Friday, November 19, 2010

Seona McDowell "Australian Ballads - The Early Years" LP 1981

Seona McDowell was Irish born, New Zealand educated, took up Australian folk Music when residing in Australia, and now lives and works in the USA.
After winning the 1979 and 1980 Oz Music Awards, Folkways Records hired her to produce this album in the USA.
Seona has a great voice and does a very credible performance on this LP but the musical backing was obviously primarily provided by American performers based in the country and bluegrass genres and is, in my view, slightly discordant even though I am a big bluegrass fan.  Obviously this was a lot more palatable for an American audience even though I suspect that this was not really in strict accord with the Folkways philosophy.  Still, one must not quibble too much as these folk songs never had any real restrictions as to the type of musical backing and the very essence of folk music is its adaption to the instrumentation at hand and we've had enough Australian LPs with some quite off-putting musical backing at times.
"Lady Franklin's Lament" is somewhat of a questionable inclusion.  As far as I know, the only Australian connection is that the very famous Lord Franklin was Governor of Tasmania from about 1828 before perishing on the search for the North West Passage - still it's a great song.
I don't mean to put anyone off as this is well worth the download effort.  It's a good clean rip.  PDF graphics and lyrics from Folkways are part of the download.
Tracks are:- Black Velvet Band, Convict Maid, Botany Bay, Moreton Bay, Lady Franklin's Lament, With My Swag all on my Shoulder, Cross of the South, The Old Palmer Song, Wild Colonial Boy, Matt Brady, Click Go the Shears, Springtime it brings on the Shearing, Bold Tommy Payne, and, of course, Waltzing Matilda.

Download MP3 @192-224 VBR Mono  28Mb

Sorry folks, no more downloads following this courteous email from the Smithsonian Institute

Thanks for your interest and support of this Smithsonian Folkways recording. I came across your recent post regarding Seona McDowell’s “Australian Ballads”.

Smithsonian Folkways is the non-profit record label of the national museum of the United States. Our mission is to document the music of the world and distribute it while respecting the artists that make the music. As such, we collect revenue from music sales and distribute money back to artists as well as fund new recording projects. Please help our artists and help support our mission by removing the links to full-length downloads of this album and instead link to one of the many websites that distributes music legally. The Smithsonian Folkways website (,, eMusic, Rhapsody, Napster, iTunes, Pandora, and All Music are all good places to link.

You are welcome to post a link to the .PDF of the liner notes/lyrics.

Smithsonian Download Link US$9.99 for download album  (also link on that page to PDF Download)

Leonard Teale and Andy Sundstrom "Songs of the Sundowners" LP 1969

This was the first LP by these two. It was produced in 1969.  Although they are performing many of the more popular Australian folk songs, they are mainly using less common tunes and variations.
These tracks have been kindly provided by our Tasmanian correspondent, Brendan.  There is some distortion and minor faults on some tracks but they are still very enjoyable particularly for those interested in the rarer renditions of these  folk songs.

Waltzing Matilda, Flash Jack from Gundagai, Bluey Brink, The Overlanders, Jim Jones at Botany Bay, The Jolly Farmer, Look Out Below, Van Dieman's Land, Black Velvet Band, Rabbiter's Song, Lazy Harry's, and Euabalong Ball.

Download compressed file containing tracks and album graphicsMP3 @192-224 VBR
Click here to get MP3 (192-224 VBR) -  41MB
Click here for FLAC (lossless) version - 125MB
Files must be decompressed to extract track and graphic files
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ulick O'Boyle & The Settlers "Kiandra and Beyond" CD 2002

 I have had quite a few queries about this particular album and its possible availability for purchase.  I've previously mentioned elsewhere that this CD is available from Ulick O'Boyle's daughter, Shannon O'Boyle, who lives in the Cooma area, but only as a comment to other entries relating to the original "The Settlers".
This is a much more recent album.  All tracks other than "Monaro Fantasy" and "Shoot Out in Sharp Street" are by the talented Ulick O'Boyle - the songwriter and lead performer with the original trio.
On this album, the performers other than Ulick are Paul Davey, Perin Davey, Ken White, and Fiona White.
Several of the songs continue with the Snowy Mountains theme but there are a couple which chronicle other aspects of Australian working life. Overall, this is a very enjoyable album and fans of the previous Settlers albums will definitely enjoy it.
This CD is only available from Shannon O'Boyle (all proceeds go to Ulick) and Shannon can be contacted by email at - price is $24.95. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Denis Gibbons "Folk Songs of Australia Vol. 3" LP c.1970s

The tracks and graphics for this LP were kindly recorded and forwarded by Brendan of Tasmania who previously provided the New England album "A long way from home".  He has also provided other albums which I hope to get up here sooner or later.  Many thanks Brendan. Blokes like you make the continuation of this blog so much easier.
The theme of this LP is "squatters, selectors, shearers and drovers". I have no idea when this was released but my guess and that of the Australian National Library is sometime in the 1970s.  (volume 2 was released in 1966).  In terms of presentation and singing style, there is a marked difference from earlier records and he has tried some different arrangements for some of the tracks.  I have no problems with that.  Folks songs are meant to be re-interpreted after all.
I do apologise because there is some distortion on a couple of the tracks - well-loved and well-played LPs often have that problem.  "Reedy River" has Denis Gibbons sounding a bit like Harry Belafonte.
It's a stereo LP encoded as MP3 at 192-224 VBR and 42Mb all up.
The tracks are:-
Lazy Harry's, New England Cocky, Another Fall of Rain, Humping Old Bluey, Bush Girl, Bullocky Song, Cockies of Bungaree, One of the Has Beens, Eumeralla Shore, Reedy River, Shearer's Dream, The Overlander Bush Girl and Reedy River are, if I recall correctly, Henry Lawson poems put to music.

Download with graphics
From MediaFire

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paradiddle "Sorry to Keep You Waiting" LP 1980

This is the second (and as far as I know the final) album release by the Victorian based Paradiddle Folk Band.  It's quite an eclectic mix of traditional and modern folk from the British Isles and Australia.  There are some very good tracks on this one in the a capella style and also a couple of enthusuiastic instrumentals.And, just in case someone has never heard it, they have included their rendition of Bogle's great song ".... Waltzing Matilda". It has been a pleasure to work on these two Paradiddle albums  - nice clean vinyl!
MP3s encoded at 192-224 VBR - 70 Mb file
Tracks are:
1. I am a Tolerant Man
2. The Jolly Tinker
3. Norman Brown
4. Auld Wullie
5. Snakes
6. Oh, Bedad then, Says I
7. The Hole in the Boat (instrumental)
8. Bullockies Ball (a rarely performed Australian traditional collected by John Meredith)
9. The Kelly's Turning
10. The Miner
11. The Landlord's Fool (Landlord fill the flowing bowl)
12. Maranoa Drovers
13. Merry Clare
14. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Download with Graphics
From MediaFire

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Paradiddle "Wait Till The Word Gets Around" Mono LP 1978

The Paradiddle Folk Band was comprised of Greg Rough, Mark Leehy, Rob Fairbairn, Kev O'Mara and Marilyn Hodgson when they put out this album in 1978.  It's quite a lively album with a mix of traditional and contemporary tracks in the folk style. The tracklist is:-
1. Strike the Bell
2. Sally Brown (shanty)
3. Faithful Johnny
4. S.P. Polkas (Dennis Murphy's and The £42 Cheque)
5. The Cross of the South
6. Ryebuck Shearer and 'Ard Rain
7. Bail Up!
8. Warrandyte Morning
9. Shores of Botany Bay
10. An Gaoth Andheas (South Wind)
11. Dogs' Concert and Paddy in the Peas
12. The Shearing Song

61Mb file MP3 @192-224 VBR and includes graphics.
From MediaFire

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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tina Lawton "Fair and Tender" LP Mono 1967

This is the third of Tina Lawton's three LPs.  Her first LP, self-titled, was released in 1965 and featured earlier in this blog. Tina, a South Australian, was one of Australia's foremost folk singers in the 1960s but tragically died in late 1968. This rip comes from copies of the LP provided by two of our visitors; one a kind lady in Armidale and the other an ex-pat now residing in the UK. I have edited the files to remove unwanted features.  Many thanks to the two of you as this LP has been very hard to obtain.
This is a great album.
The tracks are all from the British Isles and are:-
1. Courting in the Kitchen
2. Lassie wi the Yellow Coatie
3. Stuttering lovers
4. Lady Mary
5. I'll tell my Ma
6. Nut Brown Maiden
7. Butcher Boy
8. Three Lovely Lasses from Banyon
9. Come all Ye Fair and Tender  Ladies
10. Raggle Taggle Gypsies Oh!
11. Greensleeves
12. Coulter's Candy
13 Mary Hamilton

Download with graphics MP3@192-224 VBR

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Larrikin Sessions - A Panorama of Australian Folk Songs from the City & Bush CD 1993

I have probably been a little remiss in not presenting this album before. This particular album was a 1993 CD release by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). It has long been out of print and I obrtained this particular rip from one of our regular contributors some time ago.

This album is a real favourite of mine; all the tracks are well selected and beautifully presented. The Larrikins were then Warren Fahey, Dave de Hugard, Bob McInnes and Andy Saunders.  As far as I can tell all tracks are original performances for this album.

The 22 tracks and the primary performer of each of those tracks are as follows:-
1. The Lime Juice Tub - Warren
2. The Old Keg of Rum - Andy
3. Sign on Day - Dave
4. With a Swag all on my Shoulder - Andy
5. Two Professional Hums - Warren
6. Five and a Zack - Andy
7. Stringybark Cockatoo - Dave
8. Moreton Bay - Dave
9. The Morning of the Fray - Warren
10. Frank Gardiner is Caught at Last - Warren
11. The Streets of Forbes - Warren
12. The Death of Ben Hall - Andy
13. Goorianawa - Warren
14. One of the Has Beens - Warren
15. Garawilla - Warren
16. 'ard Tack - Warren
17. The Maryborough Miner - Warren
18. The Miner - Warren
19. The Mines of Australia - Andy
20. Ginny on the Moor - Warren
21. The Golden Vanity - Warren
22. Take Me back to Bendigo - Bob

Of course, Ginny on the Moor and The Golden Vanity originated in the British Isles - these are Australian collected versions of these much-travelled songs.

Download with graphics 

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Gumbies Bush Band - 15 taped tracks

We now know a little about more this bush band.
(Re-edited entry) 
 And now some more again (see below)

One of our regulars had come into possession of a home-prepared cassette tape containing 15 tracks and the only identifier on the cassette was "The Gumbies Bush Band".  Our early research had been unable to identify this particular bush band other than possibly a very cursory reference to an appearance of the "Gumbies" at the Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1980.  I suspect that the cassette was recorded from an LP because of a few typical vinyl-type problems.
It is most definitely a "bush band" - lots of enthusiastic performers, lagerphones, teachest bass, whistles, banjos, guitars, harmonica, accordions, flutes, boot thumping and lots of vocalisers.  It's very much in the style of The Bushwackers and quite listenable.

Well, at last one of our visitors, Andy, has been able to provide some additional information together with the graphics (posted here) from a six track cassette he bought from the band when they used to play at the Mount Dandenong Hotel at Olinda (lovely area) in the Victorian Dandenongs in about the late 70s or early 80s where they were a local group.  Andy recalls that the bloke on the right was "Hank". From the Cassette insert, it appears that they were not all that sure as to whether they were "The Gumbies Bush Band" or "The Swamp Gumbies Bush Band" or "The Fair Dinkum Gumbies Bush Band". Many thanks Andy for the graphic and the information.

Well, we now have some more information about this group from Paul, the son of Hank "doc" Karssen. The band originally was "The Hustlers" but in the early days of venturing into folk, two of the band members came first and second in a gumboot-throwing competition at a folk festival and this lead to the name "Gumbies". They played at many folk festivals, pubs and halls etc, and appeared on the same bill as The Bushwackers and Redgum. The six track cassette was their only commercial release. The 15 track version appearing here was self-made for distribution for promotional purposes.

There were some changes in band membership over the years. The members in the photograph - starting from second left - were Ken Creighton (on mandolin), the late Peter "Pedro" Ellsworth (sitting, guitar), "Jenko" on tea-chest bass (details anyone?), and, on the far right, the late Hank "Doc" Karssen. The gentleman on the left "Tex" with the washboard was not a member but occasionally helped out and added comedy during breaks. A lady named "Merle" of Emerald (Vic) was also a regular member of the band at one time and presumably is the occasional female vocalist on some of the tracks, most notably Lazy Harry's. Most band members were originally from the Dandenong Ranges area. Many thanks for the information, Paul.

The Merle mentioned above has now been in contact with me. I'll use her words:-
I was a member of the band from 1980- name is Merle Hopman. And I was in fact the female vocalist, whistle, flute player for the band. My friend Nick Safstrom also played bush bass with the band and my husband Rob Hopman played guitar for a while as well. The band was incredibly popular at the time and we played throughout the Dandenongs, folk festivals including Ferntree Gully, Longford, Montrose, Walhalla, new Lincoln inn in Carlton etc. The name  Gumbies, from my memory,. was because originally Pedro lived in an old cottage off Colchester road and to get to band practice the boys donned gumboots to get through the mud. Hank even made a lager phone with a boot on the end. I would love to contact Paul Karssen if you have his email address. I am also happy to share photos etc if Paul or others are interested. I looked through the tracks and just knew that I could still play every one of them.
Rob and I were also founding members of Jindivic and I played with the Woolybull bush band. We live in Bendigo and I am a music teacher. 

Merle would welcome contact from anyone seeking contact or more information. She would also like to contact Paul Karssen. Merle can be contacted on

The song tracks (in the order they appear on the tape) are:
1. Cocaine - (Nobody's Business But My Own)
2. Old Joe Clark (USA traditional)
3. Queensland Railway Line
4. An instrumental set
5. Lachlan Tigers
6. Lazy Harry's
7. Bullocky O
8. Maggie May
9. Maranoa Drovers
10. Instrumental Dance set
11. Rain Tumbles Down in July (The Slim Dusty standard)

12. Old Palmer River song
13. Bundaberg Rum
14. Another Dance Set
15. Queensland Overlander/Queensland Drovers

Any contributions or suggestions, email me, Paul, as usual on or add a comment

Download with a tape graphic (not same)

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Taliesin "Taliesin" CD 1994

One of this blog's visitors has kindly provided a rip of this 1994 CD by a Sydney folk group "The Taliesin" (Taliesin was a 6th Century Welsh poet) pointing out that two of the artists also appeared on The Creel "Apellation" 1998 CD previously posted here.

As far as we can ascertain this CD was a limited release and is no longer available for purchase.  The four artists were Ian Barker, Michael Spencer, Kim Poole and Stephanie Osfield all providing vocals and playing a wide range of instruments.

There is a broad range of tracks including British and Australian traditionals, instrumentals, and songs penned by the performers.  The informative CD notes have been  transcribed and are included in the download along with a photograph of the performers and the CD cover graphic.

The tracks are Cock of the Morning, Wardy's & Thunderbolt, Craigie Hill, James Raeburn, The Shepherd Lad of Rhynie, High among the Heather, The Waverley Waltz, Born a Woman, The Rambling Sailor. Spirit Drought, Row on Row on, My Name is Edward Kelly & Fiddly Jig, The Sprig of Thyme, My Love She Dances Fair, My Last Farewell of Stirling, and I Walk Beside You.

The CD is still available for purchase from THIS LINK
However, Ian Barker advises that the download can still be available on this site. Many thanks Ian.

Download from MediaFire

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See the comment below. Please support these artists if you like their work.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lionel Long "Walkabout" LP 1968

This album was billed as Lionel Long's first country and western album when it was released in 1968.  It certainly leans towards being a country album but is hardly typical of that genre.  It is more of an eclectic and interesting mix of songs from a rural perspective.

Nine of the eleven tracks on this LP were written by Lionel Long; the other two being the song "A Town like Alice" penned by Lettie Katts and an Australian traditional "Westward", more commonly known as "Hurrah for the Roma Railway" but given more of a country treatment.  Nevertheless, there are some very good tracks on this album.

The tracks on this LP are Bindi-i-i, Curraweena Station, Lucky Opals, Thursday Island Girl, Legend of Pirili, 600 Miles, Westward, Jet Plane, Thar She Blows, A Town Like Alice, and Nick the Greek.

The LP cover and its label are very definite about this being a stereo LP.  In fact, it was totally mono - not even an attempt at simulated stereo so I have encoded it as mono as this halves the size of the file.

With graphics - encoded at 192 VBR MP3.
Download from MediaFire

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Various Artists "Game as Ned Kelly" Larrikin Record LRF50 1980

For our international visitors, it is probably sensible to give a quick postage-stamp view of Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang.  Edward ("Ned") Kelly was born in the state of Victoria. His father was a transported convict.  Starting out as a horse thief, he went on to lead a bushranging gang in the 1870s.  This gang mainly operated in Victoria with one significant incursion to Jerilderie in New South Wales.  His final robbery involved the capture of the Victorian town of Glenrowan.  He became aware that a trainload of troopers (mounted police commonly known as "traps") were travelling by train to capture him.  He then removed train tracks to derail the train but the troopers were informed, left the train, and walked to Glenrowan where the gang was beseiged.  Most of the gang were killed in a shoot-out.  Ned Kelly, wearing heavy metal armour then confronted the police firing as he came.  He was brought down by bullet wounds to his exposed legs, captured, tried, and hung at the old Melbourne Gaol.
He is regarded by some romantics as a bit of a folk hero fighting against the villainy of authority.  In the Jerilderie Letter, he presents himself as continuing the Irish Catholic fight against the Saxon hordes - a view somewhat spoilt by the fact that he had no hesitation ambushing and killing a group of Irish-born troopers.
As with all romantic figures, he features in several songs over the decades including some written and sung during his bushranging days.  Warren Fahey, on this LP, includes a good range of those songs.

Track List
My Name is Edward Kelly (Declan Affley)
The Ballad of Ned Kelly (in three parts) (Andy Saunders) Tune of "Wearing of the Green"
Stringybark Creek (Andy Saunders)
Farewell to my Home in Greta (Declan Affley)
The Jerilderie Letter (part) (recitation by Declan Affley) backed by Ian McKenzie on Uilleann pipes playing "Moreton Bay"
Kelly was their Captain (Dave de Hugard)
Ye Sons of Australia (Phyl Lobl)
Farewell Dan and Edward Kelly (Jacko Evans) Tune of 1865 US Civil War song "Just before the Battle, Mother"
Ned Kelly was born in a Ramshackle Hut (Graham Seal singing a Tex Morton composition of the Depression Years)
Ned Kelly was a Gentleman (Warren Fahey recitation of WWII poem) (Not the Slim Dusty song of the same name)
Poor Ned Kelly (Graham Seal and Andy Saunders singing another Depression years song this time written by Billy Blinkhorn)

MP3 Mono at 192 VBR

Apparently there has been a DCMA complaint about this particular album - my very first.  The supposed email with the details of the complaint has apparently been sent by Blogger but I have not received it.  I'm quite surprised that someone took such action over this LP but so be it.  No more downloads folks! Obviously there are some people who would rather that this music remains lost in oblivion.   If its been republished, I'd love to receive some details so I can post them.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Various Artists "Still a Long Way from Home" CD 1998

This CD was released on the Auvidis label in France in 1998 as part of the UNESCO Traditional Music of the World Series subtitled as "Australia: Music from the New England Tableland of New South Wales".  The Album contains a mix of folk dance tunes and folk songs of both Australian and British Isles origin.  As far as I can identify, this CD is no longer available for purchase.  This rip was very kindly provided by one of our very kind Tasmanian contributors and is in MPEG-4 format at about the 250 kbps level.  It is quite a delightful album.
The track list and performing artists are:

1. Bruce Smith's Set Tune - Mark Rummery
2. Mazurkas: Ben Cherry's/Alice Doran's/Mick Pitkin's - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
3. Lad from Erin's Isle - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
4. Polkas: Pop Holland's/Bruce Smith's/Jim Lowe's Heel and Toe - Rob Beasley, Barry McDonald, Mark Rummery
5. Dingo Flat - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
6. Set Tunes: Ben Cherry's/Wait Till the Clouds Roll by, Jenny Dear - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery
7. Georgie Sands - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
8. Ben Cherry's Schottisches - Barry McDonald, Mark Rummery
9. Johnny Lad - Barry McDonald
10. Jigs: Chase Me Charley/Richard Ferris'/Jim Lowe's - Barry McDonald, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
11. Thunderbolt's Dream - Barry McDonald, Mark Rummery
12. Step Tunes: Arnie Berger's/Have You Ever Seen the Devil?/Victor Cherry' - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
13. Barbara Allen - Barry McDonald
14. Waltzes: Watson's Creek Waltz/Pearl Browning's - Barry McDonald, Theresa Nano, Mark Rummery
15. William Grimes the Drover - Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery
16. Step Tunes: Mick McGarryís Jigs/The Bullshit Over the Calf Pen - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
17. My Name Is Alma Chandler/Merry-Go-Round Waltz - Barry McDonald, Theresa Nano, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery
18. Schottisches: Jim Lowe's/Steve Harte's/Sam Looker's - Barry McDonald, Cathy Ovenden, Mark Rummery, Chris Sullivan
19. Mouth-Organ Medley: Why Did My Master Sell Me?/Starry Night for a Ramble - Jim Lowe, Barry McDonald, Mark Rummery
20. O God of Love (Reprise) - Graeme "Fritz" Kreusler, Jim Lowe, Barry McDonald

At the request of Chris Sullivan as per the below email, the Download link is now removed
I have just come across your site. This CD was not release in Australia for copyright reasons. McDonald does not have copyright or clearance for the arrangement of the music, all of the music. He has done a lot of damage this cove, and he should not profit, even indirectly. If you continue to allow this to be downloaded you will be in breach of copyright. Consider yourself formally notified.
Chris Sullivan

I wonder what happened here?

Avoiding Clipping when recording

Gonzo has published a very relevant post on his blog about avoiding clipping when transferring audio to digital. In fact, his remarks are also relevant for any form of recording be it to digital or audio from any audio source.  Transfer from LP to cassette can also encounter the same problem.  When recording or transferring audio, please ensure that the recording level indicator ALWAYS stays below the red level.  Some of the older LPs also have tracks recorded at various levels and I usually sample the whole side first to ensure that clipping does not occur.

Read Gonzo's article here

Friday, June 25, 2010

A.L. "Bert" Lloyd "Australian Bush Songs" 1956 LP

Well, we finally have a good rip of this 1956 American release LP.  One of our visitors, Gary, has kindly provided a 256kbs MP3 CBR rip of his copy of the LP and also the LP graphics.  Many thanks Gary; a lot of people have been trying to get a good rip of this LP for many years.

Some of these songs also appear in the below item "Old Bush Songs" but these are different performances especially in terms of musical backing.  Lloyd is here accompanied by Al Jeffrey on banjo and harmonica, Alf Edwards on concertina, and E.L Rewald on guitar. Alf Edwards was an accomplished concertina player who featured prominently in the 1950s British folk scene.

The tracks are The Lime-Juice Tub, The Maryborough Miner, The Drover's Dream, The Banks of the Condamine, Bluey Brink, Click go the Shears, The Wild Colonial Boy, Euabalong Ball, The Cockies of Bungaree, Brisbane Ladies, The Road toGundagai, The Castlereagh River, The Lachlan Tigers, and Bold Jack Donahue.

Download with graphics
From MediaFire

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A.L. Lloyd "The Old Bush Songs" 1994 CD re-release

Albert Lancaster Lloyd recorded as A.L. Lloyd but was better known as "Bert".  He was born in England in 1908.  As a young man (1924-1932) he worked in Australia mainly on sheep stations in the Lachlan River area of New South Wales where he commenced to collect Australian folk songs.  On his return to England, he continued with his growing interest in folklore and folk music at a time when there was very little interest in the field.  He went on to record a considerable volume of work including a large proportion of Australian folk songs including his contribution to the LP The Great Australian Legend previously posted on this blog.  His first significant Australian-related output was the 1956 Riverside RLP 12-606 Australian Bush SongsSee above - we now have a good rip of that LP.

This particular album was an Australian CD release on the Larriken label and incorporates tracks from 1960s and 1970s Topic label LP releases.  The accompanists include Martin Wyndham Reade, Trevor Lucas, Alf Edwards, Al Jeffrey, Dave Pegg, Andy Seagrott and Dave Swarbrick on eight of the tracks and Peggy Seeger, John Cole, and Ralph Rinzler on six tracks.

I have no idea who did this rip as I collected this material from elsewhere.  It is MP3 at 160bps CBR.

The fifteen tracks are Waltzing Matilda (original/Queensland version), The Kelly Gang, The Drover's Dream, The Cocckies of Bungaree, Flash Jack from Gundagai, Bluey Brink, The Derby Ram, Bold Jack Donahue, The Wild Colonial Boy, The Hold-up at Eugowra Rock, Euabalong Ball, Rocking the Cradle, Lachlan Tigers, and The Lime Juice Tub.

Download with graphics and notes

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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Hawking Brothers "Australian Heritage" 1971 LP

The Hawking Brothers were Russ Hawkings (1931-1976) and Alan Hawking (1933-1988).  Excellent singers and instrumentalists, they first recorded in 1955 and were equally proficient with both traditional Australian folk music and country music.  In the latter genre they very deservedly had a big hit in Australia with the American song Catfish John (on their self-titled album).  They toured North America in 1975 and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry.

This album was produced in 1971 and features Australian traditional folk songs.  In 1975, they also produced a volume 2 but I have not yet been able to obtain a copy.

I have no idea who ripped this LP but if you are out there reading this, please accept my thanks.  It is MP3 VBR ranging from 178 to 202.
The tracks on this album are South Australia, Wild Colonial Boy, The Limejuice Tub, Botany Bay, Ten Thousand Miles Away, Bullocky-O, Click go the Shears, Eumerella Shore, Ladies of Brisbane, Flash Jack from Gundagai, With my Swag on my Shoulder, The Queensland Drover, and The Old Bullock Dray.

Download from MediaFire

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tex Morton "20 Golden Greats" Cassette late 70s?

Tex Morton (1916-1983) was a New Zealander by birth and an Australian by adoption reportedly arriving in Australia at the age of 16 in 1932.  He was to become a gifted showman variously performing as a singer, hypnotist, sharpshooter and whip cracker  in various countries including lengthy stints in Canada and the United States of America.

He is best known in Australia as a singer and is accepted as being the "Father of Australian Country Music" paving the way for such later greats as Slim Dusty and Buddy Williams.  He was first commercially recorded in 1936 for the Regal Zonophone label and his subsequent output included scores of the old 78rpm records. He always sung with an American accent and initially his song tracks were American songs or at the very least passed off as American songs using the then standard American country music terms, e.g. outlaw, prairie, but over the years his music did become more Australianised.  Basically, in his prime he was a typical "hillbilly" singer given to lots of yodelling.

His singing style was distinctly out-of-fashion from the 1960s onwards but, in 1973, he recorded "The Goondiwindi Grey" about the legendary racehorse Gunsynd with great success.  This created considerable general interest in his music and resulted in the release of a number of compilations of his music.  In his later years, his contributions to Australian country music were often publicly acknowledged and he was a regular guest at the Australian Country Music Awards at Tamworth.
This particular compilation tended towards general music tastes of the 1970s and thus does not include any yodelling tracks and focuses more on Australian based material and comedy (he was a great comedy singer albeit in a country style).  Some of the tracks are recitations which he performs with great distinction.  His music may now sound rather unsophisticated and basic but, for his time, he was an outstanding performer.

Be warned that, although this compilation features traditional items - Bullocky Bill, The Stockman's Last Bed,  Holy Dan, and The Dying Stockman, he may offend those of you who are folk purists.  I am not presenting this album as being "folk" but to provide some insights into the music leading up to the later bush balladeers.

Some discerning readers may note that the cassette is presented as being Dolby Stereo and I've provided mono rips - that's because it was not really stereo.

Download with graphics  MP3 @192 VBR
From MediaFire

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Currency Folk - Still a Rich Man's Land ~ Songs of Kevin Baker - Cass mid-1980s

We met The Currency Folk (Kevin and Beth Baker) in January. They were responsible for putting together, and appearing on, "Beneath the Smoke - a Gathering of Nations".  This album, which may have been issued at about the same time, featured only songs written by Kevin Baker, a political activist, of many years standing.  There are some great tracks on here backed by some very good musicians. Beth Muntz,a good singer, appears as a solist on four of the tracks and provides some vocal backing to Kevin Baker on the others.  Kevin is distinctly a better song writer than a singer but his vocal qualities are fitting for the songs he writes.  Overall an entertaining album.

This cassette rip was provided by one of our visitors along which some others soon to appear.  Many thanks for your kind assistance.  The tracks are all MP3 at CBR 192.

The tracks are:-
Smoky Steel City, Windows of our World, Security, To Absent Friends, Executive Man, Mt. Kembla Mining Disaster, Streets of our Town, Children, Men of Kamira, Seeds of Tomorrow, Let's be constructive Australia, and Come now my Companions.

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Home Rule with Günther Pösterl and Klaus Knipp "Auf nach Botany Bay" CD 1995

We have previously featured some tracks from this CD but, thanks to a friend, I have obtained the CD so as to post it with all tracks and graphics advising details of the artists involved.

As previously advised this CD was fully intended as a German language teaching aid for NSW schools.  The songs are firstly introduced in English then sung in English and then a German version is sung with the exception of the final song which is a medley of English and German.

Home Rule is the competent Australian group providing the musical backing and the Enlish language versions.  Günther Pösterl and Klaus Knipp sing the German versions.  The songs are mostly Australian traditionals with the exception of the more modern folk song of known authorship, namely "Sergeant Small", and the commercial song "Big Ben Pie".  The traditional lullaby "Little Fishes" has been adopted to include modern ecological messages.  For some unknown reason, they have absurdly substituted Charters Towers for Charleville as the starting point in Sergeant Small.  Charters Towers is on the Townsville to Mt Isa railway line and is a long, long way from being on the Brisbane to Cunnamulla railway line through Charleville, Mitchell and Roma.

Sergeant Small aka Down and Outback may not be so well known.  Sergeant Small was a well-known police officer stationed at Roma in south-west Queensland.  In the depression years, many men on the dole were obliged to travel the country searching for work as they had to collect their dole from different locations.  With virtually no money, there were really only two ways to effect this travel - by walking or jumping a freight train.  The railways tended to resent the second option and there was a constant effort by both the state police and the railway police to deter these free traveling swagmen or bagmen as they were sometimes called.  Their usual technique was to intermittently board and comprehensively search trains.  Sometimes the swagmen were arrested and other times they would be forced off the train in remote areas.

Sergeant Small developed a cunning approach.  He would kit himself out as a bagman trying to find some space on a goods train for himself and he'd surreptitiously approach each carriage and ask if there was any room inside and many a concealed bagman would answer back and thus give himself up.

The songs are:-
Botany Bay, South Australia, The Catalpa, Black Velvet Band, Sergeant Small, Little Fishes, Big Ben Pie and Wild Rover No More.

Song tracks are VBR in the 190s and the spoken introductions are at 128 - Graphics included.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Overlanders "songs of the Great Australian Balladists" 2LP set 1978

We have met this South Australian group The Overlanders before with their LP Tribute to Western Australia 150 (1979). This two LP set of 36 songs was released in 1978 and, instead of offering the usual top 30 of Australian folk songs, refreshingly contains many bush songs often neglected by others.

Graham Jenkin, school teacher, folklorist and author, was the moving force behind this project which also included the publication of an identically-named companion book (second edition 1983). He had previously been the co-author with Lionel Long of Favourite Australian Bush Songs in 1964.

The singing is sometimes a little ordinary but we need to be grateful that this group put together such a great collection of the more obscure Australian folk songs.

I have now fully rebuilt my home network (insurers came to the rescue albeit slowly) after the lightning strike in mid-January so the blog has become a little neglected.  I hope to soon rectify that so I am very grateful to Ian of Adelaide for kindly ripping and providing this entertaining album.  Many thanks Ian for a great rip @256kps!  Contributions are always welcome.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Beneath the Smoke - A Gathering of Nations" c1984 LP

Beth and Kevin Baker (Currency Folk) of the Australian industrial city of Wollongong (hence "Beneath the Smoke") put together this LP with a view to featuring the songs of different ethnicities within the area.  The result includes Australian artists singing traditional and modern folk songs (The Billabongers and the Bakers); Chileans Fernando and Sonia Aranciba with friends performing songs and instrumentals of rebellion; An Italian immigrant, Gerardo De Liseo, performing traditional songs of his original homeland; Vince Brophy, an Irish immigrant, singing two British Isles traditionals and also one of his compositions "Tug Boat"; and an English immigrant, Val Whittaker, also performing British Isles traditionals.

Track List
1. The Sandy Maranoa (Billabongers)
2. Seeds of Tomorrow (Beth Baker)
3. Amici, Amici (De Liseo)
4. Tug Boat (Brophy)
5. Goriza (De Liseo)
6. Elegia a los Caidos (Elegy for Freedom Fighters) (Fernando Arancibia)
7. La Palummeddha Janca (De Liseo)
8. The Rabbiters (Billabongers)
9. El Calameno (Arancibia's)
10. If I was a Blackbird (Whittaker)
11. Bogies Bonnie Bell (Brophy)
12. Will You go Laddie go (Whittaker)
13. Men of Kemira (Kevin Baker)
14. Geordie (Brophy)
15. Black is the Colour (Whittaker)
16. Gracias a la Vida (Arancibia's).

It was a well-packed LP with almost an hour's music.  The recording quality is variable but I found myself really enjoying the Italian and Latin American tracks.  Other than for  El Calameno, the download includes the lyrics of the Italian and Chilean songs with English translations.

Download with Graphics and Lyrics  MP3 192-224 VBR
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Tina Lawton (Untitled Album) LP 1965

The very popular Tina Lawton, folk singer and artist, was 21 years old when this, her first album was released in December 1965.  On it she featured traditional songs of the British Isles, accompanied, amongst others by the harpist Huw Jones and Andy Sundstrom on guitar.
She went on to appear in the ABC film "The Restless Years" in 1966 and to release a further two albums "The Singing Bird" and "Fair and Tender" and also toured in Vietnam and other locations entertaining troops.  In 1968, she took up full-time art studies in Edinburgh but still performed intermittently in the UK.
In December 1968, she visited a friend in Kenya where on the 22nd December, she died in a small plane crash.  Truly a great loss to the world of music.
Sadly, I do not have access to her other two LPs which show a greater professional maturity.  Can anyone help?  This LP was very "dirty" but it has "cleaned" to a sort of listenable level.

Track List
1. Marie's Wedding
2. Spinning Wheel
3. One Morning, One Morning
4. Bonnet trimmed with Blue
5. The Lowlands of Holland
6. Mr. McQuire
7. Castle of Dramore
8. Spanish Lady
9. Trotting to the Fair
10. Lord Gregory
11. The Bird's Courting Song
12. Welsh Lament
13. Blacksmith Song
14. She moved through the Fair
15 Cuckoo Song

MP3 mono 192 VBR with Graphics

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mike Jackson comments on Mike and Michelle Jackson postings

Mike Jackson (click here for his website) previously of Mike and Michelle Jackson has commented on the postings of their two folk albums on this blog, namely "Patchwork" and "The Roaring Days of Henry Lawson", from rips supplied by Ian of Adelaide and Paul fom Brisbane.  Mike's comment is:-

Thanks for the kind words chaps and chappesses,
So nice to see this bit of my past still freely available. No, we didn't make it with money in mind! Long live music. :)
And while I'm at it, bless Warren Fahey Larrikin Records/Folkways for making this and dozens of other projects preserving and promoting Australian Folk Music possible.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lionel Long "The Bold Bushrangers" 1963 (2 LP Set)

The Bold Bushrangers was a two LP set issued in 1963.  All but two of the tracks were specifically penned for this project by the Australian author Kenneth Cook (best known for "Wake in Fright").  Somewhat paradoxically, whereas Long previously recorded traditional material with modern-style musical backing, this contemporary material has a very folky backing often with just Long accompanying himself on guitar.  Some tracks also feature that superb five-string banjo player, Dave Guard, an original member of the Kingston Trio who migrated to Australia in 1962 and backed several Australia performers (sometimes under other names e.g with Tina Date as Dynamite Finkelstein).
Kenneth Cook's wife, Patricia Cook is the soloist on three of the tracks and performs a duet with Long on one other. I know nothing about this lady but she gives a strong performance with a distinct Irish style highly reminiscent of the legendary Delia Murphy, the "Queen of Connemara" who was very well-known in Australia as she had accompanied her husband Tom Kiernan when he was appointed as the first Irish Ambassador to Australia in the post WWII years and often performed especially on ABC radio.

There have been some difficulties in getting reasonable LPs of this set.  Finally, Ian of WA, has provided me with copies of both volumes (thanks Ian),  Volume 1 is mono whereas volume 2 is stereo and in far better condition than 1 which had three fairly worn tracks on side two (the first three) causing some minor distortion which I can't correct.

Ian has also kindly provided text of the rears of the LPs. and these are included in the download.

The two traditional tracks are "The Wild Colonial Boy" and "Moreton Bay" and Kenneth Cook has written some really great songs for this set. My favourites are "The Drifting Smoke of the Mountain" and "Sir Frederick Pottinger" but others are also enjoyable.

MP3 @ 192-224

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Trevor Lucas "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" LP 1964

Graphics provided thanks to Luke R Davies (see later posting)
Album cover

We have previously met Trevor Lucas in this blog featuring his album "Overlander" which he did in his early days in England.  This LP was his first and was done in the year before he left Australia.
It is somewhat of an eclectic mix as you will observe from the below tracklist.  This rip was performed and provided by our first Victorian contributor so many thanks for this album.  (Notes about the album are included in the download)
Tracks (all traditional except as noted)
   1. Hey Nellie Nellie (Silverstein and Friedman)
   2. Bluey Brink
   3. John Hardy
   4. One Kind Favour
   5. World War III Talking Blues (Bob Dylan)
   6. Casey Jones
   7. The Voyager (Gary Shearston)
   8. John Henry
   9. Cocaine Blues (Gary Davis)
  10. The Flash Stockman
  11. Follow You Down

MP3s @ 160CBR
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