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Folk & Jazz fan, specialising in vinyl restoration. Although I would prefer to only post albums that I have paid for, or those of close friends, I am open to suggestions and offers of rare Folk items that need tender care and restoration, provided the supplier has the right of ownership of the physical item. NOT JUST an MP3 COPY of it. To give you an idea, I am prepared to restore vinyl belonging to another person, IF I receive a decent quality scan of the front, back and any relevant information that comes with the LP, preferably at least 2400 by 2400 quality, (600DPI scans for back) along with the sound files in FLAC format as waves are a bit too large to transfer. Then I will check their suitability for restoration. I try to maintain the requirement for a decent set of scans for each item, where possible, as I feel the music is incomplete without it. Sometimes this is just not possible as a lot of my stock came from broadcasting organisations that had their own heavy card sleeves, with information relevant to their prime function, that of providing the disc-jockies with basic details to pass on to listeners. I do wonder what happened to all the original artwork?

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Coming on a BLOG near YOU --- Martyn Wyndham-Read --- BALLAD SINGER (1978)

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I've been offered a copy of this quite rare LP
it consists of Australian Bush songs, generally about sheep shearing and associated pastimes.
Because it is so Australia specific I have asked my friend that runs the Australian folk music blog if he would like to post it.
I ask you to visit occasionally his excellent BLOG and keep an eye out for


This album comes with a comprehensive song detail sheet in additional to the usual LP rear, track information panel,  so much is written in German
specially the vital history of Martyn and a dear personal friend of his, Brian Mooney, whom I have met and supped a Guinness with at the Georgetown festival in Tasmania.

I appealed to any German blog visitor that could help with the translation of the German text, I had a reply from  
Reinhard Zierke
 This will be published here in text format, it will also be available on Paul's blog as an additional download file


The LP back




Neither Paul or myself are totally proficient in the German language, so thanks to Reinhard, we have this English translation of the 
Martyn Wyndham-Read folk singer, his influences
and development in Australia and later in 
Great Britain.


This is Reinhard Zierke’s translation of the German sleeve notes:

Martyn Wyndham-Read, for a long-time an English folk singer par excellence, grew up in the counties Sussex and Surrey in rural surroundings. Today
he lives there again, in East Surrey near the village of Rusper. His first musical experiences were in a skiffle group called "The Black Diamonds" back in 1955. His repertoire and especially his simple but vivid style of singing were formed by seven years spent in Australia. He emigrated in 1960 and worked at first on a sheep station in South Australia, 50 km away from the next pub and store, and 180 km away from the next town. These sheep stations were ideal for creation, variation and keeping of bush ballads. Parts of this genre and
his future professional repertoire stem from this living tradition.

Equipped with songs and song-enthuiasm, after a season with sheep Martyn was drawn to a city, Sydney. There he met Brian Mooney, then the only professional folk singer in Australia appearing in public. Brian, son of Irish immigrants, is an equally great interpret of Australian ballads and may well be called the father of the folk revival 'down under'. Martyn attached himself of Brian's gigs; without this teacher he surely wouldn't sound as he now does. By the way, the third one in this group of urban bush-ballad singers was David Lumsden. With these two companions Mooney cut his first LP in 1962.

This also was the time when Australian folklorists, hobby collectors and folksong fans compiled the living tradition of local ballads. Today, twenty years later, nearly all songs are available in pocket books or thick anthologies. The - then - first anthologies expanded the repertoire of Mooney, Wyndham-Read and their followers. Soon both moved to Melbourne which was more musical and less prosaic than Sydney. In Melbourne evolved folk clubs that nowadays can be found all over Australia's cities. Martyn collaborated on six LPs in Australia before he moved back to England in 1969.

In the UK at that time the folk revival was in full bloom. Of course,
a folk singer of Martyn Wyndham-Read's standing found immediate connections,
was invited to many folk festivals, and can be found on a respectable
amount of LPs made in England.

It is a fine coincidence that not only the two immortal balladeers Mooney and now Wyndham-Read are represented on the Autogram label. In the same way, the most important creator of new Australian folk songs, Eric Bogle, has cut three simple solo LPs for Autogram, in a similar, typically Australian style. However, it must be said that in the meantime in Australia there are a lot of commercial recordings of bush songs. Parts of the folk song revival are subject to changes in musical taste but an interpret like Wyndham-Read proves to be 'timeless'.

This is the fine art of the simple and usually solo folk ballad: There are simple but beautiful melodies. Australian ballad have lyrics just as simple, hardly worthy of poetic claim. But because of this simplicity their interpretation is so difficult! Many artists try and cope with hard tasks - this can be done with just a lot of effort. But to excel with simple songs needs real artistic talent. It isn't important what to put into a song, it is crucial what to omit.

Thanks kindly Reinhard.