This week’s mix is the first in a new mix series in which we only feature vinyl and cassette format. The first comprises entirely of vinyl 7″ singles/EPs.
The geeky bit: The mix was recorded using Audio-Technica AT-LP5 using the built-in phono stage and USB output. I may use an external phono Stage next time, just for comparison. Some of the singles were in need of a good clean so expect some crackles etc.
Rob St. John and the Coven Choir – Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey
The players: Malcolm Benzie (violin, voice), Bartholomew Owl (bass, voice), Rob St. John (guitar, organ, autoharp, voice), Tom Western (organ, recorder, voice), Owen Curtis Williams (pommel horse drums, floor cymbals, voice), Mastered by Reuben Taylor.
Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey is a Lancastrian song originally sung to Cecil Sharp by J Collinson of Casterton, Lancashire in 1905. A song of the Industrial Revolution: crumbling mill towns butting up against moorland and trees growing out of chimneys.
The cover was designed by David Chatton Baker of Folklore Tapes fame. It was released by Song, by Toad Records in 2012. (https://songbytoadrecords.bandcamp.com/album/rob-st-john-and-the-coven-choir)
Crafting for Foes – The Trees They Do Grow High
Featuring Adam Rees (vocals, guitars, banjo), Amanda Mcmanus (vocals). Released in 2014, you may still be able to locate a few copies. Try Picadilly Records here.
“…the bucolic sound of the early ’70s English underground; think Spirogyra, Dulcimer, Shide & Acorn etc; unaffected vocals, shimmering guitars & just the right amount of psychedelic whimsey.”
Lux Harmonium – Camel Bones
Featured as part of a double A-side with The Bones You Break, released on Static Caravan Recordings in 2011.
“Lux feel like one of those bands/artists that you just want to play to everyone you know. I couldn’t understand what his [Luke Jones] hands were doing when I saw him live, I guess it is as close as I’ll get to seeing Burt Jansch in some crummy early 60’s Glasgow club. The record or whatever it was he played me, is so emotive. It was both utterly perfect and crystalline, but handcrafted and woozy. I think you could listen to it anytime between 1925 and 2075… Proper time capsule stuff!” – R.G.Morrison
Anne Briggs – The Recruited Collier
This featured on the Fledgling Records EP Four Songs (Wing 1006), released last year. It featured four recordings from 1966 which made their first appearance on record, fifty years after recording.
In the summer of 1966 Peter Kennedy recorded a series of 45 minute radio programmes for the BBC. Folk-Song Cellar was presented as ‘an informal get-together’ in a fictional ‘folk club’ hosted by Robin Hall and Jimmie MacGregor and over the 39 broadcast episodes featured over one hundred performers from Britain and Ireland. The programmes were recorded in the basement studio at Cecil Sharp House, London. Charles Beardsall previewing the first show in the Radio Times wrore:
“This will be the regular rendezvous for the next seven weeks for many leading folk song solo and group singers from all over the British Isles to entertain you in a style as old as the music itself. The big revival in this ‘get-together’ type of singing in pubs, clubs, houses – above ground or in the cellar – has been one of the most distinctive trends in the musical scene in the last few years, and although folk singers have been collecting tunes and lyrics since time immemorial, there still seem many more to be discovered.”
It was also this release that led to an exclusive interview with Anne Briggs which you can read here.
Simpson Cutting Kerr – Ruben
This was released on Topic Records in 2015, a non-album track (Murmurs) from Simpson Cutting Kerr (Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr), a re-working of the American standard also known as ‘Reuben’s Train’. It was released as a special 7″ double-A sided vinyl single – Dark Honey/Ruben.
FLK and Marry Waterson – Rosie
The mysterious FLK whose members remain a secret teamed up with Marry Waterson for this 2014 remix of Rosie which featured on Marry Waterson & Oliver Knight’s album The Days that Shaped Me.
Simpson Cutting Wright – Green Onions
This one was a pleasant surprise. Martin Simpson, Andy Cutting and Tom Wright joined forces for a special Record Store Day release in 2016 performing that classic Booker T. instrumental ‘Green Onions’.
Derek Hall & Mike Cooper – Skillet
This featured on Out of the Shades, another fine Record Store Day exclusive from Paradise of Bachelors. Out of the Shades is in fact named after The Shades which was a Reading-based UK folk club at which Mike Cooper regularly performed, and which housed prodigy Derek Hall—“a guitarist who could actually match Davey Graham both in technique and musical ideas”. Read more about it here.
Rozi Plain – Jogalong
The Straw Bear Band – A Lyke Wake Dirge
This was released in 2010 on Hobby-Horse Records as part of their singles club. The b-side featured Nottamum Town. Both appear on Vexed Soul Ep, released on Rif Moutain which you can buy on Bandcamp here.
Woodbine & Ivy Band – Gently Johnny
For those that are fans of The Wicker Man (1973) this track will be familiar. This was released in 2011 by the much missed Folk Police Recordings who managed to do two fine mixes for us before shutting up shop. This song features the vocals of Jenny McCormick.
Check our review of their 2015 release: Sleep on Sleeping On.