Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Larrikin Sessions - A Panorama of Australian Folk Songs from the City & Bush CD 1993

I have probably been a little remiss in not presenting this album before. This particular album was a 1993 CD release by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). It has long been out of print and I obrtained this particular rip from one of our regular contributors some time ago.

This album is a real favourite of mine; all the tracks are well selected and beautifully presented. The Larrikins were then Warren Fahey, Dave de Hugard, Bob McInnes and Andy Saunders.  As far as I can tell all tracks are original performances for this album.

The 22 tracks and the primary performer of each of those tracks are as follows:-
1. The Lime Juice Tub - Warren
2. The Old Keg of Rum - Andy
3. Sign on Day - Dave
4. With a Swag all on my Shoulder - Andy
5. Two Professional Hums - Warren
6. Five and a Zack - Andy
7. Stringybark Cockatoo - Dave
8. Moreton Bay - Dave
9. The Morning of the Fray - Warren
10. Frank Gardiner is Caught at Last - Warren
11. The Streets of Forbes - Warren
12. The Death of Ben Hall - Andy
13. Goorianawa - Warren
14. One of the Has Beens - Warren
15. Garawilla - Warren
16. 'ard Tack - Warren
17. The Maryborough Miner - Warren
18. The Miner - Warren
19. The Mines of Australia - Andy
20. Ginny on the Moor - Warren
21. The Golden Vanity - Warren
22. Take Me back to Bendigo - Bob

Of course, Ginny on the Moor and The Golden Vanity originated in the British Isles - these are Australian collected versions of these much-travelled songs.

Download with graphics 

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Gumbies Bush Band - 15 taped tracks

We now know a little about more this bush band.
(Re-edited entry) 
 And now some more again (see below)

One of our regulars had come into possession of a home-prepared cassette tape containing 15 tracks and the only identifier on the cassette was "The Gumbies Bush Band".  Our early research had been unable to identify this particular bush band other than possibly a very cursory reference to an appearance of the "Gumbies" at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1980.  I suspect that the cassette was recorded from an LP because of a few typical vinyl-type problems.
It is most definitely a "bush band" - lots of enthusiastic performers, lagerphones, teachest bass, whistles, banjos, guitars, harmonica, accordions, flutes, boot thumping and lots of vocalisers.  It's very much in the style of The Bushwackers and quite listenable.

Well, at last one of our visitors, Andy, has been able to provide some additional information together with the graphics (posted here) from a six track cassette he bought from the band when they used to play at the Mount Dandenong Hotel at Olinda (lovely area) in the Victorian Dandenongs in about the late 70s or early 80s where they were a local group.  Andy recalls that the bloke on the right was "Hank". From the Cassette insert, it appears that they were not all that sure as to whether they were "The Gumbies Bush Band" or "The Swamp Gumbies Bush Band" or "The Fair Dinkum Gumbies Bush Band". Many thanks Andy for the graphic and the information.

Well, we now have some more information about this group from Paul, the son of Hank "doc" Karssen. The band originally was "The Hustlers" but in the early days of venturing into folk, two of the band members came first and second in a gumboot-throwing competition at a folk festival and this lead to the name "Gumbies". They played at many folk festivals, pubs and halls etc, and appeared on the same bill as The Bushwackers and Redgum. The six track cassette was their only commercial release. The 15 track version appearing here was self-made for distribution for promotional purposes.

There were some changes in band membership over the years. The members in the photograph - starting from second left - were Ken Creighton (on mandolin), the late Peter "Pedro" Ellsworth (sitting, guitar), "Jenko" on tea-chest bass (details anyone?), and, on the far right, the late Hank "Doc" Karssen. The gentleman on the left "Tex" with the washboard was not a member but occasionally helped out and added comedy during breaks. A lady named "Merle" of Emerald (Vic) was also a regular member of the band at one time and presumably is the occasional female vocalist on some of the tracks, most notably Lazy Harry's. Most band members were originally from the Dandenong Ranges area. Many thanks for the information, Paul.

The Merle mentioned above has now been in contact with me. I'll use her words:-
I was a member of the band from 1980- name is Merle Hopman. And I was in fact the female vocalist, whistle, flute player for the band. My friend Nick Safstrom also played bush bass with the band and my husband Rob Hopman played guitar for a while as well. The band was incredibly popular at the time and we played throughout the Dandenongs, folk festivals including Ferntree Gully, Longford, Montrose, Walhalla, new Lincoln inn in Carlton etc. The name  Gumbies, from my memory,. was because originally Pedro lived in an old cottage off Colchester road and to get to band practice the boys donned gumboots to get through the mud. Hank even made a lager phone with a boot on the end. I would love to contact Paul Karssen if you have his email address. I am also happy to share photos etc if Paul or others are interested. I looked through the tracks and just knew that I could still play every one of them.
Rob and I were also founding members of Jindivic and I played with the Woolybull bush band. We live in Bendigo and I am a music teacher. 

Merle would welcome contact from anyone seeking contact or more information. She would also like to contact Paul Karssen. Merle can be contacted on

The song tracks (in the order they appear on the tape) are:
1. Cocaine - (Nobody's Business But My Own)
2. Old Joe Clark (USA traditional)
3. Queensland Railway Line
4. An instrumental set
5. Lachlan Tigers
6. Lazy Harry's
7. Bullocky O
8. Maggie May
9. Maranoa Drovers
10. Instrumental Dance set
11. Rain Tumbles Down in July (The Slim Dusty standard)

12. Old Palmer River song
13. Bundaberg Rum
14. Another Dance Set
15. Queensland Overlander/Queensland Drovers

Any contributions or suggestions, email me, Paul, as usual on or add a comment

Download with a tape graphic (not same)

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Taliesin "Taliesin" CD 1994

One of this blog's visitors has kindly provided a rip of this 1994 CD by a Sydney folk group "The Taliesin" (Taliesin was a 6th Century Welsh poet) pointing out that two of the artists also appeared on The Creel "Apellation" 1998 CD previously posted here.

As far as we can ascertain this CD was a limited release and is no longer available for purchase.  The four artists were Ian Barker, Michael Spencer, Kim Poole and Stephanie Osfield all providing vocals and playing a wide range of instruments.

There is a broad range of tracks including British and Australian traditionals, instrumentals, and songs penned by the performers.  The informative CD notes have been  transcribed and are included in the download along with a photograph of the performers and the CD cover graphic.

The tracks are Cock of the Morning, Wardy's & Thunderbolt, Craigie Hill, James Raeburn, The Shepherd Lad of Rhynie, High among the Heather, The Waverley Waltz, Born a Woman, The Rambling Sailor. Spirit Drought, Row on Row on, My Name is Edward Kelly & Fiddly Jig, The Sprig of Thyme, My Love She Dances Fair, My Last Farewell of Stirling, and I Walk Beside You.

The CD is still available for purchase from THIS LINK
However, Ian Barker advises that the download can still be available on this site. Many thanks Ian.

Download from MediaFire

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See the comment below. Please support these artists if you like their work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lionel Long "Walkabout" LP 1968

This album was billed as Lionel Long's first country and western album when it was released in 1968.  It certainly leans towards being a country album but is hardly typical of that genre.  It is more of an eclectic and interesting mix of songs from a rural perspective.

Nine of the eleven tracks on this LP were written by Lionel Long; the other two being the song "A Town like Alice" penned by Lettie Katts and an Australian traditional "Westward", more commonly known as "Hurrah for the Roma Railway" but given more of a country treatment.  Nevertheless, there are some very good tracks on this album.

The tracks on this LP are Bindi-i-i, Curraweena Station, Lucky Opals, Thursday Island Girl, Legend of Pirili, 600 Miles, Westward, Jet Plane, Thar She Blows, A Town Like Alice, and Nick the Greek.

The LP cover and its label are very definite about this being a stereo LP.  In fact, it was totally mono - not even an attempt at simulated stereo so I have encoded it as mono as this halves the size of the file.

With graphics - encoded at 192 VBR MP3.
Download from MediaFire

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Various Artists "Game as Ned Kelly" Larrikin Record LRF50 1980

For our international visitors, it is probably sensible to give a quick postage-stamp view of Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang.  Edward ("Ned") Kelly was born in the state of Victoria. His father was a transported convict.  Starting out as a horse thief, he went on to lead a bushranging gang in the 1870s.  This gang mainly operated in Victoria with one significant incursion to Jerilderie in New South Wales.  His final robbery involved the capture of the Victorian town of Glenrowan.  He became aware that a trainload of troopers (mounted police commonly known as "traps") were travelling by train to capture him.  He then removed train tracks to derail the train but the troopers were informed, left the train, and walked to Glenrowan where the gang was beseiged.  Most of the gang were killed in a shoot-out.  Ned Kelly, wearing heavy metal armour then confronted the police firing as he came.  He was brought down by bullet wounds to his exposed legs, captured, tried, and hung at the old Melbourne Gaol.
He is regarded by some romantics as a bit of a folk hero fighting against the villainy of authority.  In the Jerilderie Letter, he presents himself as continuing the Irish Catholic fight against the Saxon hordes - a view somewhat spoilt by the fact that he had no hesitation ambushing and killing a group of Irish-born troopers.
As with all romantic figures, he features in several songs over the decades including some written and sung during his bushranging days.  Warren Fahey, on this LP, includes a good range of those songs.

Track List
My Name is Edward Kelly (Declan Affley)
The Ballad of Ned Kelly (in three parts) (Andy Saunders) Tune of "Wearing of the Green"
Stringybark Creek (Andy Saunders)
Farewell to my Home in Greta (Declan Affley)
The Jerilderie Letter (part) (recitation by Declan Affley) backed by Ian McKenzie on Uilleann pipes playing "Moreton Bay"
Kelly was their Captain (Dave de Hugard)
Ye Sons of Australia (Phyl Lobl)
Farewell Dan and Edward Kelly (Jacko Evans) Tune of 1865 US Civil War song "Just before the Battle, Mother"
Ned Kelly was born in a Ramshackle Hut (Graham Seal singing a Tex Morton composition of the Depression Years)
Ned Kelly was a Gentleman (Warren Fahey recitation of WWII poem) (Not the Slim Dusty song of the same name)
Poor Ned Kelly (Graham Seal and Andy Saunders singing another Depression years song this time written by Billy Blinkhorn)

MP3 Mono at 192 VBR

Apparently there has been a DCMA complaint about this particular album - my very first.  The supposed email with the details of the complaint has apparently been sent by Blogger but I have not received it.  I'm quite surprised that someone took such action over this LP but so be it.  No more downloads folks! Obviously there are some people who would rather that this music remains lost in oblivion.   If its been republished, I'd love to receive some details so I can post them.