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Stepping it out again!

'traditional folk music, songs and stories from England & Ireland'


Jimmy Lynch (West of Ireland) Tom Smith (Suffolk) Septimus Fawcett (Teesdale) Emma Vickers (Lancashire) Brian & Darren Breslin (Co. Fermanagh) Jack Stannard (Suffolk) Harry Litherland (Lancashire) Sarah Anne O'Neill (Co. Tyrone) Reg Pratley (Oxfordshire) Denys Troughton (North Yorkshire) John Campbell (Co.Antrim) David Savage (Suffolk) Eli Frankham (Norfolk)  Lucy Farr & Cyril Barber (Galway & Suffolk)

(click on the underlined artistes name to see a photo and /or a short biography)

In 1993 we produced the first CD of traditional English music and song (yes we even beat Topic to it!). It was called Stepping it Out! (VTC1CD) and it included one track from each of our first twenty five cassettes which were to be gradually phased out. Those recordings had been made by Mike Yates and myself (John Howson).

When I was awarded the gold badge of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 2011 it was suggested that I put together a CD compilation of highlights from the past forty or so Veteran CDs. With some thought I realised that I could do better than that and produce a CD of recordings I had made over the past thirty odd years, which have never actually seen the light of day; not because they are not good enough or that they are out-takes, but just that they had never found a place on a CD.

So here it is: twenty four tracks of songs, tunes and stories from England and Ireland. It’s a musical journey I made over some twenty five years stretching from East Anglia, through Oxfordshire and the North of England and on to Northern Ireland. There are three fine rural singers from Suffolk: Jack Stannard, Tom Smith and David Savage and a remarkable Gypsy singer from Norfolk, Eli Frankham. In Oxfordshire Reg Pratley the ex landlord of the Jubilee Inn in Bampton recites his party piece while Emma Vickers entertains in her Lancashire dialect as only she could.


The flourishing northern concertina tradition is represented on the ‘duet’ by Lancashire’s Harry Litherland and on the ‘English’ by Teesdale’s Septimus Fawcett. Down the coast to North Yorkshire and Denys Troughton sings songs from his locality. Then there is the eccentric Irish busker Jimmy Lynch whose melodeon and rack of dancing dolls I recorded in the door way of ‘Top Man’ in Liverpool’s city centre. Over the Irish sea to Ireland and the great singer Sarah Anne O’Neill sings about the shores of Lough Neigh and Antrim’s John Campbell weaves an impossible but hilarious story. A chance meeting at a festival in Fermanagh gave me an introduction to record grandfather and grandson, Brian and Darren Breslin playing fiddle and button accordion, on which Darren has now won the All Ireland Senior competition. Finally the CD closes with an exhilarating Anglo /Irish collaboration with Galway fiddler Lucy Farr playing for Suffolk stepdancer Cyril Barber. 60 minutes of previously unheard tracks with our usual large booklet which is in full colour.


Tracks (click on the title to see the words of each song and read notes about  the songs and tunes)

1. The Plains of Boyle / Dinny O'Brian's - Jimmy Lynch (melodeon & dancing dolls)
2. Cunning Cobbler - Tom Smith (song)
3. The Steamboat /Nelson's Hornpipe - Septimus Fawcett (English concertina)
4. Lancashire Man's Advice to his Son - Emma Vickers (song)
5. Christie Barry's /The One that was Lost - Brian & Darren Breslin (fiddle & button accordion)
6. Knife in the Window - Jack Stannard (song)
7. Beautiful Ohio - Harry Litherland (duet concetina)
8. The Fisher's Cot - Sarah Anne O'Neill (song)
9. The Pear Tree - Tom Smith (song)
10. Jim McKillop's Reel - Brian Breslin (fiddle)
11. The Man Behind the Bar - Reg Pratley (recitation)
12. T'owd Sow's Gettern the Mezzeles - Denys Troughton (song)
13. King of the Fairies - Jimmy Lynch (melodeon & dancing dolls)
14. The Iron Frost - John Campbell (story)
15. Cuckoo Waltz - Harry Litherland (duet concertina)
16. Brisk Young Sailor - David Savage (song)
17. Mickleby Fair - Denys Troughton (song)
18. The Pigeon on the Gate /Lad O'Beirne's - Brian & Darren Breslin (fiddle & button accordion) 
19. As Soon as I Touched my Seaweed - Emma Vickers (song)
20. Sam Fawcett's Quadrilles - Septimus Fawcett (English concertina)
21. The Bush of Australia - Tom Smith (song)
22. Madam Bonaparte (set dance) - Jimmy Lynch (melodeon & dancing dolls)
23. The Barley Mow - Eli Frankham (song)
24. Paddy Fahey's - Lucy Farr & Cyril Barber (fiddle & stepdancing)


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MP3 downloads are available from all major digital retailers, as full albums or individual tracks, and there you can listen to a sample of each track. The following links will take you directly to this albums page on amazon or iTunes


Image result for amazon logo amazon.co.uk Stepping it Out - iTunes UK




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