29 January 2011

Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger "Classic Scots Ballads" CD re-issue of 1961 LP

Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) was a prodigious performer of traditional folk songs.  He also wrote many modern folk songs, such as "The Travelling People" and "Dirty Old Town", topical songs, and also the Grammy winning "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (when performed by Roberta Flack).
Peggy Seeger (born 1935 New York) was, by 1959, effectively the de-facto wife MacColl (he was still legally married to his second wife). Have a good read of each of their Wikipedia entries - quite complex stories.  Incidentally, Peggy was a younger half sister of Pete Seeger and also younger full sister to Mike Seeger once of the New Lost City Ramblers.
This, the second of their joint albums, was released in 1961.  All tracks are British Isles traditionals either originating in Scotland or Scottish versions of English Ballads.

The tracks are Aikendrum, The False Lover Won Back, The Gairdener Chyld, The Maid Gaed to the Mill, The Elfin Knight, The Banks of the Nile, Hughie Grame, Johnny Lad, Mormond Braes, Glasgowe Peggy, The Moneymusk Lads, The Trooper and the Maid, I Loved a Lass, and Lord Thomas and Fair Annie.

This is a great album.  The tracks were digitally re-mastered for the CD release.  The CD graphics include the original LP notes for each of the songs and are included in the download.

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Harry Belfonte "Belafonte on Campus" LP 1967

Harry Belafonte's three folk albums have been largely forgotten with the exception of "Ballads, Blues and Boasters" which was belatedly released on CD in about 2007.

This album contains a mix of traditional and modern folk music as you will see from the track list.

But do not expect a real "folky" sound - these are "professional" studio tracks with full choral and orchestral backing to provide some very lovely music.  "The Hands I Love" is, IMHO, brilliant.

Graphics are included.
Tracklist:-
1 Roll on Buddy
2 The Hands I Love (Gordon Lightfoot's "Song for a Winter's Night")
3 The Last Thing on my Mind
4 Delia
5 Far Side of the Hill
6 Waly Waly
7 Sail away Ladies
8 First Time Ever I saw your Face
9 Hold on to me, Babe
10 Those Three are on my Mind
11 Dog Song (Your Dog)

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11 January 2011

"Best of Scottish Folk" compilation CD 1996

Obviously a sister release to the prior "The Best of Irish Folk" again being a compilation of folk performers and folk songs of the folk revival period but this time having a Scottish theme.
Performers include Matt McGinn, Hamish Imlach, The McCalmans, Alex Campbell, The Ian Campbell Folk Group, Isla Cameron and Billy Connolly, the latter commencing his professional life as a folk singer with a patter later graduating to be the famed stand-up comedian who occasionally sing a folk song.
There are 24 great tracks including such gems as Owen Hand's I Loved a Lass, Archie Fisher's "Three Gypsy Laddies", Matt McGinn's "Rosin the Beau" (Resin the Bow), and Hamish Imlach's "McPherson's Farewell".

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10 January 2011

"Best of Irish Folk" compilation CD 1996

This CD was compiled in 1996 using digitally remastered tracks previously featured on various LPs of the folk revival period.  It includes an impressive line-up of Irish artists mainly performing mainly "Irish" folk songs (a few imports have crept in).  There are 25 tracks in all and the artists include The Johnstons, The Ludlows, The Dubliners, Sweeney's Men, and Finbar and Eddie Furey.  Tracks include Rocky Road to Dublin, Spanish Lady, Henry Joy, Enniskillen Dragoons, and Curragh of Kildare

Overall, an excellent compilation especially for those who would like to sample the work of a range of Irish folk performers.

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