Bob Copper

Prostrate with Dismal

Ghosts From The Basement GFTB 7048

1. Diving Duck;  2. Brownsville No.2;  3. Rags And Old Iron;  4. Soul Of A Man;  5. Going Down To Brownsville.

This may be the most unexpected but delightful folk or blues record that you'll hear all year - a 5 track CD EP and download from   With guests Ben Mandelson, Ian Anderson and The Copper Family

As you'll know, the late Bob Copper (1915 - 2004) was one of England's most respected traditional singers.  His grandfather and uncle had songs collected from them in the late 19th century that helped inspire the formation of the Folk Song Society.  In the 1950s, the Copper Family were 'rediscovered' and their song repertoire, handed down the generations, provided a cornerstone for the folk revival, sung and recorded by many other singers.

But one of his many private passions was the blues - not an earnest young white bloke's desire to ape the vocal mannerisms and guitar pyrotechnics of Mississippi greats, but a genuine love for the soul of a music that spoke to him in the same way that any farm worker's lament from the South Downs of England might.  So when, in his eighties, he decided that he'd like to turn his hand to music he'd enjoyed since discovering a Sleepy John Estes 78 way back in the 1930s, it came out as naturally as an English May morning.  And reading Ian Anderson's notes is a delightful experience - Bob's lifelong love of the blues is evident in every vivid quote from his conversations with Ian on the subject.

Luckily, five tracks got recorded - three with his friends Ian Anderson and Ben Mandelson, and two accompanied by his own concertina.  Here they are all finally gathered together on one remarkable CD EP, just in time for the 2015 celebrations of his centenary.

And, despite any misgivings you may have harboured up to this point, the record is absolutely delightful!

Rod Stradling - 12.6.14

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