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No 21

Another new double CD from MT   - early purchasers' comments These CDs are brilliant.  You'd think they were recorded last week!  It's great to hear new the material, and the previously unissued items were well worth waiting for.
Congratulations to you, MT and, of course, Mike Yates. 
Ron Coe   These are truly wonderful recordings and the disc transfers are really first class - I thought that Johnny Doughty, in particular, sounded even clearer than on VotP.  There is not a dud track here.

I'm afraid that I had not previously heard Frank Hinchliffe but did especially enjoy his contributions.  And I just can't imagine what Mike Yates must have felt last summer to hear two ballads celebrating events from more that 400 years ago that had never previously been recorded - it just goes to show that there is still life in the tradition.
Roger Johnson

I'm very pleased to be able to announce our second collaboration with Mike Yates - another double CD containing a selection of otherwise unavailable songs and tunes from his collection, recorded 1964-2000 ... nineteen of which have never before been released.

Up in the North and Down in the South - MTCD311-2

The performers are Harry Upton, Bob Blake, Johnny Doughty, George Spicer, Frank Hinchliffe, Jimmy McBeath, Walter Pardon, Freda Palmer, Harry Cockerill, Willie Beattie, Jacquey Gabriel, Tom Newman, Bill Whiting, Vicki Whelan, Bill Dore and Jack Goodban.

The two CDs contain 53 tracks, running time 148 minutes, and are accompanied by a 36 page A5 booklet   They cost just £16.00.  See our Records page to order.  As usual, the complete Booklet Notes are presented as an Article on the site.

Tracklist: CD One
1 - A Single LifeHarry Upton
2 - The Wreck of the Northfleet   ..       ..
3 - The Feckless Young Girl   ..       ..
4 - Canadee-I-O   ..       ..
5 - Giles Collins * Jacquey Gabriel
6 - The Basket of Eggs Bob Blake
7 - The Grey Hawk   ..       ..
8 - Our Sheepshearing's Done   ..       ..
9 - Dorsetshire George *   ..       ..
10 - Buttered Peas * Harry Cockerill
11 - Two Unnamed Jigs *   ..       ..
12 - Lady of the Lake *   ..       ..
13 - Sing Ovy, Sing Ivy Tom Newman
14 - The Tree in the Wood   ..       ..
15 - There Was a Lady Dressed in Green *     Vickie Whelan
16 - The Sailor's Alphabet Johnny Doughty
17 - Dick Turpin / Let Her Go Back   ..       ..
18 - My Boy Billy   ..       ..
19 - Johnny Armstrong * Willie Beattie
20 - The Dowie Dens o' Yarrow *   ..       ..
21 - Kinmont Willie *   ..       ..
22 - The Brundenlaws *   ..       ..
23 - Jolly JorgeBill Dore
Tracklist: CD Two
1 - Cut Away Mike George Spicer
2 - Blackberry Fold   ..       ..
3 - Henry, My Son   ..       ..
4 - Searching for Young Lambs   ..       ..
5 - The Lily-White Hand   ..       ..
6 - My Old Man *   ..       ..
7 - The Fox and the Grey Goose Freda Palmer
8 - Oxford City   ..       ..
9 - Up in the North   ..       ..
10 - William & Mary   ..       ..
11 - As I Was a-Walking   ..       ..
12 - Broken Down Gentleman Bill Whiting
13 - I'm Going to the Woods   ..       ..
14 - Knife in the Window *   ..       ..
15 - Huntsman's Chorus * Harry Cockerill
16 - Varsovienne *   ..       ..
17 - Barndance Medley *   ..       ..
18 - The Spotted Cow Frank Hinchliffe
19 - Sheffield Park   ..       ..
20 - It Hails, It Rains   ..       ..
21 - The Golden Glove   ..       ..
22 - Green Mossy Banks of the Lea   ..       ..
23 - Nobleman & Thresherman   ..       ..
24 - Nothing Else to Do   ..       ..
25 - Poor Roger is Dead *Walter Pardon
26 - The Aylesbury Girl Jack Goodban
27 - The Shannon Frigate   ..       ..
28 - The Farmer in Cheshire * Jimmy McBeath
29 - Down on the Magdalen Green *   ..       ..
30 - A Comic Song *   ..       ..

* Tracks with an asterisk are previously unreleased.

Folk Directory - the two alternatives?

Alan Bearman, concerned by the non-appearance of the EFDSS' Folk Directory last year - and of it's announced successor Root Source - has apparently begun compiling an alternative, to be known as Direct Roots.  This pubilcation has been recently trailed in the press, together with some of Alan's thoughts and opinions on the subject.

An EFDSS Press Release appears to be a little worried - here are some of the more important details:

I'm very pleased to announce that Alan's worries of Root Source disappearing are completely unfounded.  Root Source (the new name for the Folk Directory - a regular EFDSS publication for over 35 years) is healthy and thriving.  We have taken the decision to publish in an internet-based format for three reasons - firstly for cost, secondly for breadth of access, and thirdly so that it can be updated much more often than an annual paper-based directory.  Anyone with access to a public library or educational establishment can now access the internet, and find the most up-to-date folk information they need.

Our new domain name - - is active and working, and you will find the EFDSS Folk Festivals Listing there at the moment.  Within the next few weeks, we will be putting up our Root Source Database - compiled from information submitted to EFDSS.  This database will be fully searchable, and frequently updated.  It has far too many categories for me to list here, but if you drop by the site you can see for yourself what is planned.

They are also alarmed that misconceptions regarding the fate of their new CEO, Phil Wilson, are circulating:
For those who have not seen the EFDSS press release on recent staff changes - may I rectify Alan's misunderstanding in saying that Phil Wilson has left EFDSS?  Phil is still very much an active part of the organisation as the Strategic Director, and there is a new Chief Officer in the person of Tim Walker - whilst the job titles have changed, the commitment to excellence in the field of folk has not.

Gavin Greig - The Subject of Folksong : New Book

One of our regular readers, Stephen Miller, has just edited a new book bringing together pieces (major and minor) by Gavin Greig.  This 168 page book is published by Chiollagh Books, and gathers together his writings on Scottish folk song rather than reproducing songs - though it should be pointed out that a good number of song texts do appear in several of the 12 sections.


  1. On Two Buchan Songs (1899)
  2. A Lease of Life in Buchan (1899)
  3. Folksong in Buchan (1905)
  4. Northern Rustic or Bothy Songs (1906)
  5. Northern Rustic or Bothy Songs (2) (1907)
  6. The Traditional Minstrelsy of the North-East of Scotland (1908)
  7. Folk Song Research (1909)
  8. The Traditional Minstrelsy of Buchan (1910)
  9. Some Buchan Songs (1) The Buchan Turnpike (1914)
  10. Some Buchan Songs (2) Johnnie Sangster (1914)
  11. From Folk-Song of the North-East (1909 & 1914): Collecting Folk Songs from the North-East
  12. Obituary Notice by the Rev. James B. Duncan (1915)
Copies are available from Stephen at £14.95 (including p&p).  Anyone be interested in obtaining a copy should simply e-mail him at: or write to him at: 15 Crown Road North, Glasgow. G12 9HD

John Meredith dies:

John Meredith, Australia's greatest folklore collector died on 16 Feb at Albury, aged 81.  He collected a large part of the collected Australian folk song canon.  He was the first person in Australia to use a tape recorder to record traditional singers, musicians and reciters, in the early 1950s.  During that time he formed the original Bushwhackers - thereby establishing the modern Australian bush band genre, performing in the original Sydney production of Reedy River.  He played a key role in establishing the first Australian Folklore Society and the Sydney Bush Music Club.  In later years he wrote widely on many subjects, mainly relating to Australian folklore and history.

Simon Kravis

Cover picture

West Virginia University Press CDs from MT

I'm very pleased to announce a tie-up between the West Virginia University Press Sound Archive and MT which enables us to sell their recordings which have been hitherto unavailable in the UK.  Their superb Edden Hammons Collection Volume II, a double CD recently reviewed here, is now available at £16, as is Volume I, a single CD at £12.  The complete sleevenotes from the LP version of this latter release appeared as an article in Musical Traditions No 10, Spring 1992 and have also been available on the CD-ROM version of the magazine.  This fascinating article is now available online in these pages.

Louis Watson Chappell made these recordings in 1947 towards the end of a decade of collecting West Virginian traditional music - the resulting 647 aluminium discs he made are all in the WVU Sound Archive and will form the backbone of future CD releases from the label, together with other similar collections of recordings.

Cover picture Their latest offering, due to be released in May 2001, is a CD of Johnny Johnson, another superb fiddler whom Professor Chappell recorded in the same week as Hammons!  Edden had lived a backwoods life largely unaffected by modern musical styles, and since he was recorded as an old man, his music gives us a fascinating window back to 19th century fiddling practice.  Johnson, on the other hand, was only 30 when the discs were cut ... he was at the height of his powers and considered to be 'the hottest damn fiddler in the history of West Virginia'.

A brief sketch of the man and the recordings - together with several extensive sound clips from a pre-production version of the CD - is now available on this site.  The finished CD will be available from us about a month in advance of the release date.

MT is extremely pleased and excited at having been selected to make this wonderful music available in the UK.

Paul Davies dies:

Irish traditional music and its musicians are saddened by the death of Paul Davies, a great musician and for many years supplier of fine flutes and concertinas to some of the Ireland's best traditional musicians.  He passed away on Thursday 18/1/01 around 10pm, in the city of York, following a massive heart attack.

Paul was a master of several instruments especially the flute, concertina and the harmonica.  His playing of slow airs was very highly regarded.  This was all lost in 1996 when a stroke meant he could no longer play the flute, his favourite instrument.

As a repairer and restorer he had no equal - he was a true master of the art.  Many an old instrument was brought back to use through his artistry.

His remains will be cremated on Tuesday 30/1/01 in York Crematorium.  He was 60 years of age and is survived by his wife, Turbid and son, Magnus.  He had many friends in Irish music and was a great supporter of young musicians.

Irish traditional music and its players were lucky to have had such a good friend.

Alan O'Leary - 27.1.01

NSA goes electric!

Just in is a Press Release from the British Library telling me that the National Sound Archive has its entire catalogue online, using the Cadensa system with Sirsi's Unicorn software and Webcat browser.  Fearing the worst, I went to have a look - and was much impressed.  The home page downloaded in just two seconds ... it's about ten paragraphs of text and a small graphics button displayed in two places, and contains just a little Javascript.  The button takes you straight to the Catalogue Search in about half a second.  I entered George Townshend, hit the Name button, and got the entire contents of MTCD304 in about one second!  This is truly impressive.  No eye-candy - just information delivered efficiently.  If only all sites were like this!

Almost 2.5 million recorded items are listed and the catalogue is updated daily ... but before you get too excited I have to tell you that this is all data, not actuality - you can find out if they have what you want to hear, but you still have to traipse up the Smoke to actually hear it.  Still, you can at least book your listening session direct from the site while you're there.

Chris Clark, head of Public Services at the NSA says 'In the longer term we will add links from the catalogue to digitised copies of the recordings, making the collections even more accessible, where we have secured the right to do so.'  He does not define 'longer term'.  Still, it is a start, and a very well implemented one.  Try out and see what you think.  It has to be rather better than an automated voice-mail system!

Rod Stradling - 25.1.01

Cover picture

Latest MT CD:

"And the last shall be first" ... maybe not an entirely accurate quote, but aposite here, since what I had hoped would be our last 2000 CD release has now become our first in 2001.  Two late contributions of information for the accompanying booklet made it our largest to date - 36 A5 pages - but caused me to hold off publication for a few days, and then the New Year and a family outing intervened, so that it's now the second week of January which sees the release of Just Another Saturday Night: Sussex 1960.

This is another double CD publication, made up of practically all the recordings Brian Matthews made in five Sussex pubs in 1960 and the last couple of months of 1959.  Performers include Pop Maynard, Brick Harber, Jim Wilson, George Spicer, Harry Holman, Cyril Phillips, Scan Tester, Louie Saunders (Fuller), and a previously unheard Traveller singer Sarah Porter and other members of her family.  There are 51 tracks, all of which are previously unpublished (except for the Pop Maynard tracks which also appeared on his 'special' MT release of November in an un-cleaned form).  As usual, the complete booklet notes are available as a Article in the magazine.  I am very pleased to be able to publicly thank MT Friend Chris Hickson for his generous sponsorship of the production costs of these CDs.

The track list is as follows:

CD 1 
1 - Barbara AllenJim Wilson
2 - The Cunning CobblerGeorge Spicer
3 - Young Maria (Jealousy)Louie Saunders
4 - Lansdown Fair‘Pop’ Maynard
5 - What is the Life of a ManHarry Holman
6 - A Bricklayer Bold‘Brick’ Harber
7 - Do You Want Us to Lose the War?Bill Porter
8 - The Oak and the AshJack Arnoll
9 - The Lakes of ColdflynnScan Tester
10 - My Lot Took the Cake‘Pop’ Maynard
11 - The Wind Across the Wild MoorSarah Porter
12 - Rigs of London TownJim Wilson
13 - The Folkestone MurderGeorge Spicer
14 - The Pride of Kildare‘Pop’ Maynard
15 - The Nobleman and the ThresherHarry Holman
16 - The Rest of the Day is Your OwnCyril Phillips
17 - The Girl I Love So Trueunknown singer
18 - The Poor Old Weaver’s Daughter‘Pop’ Maynard
19 - Untitled PolkaBill Agate
20 - Died For LoveSarah Porter
21 - The Scarlet and the BlueGeorge Spicer
22 - Never Go a-RushingJim Wilson
23 - The Week Before Easter‘Pop’ Maynard
24 - The Croppy BoyTed and Bet Porter
25 - She’s Proud and She’s BeautifulCyril Phillips
26 - Down by the Seaside‘Pop’ Maynard
CD 2 
1 - The Hobnail Boots that Father Wore       Harry Holman
2 - The Cabin Boy and the Lady Gay‘Brick’ Harber
3 - Joe the Carrier LadCyril Phillips
4 - Down By the Deep River SideSarah Porter
5 - Patsy Flanagan‘Pop’ Maynard
6 - The Bonny Bunch of RosesBill Porter
7 - The Valley of SwitzerlandHarry Holman
8 - Rolling in the Dew‘Pop’ Maynard
9 - The Bitter WithySarah Porter
10 - Brennan on the Moor‘Brick’ Harber
11 - The Volunteer OrganistGeorge Spicer
12 - Brianey O’LynnJim Porter
13 - Oxford City‘Pop’ Maynard
14 - Buttercup JoeJim Wilson
15 - Once I Had a Dark Eyed LoverSarah Porter
16 - Spencer the RoverJim Porter
17 - Rumpsy Bumpsy‘Pop’ Maynard
18 - The Dying StockmanCyril Phillips
19 - The Game of All FoursSarah Porter
20 - Cremona (Lamorna)Harry Holman & ‘Pop’ Maynard
21 - The Young Sailor Cut DownHarry Holman
22 - What D’you Think of That?unknown singer
23 - The Outlandish KnightSarah Porter
24 - William Lennard‘Pop’ Maynard
25 - The Dark Eyed Sailor - an endingScan Tester & the company

Just Another Saturday Night costs £16 inc. p&p, and is now available from MT via our Records page.


Rod Stradling - e-mail:    Tel: 01453 759475
snail-mail: 1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK

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