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Traditional singing

cujimmy 30 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM
Les from Hull 30 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM
Mac Tattie 30 Mar 02 - 02:18 PM
DMcG 30 Mar 02 - 02:30 PM
cujimmy 30 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com 30 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM
Herga Kitty 30 Mar 02 - 04:22 PM
Alice 30 Mar 02 - 04:49 PM
Jock Morris 30 Mar 02 - 04:52 PM
toadfrog 30 Mar 02 - 05:04 PM
toadfrog 30 Mar 02 - 05:16 PM
Les from Hull 30 Mar 02 - 05:27 PM
cujimmy 31 Mar 02 - 11:27 AM
GUEST,Tim 31 Mar 02 - 05:16 PM
Les from Hull 31 Mar 02 - 05:26 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 31 Mar 02 - 06:26 PM
DonD 31 Mar 02 - 08:45 PM
Bennet Zurofsky 01 Apr 02 - 09:34 AM
Joe_F 01 Apr 02 - 10:12 AM
Shantymanuk 01 Apr 02 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,Nerd 01 Apr 02 - 03:04 PM
toadfrog 01 Apr 02 - 09:01 PM
Nerd 01 Apr 02 - 09:15 PM
Judy Predmore 02 Apr 02 - 12:30 AM
Bennet Zurofsky 02 Apr 02 - 10:01 AM
Mac Tattie 02 Apr 02 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!) 02 Apr 02 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!) 02 Apr 02 - 02:08 PM
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Subject: Traditional singing
From: cujimmy
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM

I would like to listen to some traditional unacompanied singing, can people recomend singers I should listen to especially Irish and Scottish, I enjoy protest and political songs.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 01:47 PM

You should look into the Topic 'Voice of the People' CDs - there's 20 of them, featuring the finest the UK and Ireland's finest traditional singers (and players). I wouldn't say that too many songs on them were protest or political, though.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:18 PM

Great choice, Les from Hull, a rewardind colection of singers and songs. For a selection of current Scotish singers in the tradition style check-out www.traditionbearers.com Also some voices on the Irish side well worth hearing are Frank Harte, Mary Dillon and Kevin Mitchell. Of course there are many more, you are in for many hours of enjoyable listening. cheers.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: DMcG
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:30 PM

If you want to combine 'traditional' and 'political' in the same song, you will have to have a fairly good idea of what was politically important at the time, rather than now. If you feel confident of your historical knowledge there are plenty, especially Scots from around the time of Jacobean Risings. If you are less certain, you might want to explore political-without-specific-people: working conditions, songs written after accidents, and so forth.

A fairly old recording now is 'King Cotton and the songs of the working classes' - a mixture of accompanied and unaccompanied songs. Well worth hearing.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: cujimmy
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM

I feel very strongly about people being forced to emigrate and having to go down to England to find work and the discrimination people faced - not just the wars and Prince Charlie etc. And songs about the general everyday struggle of ordinary people - I enjoy listening to Dick Gaughan and similar bu would like to learn more songs in traditional unacompanied styles. Thanks for your help - regards - jimmy


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: GUEST,mgarvey@pacifier.com
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 03:51 PM

cujimmy..I think two of the best of being forced to work in England (for those non-English) are McAlpine's Fusiliers and ..Building up and Tearing England Down..not overly traditional ..written I think by one of the Behans..."I often thought that God made the mixer and the hod so that Paddy could know hell upon the ground."

mg


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 04:22 PM

cujimmy

If you could manage to get to Sutton Bonington the weekend after next, it's the National Folk Music Festival, with lots of traditional and revival singers.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Alice
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 04:49 PM

Go to this site, where you can purchase field tapes of singers: John Moulden's Ulstersongs.http://members.aol.com/jmoul81075/ulstsong.htm I have tapes of singers and fiddle players from John's collection, and it is truly wonderful to be able to hear people talk about how they learned the songs and hear them singing.

alice


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Jock Morris
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 04:52 PM

Cujimmy, where abouts are you? Get along to your local folk club and you'll probably hear loads of very good singing. I'm guessing from the name that you're in Scotland; if so I can probably let you know where your nearest club is.

Scott


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: toadfrog
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 05:04 PM

Recommend: "Songs of the Travelling [sic] People" (Saydisc); Jeanie Robertson, "The Queen Among the Heather" (Rounder 11661-1720-2); Margaret Barry, "I Sang Through the Fairs" (Rounder 11661-1774-2); "The Lark in the Morning" (a real classic, which is available on CD, although I only have the old phonograph record); anything by Norman Kennedy you can get your hands on; Many, many Ewan McColl disks, to the extent still in pring.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: toadfrog
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 05:16 PM

All of the above are traditional, Scottish and Irish (except sometimes Ewan McColl, who was born in England and also sang English material, and who was also a singer- songwriter). All of them are excellent, although McColl recorded such enormous quantities of material the quality is a bit uneven.

"Road to Connemara" is a recent disk devoted to Joe Heany, who was a very fine Irish singer and musical scholar. He sang traditional or protest songs (the two don't necessarily go together). The disk was made by an admirer of Heany's; it's heavy stuff and not for everyone. For more than you'll ever want to know on the subject, click HERE.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Les from Hull
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 05:27 PM

There are some difference between 'traditional singers' (brought up in the tradition) and singers of traditional songs. What most people here are giving you are traditional singers. But there are also a good many 'singers of traditional songs' or revivalist singers, and the difference, in effect, is negligable.

I like to go back to old recordings where they are available (hopefully in some form that we can still hear), and so I'll get my plug in for my personal favourite - Joseph Taylor (long gone but not forgotten) and the inspiration for many revival singers, including providing the name for a fairly notable band! All right, he was neither Irish nor Scottish, but if you can find any of his recordings which date from about 1907 (some are on the Topic series I mentioned), I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

I hope you find what you're looking for
Les


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: cujimmy
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:27 AM

I live in Leeds and frequent the Grove folk club and the topic in Bradford where I,ve heard some wonderfull music, I have been away from West Lothian since Thatcher made me redundant in the early eighties, I,ve seen some traditional singing festivals advertised and intend to get along to some of them cos I feel being down here in England so long, despite excellent folk music here, that I have been missing out on styles and traditional ways of singing I would have heard more of if I had stayed around the Scottish folk music scene. once again thanks for your advice. happy easter.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: GUEST,Tim
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 05:16 PM

Look for Fred Jorgensen with bands "Fine Crowd" and "The Navigators" from St. John's Newfoundland. Incredible vocalist!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Les from Hull
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 05:26 PM

Cujimmy - perhaps you should try Whitby Folk Week - always known for its strong traditional side. I've heard quite a few over the last few years, and no doubt Malcolm will have a good line-up again this year.

http://www.folkwhitby.freeserve.co.uk/


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 06:26 PM

Aunt Molly Jackson was a very traditional, very political and very good unaccompanied singer from Kentucky who was active in the 1930's and 1920's. Her Library of Congress Recordings were released by Rounder on l.p., I am not sure if they have been released as a c.d.

Among British revival singers I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned Frankie Armstrong, who is one of the best current performers of Child Ballads and whose selections betray a deep political consciousness.

Back to the States, I believe that Holly Near sings her own songs unaccompanied on some of her early albums, that is certainly the way that she used to perform them, very movingly, in the 1970's.

Other than that, if its political and unaccompanied you want, then you could hardly do better than Ewan MacColl, except perhaps some of Peggy Seeger's performances by his side.

As to just traditional and unaccompanied, your respondents generally ignore the states. We have had quite a few good ones. I particularly recommend Texas Gladden, especially since Rounder just recently released a cd of her as part of its Lomax collection and it is easily available. You should also listen to Almeda Riddle and Horton Barker, both of whom have recordings available. Leadbelly also sang unaccompanied on much of his Library of Congress recordings.

As to revivalists, John Roberts and Tony Barrand, two Brits living on this side for the past thirty years or more, are wonderful, as is Lou Killen, a Geordie who also seems to have taken up residsence on this side.

Just check this stuff out, and the earlier responses, and you will have plenty to fill your ears for many a year.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: DonD
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 08:45 PM

I remember listmening on early LP's about fifty years ago to the singing of the Copper Brothers from somewhere in the Midlands or the South Riding (?) of Yorkshire. They sure weren't pretty but they sure were traditional!


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 09:34 AM

The Copper Brothers weren't pretty? I don't know about that. To many of us there has never been finer traditional singing. Where else has traditional vocal harmony been collected, not to mention the range of their material.

The Copper Family, and all of their recordings, which now include Bob Copper's daughter, certainly belong on this thread. Topic Records, incidentally, has just reissued the original recordings from the 1950's on a cd, so they are available.

They also remind me of the revivalists they largely inspired, who were a bit more political, the Watersons and the Young Tradition, including the various solo outings of the members of those groups, particularly Peter Bellamy, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Heather Wood and Royston Wood.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 10:12 AM

Ewan MacColl did a vast number of unaccompanied recordings of traditional songs. A discography may be found at http://www.well.com/7Ejohnross/discographies/ewanmaccoll.htm


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Shantymanuk
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 02:33 PM

CUJimmy, I cannot quite decide what it is you want to find. Having heard quite a lot of field recordings of "the old singers" from my part of the world (rural southern England), I have almost always been disappointed. These were, of necessity, recorded when the singers were very old. This doesn't help my 20th century ear to appreciate their craft.

I wouldn't want to sing like that myself - it would be untrue to them, since I didn't endure their hardships and deprivations, untrue to the local dialects, which have disappeared since I was a boy, and untrue to those still around and old enough to recognize authentic dialect. It would also be untrue to my own singing abilities, such as they are.

The greatest disrespect I can pay to them is to present their songs in my half-understood pastiche, to an audience that has no better understanding than my own. So I don't do it.

This sounds like a very "anti" point of view, but it is most certainly NOT the case. I DO sing the old songs, but I don't put on an accent, neither (mainly) did Ewan McColl. (I am trying to restrict myself to your end of the world) Ewan had a unique talent. A close Scots mate of mine (who taught me to play the tin whistle) says this: "Ewan McColl just sort of sits on your shoulder". He is right. Choose songs that you can identify with personally, sing them as you feel them, and at least you will know that your heart is true.

You've had lots of good advice about source singers; the main thing about singing is to tell your audience in song how you feel.

My favourite expat song is "From Clare to Here". It wasn't written by an Irishman, but just try saying that in Islington! (It's in London).

Kindest regards, with the fond hope that this is helpful,

Alan.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: GUEST,Nerd
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 03:04 PM

Les from Hull,

if you're referring to Steeleye Span as the band whose name Joseph Taylor provided, wasn't it George Gouldthorpe who sang "Horkstow Grange" to Grainger and not Joseph Taylor? Or is there another obvious band I'm not thinking of (Brigg Fair? Creeping Jane?)

Arcane I know, but then I AM a Nerd...


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: toadfrog
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 09:01 PM

Bennet Zurofsky:

Either you or I are confused. Somebody spoke of "the Copper Brothers from somewhere in the Midlands or the South Riding (?) of Yorkshire." Those do not sound like the same people as Bob and Ron Copper, who are from Sussex and who, judging from their accents, could just as well be Americans. Surely people from the Midlands or Yorkshire would not sound like that?

My curiosity is piqued; does anybody know who the "Copper Brothers" were, or where one can find their music?


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Nerd
Date: 01 Apr 02 - 09:15 PM

Also, Bob and Ron Copper aren't brothers but cousins...But to say they could be Americans from their accents? No way!

Other possibilities that spring to mind: The Millen Family (well, they're from Kent, so no closer)

The Watersons (Yorkshire, but mostly sisters...and revivalists to boot, and certainly not on records fifty years ago!)

No other sibling groups come to mind for me....

Nerd


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Judy Predmore
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 12:30 AM

cujimmy, Just a few things off the top of my head. Do you know Jim Reid from Scotland, his own song "Norland Wind"? It's in Scottish dialect, a dialogue between a Scot in exile in England, asking the Northern wind how Scotland is. The first verse in "American" as I sing it: "Oh tell me what was on your road, you roaring northern wind, as you came blowing from the land that's never from my mind. My feet they travel England, but I'm dying for the North. My man I saw the silver tides that run up the firth of fourth." The last verse mentions "wild geese" which I've been told refers to some political exiles or something, pardon my ignorance, I'm still learning...

Brian MacNeil is the most political Scottish singer that comes to mind. I don't know if he's unaccompanied, & I think he writes most of his own stuff. Then there's Adam McNaughtan, very political, but very contemporary. And of course you know some of Robert Burn's political songs, "A mans a man for all that". Ed Miller, a Scot in Texas, sings the best new & old Scottish songs, some unaccompanied, some sparsely accompanied. He's on Folk Legacy & Wellfield records.

Dan Milner, an Irish/English/Canadian/American, does a wonderful version of the unaccompanied song "Nightingale", about the Irish being pressed into the British Navy. That's on his first CD "Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea" on Folk Legacy. He's one of my favorite unaccompanied singers, but he also has a CD with Bob Conroy, possibly titled The Irish in America. A little political & social commentary there.

Possibly my favorite unaccompanied singer, is Anita Best from Newfoundland, sings songs of Irish, English, Scottish & Canadian heritage, probably not very political. But her voice is beautiful & she sings stories that keep you spellbound. Her CD Crosshanded, info at www.ambermusic.nfnet.com

I second Mac Tattie's suggestion of anyone on The Living Tradition label's "Tradition Bearers" CD Series. All Scottish singers, a few Irish & English songs, mostly unacompanied, mostly traditional. I've been buying the CDs as they come out, (maybe 8 so far), & haven't been disappointed yet.

Irish, Len Graham comes to mind. He has several CDs & tapes, mostly unaccompanied, or very sparely accompanied.

Then there's the songs of all the people transported to Australia. You can't get more biting commentary than "Moreton Bay" or "Jim Jones of Botany Bay". Martyn Wyndham-Read did "Moreton Bay" & maybe Jim Jones also. Lots of people have covered Jim Jones.

I could go on & on, but "so much music, so little time". And I'm sure you'll get lots of other great suggestions.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Bennet Zurofsky
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 10:01 AM

The post that referred to the "Copper Brothers" appeared to represent a vague memory of an l.p. heard long ago. I therefore discounted the incorrect geography and relationship and provided information on the Copper Family, who seem by far the most likely traditional singers with the name Copper to have been remembered all of these years (even if the poster did not care for them that much).

As to whether there is some other group of traditional singers known as the Copper Brothers, I suppose anything is possible. However, I have been a fan of the Copper Family for more than 30 years and I try to pay attention to recordings of traditional song and I have never heard of any traditional singers named Copper who are unrelated to Bob and Ron. If they are out there, I hope someone who reads this will be able to tell us about them.

In the meantime, one can hardly go wrong with any of the recordings by the Copper Family and its progeny. I recommend them to all.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: Mac Tattie
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 01:42 PM

Thanks for agreeing, Judy Pedmore, I've got all the "Tradition Bearers" too and all the singers, if you get a chance to hear them, sound even better "live". The "wild geese", in "Norland Wind" realy are just wild geese.


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!)
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:05 PM

Or you could visit www.mustrad.org where you can not only see masses of stuff about traditional song but also buy some great CDs of trad song (and music) - and even read the CD booklets before you buy.

My vote goes to Kevin and Ellen Mitchell's new Topic CD - wondrous stuff. Or, if it's archive material you want then try Pop Maynard or .....

M


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Subject: RE: Traditional singing
From: GUEST,Martin Graebe (still no cookie!)
Date: 02 Apr 02 - 02:08 PM

Button fever strikes again - of course it's www.mustrad.org.uk and heaven knows why I said Kevin and Ellen was a Topic CD when I'd been talking about the Musical Traditions label - sorry!

m


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