Saturday, December 24, 2011

Danny Spooner with Mick Farrell "in "Limbo" and other songs and places" 1978 LP

Danny Spooner surely did like putting out his early LPs in company with others. On this occasion he teamed up with one Mick Farrell who provides musical backing to Danny's guitar and also has some solo moments on the Uilleann Pipes.
I know, and can find, nothing about Mick Farrell other than in respect of his performance on this LP.  The LP notes advise that he was born in Sussex (England) and has Irish and Scottish ancestry.
I am a bit of a fan of the uilleann pipes (and also the Northrumbrian smallpipes). In the 1970s, interest in uilleann pipes was quite low despite the historically proficient performances by such greats as the then mostly retired Seamus Ennis (died 1982), Willie Clancy (died 1973) and Leo Rowsome (died 1970). The Dubliner maker, then in his eighties, Matt Kiernan, from whom Farrell says he obtained his pipes in 1975 was one of only a handful of active makers back then. Fortunately, the situation has improved greatly since then with lots of makers and players.
Obviously, Mick Farrell would have been a rarity in Australia in 1978. He states in the LP that "the chanter is pitched a little below C and this style is called the 'singing chanter' because of its felicitous compatibility with the human voice". In fact, he uses only the chanter (the drones are turned off) even in the solo parts. Regardless, he accompanies Danny brilliantly. (If interested there are some good clips featuring great uilleann pipes players on YouTube)

Track List
1. I drew my Ship (English traditional)
2. Limbo (British broadside)
3. The Newgate Stone (part English traditional)
4. Morrison's Jig (traditional)
5. The Maids of Cuil Mor (Irish)
6. Kishmul's Galley (a free translation of a Gaelic traditional)
7. Arthur McBride (Irish traditional - many versions of this)
8. Donald MacGillavry (Scottish traditional of the Jacobite era)
9. The Dancing Master (Irish instrumental)
10. Sean O Dubhir an Ghlenna (Sean O'Dwyer of the Glen) (Air and Song) (Irish Rebel Song)
11. The Lothian Hairst (Scottish traditional)
12. Felton Lonnin (Northrumbrian - Geordie)

I was provided with a great copy of this LP by one of our loyal visitors and the graphics but another visitor subsequently provided a cleaned up copy of the same LP and this is the version posted (I try not to do too much work if I don't have to). Many thanks to the both of you.

Download with Graphics
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, December 9, 2011

The Larrikins "A Larrikin History of Australia" 2 LP set 1987

These 25 tracks of "Bush Music, Songs and Bulldust to stop the Chooks laying for a Week" were performed live in Sydney in 1987 by the Larrikins then consisting of Warren Fahey, Cathie O'Sullivan, Dave de Hugard, Cleis Pearce, and Michael Atherton.
This is a very nice mix of tracks including Aussie traditionals, modern folk compositions, dance tunes etc. Tracks include The Death of Ben Hall. The Morning of the Fray, Norfolk Whalers, The Rabbit Trapper, Jim Jones at Botany Bay, The Freehold on the Plain, Banks of the Condamine, My Name is Edward Kelly, and Wee Pot Stove.
This is a good rip MP3 at 192 CBR. The total size with graphics is 126Mb. It is not one of my rips but I would be proud to claim it. Many thanks to whoever did this one. This is a very enjoyable album.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Martyn Wyndham Read and Danny Spooner "All Around Down Under" Stereo LP 1989

As previously advised in this Blog, Danny Spooner has been resident in Australia for many years. His companion on this LP, Martyn Wyndham Read, has, spent several years in Australia developing a very respectable repertoire of Australian folk and traditional songs.
Again, we owe thanks to Denis for copying these tracks from off his LP and for the cover scans. The cover is very faded and I have greyscaled it for a little additional clarity.
There are some very good performances on this LP - They might be Brits but they do have a very good feel for these Australian songs.

And a small reminder - one of our visitors, Garry Gillard features Danny Spooner details on his website (click here)

Track List
1. Look out below (Danny)
2. Brisbane Ladies (both)
3. Our Jack (came home today) (both)
4. Four Little Johnny Cakes (Danny)
5. Put a Light in every Country Window (both)
6. When the Brumbies come to water (Martyn)
7. Lachlan Tigers (both)
8. New Life (Martyn)
9. Shearing in a Bar (Danny)
10. I don't go Shearing now (Martyn with Danny joining chorus)
11. The Pommy's Lament (Danny)

Download with graphics MP3 192-224 VBR
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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.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Danny Spooner "I got this one from ..." 1986 LP

Danny Spooner is an ex-pat Brit who has called Australia home since about 1962. He has produced several albums and featured on many compilations mainly as a singer of British Isles folk songs. He is still an active performer in Australia and overseas and his longevity as a performer is ample evidence of his continuing excellence as a great, no-nonsense, no-frills, folk singer. If you get a chance to see him perform, jump at it.
This LP was produced in 1986 and has long been out-of-print but you can get his more recent CDs - just Google! These tracks are courtesy of Denis who provided great copies of the LP sides. Many thanks Denis.  Graphics are included with the download. The rear of the LP cover is a bit faded but is well worth a read for Danny's comments.

1. Noble Lord Hawkins (aka Pretty Polly)
2. Rolling down Old Maui
3. The Rambler from Clare
4. The Bloody Red Hand
5. Gentle Annie
6. Aboard a Man o' War
7. Deep Sea Tug
8. Just as the Tide was flowing
9. Crooked Jack
10. Reynolds the Fox
11. A Man's a Man (for all that)

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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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Downloading and unzipping files

Lately there have been some visitors who do not know about the fact that these music blogs usually put whole albums into a compressed file, usually a ZIP or an RAR (there are others but these are the most popular) for uploading and downloading. For those of you who have little use for compression/decompression software, you can download a freebie called 7-ZIP from the web and once installed, it will readily decompress the files into their individual folders (albums) and mp3 tracks.  A double left click on the downloaded file will result in the unzipping software opening the files so the other files within it can be extracted. select "extract" or similar and, if you wish, nominate where you want the file to be extracted to 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"While The Billy Boils - A Panorama of Australian Folklore" 1981 2LP set

Featuring various artists, this is a Larrikin 1981 two LP compilation (LRD 9012) containing 30 tracks of traditional and contemporary Australian Folk songs and two instrumentals.
I presume this album was marketed to benefit from the Warren Fahey scripted ABC radio series "While the Billy Boils" as it also carries the ABC Logo on the rear of the LP slip.
It is a great compilation unfortunately marred to some degree by varying sound levels, not only between tracks, but also within individual tracks.  I have improved the problem with the different album sound levels but some downloaders might prefer to "normalise' some of the tracks (I am definitely not a fan of "normalising" but I could understand its use in a couple of these tracks).

The artists and their tracks are:
Dave de Hugard - 10,000 miles away, Then give me a hut in my own native land, Ballad of the Kelly gang, The tent poles are rotten.
Declan Affley - I've been to Australia-O, Mulga Maxims, The Cutters Lament, The whip and the spurs, The meat pie song
Warren Fahey - Colonial Experience, Freehold on the plain, Cain killed Abel, Two professional hums, Tumba-bloody-rumba
Trevor Shearston Moreton Bay, The Bullockies Ball
Cathie O'Sullivan - Castle Hill, Kanaka Love Song (poor quality track), Banks of the Condamine (horsebreaker version), Bluey Brink, The Ham Fat Man (delightful)
Mike Jackson - Coming down the flat
Jacko Kevans - Sign-on Day, The limejuice tub, The overlanders
The Larrikins - (instrumentals) Mudgee Scottische, Manchester Gallop
Andy Saunders - Five and a Zack, Woolloomooloo (Lair)
John Dengate - The Randwick Races, My Name's Bill

Full cover grapics provided including inner graphics, notes and comments.
All tracks stereo MP3 encoded at 192-224 VBR

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lionel Long "Close Up" LP 1970

A somewhat mixed LP this one - not really country, not really folk and hardly a "close up" of the usual Lionel Long offerings.  And with a rather strange LP cover and rear having absolutely no bearing to the music, most of which is of American country and western origin, prominently by Merle Haggard so I guess it should be categorised as country but the overall production is certainly not country.

In my opinion, it definitely is not Lionel's best work.  I suspect that this might be why he broke with EMI after the production of this LP and, with Columbia, returned to his folk side. Still there are a couple of good tracks on this album with the standout being "Ned Kelly" by Shel Silverstein.  The tracks are "Ribbon of Darkness" (Gordon Lightfoot), Merle Haggard's "Sing me back Home"; "Mama Tried"; "I take a lot of Pride in What I am"; and "Shade Tree Fix-it-man", "Wildwood Flower" (Carter Family), "Ned Kelly" (Shel Silverstein), "The Great White Horse" (Buck Owens and L Scott), "The Mule Skinner's Son" (from Jimmy Rodgers and George Vaughan, "I am off to Kambalda" (Ken Neate), and two tracks composed by Lionel Long, namely, ""Sugarcane Country Blues", and "Believe me Lord".  Mary Jane Boyd performs with Lionel on "The Great White Horse" and assists with "I am off to Kambalda".

This LP was published as being Stereo but I guess it only meant it could be played on stereo pickup because it was very definitely mono in all respects other than subsequent defects - so it's MP3 mono VBR 196-224 - 51Mb

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

"An Evening with Mike McClellan - Live" LP 1977

Mike McClellan was a very active entertainer in the 1970s abundantly displaying superior singing, guitar playing, and song-writing skills. His range included popular, folk, and country music.  In 1979, he went on to host a television country music show.  In 1982, he toured overseas returning in 1983 to focus on an advertising career. Since then, he has performed and released albums very infrequently.

None of his releases are currently available for purchase and, as far as I can detect, a proposed 2010 CD release has not yet eventuated.

This LP features his 1977 live performance of the more popular songs appearing on his first three albums. The originals were studio produced with full sophisticated musical backing.  However, the live performance was very different allowing McClellan to amply display his considerable talent.  Other than for the one track where Graham Lowndes assists, McClellan performs solo accompanying himself very competently on acoustic guitar.  It is such a pity for music lovers that he did not have a more prolific output both as a performer and a song writer.

You may notice that many Australian and overseas performers have done covers of some of his songs, The tracks are:-
1. Jelly Roll Baker - traditional
2. Saturday Dance (McClellan)
3. Midnight Flight (McClellan)
4. The One I love (McClellan)
5. High Flyin' Bird (Billy Ed Wheeler)
6. Rock 'n' Roll Lady (McClellan)
7. California Cool (McClellan)
8. Hot Chilli (McClellan) (instrumental)
9. You're going to need somebody on your bond. (traditional - accompanied by Graham Lowndes)
10. Mr. Bojangles (Jerry Jeff Walker)
11. Song and Danceman (McClellan)

Down with Graphics MP3 VBR 192-224
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Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Bushwackers Band "Beneath the Southern Cross" LP 1981

The Bushwackers have had over 60 different members over the decades. With this LP the members were Eddy van Roosendael, Louis McManus, Michael Harris, Dobe Newton and Roger Corbett assisted by Broderick Smith, Rodger Montgomery, Rosemary Hallo, Mick Conway, and Steve Groves.
My copy of this album had some damaged tracks but I managed to obtain good rips of tracks from elsewhere.  Unfortunately, I have had to use a rip of  "And the Band played Waltzing Matilda" that was somewhat rough but I did manage to clear out a lot of the defects and it is acceptable provided that you do not listen too hard.  (If anyone has a better copy of this track, I'd love to receive it.) Incidentally, it is a different version to the one done earlier by the "Bushwackers".  The tracks are:-
1. St. Annes Reel (instrumental)
2. Waltzing Matilda (original version)
3. And the Band played Waltzing Matilda
4. The Catalpa (not the traditional version)
5. Lazy Harry's
6. South Australia
7. Beneath the Southern Cross
8. The Plate Glass Window (trad instrumental medley)
9. Battlers Ballad
10. Spider by the Gwydir (poem - poor original recording)
11. Lachlan Tigers
12. Fishing Reels (instrumental)

I have yet to do the graphics for the LP - I'll need to use photography to get the liner notes entirely and I will post the results soon.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Sundowners "Colonial Classics" 1981

The Sundowners were founded in 1977, its members being Tony Hunt, Peter Keown, Bob Hugo, Dave Isom and Mick Slocum.  "Colonial Classics", released by Hammard in 1981, was their first album release. The LP was subsequently re-released on CD and most of the tracks have appeared in bush ballad compilations all of which have been unavailable for some time now.  The LP has been faithfully re-constructed using 12 track re-issues and 5 rips from the original LP.  Lively performances from five competent performers, three of whom were previously part of The Bushwackers.
Tracks are Waltzing Matilda, 1000 Miles Away, Cash & Co (instrumental), Drovers Dream, The Overlanders, Botany Bay, a medley of Black Velvet Band and Wild Rover, With me Swag all on me Shoulder, South Australia, Click go the Shears, Ryebuck Shearer, Flash Jack from Gundagai, Wild Colonial Boy, Travellin' down the Castlereagh, a medley of Along the Road to Gundagai; Where the Dog sits on the Tuckerbox and Yarrawonga, and Lachlan Tigers.

Download with Graphics
Download has now been cancelled because Mick Slocum has advised that he still has copies of the album for sale. He can be contacted at Full details available from

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shirley Jacobs "Songs of Love and Freedom" LP 1975

A real eclectic mix this LP featuring Australian traditionals, an early Bob Dylan, a soundtrack, an Australianised  version of Woody Guthrie's  "This Land is your Land", a traditional Scottish song, a song about Australian Rules Football to the tune of Percy Grainger's "English Country Garden", a childhood lost song reminiscent of Rolf Harris's "Two Little Boys", a song about loving through prison bars, three popular songs of the 60s and 70s, and a Henry Lawson poem set to music  - all receiving professional backing occasionally with some great instrumentation spoiled a little by too much woodblock percussion overall.

Shirley Jacobs was a Melbourne folk singer and anti-Vietnam activist and put out at least ten LPs on various labels mainly featuring folk music. I think this one may have been her last LP (anyone know better?) .

With Australia out of Vietnam in December 1972, Shirley went on to become involved with prisoner issues at Pentridge Gaol in Melbourne where she performed regularly eventually falling in love with a prisoner, Ronald "Joey" Hamilton, a painter and docker and prison activist.  The "Love and Freedom" title reflects this situation but only two tracks have any possible relevancy to that theme.  The cover portrait is of a sketch drawn by a prisoner of "B" Division.
Her LPs are somewhat difficult to come by and I'd love to have copies of her early albums. Can anyone help?

Tracks in order are Annie's Song, Ranchin' in the Evenin', Sad-eyed Teddy Bear, Cross of the South (rare traditional), Green Green Grass of Home, Love over the Walls, Cockies of Bungaree, This Land is Your Land (Oz version), Melbourne Football Song, Blowin' in the Wind, Wild Mountain Thyme, Scarlet Ribbons, and Bush Girl.

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Denis Gibbons "Folk Songs of Australia Vol 1 ~ Convicts and Early Settlers" LP 1974

This was the first LP in Denis Gibbons three-part "Folk Songs of Australia" series (Volume 3 has recently been posted on this blog).  This particular LP is a stereo version copied by Brendan of Tasmania and subsequently 'cleaned' by me  Many thanks Brendan.
Most of the tracks are the regular standards but there are also two rarer songs, namely, The Last Farewell to Stirling and The Catalpa. Other tracks are Botany Bay, Jim Jones, Bold Jack Donohue, Black Velvet Band, Old Bullock Dray, Wild Rover, Drover's Dream, Andy's Gone with Cattle, Old Bark Hut, and Wallaby Stew.
An interesting point that I perhaps should have raised far earlier is that of so many of our folk songs referring to convicts traveling to, and suffering at, Botany Bay.  The fact is that, although Botany Bay was selected as the intended first site of Australian settlement, on arrival a quick survey identified that it was unsuitable for settlement.  A search of the nearby coast discovered Sydney Harbour and the first fleet quickly moved to the site of modern Sydney and set up camp there. Nowadays, Botany Bay is part of southern suburban Sydney.
Another issue is that some of the convict-related songs make much of the cruelty and deprivation suffered by convicts e.g regular routine beatings, slavery and brutality.  There are exceptions but the far greater majority of convicts were better-off in Australia and many prospered while still "serving" their sentences.  Then, the lower classes in Great Britain suffered considerable hardship and very limited opportunity which is why the crime rate was so high anyway.  Initially, convicts were terrified of transportation to Australia because the Government went to great lengths to portray transportation as a deterrent to crime.  By the early 1800s, sufficient convicts had returned to British Isles and their portrayal of the conditions in the colony markedly lessened the fear of transportation and many convicts would formally request transportation.  Contrary to common belief, convicts of British citizenship were allowed to return to Great Britain after serving their time.  Some did but most opted to remain in Australia settling down to often hard, but far more satisfactory lives compared to their peers in the homeland.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Denis Gibbons "Shearing Songs" 1962 EP

Gazza of Lithgow very kindly purchased this EP and forwarded it to me to rip a few months ago.  I was very happy to receive the EP thinking I might be able to get some cleaner version of identically named tracks on some of Gibbons LPs.  When I started working on it this week, I was very surprised to find that these are different versions which preceded those of the same name on subsequent LPs so this is a great find.  Many thanks Gazza.
Tracks are:
1. Flash Jack from Gundagai
2. Springtime it brings on the Shearing
3. Lime Juice Tub
4. Back Block Shearer (usually Backblock Shearer)
5. Another Fall of Rain

As expected there is a little distortion but a fairly good result from a 1962 EP.

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