Sunday, May 31, 2015

Ants Bush Band "The bush has friends to greet us..." LP 1986

And another vinyl rip provided by the Victorian Bush Folkie. Thanks mate! I never knew about this album despite a fair degree of research on the band. It was recorded in August and September 1986 according to its jacket produced by Nicholls N Dimes Records. The Band members at that time were Paul Duncan, Ron Salter, Michael Roberts, Barry Wiggs, Mary McDonald, and Dominic Dickson.

Cleaning the LP did present some difficulties especially on the B side (tracks 7 to 12) but all tracks are at an acceptable level - just don't listen too critically please.

Most of the tracks are of relatively modern authorship; the exceptions being the medley at track 1 and "The Leaving of Liverpool" (track 10). However, three tracks, as noted in the track list, have traditional dance interludes. I think I can identify two of the dance tunes but, rather than make a fool of myself, perhaps some kind soul can confidently identify them (perhaps Mr. Kind Appo?) Yes he has identified them (see his comment and subsequent correction by band member Paul Duncan).

1. Instrumental medley - Irish Washerwoman, Haste to the Wedding, and Merry Old Maid.
2. Clancy of the Overflow
3. No Man's Land (aka Green Fields of France)
4. The Gamble
5. The Pioneers
6. A Tale of Crooked Jack Mick (with unacknowledged instrumental interlude "Waves of Tory")
7. The Ryebuck Shearer (with unacknowledged instrumental interlude "The Rattling Bog")
8. And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
9. The Man from Snow River
10. Leaving of Liverpool
11. Poor Ned
12. The Whale (with unacknowledged instrumental interlude "The Keel Row"and fade out of "The Sailor's Hornpipe")

Proceed to download compressed album file with graphics MP3 224-256 VBR 71 Mb by clicking here.
You will need decompression software or capability to extract album and its files.
Leave a comment on this post or send email to if file no longer available for download and I will re-upload it.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tim O'Brien & Joe Paolacci "Torn Apart/People & War" LP 1982

This is another LP from the Victorian Bush Folkie. The album appears to be a bit of a joint effort with the rear of the album slip advising the performers as "Joe Paolacci & Tim O'Brien with Tony Lavin, Richard Leitch, Peter Dwyer & Hugh McDonald". It was a Melbourne based production.

This album features many of the anti-war or Irish Rebellion classics, mostly popular in the 'sixties and early 'seventies with a couple of traditionals and three spoken items so it's quite an eclectic offering with leading performances from Paolacci, O'Brien, Lavin and Richard Leitch.

Despite the admirable sentiments, the overall theme was probably even a little outdated in 1982 and doing copy covers of songs previously brilliantly performed by others is always risky.  This album does not translate that well to 2015 but that's just a personal opinion and contrary opinions are welcome.

1. Joe Paolacci performs Buffy Saint-Marie's 1964 classic "The Universal Soldier". It was deservedly a big hit for Donovan.
2. Tim O'Brien performs Dominic Behan's "The Patriot Game". - an IRA favourite.
3. The traditional "Newry Town" by Tony Lavin. A song about a highwayman whose nationality is somewhat vague. No connection to war or rebellion.
4. Phil Coulter's "The town I loved so well" An Irish "troubles" lament.
5. Tim O'Brien recites Dame Mary Gilmore's poem "War"
6. Joe and Tim combine in the traditional "Eileen Aroon" (it has nothing to do with war or rebellion)
7. Tim O'Brien sings his own composition "Davy Fields". It is a very interesting composition which I have never heard before. IMHO it is the outstanding item in the album.
8. "I.W.W." - Tim O'Brien reads from an Australian poster issued in 1915. Short, sharp and pointed!
9. The ancient Scottish lament "The Flowers of the Forest" - Joe Paolacci. Best known in Australia because of Eric Bogle's phrase "did the pipes play the Floo'rs of the Forest". Commonly known as "The Lament" and public pipe performances are usually restricted to funerals and remembrances for the dead.
10. A recitation of Henry Lawson's "Scots of the Riverina" by Richard Leitch in a strong Scottish brogue.
11. "The Button Pusher". Tony Lavin sings this comedy/ironic song of unknown authorship about a person who has the job of pushing the button for all-out atomic war.
12. "The Sun is Burning" performed by Tim O'Brien. Composed by the famed Scottish born, Birmingham resident Ian Campbell, a prominent figure in the UK folk revival. The song became very popular with many Irish folksingers. The "Sun" in this case is the blast of atomic bombs.
13. "Einstein" is a recitation by Joe Paolacci of a very disparaging opinion that Einstein wrote about the intellect of soldiers.

Click here to begin downloading the album and its graphics as one compressed file. MP3@224-256 VBR. 55Mb. Decompression capability required to expand file.

Link fails? - tell me and I will re-up the file.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Death of Marian Henderson 21 May 2015

What a sad time! According to reports, Marian Henderson passed away yesterday. She had been retired for many years living near Nimbin, NSW. She remained an active piano player for friends. She was a brilliant singer and it is a great pity that her musical output was so limited. Still, we can continue to cherish what is available and to remember her fondly.
Farewell Marian!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What are Child Ballads?

I referred to Child Ballads in a recent posting and now realise that I should provide an explanation for those who are wondering just what I am referring to.

Francis James Child, an American, in the 19th century, amongst other things, was a dedicated collector/collator of English language folk songs, mainly English and Scottish but also with some American variations. He published "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads" in 5 parts between 1882 and 1898. It featured 305 different folk songs and many of their variations, each was given a number.

These songs and their variants are popularly known as "Child Ballads" and individually as "Child Ballad (No.). For example Child Ballad 200 is entitled "The Gypsy Laddie" and is a story about a high born lady who is lured by one or more gypsies to leave her wedded lord to live with the gypsies. The lord takes after them and pleads for his lady to return. She refuses and he usually hanged the gypsies. Child provided 12 variants - mostly older ones.

Many people throughout the world collect performances of folk songs listed by Child - not just the ones he listed but also other variants ancient and modern. Child Ballad 200 is very popular and some of the other song titles are "Wraggle Taggle Gypsies", "Awa Johnny Faa" (Old Scots slang for Gypsy), "Seven Yellow Gypsies", "Gypsum Davy"  and "Black Jack Davy". Woody Guthrie copyrighted and sang "Gypsy Davy", an Americanised version. America also offers up "Clayton Boone" who is a rancher whose wife runs off with "handsome Davy".

There is also the much sanitised version/s popular during the folk revival - "Gypsy Rover" or "Whistling Gypsy" etc. In this case a Gypsy runs off with the Lord's daughter (no adultery here) and the Lord takes off after them and tracks them down to the River Glady where she tell the doting dad -
"He is no Gypsy, my father, She said. "But Lord of these lands all over.." Ah! Happy endings.

It is for the Child Ballad collectors that I put up a special download link in case that is all they are interested in. Incidentally many Australian folk singers perform Child Ballads.

There is lots about Francis James Child and Child Ballads on the web - Just Google. You can actually download the books as PDFs (copyright has long expired) and if you want to see what songs are included and even see the lyrics, click here to go to this Wikisource site. See comment below for a site listing known recordings of the Child ballads.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Various "West Australian Bush Bands" LP 1982

Another great offering from the Victorian Bush Folkie.
Topic records produced this LP and it was a pleasure to work on a rip from good quality vinyl. Glitches, and there were a few, were relatively minor and easy to correct although a critical listener may still pick out a few very minor problems. I know nothing about these six bands and there are no notes about them on the record slip. The band names look somewhat suspicious and one or more of the bands may have been one-offs. Information will be very welcome. Additional:- we now have confirmation that they were existing bands and Numguts is still active (see comments). For the main part, the performances are very good.

 The tracks are a mix of traditional and modern Australian folk songs with some instrumental jigs and reels.To my ear the jigs and reels are very uninteresting. Other opinions are welcome.

1. The old Bullock Dray by Beat 'n' Coppa (very good performance of this standard)
2. Bring the Beer to Broome by the Rakes (a new one to me - very enjoyable)
3. The Timbercutters Song by W.A. Bush Orchestra
4. Billy of Tea by Numguts. (Tom Blackman's Waltz in the middle is not acknowledged)
5. Jigs by Rabbits Ears
6. All for me grog by Flash Jack (Irish 'across the western ocean... and "nobbin nobbin boots' version)
7. Shearing Song by the Rakes
8. Sir Frederick Pottinger by W.A. Bush Orchestra (written by Kenneth Cook for Lionel Long "Bold Bushrangers" 2 LP set).
9. The Contract Mailman by Beat 'n' Coppa (honours a W.A. mail contractor from the Broome area)
10. Jigs by Flash Jack
11. Augathella Station by Numguts. (see comment below)
12. Cool Bush Nights by the Rakes
13. Johnny Stewart (drover) by W.A, Bush Orchestra (poor performance lacking musical coherence)
14. Reels by Rabbits Ears.

Re "Augathella Station".  It is now generally accepted that Saul Mendelsohn, stockman turned shop-keeper. originally penned "Brisbane Ladies" which then entered into the folk tradition but remaining close to the original version; the only significant variation being the name of the musician at Nanango and whether he played a concertina or a banjo. It tells the story of a group of stockmen who had driven a mob of cattle to Brisbane where the cattle were sold. They hit the good times in Brisbane and were then riding home to Augathella Station and the song focuses on the towns on the way home.
Unfortunately, in more modern times, someone (perhaps Bushwackers ;-), decided to rewrite part of the song and this is the version sung here. Despite the cattle already having been sold in the first verse, the drovers are now taking the herd back to Augathella (Coals to Newcastle anyone?). For a little more excitement the stockmen, on the way home, stop off at a "shanty town" and sample "the shanty town women" - pure American terminology. We had shanties (solitary roadside inns/taverns) but never shanty towns. Anyway, the Bushwackers put out this version and, thankfully, only a limited number of performers have subsequently picked it up. When city people decide to rewrite bush ballads things can really go really wrong when they, as "Banjo Paterson opined, "don't know a horse from a hoe".

Still, I recommend the album as overall it does contain some very good music and a few songs not previously covered on this blog.

Click here to download from Zippyshare. 66Mb. MP3 @224-256 VBR. The file will need to be decompressed.

Download no longer available? Tell me by comment on this post or email and I will put it up again.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Various Artists - Seventh Australian Folk Festival (1973) - LP

This is another album kindly provided by Victorian Bush Folkie. Thanks again.

The National Folk Festival (as it is now known)  commenced in 1966 originally in Victoria and, after about a decade, moved to Canberra. The 50th Festival will be held there in March next year (2016). Their website can be reached by clicking here. 

I believe that they usually put out an album of performers for most, if not all years and an occasional commemorative album. I suspect that there will be one of those for the 50th festival featuring selected artists from various years.

Of course, these festival albums can only feature artists who can, and do, give permission for their live festival performances to be used.

This album is a typical example of recorded live performances in the 1970s. The sound quality varies quite a lot and sound equipment and performances are far more sophisticated nowadays. Incidentally, the sound technicians at these festivals are mostly volunteers and they deaserve a lot of praise for their contributions over the years.

1. Rawhide by Country Express (bluegrass - not the series theme song)
2. Fiddlers Green by Declan Affley
3. Tell it to me by John, Juanita and Marnie Sheehan.
4. Robin Hood's Progress to Nottingham (Child 139) by Hugh Macewan
5. The Conservationist by The Ramblers (members listed on graphics)
6. EE, AYE AA CUD HEW and Find the Cost of Freedom by Danny, Gordon & Shayna
7. Address tae the Haggis Recitation by Richard Leitch (mostly incomprehensible to me)
8. Sean Ryan's Hornpipe and The Cuckoo's Nest" Instrumentals - Jacko Kevans on concertina and Bob MacInnes on fiddle.
9. Sugar Momma by John Crowle
10. Before I met You  by Country Express - bluegrass
11. Fair Flower o' Northumberland (Child 9) by Rhonda Mawer
12. Bright Morning Star An Appalachian Hymn sung by a Workshop Audience (presumably not a singing workshop - included to complete album - rapid deletion recommended)

Click Here to go to the download host MediaFire to get compressed file containing the album and the LP graphics. Needs to be decompressed. 56Mb MP3 224-256 VBR.

If download does not work - let me know by a comment on this entry or email

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Captain Moonlight - Untitled LP - 1982

Sorry that I have been missing for a while. I've had some problems - mainly with my computer needing two system re-installs and re-installing and setting up various applications.

This music is the first of several albums ripped by the Victorian Bush Folkie and to be cleaned by me.

I understand that this was a Melbourne based group and the rear of the slip advised the band members as being Martin Hanley, Anthony O'Neill, Noel Murphy, Joe Paolacci and Peter Dwyer. (Wonder why the front cover shows six musicians? - see subsequent comments for the answer.)

They were obviously very competent musicians with a markedly eclectic output but with an emphasis on Celtic instrumentals. They also include Bernard Bolan's "Not many Fish in the Harbour Today"

Only moderate cleaning was required.


1. Bonny Ship the Diamond (English traditional)
2. McFarlane's Lament (air)/ Earl's Chair, Banshee, and Faral Gara (reels)
3. Mines of Australia
4. Hag's Reel and Longford Collector (reels)
5. Not Many Fish in the Harbour Today" (Bernard Bolan)
6. Humours of Ballyloughlin (jig) - Black Creek (reel by Anthony O'Neill)
7. Maryborough Miner
8. Ril Gan Ainm, Devil's Dream, and De'il among the Tailors (reels)
9. Green Groves of Erin and Granny's Gravel Walks (reels)

Click here to download the compressed album file including the the album graphics. File is 50Mb. Tracks are MP3 at 224-256 VBR. The file needs to be decompressed.
Please let me know if the file becomes unavailable for download so I can re-upload.