Saturday, January 2, 2016

Forest Hill Folk "A Treasury of Authentic Australian Bush Ballads" LP 1974.

Ian from Tasmania provided this album and it is well past time that I put it up. Good work Ian!

I enjoyed working on this album - not only because it was very "clean:" - but also I found this group and its music quite infectious.

The blurb on the rear of the slip is, for once, quite a good description of this group and its music so I quote it:

A dedicated bunch of bush balladeers, the Forest Hills Folk aim to present folk music in the way it all began. Unsophisticated songs, sung in an unsophisticated manner, accompanied by unsophisticated instruments with a strong emphasis on Australiana. Mostly school teachers, living in Forest Hills area, they just love to get together and perform their repertoire in their own honest lively way, and after all, isn't that what folk music is really all about?

The members are advised as:
Denise - Lead vocals, Guitar, Recorder
Tim - Lead vocals, Conga Drum, Lagerphone
Pat - Violin, Tinwhistle, Accordion, Harmonica, Clarinet
Bill - Bush Bass
Keith - Guitar (possibly not included in cover photograph??)
Dixie - Guitar, Flute, Banjo, Mandolin, Accordion and Manager.

No family names are given so any contributions further identifying them will be very welcome.

For the main part, tracks are Australian bush traditionals the exceptions being "Ned Kelly" (an early "hillbilly" song, "Flies", "Snowy River Roll" and the "Woolloomooloo Blues" (the latter usually known as "The Woolloomooloo Lair". In their song "Eumeralla Shore" usually spelt "Eumerella", they are actually singing the name of the Victorian town of that name. Otherwise Australia is littered with the name "Eumerella" especially as being fully or partlty the name of various localities, sheep and cattle stations, streets and roads.

You rarely get much variation in the performance of "Black Velvet Band" but this group gives it a easy-going treatment which I found to be a very pleasant change from the norm.

Tracklist
1. The Old Bullock Dray
2. Flash Jack from Gundagai
3. Ned Kelly (Poor Ned Kelly)
4. Flies
5. Catalpa
6. The Old Bark Hut
7. Wild Rover No More
8. Springtime brings on the Shearing
9. Snowy River Roll
10. Eumeralla Shore
11. The Black Velvet Band
12. Woolloomooloo Blues (Lair)

Click here to  commence downloading the album file with graphics. MP3 224-256VBR. 48Mb.
Click here for the FLAC (lossless) version   84MB
The file will need to be decompressed before any attempt is made to "play" it.
Please let me know at mr.stockman@gmail.com if the download becomes unavailable and I will re-up it.

8 comments:

  1. Many thanks for making this available. Ian and Paul.

    Pleasant, laid-back style, rather than the more usual ballsy presentation by bush bands. They sing a bit like...um...well...school-teachers I suppose! Not a criticism; quite refreshing actually.

    Any idea which Forest Hill they are from? Seems to be one in nearly every state.

    Their (Poor) Ned Kelly is a new one to me. I was expecting to hear the Smilin' Billy Blinkhorn song. Any one know anything about the song? Can't find any trace of those words on Google. Written by the group???

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    1. Many years ago Dave de Hugard sang this song at the National Folk Festival (later featured on the 35th Anniversary CD). He called it "Billy Punch's song" as he learnt it from him. He claimed that Billy did not know where it came from but went on to wonder if Billy wrote it himself. The song has twice been included before - Wild Colonial Boys "Glenrowan to the Gulf" album and Paradiddle "Eureka - Live at the Stockade". So, OK, who can tell us more about "Billy Punch" (my spelling).

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    2. Forgot. - It was Forest Hill in Victoria.

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  2. The versions of Poor Ned Kelly on the Wild Colonial Boys and Paradiddle albums you mention are the Billy Blinkhorn song I mentioned. This one is completely different, though with a similar sentiment. Unfortunately, I don't have the NFF 35th Anniversary CD to compare....(hint, hint)

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  3. You're right! the others owe their origin to Billy Blinkhorn as does Dave de Hugard's one (even if through a Billy Punch. Perhaps I got carried away with the "sentimentality" but I'm still in the belief that I've heard that version before. Who knows!

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  4. When are the group making a CD? Are they going to make a CD of recent versions of their songs?

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  5. Dixie Blanksby & Blii Blanksby (Mum & Dad) the band did not last into the eighty's

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