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Paul DownesWe’re more used to seeing him in the company of others – Phil Beer, Maggie Boyle, and Mick Ryan (as a duo, as MD of Mick’s dramatic productions and more recently in the revived Crows – should that be the upstarted Crows??). But what is it like working totally solo… “It’s a nice change to be able to take a set where I want it to go without having to consider someone who’s playing with me: on the other hand, when you’re used to company on stage, you miss it. Of course, when there’s only one person […] it keeps costs down. Not that anyone is making a fortune – it’s folk music after all!”
BACKtrack: The House of the Rising Sun“At over five minutes, The Animals’ first hit, a cover version of a traditional American song about a brothel in New Orleans that they learned from Bob Dylan’s first album, was the longest single to top the UK charts.” That received wisdom, from the Record Mirror review of 1964, is wrong in almost every respect.
RoseCastle RamblesMore whimsical wonderings from Lynda Hardcastle & Alan Rose “We first started going to folk clubs and listening to folk recordings before we met each other, so it was natural that once we had formed our alliance, we continued with both these activities. And judging by these last three months, there is little danger of us stopping any time soon. Here’s to the next time…”
Spiv PromotionsFolk promotion in the noughtys! Not a walk in the park… “Come the day, the pub was packed out and the miserable landlord made a packet on the bar. We didn’t even get a free pint or a thank–you, just a moan from his nibs that it had been busier than New Year’s Eve and he was knackered. It must have been terrible for him.”
Lore & the Living ArchiveFrom a bat-cave in Whitby comes news of a multimedia extravaganza. Project manager, Stephanie West, says: “Doc Rowe’s archive is of national importance and significance. The sheer volume of audio and video material documenting British folk culture is unmatched by any other collection in the country”
Fancy a change, anyone?Duncan is having another modal moment in his on-going tuning treatise – “It also ‘fits the bill’ better along with the keys that one might more often encounter in song or tune sessions, where melodeon and fiddle players generally favour such keys as D, G and A”.
Anahata's Tune Spotoffers a very unYorkshire BOGOF of tunes: “The Northern Lass seems to have first appeared in print in Apollo’s Banquet, a book of tunes ‘for the treble violin’ published by John Playford in 1670.” and “The Northern Frisk a.k.a. Mr Kynaston’s Famous Dance or The Merry Conclusion appears in 1730 in one of John Walsh’s many tune books.”
John Curtin's Song Spot“Although not specifically written for him Their Sangs Will Aye Live On was triggered by the death of Brian Senior. It was one of those songs that got written in less than an hour (and then a few weeks worth of small tweaks.)
ObituariesLiam O'Flynn: “In 1980 Liam took a bold step into the unknown when he performed with a full orchestra. The Brendan Voyage Suite is regarded in Ireland as a ground breaking, crossover work of cultural significance.”
Review SectionIn the bijou review pages we have some CD jewels including the eagerly awaited Bryony Griffith solo album ‘Hover’ and Blowzabella's ‘Two Score’ available with or without the book ‘More Score’. Hedy West, Will Pound and the Rheingan sisters also feature alongside our locally sourced section ‘Tracks of my Tykes’.
The Young'Uns book ‘Bound Together’ has Nigel effusing “Most chapters come with recommendations of further reading and/or listening, so the book, aside from feeling like the misguided misadventures of a three-headed folk-singing Don Quixote, is in itself a voyage of discovery.” In the Live Review Mike Feist travels to York (Old York that is), in search of Joan Baez.
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