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.
In 2014 Fledg’ling Records will celebrate
our 20th anniversary and our 100th release:
We are very proud to announce the release on January 27th of
IAIN MATTHEWS stunning new solo recording – The Art Of Obscurity.
American Songwriter magazine says “don’t let the self-effacing title of The Art of Obscurity deter you from discovering Iain Matthews, one of music’s lost treasures.”
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.”
Longtime Matthews fan Ian Clayton declares: “The songs on this album are mainly self penned or written in collaboration with with the Dutch pianist Egbert Derix. Iain muses on overheard murmurs, shifting sands, ghostly changes and on his own boyhood. The second song here “When I Was A Boy” recalls the steam train whistles and stinging thistles, the football matches at the old showground, home of his beloved Scunthorpe United. He tackles the “Sweet Hereafter” thinks about “Ashes On The Wind” and older and wiser now tells us that he knows “The Emperor’s New Clothes” when he sees them. But for now, in one of the best of his more recent songs, he’s “Just A Pebble In The Road” waiting to be turned over.”
1 Ghost Changes
2 When I Was A Boy
4 Time Zone Cowboy
5 Ash In The Wind
6 The Letter (1944)
7 In Paradise
8 Ode for Jackie Paris
9 The Emperor’s New Clothes
10 Pebble In The Road
11 The Sweet Hereafter
12 Home (pt.2)
In North America The Art Of Obscurity will be released by our chums at Omnivore Recordings.
Marry Waterson’s introduction to this collection of her Mum’s artistic creations begins:
“Mum would really rather go without breakfast, dinner and tea than lose creative flow, living on coffee and Woodbines, her pen lagging behind her brain, refusing to pause to spell correctly through crossings out, torn pages, shopping lists and knitting patterns.”
Lal Waterson is known primarily as a singer and songwriter, a member of the wonderful Watersons. teach me to be a summer’s morning shows the full range of her creativity. The limited edition hardback book publishes, for the first time, a selection of her drawings, painting, lyrics, thoughts and poems to present a portrait of her extraordinary tender, intense, complex but ultimately very human artistic talents.
ORDER your copy of teach me to be a summer’s morning from the Fledg’ling shop.
Here’s a little video opening the book for the first time and exploring the contents:
A CD is included inside the book – collecting together 15 songs drawn from her home recordings – serves to confirm her stature as a songwriter of rare imagination, depth and rich beauty. Just as teach me to be a summer’s morning was being prepared for printing and CD manufacture we finally tracked-down the original two reels of demo tapes from 1971 of the songs written for Bright Phoebus. Many of these songs have never been released previously, none have ever sounded so magnificent.
1 Never The Same
2 The Scarecrow
3 Evon Our Darling
4 May Butterfly
5 To Make You Stay
6 Marvellous Companion
7 Red Wine and Promises
9 Piper’s Way
10 Black Horse
11 Song For Thirza
12 Shady Lady
13 Once In A Blue Moon
14 Anna Dixie
15 Telephone Raider
ORDER your copy of teach me to be a summer’s morning from the Fledg’ling shop.
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 about to be 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, style 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.
The SANDY DENNY estate have established an impressive new website – http://sandydenny.org.uk/
Full details of recent releases, merchandise, biography and some splendid photographs and all things Sandy.
In another century, Anna Domino and Michel Delory working under the sobriquet SNAKEFARM, released their remarkable debut Songs From My Funeral. We’re very proud to report that the sublime follow-up My Halo At Half-Light will emerge via Fledg’ling on Monday September 26th. FLED 3086
My Halo At Half-Light continues where the previous album left off and features gorgeous, scintillating arrangements of ten classics from the American folk song tradition that bring these stories from our collective past into the sunlight of today. “Domino’s stunning vocals are the high point of this unexpected gem, a voice that is at once smoky and crisp, somber and wickedly stormy, perfectly matched to the task of bringing new and disturbing life to such overworked material.”
“In 1999, Snakefarm made the legendary album Songs From My Funeral that seemed like the future of folk music, and then they vanished off the planet. But hurrah: a new one is due in the Autumn.” Ian Anderson in the latest fRoots.
“My Halo At Half-Light truly does pick up where its predecessor left off, looking back at the catalogue of American folk song and bringing it into new modern relevance in a way that others looking to update traditions could well learn from… Let the album seep into your soul and it’s a stunning piece of work.” Chris Nickson, fRoots
“Everything here sounds ‘right’. It’s not a matter of loving either The Stanley Brothers or Massive Attack: with Snakefarm you can have both and a third musical possibility, too. Outstanding!” John Crosby, R2
Anna Domino : vocals, keyboards, acoustic and electric guitars, harmonica, knives, finger snaps
Michel Delory : acoustic, dobro and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, bass, synth and drum programmes, percussion
Hearn Gadbois : hand percussion
Al Pahanish : drums
Sebastian Steinberg : electric bass, upright bass
April Cruel the fourth album from JASON McNIFF will be released on September 12th. Recorded in North London’s vintage Bark Studio with famed engineer Brian O’ Shaughnessy, the album is an exemplary set of original songs infused with a distinctively rich English lyricism. Shanty ballads of Yorkshire love affairs, divorce and partisan soldiers depict a world where the past still shapes our future. In McNiff’s dexterous fingers, European folk is reborn with the vigor and enchantment of a songwriter who has arrived at his artistic destination.
“This is the record I’ve been waiting to make for nearly ten years. Five years in the making, I feel it’s the album I’ve been learning to make all along. It was made in the studio I’d always wanted to record in, with the musicians I’ve always wanted to work with.”
“I’ve tried to blend Americana and European flavours on April Cruel,” says Mr McNiff. “It’s the first time I’ve written about where I come from in Yorkshire, and collaborated with my friends from the Modena City Ramblers.“
A big influence on Jason has been the work of Italian songwriter and hero of the Left, Fabrizio De Andre. “Hearing his music made me want to go to Italy and seek out other musicians; translate some of his songs and learn Italian.” This lead eventually to meeting the Modena City Ramblers and forming the Narrow Men who perform a tribute to De Andre. “Massimo Ghiacci (bass player with MCR) told me of a project he was overseeing – a new record to commemorate one of the finest examples of British and Italian partisan cooperation in WW2 – Operation Tombola. Basically the SAS parachuted into occupied northern Italy, trained up a bunch of partisans and launched the most unbelievably daring raid on a Nazi HQ. ‘Tombola’ is the song I wrote for this and is also a British / Italian cooperative effort, with Fry Moneti from the Ramblers on mandolin.”
Next LONDON gig on Friday August 10th at the Kalamazoo club, Crouch End, N8 9AA www.kalamazooklub.co.uk
For more information please visit: www.jasonmcniff.com
The first reviews are beginning to appear, both the band and label are heartened and humbled to receive so many five stars:
★★★★★ Financial Times ★★★★★ R2 ★★★★★ Maverick
This incandescent, incendiary, and absolutely magnificent performance
is a totally essential purchase: no argument. David Kidman, Net Rhythms
Expect this to be in the ‘Best of 2011’ and make no mistake.
Make it the soundtrack of your summer y’hear. Simon Jones, fRoots
Warning: this report may contain added hyperbole.
Briefly during the 1980s the finest rock’n’folk ensemble in the known universe were the mighty HOME SERVICE. All those who attended their performances fondly remember the power and the glory of this majestic band in full flight. Recently some previously unheard live recordings made by their former sound engineer on a couple of cassette tapes came to light. The tapes have languished in the back of his wardrobe for the last 25 years. These recordings, made at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1986, exhibit a power and commitment that was never fully captured in the studio, so a live album release immediately became inevitable.
The resulting CD – LIVE 1986 – (FLED 3085) will be released on Monday July 4th.
“A magnificent incendiary performance.”
CD track list = 100% classic Home Service repertoire:
01 Alright Jack 6.05
02 Walk My Way 4.27
03 Battle Pavanne / Peat Bog Soldiers 5.50
04 Galliard / Bramsley 3.43
05 Snow Falls 3.36
06 Dublin Bay 1.53
07 My Bonny Boy / Scarecrow 6.01
08 The Brisk Young Sailor 1.30
09 Rose Of Allendale 5.42
10 The Lost Lady Found 2.10
11 Lewk Up 4.07
12 Sorrow / Babylon 8.25
Our friends at Six Spices in Holland have produced a deluxe 180gm vinyl edition of IAN KING‘s splendid PANIC GRASS & FEVER FEW album. The LP will be released on 21st November (6S 229009). We have a limited number of copies available for mail order sale.
Fledg’ling together with Carthage records are very proud to announce a stunning series of INCREDIBLE STRING BAND re-issues. On March 29th we’ll be releasing definitive deluxe CD editions of The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (FLED 3076), The 5000 SPIRITS OR THE LAYERS OF THE ONION (FLED 3077), The HANGMAN”S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTER (FLED 3078) and WEE TAM & The BIG HUGE (FLED 3079). The early recordings of the String Band are among the finest and imaginative of late 1960s. All four albums have been very carefully re-mastered from the original master tapes by Simon Heyworth at Super Audio Mastering. The work was closely supervised by original producer Joe Boyd and engineer John Wood.
SPECIAL OFFER Buy all four CDs from the Fledg’ling site for just £40:00
“Though there have been other ISB CD re-issues over recent years, these truly are definitive editions. They sound and look fabulous.” The CDs are housed in stunning digipacs with all elements of the original vinyl artwork, new sleevenotes from Clive Palmer, Mike Heron, Robin Williamson and Joe Boyd, and some previously unpublished photographs. Robyn Hitchcock kindly wrote an introduction to the series. Uncut magazine enthusiastically declared these Fledg’ling editions “Reissues of the Month” in their April 2010 issue. Over the next couple of months expect to see reviews and features in many leading publications including Songlines, The Wire, R2, Shindig! and fRoots. The Incredible String Band revival begins here.
JOHN KIRKPATRICK was awarded Musician of the Year 2010 at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on Monday February 1st at a ceremony in London. ‘Not before time’ was the opinion of many who attended the award ceremony. Congratulations, John.
More details can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/folk-awards-2010
A great deal of excitement is building up around a superb new Fledg’ling release – PANIC GRASS & FEVER FEW – the debut album from IAN KING.
Unusually Ian King was the subject of a fRoots magazine cover story some eight months before the appearance of his imminent debut album, Ian King now finds himself on the verge of ubiquity. Born in Yorkshire, a dry-stone waller by trade and a punk by nature, King is “a big fan of folk music from around the globe, what they call world music”. He maintains: “I might not be from the traditional English school of folk but I sincerely believe that all traditional music shares a common ground. My objective is to create a sound with broad appeal beyond just folk”. On Panic Grass and Fever Few – incidentally the title comes from a phrase in John Hersey’s war retrospective Hiroshima where the author refers to the green shoots of herbs that swiftly emerged from the ashes of that catastrophic event (King thought it juxtaposed rather nicely with the gentler folk sensibilities of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) – King has done much more than that: he’s created a musical landscape uniquely suited to the multi-cultured ether that surrounds us.
Panic Grass & Fever Few was recorded with Adrian Sherwood and the legendary On-U Sound crew and is a major milestone in the continuing development of English folk-rock. The CD will be released on 24th January 2010. You may pre-order a signed copy now from the Fledg’ling online shop.
more information at: www.myspace.com/iankingofengland
As Fledg’ling comes to the end of our fifteenth year as an independent record label there is a good deal to celebrate. We’re very pleased to announce that after lengthy negotiations we are able to bring two folk-rock classics back to the catalogue. MORRIS ON FLED 3037 and The COMPLEAT DANCING MASTER FLED 3038 will be re-issued on January 18th 2010.
Many years ago, singer Iain Matthews agreed to be interviewed for the Hokey Pokey newsletter. With great kindness he answered all the questions from the cub reporter, effecting not to be disappointed by the reporter’s repetition of the same old questions. Hokey Pokey eventually led, in a round about fashion, to the Fledg’ling label. You can imagine how proud we are to be releasing Mr Matthews’ latest recording. In Iain’s opinion it is the best record of his career. Artiste’s often say that, but in the case of Joy Mining he may well be right.
Iain Matthew’s career has been a long and illustrious one, journeying from Pyramid, through Fairport Convention, Matthews Southern Comfort and Plainsong to a remarkable series of poetic solo albums. On paper, his collaboration with the Searing Quartet is a strange pairing. Egbert Derix is an established jazz composer, from the Netherlands and Iain Matthews’ roots, have taken hold in contemporary singer/songwriter circles. However, if we break down these borders, look deeper and think in terms of quality, rather than genres, it’s a musical marriage made in heaven. The pair first came together in 2003, touring with a live version of Matthew’s legendary 1970 solo album “If You Saw Thro’ My Eyes”. Plans were made at the time to forge a writing partnership, only for it to be capsized by other career commitments. But not before they had two new songs in the bag and the realization that an ease and understanding of the writing process existed between them.
On July 27th Fledg’ling will reissue a classic folk-blues album – JESSE FULLER‘s exuberant Move on down the line. Fuller was the original make-do-and-mend man of music – carrying his venerable Martin 12-string guitar in a battered home-made case, a kazoo and harmonica he traveled widely presenting a heroic figure. Move on down the line includes his earliest recordings from 1959 and a session recorded in London for Topic Records in 1965. The CD contains Fuller’s original recording of his San Francisco Bay Blues and a version of John Henry that has been out of print since the early 1960s.
vintage flyer displayed courtesy of the fRoots archive
Jesse Fuller “The Lone Cat” (1886-1976) was one of the great blues troubadours. A remarkably expressive singer and a fine 12-string guitarist, he developed his unique one-man-band style around his fotdella (foot-operated bass) and harmonica / kazoo rig. Lots of sleevenotes from Joe Boyd and Val Wilmer and some previously unpublished photographs will complete the package.
Later in the year, in a joint venture with Carthage Records, we hope to bring you definitive editions of the first four albums by The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, freshly re-mastered under Joe Boyd’s supervision. Watch this space.
Sandy Denny * Pat Donaldson * Trevor Lucas * Gerry Conway * Jerry Donahue
Fans of Fotheringay rejoice – the nine classic performances on their debut album are soon to be joined by eleven more studio recordings. Jerry Donahue has been working for many, many months reviewing all the recordings to finally bring this remarkable project to conclusion.
After several years of careful research in dusty tape archives, the surviving members of Fotheringay have been able to complete their second album begun back in 1970. It is very, very rare that musicians get the chance to complete a project begun 38 years previously. Fotheringay 2 will be released on Fledg’ling Records on 29th September 2008.
Fotheringay remain one of the great might-have-beens of British music. They lasted less than a year, and released just one album, but their disappearance robbed the early-’70s scene of a group of musicians capable of taking folk-rock to new heights of subtlety and musicianship. Now, the nine songs on that debut album; assumed for almost four decades to be their sole testament, are joined by the eleven that would have constituted a follow-up. Sadly they broke up during the recording sessions for that second album. Incredibly all the tapes survived in various record company archives. Guest musicians include Rabbit Bundrick on keyboards and Sam Donahue (Jerry’s father) on saxophone.
Track list: John the Gun * Eppie Moray * Wild Mountain Thyme * Knights of the Road * Late November * Restless * Gypsy Davey * I Don’t Believe You * Silver Threads and Golden Needles * Bold Jack Donahue * Two Weeks Last Summer – Fledg’ling FLED 3066
A previously unpublished photograph of Fotheringay courtesy of Linda Fitzgerald-Moore.
With the sun due any day now it must be time to tell you about an exciting new development – our first exclusive Digital Download release.
The mighty Green House Band have joined forces with Fledg’ling for our first digital download release: Big Sun ~ The Green House Band (DOWN 4002), available now from all the very best download e-tailers, iTunes, e-music, etc.
A gathering of 1970s ‘cult’ folk / rock musicians and an award-winning theatrical arranger fronted by a beautiful young actress/singer forms the unusual nucleus of The Green House Band. The line-up includes former members of medieval rockers Gryphon; folk rockers Albion Band; and cult prog folk act Fuchsia. Vocals are by Madeleine Worrall, better known until now as a successful actress on stage and television. The core of the band will be familiar to all fans of the John Kirkpatrick Band.
Full biographical details and music samples can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/bigsunbytes