Saturday, January 2, 2016

Forest Hill Folk "A Treasury of Authentic Australian Bush Ballads" LP 1974.

Ian from Tasmania provided this album and it is well past time that I put it up. Good work Ian!

I enjoyed working on this album - not only because it was very "clean:" - but also I found this group and its music quite infectious.

The blurb on the rear of the slip is, for once, quite a good description of this group and its music so I quote it:

A dedicated bunch of bush balladeers, the Forest Hills Folk aim to present folk music in the way it all began. Unsophisticated songs, sung in an unsophisticated manner, accompanied by unsophisticated instruments with a strong emphasis on Australiana. Mostly school teachers, living in Forest Hills area, they just love to get together and perform their repertoire in their own honest lively way, and after all, isn't that what folk music is really all about?

The members are advised as:
Denise - Lead vocals, Guitar, Recorder
Tim - Lead vocals, Conga Drum, Lagerphone
Pat - Violin, Tinwhistle, Accordion, Harmonica, Clarinet
Bill - Bush Bass
Keith - Guitar (possibly not included in cover photograph??)
Dixie - Guitar, Flute, Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion and Manager.

No family names are given so any contributions further identifying them will be very welcome.

For the main part, tracks are Australian bush traditionals the exceptions being "Ned Kelly" (an early "hillbilly" song, "Flies", "Snowy River Roll" and the "Woolloomooloo Blues" (the latter usually known as "The Woolloomooloo Lair". In their song "Eumeralla Shore" usually spelt "Eumerella", they are actually singing the name of the Victorian town of that name. Otherwise Australia is littered with the name "Eumerella" especially as being fully or partlty the name of various localities, sheep and cattle stations, streets and roads.

You rarely get much variation in the performance of "Black Velvet Band" but this group gives it a easy-going treatment which I found to be a very pleasant change from the norm.

Tracklist
1. The Old Bullock Dray
2. Flash Jack from Gundagai
3. Ned Kelly (Poor Ned Kelly)
4. Flies
5. Catalpa
6. The Old Bark Hut
7. Wild Rover No More
8. Springtime brings on the Shearing
9. Snowy River Roll
10. Eumeralla Shore
11. The Black Velvet Band
12. Woolloomooloo Blues (Lair)

Click here to  commence downloading the compressed album file with graphics. The file will need to be decompressed before any attempt is made to "play" it. MP3 224-256VBR. 48Mb.
Please let me know if the download becomes unavailable and I will re-up it.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Chriistmas 2015 and a Happy 2016

Old timers like myself will immediately recognise this picture. Leading into Christmas, it regularly appeared on the rear of the Australian Women's Weekly way back when the magazine was really a "weekly". Of course, it was then adorned with Arnotts Biscuits text and logo wishing us all the best for the season.

Anyway, let me add my best wishes for everyone at this time and I hope the season finds you well and thriving.

And do please continue enjoying the music.

Best wishes to all.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tina Lawton - Audio from ABC TV "Tina Lawton Interludes" 1965

We have rather a good Christmas present facilitated by Michael of Adelaide. Many, many thanks!

In 1965, the ABC Adelaide produced a number of 10 minute fillers entitled "The Tina Lawton Interludes" which were broadcast nationally on ABC TV in popular time slots.

The ABC provided Tina with audio of the tracks featured in these Interludes and she provided copies to a limited number of friends including Michael's family. Michael has provided a rip of the cassette in his possession. Obviously the quality is what should be expected of 1965 TV audio and cassette tape technology (just three years old) but, with a little cleaning, the tracks have come up a good listening standard.

Now, if only some kind soul with ABC access could locate the original TV films?? Anyone? What a prize that would be.

You will notice that some of these tracks feature on her three albums previously posted. The ones I checked are different performances.

Tracklist
01 - The  Lowlands of Holland
02 - Bonny Ship The Diamond
03 - The Water is wide
04 - Raggle Taggle Gypsies
05 - Strawberry Fair
06 - Barbara Allen
07 - The Tailor and the Mouse
08 - Moreton Bay
09 - My last Farewell to Stirling
10 - Derby Ram
11 - What have They done to the Rain
12 - When I was young
13 - The whispering poplar tree (My guess as to the title)
14 - Trotting to the Fair
15 - She moved through the Fair
16 - Spanish Lady
17 - Cuckoo Song
18 - Welsh Lament
19 - Blacksmith Song
20 - Early one morning
21 - Mr McQuire (usually McGuire but this title appeared on here first LP)
22 - Spinning Wheel
23 - Molly Malone

Commence downloading compressed file by clicking here. 65Mb. MP3 VBR 224-256.
Let Mr.Stockman@gmail.com know if download no longer available and I will put it back up.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Various Artists "Folk Concert on Campus" Sydney University 1964 LP

Quite an impressive lineup here. This folk concert was held by the Sydney University Folk Music Society over three days in December 1964 at the University's Union Hall. RCA attended and recorded sessions. I am guessing that the contents of this album represent the best of the performers and the tracks are said to be in performance order. I presume the album was released in 1965.

The first of the artists was Beth Schurr who is mentioned by Warren Fahey as being an early folk participant especially in respect of live TV performances.

Declan Affley, despite passing away far too early in 1985 is very well known in Australian folk circles. Born in Wales to parents of Irish heritage, he became a merchant seaman but jumped ship in Australia in 1959 and became fully immersed in the Australian folk scene. There is some distortion in some of his tracks and I suspect that he was then a sound recordists's nightmare.

Roy Waterson (aka Watterson) was, like Affley, a young migrant to Australia. He was born a Liverpudlian in 1935 but was reared in Wales whose culture he readily adopted. He sings beautifully on his two tracks accompanied by Irish harpist Astrid Frost, an immigrant from Dublin. Roy was a persistent performer including opera, concerts and clubs but always at the edges of true success. Eventually, he developed and ran the very successful "Good Old Days Concerts" aimed at senior audiences and received both Australian and Welsh awards. He died in Sydeny in 2013.

Jean Lewis was almost 20 when she performed at the Concert. At the time she was a student at the University and a activist supporting the National Aborigines Day and the Freedom Ride on 1964. As "Jeannie" Lewis, she went on to a very successful musical and stage career. She featured on the Come Listen to Australia album featured on this blog for "Red Dust".

Paul Marks was an occasional folk singer but was more into jazz, skiffle, blues and spirituals. He migrated from the UK in 1956. He abandoned music probably not that long after his performance at the concert.

Last but definitely not least is the late Marian Henderson performing four numbers. Look elsewhere on this blog and the web for more details about her.

I received this album in MP3 at 320 CBR in the rough. I have managed to get some of the glitches out but the recordings had some of the typical problems of live performances and there is variation specific to each artist. I eliminated the introductions and the massive amounts of applause as most, if not all, of it was "canned" applause with absolutely no vocal noise at all - just clapping.  I guess that RCA thought that was much neater.

It is not all that surprising that in 1964, the students involved in the Society were far more interested in performances of non-Australian folk songs. Only two of the 18 tracks are Australian. "Emu Plains" by Lewis and "Bluey Brink the Shearer" by Henderson. Speaking of "Emu Plains" - can someone please tell me what instrument is providing the backing?

Tracklist
By Beth Schurr
1. The Keys of Canterbury
2. The Next Market Day

By Declan Affley
3. Cruiskeen Lan
4. The Moonshiner
5. Brian O'Lynn
6. God Bless England

By Roy Waterson with Astrid Frost on Irish Harp
7. Counting the Goats
8. Fair Liza

By Jean Lewis
9. The Lag's Song
10. Roberta
11. Emu Plains

By Paul Marks
12. Tom Pierce
13. Sipping Cider through a Straw
14. The Frog and the Mouse

By Marian Henderson
15. Old Joe Clark
16. The Cat and the Mouse
17. The Devil and the Farmer's Wife (Child 278)
18. Bluey Brink the Shearer.

Click here for Download Link of the album which is a compressed file needing to be decompressed into its folder and tracks. (I get asked often why the download file does not play)
Tracks are Mono MP3 224-256 VBR Mono 34Mb

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Bush Music Club "Songs from the Shearing Sheds" Mono LP 1966 Re-issue

Another welcome offering from the Victorian Bush Folkie.

The Bush Music Club was inaugurated in Sydney in 1954 and is still very active today. The renowned collector, John Meredith, was one of the founders and is also featured is a lead singer on this album.

This album was originally released in about 1959 under the title "Songs of the Swaggies" and then released in about 1966 as "Songs from the Shearing Sheds". Both titles are equally misleading.

The LP itself has cleaned up fairly well. The recording and editing was of a reasonable standard for 1959 especially considering that it was almost certainly a budget production leading to some distortion.

But we do need to recognise that the context is that the performers were a group of ardent enthusiasts seeking to generate greater interest in Australia's folk music legacy (these were very early days in the folk music revival period and Australian folk music was being swamped by American influences in the popular music scene).

Frankly, the performances are, IMHO, pretty ordinary especially in respect to instrumental backing  The percussion is often overdone and discordant and the tin whistle is quite shrill at times. For me, it is a pretty disappointing album but that should not distract from the significant contribution that these people made to the early popularising of Australian folk music.

The download file is small because it is mono.

Tracklist
1. Charlie Mopps (First time I have heard that one for many years - great song)
2. The Ballad of Catalpa
3. To the Shores of Botany Bay.
4. Dennis O'Reilly
5. Paddy Fagan
6. 16000 miles from Home
7. Nine miles from Gundagai
8. The Ryebuck Shearer
9. The Drover's Dream
10. The Ram of Dalby
11. The Flash Stockman
12. Jog along till Shearing

Click here to download album as a compressed file. MP3 224-256 VBR mono. 23Mb
Let me know if the link fails.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A.L. Lloyd "Across the Western Plains" Wattle LP 1958

Picture: Drovers on the stock route on the Old Man Plain near Hay  
My mate Gonzo rescued and ripped this 1958 Wattle label LP after locating it in very poor condition in a shed. His notes about the recovery and the extent to which he went to make the LP playable are included in the downloadable album. H has gone to considerable effort for which I, and probably many of the blog readers, offer our thanks. This is truly a historical album.

"Bert" Lloyd was an Englishman who spent some years in Australia mainly working in the Lachlan area where he collected several Australian folk songs. He was also a prolific performer of  British Isles folk songs.

Wattle was an Australian record producer with a strong focus on Australian folk music (refer to the recent posting of  the 1957 "The Bushwhackers" Wattle LP or do a web search for more details if required). This was release D1. There are extensive notes on each track on the rear of the album cover.

This is by no means a "clean" rip but Gonzo has brought up the tracks to a very listenable standard and it is easy to overlook the occasional glitches.

The vocals are all by Lloyd but he is very ably backed by Peggy Seeger on banjo and guitar; Ralph Rinzler on mandolin; and John Cole on mouth organ. The rear of the cover advises "Words and a map of place names included" but that is missing.

Tracklist
Side 1   
1. The Flash Stockman
2. Click Go the Shears
3. One of the Has-Beens
4. The Road to Gundagai (really Lazy Harry's - not to be confused with O'Hagan's "Along the Road to Gundagai)
5. The Maryborough Miner
6. South Australia
Side 2
7. Lachlan Tigers
8. The Shearer's Dream
9. Wallaby Stew
10. The Wild Rover
11. Bluey Brink
12. Across the Western Plains

Click here to download compressed album with cover graphics and notes 97Mb 320CBR
File will need to be decompressed. Send an email or make a comment if download link fails and I will re-up the file.


Ball & Chain "Autumn Days in Clare Valley" LP 1976

This is another offering from the Victorian Bush Folkie cleaned by me.

This in quite a surprising album considering its origins - four part-time local musicians from the Clare Valley getting together on a hot summer Saturday afternoon in 1976 in a Clare menswear shop to record the tracks for this album. The album is dedicated to the 1976 Clare Valley Wine Festival but all proceeds were to go to "aid the Clare Swimming Pool".

For those not in the know, Clare is a town in the Clare Valley in South Australia and produces some excellent wines. Well worth a visit if you are every near there.

Despite its origin, the album is of a good quality and many of the tracks are well worth a listen even though some tracks have suffered from scratching over the years - most notably the "Waltzing Matilda" track but then I think we have already published more than enough versions of that song to last us forever.

Those four performers were school teacher Jim Stokes (who also composed the first track), arts and crafts dealer Tony Wells, Quelltaler Wines vineyard manager Chris Smith, and electrical goods store manager, David Lawler. Side 1 of the LP was Australian themed (tracks 1-7) and side 2 consists of international favourite from the folk revival period.

Tracklist
1. Clare Valley (Jim Stokes)
2. Ryebuck Shearer
3. Waltzing Matilda (a little patcht)
4. Lime Juice Tub
5. Botany Bay
6. Moreton Bay
7. Ram from Clare (same one as from Dalby, Albury and many, many other localities - originally migrated from England)
8. This Little Light of Mine
9. Copper Kettle
10 Nancy Whisky (Calton Weaver)
11. Tribute to Newfoundland
12. Lonesome Traveller
13. Fair and Tender Lady
14. All for m' Grog (Western Ocean version)

Click here to download compressed album with graphics - 224-256 VBR - 48Mb
The file will need to be decompressed into its two folders and 14 tracks.
Let me know if the link does not work and I will re-up the file

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bobsy-Die "A Bob Each Way" LP 1988

Another offering from the Victorian Bush Folkie. Again many thanks.

"Kick up Bobsy-die" - I had to look it up. New one for me. Interesting, but I think I'll stick with "there'll be hell to pay". But I am familiar with "having two bob each way". Somewhat stretching the theme, the "A" side is "Heads" and the "B" side is "Tails". Perhaps the latter feature is why they did not release on CD!

As far as I know this Victorian-based band which, in 1988, comprised Graeme Akers, Michael Regan, Greg Hunt, and Russell McKenzie, only released this one album (contrary advice very welcome). The "Bobsy-Die Band" does feature on Facebook which identifies that the band was still active in 2014 but the only original member was Graeme Akers.

The album is a mixed offering featuring trad and modern folk and there is also a strong instrumental component. Tracks are of Australian or British Isles origin.

Tracklist
1. Dennis O'Reilly (Oz traditional)
2. Feather top (instrumental by Regan and Hunt)
3. Bonny Jess (Spencer / Shearston)
4. Barnyards of Delgaty (Scottish traditional)
5. The Overlanders / High Reel
6. Instrumental medley - Going broke saving money (Hunt), Market Slide (Hunt & Regan), Banish Misfortune (traditional)
7. 10,000 miles away / Timor the Tartar (traditional song and instrumental)
8. Hewlett (traditional instrumental)
 9. Ballarat (Regan)
10. Flash Jack (Oz trad) / Claire Jig (traditional instrumental)

Click here to download album and graphics in one compressed file MP3 @ 224-256 VBR. 43.5 Mb
Let me know if the download becomes unavailable and I will re-up the file,

Monday, August 10, 2015

Paradiddle "Eureka - Live at the Stockade" LP 1983

Another album ripped by the Victorian Bush Folkie and cleaned by me.

This is the third Paradiddle album to appear on this Blog. This album was recorded live at the Stockade Hotel in Carlton (an inner suburb of Melbourne) on 7 November 1983. They were a fine group of musicians comprising (alphabetically) Athalie Brooks, Rob Fairbairn, Mark Leehy, Helmut Lopaczuk, Judy Turner and John Zigmantas.

You will be impressed with the instrumental breadth and flexibility of this group. They draw upon a far greater range of music than other folk musicians and they pull it off brilliantly especially in the two tracks given a comedic treatment. "Home among the Gumtrees" is far from standard and there are sections reminiscent of klezmer and calypso. Their vocal performances are great too.

That this album comes from a single night's live performance in a pub is, in my view, astonishing.

Tracklist 
1. Lazy Harry (Trad)
2. Poor Ned Kelly
3. Billy of Tea (trad)
4. Aussie Beer (Rob Fairbairn)
5. Albert  (Fairbairn and Leehy) (Albert Namatjira memorial)
6. Ludwigs Lot (Instrumental medley of  old time trads)
7. The Ghan (Leehy, Fairbairn and Lopaczuk) (honouring the older Ghan)
8.  Home among the Gumtrees (actual song lyrics by Bob Brown - commentary by ??)
9. Dear Mr. President (Judy Turner (Aussie) poem set to music by Fairbairn)
10. Looking for a Job (Fairbairn's Australianised adaption of Scotsman Matt McGinn's famed song of the same name)
11. Put a Light in every Country Window (Don Henderson)

Context for Track 5 "Albert" Albert Namatjira, a famed aboriginal artist active from late 1930s to late 1950s, was jailed for 2 months for illegally supplying alcohol to a fellow aboriginal man who then went on to kill an aboriginal woman. Apparently, Albert believed that one of the woman's relatives "pointed the bone" at him (killing by witchcraft) which is believed to have an influence on him.

Click here to commence downloading the compressed album file and its graphics
File is 60Mb. Tracks are MP3 @224-256VBR
Please let me know if download is no longer available and I will re-up the file.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Various "The Traitors Gate Folk Club - Five Years On" LP Stereo 1982

Another offering from the kindly Victorian Bush Folkie. Thanks again. I have been asked for this a few times over the years.

The Traitors Gate Folk Club  was the folk venue to go to in Adelaide in the late '1970s and early 1980s. I attended  the club a couple of times when they were using the Leicester Hotel in Parkside as a venue.

This LP was released in 1982 featuring singers who performed at the club over the years but they are not live performances.  The record was released with an informative insert but we do not have it.

The LP had quite a few glitches - quite a high level of crackles and pops and the vocals had far too many moments of distortion.  I have managed to clean the recordings to a good standard so please ignore the occasional residual glitches. The album is quite enjoyable and has a little of something for everybody.

Tracklist
1. Heights of Alma - Lis and John Munro
2. She moved through the fair - John Francis
3. If wishes were fishes - Irene Petrie
4. Queen amang the heather - Bob Hardie
5. Long Shadows - Lynne Muir
6. Patriot Prejudice - Bryan Cullen
7. The legend of Kelly - Eric Bogle
8. Jigs: Denny Delaney's, Morrison's - Joe Manning and Warwick Nottage
9. Only our rivers (run free) - Margaret Monks
10. The Week before Easter (The False Bride, I once loved a lass) - Denis Tracey
11. The town I loved so well - Phil Cunneen
12. Down and out blues - Chris McGloin and Bryan Monaghan

Click here to commence downloading the compressed album file with slip graphics.
File is 61Mb. Tracks are MP3 @224-256VBR
Let me know if download is no longer available and I will re-up the file.