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Bulletin - May/ June 2010
Folk Music
Alistair Anderson ->
Various Artists + Book

 

 

NEW BOOK


CHICAGO FOLK Images Of The Sixties Music Scene The Photographs Of Raeburn Flerlage by Ronald D. Cohen & Bob Riesman ● BOOK $24.95
190 pages, paperback, highly recommended, counts as eight CDs for shipping
Complementing the recently republished collection of Chicago blues photos ("Chicago Blues As Seen From The Inside" - $22.95) from Raeburn Flerlage this presents another 200 photos from this outstanding photographer who passed away in 2002. Ray Flerlage had been documenting the Chicago music scene since the late 50s and his wonderful photos have graced many record albums and appeared in numerous books and magazines. This volume spreads the net wider than the first volume and in addition to more great blues photos (Sunnyland Slim, Arvella Gray, Big Joe Williams, Billy Boy Arnold, Furrry Lewis, Robert Pete Williams, Johnny Shines, Brother John Sellers, etc.), there are also photos of old time country musicians (Clark Kessinger, The New Lost City Ramblers, Mother Maybelle Carter, Buell Kazee, Horton Barker, etc), folk musicians (Frank Warner, Bob Dylan, The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, Stu Ramsey, The Beers Family, etc.), bluegrass musicians (Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys, The Osborne Brothers, Jim & Jesse, etc) as well as some of the people behind the secenes who helped make the Chicago music scene such a vital one (Archie Green, Bob Koester, "Izzy" Young, Irwin Silber, etc). There also some wonderful photos of artists performing together (some of them unexpected) including Joan Baez & Horton Barker, Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson, Hobart Smith & Bessie Jones, Mike Seeger and Dock Boggs, Mike Seeger & Sam McGhee, Carl Martin with John Lee Granderson & Big John Wrencher and many more. The photos include posed publicity shots, live on stage shots and candid photos informal backstage gatherings. Many of the photos have never been published before and the book comes with a 14 page introduction by Cohen. (FS)

 

NEW COMPACT DISCS

 
ALISTAIR ANDERSON Topic TSCD 427 Steel Skies ● CD $14.98
9 tracks, highly recommended
First CD reissue of acclaimed album from 1982 by superb Northumberland concertina and smallpipes player. This album consists of a suite of original compositions by Anderson drawing on traditional elements but adding harmonic elements that are not frequently used in traditional pieces. Alistair is joined by a four other masters of traditional music on fiddle, flute, whistle, mandlin, fiddle and other instruments. The tunes are gorgeous, the playing is exceptional and the interplay between the musicians is stunning - a joy from beginning to end. (FS)

 
THE DUBLINERS EMI Gold 584 489-2 The Best Of The Original Dubliners ● CD $22.98
Three CD set, 51 tracks, highly recommended
Fine collection recorded between 1967 and 1972 by probably the most popular Irish group of the 1960s and 1970s who were responsible for introducing Irish traditional music to a wider audience. Featuring the strident but expressive lead vocals of Ronnie Drew and Luke Kelly with sterling accompaniments from Barney Mckenna / banjo & mandolin, Ciaran Bourke/ guitar & tin whistle and John Sheahan/ fiddle and tin whistle their repertoire was mostly traditional though it also include more recent and often topical songs from Ewan MacColl, Dominic Behan, Phil Coulter and others. This set includes three songs that hit the pop charts in the U.K. - Seven Drunken Nights/ Black Velvet Band and Maids When You're Young Never Wed An Old Man as well as other Dubliners favorites like Dirty Old Town/ Whiskey In The Jar/ I'm A Rover/ The Old Triangle and others. I love their medley of two of my personal favorites - the tune Battle Of The Somme and the song Freedom Come All Ye. Luke Kelly died in 1980 and Ronnie Drew in 2008 but The Dubliners continue to tour and still include original members Barney McKenna and John Shehan. (FS)

 
JACK ELLIOT Bear Family BCD 16630 At Lansdowne Studios ● CD $21.98
A fine collection of early Jack Elliot when he was a regular vistor to England and the recordings made here in London between 1958 and 1960 resulted in two LPs and an E.P. of Woody Guthrie childrens songs. All these are appearing on CD for the first time and seven tracks are previously unissued including five duets with his frequent collaborator Derroll Adams. The first LP called "Ramblin' Jack Elliot In London" are Jack alone with his guitar on a selection of mostly traditional cowboy songs, "Rambling Jack Sings Woody Guthrie & Jimmie Rodgers" features him with bassist Jack Fallon and at times Alexis Korner on mandolin, Danny Levan on fiddle plus clarinet and trumpet. The childrens songs find him with Korner and Fallon. All good stuff with superb sound and 42 page booklet with extensive notes.

 
JULIE FOWLIS Spit & Polish 038 Uam (From Me) ● CD $16.98
13 tracks, 50 mins, highly recommended
Gorgeous collection of traditional Scottish songs sung in Scots Gaelic by this outstanding young singer who won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of The Year award in 2008. Julie's beautiful vocals are accompanied by a variety of musicians and harmony vocals in sensitive arrangements that make sure that the focus is on Julie's vocals. On the version the old favorite Wind And Rain whe is joined by fellow Scots vocalist Eddi Reader who sings the English lyrics while Julie sings the Gaelic ones. This one's a real treasure. (FS)

 
LOUIS KILLEN Topic TSCD 126 Ballads And Broadsides ● CD $14.98
9 tracks, highly recommended
Louis Killen is one of the major figures of the early days of the British folk revival in the early 1960s. A native of Northumberland, he specializes in songs of the North Of England though this first album features songs from all over Britain. Louis emigrated to the USA in 1967 and since then has become something of a cultural ambassador promoting traditional British music and is still performing. This CD is a reissue of Louis's first solo album issued by Topic in 1965 - mostly acapella with the occasional track featuring Louis's discreet concertina playing. He is a powerful and expressive singer with a distinctive voice and this one features superb performances of nine traditional English songs - Young Edwin In The Lowlands/ The Flying Cloud/ One May Morning/ The Bramble Briar/ The Banks Of Sweet Primeroses

 
MALICORNE Griffe 191272 Almanach ● CD $19.98
13 tracks, 49 mins, essential
Available again. The French band Malicorne was possibly the best traditionally oriented folk-rock band ever and this 1976 recording was their best. It consists of a series of 12 traditional songs, one for each month of the year, most of them with a magical theme. The singing led by Gabriel Yacoub and his powerful distinctive baritone is complemented by his wife Marie's fragile soprano and when the rest of the group join in on the vocal harmonies the effect is spine chilling. The instrumental work is spellbinding using acoustic and electric instruments and weaving them together in a complex interplay of sounds to create powerful and tremendously beautiful music. All this comes over with crystal clarity on this CD. On Les Tristes Noces when the electric bass comes in to join Gabriel and Marie's unaccompanied vocals the sound reverberated through my spine! This album is one of the greatest folk albums of the 70s and quite deservedly won "Grand Prix" from the Academie Du Disque Francais. The beautiful cover illustration by Laurent Lesserre prepares you for the treasures within and the 12 page booklet has notes on all the songs by Gabriel (in French) and all the lyrics. An all time classic! (FS)

 
VARIOUS ARTISTS Talking Elephant 76 The Magic Of Morris ● CD $24.98
Two CD set presenting a wide ranging collection of music for Morris dancing ranging solo concertina playing of the great William Kimber recorded in the 1950s to the more recent synthesizer led rock stylings of Black Pig Border Morris and all points in between. Also includes Father Kenneth Loveless, The Morris On Band, Silurian Border Morris Men, The Jockey Morris Men, Grandson Of Morris On, Crucible, Albion Morris Men, Chris Leslie and others. Includes booklet with notes on all the artists.

 

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