logo News and Comment - No 37

50th Anniversary of West London Branch of Comhaltas

27-29th April 07 at Hammersmith Irish Centre, Blacks Road, London W6 9DT

You are cordially invited to join these celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the West London Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann (CCE). CCE was founded in Ireland in 1951to promote Irish traditional music, dance, culture and the Irish language. It is non-political and non-denominational. West London was the first branch formed in England.

More details at http://comhaltas.ie/events/detail/50th_anniversary_of_west_london_comhaltas/


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.

Membership £1 annually, payable on the door.  Admission for members £6, concessions £3.50, non-members £7, concessions £4.

For further information or to leave name & address for membership, ring 0208 340 0530 or contact petawebken@aol.com


New MT CDs - Meeting's a Pleasure: Folksongs of the Upper SouthCover picture

One of Musical Traditions Records' most popular releases has been the 4-CD set, Far in the Mountains; Mike Yates' collection of Appalachian songs, ballads and tunes.

We are now proud to announce what may be seen as its companion volume, a 4-CD set of songs, ballads and tunes from Kentucky and nearby areas, specially compiled by Mark Wilson, editor of the Rounder North American Traditions series.

Meeting's a Pleasure: Folksongs of the Upper South (MTCD341-4)

Volume 1: Come All You Men and Maidens
Volume 2: Cruel Willie
MTCD341-2 + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case, 2CDs, 62 tracks, 140 mins. £16.00

Volume 3: I'll Have a New Life
Cover picture Volume 4: All I've Got is Done Gone
MTCD343-4 + 44 page integral booklet in DVD case, 2CDs, 62 tracks, 141 mins. £16.00

MTCD341-4 Complete 4-CD Set. £30.00

A 4-CD set, available in 2 parts, of songs, ballads and tunes from Kentucky and nearby areas, from the collections of Mark Wilson, Gus Meade and John Harrod.

Featuring: J P and Annadeene Fraley, Buell Kazee, Sarah Gunning, Jim Garland, Blanche Coldiron, The Dixon Sisters, Asa Martin, Nimrod Workman, Roscoe Holcomb, Snake Chapman, Mary Lozier and many others.

Both double CDs come with huge booklets; introductory articles, notes on the performers and the songs and tunes, complete text transcriptions, and lots of photos.  They are available from the MT Records website - www.mtrecords.co.uk - along with the entire catalogue, for credit/debit card purchase, at £16 for each double CD, or £30 for the complete set.


Folkways LPs available as downloads

I mentioned in a review last year that all the old, long-deleted, Folkways vinyl LPs are available as custom CDs via their website.  What I didn’t know is that they’re also all available as downloads, at $9.99 per album (which at current exchange rates isn’t much more than a fiver), or track by track at a sliding scale depending on the length.  The music comes as standard MP3s, or as FLACs, according to preference, and you can also download the sleeves and booklets as PDFs.  All the current Smithsonian/Folkways CDs are also downloadable at the same rates.  The address for all this isn’t the normal Folkways one, but:


Ray Templeton - 17.1.07

Temple Bar Trad Festival

The second Temple Bar Trad Festival takes place in Dublin from January 25th to January 28th.  Among the artists who might interest your readers are Peter Horan, Gerry Harrington and Ollie Ross, Ronan Browne & Peadar O'Loughlin, Cathal McConnell, Mikie Smyth, Martin Quinn & Angelina Carberry. There are many other fine artists including a good crop of the up and coming young geniuses who are coming out of the woodwork all over Ireland.

The weekend culminates with a giant concert in the Olympia Theatre on Sunday 28th featuring Julie Fowlis, Lunasa and Dervish.  Everything is detailed on our website at www.templebartrad.com

The area will be alive with music as we have a huge pub trail with live music from the best of players during the day; there will also be masterclasses, and the area has oceans of accommodation.  This time of year there are also many very cheap flights into Dublin.  Have a look at the website and you'll find that you will want to be here!

Finbar Boyle - 17.1.07

Celebrating Cyril

Saturday 14th April at Cecil Sharp House, London

The evening concert will start at start at 7:30 instead of 8:00, because of the large bill.

MCs Roy Harris and Roy Clinging will introduce a line-up including Les Barker, Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, Jim Causley, Hanging Johnny, Louis Killen, Tim Laycock, John Steel and Lewis Johns, Tim van Eyken, Mike Waterson, Heather Wood, and Martyn Wyndham-Read and Iris Bishop.


Blaxhall Ship Faces Change of Use - Again

Your help is needed to Save The Ship Inn, in Blaxhall, Suffolk, England.  Many of you will, I hope, have heard of Blaxhall Ship, famous for its traditional Suffolk songs and step dancing.

Despite past reassurances to keep Blaxhall Ship open, the owners have submitted a new planning application (ref C06/2323) for change of use to a guesthouse, which would close Blaxhall Ship forever - and this is where we need your help.

If you object to the proposal, please write to:
Mr P J Ridley,
Head of Planning Services
Suffolk Coastal District Council, Melton Hill, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 1AU.  Fax: 01394 385100

Every letter counts and it is vital that as many people as possible write to object if we are to save The Ship Inn from closing.  The letters should reach Suffolk Coastal District Council by 24th January 2007.

Further details can be found on Suffolk Coastal District Council website: www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

Maggie Grenham - 8.1.07

Scotland's Music

There has begun another series of broadcasts on 'Scotland's Music' by John Purser.  The first, in 1992, was a tour de force sweep through Scottish music - early, instrumental, classical, traditional, modern - published as Scotland's Music (Mainstream, 1992).

It is being broadcast every Sunday during 2007 - fifty broadcasts in all, an amazing concession to get out of the BBC.  The book of the series is to appear this September.

Although only broadcast initially on Radio Scotland, the programmes are available for one week thereafter on the Web from the 'Listen Again' facility, so that it will be available nationally and internationally.  Here's the direct URL:


Ian Olson - 4.1.07

Kennedy Archive moves to Hallsway Manor

Following the death in July of Peter Kennedy, the folklorist and collector, the Library that Peter collected over many years has now been transferred to the care of Halsway Manor Society.

The collection includes:

Halsway Manor Society, with the support of the Kennedy Family, will be discussing the specialist conservation requirements of the reel to reel collections with appropriate national organisations and transferring these to a national collection with suitable conservation facilities.

More information on the website www.halswaymanor.org.uk   Contact for information about the Kennedy Archive: Ray Goodswen (Project manager and a Halsway Trustee) on 01278 424332.


Cellar Upstairs Club dates:

Saturdays at 8.15pm at the Exmouth Arms, Starcross Street, London NW1 2HR (just off Drummond Street, near Euston and Euston Square stations; parking is easy).

Some dates of interest:

Information: 020 7281 7700 (Pub: 020 7387 5440) http://hometown.aol.co.uk/cellarupstairs


Quiz end date

Mike Yates has written to say that he's getting quite a few replies to his Quiz questions, though only two people are getting close to all the answers.  But the nice thing is that everyone has, more or less, said that they have enjoyed the challenge which they have found quite stretching.  He suggests that, if there is no completely correct answer by 1st January, he will send the prize to whoever gets closest.


Royal Oak Club dates:

Royal Oak, Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex - Thursdays.  Some dates of interest: Future Guests include:
Too Many Strings, Leon Rosselson, The Omega Three, Gordon Tyrrall, Tom Spiers, Hank Wangford & Reg Meuross, Martin Carthy, Bruce Molsky, Michael Marra, Tim Laycock, Dick Gaughan, Chris Foster, Annie Dearman, Vic Gammon & Steve Harrison, Jerry O'Reilly & Jim McFarland.

Further info at: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic


The Fourth Bradfield Traditional Music Weekend

This excellent weekend runs again on 10th, 11th & 12th August 2007 at High Bradfield, near Sheffield.

Those invited include:

Weekend tickets: £20 per person, including camping. Contact: Mark Davies: 0114 2851479  Mobile:07850475067  E-mail:edeophone@aol.com


Stanley Robertson

Stanley Robertson is now convalescing at home from his recent illness and has been greatly helped by the hundreds of messages of support and concern he has received, for which he is most grateful.

Ian Olson - 1.12.06

Dr Ian Olson honoured by the University of Aberdeen

Leading figures from the fields of medicine, business, and further education, will be honoured at the University of Aberdeen’s annual winter graduation ceremonies this week.  On Friday, November 24, at 11.00am, Dr Ian Olson, Retired Clinician and Medical Educator, will receive a Degree of Doctor Honoris Causa.  Yes, our own MT contributor and writer of the booklet to the new Lizzie Higgins double CD, gets to be a double-Doctor!

The University of Aberdeen's website citation reads:

Dr Olson was born in Aberdeen in 1939 and was educated at Hillhead High School, Glasgow, Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen, and the University of Aberdeen.  Apart from a distinguished career in medicine and medical education, he has gained a reputation as an ethnologist and champion of Scottish folk culture.  In 1969, he was appointed to the Medical Foundation Team of the University of Nottingham that established the first new UK Medical School in the 20th century.  In 1974, he was invited, along with two Kuwaiti doctors, to join the University of Kuwait to establish a medical school and teaching hospital.  On returning to Scotland and to clinical medicine, he retrained in order to look after mentally and physically handicapped children and young people.  In 1979, he was appointed Clinical Lecturer in Mental Health at the University of Aberdeen, specialising in mental and physical handicap, with responsibility for the day-to-day running of a 120-bedded hospital and day-school of 40 patients.

Dr Olson’s long-standing interest in Scottish ethnology has run parallel to his medical career.  In 1994, he proposed that the University establish a Chair of Scottish Ethnology.  The bulk of his research has arisen from an interest in Scottish traditional culture, especially music and song, and particularly the Greig-Duncan Folk Song Collection, currently being published by the Universities of Aberdeen and Edinburgh.


Cover picture

New MT Lizzie Higgins double CD

MT Records is very pleased to announce its latest release: Lizzie Higgins - In Memory of ... (MTCD337-8) + 36 page integral booklet in DVD case.

A memorial album of this great Aberdeenshire singer and daughter of Jeannie Robertson, containing 34 recordings of the best of her songs not currently available on CD, many of which have never been published before.

The 36-page booklet contains a brief biography and an appraisal of Lizzie's singing style by Dr Ian Olson, full song notes and transcriptions - and lots of photos.

As usual, the full booklet text is available as an article in these pages, and the double CD can be purchased, price £16.00 inc UK p&p, from the MT Records website at: www.mtrecords.co.uk


Stanley Robertson

Stanley Robertson has been taken into hospital.  He has suffered a mild heart attack and a suspected stroke.  He is not in any immediate danger, but is not well.  I've just been told by Ian Olson that Stanley is now feeling much better and sitting up in bed.  Hopefully the start of a good recovery.

He's in ward 21 of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Aberdeen - but if anyone wishes to send a card or try to contact the hospital, he will be registered under the name of William Stanley Robertson.

Tom Spiers - 10.11.06

Worlds of Trad Internet radio

Fred McCormick has now uploaded the next edition of his series of monthly traditional music programmes, to his Worlds of Trad Internet Radio Station.  For more details, see the previous announcement on this page; Worlds of Trad Internet radio, below.

To see the playlist, go to: www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=95222&messages=4

The next programme will be uploaded on Wednesday 01.11.06


Worlds of Trad Internet radio

Worlds of Trad is a new Internet radio station, of particular interest to readers of Musical Traditions.  The station is presented by Fred McCormick and features traditional folk, ethnic, world, roots, blues, old time country and early jazz.  In short it covers traditional music from absolutely everywhere.  Although a completely separate venture from Musical Traditions, it will broadly follow MT policy.

It is hosted by Live 365 Internet Radio at: www.live365.com/index.live

The programme is three hours long and it is on a continuous loop.  Listening is free, although there are occasional adverts - subscribers to Live365 can avoid these.

Fred hopes shortly to develop a website to accompany the station.  In the meantime, he has posted intructions on how to visit the site at: www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=94474&messages=22  Please read the instructions carefully.

Each programme will be online for a month, with a new one being uploaded every first Wednesday.  Fred will be welcoming requests as long he has the records and as long as they fit in with the station ethos.  Please make sure you send requests and queries to Fredlive365@aol.com and not to Musical Traditions.

September 2006 playlist:


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   Tel: 020 7281 7700


The Field Recorders' Collective 2006 CDs

The Field Recorders' Collective, originally formed with five American Old Time music collectors, is now a growing group of collectors who have generously agreed to share their field recordings with the old time community. Their earlier sets of CDs were recommended in News No 31 and 34 by Mike Yates, who has just informed me that the 10 volumes of the 2006 release is now available ... and that all are excellent.

The FRC's new website allows purchase by credit card or PayPal - thus removing the only obstacle to potential UK buyers.  And the CDs are only $15 each, or $125 for each year's 10 volume production.


The Irish Traditional Music Archive has moved

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is now at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.  We are providing immediate but basic access to our collections and information from 14 August 2006, prior to our official opening, rather than remaining closed while the Office of Public Works continues with its outstanding refurbishment of our new premises.

Our normal provision of open access to our collections has had to be suspended temporarily because of our physical circumstances, but staff will help you find what you are looking for and will bring recordings and books etc. to your table.  We know that users of the Archive with an immediate need for its research materials will appreciate that limited access is much better than none.  Progress on the building is being made week on week, and users of the Archive will see a remarkable improvement in access and facilities over the coming months.

The story so far: In the course of a week in mid-July 2006 the Irish Traditional Music Archive moved from its long-time home in 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, to new premises at 73 Merrion Square.  Over 650 crates of archive material - the largest collection of the materials of Irish traditional music in existence, and of information about it - and a mass of equipment and furniture, made the ten-door journey to the 200-year-old listed heritage building in the centre of Georgian Dublin which will now be its permanent home.

The Archive was allocated the building in recognition of the growth of its collections and services, and its potential for further development.  The Office of Public Works, which is responsible for Government and historic buildings in the Republic of Ireland, is currently finishing high-grade conservation and restoration works on the building.

It will take staff some months to fully re-engineer the Archive from its former two floors to the five storeys and mews of its new premises, and open officially there with a new computer network, an audio-visual recording studio, various specialist rooms, wheelchair access, and other improvements.  But the Archive reopened to the public in record time on 14 August, deciding to immediately provide a basic life-line service that would make its collections and information available again while development work goes ahead.

For updates view our website at: www.itma.ie or ring the Archive at +353-1-6619699


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