Welcome to the Fledg’ling Records catalogue. Fledg’ling Records is dedicated to releasing the very best folk and folk-rock from the British Isles. Fledg’ling began as an independent label in 1995 – previously some titles were released under the Hokey Pokey Records imprint. The label has grown quickly to establish a reputation as one of the finest in Britain. Our first ten releases have collected praise worldwide.
The Fledg’ling catalogue contains material drawn from the past thirty years of recording, performances unified by their beauty and honesty. Quality is a trademark of Fledg’ling records – most releases feature detailed sleeve notes and previously unpublished photographs.
2005 saw Fledg’ling celebrate the first 10 years as an independent record label. The SANDY DENNY box set garnered terrific praise around the world, and we are currently preparing our seventy-fifth compact disc release. We never imagined that the label would grow to be one of the leading specialists in folk and folk-rock music from England. Many thanks for all your support.
At the beginning of Shirley Collins’ recording career in 1959 she recorded a series of 7” vinyl EPs. Originally released in short press runs, these rare early recordings have been very hard to find for nearly five decades. Shirley recorded four EPs for the appropriately named Collector label. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to announce a newly re-mastered edition of ‘English Songs’ – the second of those EPs – will be released on April 18th for Record Store 2015 in a front-laminated, flipback sleeve, just like the original, and an illustrated inner bag with period reviews from the archives.
Very rare in its original form, this will be the first time this iconic record has been made available as a vinyl EP since its first release half a century ago.
In 1963 the English Folk Dance and Song Society released an LP of unaccompanied singing that has had a tremendous influence on the folk song revivals of Britain, Ireland and the United States. The album collected together a number of recordings of Bob and Ron Copper of Rottingdean in Sussex, recordings made by the reknowned folksong collector Peter Kennedy during the late 1950s.
The Copper Family can trace their roots in traditional song back at least two hundred years. Their rare southern English harmony is presented at its most outstanding in these classic performances from the 1950s and early ’60s.
To celebrate the centenary of Bob Copper’s birth, Fledg’ling Records in collaboration with the Copper Family and Topic Records are releasing a new CD edition of this seminal album. The package recreates all the original artwork and Bob Copper’s complete sleevenotes (the original EFDSS LP only contained a shortened version of the essay).
STOP PRESS : To celebrate Record Store Day 2015 on 18th April we are re-issuing this iconic album as a 12″ vinyl LP. The album is packaged in a front-laminated, flipback sleeve, just like the original, and an illustrated inner bag with Bob Copper’s complete sleevenotes.
At the beginning of Shirley Collins’ recording career in 1959 she recorded a series of 7” vinyl EPs. Originally released in short press runs, these rare early recordings have been very hard to find for nearly five decades. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to announce a newly re-mastered edition of ‘The Foggy Dew’ EP will be released in September 2014 in a front-laminated, flipback sleeve, just like the original, and an illustrated inner bag with period reviews from the archives.
The Art of Obscurity, Mr. Matthews’ first new release in his staggering fifth decade of recording and performing music, and his first solo album in many years, was recorded in Austin, Texas with producer Bradley Kopp (Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Tish Hinojosa). The 12 tracks highlight Iains’ knack for acoustic folk with jazzy undertones — capped off by his rich singing voice and reflective and insightful lyrics.
Iain proudly declares that The Art of Obscurity “absolutely sits up there with my four or five finest recorded moments.” In the sleeve-notes, he states, “The Art of Obscurity will be my last solo album. It will however, not be my final recording. Music is in my blood. Music motivates me. Music is my mistress.”
“The realization that The Art of Obscurity is my 25th solo album prompted me to do some deep thinking about where I am, where I’m going and what I still want to achieve from this life in music. In my heart I feel vital and passionate about the creative process and that my best work is the next one I finish. It doesn’t necessarily work out that clean, but for me, it can be the only touchstone.”
The live reputation of the mighty Young Tradition lives long in the memories of all who heard them during their brief career. Live recordings were thought not to exist until, 45 years later, an American fan remembered the reel-to-reel recording he’d made at Oberlin College on 17th November 1968. Carefully restored, these tapes are now released by Fledg’ling Records on CD and DL.
The Young Tradition were formed on 18 April 1965 by Peter Bellamy, Royston Wood and Heather Wood – with a repertoire from the British folk tradition, fashion styling from Carnaby Street and lashings of attitude they soon firmly established themselves on the folk scene. Recording for Transatlantic records and international tours soon followed. Record companies will always make extravagant claims for their releases, but Oberlin 1968 really is a rare and truly wonderful historical release.
“Forty five years on but even now – or maybe especially now – Young Tradition blow your head off.” Colin Irwin, fRoots
Fronted by England’s finest accordion maestro the band included GRAEME TAYLOR (guitars), MICHAEL GREGORY (percussion), DAVE BERRY (bass) and PAUL BURGESS (fiddle and recorders). Together they recorded some of the most powerful folk-rock of the late 20th century. FORCE OF HABIT was originally released in 1996 and WELCOME TO HELL a year later. The COMPLETE JOHN KIRKPATRICK Band brings together both albums and a rare live recording from Cambridge Folk Festival in one discrete slim-line 2CD digipac with new sleevenotes and all elements of the original artwork.
‘Fans of traditional British dance music will get a huge kick out of this album.’ MOJO
Iain Matthews has found a musical soul-mate in the Dutch jazz composer and pianist Egbert Derix. The majestic second collaborative album from the pair focuses around some remarkable new songs. Matthews draws deep upon his recollections of London in the swinging ‘sixties – When The Floyd Were On The Prowl and some powerful reflections upon life now – Pebbles In The Road and Joy Mining.
“Derix has an unerring sense of the perfect melody and chords.”
“So just put this on and light a fire, open a bottle of something warm and curl up with a loved one. It’s not quite Sinatra’s mid-50’s Capitol concept albums, but it’s pretty damn close.”
Every Mortal Place the new album from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year 2010 John Kirkpatrick, is an absolutely extraordinary new solo recording from the English “Squeezebox” King concentrating on a traditional repertoire from Shropshire.
As John says: “Having lived in Shropshire for thirty-nine years, and having always included a certain amount of musical material from the county given half a chance, I am proud to announce that I have now completed a whole CD of Shropshire music for Fledg’ling Records.”
The CD is sung and played by John, with Sally Kirkpatrick adding chorus and harmony vocals on five songs. The rather attractive digipac includes full notes giving background to all the tracks and an introduction by no less a personage than Shirley Collins, President of The English Folk Dance & Song Society.
“I know of no-one who can match his stage-presence, or come near him for integrity, authenticity, variety, humour and glorious breath-taking bravura in performance… The breadth of his repertoire is quite astounding, pervaded by a great sense of humanity, a true and very fine representation of the common people that most of the songs and music came from. John Kirkpatrick will, for me, always be English music’s ‘Mighty Heart of Oak’.” Shirley Collins
With PLAINSONG currently engaged on their 40th Anniversary farewell tour, now is the perfect time to re-acquaint ourselves with this fabulous solo collection from ace guitarist ANDY ROBERTS. URBAN COWBOY was recorded before the formation of, during and just after the dissolution of the original Plainsong. The album was originally released on the Elektra label in 1973. The new Fledg’ling CD edition comes complete with a 12 page booklet, (worth buying just for Andy’s reminiscences from those heady days in the early 1970s!) and has been digitally re-mastered from the original studio master tapes. The album includes guest appearances from Neil Innes, Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, B J Cole, Zoot Money and Iain Matthews. Roberts formed Plainsong with Iain Matthews towards the end of 1971 and released the remarkable In Search Of Amelia Earhart album the following year. After the group went their separate ways (for a decade and a half), he continued his solo career as a guitarist and a sought-after composer for film and television.
Andy Roberts has been a member of the Liverpool Scene, Grimms, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, the Albion Band, Pink Floyd, Roy Harper’s Black Sheep, Hank Wangford’s Lost Cowboys and many other illustrious ensembles. Throughout his career he has continued to work as an accompanist with some of Britain’s leading poets – Roger McGough, Brian Patten, Willy Russell and many others.
A long overdue CD release of this remarkable solo performance from 1987 by CHRIS McGREGOR. Sea Breezes was recorded during an emotional visit to his homeland by the great South African composer and pianist. McGregor played “an energetic mixture of Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Sun Ra, but always retained a unique feel due to his South African influences and the intelligent arrangements.”
Over the last four years Fledg’ling has been collaborating with the Chris McGregor estate to reissue his most important albums and, through a series of unreleased recordings, help to reveal the full extent of his musical activities: from the small-scale Trio improvisations through to the majestic large ensemble works of the mighty Brotherhood of Breath. Carefully mastered from the original master tapes, Sea Breezes is an exciting opportunity to hear McGregor’s solo readings of repertoire familiar from the acclaimed final Brotherhood of Breath album – Country Cooking.
Few albums are quite so urgently anticipated as the second record from the mesmeric Snakefarm. After ten years, they are back and My Halo At Half-Light reconfirms all the promise of their Songs From My Funeral debut.
As a solo artist, Anna Domino released four remarkable albums and two EP’s for the Belgian label Les Disques du Crepuscule, between 1984 and 1990. Those recordings are often cited as major influences on the British trip-hop movement centred around Massive Attack and Portishead. Yet, the glorious New York summer afternoon that SNAKEFARM crept into her consciousness, Domino knew she’d found a whole new musical window to leap through – “I was waiting for the light”, and said “We should take a bunch of those great old songs about murder and such, and start doing them with modern arrangements.” The idea refused to sit still, and as soon as she returned home, Domino and Delory set to work on the experiment. “Just to see what would happen.” Though subtle percussion and loops had distinguished her earlier recording, in Snakefarm Anna wanted the beats to be more prominent, yielding percolating arrangements that could carry the narrative content of the words. It worked. “It was so much fun,” confesses the singer, “the arrangements almost wrote themselves. What surprised me was how it didn’t take any forcing at all.”
Fledg’ling Records are very proud to present April Cruel the new album from acclaimed singer-songwriter JASON McNIFF. This long-awaited collection sees Jason delivering on the promise of his highly regarded previous albums. Jason has a restless, enigmatic character; he is by nature a troubadour, a brilliant guitarist and one of the finest songwriters that we have in this country. He resolutely follows the path his guitar takes him. Students of love, seekers after truth, old soldiers and the musically adventurous should all find solace in this heartfelt collection.
‘One of the UK’s best kept secrets.’★★★★ Phil Alexander, MOJO
‘In my humble opinion it is high time to help Jason McNiff to get rid of the reputation of Britain’s best kept singer-songwriter secret. This man is so unbelievably good that ignoring him would be a crime.’★★★★★ Alt Country
‘A troubadour and one of the best songwriters we have in this country.’
Here in the Fledg’ling cupboard we are so proud to see the mighty HOME SERVICE reconvene around the release of these recently discovered tapes. LIVE 1986 captures the band in their full glory at the Cambridge Folk Festival.
The tapes have languished in the back of their former sound engineer’s wardrobe for the last 25 years. These recordings exhibit a power and commitment that was never fully captured in the recording studio, so a live album release immediately became inevitable.
“A Magnificent incendiary performance.”
A reissue on CD for SHIRLEY & DOLLY COLLINS’ For As Many As Will first released in 1978. The album contains some of the sisters’ finest recorded work together –
uniting Dolly Collins fine arranging skills with the haunting beauty of Shirley’s voice.
The Collins sisters were brought up on the Sussex coast with a strong love and understanding for English traditional song. Through a remarkable series of landmark recordings during the 1960s and ’70s they helped define the possibilities of the English folksong revival. ‘For As Many As Will’, their classic final recording includes a stunning reading of Richard Thompson’s ‘Never Again’, alongside fine traditional material like ‘Lord Allenwater’, ‘Gilderoy’, ‘The Moon Shines Bright’ and a medley from John Gay’s ‘The Beggar’s Opera’.
In the popular BBC television series “Victorian Farm” first shown in 2008, JOHN KIRKPATRICK was the fellow who popped up now and again contributing appropriate traditional songs, tunes, dances, and snippets about old customs and folklore. His new album GOD SPEED THE PLOUGH presents a programme of songs which take us through a year in the countryside: “The Victorian Farmer’s Year In Song – songs about farmers, and songs sung by farmers; songs about the work on the farm, and songs to make that work easier; songs celebrating particular days in the country calendar, and songs celebrating the daily miracle of life, death, and renewal. And the world we are shown here is not a romantic pastoral idyll viewed through rose-tinted spectacles – this is a world full of sweat and muck, a world with dirt under the finger nails, a world full of snorting, and grunting, and heaving.”
Squeezebox maestro JOHN KIRKPATRICK is one of the giants of the British folk scene and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of 2010.
Fledg’ling Records are very proud to present a carefully re-mastered edition of this classic recording from the infancy of the mid-twentieth century British folk revival. Guest musicians are Guy Carawan, Ralph Rinzler and John Hasted. Sweet England is a stunning collection of British and American traditional song, capturing a turning moment in the English folk song revival of the 1950’s.
“Sweet England, along with its sister album False True Lovers, was recorded in the spring of 1958 when I was twenty-two years old. I had been living for the previous two years in London with Alan Lomax, the American folklorist, working for him as editorial assistant on his book The Folk Songs of North America and on his field recordings from America, Great Britain, Italy and Spain. The tracks that make up these two albums were recorded by Peter Kennedy and Alan in two days at Peter’s home ‘studio’ in Belsize Park.
English traditional music, at its best, expresses and provides everything in song that I need and feel, both musically and emotionally. Sweet England represents the first shaky steps of a journey that I have been on all my life, and that, happily, I still am.” – Shirley Collins from the new sleeve-notes.
Wee Tam & The Big Huge the Incredible String Band’s fourth record was conceived as a majestic double album, but confusingly released in November 1968 as a double album and as two separate single LPs. The set is regarded by many fans to be, along with its predecessor The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter, their finest studio work.
By the second half of 1968 the ISB saw their popularity and reputation growing on both sides of the Atlantic. They began to sell out large concert venues like the Fillmore (East and West) and London’s Royal Albert Hall. Wee Tam & The Big Huge reflects an even wider variety of influences and is packed to overflowing with classic songs from Mike Heron and Robin Williamson.
The Fledg’ling deluxe 2CD digipac edition comes in a choice of two stunning front covers! Carefully remastered by original producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood with acclaimed mastering technician Simon Heyworth. The sets incorporate all elements of the original artwork and new sleevenotes from Mr Boyd.
The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter is arguably the Incredible String Band’s finest studio work. The record reached the top 5 in the UK album charts when first released in March 1968 and was nominated for a Grammy in the USA. The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter was a departure from the band’s earlier recordings, relying heavily on a more layered production, with imaginative use of the then new multi-track recording techniques. Robert Plant has said that Led Zeppelin found their way by playing Hangman’s and following the instructions.
The album’s centrepiece is Mike Heron’s ‘A Very Cellular Song’ which incorporates a Sikh hymn and the Bahamian spiritual ‘I Bid You Goodnight’ (learnt from the recordings of Joseph Spence. Other highlights include Williamson’s ‘The Minotuar’s Song’ and ‘The Water Song’. The careful remastering is quite revelatory – bringing out all the sonic majesty of the recording. The Fledg’ling edition has been carefully remastered by original producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood. Packaged in a stunning digipac with all elements of the original artwork and new sleevenotes from Robin Williamson.
The Incredible String Band was founded in Edinburgh in 1965, when Clive Palmer, Robin Williamson and later Mike Heron began a journey which would connect traditional folk music, ragtime and the emerging counterculture / psychedelic scene. Their remarkable early recordings paved the way for what has since become known as ‘World Music’.
Their debut album, first released in 1966 was a turning point album for many – the songs, the notes on the back, the photo on the front, the romance, the strangeness – all appearing as an harbinger of another world. For many fans this beguiling album was the first step in a life-long fascination for all things ISB.
The Fledg’ling edition has been carefully remastered by original producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood. Packaged in a stunning digipac with all elements of the original artwork and new sleevenotes from Clive Palmer and Robyn Hitchcock.
A beautiful and remarkably assured debut album from Ian King, Panic Grass & Fever Few mixes English traditional song with a very contemporary sound palate. Working with the acclaimed On-U sound crew – Adrian Sherwood and Skip ‘Little Axe’ McDonald – has enabled King to bring a new and exciting perspective to the songs of Old England.
“It’s been quite a while since I felt this excited and impressed by a singer. Ian King has star-quality and a commanding stage-presence. He is a grown-up singer, straightforward and strong, and his band, which includes the incomparable Skip McDonald, surprises and intrigues with accompaniments that are elegant, witty, daring and powerful. This is English folk music for the 21st century!” Shirley Collins
A tremendously powerful and important recording from 1972 – MORRIS ON led to a re-examination of the English Morris dance and an upsurge of interest that continues to this day. Lovingly remastered and packaged in a smart new digipac, the classic MORRIS ON makes a welcome return to the catalogue.
In 1972 three former members of Fairport Convention – Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson and Dave Mattacks – got together with accordion-maestro John Kirkpatrick and acclaimed folk fiddler Barry Dransfield to record this ground breaking album. The results were quite extraordinary and led to a re-examination of the Morris tradition and the formation of many new dance sides. Thirty seven years later, leader Ashley Hutchings continues to tour with his popular Morris On band.
Back in print – a tremendously entertaining and ambitious compendium of English traditional dance music played by some of England’s finest folk-rock musicians.
Following the extraordinarily successful ‘Morris On’, Ashley Hutchings and John Kirkpatrick returned to the studio to record this ambitious collection – presenting a complete history of English traditional dance music played with brio and power, interspersed with leading actors reading from Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and William Shakespeare. Amongst the featured musicians are Simon Nicol, Phil Pickett, Sue Harris, Peter Knight, Ray Warleigh and Roger Swallow. One of the very finest folk-rock records from the early 1970s’ golden age.
For singer-songwriter Iain Matthews Joy Mining represents a real career highlight. With a recording career as long, illustrious and industrious as that of Mr Matthews that is some claim. A few years he began working in Holland with the acclaimed Searing Quartet led by pianist Egbert Derix, their debut album is a very rare and beautiful collection. The songs are like exquisite jewels – intimate, introspective and deeply personal – set to the finest jazz arrangements and playing of the award-winning quartet. Having followed Iain’s music since What We Did On Our Holidays in 1969, we are very, very proud to have the opportunity to present Joy Mining on Fledg’ling.
“What Egbert, Peter, Norbert, Sjoed and I have created, is for me, beyond words. From a very special musical connection, that happens once, possibly twice in a lifetime, without rhyme, or reason came this disc. Love it, hate it, or show your ambivalence, this is beyond all doubt and discussion the best album of my career and I’m deeply indebted to all involved, for making a long anticipated dream a reality.” Iain Matthews, September 2008.
“Joy Mining strays off of the beaten path and therefore it’s absolutely worthwhile listening.”
“Joy Mining is an album with many layers. You have to peel away those layers like an onion. Everytime you listen to it, the music offers something new.”
Jesse Fuller, “The Lone Cat” (1896 – 1976) was one of the great blues troubadours. A remarkably expressive singer and fine 12-string guitarist, Fuller developed his unique one-man-band style around his fotdella (foot-operated bass) and harmonica/kazoo-rig. Move On Down The Line collects his earliest recordings, including the original version of his classic San Francisco Bay Blues, together with a splendid session taped in London in 1965 for Topic Records. One track – John Henry – has been unavailable since the early 1960s. The CD package includes extensive historical sleevenotes by Joe Boyd and Val Wilmer and a selection of very rare photographs by Val Wilmer.
Squeezebox maestro JOHN KIRKPATRICK is one of the giants of the British folk scene. Over the past three decades he has appeared on hundreds of recordings, yet, seldom has he had the opportunity to record a whole album of his original compositions. The Dance of the Demon Daffodils is just that – a splendid collection of his tunes recorded by the master.
“I’ve been making up tunes for almost as long as I’ve been playing them. It’s impossible to explain why that should happen, but it just does. Quite a few of my own compositions have been recorded over the years, not only by me.” At the last count John had composed over 130 tunes, The Dance of the Demon Daffodils showcases 32 of the very best.
Martin Simpson’s excellent 1985 album Sad Or High Kicking was originally released by Topic Records. The record includes powerful readings of Randy Newman’s ‘Living Without You’, Anne Lister’s ‘Moth’ and ‘Icarus’, alongside a rollicking Cajun ‘The Lakes Of Ponchartrain’. With the release of Sad Or High Kicking Fledg’ling proudly continue their programme of re-issuing MARTIN SIMPSON’s early recordings. Each album is being carefully remastered from the original master tapes and repackaged for compact disc reissue. The compact discs are housed in digifile miniature replicas of the original vinyl LP sleeves.
For the latest Simpson news please visit: www.martinsimpson.com
MARTIN SIMPSON is justifiably regarded as one of the finest finger-style guitarists in the world. Grinning In Your Face is one of his finest and most complete recordings. Originally released by Topic Records in 1983, now remastered from the original tapes and repackaged for compact disc reissue. The album includes stunning versions of Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters Of War’, Peter Gabriel’s ‘Biko’ and Sonhouse’s ‘Grinning In Your Face’. Grinning In Your Face is an important record from his back pages, with lots of Mr Simpson’s trademark exuberant guitar.
At the height of the British blues boom in the late 1960s, a handful of musicians came to prominence reinterpreting the acoustic country blues of the 1920s and ’30s. So in the winter of 1968/’69, Ian Anderson assembled a lively country blues band for his debut album Stereo Death Breakdown. The master tapes were thought to be lost forever, but recent detective work by Fledg’ling Records unearthed them in the vault where they’d been carefully stored.
So here, re-mastered from those original tapes, with two bonus tracks from a contemporary session and new notes by Mr. Anderson, is a long-lost British blues collectors’ piece, finally re-issued just in time for its 40th anniversary.
The Fledg’ling campaign to document Chris McGregor’s Witchseason recordings from the late 1960s early 1970s comes to an end with the release of Our Prayer a magical, previously unreleased trio set focusing on McGregor’s piano playing. Accompanying Chris McGregor are the Blue Note’s Louis Moholo on drums and Barre Phillips on double bass.
Our Prayer was produced by Joe Boyd and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in London during the same sessions that produced the Septet Up To Earth album. Both records were planned for release in 1969 before being shelved as the McGregor group morphed into the spectacular big band – the Brotherhood of Breath – and all energies were transferred to recording the Brotherhood’s debut album.
Invisible Means is the second oddball masterpiece from four of the world’s finest experimental master musicians, was originally released in 1990. Together French, Frith, Kaiser and Thompson conjure up a heady mix, covering a bewildering variety of genres, from folk and R&B to avant-garde and comic opera. Underpinning the whole album is the extraordinary level of their musicianship. Fledg’ling Records are proud to present this newly re-mastered, maximum length CD, including a previously unreleased live cover of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Play With Fire’.
“The ensemble playing is never less than inspired”.
Amongst the many highlights are John French’s hilarious ‘Now That I Am Dead’ – in which a deceased musician discovers death is the career boost he’s being waiting for), and Richard Thompson’s remarkable ‘Begging Bowl’ and the simply stunning ‘Killing Jar’.
In 1975 as the Incredible String Band dissolved Robin Williamson relocated to Los Angeles. He soon began work recording a tremendous body of new songs and a backlog of material that didn’t fit the repertoire of the late period String Band. These songs hark back to the glory days of the Incredible’s; based around the majestic acoustic ensemble playing of the Merry Band, this long out-of-print album is a highlight of Williamson’s career.
The album marked the beginning of a very creative period for Robin – leading the Merry Band, beginning his interest in the Celtic harp and ancient bardic poetry. Journey’s Edge was released in 1976 on the Flying Fish label in the USA. This deluxe Fledg’ling edition will see the album’s first official European release. With TEN splendid previously unreleased bonus tracks.
“Journey’s Edge is Williamson reaching out to something new, more homespun and more organic and reaching for things older and more philosophical. It looks to the past and it looks to the future.”
In 1969 the Chris McGregor Group were riding high on the London jazz scene, playing and hanging out with all the rising stars of British free jazz. Sessions for the previously unreleased Up To Earth brought together a dream team of South African exiles and some of the finest young players on the British scene – Chris McGregor piano, Dudu Pukwana alto saxophone, Mongezi Feza trumpet, Louis Moholo drums, John Surman baritone saxophone and bass clarinet, Evan Parker tenor saxophone with Barre Phillips or Danny Thompson on double bass.
Up To Earth was produced by Joe Boyd and engineered by John Wood at Sound Techniques studio in London, during the same months they were also working with several other luminaries of the Witchseason stable – Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and the Incredible String Band. The album was mastered and test pressings produced before the project was shelved. The group morphed into the spectacular big band – the Brotherhood of Breath – and all energies were transferred to recording the Brotherhood’s debut album. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to release this remarkable album as part of our campaign to reissue Chris McGregor’s wonderfully creative recordings from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.
The Blue Blokes 3 are old pals Ian Anderson (the English Country Blues Band, Hot Vultures, Ian Anderson’s Country Blues Band, Tiger Moth and more) on vocals, guitar & slide guitar, Lu Edmonds ( Mekons, Billy Bragg’s Blokes, 3 Mustaphas 3, Shriekback, PiL, The Damned, Kirsty MacColl and many more) on vocals, cumbus, saz, guitar and more, and Ben Mandelson (Billy Bragg’s Blokes, 3 Mustaphas 3, Tiger Moth, Orchestre Jazira, Amazorblades and many more) on vocals, mandolin, baritone bouzouki, banjo, tenor guitar, guitar and more.
Past social twanging and banging apart, the Blue Blokes 3 came together one dark and rainy night in the spring of 2007 to pay tribute to English folk sweetheart Shirley Collins on the occasion of a celebratory evening to mark her receipt of the MBE from another queen. Their wonky take on old time nomadicised English country blues and death folk seemed to appeal and one thing led to another – within days the Fledg’ling A&R office were inviting them to make an album. How could they do other than agree?
“Best of all – Me And My Chauffeur Blues, which now sounds like a Memphis Minnie session in Chicago hijacked by east European Gypsies”. Robin Denselow, The Guardian ***
“What an admirable trio of chaps.” Pete Frame
The album Live, Love, Larf & Loaf was first released in 1987 and is a wonderful and rare collaboration between four experimental world-class master musicians: JOHN FRENCH – original drummer with Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band, FRED FRITH – founder of the art-rock ensemble Henry Cow, HENRY KAISER – innovative experimental guitarist and composer and RICHARD THOMPSON – singer-songwriter par excellence and founding member of Fairport Convention. “A oddball delight from four truly gifted musicians” – Live, Love, Larf & Loaf was judged ‘Rock Album of the Week’ by the New York Times. This carefully re-mastered and packaged edition adds four previously unreleased live tracks.
The Chris McGregor Group were essentially the Blue Notes – an extraordinary congregation of jazz musicians who had left their native South Africa in the mid-1960s. Very Urgent their eagerly awaited debut recording was a joyful call of intent. The album mixes simple but utterly unstoppable tunes and exhilarating horn charts – immediately establishing a vitality and exuberance that would continue to define the group. Forty years later, Fledg’ling Records are very proud to bring this splendid album back into print. The passing years have not diminished its impact. Re-mastered from the original master tapes.
“A volcanic force on the British scene… it’s great to have the evidence back.” John Fordham, The Guardian ****
A remarkable companion CD to Joe Boyd’s best selling autobiography ‘White Bicycles’. This collection traces the story of Joe Boyd and his Witchseason production company during London’s swinging ‘sixties. The CD includes many rare and previously unreleased tracks, all carefully remastered, with extensive sleeve notes and previously unpublished photographs.
Voted Compilation of the Year at the 2007 MOJO Awards.
“To make no bones” about something – to say or do something without delay or scruple, regardless of the consequences; to be honest and direct without any risk that the statement may be misunderstood; to come straight to the point.
Make no bones – two CDs of new recordings by John Kirkpatrick – each one representing one half of a typical evening’s performance. No frills, no additives, just how it comes.
Too come straight to the point – John Kirkpatrick is widely acknowledged as a master of the squeezebox. A world class musician who has been at the forefront of the British folk scene for nearly forty years. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to announce this splendid new double CD set capturing Mr K at the top of his game.
With great honour Fledg’ling Records announce a deluxe reissue of Andy Robert’s splendid 1973 album – and the Great Stampede – originally released on the legendary Elektra label.
One of this country’s under-acknowledged guitarists and song-writers, Andy Roberts was a leading member of the Liverpool Scene, Plainsong, Grimms and the Hank Wangford Band. He has toured with Roy Harper, Pink Floyd and Roger McGough amongst many, many others. On Andy Roberts & the Great Stampede his band are pianist Zoot Money (of Big Roll Band fame), B J Cole – Europe’s finest pedal steel guitarist, electric violinist Mick Kaminski (from the Electric Light Orchestra) and the fabulous Fotheringay rhythm section – Pat Donaldson and Gerry Conway. The legendary Ollie Halsall adds lead guitar on the first track.
Brotherhood – a classic title from 1972, the second album by CHRIS McGREGOR’s magnificent big band: the BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH.
Mighty music for the head, the heart and the feet. Long out of print, this wonderful album continues the ground-breaking music of their spectacular debut album (now on FLED 3062).
“The Brotherhood of Breath is the kind of band you want to tell people about. It’s not for private enjoyment, or for worship by a elitist cult. The Brotherhood’s music is for sharing with the world, and that’s what makes its name so apt: the musicians and the audience are brothers (and sisters), and they share the same breath, becoming merely parts of the same giant metabolism.
Fledg’ling Records proudly present the long-overdue release on CD of a classic title from 1971 by CHRIS McGREGOR’s magnificent big band ~ BROTHERHOOD OF BREATH. Arguably one of the most influential albums to emerge from the London jazz scene of the early 1970s.
The Brotherhood of Breath was an exuberant big-band created by South African born pianist and composer Chris McGregor. In South Africa, McGregor had formed the racially mixed Blue Notes in the early 1960’s.By 1964, finding it very difficult to work at home, they left for Europe, finally settling in London in 1966. The Blue Notes – Chris McGregor, Dudu Pukwana, Mongezi Feza, Johnny Dyani and Louis Moholo made a huge impact on London’s jazz scene and befriended many in London’s emerging avant-garde jazz community. The Brotherhood Of Breath was essentially the expatriate Blue Notes augmented by a large number of their friends from the British jazz community.
A remarkable journey through the English Midwinter in music and song. The customs and traditions of England at Midwinter yield a breathtaking array of dazzling riches. Accordion maestro John Kirkpatrick takes the listener through tunes celebrating Midwinter dance, rhymes of hope and luck-bringing, songs in honour of food and seasonal merriment and an original song all about the Nativity from the on-looking creatures viewpoint.
A deluxe reissue of Helen Watson’s debut album – Blue Slipper – first released by EMI Records in 1987. The album was produced by Glyn Johns in Los Angeles – among the musicians playing on the recording were Bernie Leadon (the Eagles), Jerry Donahue (Fairport Convention), Steve Lukather (Toto), Paul Barrere, Bill Payne and Richie Hayward (Little Feat). The sessions were the first time the musicians from Little Feat had recorded together since Lowell George’s death in 1979. For this edition we have added two rare tracks from 12” singles and two previously unreleased demo recordings.
Gathered here are some magical performances of Shirley and Dolly Collins recorded in concert in the late 1970’s and a handful of demo recordings from the 1960s. These recordings all came to light after the release of Within Sound our monumental and widely acclaimed 4CD overview of Shirley’s recording career. As you might imagine we’re very proud to have the opportunity to release this collection on Fledg’ling Records.
“Like an album of old photos, Snapshots is poignant and full of love.” Songlines
The Sultans of Squeeze is a splendid new collaboration between two of England’s finest squeezebox maestros – masters of all that needs squeezing. JOHN KIRKPATRICK well known from his recordings with Brass Monkey, the Richard Thompson Band and solo has teamed up with the House Band’s acclaimed CHRIS PARKINSON to record a diverse collection of tunes and songs. The duo take on a powerful repertoire drawn from the English tradition, music hall, zydeco and some original compositions.
“Exceptionally fine playing from two of the best in the business. It’s interesting, lively and fun – what more could you possibly want?” The Living Tradition.
Nominated as “duo of the year” 2006 BBC Radio2 Folk Awards
First released in 1967, Watch The Stars is a remarkable long-lost gem from the mid-‘sixties British folk revival. A beautiful collection of folk, blues and haikus, the album melds a folk-boom topicality with a fine “beat” sensibility; uniting the Afro-American West Coast with suburban London. Long out-of-print, the record is an early milestone in the careers of Dorris Henderson and John Renbourn. Contains two songs written by Anne Briggs and an early cover of Arthur Lee’s Message To Pretty.
“A marvelous album – so good to see it re-released after nearly 40 years.”
First released in 1968 Large As Life And Twice As Natural is a tremendous acoustic-folk-blues-jazz masterpiece. As always with Davy Graham’s music seems to defy any attempt to categorise – perhaps the simplest description would be “great music”. Davy is joined by the legendary Harold McNair on flute, Dick Heckstall-Smith on saxophone, Jon Hiseman on drums (both from Coliseum) and Danny Thompson (from Pentangle) on double bass.
“Davy was returning from Tangier with musical ideas when the rest of us were still thinking in terms of Brighton Beach and Bert Weedon” John Renbourn
Davy Graham’s 1966 powerful rythmn’n’blues tinged collection Midnight Man finally sees a long-overdue appearance on compact disc. For this very carefully re-mastered edition Fledg’ling have restored all the elements of the original artwork and added new sleeve notes and several previously unpublished photographs.
“To this day Davy Graham is my absolute hero – always has been.” Bert Jansch
Another classic record from 1965. An experimental recording conceived by Austin John Marshall bringing together Shirley’s haunting traditional song with Davy’s guitar improvisations. Folk Roots, New Routes opened the door for Fairport Convention’s Liege and Lief and Pentangle’s debut. For this carefully remastered edition Fledg’ling have restored the original artwork, added a new sleeve-note essay and previously unpublished photographs.
“An extraordinary album…that opened people’s minds and shaped a few careers along the way.” fROOTS
First released in 1969, Hat has not previously appeared on compact disc. The album is a rounded portrait of Davy Graham’s remarkable style – drawing together Willie Dixon, Charles Mingus, The Beatles, Henry Purcell and Indian raga on one splendid record. Fledg’ling have carefully remastered this album from the original master tapes, added new sleeve-notes and previously unpublished photographs.
“All of us guitarists – Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jimmy Page, myself – owe it all to this wonderful musician. Davy never runs out of ideas, and there has not been anyone who has come close.” Ralph McTell
Folk, Blues & Beyond… was first released in 1965. The recording established Davy Graham’s reputation, influenced a whole generation of acoustic guitarists and was one of the first steps towards British folk-rock. Fledg’ling Records are very proud to reissue one on the most important recordings from the 1960’s Folk Revival. For this carefully remastered edition we have restored all the elements of the original artwork and added five very rare bonus tracks, new sleeve-notes and previously unpublished photographs.
“The incredible, life-affirming sound of books being rewritten: if you only own one British ‘folk’ record from the 1960s, this ought to be a strong candidate.” fROOTS.
A great new solo album from Mr Kirkpatrick – what more can we say. This time out he explores the Morris Dance tunes of Shropshire – tunes from the repertoire of the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Rhoden’s Tuppenny Dish, the two dance sides he helped form in the mid-1970s. Spectacular virtuoso playing – it’s easy see why John is regarded as a world class squezebox player. All this plus some incredibly informative and amusing sleevenotes from John.
A magnificent third solo album from Helen – one of Britain’s finest singer-songwriters – for Fledg’ling. A stunning collection of Helen’s magical understated songs – beguiling songs of hope, intriguing songs of love lost and new love found, and some exquisite pastoral vignettes – all focussed around her glorious acclaimed voice. Lifesize makes the final part of a loose trilogy with Doffing (1999) and Somersault (1997).
“The very best in folk-soul from Britain”.
A stunning series of duets with some of John’s favourite musicians was the inspiration for this great new album. Recorded by Oliver Knight in Robin Hood’s Bay and then added to at studios as far apart as London, Los Angeles and Sydney! Collaborating musicians include Richard Thompson, Martin Carthy, Dave Swarbrick, Bob Johnson, Ray Fisher, Alistair Anderson, Kevin Dempsey, Ben Mandelson, James Fagan & Nancy Kerr. Mazurka Berserker contains some of the finest (and most complicated) music JK has ever recorded.
Our campaign to see all of Shirley’s albums reissued on compact disc finally comes to an end with this release of her debut album. Probably her rarest album, False True Lovers was first released in 1959 on the prestigious Folkways label and has never been released outside of North America. With the help of Washington’s Smithsonian Institute we were able to return to the original Alan Lomax produced tapes to produce this sparkling transfer to cd. Recorded when Shirley was just eighteen, ‘False True Lovers’ is a stunning collection of British and American traditional song, capturing a turning moment in the English folk song revival of the 1950’s.
Classic 1967 recording finally appears on CD. Produced by Joe Boyd with exquisite arrangements by Dolly Collins and contributions from Robin Williamson and Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band, and Bram Martin (cellist on the Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’). “The songs on this record belong to ladies fair and tender, the ballad-heroines with lily hands, riding through meadows distracted, saving or losing their virtue, getting pregnant, eloping with gypsies, dying of remorse, twined in the True-Lover’s Knot”.
A beautiful new collection from one of Britain’s most distinctive and acclaimed voices. On Doffing Helen pays tribute to some of her favourite songs and songwriters. From an idiosyncratic reading of Junior Parker’s ‘Mystery Train’, through the exuberant high jinx of the Maddox Brothers’ ‘I Want To Live And Love’ to the deep soul of Paul Kelly’s ‘Personally’. Through a magical series of understated arrangements, focussed around Helen’s remarkable voice, doffing affirms all that is best in British folk-soul. Doffing is a particular favourite album here in the Fledg’ling cupboard.
doff dof, vt to take off, to put off, to lift (one’s hat) in greeting someone.
Another classic Shirley Collins recording, this time from 1974 and long out of print. Beautiful interpretations of Southern English songs and toasts with some fine arrangements by her sister – Dolly Collins. Contributing musicians include Dolly Collins, Simon Nicol, Terry Potter, Ian Holder, Geoff Singleton and John Watcham.
Released by arrangement with our pals at Topic Records.
A wonderful historical collection of previously unreleased demos and rare tracks from Linda Thompson – one of Britain’s finest interpretive singers. Remarkable demos from 1970 recorded with Martin Carthy. Linda’s contributions to a very rare album of Brian Patten’s poems. Long-lost demos written by Richard Thompson for a proposed stage musical from the mid-1970’s and some powerful demos written by Linda with Betsy Cook from the mid-eighties. All in all a marvelous collection which “joins-up the dots” of Linda’s acclaimed career.
One of the very finest British folk/roots albums of all time finally reappears on compact disc. Majestic music for the heart, head and feet. Alright Jack has been acknowledged as a classic of the English folk-rock genre and the Home Service as “Britain’s finest folk big band.” The album has been carefully remastered to bring out all the sonic detail.
“An absolutely essential purchase.” fROOTS
The long-awaited appearance on compact disc of this fine soundtrack from the Royal National Theatre cycle of Mystery Plays, with special guest appearance from Linda Thompson. Originally released by Coda Records in 1985, now carefully remastered from the original tapes. Captured on this disc are some remarkable performances from John Tams and Bill Caddick – two leading lights of the British folk scene.
A fantastic collaborative album from five divas of folk, blues and soul. Recorded in 1995 on the Isle of Man, this album stands “a benchmark of British folk singing.”
The very cream of British women singers – CHRISTINE COLLISTER, MELANIE HARROLD, JULIE MATTHEWS, HELEN WATSON & CHRIS WHILE – in a unique collaboration, producing a sound that is both inspired & breathtaking.
Recorded back in 1972 but never previously released – ‘Sing A Song For You’ captures Anne Briggs at her glorious best. Ten songs – five originals by Anne along with beautiful traditional material like ‘Sovay’, ‘The Bird In The Bush’ and ‘Sullivan’s John’. Backing by Barry Dransfield and Steve Ashley’s Ragged Robin band.
A collection of seasonal songs from some of the finest voices of the 1960’s English folk revival. The majestic, uplifting vocals of the YOUNG TRADITION – Heather Wood, Peter Bellamy and Royston Wood – are joined by Shirley and Dolly Collins.
Legendary, long lost recordings from 1969. A collection of seasonal songs from some of the finest voices of the 1960’s English folk revival.
Voted a Folk Roots top ten reissue of 1995.
The greatest British rock’n’folk band of them all – captured in all their live glory – with brass blazing, lead guitar screaming and a rock solid rhythm section. ‘WILD LIFE’ was recorded direct to DAT at the Sidmouth Festival. and London’s Purcell Room and Half Moon during August 1992 with Bill Caddick on lead vocals.
A glorious aural souvenir of “Britain’s finest folk big band.”