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A Distant Land to Roam

Anglo-American Songs and Tunes from Texas to Maine         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]

MTCD516 + 28 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

25 tracks, 78 minutes

Among these 25 songs and tunes that have gone across the seas, a distant land to roam, you will find some very recognisable versions.  Bradley Kincaid sings The Two Sisters and Fair Ellender and Lord Thomas, Bob Cranford sings Babes in the Wood, Bascom Lamar Lunsford sings The Derby Ram, and Emry Arthur sings Jack Hall.

Perhaps less easily recognisable are: The Stanley Brothers - Poison in a Glass of Wine; Frank Jenkins' Pilot Mountaineers - Go and Leave Me if You Wish It, Gid Tanner & His Skillet-Lickers - Soldier, Soldier, Will You Marry Me; Louisiana Lou - The Oxford Girl; Hattie and Ernest Stoneman - When Shall We get Married, John?  And downright extraordinarily, you'll hear The Southern Melody Boys with their Little Ball of Yarn and Blind Boy Fuller with Our Goodman or Seven Nights Drunk.

        Robert Leng and Jossy 'Pop' Mainprize with Jim Eldon

    [Review]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     Songs and Tales from Flamborough Head

MTCD203   25 tracks, 45 minutes   £10.00

In 1988, Jim Eldon was gathering material for a cassette album of East Yorkshire fireside tales, and a friend took him to Flamborough and introduced him to Robert Leng and Jossy 'Pop' Mainprize.  The few snippets of ditties that had been dotted among the stream of tales grew into a whole repertoire of songs as more were remembered.  Eventually a cassette of songs and one of tales were issued on Jim's Stick Records label.

The fishermen's tales and poaching yarns speak for themselves.  There is very little editing in the stories section of this collection.  One yarn would spark another and the titles and track separations are just there to help you navigate through them if you want to revisit a particular favourite.


Freda Palmer

Leafield Lass         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD375-6 + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

56 tracks, 132 minutes

Freda Palmer was born in, and lived most of her younger life in, Leafield, Oxfordshire.  Later, she mover to nearby Witney, where these recordings were made.  From the age of eleven, she was employed as a glover - making gloves, together with her mother at times, but mostly with her Aunt Annie, and it was from her that she learnt most of her songs, as they sat across the table together, sewing their gloves.

She had a phenomenal memory ... while raising six children she probably didn't have too much spare time for singing, and it was only in her later years that she was encouraged to visit folk clubs and festivals as a performer.  But to have a repertoire of sixty or so songs, and to sing 35 of them off the cuff in one day when Alison McMorland visited her was quite an achievement - not to mention reciting the 19 eight-line verses of Murphy's Little Girl without a stumble.

Everyone who knew her commented on her delightful, friendly personaliy - and the account of her life found in these pages shows that she was an almost unbelievably hard-working woman.  The don't make 'em like Freda any more!

        Vaughan Williams in Norfolk Vol 2 CD-ROM

    Digital book with embedded MIDI files,
[Review]     [List of Songs]                                                by Alan Helsdon

MTCD254   £12.00    

This is Volume 2 of the Vaughan Williams in Norfolk CD-ROM (MTCD253), we published in 2014.  It covers the three Norfolk collecting trips Ralph Vaughan Williams made in April 1908, October 1910 and December 1911.  He met some 22 singers and collected 93 songs from them.  As before, they are presented in staff notation, with full texts, and with link to MIDI sound files of the tunes, and there's a very substantial page of information on the singers.


The Two Bobs' Worth

Bob Lewis & Bob Copper         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD373 + 32 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

20 tracks, 80 minutes

The two Bobs were recorded at Nellie's folk club in Tonbridge, back in 1999, where they were performing together as The Two Bobs' Worth.  Given that they were recorded on a mini-disc machine, the recordings are excellent, and the singing is just glorious!

These were sung by Bob Lewis first, alternating with Bob Copper, and are presented in the order they occurred in performance, with no songs missed out.  I have edited the inter-song comments so that we end up with a duration of almost exacyly 80 minutes.  This is an absolutely splendid record; Bob Copper accompanies himself on concertina for most of his songs, and I have never heard Bob Lewis in better voice.  MT Records' 10% Sales Royalties will go to support the Sussex Traditions organisation.


When Cecil Left the Mountains

    [Review 3]     [Review 2]     [Review 1]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     Historic recordings of Appalachian singers and musicians 1927 - 1955

MTCD5145.  2 CDs + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

83 tracks, 149 mins.

A two volume set of ballads, songs and music from people, families and areas encountered by Cecil Sharp on his 1916-18 collecting trips to Appalachia, taken from both commercial and private recordings.

Performers include: Horton Barker, Emmett Lundy, Luther Strong, Emma Shelton, Ella Shelton, Bill Stepp, Emory Stoop, Eliza Pace, Dad Blackard's Moonshiners, and 20 others.  A Mike Yates production.



English Gypsy Musicians         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD373 + 32 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

45 tracks, 63 minutes

This CD features a fiddler - Harry Lee - from whom only two tunes will have ever been heard by about 99.9% of our readers!  But I guess that almost all will have heard those two tunes on the LP Boscastle Breakdown.  We are very pleased to be able to present Harry's complete recorded repertoire of 18 tunes, here for the first time.  Also a fiddler and box player you've probably never even heard of, Vanslow Smith was an amazing musician, who used ALL the available accidentals on his pokerwork melodeon, and played some very jazzy skeleton fiddle through an amplifier ... at the age of 82!  There are 11 tracks of his playing here.

Also included are 9 tracks from Lemmie Brazil (melodeon), plus one track each from: Jasper and Levi Smith (mouthorgan & tambourine); Jasper and Darby Smith (mouthorgan & guitar); Joe Dozer Smith (diddling); Mary Biddle (diddling); Walter Aldridge (mouthorgan); and John Locke (fiddle) playing his Hornpipe, from the cylinder recording!

        Phoenix Dance Band

    [Review]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     All Fired Up

Firebird Records FBR 005   15 tracks, 58 minutes   £10.00

Ten years after their first CD - after the fire - Phoenix return with 43 more less-than-well-known tunes,
forged into 15 new dance sets by several years of playing for dancing at numerous clubs and festivals.

They've found it great fun getting it all together and, with Sidmouth, Haddenham, Bath and Oxfolk Ceilidhs
lined up in the diary, they're All Fired Up about the future!


Edward II and the Red Hot Polkas

The Early Recordings 1985-85         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD405   22 tracks, 81 minutes   £10.00

E II started as a dance band in Cheltenham in 1980, and recorded three cassettes, Demos, Promos and Ethos in 1985 and 1986.  They were thinking about calling their next cassette d'Artagnan - but in 1987 the Cooking Vinyl record company came along with an LP offer, so that ended the series of pretentious record titles!

All the cassette tracks, from "the best little English dance band on the planet" as someone called it back then.


I Wish There Was No Prisons

    [Review]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     Various performers

MTCD372 + 28 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

31 tracks, 81 minutes.

From the Mike Yates collections, 1964 - 1978.  The follow-up to the Harry Upton CD - containing the two songs for which there was insufficient space there - plus lots more that are versions of songs which Harry sang, others are sung by people that Harry knew, and songs that Harry would probably have recognised as being the sort of thing that he liked to sing.

29 songs and two recitations from Harry Upton, Johnny Doughty, George Spicer, Louise Fuller, George Attrill, Fred Jordan, William Harding, Bill Whiting, Percy Bridges, The Cantwell Family, Alice Green, Cyril Nunn, Freda Palmer, Son Townsend, Fred Welfare, and Ruth and Clare Pinner.  We believe that none of these recordings are currently available on CD.


Harry Upton

Why Can't it Always be Saturday?         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]    

MTCD371 + 24 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

22 tracks, 78 minutes

Harry Upton was born in 1900 in Hove, Sussex.  His father, Frank, from whom he learned most of his songs, was a shepherd from West Blatchington and must have been born c.1865 and, to Harry's knowledge, had been a shepherd on the South Downs all his life.  By the time he was 13, Harry had left school and was working as his father's shepherd boy.  He worked with his father for about five years and then left to become a carter, working with horses on the Dyke Hills, beyond Brighton.  Harry worked with horses until his marriage in 1927 when he moved to Balcombe to work as a tractor driver, a job that was to last for 40 years.

This CD contains almost all of the songs he let Mike Yates record - including Canadee-I-O and The Wreck of the Northfleet.

        Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland CD-ROM

    Digital book with embedded MP3 files,
[List of Songs]       [Review]           by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger

MTCD254   £12.00    

MacColl and Seeger’s 1977 book was years ahead of its time in terms of its detailed consideration of all aspects of Gypsy and Traveller songs and culture in the UK.  The Introduction and Music Notes are hugely informative, as are the 12 pages on the 18 singers.  All the 131 songs (in 155 versions) are here as full length MP3 recordings, along with the original texts and staff notations.


David Stacey

Good Luck to the Journeyman         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD360 + 24 page integral booklet in DVD case   £12.00

24 tracks, 74 minutes

David Stacey was born and brought up in Saffron Walden, Essex, in 1943.  From his twenties he spent many years alternating between archaeology in Israel and apple and hop picking in Kent.  There he met Mary Ann Haynes' son Ted, and Nelson Ridley's nephew Henry - and through them, many other Gypsies and Travellers in the area.  He was privy to many of the sing-songs they participated in, and learned a good number of their songs.  Back home, in later life, he encountered a number of other Travellers in north Essex and Cambridgeshire, and a local traditional singer, Walter Jarvis - learning more songs on the way - in addition to the repertoire he'd acquired from books and records.  This is a most interesting and unusual CD.

        Vaughan Williams in Norfolk CD-ROM
    Digital book with embedded midi files,
[List of Songs]                                                 by Alan Helsdon

Requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader - MTCD253   £12.00    

Ralph Vaughan Williams spent nine days in and around King’s Lynn in January 1905 and September 1906.  He collected 86 songs and four dance tunes from 20 singers - one of whom also played the fiddle.  Along with much else, this book presents: his itinerary; a narrative account of the trips; all the songs and tunes as PDF pages with song texts, staff notation and playable midi sound files of their tunes; and a very substantial page of information on the singers.


Sam Larner

Folklore Society Non-Print Media Award
Winner 2014-16
Cruising Round Yarmouth         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]    

MTCD369-0 Two CDs + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

67 tracks, 149 minutes

The 1958/60 recordings by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger of this wonderful Norfolk singer - 65 songs and fragments, plus four spoken passages, give a great impression of Sam's life and times - pretty-well his complete recorded repertoire is here.

But, most of all, it's the startling quality of his singing which is so impressive.


I Pray You Pay Attention

[Review 1]    [Review 2]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     and listen to my song

MTCD367-8 + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

50 tracks, 156 minutes.

Keith Summers, MT's original editor, died on 30th March 2004, shortly after the release of The Hardy Sons of Dan (MTCD329-0), the double CD of his 1977-83 Co Fermanagh recordings.  This present double CD may be seen as volumes 3 & 4 of that set, and is issued to mark the 10th anniversary of Keith's death.

Many of the same singers are here, plus a good number of others, giving a great selection of traditional songs, ditties, and hunting songs from around Lough Erne's shore - but no more football songs.


Caroline Hughes

Sheep-Crook and Black Dog         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     [Review]

MTCD365-6 Two CDs + 48 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

90 tracks, 142 minutes

This legendary Gypsy singer is thought by many to be the finest exponent of the art.  In addition, we have a few songs from her husband, brother-in-law, daughter, and Emily Baker, another singer in their Traveller group.  These are the rarely heard 1963 and 1966 recordings made by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker, which we're proud to make widely available for the first time.  All Caroline Hughes' best-known songs are here, plus many more including eight never before heard, which have been allocated new Roud Numbers.  If the fragmentary nature of some of her songs displeases you, just enjoy the wonderful tunes, the variable verse lengths, long and short lines, and her brilliant musicianship.

Folklore Society Non-Print Media Award Winner 2012-14

Cecilia Costello

[Review]     [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]     "Old Fashioned Songs"

MTCD363-4 + 44 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

Two CDs, 89 tracks, 155 minutes.

This great singer from Birmingham was just one generation away from rural Ireland, with a repertoire ranging from a never before collected English revenant ballad to the music-hall and pop songs of her youth.  CD 1 contains all the Leader and Folktrax 1951 recordings, while CD 2 has 63 songs recorded in 1967 and '71 by Charles Parker, Roy Palmer and Jon Raven, none of which have been previously released.  Both include passages of speech about the songs and her life.  Another 'complete recorded repertoire' release from MT Records.


The Willett Family

Adieu to Old England         [Booklet Notes]     [Tracklist]    

MTCD361-2 + 28 page integral booklet in DVD case   £16.00

2 CDs - 35 tracks, 101 minutes

Topic released their first ever LP of English traditional singers in 1963 - The Willett Family: A Roving Jouneyman.  They acknowledged the help of Ken Stubbs, who first located and recorded the Willetts.  Musical Traditions Records are now - 50 years later - very pleased to be able to present those first 31 Ken Stubbs recordings, plus 4 tracks from elsewhere, making this the complete recorded repertoire of the Willett Family ... generally accepted as amongst the finest English Gypsy singers ever recorded.

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