May which will be a special event called 'Discoverers of Tradition'. This is an informal one-day event, in which veteran researchers Reg Hall, John Howson, Peter Kennedy, and Doc Rowe will talk about their experiences collecting, documenting, recording and researching traditional song, music and custom in Britain since the 1950s. The event is arranged jointly by TSF and the English Folk Dance and Song Society and will be held at Cecil Sharp House in London.
The TSF Website is at: www.tradsong.freeserve.co.uk and also has a new search facilty for the site and a message board.
World Gypsy Music Festival
As part of the world Gypsy Music festival at the Barbican in London in May, an informal presentation will take place in the Garden Room, Saturday, 13 May, 2.00-5.00. It will probably be free, but tickets must be reserved by telephone, and there will probably be a booking fee of 50p.
Reg Hall will be introducing Norma Waterson, Sheila Stewart, Vic Legg, Jim and Lynette Eldon, Tom and Jean Orchard and Wiggy Smith. (Harry Lee's grandson, Ambrose Cooper, will be invited if he can be contacted). There will be a bar and food on sale in the room.
Sheila Stewart will be doing an hour on her own later in the evening.
Box Office: 0171 638 8891 9am-8pm daily
English Country Music Weekend - some guests for 2000:
It's early days yet, but the following have been booked so far:
Tickets and enquiries:
- Reuben Shaw, born in 1913 and a lifelong player of the concertina.
- Brian Watson, a particularly distinctive singer from the North East.
- The Elliotts of Birtley, a singing family from the North East whose reputation as carriers of tradition is well founded.
- A Sunday visit from The Bacup Britannia Coconut Dancers, a local traditional dance side with a truly unique repertoire of dances.
- There will be a dance on the Saturday night (at the Cricket Club nearby) and the band for this is still under negotiation.
- John Adams, 21 Halifax Road, Ripponden, Sowerby Bridge, Yorks HX6 4AH.
Tel: 01422 822413. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The cost of the weekend is maintained at £20 but there may be a small extra charge for camping.
The Traditional Singing Weekend at Cullerlie
A festival to celebrate the singing traditions of North-East Scotland, Orkney, England, and Ireland in the unique setting of Tom and Anne Reid's farm in rural Aberdeenshire - Cullerlie Farm Park.
21-23 July 2000
- Joe Aitken is recognised as one of the finest exponents of the North-East 'bothy' style. He is a haulage
- contractor from Kirriemuir and a favourite at festivals throughout Scotland.
- Gordon Easton of Tyree is a wonderful all-rounder. He sings bothy ballads, is an expert diddler, tells tales, and has an unaffected fiddle style.
- Scott Gardiner of Forfar is the voice of the future in the North East. Encouraged by Joe Aitken and others, Scott has become a fine singer in his own right. He is studying agriculture at Edinburgh University.
- Barbara Grieve of Harray, Orkney, is a delightful singer, who champions the Orcadian dialect and the local repertoireof traditional and humorous songs.
- Roger Hinchliffe from Lodge Moor near Sheffield is a farmer and a haulage contractor. His distinctive singing style reflects that of his father, Frank, and his uncle, Stanley Marsden, from whom he learnt his songs.
- John Kennedy from Cullybackey, County Antrim, is a great entertainer and master of the 'crack', who has a fund of traditional songs, ballads and whistle tunes, some of which are highly unusual.
- Will Noble is from Shepley in the Yorkshire Pennines, and his rich bass voice is a great favourite at hunt socials and carol sings. In 1997-98 he was British Drystone Walling Champion.
- Anne Reid is our hostess and a lovely singer. She will keep an eye on us all (including Tom) and make sure everyone is just fine.
- Tom ('Tam') Reid, is the 'Bothy Ballad King'. He sings with great skill and gentle humour and has been a guest at festivals throughout Scotland, as well as in France and the USA.
- Grace Toland was born and raised in Clonmany, Inishowen, where she learnt most of her songs from the older singers. Though small in stature, she sings with great style in a strong commanding voice. Now living in Kilpedder, Co Wicklow, she has performed at many festivals in Ireland and England.
- John Waltham has sung the songs of his native Dorset at festivals throughout England and Ireland. He is a great supporter of traditional singing and for several years has organised his own singing weekends on his farm at Purse Caundle.
The weekend is a unique celebration, bringing together outstanding traditional singers from the North East of Scotland, Orkney, England, and Ireland. The event is especially for those who like to hear, enjoy and join in the traditional singing. Essentially informal, friendly, and non-competitive, it will be just he place to encourage the young and less experienced as well as the old hands.
The weekend includes:
Food will be available over the weekend. There will be no bar - BYOB. Camping and caravanning can be booked free of charge. There are many B & Bs in the area - for a list, contact the Tourist Information at Banchory: 01330 822000 or Aberdeen: 01224 632727.
- Concerts featuring the guest singers.
- Singarounds for everyone who wants to join in.
- Writing bothy ballads (Sheena Blackhall)
- Farmhouse cooking (Anne Reid), and
- Rural crafts including:
- Rope-making (Tom Reid)
- Drystane dyking (Will Noble), and
- Crook-making (George Forbes)
- A Talk on farm life in the North East (Jack Webster).
Traditional Singing Weekend, Cullerlie Farm Park, Echt, Skene, Aberdeenshire AB32 6XL. Tel: 01330 860549
The festival is organised jointly by Tom and Anne Reid in association with The Elphinstone Institute (Director - Dr Ian Russell), University of Aberdeen, 24 High Street, Aberdeen, AB24 3EB. Tel: 01224 272996 Fax: 01224 272728. E mail email@example.com
Róisín White, the well known Ulster singer, is taking a year's leave of absence from her job as a Gaelic language teacher in Armagh City. She is looking for work as a tutor/workshop leader etc in the general fields of song, Gaelic language, folklore, etc, and will be available from the end of the present school year.
Anyone with any suggestions can contact Róisín at 5 Messancy Place, Cavanacaw, Armagh, BT60 2HN, phone 01861 526541 until June. After that date she will be at 4 The Crescent, Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare, phone 00 353 65 7084996.
She can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Hall: Ballad Singer
Roughly hewn and Volvo large,
Oil-grained hands from breakers yard,
Greased-back hair, and nicotined lung,
A monument of ballads sung.
Raw of voice and unrefined,
The undulations of melodic line.
Quaint songs and words in metered rhyme,
A relic from an earlier time
Conjured images from the air,
Garbaged streets, gin alley, bosoms bare.
Wellington, and brave Bonaparte,
Unrequited love, and broken hearts.
Murder, rape, and battles won
Iron-bound wheels of waggons rung.
The flower, and the Match-girls' cry
In Mayhew's London, young folk die.
The ballad-monger's voice booms out,
To rise above the hawker's shout.
The sounds, and cries of London's past
In metered line, the die is cast.
Times gone, relived, vivid, bold,
Spills from genetic memory-mould.
A ballad singer, reincarnated,
Although by many, underrated.
Do any of your learned correspondents, or anybody else for that matter, know anything about chamame - rural music from Argentina? I'd be grateful for any insight ...............
Rod Stradling - e-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01453 759475
snail-mail: 1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK
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