A lot of time and effort went into this album, and we are really pleased
with the sound that we have achieved.
What can you expect to hear? Here's a quick guide to the music. You can
listen to it too. We've recorded the first 45 seconds of some tracks in
MP3. Just click on the "sample" link. Each sample is 706 kbytes.
Morning Star (trad.) / Plain English (Mark Fry)
Howden Town (trad.)
Lavenders Blue (trad.)
Orange In Bloom (trad.) / Sweet Jenny Jones (trad.)
Abraham's Daughter (trad.)
Julian Of Norwich (Sydney Carter)
The Hornbeam (Mark Fry)
Served My Time (trad. arr. Wolff)
Derrière Chez Nous (trad.) / Mazurka de Limousin
Northfield (Isaac Watts, Jeremiah Ingalls)
George Fox (Sydney Carter)
Dr Wilmshurst's Farewell To Oxford (Mark Fry)
Lazy Bones (Carmichael, Mercer, arr. Roger Moon)
Rolling Home (John Tams)
To order your copy, follow this link.
1. Morning Star (trad.) / Plain English (Mark Fry)
After a slow opening, introducing each player in turn, we step into the
first tune, a morris dance, at an easy, rolling pace, then shift up a gear
for the polka that gives the album its title. (sample)
Mark: baritone & treble English concertina; Ian
& Dave: anglo concertinas, Dick: melodeon.
2. The White Hare of Howden (trad.)
In this song we blend the English tradition with twentieth century blues.
The saxophone provides a sinister commentary as we boast of the chase.
Hear the harmonica shriek when the bunny finally gets it! (sample)
Mark: guitar; Ian: lead vocal; Dick: harmonica; Nick
Wolff: alto saxophone
3. Lavenders Blue (trad.)
The full version of the well known nursery rhyme becomes a spooky reflection
on love and death in the countryside. The angelic voice singing harmony
to Mark's melody is Sue Brown. (sample)
Mark: guitar & lead vocal; Ian: anglo concertina;
Dick: hammer dulcimer; Sue Brown: vocal.
4. The Orange In Bloom (trad.) / Sweet Jenny Jones
More morris tunes, but in waltz time, and with a twist in the tail. Three
concertinas are well to the fore, with electric bass underneath. (sample)
Mark: bass guitar; Ian, Dave & Dick: anglo concertinas.
5. Abraham's Daughter (trad.)
Here's a rowdy patriotic song from the American civil war, before the hubris
was punctured and the real cost of war became apparent. We march off "to
death or victory" to the sound of fife and drum. (sample)
Mark: guitar & vocal; Ian: anglo concertina &
vocal; Dave: lead vocal; Dick: melodeon and whistles; Patrick Hunter: snare
6. Julian Of Norwich (Sydney Carter)
Mother Julian was one of England's greatest mystics. In a time of plague,
famine and revolution, she had visions of peace and salvation. "All shall
be well again, I know."
Mark: octave mandola; Ian: lead vocal; Dick hammer
dulcimer and vocal
7. The Hornbeam (Mark Fry)
What starts as a simple waltz builds into a real barnstormer, with French
and Cajun flavours to spice up the English beef. (sample)
Mark: treble English concertina and bass guitar; Ian
& Dave: anglo concertinas; Dick: melodeon.
8. Served My Time (trad. arr. Wolff)
An old man's wistful reflections on a hard life, real success against injustice,
and the march of time. The arrangement is sparse, the effect is beautiful,
powerful and haunting. (sample)
Dick: Crane duet concertina and vocal.
9. Derrière Chez Nous (trad.) / Mazurka
de Limousin (trad.)
Forget the tango and the rumba, these French bourees are amongst the sexiest
dances ever invented. The melodeon sounds like a hurdy-gurdy, and the concertinas
fire staccato notes like peas from a pea-shooter. (sample)
Mark: treble English concertina; Ian: anglo concertina;
10. Northfield (Isaac Watts, Jeremiah Ingalls)
The energetic English tradition of hymn singing, now characterized as "west
gallery" music, was suppressed by church officials in the early 19th century.
It survived in the eastern United States, and is now being revived in both
countries. This 18th century example from America has words by Englishman
Isaac Watts, set to a tune by American Jeremiah Ingalls. (sample)
vocals: lead Ian, bass Dave, tenor Mark, alto
11. George Fox (Sydney Carter)
Here's a song in celebration of a great English reformer. George Fox was
mocked by crowds where ever he went - you can hear them in the choruses
- but the light he saw shining in the heart of a man, and the holiness
of truth, built the Quaker movement.
Mark: guitar, vocal; Ian: anglo concertina, vocal;
Dave: lead vocal; Dick: duet concertina, vocal.
12. Dr Wilmshurst's Farewell To Oxford (Mark Fry)
Multiple concertinas weave an unsteady course home from the pub, stumbling
on paving stones, and leaning heavily on each others shoulders. (sample)
Mark: treble & baritone English concertinas; Ian
& Dave: anglo concertinas; Dick: anglo and duet concertinas.
13. Lazy Bones (Carmichael, Mercer, arr. Roger
More Anglo-Americana, but in a very different style. These close, American
style harmonies are great fun to sing! The arrangement is by an Englishman.
Vocals: lead Mark, bass Dave, tenor Ian; alto
14. Rolling Home (John Tams)
A rollicking way to finish - a crowd of friends sing in praise of brotherhood,
comradeship and booze. "Stand true and stand together." Up the workers
and the Devil take the bosses!
Mark: guitar, lead vocal; Ian: vocal; Dave: anglo
concertina, vocal; Dick: melodeon, vocal; Chorus: Sue Brown, Helen Adams,
Nick, Karen and Anna Wolff,
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this page updated 1/10/2000