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?

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 Australian 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Denis Tracey "No man's land" LP 1979

I downloaded this particular album sometime ago from the web and I have kept putting off posting it on the blog. (The Victorian Bush Folkie has also provided a copy of this album but this one is an excellent rip likely done from a very clean copy so I have been saved a lot of work). I have no idea who did the work but thanks if you are reading this.

Oh, as far as I am aware the artist's given name is "Denis" as shown on the LP labels and "not Dennis" as consistently listed on the album slip. I know very little about this man even though he has been a constant Australian Folk presence for many years. He appears to have had a strong South Australian connection. I suspect that he stopped performing for a few years now. I could use some help here please!

This is an excellent album with great performances both vocally and instrumentally. Most tracks are British Isles traditionals with three Australian items one of which is traditional, and the album finishes with an hilarious ditty about funeral caskets, supposedly from an American advertising jingle - who knows. You do not need to be a folk fan to enjoy this album.

1. The dark-eyed sailor
2. The Coventry Carol
3. Instrumental Medley - The South wind, Rolling in the Rye Grass, Drowsey Maggie
4. She moved through the fair
5. No Man's Land (aka Green Fields of France) (Eric Bogle composition, of course)
6. Lowlands (male dying sailor version) (windlass and pump shanty)
7. Lassie wi' a yellow coatie
8. Arthur McBride
9. Wee pot stove (Harry Robertson composition - Scot immigrant with whaling background)
10. The banks of the Condamine (Australian traditional - shearing version)
11. Instrumental Medley - The Tenpenny bit, and the lark in the morning.
12. Lizzie Lindsay (Child 226)

Click here to proceed to download the compressed file with graphics. MP3 320CBR 94 Mb.
If download lapses - please let me know and I'll put it up again.

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Bushwhackers "Australian Bush Songs" EP 1957

Do not confuse this band "The Bushwhackers" with the substantially later "The Bushwackers Band". This group was one of the pioneer bush bands formed by a group of Sydneysiders in the mid 1950s. The group had a relatively short life but their music was popular for many years. This was a 7" vinyl playing at 33 and a third rpm. It was produced in 1957 by Wattle Records which focused on folk music. It was the first of this type.It was a follow up to their first five Bushwhackers 78s. A search for Wattle Records will locate further information about them at

We know that the group broke up in about 1957 and three of its members, Alex Hood, Harry Kay and Chris Kay went off to form The Rambleers with other performers; also recording with Wattle starting in 1958. This band also focused on Australian folksongs and included old-time dance music. For those interested, the National Library of Australia, in 2002,  released a compilation CD "The Rambleers" featuring their original material. I have a copy of the CD but I do not know if it is still for sale at either the Library or the National Film and Sound people.

Our kind Victorian Bush Folkie provided digitised files from the EP. Did they call them EPs back then? I doubt it.
Not surprisingly, the vinyl has not aged gracefully and the roughed-up slip gives some indication that it has had a hard life. Still, I have managed to do acceptable cleans of the first four tracks. The fifth track has some bad distortion which I can do nothing about but it is still listenable. Incidentally, these recordings are far from complex and although I have encoded them at 224VBR, as a matter of principle, they could be reduced to a lower level without any noticeable loss. Compressing the total of 27Mb resulted in a .RAR file of only 12Mb. Of course, the recording is mono.

This is definitely an item of historical interest.

1. The Hut that's upside down
2. Australia's on the wallaby
3. Click go the shears
4. Black velvet band
5. Drover's Dream

Download compressed file VBR 224 MP3 12.28Mb Mono

Additional: This album did come with an insert/s and Sandra from the Bush Music Club (see comments) has posted images of the insert. The insert also provides lyrics for each of the songs. Click here to see the posting.

Any problems with downloading - let me know.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Twankydillo - Untitled cassette album 1990

"Twankydillo" was a Victorian-based grouping featuring the singers Lis Johnston, Meg MacDonald and Annie McGlade resulting in very beautiful singing. The album was released in February for sale at the 1990 folk festivals. Tragically, Lis Johnston died towards the end of 1990 but Annie McGlade with others set up the annual Lis Johnston Memorial Award for vocal excellence which , since 1992, has been bestowed at the National Folk Festival in Canberra.

The name "Twankydillo" is from a traditional English folk song but it is not included in this album. The tracks are a mixture of old (2, 6, 9) and modern including the old pop standard "Sugartime". A very enjoyable album with great voices and lots of instrumental backing. Their first track is "The Fields of Athenry" written by Pete St John in the 1970s. It made three successful appearances in the Irish hit lists. Since about 1990, it has become the Irish defacto sporting anthem. It's a great song in the folk style about a fictitious man who, during the Irish famine (1845-1850), steals corn to feed his family and is sentenced to transportation to "Botany Bay". Go to a sporting event in Ireland and you are very likely to hear everyone singing this song; very impressive.

Oh! It is another welcome offering from the Victorian Bush Folkie.

1. Fields of Athenry
2. False Knight (Traditional - Child 3 -  The False Knight is Satan)
3. Don't get married.
4. Let her go down
5. Shadow Dreaming (has a modern Irish feel - any information welcome)
6. Dumbarton's Drums (Scottish traditional)
7. The Bramble and the Rose
8. Dittisham Lad (song of South Devon supposedly - could be a fairly recent traditional?)
9. Reynardine (traditional)
10. Sugartime

Download just False Knight with album graphic here 3.57Mb

Click here to download entire album (compressed) MP3 224-256 VBR 45Mb

Any problems - email me or best to do a comment on this posting.