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Finest Kind Discography

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Related threads:
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Lyr Req: Alt. last verse 'They're Taking It Away' (7)
(origins) Lyr Req/Add: No More Fish, No Fishermen (Posen) (13)
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Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:30 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:32 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:33 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:34 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:34 PM
Joe Offer 26 May 14 - 04:35 PM
ChanteyLass 28 May 14 - 09:01 PM
MoorleyMan 29 May 14 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 29 May 14 - 02:06 PM
Reinhard 30 Aug 15 - 01:49 PM
Crowhugger 30 Aug 15 - 02:48 PM
GUEST,henryp 30 Aug 15 - 05:35 PM
GUEST 30 Aug 15 - 05:45 PM
GUEST,Frogprince 30 Aug 15 - 05:47 PM
KT 30 Aug 15 - 08:13 PM
Elmore 30 Aug 15 - 09:00 PM
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Subject: Finest Kind Discography
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:30 PM

In the Singing two songs at the same time thread, RTim linked to an album by Finest Kind titled For Honour & for Gain. I was appalled, truly appalled, that I had never even heard of this album. I think it's high time that we post a Finest Kind Discography to remedy this.If anyone has stories to tell about this group, please post them here.

Finest Kind is the Canadian vocal trio of Ian Robb, Ann Downey, and Shelley Posen. Their repertoire includes American cowboy songs, Irish comic songs, traditional English ballads, Ottawa Valley folk songs, old sentimental songs, North Carolina Gospel, early country music, and originals by such songwriters as Peter Bellamy and Utah Phillips.

At http://ianrobb.com/finestkind/, I learned that Finest Kind has recorded five CDs--Lost in a Song (1996), Heart's Delight (1999), Silks & Spices (2003), For Honour & for Gain (2010) and a Christmas album with actor John D. Huston, Feasts & Spirits (2004). The trio is featured on Ian Robb's From Different Angels (1994) and also appears on his Jiig (2005). All are available from Fallen Angle Music. Shelley also has three solo releases, The Old Songs' Home, Manna and Menora, available from www.shelleyposen.com.

I'm going to steal most of the discographical (?) information from Ian Robb's Fallen Angle Music, which is where you can buy these wonderful recordings. As time goes by, I'll try to link the songs to threads that contain lyrics and background information. If anyone has stories to tell about this group, please post them here.


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Subject: Finest Kind Discography: Lost in a Song (1996)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:32 PM

Finest Kind's debut CD and cassette release from Ian Robb, Shelley Posen and Ann Downey. Lost in a Song is a collection of old and new songs from Britain, Canada and the US, all delivered with Finest Kind's trademark hair-raising vocal harmonies. The songs are about half-and-half capella and accompanied, and the latter feature some very tasteful fiddle and mandolin back-up from producer James Stephens, in addition to the trio's own guitar, bass, banjo and concertina.


 
The Banks of Sweet Primroses
Give me Just a Little More Time
The Miner's Dream of Home
Blue Mountain
The Sussex Drinking Song
The Night Pat Murphy Died
The Storms May Roll the Ocean
Goodnight-Loving Trail
Only Remembered
Fa-Sol-La
Going to the West
A Handful of Maple Leaves
Gower Wassail
What Was I Supposed to Do
I Heard the Bluebird Sing
The Faded Roses of December
A Pilgrim's Way


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Subject: Finest Kind Discography: Heart's Delight (1999)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:33 PM

Following in the footsteps of Lost in Song, Finest Kind's second release demonstrates once again why they are considered among the most exciting exponents of vocal harmony on the scene. Like the first recording, this one is crammed with a rich and varied mixture of mostly old songs from Canada, England and the U.S., plus a few more recently penned gems including a couple written by band members Shelley Posen and Ian Robb. Includes guest appearances by Ian Clark, Ken Harper and James Stephens.
 
Produced by James Stephens.
 
A Sailor's Life
Fond Affection
The Fugitive's Lament
Jordan
Jack Ashton
If You Can't Get Five, Take Two
Brigg Fair
Someday You'll Call My Name
April Morning
In Praise of Alcohol
Down at the End of Memory's Lane
Homeless Wassail
The Mermaid
Squid Jiggin' Ground
Home in Pasadena
No More Fish, No Fishermen
Who Will Sing for Me


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Subject: Finest Kind Discography: Silks & Spices (2003)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:34 PM

Finest Kind’s repertoire has so many sources, our musical closet so many skeletons, and our performances so many opposing elements, there’s no neat summing us up. “Folk music” serves as a point of departure, but in our case obscures as much as it explains.
The best we’ve come up with is a slogan, “Old Songs in Close Harmony.” But it too only partially covers the ground. Take the word “old:” on Silks & Spices there’s blackletter-broadside old, Napoleonic-days-of-sail old, Victorian Christmas and golden-age-of-country-music old, Ottawa-Valley-logging and early-American-sheet-music old, antiwar-protest, civil-rights, and bellbottom-pants old—plus one song with a tune as old as Canada but words written 136 years later.
As for “close harmony,” well, we’re often told that Finest Kind sounds like no one else, but in our arrangements we hear the harmonic strains of the Copper Family and Young Tradition, barbershop quartet and Sacred Harp, doo wop and country brother duos, and many more. How can we bundle that up in a nice neat phrase?
So we decided Silks & Spices was an apt title for this CD. Finest Kind is not one thing or another, but some of each and every. Once you hear us, you understand what we do.

Produced by James Stephens, who also adds his instrumental magic to the CD.

Bright Shining Morning
Fair Maid Walking
At the End of a Long Lonely Day
The Ten Dollar Bill
The Maple Leaf Forever
As I Roved Out
Jack the Jolly Tar
Shepherd of the Downs
John Barleycorn
Sweet Forget-Me-Not
Shepherds Arise
Blackest Crow
The Painful Plough
The Times They Are a-Changin'
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?  


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Subject: Finest Kind Discography: For Honour & for Gain
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:34 PM

On Finest Kind's fifth CD, Ian, Ann, and Shelley show what nearly two decades of singing together sounds like: brilliant harmonies, innovative arrangements, and immaculate performances that range over a vast expanse of repertoire--old ballads and country classics, fun parodies, songs of protest and heartbreak, and a cool, new Christmas carol. For Honour & For Gain is half a capella, half accompanied, with instrumental honours courtesy of the trio, plus Michael Ball, Jody Benjamin, Jeff McClintock, Brian Sanderson, and James Stephens.

Produced by James Stephens.


Bay of Biscay
She Thinks I Still Care
Claudy Banks
Short Life of Trouble
Thomas & Nancy
Bully in the Alley
He Comes Like Rain(Like Wind He Goes)
Song of the Lower Classes
Lowlands Low
John Barleycorn Deconstructed
Why Should I be Lonely?
Tenting on the Old Camp Ground
Christmas Trilogy
The Lass That Loved a Sailor
From Dover to Calais
The Riley Boys
Farm! Farm!
By the Green Grove


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Subject: Finest Kind Discography: Feasts & Spirits (2004)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 May 14 - 04:35 PM

The rich and sparkling vocal harmonies of Finest Kind are a natural setting for Christmas carols and wassails. Add some classic excerpts from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, masterfully delivered by Mr. Dickens himself, and you have all the ingredients of a spirit-raising feast for the ears. Canadian actor John D. Huston is known for his acclaimed one man show Charles Dickens Reads A Christmas Carol.

Produced by James Stephens.


Shepherds Arise
A Tight-Fisted Hand at the Grindstone
Horsham Tipteerers' Song
The Face in the Knocker
Gower Wassail
Party at Fezziwig's
The Holly and the Ivy
The Cratchit's Christmas Dinner
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night
The Two Children–Ignorance and Want
The Homeless Wassail
Grieving for Tiny Tim
The Cradle Carol
Christmas Morning
O Little Town of Bethlehem 
The End of It
Please to See the King
Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 28 May 14 - 09:01 PM

I have been to some of their performances at festivals in southern New England. They have a wonderful sound and seem to enjoy singing together and just being in each other's company.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: MoorleyMan
Date: 29 May 14 - 08:01 AM

I too was knocked out when I first came across Finest Kind a number of years ago, and I didn't lose any time in investigating their history and their recorded output thus far. They've made quite a hit whenever they've come across to the UK, and increased their fanbase enormously in so doing. You'll find reviews of the Silks and Spices & For Honour And For Gain CDs (and the compilation referred to below) on the NetRhythms website archive, but in all honesty I'd recommend every single one of their releases (all still available I believe) for the wonderful singing, both solo and in harmony, the sheer enthusiasm and versatility of the music-making and not forgetting the immense songwriting talents of Ian Robb and Shelley Posen. The "starter collection" would be a release entitled Good Enough For Me, a great compilation of "finest moments" which ADA Recordings (here in the UK) released a couple of years back.
Yeah, and do check out those offshoot discs too - Jiig, From Fallen Angels, Friends Of Fiddlers' Green and the Shelley solo records.
Hope that's of some help Joe.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 29 May 14 - 02:06 PM

we're lucky in western NY that they manage to get over the border to perform at Rochester & elsewhere on a fairly regular basis.

That said, Ian made it to Portsmouth for the Shanty Festival and did a fine rendition of Rose in June to honor the recently passed Lou Killen.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: Reinhard
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 01:49 PM

Mike Harding just played Finest Kind's "The Banks of Sweet Primroses" on his Folk Show, from their 20th anniversary compilation "Good Enough for Me".

I had never heard of them before, so thank you Joe for providing plenty of information.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: Crowhugger
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 02:48 PM

They're lso part of the ever-growing crop of election songs protesting Canada's Harper government. http://ianrobb.com/TheresAlwaysMoneyforaWar.htm


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 05:35 PM

We sang all three parts of Tis Now the Season of the Year at the Robson and Craig workshop in Whitby last Thursday.

By happy coincidence, Shelley Posen was allowed home the same day after a successful heart operation.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 05:45 PM

Fortunate enough to hear them live a few years ago. Superb. Bought "Lost in a Song" that night.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: GUEST,Frogprince
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 05:47 PM

That last wuz me; Forgot I wasn't signed in on this laptop.


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: KT
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 08:13 PM

I've enjoyed Heart's Delight and Silks & Spices for years, after first hearing Finest Kind at Old Songs. Would not hesitate to attend a concert of theirs if I had the chance!


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Subject: RE: Finest Kind Discography
From: Elmore
Date: 30 Aug 15 - 09:00 PM

Fine singers with a great repertoire.


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