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Author Topic: English/Scottish/Child ballads - CD recommendations?  (Read 1388 times)

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Offline outfidel

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English/Scottish/Child ballads - CD recommendations?
« on: March 30, 2005, 09:44:56 AM »
Can anyone recommend a good CD of traditional English/Scottish ballads, including Child ballads? I've started getting into the genre via Appalachian pickers -- like Merle Travis's "Barbara Allen" & Doc Watson's "Matty Groves".

Who are some of the modern masters for this stuff - Martin Carthy? Ewan MacColl? What CDs in particular should I look for?

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Offline Johnm

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Re: English/Scottish/Child ballads - CD recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2005, 09:30:33 AM »
Hi Michael,
You pretty much can not go wrong with Martin Carthy. He is a fantastic guitarist and great singer.  He has made a ton of albums and I have never heard one that wasn't excellent.  I particularly like two he did with the fiddler Dave Swarbrick:  "Life and Limb", on Green Linnet, and "Skin and Bone", on Special Delivery Records.  A lot of stuff that Ewan MacColl did for the old Prestige Folklore label is no longer in print, but there is a collection available from entitled, "The Riverside/Folklore Series, vol. 4:  Singing the Mother Countries Dances, Street Songs, Ballads, and Love songs from England Scotland, and Ireland".  I have not heard this collection, but it has a bunch of songs and tunes done by heavy hitters like Ewan MacColl, A.L. Lloyd, Margaret Barry, Jeannie Robertson, etc.
If you are interested in hearing American singers do these kind of songs, Smithsonian/Folkways has issued a CD recently called something like Mountain Songs or Mountain Ballads, with performances by great Appalachian singers doing this type of material--people like Roscoe Holcomb, Berzilla and Cass Wallin, Clarence Ashley and many others.
All best,

Offline outfidel

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Re: English/Scottish/Child ballads - CD recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2005, 02:47:13 PM »
John - great info as usual, thanks again!

fyi while web-searching for more info, I came across this interesting article from the Journal of American Folklore:

The English revival canon: Child ballads and the invention of tradition
« Last Edit: April 04, 2005, 02:49:26 PM by outfidel »
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