Monday, December 29, 2008

Lionel Long "Songs of the Sea" 1964

LP Rip MP3 Mono 192-224
Track List
1. High Barbaree
2. Good-Bye My Lover Goodbye
3. The Golden Vanity
4. The Eddystone Light
5. The Greenland Whale Fishery
6. Captain Kidd
7. The Chivalrous Shark
8. The Sloop "John B"
9. Johnny Todd
10. Botany Bay
11. The Drunken Sailor
12. Sally Bolt
13. Oh! You New York Girls

I have just finished ripping this hard-to-get album. Sadly, it's only mono but then, with an issue date of 1964, the "stereo" version was probably more pseudo-stereo than actual. This was a well-used LP and, although I have cleaned up the tracks, it is not quite up to the high quality that I usually aim for. But I am probably just being too self-critical. (It's hard to avoid getting that way when you have just spent hours editing tracks).
All the tracks are well-sung with great music backing. There are some great folk classics here including some that are not that common on "sea songs" albums.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lionel Long "The Wild Colonial Boy" 1962 LPs (Mono and Stereo)

LP Rip MP3 VBR 192-224
Track List
1. The Overlander
2. The Crocodile
3. Stockman's Last Bed
4. The Dalby Ram (Australian adaption of Derby Ram)
5. Jabbin Jabbin (adapted Aboriginal)
6. Ten Thousand Miles
7. Wild Colonial Boy
8. Banks of the Condamine
9. Old Bark Hut
10. Brisbane Ladies (Augathella Station)
11. Dust in the Sun
12. Black Velvet Band
13. A Nautical Tale
14. Fool's Gold

Yes, this is one of Lionel Long's early albums where the backing is not all that appropriate and a little overdone. Still, don't let that reduce your enjoyment of Lionel's clear no-nonsense rendition of these mainly traditional Australian songs.

Download MONO Album and graphics MP3 @192-224 VBR 60Mb (2008)
Download STEREO Album and graphics - flac 200Mb

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Lionel Long "Troubadour - Folk Songs of the British Isles" 1965

LP Rip 192-224 VBR MP3
Track List
1. The Fox
2. Barbara Allen
3. Queen Jane (shown on sleeve as "Queen Anne")
4. Early One Morning
5. Greensleeves
6. The Four Marys
7. The Ash Grove
8. The Troubadour Song
9. Knick-Knacks
10. The Four Ravens
11. Green Broom
12. John Riley

Lionel Long was, in terms of income and general recognition, the most successful folk singer of the folk revival period and did more to bring Australian folk music to the notice of the general population than any other artist. Folk "purists", however, often took exception to his commercially successful ways and it true that some of his early albums were a little "over-the-top" in terms of popular music backing. There are no such problems with this album; it's a good clean performance in the troubadour style. This Album was originally issued under "Long Ago - Songs of the British Isles". Despite his success, there is only one CD of his songs currently available, namely "Waltzing Matilda" which is mainly a re-release of his 1961 LP of the same name but with the cover of this "Troubadour" LP being reused with re-branding as Waltzing Matilda.
For those who may be interested in more detail about this gifted musician please click here to go to an informative site which includes a discography.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Various Artists - "Workers in the Field Vol-1" 1984

Restless Records LP Rip @ 160-192VBR
Track List
1. The Juice of the Grape - Sonia Bennett
2. Ballad of Eureka - Marg & Bob Fagan (The Fagans)
3. Past Carin’ - Margaret Walters
4. The Speewa - John Broomhall
5. There was no Shame - Angela Phippen
6. The Wooer - Ron Brown (poem)
7. The Drover’s Sweetheart - Chris Kempster, Ken Greenhagh, Richard Brooms
8. Signs of Change - Jill Stevens
9. Crimson - Catriona Meadows with Random Connection
10. Summertime in Sydney - Paul Moonmoth
11. The Ebenezer Coalminer - Steven Roberts
12. The Road Home - Penny Davies & Roger Ilott

(Also Pictured is the talented Margaret Walters)

I only had access to this LP for a very limited time and was unable to scan the LP Cover graphics which were very plain anyway. Despite the appearance of several well-known and respected Australian Folksingers, this was a very-poorly produced LP. The LP itself was in good physical condition but, sadly, there is little evidence that anyone with any recording and editing skills worked on the production of this LP. The title "Workers in the Field" may even be a clue that the recordings were done in a paddock. It is in stereo but it could be well served by being converted to mono to eliminate cross channel fluctuations. It is not surprising that I can't find any other details for this album anywhere. It is listenable but simply not up to a standard one could reasonably expect. Overall a disappointing LP presented here for the sake of completeness.

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Denis Gibbons "Folk Songs Vol 2" 1966

LP Rip 196-224VBR (W&G Blue Label 25-2633)

Track List
1. Flash Jack from Gundagai
2. Springtime It Brings on the Shearing
3. Backblock Shearer
4. Another Fall of Rain
5. Moreton Bay
6. Denis O'Reilly
7. Look out Below
8. Wallaby Stew
9. Barbara Allen
10. The Hut that's Upside Down
11. Little Mohee
12. Old Blue

Another LP from Denis Gibbons (I have not included the covers because they are of a generic type simply including the titles and the track list - as was common with the Blue Label series if I recall correctly). These are well performed songs in a simple traditional folk manner. Although he was a highly respected folk performer, he was apolitical in his singing and choice of songs, which contrasted with many of his contemporaries. Consequently, he was often tolerated more than welcomed.
The inclusion of one English standard - Barbara Allen - and the American standards - Old Blue and Little Mohee - reflect the fact that these were songs known and sung in Australia even prior to the folk revival.
Two uncommon tracks are "Look Out Below" (a contemporary music hall song) and "The Hut that's Upside Down". This LP cleaned up fairly well unlike a couple of my other Gibbons LPs for which I cannot do complete tracks.

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Denis Gibbons "The Struggle for Survival" 1975 2LPs

Music @192-224VBR. Narrative 96-128VBR

Track List (Note: each music track is preceded by a relevant narrative)
Botany Bay
Convict Maid (sung by Margaret Monks)
Moreton Bay
Old Bark Hut
Boy at the Milking (poem)
With Me Swag all on Me Shoulder
A Nautical Yarn
Travelling down the Castlereagh

The Old Keg of Rum
Streets of Forbes
My Old Black Billy
Farewell Brisbane Ladies
Andy's Gone with Cattle (sung by Margaret Monks)
Springtime it brings on the Shearing
Click go the Shears
Ballad of the Drover
Waltzing Matilda (original version)

 This is a very rare Australian two LP set by Denis Gibbons. He was a very early pioneer in bringing traditional folk music to prominence in Australia in the 1950s and 1960s including doing four or five Australian Bush folk songs for the soundtrack of the American produced movie "The Sundowners" in 1960. Despite having produced many albums over the years only one CD was released (1999)(presumably it is a compilation re-release.) His work was mainly with Australian traditional folk music but he also performed traditional folksongs from other English speaking countries.
He did a series of "Folksongs of Australia" albums including this one "The Struggle for Survival" which was recorded in 1975.
Each song is preceded with an historical narrative which can be convenient if a listener needs a context for the songs but otherwise can be a little annoying.
Denis was always a very competent, straight-forward performer and I am sure many will enjoy the music. Margaret Monks also does a great job with her two tracks

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the creel "appellation" 1998

CD rip 160-192 VBR
Track List
1. As I Roved Out
2. May Blooming Field
3. Isle of Islay
4. Sweet William
5. Sweet Virgins (Leaves of Life)
6. Leve toi et danse
7. Nobody Knew She was there
8. Schooldays Over
9. One I Love
10. Lord Randal
11. Cannily, Cannily
12. Christmas is now Drawing Near
13 Aj, Chodila, Chodila

I stumbled over this CD at a second-hand dealer's shop a few years ago. Despite research, the only thing I know about this group is what is contained in the CD graphics. The members of the group were Fergusson Elliott, Ruth Forshaw, Gabriel Kankindji, Stephanie Osfield and a Kim Poole. It was "recorded, mixed and mastered in the Studios of the University of Western Sydney". Produced by Mountain Music of Wentworth Falls in NSW. I'm unable to find anything on the web about this CD, the group or the producer. There are some scant uninformative references to a couple of the performers. I presume that back in 1998, they were an active part of the folk scene in Sydney. I cannot source any sellers of the CD so I will publish it here.
You will find that this was a very accomplished group both musically and vocally who could easily have been better recognised for their considerable talent. Well worth a listen.

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Dave de Hugard "Freedom on the Wallaby" 1970

LP rip VBR 192-224
Track List
Kitty's Jig
Travelling Down the Castlereagh
Cocky of Bungaree
Four Little Johnny Cakes
Across the Western Plains
Billy of Tea
Starry Night for a Ramble
Springtime It Brings on the Shearing
Little Fish
Another Fall of Rain
The Tent Poles are Rotten
Murry River Gallop - Soldiers' Joy Medley

Dave de Hugard is a wonderful old gentleman who has been a regular folk performer for over forty years and still regularly attends folk festivals in Australia. This was his first LP originally issued in 1970 under the Music for Pleasure label. It was re-issued (as an LP) under the Larrikin label in 1983. I believe that this is one of the very best Australian folk music albums ever issued and it is astonishing that it has never been re-released on CD considering that Dave is still so popular. The download file contains notes about the musicians involved and the cover graphic.

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Tina Date "A Single Girl" 1965

LP rip @192-224 lame VBR
track list
Spinning Wheel
It's Hard on a Lass to Be Lonely
Old Maid's Song
Polly Garter's Song
A Single Girl
Raggle Taggle Gypsies
The First Time Ever
The Butcher Boy
How Should I My True Love Know
Tomorrow is St. Valentine's Day
It Fell on a Summer's Day
Tomorrow is a Long time

Tina was a Melbourne girl, classically trained, who quickly and successfully adapted to the folk revival of the 1960s with many broadcast and public appearances. This was her only album - an eclectic mix of traditional and modern folk music, two of the songs from Shakespeare's Hamlet, an Elizabethan piece and Dylan Thomas' Polly Garter's Song. Sadly, the only ethnic Australian track is It's Hard on a Lass to be Lonely written by that great Australian folk poet, Bill Scott.
A great singer here accompanied by some very able musicians including Dave Guard previously of the Kingston Trio credited as "Dynamite Finkelstein".

Tina went to the USA in about 1967 where she regularly performed but was not recorded. She had a stormy relationship with Phil Ochs. She later took up employment with the United Nations. Reportedly resident in country Australia, the latest I heard was that Tina was involved in the United Nations relief effort in Haiti.

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