Monday, December 21, 2009

"15 Australian Christmas Carols" LP 1960s

I have had a few requests here and elsewhere to post some genuine Australian Carols.  I'm not really into carols (my favourite Christmas song is Eric Bogle's "Santa Bloody Claus").  However, a friend had previously asked me to get him a rip of this album so I've finished it off for him and I'm posting it here as well for anyone interested.
We "down under" tend to occasionally have problems with northern hemisphere carols especially when they talk about cold and snow.  You feel pretty silly singing them in the middle of a heat wave with the sweat streaming off your brow. The one exception I recall was the one about Santa Claus riding a strawberry roan when he goes to Texas because they don't have snow but I have not heard that one since the late 1950s.  Many have attempted to rectify the problem usually with little success - "Six White Boomers" still does well though.
In terms of a serious effort, this LP is probably the best known and even then it is fairly obscure although you will often encounter some of the carols sung by choirs at Xmas.  It covers the Australian Christmas time environment while maintaining a dignified respect for the religious aspects.
The pedigree of these tracks is excellent.  Words by John Wheeler, music by William G James, Sir Bernard Heinze conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the New South Wales Conservatorium Choir.  I tend to find it a bit too stuffy but I'm sure it will delight those who are into carols and there are really a couple of worthy carols here.  But do listen to Bogle's "Santa Bloody Claus" as well.
I have included the lyrics for all the tracks as well as there is little point in carols if you can't sing along.

Song List (as per request in December 2011)
1. Merry Christmas
2. The Three Drovers
3. Christmas Night - Cradle Song
4. Christmas Day
5. Carol of the Birds (aka Orana)
6. Our Lady of December
7. The Little Town where Christ was born
8. Noel Time
9. Christmas Bush for his Adorning
10. The Silver Stars are in the Sky
11. The Christmas Tree
12. The Day that Christ was Born on
13, Country Carol - The Oxen
14. Golden Day
15. Sing Gloria

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

1967 Film - "The Restless Years" and Best Wishes

For those interested in a video version of the original award-winning 1967 TV show "The Restless Years", The blogsite Folk for All has a copy available for download.

Make sure you all have a great holiday (or that work is not too hard).  Many thanks to all those who kindly contributed during the year.  We all hope that we have done a little to preserve some of this great music and that you enjoy listening to our offerings.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

John Greenway "Australian Folksongs and Ballads" LP 1959

John Greenway was born in England in 1919.  As a young man, he went to the USA where after serving in the US Army in the Second World War, he furthered his tertiary education eventually becoming an English teacher and subsequently an anthropologist. Early on, he was strongly leftist with an interest in songs of protest and labour songs reflected in his records and publications.  In 1956, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarshop to study Australian labour movement songs.  He also undertook field work with traditional aboriginals.  He viewed the aboriginal research very positively but he "became so disgusted with the abuses and power of the Australian labor movement" that he became a "rightist" which well accounts for why, when he put out this album of Australian folksongs in 1959, not one union or protest song was included.
He has a fairly easygoing singing style and the American accent and the occasional mispronounciation of "Gundagai" gets a bit in the way but at least he had the dog sitting in the tucker box rather than on it but then in 1959 he'd have had his LP banned if he'd have sung "shat in the tucker box".
Unsurprisingly, most of the songs are in the usual top thirty of Australian folksongs. The tracks are:-
Botany Bay, Old Bullock Dray, Dying Stockman, One of the Has-Beens, Brisbane Ladies, Castlereagh River, Click go the Shears, Bold Jack Donahue, Wild Colonial Boy, Waltzing Matilda (original), The Dog sat on the Tuckerbox, Lazy Harry's, Ben Hall, Wallaby Stew, Les Darcy, Stockman's Last Bed, Peter Clarke, Cockies of Bungaree, and Wild Rover No More.

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By courtesy of the combined efforts of Donnatv and cianfulli (see comments) a PDF of the original LP graphics can be obtained here.  Thanks very much.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Various Artists "Great Australian Legend" LP 1971

This LP was lovingly ripped by my associate Gonzo several years ago (please see his detailed comment).  It was retailed in the UK by Topic Records and in Australia by Score Records.  The three singers performing on the LP were:
A.L. Lloyd, commonly known as "Bert" Lloyd, was one of the recently popularised "forgotten generation" sent out to Australia at the age of 15 and he worked on stations in the Lachlan River area of New South Wales for six years before returning to England.  He is said to have collected folk songs from the locals.  He certainly was a fervent folk music performer with a significant role in promoting traditional English language folk music especially of the British Isles.
We have met Martyn Wyndham-Read before on this blog.  He too, is English, and spent most of the "sixties" in Australia and has often visited since including this year.  He also, has produced several English language folk albums.
Trevor Lucas, the third artist, was Australian born but he spent considerable time in the UK.  One of his LPs has been previously posted on this blog.
Tracks are:
1. Waltzing Matilda (original version)  - Lloyd and Chorus
2. Jim Jones at Botany Bay - Lloyd and Chorus
3. The Wild Colonial Boy - Lloyd and Chorus
4. The Streets of Forbes - Trevor Lucas
5. The Hold-Up at Eugowra Rocks - Lloyd and Chorus
6. The Flash Stockman - Martyn Wyndham-Read
7. Five Miles from Gundagai - Trevor Lucas
8. The Lime-Juice Tub - Lloyd, Wyndham-Read and Chorus
9. Euabalong Ball - "Bert" Lloyd
10. Banks of the Condamine - Trevor Lucas
11. Click Go the Shears - Martyn Wyndham-Read
12. Flash Jack from Gundagai - Martyn Wyndham-Read
13. Hard Tack - Martyn Wyndham-Read
14. On the Road with Liddy - "Bert" Lloyd

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Peter, a NSW country visitor, has passed through and provided some additional material for the blog. This included another copy of the above UK issue of the LP, i.e. on the UK Topic label. Included was the original fold-out insert featuring notes and lyrics for all tracks and I took the opportunity to scan the rear of the LP also. The fold-out print was fairly small and indistinct so I have scanned at 300dpi which makes for large files - all up 14.07mb.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

New Folk Blogsite

Sorry for the lack of postings but I have been very busy lately and I hope to rectify my absence soon. In the meantime, there is a rip of the 1982 Larrikin LP "Bushwackers and City Slickers" available from Folk For All Blog.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Bushwackers Band - And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda - LP Graphics ONLY

This download is LP Graphics only

I recently obtained a very good LP of this album but there seems to be little point in ripping it. The ten tracks are:-
1. To the Shores of Botany Bay
2. Wooloomooloo Lair
3. Clancy of the Overflow
4. Overlanders
5. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
6. Waltzing Matilda
7. Theme from 'Ben Hall'
8. One of the Has Beens
9. Jog Along Till Shearing
10. New Broom

If you take a look at the earlier posting of their CD compilation here, you will notice that the first ten tracks on CD1 correspond completely with this LPs tracks.

Accordingly, I am simply posting the LP front, inner and rear graphics here for those who may be interested having this cover.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

William Clauson "Click go the Shears" LP Mono c1960

I know some of you are going to shudder when you see this one on the blog.

William Clauson was born to Swedish parents in the USA an awfully long time ago and is known to have made his home in the USA, Sweden and currently Mexico. He has over 40 albums to his credit and has performed virtually everywhere and I notice that he had gigs in Sweden earlier this year.

He has always had a strong interest in folk songs as reflected in many of his albums but he is certainly not what many of us would term a "folk singer". His delivery is usually quite formal tending toward classical. I think the proper term is "Lieder voice". However, do not be put off too much by that as some of the songs on this album do benefit from this treatment, especially "Moreton Bay".

I believe this album was produced somewhere between 1958 and 1962 (perhaps someone know precisely when). Due to the style of singing, it was originally very popular with the Australian Broadcasting Commission (as it was then named) and also at schools. I understand that he followed in the footsteps of Burl Ives, and as the album notes strongly indicate, Dr. Percy Jones had a strong influence on Clauson as well.

I am aware that there are a couple of rips of this album doing the rounds but they are of low quality due to record damage. I have taken this rip from an LP I found at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago. At $1, I reckoned that I could afford to be disappointed with the quality. It turns out that this is a World Record Club re-issue which has probably had little, if any, play so it has ripped as well as could be expected for an LP of this vintage.

Incidentally, he also visited, and recorded songs of and in, New Zealand. Has anyone got the LP/s? I have desperately been seeking his version of Peter Cape's "Black Matai" aka "The Deer Culler's Lament" (gone to the station, gone to the town) or anyone else's version for that matter.

Track List
1. Click go the Shears
2. Waltzing Matilda (Cowan version)
3. The Overlander
4. On the Banks of the Condamine
5. The Old Bark Hut
6. Bold Jack Donahue
7. Botany Bay
8. The Lime Juice Tub
9. Moreton Bay
10. The Wild Colonial Boy
11. My old black Billy
12. Bold Tommy Payne
13. Wild Rover No More
14. The Dying Stockman

MP3 mono 192-224VBR with graphics
Download from MediaFire with both sets of covers

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leonard Teale and Andy Sundstrom "Travelling down the Castlereagh" 1970 LP

In Australia, Leonard Teale was a very well-known entertainer. He is best remembered, by those old enough, for the many years he spent in the TV show "Homicide". Second, he was almost infamous for reciting "The Man from Snowy River" at just about every opportunity. Very few, however, realise that he was a significant contributor, along with Andy Sundstrom, to the Australian folk scene in the early 1960s. As well as various live performances, they put out two albums, the other being the earlier "Songs the Sundowners Sang". Both are largely forgotten albums never being re-released although some tracks have appeared on compilations.

This is an album which has a lot to recommend it. Not only are they competent performers, but they also perform the better known tracks in a distinctive style all their own. But there are also tracks not previously posted on this blog. The LP has cleaned up nicely.

Track List
1. Travelling down the Castlereagh
2. Maggie May
3. Frank Gardiner
4. The Shearer's Dream
5. Holy Dan
6. Home Brew (modern)
7. Brennan on the Moor
8. The Spider from the Gwydir
9. Brisbane Ladies
10. The Old Lady Skin and Bone
11. Five Miles from Gundagi
12. Bound for Hobart Town (modern)

Download compressed file containing tracks and graphics
Download MP3 version 192-224VBR 47MB
Download FLAC (lossless) version - 138MB 
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Nth. Bulli Bush Band "Denizen" LP 1984

The Nth. Bulli Bush Band appears to have issued only this one LP. Its members were Johnny Spillane, Bruce Gawthorne, Bob Lind, Rob Fletcher and Bob Doyle.
This LP is a real mix of folk songs and instrumentals performed with great enthusiasm. A real touch of the Scottish here. The lead vocals are occasionally a bit thin but a trio, "Calico" (Leanne Robinson, Brenda Parker, and Anna Whelan), provides great backing vocals. Further music backing by Bob Manell on Mandola and Mandolin and Philippa Freitag on fiddle.
Great inner illustrations on the album cover.

Track List
1. Travelling Down the Castlereagh (Paterson's The Bushman's Song)
2. Reels: The Maid behind the Bar and The Escarpment.
3. Red Iron Ore (modern by Alan Musgrove)
4. Instrumentals with bagpipe lead - Gay Gordons, Barren Rocks of Aden, Scotland the Brave, and Campbell's Farewell to the Red Castle
5. Look Out Below (Charles Thatcher on the Goldfields 1850s)
6. Stringy Bark Creek (Australian traditional)
7. Dance Instrumentals - Devil among the Tailors and Drowsy Maggie
8. Bare-Legged Kate (John Dengate's song of his mother as a girl)
9. Polkas - Wombat, and Hawke
10. It's a Long Way to Cunnamulla (John Dengate's 1980s comment on the then Queensland state electoral system)
11. 93rd's Farewell to Gibraltar

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Alex Hood "The Second Hundred Years" LP 1970

I recently stated that I was working on this album but, thankfully, Alan from Sydney has now provided a very good rip of the album; a task I was finding very difficult because of a close-to-death LP. Many thanks Alan.
This album was a follow-up the his "First Hundred Years" LP. Alex did not actually wait out the 200 years (1988) and this LP was released on the 200th anniversary of the discovery of eastern Australia and the claiming of Australia for Britain by Captain James Cook in 1970.
Alex Hood might not be the best of the Australian Folk singers but he is surely one of the most dedicated and prolific. I have always admired his work and enthusiasm. He is still a regular performer today.
This is definitely one of my favourite Australian folk albums which accounts for why my copy was so worn out (I actually bought it in 1970). The songs, of course, supposedly come from the period 1888 to 1970 and are a mix of traditional, oldies and some modern compositions written specifically for the album. Actually, the album notes advise that the song "Just before the Battle, Mother" was collected in Australia near Canberra and was thought to be about the Boer War. Of course, it is the very well-travelled song written during the American Civil War. The notes on Waltzing Matilda completely overlooks that "Banjo" Paterson penned this song in 1895 and it was published as sheet music in 1903. This track is close to the original. Thankfully, our folk singers avoid the later Marie Cowan version which is the one most Australians know.
The track "Dinki Di" is practically identical to the version my grandfather, a First World War veteran of the Western Front, used to sing but Australian Army personnel have continued to adapt this song to subsequent wars and actions.
"Lord Gort" and "How'd Yer Be?" are two well-known recitations (at least to we older ones) very well performed by Alex. Additionally, there are four tracks written by Larry King with some involvement by Alex.
A very enjoyable album.

Download link removed at the request of the copyright holder J. Albert & Son Pty Ltd
see comments

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Potential Copyright Issues (Edited)

As many will know, we have had a bit of a to-do over an item made available through this blog. Without going into that incident, I just wish to set out for future cases, the rationale under which this blog is operated and to also set out a suggested approach by anyone who feels that some item should not be available through here.
The primary purpose of this blog is to ensure that Australian folk music and other folk music by Australian performers is not lost through inaccessibility.

If such music is available for purchase, I am totally opposed to sharing it through this blog. Also, I am always happy to do an entry promoting such music and providing a link or other information so visitors can buy the material. Also, if the music subsequently becomes available, I am happy to remove the download links and provide purchasing information (as illustrated by previous entries about the music of The Settlers and The Cobbers).

Probably all the material published here is still subject to copyright to some extent and all download offerings are potentially breaches of copyright law. On the other hand, the owner of the copyright of any material posted here is firstly unlikely to suffer any significant loss (download numbers are relatively low which is of concern from a preservation context). Second, the copyright owner may either approve or not be concerned about the music sharing. Incidentally, copyright is not necessarily vested in the performer. Quite often it is held by others e.g. producers and recording firms and often the copyright becomes virtually abandoned once it is recognised that such copyright is not commercially viable.

So if you are the genuine copyright owner of any material made available through this blog and you object to its inclusion, please email me direct on with some details supporting your claim and I'll immediately remove the links. I'll be broken-hearted if you are not intending to make the material available elsewhere, commercial or otherwise, but I will respect your rights.

Please enjoy the music and don't forget to buy the material when it is available from proper sources.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Graham McCarthy "Best Loved Folk Songs" LP 1970s

Graham McCarthy is better known as the male half of the couple Lyn and Graham McCarthy who commenced their folk singing career in Adelaide in the early 1960s. They then spent many years in the UK where they were very much in popular demand especially for TV performances. They produced four albums of mixed Australian, US and UK folk music in the UK returning to Australia in the 1970s. This solo album was subsequently produced in Adelaide and is an eclectic mix of English language folk music but with an Anglo-American folk music emphasis.
On some of these tracks, McCarthy demonstrates an excellent folk singing talent and there is some great backing music. The negative is that some of the original recordings appears to have been poor and the sound engineering (by someone named “Mad Mal”) is strange (It took me two LPs to discover this factor). Nevertheless, this LP was well worth the ripping effort.
Track List
  1. Botany Bay
  2. The Riddle Song
  3. Black-Eyed Susie
  4. Barbara Allen
  5. Old Paint
  6. Jimmy Crack Corn
  7. Gypsy Rover
  8. Streets of Laredo
  9. Skip to my Lou
  10. Scarlet Ribbons
  11. On Top of Old Smokey
  12. The Water is Wide
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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Twiliters "Waltzing Matilda" 45 EP 1967

We have already met the Twiliters with their two albums and it is disappointing that only one traditional Australian track "The Albury Ram" appeared on those two albums.
Well, they actually performed more Australian folk songs than that as evidenced by this EP which was released after the two LPs (but was never followed up by an LP).
The four tracks are:-
1. Waltzing Matilda
2. The Albury Ram (studio)
3. The Reedy Lagoon
4. Lazy Harry's

This EP is in bad shape especially track 3 which had several skips. I did manage to patch that track together after considerable effort and Franz and I have worked hard on it but we couldn't remove all the effects of all the skips. Still, you will find far worse offerings on the blogs. The other three tracks have ripped and edited to an acceptable level. It really is a pity that these three lads did not publish more Australian traditionals.

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Alex Hood sings of Australia's First Hundred Years LP c1960

Alex Hood was one of the early participants and collectors of the folk revival and has been continuously involved ever since as an individual and a member of different folk groups. He has produced several albums and is still a regular performer at folk festivals. Another of his albums "While the Billy Boils" was posted here in January 2009.
I am guessing as to when this LP was released. I never owned this album but I recall buying the "Boomerang" songbook for it in late 1963 and the LP had been out for a while then.

This is another of the albums provided by Dave and it is a very welcome addition to the blog. Franz has also done a great clean-up on this album so many thanks to both of you.
I hope to be in a position to post his follow-up LP soon "The Second Hundred Years" but it needs a lot of work yet.

1. The Catalpa
2. Jim Jones
3. Plains of Emu
4. Bold Jack Donahue
5. Dead Horse
6. South Australia
7. "Where's Your Licence"
8. The Old Bark Hut
9. New England Cockie
10. Death of Ben Hall
11. Kellys, Byrne & Hart
12. Old Bullock Dray
13. Bluey Brink
14. The Overlander

Download link removed following request from copyright owner (see comment)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Twiliters "The Twiliters in Concert" LP 1966

This is the first of the two Twiliters LPs (Great Day was posted here on 7 September 2009). In my view, there is no real comparison between the two - this is a far superior album in terms of both performance and engineering. I am very thankful to Alan of Sydney for his great rip of the LP. I have been looking for this one for a long time.
As the title implies the tracks were recorded at various locations and includes some entertaining patter and I reckon their versions of some of these songs are as good as and even better than those of their American and English contemporaries. Certainly this LP demonstrates why they were clearly Australia's best of the college boy, folk trio type.

Track List
1. The Ox driver
2. In the Evening
3. Chickens (comedy)
4. Where I'm Bound
5. The Albury Ram
6. Ella Speed
7. Me and my Uncle
8. Where have all the Flowers gone.
9. Coal Tattoo
10. Dark as a Dungeon
11. Creamsleeves (a comic look at Mr. Whippy ice-cream vans always playing Greensleeves)
12. San Francisco Bay Blues

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Folk Songs from Queensland - 10" LP 1959

The year 1959 was the first Centenary of self-government for the colony and State of Queensland. The recording label, Wattle, issued this LP featuring traditional Australian songs collected in Queensland. Two groups contributing to the LP, namely, The Moreton Bay Bushwhackers and The Bandicoots, featured some of the early stalwarts of the Australian folk music scene particularly in Queensland. John Streeter Manifold, the prominent poet and writer with a deep interest in folk music was a member of The Bandicoots and leads on two songs. Bill Scott, who was later to become famous for his songs, poetry and folklore writing, leads on three songs. (incidentally, Penny Davies and Roger Ilott, do great justice to many of Bill Scott's songs).
Also featured are Doug Eaton and Stan Arthur among others.

Don't expect any flash, popular-style singing or great musical performances on this album. What you will get is solid traditional Australian folk singing very much in the style of the old-timers from whom these songs were collected. There are a few songs that have not been posted here before - The Freehold on the Plain, The Sheepwasher, The Old Palmer Song, Billy Shean, and a version of a personal favourite of mine, The Canecutter's Lament (anyone got other versions please). Additionally there are two instrumental numbers; Charley Sailor's Woman Song and the Cunnamulla Stocking Jig. The other usual standards are The Queensland Drover, Banks of the Condamine, The Ram of Dalby (originally of Derby, England), Bullocky-o, Brisbane Ladies, and Wallaby Stew.

Two LPs of this album were very kindly lent to me by one of our visitors who has also provided one other much-sought-after album to come. Many thanks, Dave - having two was very advantageous even though they were in relatively good condition considering their age.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

The Twiliters - "Great Day" LP 1967

The Twiliters, affectionately known as the 'twits', originated in Perth, Western Australia. This trio was one of many inspired by the Kingston Trio and their successors in the American folk scene and, as such, relied heavily on Anglo-American numbers. They were, by far, the best Australian exponents of this type of folk music and, as Warren Fahey notes, a lot of their music was adopted with variation from that of the American "Journeymen" group. They produced two LPs, this one in 1967 and The Twiliters in Concert in 1966 (anyone have it please?).
Franz from Austria has done the bulk of the work cleaning up this album for which I am most grateful (I've been caught up with virus and installation problems).
If you are a fan of such artists as the Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, The Journeymen, The Brothers Four and similar folk groups, you will enjoy this album. All tracks are MP3 VBR 192-224 mostly at about 212kbs.

Track List
1. Mary, Don't You Weep
2. Boy Child
3. The Waggoner's Lad
4. Bethlehem
5. Thanks for the Hand to Hold (Phil Sawyer of Adelaide)
6. Whisky in the Jar
7. Go Where You Want to Go
8. The Wanderer
9. Kentucky
10. Hurry Sundown
11. Great Day
12. Green Green

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Various Artists "Treasury of Australian Song" 2 LP set 1974

One of the blog's kind supporters made and sent me .wav files for this very rare two LP set. I am informed that its 34 tracks (32 folk songs, 1 comedy song and one anthem) were recorded in a Sydney studio over three days in 1974 and released on the American "Dyna" label about two weeks later (Serial no. CD2019).
I know that this hasty approach sounds very "rough and ready" but it also captures the true essence of this type of music (along with the occasional cough and side remark). With a couple of exceptions, I have been thoroughly charmed by this double album set and I think many of you will feel exactly the same. Sadly, a couple of the tracks have not cleaned up as well as I would like due probably to some minor damage to one of the LPs but they are still enjoyable. (Correction:- I have later checked a further copy of this album which reveals that the problems in tracks 31 and 34 are identical in both)
Singers appearing on this set are, John Currie, Anne Cochrane, Lee Williams, Kate Delaney, Maureen Cummuskey and Tony Suttor. Additional musical backing was provided by Don Hopkins on harmonica and piano accordion, Tony Suttor on button accordion, Chris Duffy on banjo and mandolin and George Cliff on bush bass. Cliff Atkinson was the producer.
John Currie with his strong Irish accent does a great job on those songs where an Irish connection is often suggested, accurately or otherwise, e.g. Wild Colonial Boy, Black Velvet Band, Denis O'Reilly and Shores of Botany Bay but the strong brogue is a bit off-putting in bush songs such as 1000 Miles Away and Click Go the Shears. However, he does a great job of The Old Bullock Dray where his brogue is nowhere so evident but I don't like his Flash Jack from Gundagai. Overall, I highly recommend this music, it has a 'folky' naturalness rarely achieved elsewhere. The songs, listed under their singers, are:-

John Currie - Click go the Shears, Wild Colonial Boy, Old Bullock Dray, Black Velvet Band, Shores of Botany Bay, Wild Rover, Flash Jack from Gundagai, Look Out Below, Denis O'Reilly, 1000 Miles Away, Canine Catastrophe (comedy), and All for Me Grog.
Anne Cochrane - Botany Bay, Wallaby Stew, Waltzing Matilda, Moreton Bay, Lime Juice Tub, Advance Australia Fair, Dying Stockman, Convict Maid, and Bold Jack Donahue.
Lee Williams - The Overlander, Ned Kelly, Traveling Down the Castlereagh, Cockies of Bungaree, The Catalpa, The Streets of Forbes, and The Ryebuck Shearer.
Kate Delaney - Banks of the Condamine (we need more from this lass)
Maureen Cummuskey and Tony Suttor - Lazy Harry's
Maureen Cummuskey - Euabalong Ball, Springtime It Brings on the Shearing, and Drover's Dream.
Tony Suttor - Bluey Brink

Download compressed file including the 34 tracks and graphics
Click here for MP3 version 192-224VBR - 128MB
Click here for FLAC (lossless) version - 475MB
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Settlers "Songs of the Snowy Mountains" 1999 CD now repressed

This album has previously been available for download through my earlier posting. Shannon O'Boyle, daughter of Ulick O'Boyle, now advises that the CD has been re-pressed and is available preferably from her by email request to (all proceeds then go to Ulick).

Alternatively it is also available from Monaro Books & Music, 49 Vale Street, Cooma, NSW 2630, Australia (PO Box 1234) or phone +61 (0)2 6452 4225 or fax +61 (0)2 6452 2339 or email

It is great to see such a fine CD again available.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Trevor Lucas "Overlander" 1966 LP Rip

This album was previously downloadable from the "musica acida" blog.  That blog has now disappeared so I am now providing downloads here.

The rip is at 128 CBR but the quality is good and well worth the download.
Trevor Lucas, a Melbournian, 1943-1989, produced this solo album before his association in England with the groups Eclection, Fairport Convention, and Fotheringay and his marriage to the well-known Sandy Denny.

Download with graphic - click here

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The Bushwackers "The Great Bushwackers Band" 3CD compilation 2002

I have now noted that the 2002 Rajon 3CD compilation featuring selected tracks from the Bushwackers is not currently available for sale so I am now posting it. If it should again become available, I will remove the links to this post.
As is common for this type of issue, all tracks have most probably appeared on previous Bushwacker albums and you will recognise that many of them have been included in the excellent LP rips posted here courtesy of our Adelaide friend Ian. The tracks on these CDs appear to have been generated from the original masters. The rips are MP3 @224-256VBR and each CD is about 100Mb.

Track Listing for CD1
1. To the Shores of Botany Bay
2. Wooloomooloo Lair
3. Clancy of the Overflow
4. Overlanders
5. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda
6. Waltzing Matilda
7. Theme from 'BenHall'
8. One of the Has Beens
9. Jog Along Till Shearing
10. New Broom
11. Van Diemens Land
12. Lachlan Tigers
13. Lime Juice Tub
14. Flying Pieman
15. Marijuana Australia
16. Theme from 'Cash & CD'

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Track listing for CD2
17. Hard Luck Stories
18. Billy of Tea
19. Flash Jack from Gundagai
20. Faces in the Street
21. Ned Kelly's Tunes
22. Ballad of 1891
23. Weevils in the Flour
24. Freedom on the Wallaby
25. Les Darcy
26. Dick's Pig
27. Bill's Yarn
28. Tent Poles (Are Rotten on the Wallaby)
29. Mistress on the Floor
30. Stringybark Creek
31. Annie
32. Past Carin'

Download CD2
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Track listing for CD3 (mainly music for bush dances)
33. Wild Horses
34. Fanny Bay
35. Waves of Bondi (Waves of Tory, Rakes of Mallow, Drowsie Maggie, Spanish Ladies)
36. Road to Gundagai (Mudgee Scottische, Road to Gundagai)
37. Heel and Toe Polka (Brown Jug, Davvy Nic Nac, Ten Pound Float)
38. Pride of Erin (Planxty Irwin, Big Fairy Mountain and Little Fairy Mountain)
39. Drongo (Muckin' of Geordie's Byre, Nancy, Rakes of Kildare, Wynham's Reel)
40. Madmans Woodyard (Merri Creek, Madmans Woodyard, New St. George's Road)
41. Barn Dance (Dumbarton Castle)
42. Stockyards, Ned Kelly's Dance, Flying Doctor (Blackthorn Stick, Sixpenny Money, Kesh Jig, Haymakers Jig)
43. Queensland Back Step (Gallopede, Nut Brown Melody, 42nd Regiment, Bottom of the Punchbowl)
44. The Kangaroo Hop (Rogue's March, Skippy)
45. Strip the Willow (Soldier's Joy, Fred's Delight, McLeod's Reel, Trip to the Cottage, Marie's Wedding)
46. Waltz Country Dance (Starry Night for a Ramble, Springtime Brings on the Shearing,The Dark Isle)

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Paul is temporarily back &"Speewah" lives!

Hi all, I am back home for a short while before going on to the UK and Ireland for about 8 weeks.

Greg Dimmock of the Speewah bush band has commented on the posting of their LP "Banjo Paterson's Old Bush Songs" and advises that the band still has some life  and they are still selling music as listed on THIS LINK. "Flat to the Boards" looks like an interesting CD which would well be worth obtaining.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

" Bushwackers" Faces in the street 1981

Another nice rip from Ian, our prolific Adelaide ripper ... Thanks as usual Ian, nice one.

This album is on the "Avenue" label from 1981, comes with front and back scans, not much information on the recording as yet, some research needed.

Track Listing:
01 ; Faces In The Street
02 ; Ned Kelly's Tunes
03 ; 1891
04 ; Weevils In The Flour
05 ; Marijuana Australiana
06 ; Freedom On The Wallaby
07 ; Les Darcy
08 ; Dick's Pig
09 ; Bill's Yarn
10 ; The Tent Poles Are Rotten
11 ; The Mistress On The Floor

Something here for everyone: Raunchy Rock guitar, Cajun Banjo, Ceilidh dance,
humour as well as a good dose of pure Ozzieana, plus some Environmental protest,
makes this Band popular with a wide audience.

New Links as of 12 Nov 2012 - 256k MP3 rip + Scans
 From MediaFire
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Now to the Quiz! Checkout the faces in the foreground, recognise any familiar ones that
shine through the artists characterisation?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Roger Thwaites "200 Years" LP 1970

Track List
1. Two Hundred Years
2. The Colonial
3. The Dingo Fence
4. Ballad of Frank Gardiner
5. To Wander the Wallaby Track
6. Cobb & Co
7. The Blue, Red and Grey
8. Quong Tart
9. Araluen
10. Ticket of Leaver
11. The Clarkes
12. Ironbark

The album was issued to mark the 200th anniversary of the discovery of the east coast of Australia and the claiming of Australia as a British possession by Captain James Cook in 1770 (settlement would occur 18 years later).
In 1970, Roger Thwaites was a young man residing in Araluen, previously the site of New South Wales' second largest gold mining operations. I understand that he may still be living there. He and his father were involved in recording and publishing the history of Araluen and many of the songs on this LP seem to have sprung from that activity. There are some very good songs here mixed in with some that tend to make me cringe but overall it is a very acceptable offering. It is distinctly folky except for the musical backing which, although well performed, has a distinct rock and roll feel to it - very reminiscent of Presley's earliest backing group, The Jordanaires but, of course, it is vocally much different.
Definitely not one for the folk purists but then it doesn't try to be. It was an LP meant for general consumption aimed at a 1970 audience. The graphics give the background for each song.

Download with graphics MP3 rip @ 192-224 VBR 
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Monday, March 30, 2009

The Bushwackers Band "Murrumbidgee" LP 1977

Another great rip from Ian of Adelaide
MP3 @ 192 CBR

Track List

1. Augathella Station
2. Lachlan Tigers
3. Billy of Tea
4. Cold Feet
5. Rain Tumbles Down
6. Streets of Forbes
7. The Cameo (instrumental)
8. Tomahawkin' Fred (The Ladies Man)
9. Murrumbidgee River (instrumental)
10. Flash Jack from Gundagai

Ian has graciously provided another rip of a Bushwackers LP together with its cover graphics. I suggest that the music already posted speaks for the fine talent of this band.

I do have one reservation. "Augathella Station" is more usually known as "Brisbane Ladies" or similar. It was penned by one Saul Mendelsohn, a stockman, in the 1880s but minor variations have been collected. It is firmly based on the British sea song "Spanish Ladies" about British sailors returning to England from Spain.

Numerous artists performed versions of this song before the Bushwackers, for example, A.L. (Bert) Lloyd, The Rambleers, Denis Gibbons, John Greenway and others. The lyrics at the Contemplator are a fair representation of their versions (and they make sense).

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, someone with little or no idea decided the song could benefit from some tinkering. Now I'm not opposed to a bit of sensible tinkering - it is a folk song after all. I could live with the elimination of most of the place names although I can't see the point of it. The really absurd bit though is that this version has the drovers still in possession of the herd of cattle on the trip back to Augathella Station (Ranch) after having sold them in Brisbane?? No, they would not have driven any stock back home! Further, this version also has the drovers spending all their "money on the shanty town women" in some country town on the way home. This raises two points - firstly, it was very unlikely that any drovers that way inclined would have any money left after the "Brisbane Ladies" and the "girls of Toowong" (Toowong is an inner suburb of Brisbane) but more tellingly, Australia may have had "shantys" (inns), but not "shanty towns" in that sense and "shanty town women" appears to someone's crude attempt at evoking the concept of USA wild west saloon girls. Altogether, it is very disappointing that the Bushwackers had anything to do with such unauthentic garbage. "Quintessence" has also performed this version.

"Rain Tumbles Down" was one of the legendary Slim Dusty's earliest songs; the classic "When the Rain Tumbles down in July". He wrote it in 1945 and it was first released in 1947 on the old Regal Zonophone label as a 78rpm. The initial release was definitely of the Australian "hillbilly" style but Slim thankfully released continuously improved performances of the song over the years and they appeared on several of his 103 albums. The Bushwackers remain fairly true to the song and it retains a country and western feel.

Great versions of "The Lachlan Tigers" and "Flash Jack from Gundagai".

For those who may be wondering, the LP cover is of a "lagerphone" in frantic motion. A very popular instrument in any respectable "Bush Band". It's often thought to be purely an Australian invention but it's an import from England but given the now very common name "lagerphone" in Australia (because of all the crown beer bottletops used in its construction).

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Johnny Ashcroft "They All Died Game" 1971 LP

Track List
1. Moondyne Joe
2. Ballad of Mat Brady
3. And He used to be a Preacher Man
4. Sixteen Summers
5. Thunderbolt's Lament
6. Twilight Bar in 'Frisco
7. Run Caesar Run
8. Who'll Light a Candle in the Morning
9. Bailing Up the Mail
10. Donahoe's Lullaby
11. On the Fifth of May
12. We'll All Die Game

Johnny Ashcroft began his singing career during the Second World War as a "hillbilly" singer (early Australian "country music" often with lots of yodelling). He cut a few 78s and ended up recording Australia's first C&W LP "Songs of the Western Trails". There is quite a lengthy entry for him on Wikipedia for those interested. He is best remembered for his 1960 hit song "Little Boy Lost" about a toddler lost in the bush and found alive after a massive search lasting four days.
This album was released in 1971. Each song relates to a bushranger and was written by Joe Halford and Johnny Ashcroft based upon extensive research on bushrangers. I find it a hard album to categorise but I tend to think of it as country and western but the overall ballad approach makes one think of "folk". Then again, the musical backing owes much to jazz. I would love to hear other's thoughts on this album.
Lyrically and musically, it is a great album with some very well-written songs giving us different insights into both some of the Australian bushrangers. For those who love irony, one of the songs looks at the fate of Frank "the Darkie" Gardiner (subject of other folk songs also), an Australian-born bushranger, who, as a condition for his release from a lengthy prison sentence, was exiled to the USA - most of the others were born elsewhere and then transported here as convicts!

Download with graphics (LP MP3 rip @192-224 VBR)
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The Wild Colonial Boys "Glenrowan to the Gulf" CD release of 1970 LP

Track List
1. All for Me Grog
2. Lime Juice Tub
3. The Ryebuck Shearer
4. The Wild Colonial Boy
5. Shores of Botany Bay
6. Poor Ned Kelly
7. Soldiers Joy - Mason's Apron
8. South Australia
9. Nine Miles from Gundagai
10. Ballad of the Kelly Gang
11. Flash Stockman
12. The Death of Ben Hall
13. The Cuckoo's Nest
14. The Canine Catastrophe
15. A Thousand Miles Away

This album was originally released as an LP in 1970, re-released on Larrikin (or so I think) in the 1980s and then in 1996 on CD. This rip and the provided covers come from that CD. MP3 ripped at 196-224 VBR.
Although performing some of the usual Australian traditional songs, they too have usually opted for lesser-known versions in both lyrical and instrumental terms. Like many bands, they tend to substitute as to what that "bloody dog" did in the tuckerbox (food container) five or nine miles from Gundagai. Some may be wondering as to why "sitting" in the tuckerbox was such a bad thing. It makes more sense if you put the 'h' back into "sat". "Poor Ned Kelly" is not traditional - it started as a tongue-in-cheek Australian "hillbilly" song in the 1930s giving an outline of Ned Kelly's criminal activity and execution but also deriving the moral that modern day "bushrangers" use taxes and high prices to rob everyone with impunity - a great song picked up by many Australian folk singers. A very enjoyable album.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Bushwackers Band "Bushfire" 1979 LP

Track List
Stringybark Creek (a Ballad of Ned Kelly)
Van Dieman's Land
Lime Juice Tub
The Flying Pieman
Past Carin'
Hard Luck Stories
Wild Horses
Fannie Bay

This album is one of my favourites - a lovely mix of traditional and more contemporary Australian folk songs performed by a very talented band with a keen feel for Australian bush music.
"The Flying Pieman" and "Bushfire" are both instrumentals. "Past Carin' " is from the poet Henry Lawson detailing the despair suffered by many of the pioneer women of Australian. "Fannie Bay" (a reference to Darwin's main jail) is in the vein of "Take a Message to Mary" (but don't tell her what I've done) and don't miss "Hard Luck Stories".
Again, Ian of Adelaide provided this great rip for all our enjoyment. Graphics include artist information and the lyrics for all songs. Ripped at 192 CBR.
Download with Graphics
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The Bushwackers "Down There For Dancing" 1982 LP

Track List
The Willow Tree (set)
1234 (song)
King Gus (set)
No. 96 (set)
Hanging Rock (set)
Coney Island (set)
Smith Street Shuffle (set)
Over the Top (set)
Swedish Masquerade (set)
Under the Bridge(set)
Buffalo Bill (set)
White Dress (song)

This 1982 album from the Bushwackers is mainly dance instrumental featuring old time tunes both European and Australian but there are a couple of exceptions that may surprise. There are also two songs supporting the dancing theme. The album is more "old-timey" than folky but nevertheless very enjoyable.
This is another great rip from Ian of Adelaide but we would all love to hear from others wishing to share their Aussie folk holdings (email for any queries, advice, offerings etc)

Download with graphics MP3 256CBR
From MediaFire

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Speewah "Banjo Paterson's Old Bush Songs" 1983 LP

Track List
1. On the Road to Gundagai
2. With My Swag all on My Shoulder
3. The Broken Down Squatter
4. The Overlander
5. Jolly Jolly Grog and Tobacco
6. The Maranoa Drover
7. The Dying Stockman
8. The Old Bullock Dray
9. The Eumerella Shore
10. Flash Jack from Gundagai
11. Another Fall of Rain
12. The Wild Colonial Boy~Dangle 'n Doolin'

These songs are a sampling of those collected and published by the distinguished Australian bush poet and song writer "Banjo" Paterson in 1905 under the title "Old Bush Songs". Only one, "The Broken Down Squatter" is of known authorship - Charles Flower in the depression of the 1890s. Of course, this track list is another one featuring songs from the top twenty or so most commonly performed old Australian bush ballads but they do bring a freshness to them through using less common, but still authentic, musical arrangements and lesser-known lyrics for some of the songs. Definitely a group of fine musicians and singers with some great fiddle and "squeeze box" backing. Band member detail is included in the LP graphics.

This is another MP3 rip by Ian of Adelaide at 256 CBR so thanks again Ian.

Download with graphics
From MediaFire 

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mike and Michelle Jackson "Patchwork" 1980 LP

Track List
1. Dirranbandi~Bunyip in the Watertank~Frozen Feet (Polkas)
2. Merrigan's Jig~Herb's Jig
3. Peeler Creek (Waltz)
4. To the Mountain Farms & The Joy of Summer (Walking Tune)
5. Sir John Fenwick's The Flower among them all~Bach's Minuet in G
6. Free Selector's Daughter (song)
7. Charlie over the Water (Jig)
8. Primrose Polka
9. Jamie Allen~Duke of Perth~Jamie Allen (Polkas)
10. Sir David Davidson of Cantry (Hornpipe)
11. A Leitrim Polka~Dalaigh's Polka~Bill O'Sullivan's Polka
12. Girls of Ivory~Manchester Gallop (Polka/Mazurkas)
13. Bluebells (Song Tune)
14. A Fine Toast to Hewlett (Tune)
15. Early in the Morning~Turkey in the Straw~Redwings (Polkas)
16. Waltzing Matilda (Tune - whimsical).

Here is the other adult folk album from Mike and Michelle Jackson released in 1980. Most tracks are purely instrumental which gives them and their fellow backing musicians ample opportunity to demonstrate their superior talents. It's a brilliant album; certainly one of the best instrumental folk music albums to come out of Australia. This is one that really should be re-issued on CD - I'd certainly buy one in a flash.

Paul from Brisbane has provided this excellent rip and the artwork which gives great detail on all the tracks, the performers and their instruments.

Download with graphics - MP3 @ 192-224 VBR
From MediaFire

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Denis Gibbons "Trads and Anons" LP 1960

1. Blue Tail Fly
2. Jan Hinnerk
3. The Old Bark Hut
4. Skye Boat Song
5. Dying Stockman
6. Bold Tommy Payne
7. The Drover's Dream
8. The Riddle Song
9. The Spinning Wheel
10. Early One Morning
11. Foggy Foggy Dew
12. Wild Colonial Boy

We've met Denis before on this blog. Here is some of his earlier work on a 1960 LP; a mix of Australian and international folk songs. He was one of Australia's earliest "successful" folk singers combining a singing and a broadcasting career. He was viewed somewhat askance by some of his contemporaries because of his success and his apolitical approach to his music. He was never the greatest of singers but he always treated folksongs with the respect and simplicity which they rightly deserved and the general public appreciated that even when the purists didn't. Perhaps the latter believed that folk songs should not be popularised?
The rear of the cover contains a lot of information including a long passage by Gibbons detailing his introduction to folk singing. A lovely LP where the lyrics take centre stage sedately backed by beautiful instrumentation. The Clarinet backing is very effective. Ripped at 192-224 VBR but the tracks are short and in mono so the total download file is only about 24Mb.

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Mike and Michelle Jackson "The Roaring Days of Henry Lawson" LP 1982

1. The Teams
2. Jackson Stomp
3. I'm a Prouder Man than You
4. Andy's Gone with Cattle
5. The Ballad of the Drover (recitation)
6. The Waterfall Waltz
7. Sycamore Cottage
8. The Song of the Bullock Driver
9. When the Children come Home
10. The Free Selector's Daughter
11. The Hastings Waltz
12. The Fire at Ross's Farm (recitation)
13. The Belltrees Polka
14. Australian Bards & Bush Reviewers

Mike and Michelle Jackson were together from 1979 to 1986. My kids adored them because they featured in the ABC TV Playmates; a young children's show. They were a very talented couple and each could play a large range of musical instruments as evidenced by the excellent instrumental tracks on this LP. Most of their output was aimed at children but they produced two folk albums. This LP, as the name indicates, also features the poetry of the noted Australian poet and short story writer, Henry Lawson, put to music other than the two recited poems noted above.

This is another great rip from Ian of Adelaide of a great LP. All graphics included.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mucky Duck "From the Bush" 1984 LP

Track List
1. The Swagless Swaggie
2. The Chant of Jimmy Governor
3. Whiskey is the Life of Man
4. Limejuice Tub
5. The Wreck of the Dandenong
6. The Musical Priest
7. When I'm Sixty-Four
8. The Four Horsemen (The Bushrangers)
9. Three Reels (Miss McLeod, Drowsy Maggie, Sleepy Maggie)
10. Jim Jones
11. The Shearer's Dream
12. From the Bush

You might reckon that the inclusion of the Beetles song "When I'm 64" is a bit of a clue that this "bush band" is not strictly traditional and you'd be mostly right. They bring some new perspectives to the performances of some of these songs, sometimes a touch of country, a touch of folk rock and occasionally a sense of barbershop quartet occasionally heavily backed by electrics and then they confuse you by being largely traditional. It all makes for a refreshing change.
This is a Western Australian band composed of Roy Abbott, Davy Browne, Andy Copeman, and Erik Kowarski.
Ian of Adelaide has generously provided this rip and the cover graphics for our enjoyment. Many thanks again Ian.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cobbers Website

As at 15 April 2013 - The intermittent Cobbers website has again apparently disappeared. The band has a facebook identity but with no data or entries but 10 likes - go figure!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Warren Fahey and others "Man of the Earth ~ Songs and Ballads of the Australian Mining Industry" 1974 LP

1. Navvy on the Line (all male singers)
2. Castles in the Air (Phyl Lobl)
3. Pint Pot and Billy (Dave de Hugard)
4. Mines of Australia (Andy Saunders)
5. Sixteen Thousand Miles from Home (Warren Fahey)
6. Song of the Thrush (de Hugard)
7. Man of the Earth (Lobl, Tony Suttor)
8. Norman Brown (Suttor, Saunders)
9. When We get our Twopence back (Fahey, Suttor)
10. The Eldorado Mining Disaster (Lobl, Suttor, Saunders)
11. The Miner (Fahey, Suttor)
12. The Diamond Drill (Saunders)

This is first of Warren Fahey's Larrikin Label LPs. I understand that it was actually recorded in 1973, pressed in 1974 and released in 1975. It was also the first of a number of theme LPs; this one to do with mining. As usual, the LP cover artwork includes details of each of the songs (included in the download). This LP has seen some hard times but, overall, it has cleaned up fairly well.

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Danny Spooner Discography

One of our visitors, Garry Gillard is constructing an on-line discography for Danny Spooner with Danny's blessing. You can check out his site at Danny Spooner.
He is looking for further information. If you are able to contribute, Garry can be contacted garrygillard[at] (substitute "@" for "[at]"). Sorry, Garry, but I don't have any more rips of his LPs but perhaps someone out there can help.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Original Bushwhackers and Bullockies Band -"The Shearer's Dream" LP 1980

Track List
South Australia
Red hot woodstove
Maranoa drovers
Ned Kelly was born in a ramshackle hut
Swagless swaggie
Drops of brandy
Rye buck shearer
Woolloomooloo lair
Holy Dan
Bullocky, oh
Jim Jones at Botany Bay
Bush girl
Denis O'Reilly
Shearers dream.

There is a lot of confusion about the various "Bushwhacker" and "Bushwacker" configurations so perhaps a little explanation is needed.
In 1952, John Meredith, the renowned Australian folksong collector, formed the "Heathcote Bushwhackers" shortly after becoming just "The Bushwhackers". This band was really the first to bring genuine bush music, backed by the common instruments of the bush, to the general public. They had a few changes of members and broke up in 1957 with some members going on to "The Rambleers". They recorded one very successful LP "The Drover's Dream" (anyone got a good copy?).

The idea of being a "Bushwhacker" caught on and there were other bands using "bushwhacker" in their names to signify that they were "bush bands". This caused a lot of humour in the real bush where the term was usually deliberately spelt as "bushwacker" (meaning the "common" people living and working in the bush - not towns or cities) and they reserved the American based spelling "bushwhacker" for "ambushers", that is, a bushwacker might be bushwhacked by a bushranger.

We move on a few years to 1971 to the formation of a new band entitled "The Bushwhackers and Bullockies Band". As I understand it, in 1974, under that name they released their first LP "The Shearer's Dream" on the Picture Records label; the members of the band then being Dave Isom, Mick Slocum, Tony Hunt, Jan Wositzky and Dobe Newton. In 1980, the LP was re-released on Larrikin Records (LRF019) with the word "Original" inserted as a description, as by then, the band had more appropriately become "The Bushwackers" and its membership had changed but "The Original Bushwackers and Bullockies Band" is now almost universally used as the performers of the LP. The band later became just "The Bushwackers". A 3CD compilation of some of their earlier albums was put out in the '90s under the name "The Great Bushwackers". That compilation is shared on this blog.

Here is their website. The band is still active at music festivals as far as I know.

However, there is no confusion as to the quality of this band in its various configurations - consistently great performances both vocally and instrumentally with an excellent Australian "bushwacker" flavour as even this first of their albums readily demonstrates. Ian from Adelaide has provided this excellent rip of the LP so give him some encouragement and I'm sure he will offer more. So, thanks from me Ian.

Jan Wositzky, an ex-Bushwacker, has now obtained the rights to this album and intends to bring it out on CD in the near future and there may even be a bit of a reunion of some of the past members.  Accordingly, downloads of this album are no longer being offered.  Hopefully, we will be posting details when the CD is out.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Canterbury Fair - "Canterbury Fair" - 1978 LP

Track List
1. Bartholomew Fair
2. Fhir a' Bhata
3. Hey, John Barleycorn
4. The Weary Whaling Ground
5. The Bell Ringing
6. Jolly Old Hawk
7. The Bells of Rhymney
8. The Tunnel Tigers
9. The Eynsham Poaching Song
10.The Lancashire Lads
11. The Agincourt Carol
12. Jolly Good Ale and Old
13. False Young Man
14. The Trooper and the Maid
15. Dona Nobis Pacem

Canterbury Fair, an Australian group which specialised in British Isles folksongs, is another line-up of great singers including DannySpooner. In reality, it is effectively the first of two LPs and the follow up LP was the previously posted "Danny Spooner and Friends" LP which has been very popular with visitors to here and Time has Told Me. This one is even better relying more on vocal technique and harmony to produce beautiful songs mostly in a capella style. They do use some very subdued musical backing occasionally.
This is another rip kindly provided by Paul from Brisbane. The download package includes the album artwork giving details of all the songs and the performers.

Download LP Rip MP3 @192-224 VBR 
From MediaFire

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Burl Ives "Australian Folk Songs" 1958 LP

LP MP3 Rip 192-224VBR
Track List
1. Wild Rover No More
2. Click Go the Shears
3. The Wild Colonial Boy
4. A Nautical Yarn
5. Across the Western Plains I Must Wander
6. Waltzing Matilda
7. Oh! The Springtime, It Brings on the Shearing
8. The Station Cook
9. The Dying Stockman
10. Botany Bay
11. The Old Bullock Dray
12. The Stockman's Last Bed

Burl Ives (1909-1995) was brought up in America in a family with strong British Isles and US folk traditions. He was a professional performer by the mid 1930s and had his own radio show by 1940. Although he was also a good actor even achieving an Oscar as Best Supporting Male Actor (1958), folk music appears to have been his primary passion. His visits to England and Australia in the 1950s were very influential to the local folk movements.
He visited Australia in 1952 following an invitation from the Australian Broadcasting Commission where, with music professor Dr Percy Jones, he compiled a book of Australian Folk Songs, some of which he recorded and which were released on a Decca LP entitled "Australian Folk Songs" in the USA in 1958. His earlier performances of Australian folk songs in Australia combined with the release of the LP made it clear that Australian folk songs were something that all Australians could generally be proud of.
His basic style of performance was also highly refreshing with the accompaniment for most songs being just Ives on his guitar and even one without any accompaniment. The glaring exception is that revamped "semi-official" Waltzing Matilda version (which I so heartily despise - give me the original any day!) and it is given a full "anthem" treatment.
There has been a rip of the original album floating around for several years but it has been of a fairly poor quality. Incidentally, the cover of the original LP is hilarious. In a desperate hunt to get an Australian looking cover, Ives is pictured against the background of an Australian tourism poster communing with a toy koala bear stuck in an American birch tree whilst looking ever so elegant with some sort of stick - perhaps a vague reference to Denis O'Reilly's blackthorne stick? I've included a copy of the original LP graphics along with the Australian ones. This rip was taken from a "cheapie' Australian re-release of the original LP under licence and, very sensibly, with a generic type cover (Australian artwork also included). The LP ripped nicely considering the age of the original material.
It is greatly to Burl Ives credit that not once does he attempt any form of accent other than his own. His American accent can be a little disconcerting with these Australian songs but this is far preferable to faking it. It's also much better than born and bred Australians trying to sing some Australian songs with Irish accents (a variation of Bogle's 'plastic Paddy' syndrome). Get this one even if you only do so out of a sense of folk history.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Danny Spooner and Friends 1978 LP (British Folk)

LP Rip MP3 @192-224 VBR
Track List
1. The Tailor's Breeches
2. The Baron o' Brackley
3. Slieve Gallen Brae
4. The Rambling Beauty
5. Lovely on the Water
6. Jowl, Jowl & Listen ~ Rap 'er te Bank
7. The Gaberlunyie Man
8. Bridges
9. London's Ordinary
10.Coupshawholme Fair
11. MacPhearson's Rant

Danny Spooner originally hailed from the East End of London and started his working life as a mariner coming under the influence and guidance of the great folk singer and folklorist, Bob Roberts. He arrived in Australia in 1962 at the height of the folk revival here and became very popular as a singer of British folksongs. He is still very active in Australian folk and will be appearing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra over Easter. (It looks like it will be a great year)
This is a great LP and Paul from Brisbane has done a excellent rip of it - many thanks again Paul.
Danny sings and plays some guitar backing. Danny's friends in this instance were Peter Christoff on fiddle, Michael Farrell on pipes and Tin Whistle, Lis Johnston and Cris Larner also providing vocals, Richard Leach recites "Jowl and Listen", and Ian Ball reads "Coupshawholme Fair".
My favourite tracks are "MacPherson's Rant" and "Baron o' Brackley".

Download with Graphics and notes
From MediaFire
Danny Spooner's widow has advised that plans are currently underway to expand the website to re-release Danny's music to raise funds for a memorial statue. Accordingly, the album is no longer available for download.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Colonial Boys "The Bicentennial Song Collection" CD

The Colonial Boys was, in all likelihood, a group formed especially to put out a CD of Australian folk songs to capitalise upon the 1988 Australian Bicentenary of settlement. I cannot find out anything about either the group or this CD and CD papers do not advise of the musicians involved. Most of the arrangements were by a Stewart Peters, and there is a folksinger and instrumentalist from Sydney by that name, so I presume he is the lead singer (any further advice is very welcome).
By its very nature, it includes most of the most popular Australian traditional folksongs supplemented by On the Road to Gundagai, Paterson's The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow and Eric Bogle's The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (attributed to Begal?? instead of Bogle). There are no moments of folk singing brilliance - just a good, solid and enjoyable performance

Download with Graphics - 17 MP3 tracks at 224kbs VBR
From MediaFire

Featuring Priscilla Herdman "The Water Lily" 1977LP & 1995CD

Priscilla Herdman is now relatively well-known in folk circles especially in the USA. She was born in 1948 in America and has released several albums by herself and others, most notably in trio with Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen. She started slowly; releasing her first LP, the brilliant "The Water Lily", in 1977. The astonishing feature of that LP is that seven of the songs on the album are from the poems of Henry Lawson, namely, The Water Lily, Andy's Gone with Cattle, The Drover's Sweetheart, Do You Think that I do not Know, The Bush Girl, Reedy River, and The Shame of Going Back. And an eighth song is Eric Bogle's And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda. The other three are more international; Dancing at Whitsun, Old Wooley, and Jock O'Hazeldean. I have never seen an explanation as to why a young USA folksinger who had never travelled developed such a focus on the poems of Henry Lawson (she has since been to Australia). Mind you, I am not complaining. Sorry, but I cannot post that album as it is still readily available for purchase in America and some limited availability in Australian (far too expensive from most Australian suppliers though). The cover picture is from the 1995 CD re-release. This is a CD that is well worth getting and, in my opinion, is the best of all Herdman's albums.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gordon Bok & Others "Songs from Australia" (Compilation)

Track List
Wee Dark Engine Room
Reedy River
No Man's Land
The Cocky at Bungaree
Gentle Annie
From the Lambing to the Wool
The Outside Track
Johnny Stewart, Drover
Andy's Gone for Cattle
Little Fishy
Bare Legged Kate
Queensland Overlanders
Broken Down Squatter
Freedom on the Wallaby

Gordon Bok (pictured right), from New England, USA has been recording since 1965 both solo and with others most notably with the pictured line-up: Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett. He sings a wide range of folk songs of many countries and his own songs about Maine working boat life. His albums have featured several Australian folk songs and this is a compilation of those which I have collected. They do a great job on these songs for non-Australians and they are certainly accomplished entertainers with great harmony and personal accompaniment. For those of you are not familiar with them, I suspect that you'll soon be looking for more of their music.

Additionally I have now noticed a further three Australian folk tracks and, just for fun, included three New Zealand songs performed by these people. The tracks are:-
The Gin and Raspberry, Past Caring, On the Wallaby (aka The Tent Poles are Rotten), The Stable Lad, The Swag and the Shiner, and The Banks of the Reedy Lagoon.

Sorry but a Gordon Bok representative has asked that these songs be no longer available for download.