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Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly

Roberto 27 Nov 09 - 04:40 AM
Brian Peters 27 Nov 09 - 09:02 AM
Wheatman 27 Nov 09 - 04:18 PM
GUEST 27 Nov 09 - 10:35 PM
katlaughing 27 Nov 09 - 11:28 PM
Reinhard 28 Nov 09 - 05:16 AM
Dave Sutherland 28 Nov 09 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Dr Price, cookieless 28 Nov 09 - 08:37 AM
Brian Peters 28 Nov 09 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,matt milton 28 Nov 09 - 12:50 PM
Reinhard 28 Nov 09 - 02:10 PM
RoyH (Burl) 30 Nov 09 - 10:23 AM
Dave Ruch 30 Nov 09 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,rumanci 30 Nov 09 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Jerry Epstein 30 Nov 09 - 02:09 PM
Dave Sutherland 30 Nov 09 - 03:48 PM
Brian Peters 01 Dec 09 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Clive Pownceby 01 Dec 09 - 06:25 AM
Richard Spencer 01 Dec 09 - 07:50 AM
RoyH (Burl) 01 Dec 09 - 02:53 PM
Richard Spencer 01 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM
RoyH (Burl) 01 Dec 09 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,David E. 01 Dec 09 - 06:29 PM
Herga Kitty 02 Dec 09 - 02:50 AM
RoyH (Burl) 02 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM
RoyH (Burl) 03 Dec 09 - 10:41 AM
katlaughing 03 Dec 09 - 11:35 AM
Dave Sutherland 04 Dec 09 - 02:44 AM
Wheatman 04 Dec 09 - 07:50 PM
RoyH (Burl) 05 Dec 09 - 07:28 AM
Wheatman 05 Dec 09 - 10:58 AM
The Sandman 06 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM
Dave Sutherland 07 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM
Wheatman 07 Dec 09 - 02:31 PM
GUEST,booklyn rose - cookieless 09 Dec 09 - 01:05 PM
RoyH (Burl) 10 Dec 09 - 07:08 AM
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Subject: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Roberto
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 04:40 AM

Champions of Folly by Roy Harris is now on eMusic, you can download the songs. I hope it means that soon Topic is going to make a new release of the album, a beautiful one, with great songs: Bold Lovell (Whiskey in the Jar), Hard Times of Old England, The Dragoon's Ride (Child 299), The Jovial Hunter (Child 18), The Saucy Bold Robber, etc. R


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Brian Peters
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 09:02 AM

I hope so too. One of my favourite records, and a great influence on my music. Two of the titles above have been fixtures in my repertoire for years, having pinched them from this album.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Wheatman
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 04:18 PM

It's one hell of a record, Just revisited my vinyl copy to learn the Beggars Song. What great accompaniments to some fabulous singing.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 10:35 PM

Many of my favorite folk records were liberated from my possession in the 80s and the last few years I've been replacing them as I am able. (Thank you Mr. Ebay.) I was able to find a nice copy of this just last week and this thread is making me all the more anxious to hear it once again after all these years. Excellent timing!

David E.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Nov 09 - 11:28 PM

Also nice to include a link for those of us who are still wet behind the ears.:-)

Roy Harris in eMusic, listen to samples of the whole album.

So now I've finally heard t'other Roy Harris! I knew I'd love his stuff. He's always been such a kind gentleman here. Thanks for posting.

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Reinhard
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 05:16 AM

I want to download this album but the eMusic site doesn't tell me how much this album ore anything else costs without creating an acoount there. I'm somewhat reluctant to give up personal data without knowing what I can get and what the costs are.

With a bit of searching I found "Champions of Folly" and lots of other Topic album for $9.99 each on digital.thinkindie.com.

Roberto, with the amount of albums shown there I think it is unlikely that Topic is going to re-release all of them on CD (as much as I'd like them to do it...) It looks rather like Topic is finally opening up to the digital age.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 05:19 AM

Doubtless I'll be in contact with Mr Harris later today or early tomorrow to discuss the outcome of today's clash with Doncaster Rovers.
I'll tell him of this thread if he hasn't already seen it!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,Dr Price, cookieless
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 08:37 AM

Champions Of Folly was a favourite record of mine, and I'll treasure it always. Marvellous platter! Thanks, Roy, for all you've achieved and for infecting me with your enthusiasm and your love of song. The Folk Scene should be very proud of you.

Mick the President, Llantrisant Folk Club


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Brian Peters
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 12:21 PM

"I'll be in contact with Mr Harris later today or early tomorrow to discuss the outcome of today's clash with Doncaster Rovers."

You and he will be celebrating, then. As I am, after the news from Portsmouth. Edgeley Park under water, so at least no further embarrassment on that score.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,matt milton
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 12:50 PM

I don't know if this will have an actual CD release though.

If you go looking on emusic you'll also find a digital MP3 reissue of Paddy Tunney's fantastic Topic album 'A Wild Bee's Nest' and also a Hedy West album (I forget the title). I'd never heard of Hedy West before I checked out the album snippets - great stuff, very Seeger-ish banjo playing and a lovely unaffected voice. I downloaded both of them, but there's nothing on the Topic website to suggest they're planning any CD reissues of them. I think it might be digital-only.

I also noticed on emusic that a Willie Clancy album, also on Topic, will be available for download in early December. Really looking forward to that one. My emusic sub is 40 songs a month for £10.99, and it's worth it for all the Topic and Folkways stuff they hve there. The McPeake album is next on my download list...


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Reinhard
Date: 28 Nov 09 - 02:10 PM

It seems that Topic does not announce new releases on their website in advance. You can order them at Amazon, HMW, ... (name your online store of choice) several weeks before the release date but the Topic website always keeps silent.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 10:23 AM

I'd like to thank Roberto and fellow posters above for their kind comments on the album 'Champions of Folly'. You've sent my thoughts whizzing back to 1974 when it was recorded at Livingstone Studios in Barnet. Martin Carthy played guitar and dulcimer, Vic Gammon played melodeon and concertina, and the late Bobby Cambell played fiddle and mandola. Fine musicians all, and they deserve loud praise for their efforts because all the backings were worked out on the day. No prior rehearsal, we just got our heads together in the studio, tried out a few ideas and then got on with it. Musicians of their calibre can do this. They each did their utmost to back my singing in the best way possible, and they succeeded. I have huge respect for all of them, and still admire the spirit of co-operation they showed that day.
      Brian,Mick,and Katlaughing,I'm flattered and honoured by your comments. Wheatman, 'The Beggar's Song' is great to sing. Enjoy it. The album title 'Champion's of Folly' is a quote from the song 'Bold Lovell' on which Martin played guitar most splendidly. Some years ago I was being interviewed on Dick Pleasants radio show in Boston,USA,when this song was played. The studio phone rang and a voice said it was '...wonderful how Mr Harris could sing like that and play like that at the same time!' Well, I had to tell the truth, but I almost didn't!.
This thread comes at a propitious time for I have been trying to find a way to spread the word that my years of retirement (okay, semi-retirement) from the folk scene are over. During the 1980's I suffered a mental and physical breakdown that took away my voice and confidence to such a degree that at one stage I was barely able to speak.In the '90's during a long bout of depression I announced my formal retirement and put the folk scene at arms length as far as singing was concerned. Things gradually improved but it wasn't until 2003 that I undertook another tour, this one to celebrate my 70th birthday. It went reasonably well,and I managed a few more gigs but still felt nervous and got depressed easily. But now, greatly heartened by my friends in the USA giving me the Eisteddfod Festival award ('...for a lifetime of service...') I am back in full voice and ready to go again. I have a couple of festivals booked for 2010, and would welcome more. Folk clubs too - I could be your oldest guest of the year!. I don't expect the volume of work I used to get, but I'm here if you want me.There will be no more retirement for me, I intend to sing until I die.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Dave Ruch
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 11:16 AM

Fantastic news Roy!! I'm so glad to hear this.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,rumanci
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 01:38 PM

...GREAT great news.... well done you !
rum x


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Subject: Roy Harris
From: GUEST,Jerry Epstein
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 02:09 PM

I have been wondering about a magazine in Britain, read by serious folk music people, that would publish the following. So I start it here. Thanks to Dave Ruch for pointing me to this thread.

At the Eisteddfod Festival this past October, the annual award for a lifetime of service indeed went to Roy. It was introduced with the following words:

The Eisteddfod Award 2009 -- presented to Roy Harris October 18, 2009

The Presentation of an Eisteddfod Award for distinguished service to the maintenance and continuance of Traditional Music originates with the Eisteddfod festivals in Massachusetts, started more than 30 years ago by Howard Glasser.

Howard was quite explicit in saying that the award was never about performing as such, but about the continuance of the tradition, often through collecting, teaching, encouraging youth, standing up for the importance of the sources, inspiring a new generation to learn about and listen to the old singers and songs and the culture which keeps them.

The Folk Music Society of New York today makes the case that no one on the British folk scene deserves the award more than Roy Harris. Roy was never renowned as a singer first, he was a fine singer with a great repertoire and a rapport with an audience that could allow people in a fairly dismal club that usually presented pop junk to listen to an entire evening of unaccompanied song and love it. Some of us have seen that first hand. Roy has always been on a mission to get young people to listen to and pay attention to the old singers and the old songs, done the old way. He did this every week in the three clubs he ran over the decades, and in the years he ran the Loughborough Festival in Britain.

The first club he started was in Cardiff, and among his early guests were Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger who commented to him that "This is the best club in Britain." His longest running club was the famed "Nottingham Traditional Music Club" (the NTMC), which ran from about 1965 to about 1985. My first time going to folk clubs in England was in 1968. I went to a club in Bristol because it was listed in the EFDSS directory as "traditional". There were less than 10 people there. The fellow running it told me, "If you like the real traditional stuff, you simply must go to Nottingham on a Friday night."

I did, and how right he was.

Roy had very high standards for clubs, not in terms of the "professionalism" of those who sang, but for the Club itself. It always started dead on time. He always developed a local house band, who were playing tunes as people were coming in, he always had a group of local singers to whom he fed large numbers of great traditional songs, often through giving away his record collection. The encouragement of everyone to sing was simply stunning, and the chorus singing at the NTMC was breathtaking. He booked scads of the best traditional artists, many of whom other clubs would simply not book, since they feared they would not draw: Belle Stewart, Joe Heaney, Bob Cann, Vic Legg, so many more. And he packed 'em in. Week after week after week. If you were 10 minutes late often you simply could not get in. He packed 'em in, because the experience of being there was always absolutely superb. It was the spirit, the authenticity, the chorus singing, the sharing. Lots of clichés, which are clichés because they are so true. Everyone wanted to perform there, but the singer songwriters and "comedians" which can be the bane of the club circuit never did, though there was no shortage of newer songs and surely no shortage of humour. It was pure tradition, but without a trace of stuffiness without a trace of nose in the air, down to earth working class all the way, and pure Roy. And it ALWAYS worked. Bunches of fine singers got their start as floor singers at Roy's clubs. Roy always giving away his records with huge enthusiasm, "Listen to this!". . .

The NTMC became, under Roy's encouragement, a whole folklore center, with a mummers group, a morris team, some local collecting, and a big bunch of young folks who made this a major part of their lives. There is simply no one else who did anything like that. Brian Peters (along with many others) always cites Roy as a major inspiration for his interest in the tradition. A few years after the NTMC closed, he started "Traditions at the Tiger" a pub in Long Eaton, near Nottingham. Within a matter of months, it seemed to be known widely as "The Best Club in Britain" – so what else is new? -- even though it met (and still meets) only once a month.

In about 1978 he took over the floundering Loughborough festival, and again transformed it into the best traditional festival anywhere. He did so by inviting only the finest tradition-based artists, source singers, and folklorists. Martin Carthy was there the same year I was, but in my recollection did not perform very much; it seemed to me it was his main job to run Bert Lloyd's tape recorder. Norma (Waterson) was there also, simply because they wanted to be there. One had to be there! You couldn't miss it. And he packed them in, by doing what all the typical festival operators did not believe could be done. He packed them in without a trace of a more "pop" folk singer to be seen anywhere. I think this is something that the Eisteddfod shares of Roy's vision. His commitment to and faith in the tradition itself was absolute and unconditional. His genuine enthusiasm and understanding was felt by all. The source singers loved him, and so did the folk public — though there were exceptions! He believed in it with all his heart, and because of him thousands of others believed in it too. He invited people like Martin, thinking they would not come without a big fee, but they came, for the same reason that so many want to come back to the Eisteddfod for little more than gasoline money. The quality is so high, people really want to be there. It is not a job, it is a life experience.

In my years directing Folk Music Week at Pinewoods, Roy was about the only one whose word on a singer I would take without hearing them. He brought to me Will Noble, Briege and John Morgan, and of course he was always right. His judgment of real quality is infallible, and never fooled by surface glitz. And most of all he has passed that commitment and that understanding on to so many of the next generation.

For all these reasons, Roy Harris merits the 2009 Eisteddfod Award for a lifetime of distinguished service to the continuation of traditional music, dance, and song.

Jerry Epstein — at the Eisteddfod Festival of Traditional Music, October 18, 2009

The Award plaque itself says (after the engraving of Howard Glasser's "Celtic Horseman" at the top (Roy will happily show it to you!):

" The Eisteddfod Award

Presented with great thanks at the Eisteddfod - NY Festival of Traditional Music, October 18, 2009, to Roy Harris

for many years of dedication, inspiration, and service to the practice and dissemination of traditional folk song, music, and dance."

Next year's Eisteddfod will be in upstate New York, in the second half of October. We will try to get more details to this space. And if anyone can suggest a folk magazine in Britain to send this to, please let me know at jerepst@att.net If this award encourages Roy to get out more and find again where he can genuinely be of great service, it will have accomplished all I could hope for.

Jerry Epstein


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 30 Nov 09 - 03:48 PM

I would really love to invite one and all to celebrate with Roy when he appears alongside Mike Waterson and Louis Killen at the aforementioned Traditions at the Tiger, Tiger Inn, Long Eaton on Sunday 6th Dec however, and unsurprisingly, that date has been sold out for the last two weeks.
No matter, I'm sure that he would like to see you the following night when he hosts a singaround at Grand Union Folk, Soar Bridge Inn, Barrow on Soar nr Loughborough (8:30) and then he will be guest at Sharps, Cecil Sharp House on Tuesday 8th Dec.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Brian Peters
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 05:42 AM

A very good piece, thank you Jerry. It's hard to think of a worthier recipient of an award for "the continuance of the tradition, often through collecting, teaching, encouraging youth, standing up for the importance of the sources, inspiring a new generation to learn about and listen to the old singers and songs and the culture which keeps them."

I can testify from treasured personal experience of that. Welcome back, Roy, I'm looking forward to hearing you and working with you again.
Brian


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,Clive Pownceby
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 06:25 AM

.......... and you told me that Bothy gig at the 'Shelbourne' would be the last one Roy! As I said then, there's always work waiting in Southport - although you know us, - has your 2012 diary arrived!?
I too have fond memories of the album. I learn't 'Lovell' from the late Frank McCall who must've got it from you.

bestest,

Clive


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Richard Spencer
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 07:50 AM

Speaking as one whose nearly 40 year love of traditional song was born and nurtured at the NTMC (rather under-age to be in a pub!) I would like to add my thanks and congrats on the award. "Champions" is still a favourite album as is "Bitter & Sweet". Hoping you are singing somewhere near here soon. Thanks Roy.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 02:53 PM

Thank you Richard.Those were great days at the old News House. Look at the above posting by Dave Sutherland and you'll see my next few gigs. Pleased to say more gigs are coming in, including another festival.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Richard Spencer
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 03:24 PM

Great days indeed. What about Harry's bitter though?


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 03:46 PM

Best Forgotten!   Great singing though.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,David E.
Date: 01 Dec 09 - 06:29 PM

A well cared for friendly blue labled Topic copy arrived in the post just today and I am hearing this record again for the first time in 20 odd years. And yes, it's just as wonderful as I remembered. I do hope someone will report back on the gig with Mike and Louis that's coming up.

David E.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 02:50 AM

Great news! Looking forward to hearing Roy Harris on 30 January at Haddenham, when we remember Johnny Collins!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 02 Dec 09 - 12:50 PM

The award plaque that Jerry Epstein mentions has been shown to everyone in my family, all my neighbours, and any passing stranger I can drag in off the street. Quite seriously, it has given me a terrific boost. I put on 'Champions of Folly' this morning and I'll swear I was singing along in the same keys! First time in years. Just goes to show how much of this singing game is about confidence. Clive, I'll be happy to sing at Southport in 2012, or even the following year when I will be 80. My 'things to do before I die' now includes return trips to California,USA Mid-west, and Australia. Plus anywhere else. Ain't life grand!


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 10:41 AM

ref the Johnny Collins tribute concert mentioned by Herga Kitty. Among the many singers present will be Tom Lewis. That'll be good!


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: katlaughing
Date: 03 Dec 09 - 11:35 AM

Roy, depression kept me from checking back in this thread until today. I am much better but can really relate to losing confidence, voice, etc. Thank you for sharing your *journey*. You ARE an Inspiration! I HOPE your "mid-West" return might get close to the Rocky Mountains, as in Western Colorado where you are always welcome.

With much love and admiration,

kat


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 02:44 AM

David E keep checking out www.tigerfolk.com over the next couple of weeks and you'll find a review there (which will be written by no less a person than Jack Crawford - big man in EFDSS)
Alternatively get your e-mail address to me and I'll put you on the mailing list.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Wheatman
Date: 04 Dec 09 - 07:50 PM

wow what a thread, so positive in these negative times. All those well deserved accolades. I remember with great fondness the times you stayed with us in Stevenage in the 70's as guest there and at St Albans Club on the Sunday, heady times. We live in Whittlesey now so we will watch out for gigs near us Brian and Christine


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 07:28 AM

Brian, is that you? My stars, after all these years. I remember Stevenage and St Albans with great pleasure. The Stevenage bloke,Mr Smith (was his name Dave?) was the most enthusiastic club organiser I ever knew. St Albans also had a greeat team of enthusiasts in charge, it was a pleasure to sing there. It was held at a pub called The Goat pub if I remember rightly. As you so rightly say.'heady times'. If there are any folk clubs near you please tell 'em I want to come over. Best wishes to you both. Burl/Roy


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Wheatman
Date: 05 Dec 09 - 10:58 AM

Yes it is the same Brian and Christine, next year we are 60, retire and celebrate our ruby wedding 2010 could be a goodu'n. You are right about Dave Smith, we still get a Christmas card from him and his sister, Anne. Not much of a club scene around here some good sessions (music mainly). We have spent the last 30 years organising Straw Bear Festival and dancing Morris and Sword (not much dancing now but check out my Junior longsword team "Sir Harry's Sword" indeed champions of folly) I would also like to return to the song but there are so few outlets now, ho hum, what goes around comes around. Glad to see you are out and about perhaps we will catch you at a festival next year. you can E mail me direct on strawbear@btinternet.com if you wish Gan Canny Brian


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Dec 09 - 09:02 AM

all the best to you, Roy.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 05:14 AM

I think that it was agreed that it was quite a special occasion last night with Roy, Mike and Louis all under the same roof. Some fine singing from the floor including visits from Brian Peters, Jeff Wesley and Keith Kendrick & Sylvia Needham and the guests clearly enjoying themselves. Roy slipped into his original role effortlessly and ran the night like he had never been away.
Full review of this will be available in a couple of weeks meanwhile I'm looking forward to seeing Roy again tonight at Grand Union Folk, Soar Bridge Inn, Barrow on Soar.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: Wheatman
Date: 07 Dec 09 - 02:31 PM

Publish tour dates and venues please


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: GUEST,booklyn rose - cookieless
Date: 09 Dec 09 - 01:05 PM

It was certainly a treat to have Roy Harris with us at Eisteddfod for a whole weekend. Roy combines good singing and good company with good advice. The Eisteddfod award was instituted by Howard Glasser years ago. Roy Harris exemplifies the range of support for traditional music that the award recognizes.


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Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 10 Dec 09 - 07:08 AM

Thank you Rose. It certainly was a treat for me to be at the Eisteddfod, including memories of previous ones held in Massachusets. Therewere so many old friends there, and it was a pleasure to share workshops with the likes of Happy Traum, Eric Weisberg, Dwayne Thorpe, etc. Howard started something very worthwhile. Long may it continue.


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