Friday, May 25, 2007

Neither Drunken Nor Sober

When I was playing gigs on the London Irish/folk circuit, one of my tasks was to try to find new material for the band.

Well - I say 'new' but in fact it was 'stuff that's been around for a while but not many people know about'. So I bought quite a few folk albums on spec - some of them turned out to be good and some not so good.

One of the better ones was this one, on Trailer, by Tony Rose who would later go on to sing with Bandoggs among others. I haven't played it in 20 years or more but I just ripped it this morning, and looking at the sleeve notes I see that Robin & Barry Dransfield were the accompanists on it. Small world - only last week I ripped their two Trailer albums for upload.

This is really good, and I used to sing both The Bellringing and The Golden Vanitee - unaccompanied of course. Scroll down for the Dransfield albums.

Tony Rose - Young Hunting

01 - Robin Hood And The Bishop Of Hereford
02 - The Bellringing
03 - Young Hunting
04 - Golden Vanitee
05 - Up To The Rigs
06 - The Three Butchers
07 - The Royal Oak
08 - Blackwaterside
09 - The Parson And The Clerk
10 - Tavistock Goosey Fair


I must email Bazza to check whether he minds my posting these albums, although they're not available any more, apart from a few tracks on the excellent 'Up To Now' compilation which you really should have.

Robin and Barry were one of the best acts on the folk circuit in the 70s, and Bazza was probably second only to Swarbrick (though he'd say it was the other way round) as a fiddler. Swarb was probably better known, but it was Bazza that got the great session gigs - Morris On, No Roses, North Sea Gasman, etc.

These two albums only really hint at what was to come - Fiddlers Dream and Popular To Contrary Belief were more mature & rounded albums. The vast majority of the tracks on those two albums - and some great outtakes - are on the compilation, and Bazza's first solo album, unavailable for so long, can now be bought from Spinney records - see Barry Dransfield. Which leaves Robin's only solo album, which I will repost later this afternoon.

Robin And Barry Dransfield - The Rout Of The Blues

01 - The Rout Of The Blues
02 - Scarborough Fair
03 - St Clement's Jig & Huntsman's Chorus & Nancy
04 - Water O' Tyne
05 - Earl Of Totnes
06 - Tapestry
07 - The Trees They Do Grow High
08 - A Week Before Easter
09 - A Fair Maid Walking All In Her Garden
10 - Who's The Fool Now


Robin And Barry Dransfield - Lord Of All I Behold

01 - Faithful Johnny
02 - Bold Nelson's Favourite & Princess Royal & Saddle The Pony
03 - Who Liveth So Merry
04 - Adam And The Beasts
05 - Lord Of All I Behold
06 - Paddy Ryan's Favourite
07 - Still He Sings
08 - Bold William Taylor
09 - Just As The Tide Was Flowing
10 - The Wild Rover




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the Dransfield stuff, but why the low bitrate? Some tracks are as low as 96 which is almost unlistenable. I know it sounds ungrateful and I really don't mean to be, but if this stuff cannot be got elsewhere what is the point of not sharing in all its glory?

8:47 am  
Blogger Witchseason said...

Hmm - yes I do understand.

Two things - first, *all* my vinyl rips are done primarily for my pleasure. My turntable is 25 years old and buzzes when I connect it to my PC, and I listen to them on my ipod buds. One of these days I'll get a USB turntable and re-rip at a higher rate but for now 128 is as good as *I* need.

However, you're right - some tracks are at 96. The reason for that is that they were ripped from the 'Up To Now' CD set in the very early days of MP3, and I thought 96 was fine in those days. I only ripped the tracks that weren't on that box from the vinyl and they're all 128.

So we have a mix of grotty vinyl rips at 128 and pristine CD rips at 98 - they probaby equal each other in terms of quality.

Having said all that, I had an email from Barry Dransield last night and, while he's happy for me to share my rips for now, he is trying to arrange for the full back catalogue (apart from the Polydor album, which he doesn't own) to be digitsed and made available for download from

So - sorry the quality ain't great, mea culpa. But hopefully they'll be available in tip top quality before long.

Thanks for the comments.

9:17 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, and great news that they will soon be available again. I really didn't want to sound ungrateful, I was only too glad to get these albums at all. It was just frustrating to be so near and yet so far, a sort of audio version of a lapdance! But thanks again, and please keep up the good work.

10:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A real big thank you for the Tony Rose album.

3:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many of these leader albums are already available

bright phoebus
etc etc

9:23 pm  
Blogger nickwellshome said...

Hi There,

I came across your website by accident and really enjoyed the stuff on the Dransfields.
I saw them perform in the 1970s and thought they were great.
One song called 'Fair Maids in February' has stuck in my head ever since. I don't suppose you have it, or know where I can get it?


3:34 pm  
Blogger Witchseason said...

Fair Maids Of February was a song that Robin Dransfield used to do solo, only occasionally with Barry. It's on his solo album 'Tidewave', available from Hux Records - see

4:32 pm  

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