Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Danny Spooner and Friends 1978 LP (British Folk)

LP Rip MP3 @192-224 VBR
Track List
1. The Tailor's Breeches
2. The Baron o' Brackley
3. Slieve Gallen Brae
4. The Rambling Beauty
5. Lovely on the Water
6. Jowl, Jowl & Listen ~ Rap 'er te Bank
7. The Gaberlunyie Man
8. Bridges
9. London's Ordinary
10.Coupshawholme Fair
11. MacPhearson's Rant

Danny Spooner originally hailed from the East End of London and started his working life as a mariner coming under the influence and guidance of the great folk singer and folklorist, Bob Roberts. He arrived in Australia in 1962 at the height of the folk revival here and became very popular as a singer of British folksongs. He is still very active in Australian folk and will be appearing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over Easter. (It looks like it will be a great year)
This is a great LP and Paul from Brisbane has done a excellent rip of it - many thanks again Paul.
Danny sings and plays some guitar backing. Danny's friends in this instance were Peter Christoff on fiddle, Michael Farrell on pipes and Tin Whistle, Lis Johnston and Cris Larner also providing vocals, Richard Leach recites "Jowl and Listen", and Ian Ball reads "Coupshawholme Fair".
My favourite tracks are "MacPherson's Rant" and "Baron o' Brackley".

Download with Graphics and notes
From MediaFire
Danny Spooner's widow has advised that plans are currently underway to expand the website to re-release Danny's music to raise funds for a memorial statue. Accordingly, the album is no longer available for download.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Colonial Boys "The Bicentennial Song Collection" CD

The Colonial Boys was, in all likelihood, a group formed especially to put out a CD of Australian folk songs to capitalise upon the 1988 Australian Bicentenary of settlement. I cannot find out anything about either the group or this CD and CD papers do not advise of the musicians involved. Most of the arrangements were by a Stewart Peters, and there is a folksinger and instrumentalist from Sydney by that name, so I presume he is the lead singer (any further advice is very welcome).
By its very nature, it includes most of the most popular Australian traditional folksongs supplemented by On the Road to Gundagai, Paterson's The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow and Eric Bogle's The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (attributed to Begal?? instead of Bogle). There are no moments of folk singing brilliance - just a good, solid and enjoyable performance

Download with Graphics - 17 MP3 tracks at 224kbs VBR
From MediaFire

Featuring Priscilla Herdman "The Water Lily" 1977LP & 1995CD

Priscilla Herdman is now relatively well-known in folk circles especially in the USA. She was born in 1948 in America and has released several albums by herself and others, most notably in trio with Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen. She started slowly; releasing her first LP, the brilliant "The Water Lily", in 1977. The astonishing feature of that LP is that seven of the songs on the album are from the poems of Henry Lawson, namely, The Water Lily, Andy's Gone with Cattle, The Drover's Sweetheart, Do You Think that I do not Know, The Bush Girl, Reedy River, and The Shame of Going Back. And an eighth song is Eric Bogle's And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. The other three are more international; Dancing at Whitsun, Old Wooley, and Jock O'Hazeldean. I have never seen an explanation as to why a young USA folksinger who had never travelled developed such a focus on the poems of Henry Lawson (she has since been to Australia). Mind you, I am not complaining. Sorry, but I cannot post that album as it is still readily available for purchase in America and some limited availability in Australian (far too expensive from most Australian suppliers though). The cover picture is from the 1995 CD re-release. This is a CD that is well worth getting and, in my opinion, is the best of all Herdman's albums.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gordon Bok & Others "Songs from Australia" (Compilation)

Track List
Wee Dark Engine Room
Reedy River
No Man's Land
The Cocky at Bungaree
Gentle Annie
From the Lambing to the Wool
The Outside Track
Johnny Stewart, Drover
Andy's Gone for Cattle
Little Fishy
Bare Legged Kate
Queensland Overlanders
Broken Down Squatter
Freedom on the Wallaby

Gordon Bok (pictured right), from New England, USA has been recording since 1965 both solo and with others most notably with the pictured line-up: Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett. He sings a wide range of folk songs of many countries and his own songs about Maine working boat life. His albums have featured several Australian folk songs and this is a compilation of those which I have collected. They do a great job on these songs for non-Australians and they are certainly accomplished entertainers with great harmony and personal accompaniment. For those of you are not familiar with them, I suspect that you'll soon be looking for more of their music.

Additionally I have now noticed a further three Australian folk tracks and, just for fun, included three New Zealand songs performed by these people. The tracks are:-
The Gin and Raspberry, Past Caring, On the Wallaby (aka The Tent Poles are Rotten), The Stable Lad, The Swag and the Shiner, and The Banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

Sorry but a Gordon Bok representative has asked that these songs be no longer available for download.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Marian Henderson "Australian Folk Songs" (PIX series) 1964 2 EPs

Marian Henderson had some background as a jazz singer and this was often reflected in her folk singing. By 1963, however, she was a major folk performer in Sydney. In 1964, the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) commenced a weekly television series Jazz meets Folk with Marian as a regular folk music performer. This brought her into contact with jazz musicians including two noted jazz performers, Don Burrows (wind instruments) and Lyn Christie, a double bassist. PIX, a weekly popular magazine (now long defunct) commissioned these three to produce four EPs for distribution as freebies with the magazine. Two of the EPs featured Australian folk songs (posted here) and the other two were international folk songs (not seen yet - anyone?). Marian was the vocalist and guitarist; Burrows played flutes and Christie was on Bass. It sometimes makes for a strange mixture and occasionally the music overpowers the vocals but Henderson readily displays her considerable talent. There were 8 tracks in all.
Australian Folk Songs volume I
A1 Botany Bay A2 Springtime, It Brings on the Shearing
B1 Old Bark Hut B2 Peter Clarke
Australian Folk Songs volume II
A1 Waltzing Matilda A2 Jim Jones of Botany Bay
B1 Euabalong Ball B2 Van Dieman's Land

As most Australians would be aware, Don Burrows has gone on to collect several honours and awards for his jazz and swing music and has twice been named as an "Australian Living Treasure". Lyn Christie (Dr Lyndon van Christie - a medical practitioner) moved to the USA not that long after these EPs were produced becoming a successful jazz performer and jazz teacher there. So, all in all, it was a very talented line-up but I do regret that the backing was not more traditional. There are no graphics with the EPs. Most likely, there would have been some accompanying pictures and blurb in the magazines but I am not hopeful of obtaining them.

Download MP3 192VBR 8 tracks
From MediaFire

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Phyl Lobl "On My Selection" 1977

LP Rip MP3 VBR 192-224
A Paul from Brisbane rip.
Track List
1. Weevils in the Flour
2. No More Boomerang
3. Sometime Loving
4. Not Many Fish in the Harbour Today
5. Factory Lad
6. Norfolk Whalers
7. Girls in our Town
8. In Terms of Time and Place
9. Right of the Line
10. First Fair Wind
11. Digital Clocks and Radios
12. And the Band played Waltzing Matilda

Phyl Lobl has been an active and popular folksinger/songwriter since the late 1960s mainly performing "modern" (non-traditional) folk music. This album is typical of her work at the time (1977). She has a very good website and you can download almost all of her music as 160kbs MP3s and she has all her album covers featured as well and extra information on all tracks. The occasional male singer on this LP is Andy Saunders.
There are some modern Australian folk classics on this LP e.g. Bogle's brilliant "And the Band played Waltzing Matilda", Hudson's "Girls in our Town", "Weevils in the Flour" and "Norfolk Whalers". I prefer her performances on the lesser known tracks. We need to thank Paul from Brisbane for this excellent rip and for the graphics. I have just realised that we now have three Pauls floating throughout this blog so perhaps it's time for a disclaimer. Paul the Stockman, Paul from Brisbane and Paul Lawler are very definitely different persons and not a seriously split personality.

Download with Graphics
From MediaFire

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Profile: Paul Lawler and Richenda Bridge

Paul and Richenda will be well- known to many involved in the Australian folk scene. Paul came to Australia in 1964 after previous involvement in folk music in England. Richenda has been an ardent Australian folk fan and occasional performer since her youth in Perth. After some footloose wandering, they settled in Maleny, Queensland in 1993. Both are engaged in a number of activities and continue to be heavily involved in folk music. Both have been profiled in Trad & Now.

(previously had details of their website in this prargraph. Unfortunately the site is no morte - see comment by Richenda below.)

And for those of you who have never been there, the drive and the towns on the top of the Blackall Ranges, Maleny, Montville and Mapleton, is a great tour. Just be sure to stop often and enjoy the scenery and the offerings of the towns.

Sadly, Paul Lawler passed away in 2014.

Warren Fahey

Warren Fahey has left the following comment on the "Limejuice and Vinegar" posting:-

Howdy. This was the very first line-up of my Larrikin band. Believe it or not I don't have a copy of this LP so delighted it is on the site. Readers might be interested in exploring my Australian Folklore Unit site - especially the extensive section dealing with the early days of the folk revival.

Also I advise readers interested in bush songs and verse that the ABC will release my 10 CD set 'Australia: Folk Songs & Bush Verse' series this April (2009). It contains many songs never before recorded.
warren fahey

The link to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) shop is HERE. As yet, there is no entry for the 10 CD set but it looks like I had better start saving.
They are currently selling Warren's Panorama of Bush Songs CD and its companion CD Larrikins, Louts and Layabouts - Ditties from the City. Both are also available from other retailers. I have both CDs and they are a great buy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Harry Robertson "Whale Chasing Men - Songs of Whaling in Ice and Sun" 1971

Track List
1. Casting Off (Poem)
2. Whale Chasing Men
3. The Antarctic Fleet
4. Processing the Whale (poem)
5. Blubber Laddie
6. Wee Pot Stove (aka Wee Dark Engine Room)
7. Whaling Wife (Marian Henderson)
8. Time for a Laugh and a Song
9. Norfolk Whalers (Marian Henderson)
10. Ballina Whalers (Alex Hood)
11. Queensland Whalers
12. Murrumbidgee Whalers (Alex Hood)

Harry Robertson (1923-1995) was born a Scot but sensibly migrated to Australia in 1952. He worked for several years on whaling ships writing several poems and songs about the industry and the whaling men. He also became actively involved in popularising Australian traditional folk music. especially in Queensland where he became involved in the highly successful Maleny Folk Festival since moved to become the Woodford Folk Festival. Probably the best known song outside of Australia is the "Wee Pot Stove" done by Nic Jones as "The Little Pot Stove" and by Gordon Bok, Muir and Trickett as "The Wee Dark Engline Room". Jones also did "Ballina Whalers" as "The Humpback Whale" but I much prefer Hood's treatment.
In arguably the best of her recorded performances, Marian Henderson does a wonderful job on the powerful "Norfolk Whalers". This is a song about the residents of Norfolk Island, once an Australian convict settlement and subsequently the home of many of the descendants of "Bounty" mutineers. These whalers operated from the island not from a mother ship and would set out when a whale was spotted from the land. Thus they had to get the whale to land by sheer rowing power.
Sadly, I have only the one wee graphic - can someone out there please help. (encoder unknown)

Download link deleted per relayed instructions from Harry Robertson's widow, the holder of the copyright to the music.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Glen Tomasetti "Folk Songs with Guitar" LP 1963

Glen (Glenys Ann) Tomasetti (1929-2003) was a well-known folk singer, author, actor, and left-leaning activist born and based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She was a prominent Melbourne folk singer and organiser in the 1950s and 1960s. She produced several albums and it seems that not one of her tracks has ever made it to CD and her old LPs never seem to be available.
I recently found a rip of this 1963 LP. The MP3 files were at 320kbs CBR in stereo format. In fact, the tracks were probably originally encoded at about 192kbs in mono and later meaninglessly converted to 320 stereo. I have managed to clean up some problems with the tracks and have recoded them at 192 VBR mono. The results are quite good.
On this LP, Tomasetti presents quite a varied range of folk songs from around the world including some excellent folk rarities. I have been startled by how many are completely new to me. (Also submitted to Time Has Told Me)

Track List
1. Can Ye Sew Cushions (Scottish Cradle Song)
2. Alberta (American Blues)
3. Banks of the Condamine (Traditional Australian)
4. To Tsompanopoulo (Greek - The Shepherd Boy)
5. Edmund in the Lowlands (American Appalachian collection)
6. Perrine Etait Servante (French)
7. A Bold Young Farmer (English)
8. The Bonny Earl O' Moray (Scottish)
9. The Keys of Canterbury (English)
10. When I was Single (American)
11. Greensleeves (English)
12. Home Came the Old Man (variant of 5 or 7 nights drunk)
13. Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier (American)
14. The Wild Colonial Boy (Australian)
15. The Awful Wedding (American Appalachian collection)

LP cover scans included with song notes by Tomasetti.

Download with Graphics
From MediaFire

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Various Artists "Old Botany Bay" 1970 LP

The year 1970 marked the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the east coast of Australia by Captain James Cook. Record producers rushed out several LPs to cash in on the publicity surrounding the anniversary. This was one such LP - a relative cheapie produced by the Music for Pleasure label.
The LP was compiled by Peter O'Shaughnessy whom we met in the recent posting "The Restless Years". This LP basically followed the same style with O'Shaughnessy tediously reciting from various historical documents (with some questionable accents) relating to the exploration of Cook and a subsequent report by the botanist Sir Joseph Banks recommending Botany Bay as a site for a convict settlement etc. Additionally, there are a couple of poems and six folk songs performed by Marian Henderson and a John Currie.
I paid the princely sum of 50 cents for this LP at a "trash and treasure" market on a punt that it might not be as badly damaged as it looked. Sadly, my first impressions were accurate but Marian Henderson, despite being Australia's most popular female folk artist of the time, recorded very little of her music and, so I have persisted in ripping the music tracks and have also ripped one of the poems which was written by Frank "The Poet" McNamara who was transported (that means he was a convict) to Australia on 1819. I ignored everything else mainly because it was not worth the considerable effort involved. The tracks in the download are:-
"Here's Adieu to all Judges and Juries" - Marian Henderson with John Currie
"The Convict Maid" - Marian Henderson
"Van Dieman's Land" - Marian Henderson
"The Girl with the Black Velvet Band" - John Currie with Marian Henderson
"Moreton Bay" - Marian Henderson (not the same as on "The Restless Years")
"Bold Jack Donahue" - John Currie with Marian Henderson
and the poem "The Convict's Tour of Hell" recited by Peter O'Shaughnessy.
They have all come out surprisingly well considering their original states.
(Songs at 192VBR - Poem at 128VBR)

I, and some visitors, are desperate to get more of Marian Henderson's recordings especially her one solo LP "Cameo" released in 1970. Any of her EPs or compilation LPs featuring her will be very welcome also. Can anyone please help? (Post Note: Her 2 Australian folk PIX magazine EPs have now been posted but there are still 2 general folk PIX EPs to come)

Download "Old Botany Bay" selected tracks (graphics included)

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Sean & Sonja "Sometime Lovin'" LP 1966

LP MP3 Rip @ 192-224 VBR
Track List
1. The Dove
2. A'Roving
3. First Time Ever
4. Hieland Laddy
5. Spinning Wheel
6. Young Birds
7. Sometime Lovin'
8. Bells of Rhymney
9. 'Twas Pretty to be in Balinderry
10. Whistle Daughter Whistle
11. O' Waly Waly
12. Work of the Weavers
13. Go Lassie Go (Wild Mountain Thyme)

Sean Cullip and Sonja Tallis were a couple of teenagers when they combined in 1964 to form a folk duo, Sean and Sonja. Their good looks, talent and great harmonisation brought them to favourable notice. In 1965 they were signed to CBS and produced three very successful LPs until Sean was conscripted to serve in Vietnam in 1966. This LP was the third of these. In 1968, they were reunited and played the circuits until 1974. Sonja went on to become a moderately successful actor best known for her role in the Australian soapie "Prisoner". I understand that she now teaches acting and is still involved in theatre. This rip was done and generously provided by another Paul who hails from Brisbane. Many thanks Paul!

Download Tracks and graphics
From MediaFire

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton

I will be regularly profiling some of Australia's contemporary folk artists and albums and providing links for purchasing some of their offerings. The first will be very well known to Australian folk fans. They are two of my favourite modern performers - Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton. They teamed up at Narrabundah College in the Australian Capital Territory in the late 1990s and have regularly performed together over the succeeding years including four CDs, many performances at folk festivals, and tours of the UK and have also appeared on compilations. Each is an excellent musician/singer in her own right and each has performed in other groups. They currently have three CDs available for purchase through their well-developed website but if you look around they can be cheaper elsewhere.
They perform quite an eclectic mix of folk songs including traditionals from Australia, England and the Americas and what I call modern folk e.g. Dancing at Whitsun, and Boots of Spanish Leather. A visit to their site and a tour of their links will provide you with a wealth of information and a few excellent downloads. Very Highly Recommended.

Kate and Ruth Website Link

LP Ripping - Recording to computer - some pointers

Successful LP ripping is usually tedious, time-consuming work. I've often received comments to the effect "I have that LP and I've been meaning to rip it but your LP is better than mine so many thanks". Often, the reality is that I laboured for many hours over the output from some really bad LP to get it sounding something like original and the commenter's LP may well have been of far better quality than mine.

Part of the problem is that sellers of record players (especially pre-amp ones) and promoters of "LP ripping" software make it sound all so very easy - "plug it all in and let it rip!" (pun intended). Actually the hardware connection is the easy bit so I won't even address it. As for those various software packages that automatically clean the sound up as it comes into the computer and perhaps splits the tracks up - don't waste your time.

We'll start with that LP you have. Most times, it has had a hard working life. It has probably been played several times, mishandled very often, and its two grooves have accumulated lots of dust, food particles and beer dregs. There are a few concoctions on the market for cleaning records and I've often tried them but the only really effective way of cleaning an LP is to give it a bath in some warm water with a moderate amount of mild dish-washing liquid. (You might need to protect your label especially if you are an LP collector - I'm not; I'm a music collector) You can use a very soft brush. Rinse it off in cold water and dry it with a lint free cloth. Avoid heat - it's very bad for vinyl and never leave LPs in the sun, even in their jackets, especially in a hot climate like inland Australia. Heat-warped LPs are dead LPs.

Now play your LP savouring the full richness of its crackles, rumbles, pops and hisses and the whatever other extras it may offer. Hopefully, it will not stick in, or jump, any tracks but even these problems can be overcome but get some experience before tackling these latter problems. Seriously, I always play any LP immediately before I copy to computer as that first play after a wash also removes more garbage from the grooves and the LP will play better the second time around.

Now record the LP, blemishes and all, to your computer as a "wav" file . There are a various ways to do this - it's no different to recording any other sounds. If you're copying to send to someone else for editing then you can even use system software, your sound card software, or one of those LP copying programs but make sure that any filters in the software are disabled.  Please check the level of the input volume - if it is too high the recording will be somewhat distorted.  And some of these old LPs have some marked volume variations just to make life more difficult.

But if you want to have a go at editing the sound, then you may as well record the input through sound editing software - I use Adobe Audition CC; others use Goldwave or Audacity and there are surely others.

An important thing is that you commence recording before the LP starts playing and play from as early as possible and only cease recording once the record player finishes off. Editing is far easier if you can identify equipment noise and general track noise throughout the side as this noise may then be used to eliminate the same noise in the music tracks (note the 'may'). Save this track as is without editing. Make a working copy and do all editing on this as you will sometimes need to go back to the original and it's too tedious if you have to record from the LP all over again. A bit of a clue is that don't get too discouraged after listening to track 1 of a side - they are nearly always the worst damaged. If you're a beginner, pick a fairly good track and experiment, experiment and experiment - use the undo feature and save every time you think you've made an improvement. Sometime it can all be done using the wholesale features but, when you're really confident try editing out any remaining faults individually.

Sometimes, you can do lots of automated preliminary editing on a full side e.g. noise removal, click, pop and hiss removal but, generally, the nature of an LP can change from start to finish and then it is advisable for best results, to extract and save the individual tracks but keep the lead-in lead-out silence with each track for potential noise removal use. Always work on "wav" files if practical - conversion to MP3 or other condensed formats happens at the very end. If you wish to record to CD preferably use the "wav" files. If you have limited bandwidth and want to transmit the music to others for editing then consult with the person you are sending it to for an acceptable format. Generally, MP3 at 320kbs CBR should be the minimum although, very occasionally, successful editing can occur at lower levels than that.

Please note that both Gonzo and I are willing to edit suitably prepared material relevant to our interests (that is, virtually any English language folk material). Please also include graphics if possible. Of course we do not want to make a big effort ripping an LP that has been re-released on CD and, yes, we've both wasted hours on LPs that have been re-released on CD under a different name.

I hope this is helpful and all comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Warren Fahey & the Larrikins "Limejuice and Vinegar" 1977

LP MP3 Rip @128kbs

Warren Fahey has been singing, producing, promoting, history writing and just about anything else about folk music in Australia for decades. He was the founder of the Larriken label which supported so many Australian Folk Singers. (Google him if you'd like to know more about this fine man and his very extensive website).
This was one of his earlier albums first produced by EMI in 1977 and later released on Larrikin label. It has never been released on CD. Some of the songs have been released on later albums but they are new releases with different line-ups of musicians.
All the tracks on this album were collected in Australia and most of them are sea songs or shantys with a couple of obvious exceptions. This is not one of my rips but it is a good one. the encoding rate of 128 CBR is a little lower than I like but these, soundwise, are relatively simple tracks and they will not disappoint. The LP Title "Limejuice and Vinegar" refers the use of these products to prevent scurvy on the lengthy trips to Australia.

Track List
1. Codfish Shanty (Cape Cod Shanty)
2. According to the Act
3. The Lost Sailor
4. Blow the Man down
5. The Gum Tree Canoe
6. Foley and the Green
7. The Golden Vanity
8. Rolling Home
9. The Wonderful Crocodile
10. The Jolly Puddlers
11. The Female Rambling Sailor
12. The Catalpa Escape
13. Ginny on the Moor
14. A Long Time Ago
15. Hornpipe Set
16. Leave Her, Jollies, Leave Her

Additional Information
In the tags of these tracks, I acknowledged the performers as Warren Fahey (singer), Paddy McLaughlin (singer; 5 string banjo), Jack Fallis (singer; guitar; mandolin) and Tony Suttor (singer:concertina). Missing were Liora Claff (singer) and Ned Alexander (fiddle).

Download with graphics

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Photographing LP covers with a digital camera

In a recent post on my blog I described how I create LP cover scans using a scanner

You can also use a digital camera, this does not produce such a precise picture or one of such high resolution as the scanned image, however is it adequate for most front covers that contain bold images and little fine print.

It is easy to photograph the entire front cover in one operation, but there are points that need to be carefully watched.

1. The camera must be exactly lined up and perpendicular to the LP cover
2. The camera must be at least 32" (80cm) away from the cover being photographed.

Any miss-alignment in (1) will cause perspective distortion (tapered sides)
Any less than 80cms (2) and the picture will suffer barrel distortion (bulging)

3. Even lighting and no shadows is essential, NO flash unless bounced of a reflector
4. Lighting temperature should be near as possible 6500 (sunlight)

LP covers with a gloss sheen will produce all kinds of reflected images, yes even your face!!
diffused lighting is essential, I use my special adapted tripod in a room with a white ceiling
at which I shine a flood light. By using a tilt over extension arm on the tripod I can place the camera exactly over the centre of the cover sitting offset between two of the tripod legs.

Using a remote control is the best way to avoid shake and shadows from yourself, prefocus
the shot and set the zoom so the picture fills 3/4 frame before using the remote. When you get the set up right you need only basic editing to produce a nice square image, you can correct for contrast and brightness with most editors, some will allow perspective correction too if you didn't get the positioning exactly 90 degrees perpendicular and central.

I have posted this to Pauls blog because a reader from here asked me the question.
For more info and updates please checkout my blog:


Friday, February 6, 2009

Various "Best of the Bushbands" 2CD set 1994

CD MP3 Rip 192-224 VBR
Front cover of CD Case now attached with many thanks to one of our visitors.

This is one of various compilations published and re-published over the years and features many great tracks performed by bush bands that have long since disbanded. These 2 CDs were also later re-published as CDs 1 and 2 of a 3 CD set "The Best of Australian Folk Songs" but that is now out-of-print also.

CD1 features The Ants Bush Band with "The Overlanders", "All for me Grog", "1000 miles away" and the instrumental "The Waves of Tory". The Bushwackers perform "Lachlan Tigers", "Lime Juice Tub", Bogle's "And the Band played Waltzing Matilda", "Augathella Station", and "Flash Jack from Gundagai". The Colonials present "Lazy Harry's", "Waltzing Matilda", "Maranoa Drovers" and "Widgeegoweera Joe". The Sundowners do "Click go the Shears", "Bound for Botany Bay", "Stringybark Creek", "Black Velvet Band", "Wild Rover" and "Ryebuck Shearer". The Wombat's Bush Band performs two set of instrumentals in the Australian bush dance style.

On CD2, The Ants Bush Band offer "Poor Ned", "Maggie May", "The Man from Snowy River" and "The Whale". The Cobbers are also on this one with "The Ballad of Ben Hall", "Travelling down the Old Castelreagh", The Streets of Forbes", "Shores of Australia" and the haunting instrumental "Bushland Dreaming". The Bushwackers feature with "Clancy of the Overflow" (as poetry), "The Flying Pieman" (instrumental), "Billy of Tea" and "Van Dieman's Land" (the latter with a folk rock style backing). The Colonials perform "Put a Light in every Country Window" (refers to the Snowy Mountains Scheme, "Queensland Whalers" (a Harry Robertson composition) and "Reedy River". The Sundowners have "Drover's Dream", "Old Bullock Dray", and two compositions which, while hardly folk, are certainly Australian, namely Gordon Parsons "Pub with No Beer" and Rolf Harris' "Tie Me Kangaroo Down"

New Links as at 26 April 2017
See comments to download CD1
Download CD2 from MediaFire

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Overlanders "Tribute to Western Australia 150" 1979

LP Rip MP3 @192-224VBR
Track List
1. Bound for Western Australia
2. The Graves out West
3. Song of the State Battery
4. Come sing Australian Songs to Me
5. Ten Thousand Miles Away
6. The Kroombit Boys
7. Wild Rover
8. The Catalpa
9. The Men of New Australia
10. Flash Jack from Gundagai
11. The Tea and Damper Song
12. The Dying Stockman
13. The Bushman's Farewell
14. The Black Velvet Band

I bought this LP in 1979 and, for the life of me, I cannot recall a thing about these performers. This album represents a fairly mixed performance. In a couple of songs the lyrics delivered by a female singer are a little indistinct especially in "The Graves out West" track. The better tracks include "The Men of New Australia" about a socialist "utopia" settlement formed by Australian residents in Paraguay in the 1890s lead by an expat American William Lane (a rapid and utter failure). Their relatively easy-going rendition of "Wild Rover" is refreshing. The "Song of the State Battery" was written by a miner about the Government assayists Gold ore crusher at Kalgoorlie and the hope that, one day, it will give positive results for his samples. Kalgoorlie is still a major gold mining town.

Download with graphics
From MediaFire

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Cobbers "Australia: From Celts to Cobbers" 1978 LP

Track List
1. From Celts to Cobbers
2. Moreton Bay
3. South Australia
4. The Catalpa
5. O'Carolan's Concerto
6. The Ballad of Ben Hall
7. The Cross of the South
8. Waltzing Matilda
9. The Ballad of the Kelly Gang
10. Scots of the Riverina
11. Dennis Murphy's/The Forty-Two Pound cheque
12. Stalky's Song

The Cobbers (Australian colloquial for mates, friends - now rarely used) was a very active bush band on-and-off during the 1970s and 1980s putting out over ten LPs most of which are now available from their website (see below) (entry edited following contact from John Armstrong of the band)

On this album, the band has a good, lively bush sound featuring some of the regular ballads performed by bush bands with a few interesting extras including the sea shanty "South Australia" which is often thought to be Australian in origin. It's actually of American origin based on the sea voyages from north-east USA round Cape Horn to Australia in the south (not the State of South Australia). Another variation is the shanty known as "Cape Cod Boys" or "Cape Cod Girls" which also has the refrain "And we're bound for south Australia".
A very nice LP which has ripped well.

The rip of this LP is no longer available for download. All tracks are now available, with many other tracks, on the Cobbers "Australian Legends" CD available for purchase from the Cobbers website:-

UPDATE 18 Nov 2010
Previously reported (in June) that the website link was not working (address had been hijacked by the look  of it). Site has now been working properly for some time which I discovered on 22 Sep 2010 and I advised of this elsewhere but failed to do so on this entry.  My apologies to anyone effected. 
Further UPDATE 3 Feb 2012 - This site has been up and down in the interim and is now back up again.
15 April 2013 - no obvious websites for the Cobbers - just an empty facebook identity,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Various Artists "The Restless Years" 1968 LP

In 1967, Peter O'Shaughnessy, an accomplished actor, author and director, wrote and acted in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program entitled "The Restless Years" giving a culturally based examination of Australian history and the development of the Australian "character". In 1968, Jacaranda Press invited O"Shaughnessy to follow-up with an A3 size book entitled "The Restless Years: Being some Impressions of the Origin of the Australian" assisted by the historian Professor Ward, an expert on Australian Folksongs and Ballads, and the artist Graeme Inson for graphic research and development.
The publication was to cover the period leading up to the establishment of the first convict settlement to Federation in 1901. There was a strong emphasis on early recollections, and the related English and Australian folk songs and poetry of the period. In the same spirit, the book was accompanied by an LP with poetry and other spoken word material by Peter O'Shaughnessy and traditional songs sung by Alex Hood (previously posted here) and Marian Henderson, a very talented folk singer of the 1960s. Musical accompaniment was provided by Ron Carson on double bass and Richard Brookes on harmonica. Marian Henderson sings "Moreton Bay", "Look Out Below", "The Streets of Forbes" and "Old Black Alice" while Alex Hood sings "The Old Bullock Dray", and "The Eumerella Shore", and the two combine to sing "On the Banks of the Condamine" and "Waltzing Matilda" which, thankfully, is the original version penned by "Banjo" Paterson. O'Shaughnessy recites two traditional songs, namely, "Jim Jones at Botany Bay" and "Five Miles from Gundigai" (I'd have preferred that they be sung). He uses a wide variety of voices in his spoken word but, strangely, considering that he was born and brought up in Melbourne and never saw Ireland until he was an adult, he has more of an Irish accent than an Australian one. A very interesting LP.
For the international visitors, perhaps the following lexicon might help with this and other postings. Also, if you want any help understanding any of the words or the context of any songs in my postings, just ask away.

Prad - a now-dated term for a stock horse used by station hands, stockmen, drovers etc
Diggings - the gold fields (various locations) viz. Digger - a gold miner
Trap - a trooper (mounted police officer)
Ringer - the shearer who shears the most sheep in a shed.
Ringer - also a term for a stockman/musterer in northern cattle country.
Gin, lubra - an Aboriginal woman (now regarded as politically incorrect terms)
Station - any large grazing farm e.g. sheep and/or cattle station (U.S - ranch)
Duff - to steal livestock viz. Duffer (U.S. rustler)
Poddy Dodging - branding someone else's calves with your brand (U.S. mavericking)

And many thanks to the kind visitor who pointed out to me the existence of this album.

Download 192VBR LP Rip 
From MediaFire

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