Archive for August, 2011

August 25, 2011

Week 1 – Riding Down to Portsmouth

Welcome to Week One of A Folk Song a Week.

I’m beginning with possibly my favourite song to sing, from one of my favourite records, The Roving Journeymen by the Willett Family. The Willetts – Tom and his sons Chris and Ben – were English gypsy singers recorded in 1962 on a caravan site near Ashford in Middlesex, by Bill Leader and Paul Carter. This song was sung by Tom – at 84 years of age, not the strongest singer, but still a singer of enormous character, and with some great songs. The Roving Journeymen was, I believe, the first full-length Topic LP to feature English traditional singers, and had a major impact: it was chosen by several of the contributors to Musical Traditions’ Ten Records that Changed my Life feature. Although it’s never been released on CD, you can get it as a digital download from Amazon, iTunes and the like; and this track is included on Volume 2 of Topic’s monumental Voice of the People set.

Riding Down to Portsmouth

August 24, 2011

A Folk Song A Week coming soon

OK, the first batch of songs is recorded and uploaded. I’ve persuaded myself to follow Donald Urquhart‘s excellent advice that, when resources are limited, “the best is the enemy of the good” – in other words, if I insist on perfection in terms of performance and recording quality, this thing will never get going.

Time for my first post – should be online very soon.

Andy Turner