logo News and Comment - No 35

Cellar Upstairs Club dates

Saturdays at 8.15pm at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street, London NW1 1HR (on the corner of Cobourg Street, near Euston and Euston Square stations).

Contact: Sheila Miller: sheilamiller55@yahoo.co.uk   Website: http://hometown.aol.co.uk/cellarupstairs


Temple Bar Trad festival

There has been a spectacular underexposure of traditional music in Dublin in the past few years.  The music scene is still there, the audience is still there, but apart from the NPU,who have limited space, nobody has been organising events.  The traders in the Temple Bar area have decided to offer their assistance in providing platforms for the music, and have as a result, decided to run a festival from January 26 - January 29.  There has been some help also from Diageo, who own Guinness, and from our Arts Council.  The website is now active and can be accessed at: www.templebartrad.com

Come along and enjoy yourself for a few days and put an end to winter.

Finbar Boyle - 20.12.05

Islington Folk Club dates

The Horseshoe, 24 Clerkenwell Close, London EC1R 0AG Price increase: from January entrance will be £7.00 (£5.00 for members).  Full details are on our website: www.islingtonfolkclub.co.uk


Pat Elliott

I, and presumably many other people, have been contacted by Laura Elliott, daughter of Pat Elliott, to tell us that Pat is terminally ill with cancer.  Pat is the daughter-in-law of the legendary Jack Elliott of Birtley.  She will be well known to a lot of readers of this magazine from her appearances, with the rest of the Elliotts, at the National Folk Festival, the English Country Music Weekend, and many other venues.

The cancer seems to be in a very advanced state, but despite the grim news, Pat is in good spirits, is very much looking forward to Christmas, and Laura says she still has her sense of humour.  A fighter to the end!

Anyone who wants to send a card or message of sympathy can do so c/o Miss Laura Elliott, 8 Alwin, Rickleton, Washington, Tyne & Wear, NE38 9EL

Fred McCormick - 13.12.05

Mick Quinn

Those readers lucky enough to know Mick Quinn, the lovely 80-year-old who runs the Folkhill/Mullaghbawn singing, will be sad to hear that his wife, Tessie, died on Sunday.

No details at present, but condolences should be addressed to Mick Quinn, Mullaghbawn, Co Armagh, N Ireland.

Niamh Parsons - 13.12.05

Reading the Line

A booklet has just been published which sheds new light on the English-language equivalent of Gaelic psalm-singing in Scotland.

Reading the Line: an English-language Lining-out tradition in Presbyterian Scotland looks at the practice of 'giving out the line'.  Gaelic psalmody has preserved this singing style, but it was once standard practice in the Scottish Lowlands and actually came into Scotland due to English influence.

The book traces the rise and decline of 'reading the line' in English throughout Scotland as well as its re-emergence in that language in one denomination, the Free Presbyterian Church, in the twentieth-century.  The booklet also includes a brief survey of the North American versions of the lining-out tradition and the distribution of Gaelic services in the Free Church of Scotland and other groups in the islands and throughout Scotland in the present day.  Painstaking research in libraries and in discussion with older people in the Highland mainland is reflected in the detailed and carefully-referenced chapters.

The author, Stornoway-based Norman Campbell, states in the opening page that he wishes to 'add to the discussion' initiated by the claims of Prof Willie Ruff of Yale University that US Gospel music was influenced by the Gaelic-language lining-out worship tradition, brought to North Carolina by Highland settlers.  The booklet is aimed at anyone interested in church and social history, bilingualism and cultural change, as well as areas such as the Islands, Ross-shire, Caithness and Sutherland.

All profits from the sale of the 32-page booklet, which costs £4.99, will go to the Bethesda Hospice and Care Home in Stornoway.  The booklet is available for £5:75 (inc post and package) from Norman Campbell, 2 Garden Rd, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, HS1 2QJ.


Musical Traditions Club dates

King & Queen, Foley Street, London W1 - Junction of Foley Street/Cleveland Street.  Nearest tube Goodge Street.
Monthly, Fridays, 8:00 p.m.

£5.50 including membership.  £5 members.  £3.50 concessions.

Information: Peta Webb - 020 8340 0530   or   petawebken@aol.com
(Ring or e-mail 48 hours in advance to leave name & address for membership.)


Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend

The Third Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend
11th,12th & 13th August 2006
Edgemount Farm, Lumb Lane, High Bradfield, Sheffield

Located in Pennine Hills in the Peak District National Park, featuring some of the best traditional singers and musicians.

Those who have been invited include:

Singers: Jeff Wesley, John Greaves, John Waltham, Roger Hinchcliffe, Stanley Marsden, Joe Atkins, George White, Will Noble & John Cocking, Hannah Hutton, Dave Mccracken and Members of the Pennine Concert Party, Jerry O'Reilly, Jim Mcfarland, Maire Ní Chronih (Goilin Singers Club, Dublin), Finbarr Wall, Chris Bartram, Di Barker (Cumberland), Bob Auty (Yorkshire), Vic & Viv Legg & Roy Harris.
Singers/Musicians: John Adams & Pete Coe, Harry Scurfield, Rod & Danny Stradling, Alan Day, Dan Quinn, Mike Hebbert, Dearman, Gammon & Harrison, Ian Russell, Jimmy Little & Piper's Share, Chris Ormston, Andrew & Margaret Watchorn (all Northumberland), Vic & Tina Smith (Sussex), Dave Hunt, Shay Fogarty (Concertina, Dublin), Jurgen Suttner & Geoffrey Crabb(Concertina Makers).
Sessions in local pubs, talks on traditional music, ceilidh in village hall, real ale bar & on site catering.  Weekend tickets £10 per person to include camping.

Contact: Mark Davies 0114 2851479   Mobile:07850475067   Email:edeophone@aol.com


Blanche Coldiron dies

Blanche Coldiron, the talented banjo player and singer from Heathen Ridge (near Crittenden), Kentucky, died on November 20 at age 83.  While a teenager, she had toured briefly with Asa Martin's Kentucky Hillbillies, but soon retired to raise a family.  In later years, she took up the banjo again and appeared at many festivals throughout central Kentucky and recorded for Rounder Records.  Her jolly good humor and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.

Mark Wilson - 29.11.05

Royal Oak Club dates:

Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays.  Some dates of interest: Further info at: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic


Ray Driscoll dies

Ray Driscoll passed away in Shropshire on 23rd November.  He was a traditional singer with a repertoire drawn from Irish and English sources.  He was 'discovered' by Mike Yates in about 1992, who recorded some of his songs, including the strange Wild, Wild Berry, a unique song related to the Lord Randal story.  He attended very few folk functions apart from some singing weekends in Dorset and Sussex, and the Padstow celebrations every May Day where he would sing in the London Inn.  I counted Ray as a good friend and he allowed me to record his entire repertoire, copies of which recordings are now in the National Sound Archive.

He had been ill for some time and died peacefully in his sleep.  He leaves a widow, Sheila, and will be sorely missed by those who knew him.

Gwilym Davies - 28.11.05

Scottish 78s help needed

I have just been awarded a research grant by the National Library of Scotland to help enable me to bring my researches for a Scottish Vernacular Discography, 1888-1960 to a conclusion towards the end of 2007.

The title of the work is largely self-explanatory, but I have tended to be inclusive rather than exclusive.  Therefore, some of the items will probably be seen as very peripheral to the main body of the work.  However, it will include artists such as Scott Skinner, The Wyper Brothers and other melodeon players, Willie Kemp, George Morris, William Cameron, Will Powrie, Bob Smith and scores more, as well as bagpipes and versions of popular Scots ballads by all types of singers.

Naturally, I am looking for details of obscure 78-rpm records as well as cylinders - I'm not interested in field recordings, only commercial discs.  If you want more information, please let me know.  I need all the help I can get - thank heavens for the help I've had from Keith Chandler.

Bill Dean-Myatt - 28.11.05

RTÉ's Mo Cheol Thu to end

Just a quick note to let you know that the Sunday morning RTÉ Radio One programme Mo Cheol Thu, a mixture of mainly Irish traditional music and poetry, which has been hosted by Ciaran MacMathuna for almost thirty years, is coming to an end with Ciaran's retirement from RTÉ.  The final programme will be next week Sunday the 27th November 8:10 to 8:55 am.

John Kaneen - 20.11.05

Dwight Diller in car crash

On Saturday, October 29, Dwight was driving back to Brown's Creek retreat from Marlinton, fell asleep at the wheel 100 yards from the house, went off a bank and hit a tree.  It took the emergency crew 50 minutes to get him pulled out of the car.

Dwight suffered a dislocated hip, which has been put back into place but now must be kept there to mend so Dwight is looking at rehabilitation and bed rest for the next 3 months.  He's currently in the Veterans Medical Center, Ward 2-3 Room 351, 1970 Roanoke Blvd, Salem, VA 24153.  Phone in his room: 001-540-982-2463 ext. 3174.  Or you can e-mail him, via elaine@morningstarfolkarts.com   He's likely to be in Salem for the next 2 weeks.


Doc Rowe's Blood, Booze and Bedlam talk

bbb_talk.jpg - 61.16 K


Mick Brooks dies

Some sad but not entirely unexpected news is that Mick Brooks - fiddler, caller and all-round nice man - died on Thursday 10th Novenber, after being taken into hospital earlier in the week

His funeral will be held in St Mary's Church, Aylesbury in the afternoon of Monday 21st (this Monday).  The time still has to be confirmed but hopefully it'll be 3:30pm.  Afterwards people will be invited to amble / stroll / process / wander / stagger to the Kings Head ( http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-kingshead/) for a music session in celebration of his life and the things he enjoyed.  Anyone who can't make the funeral itself is welcome to turn up at the pub and join in.


Billy Mills Memorial Singing Session

A traditional singing session will take place at The Royal Hotel, Dungworth, Sheffield on Sunday 19th February in memory of this well known traditional singer who died recently (see below).  Many people from outside the area have indicated they would wish to attend and therefore, if there is sufficient interest, we will hold a music session in the Clubroom at The Old Horns, High Bradfield, Sheffield on the previous night.  Billy sang at the carolling sessions at The Royal Hotel for over thirty years and was well known for his rendtions of Swaledale and The Chritsmas Tree.  He also performed at various folk festival including Sidmouth.

I have an accommodation list for anyone who would like to attend from out of the area.

Mark Davies - 26.10.05

Oidhreacht an Chláir study weekends

Oidhreacht an Chláir - Clare College for Traditional Studies - is an organisation launched earlier this year in Miltown Malbay.  It aims to provide a full academic facility for the study of traditional culture, particularly the music, song and dance of Co Clare.  The three study weekends are: Course learders are: Barry Taylor (Course Director), Tom Munnelly, Terry Moylan, Desi Wilkinson.

The courses will be held in Miltown Malbay and cost €120 per weekend, or €300 for all three.

Further details can be found at: www.oac.ie


Yorkshire carolling and singing events

After successfully restarting the regular carol singing sessions last year, here are the dates for this years events at The Sportsman, Lodge Moor.  All commence at 8:30pm. The Royal Oak, Upperthong, Holmfirth, hosts traditional singing evenings (with free supper), featuring all of the leading traditional singers in the area.   All commence at 8:30pm.

Mark Davies - 11.10.05

Call for Papers - Sidmouth 2006

Following the success of the Talks, Lectures and Discussions programme at the Arts Centre at this year's Sidmouth FolkWeek, it is envisaged that the same will be repeated during the week 4th-11th August 2006.  This is a Call for Papers.

Topics covered in 2005 included Gipsy folksong, a West Country hobby horse community-based custom, new horizons in West Gallery music, and a discussion on the 'new cool' in Morris dancing!

Speakers will be expected to supply their own equipment, although the Arts Centre does offer the use of a projector screen.  Please submit ideas to George Frampton at george.frampton@thomson.com for a response early next year.

George Frampton - 4.10.05

In Search of Topic & Leader Records

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is currently digitising its card catalogue of Topic holdings (mostly donated by Topic) and does indeed own the vast majority of Topic's catalogue.  But there are some gaps, particularly from the early period.  If anybody out there has any of the items listed below and would care to donate them for inclusion in the audio collection, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

7", 10" and 12" records at various speeds:

CDs: For further details of what these items actually comprise, go to the Topic Discography.

We are also trying to hunt down some missing Leader records.  Again, please let me know.

Malcolm Taylor - 23.9.05
VWML Librarian

Dave Williams Memorial Weekend

There will be a weekend of music in memory of the great pipes and flute maker and musicians Dave Williams on 29th and 30th October based around the Herschel Arms in Slough.

After seeing Dave's obituary on your site, it seems that this event may be of interest to your readers.  I was wondering if you could put a note in your news section and a link to the website: www.davewilliamsweekend.com   It would be a great help as I want to ensure that as many of Dave's friends hear about this as possible.

Sam Proctor - 21.9.05

Billy Mills dies

I have just been informed by his son-in-law Roger Hinchliffe that Billy Mills died last Thurday at his home.  He was the main soloist at the carol sessions at the Royal, Dungworth, and appears on the Village Carols Dungworth CD.  He was also widely known as a singer at hunt suppers etc.

Although he suffered poor health recently he was in fine form when he sang at the Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend and he has been singing regularly with us at The Sportsman, Lodge Moor.  His funeral is at Fulwood Church, Friday 23rd September at 1:30pm.

Mark Davies - 19.9.05

Cover pictureNew MT Songs from the Golden Fleece CD

Musical Traditions Records' third CD release of 2005: Songs from the Golden Fleece: A song tradition today (MTCD335-6), is now available.

In 2001, Musical Traditions Records published what I described as 'our first CD from people who I don't wish to call revivalists - not only has it become a pejorative term, it's also inaccurate - successors might be better'.  That was the double CD from Kevin and Ellen Mitchell.  Another double from Oak followed it in 2003, and now we have a third - from a modern-day song tradition, rather than a performing entity.

I hope that this present double CD publication will prove to be as acceptable to the public and critics as the previous two have been and, most particularly, that it may encourage others to attempt to create the sort of 'Fellowship of Song' which we've all so enjoyed in Stroud's Golden Fleece.

The CDs contain a selection of songs, ballads and a story from one of today's singing pubs - featuring Bob Bray, Audrey Smith, Roger Grimes, Ken Langsbury, Chris Molan, Harry Langston, Martin Graebe, Shan Cowan, Danny Stradling, Rod Stradling, and Jeff Gillet.  All tracks are newly recorded in digital stereo.

It's available from the MT Records website, priced £16.00.


Royal Oak Club dates:

Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays Further info at: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic


Stanley Robertson's Ballad Weekend

21st-23rd October 2005. Angus House in Edzell

Searchin' for the Maisrie - Stanley Robertson's Ballad Weekend where he will unfold ways to "tak the ballad oot bonnie".

Yet another opportunity for singers to benefit from Stanley's ballad-knowledge and skills.  These weekends are always popular, so put the date in your diary now!  The cost is £80 all inclusive!!

Application forms from: Comers farm, Midmar, AB51 7PT; tel: 01330 833334; e_mail: gas_story@onetel.com


Cellar Upstairs Club dates

Saturdays at 8.15pm at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street, London NW1 1HR (on the corner of Cobourg Street, near Euston and Euston Square stations).

Contact: Sheila Miller: sheilamiller55@yahoo.co.uk   Website: http://hometown.aol.co.uk/cellarupstairs


Musical Traditions Club dates

King & Queen, Foley Street, London W1 - Junction of Foley Street/Cleveland Street.  Nearest tube Goodge Street.
Monthly, Fridays, 8:00 p.m.

£5.50 including membership.  £5 members.  £3.50 concessions.

Information: Peta Webb - 020 8340 0530   or   petawebken@aol.com
(Ring or e-mail 48 hours in advance to leave name & address for membership.)


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