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MatthewVanitas

Solo Singer With Concertina? What Players And Albums?

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I have an iTunes gift card that I won in a chili cookoff, and I want to use it up on something that will help improve my concertina playing. I already bought the Chris Droney album a few weeks ago, so I was looking at some Noel Hill albums, but I already have a lot of Irish tracks. I realized I've been thinking more about concertina as voice backup these days, so I'm looking for advice on what artists, and which albums, are heavy on voice backed up just by concertina (even if said album isn't on iTunes).

 

There are only a few I can think of off the top of my head:

 

- Peter Bellamy: a pretty sizeable chunk of his work (English folksong and new-composed songs largely in that style) is solo voice with Anglo concertina. A pretty primitive playing style, but fits his overall vibe. I'd buy something of his, but on iTunes I already have 163 (!) tracks by him.

 

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- Danny Spooner: Australian folksinger and singer-songwriter who largely backs himself up with solo English concertina. I saw him play in St John's back in 2009 and bought several of his albums; here on YouTube is the exact gig I saw him do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DegONENQU8U . He's the specific reason I got into concertina, and I was going to buy an English like his from CC, until I noted their new Elise and thought that it looked even more apt for song accompaniment.

 

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Aside from these two gents, who are some other singers heavy on concertina backup? Are there any non/less-folky singers who back up more modern singing, for contrast? Always open to expanding my concept of vocal accompaniment, now I just need to learn to sing better..

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Michael Cooney and Mike Agranoff are both primarily singer/guitarists but are also both fine English Concertina players (that is, they're both Americans who play English Concertina). Any of their albums will have a song or two accompanied by EC. Then, of course there's John Roberts (he's English but lives in the USA and plays the Anglo, English style... oh, never mind). Seek out his work with Tony Barrand. And Brian Peters, who's English, lives in England and plays the Anglo, English style.

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Just off the top of my head....

Well worth checking out Keith Kendrick from Derbyshire, who sings and plays both anglo and English on several albums (and YouTube).

The late Tony Rose was also a great interpreter of traditional song with English accompaniment.

Both Peggy Seeger and Sandra Kerr are two ladies who also play English to accompany their own songs.

And not forgetting Bernard Wrigley, though I doubt you would want to get involved in playing an enormous bass/contrabass English like his (assuming you could find one!).

On anglo for song accompaniment, John Kirkpatrick of course....hard to beat.

All well worth a Google ....

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Here are the initial 10 tracks I've purchased so far. Almost all of these are pure solo voice and concertina, but for a couple that are multi-voice and one concertina. Almost all of these are old folk or more recent folk in a relatively conservative style ("Grey Funnel Line", etc). The Barrand tunes are the ones that are more bouncy-England, the others play closer to what I do, a more harmonium-like slow swelling sound.

 

The notable divergence from the folkiness is "First Kiss", which is hard to describe but an almost cinema-esque vamping to back up a nearly-spoken narrative song; let me know if there's a better way to describe the style. But here's my initial list.

 

 

Lucy 5:26 Brian Peters Songs of Trial and Triumph Singer/Songwriter 3
Lord Randal 4:47 Brian Peters Songs of Trial and Triumph Singer/Songwriter 2
First Kiss 4:07 Mike Agranoff Ain't Never Been Plugged! Alternative Folk 2
Grey Funnel Line 3:25 Lou Killen Sea Music of Many Lands: The Pacific Heritage Singer/Songwriter 2
Greenland Bound 2:31 Lou Killen Sea Music of Many Lands: The Pacific Heritage Singer/Songwriter 2
Lisbon 3:27 John Roberts & Tony Barrand Heartoutbursts Singer/Songwriter 2
Horkstow Grange 2:56 John Roberts & Tony Barrand Heartoutbursts Singer/Songwriter 2
Rufford Park Poachers 5:27 John Roberts & Tony Barrand Heartoutbursts Singer/Songwriter 2
Turpin Hero 3:05 John Roberts & Tony Barrand Heartoutbursts Singer/Songwriter 2
Seventeen Come Sunday 3:01 John Roberts & Tony Barrand Heartoutbursts Singer/Songwriter 2

 

 

I'd have more Roberts/Barrand, but their "Songs of Rudyard Kipling" album I'll probably buy in its entirety since it has a lot of concertina, and also has an overlap with a lot of Bellamy stuff I like already and wouldn't mind having an additional interpretation of.

Edited by MatthewVanitas

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Can't go wrong the the EC accompaniments of Lou Killen and Tony Rose, both sadly now gone from us, but what a wonderful legacy they left behind, even if their music is probably a little difficult to track down.

 

Gary

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Duet system players who accompany their own vocals and whose albums/songs have been at some point commercially available include Tim Laycock, Andrew McKay (both Crane system), Ralph Jordan (Maccann) and Michael Hebbert (Jeffries).

Can't think of anything available from a Hayden player; maybe they're all waiting for Brian to be the first.... :unsure: :unsure: :unsure:

Edited by malcolm clapp

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I would recommend A L Lloyd with Alf Edwards, effectively where it all began AFAIK.

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Dick Miles on English Concertina and also he has tutor books, go to his website for more info.

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And don't forget Pete Wood, perhaps better known as a member of the The Keelers, but a fine solo singer who accompanies himself on a tenor EC. here is a sample

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Dave Townsend also occasionally sings to his own playing using an Tenor/treble EC or Baritone, but mostly in concert, not often recorded.

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I would recommend A L Lloyd with Alf Edwards, effectively where it all began AFAIK.

 

Welp, that just cost me another $13. That man has just tons of tracks on iTunes in general off a number of albums, and a decent chunk of them are the solo concertina-voice combo I was looking for. As I was getting towards a dozen I got a lot more selective about only buying ones I especially liked, as there were just so many. Here are the ones I picked up:

 

Daughter, Daughter, Whistle 2:14 A.L. Lloyd The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (Remastered) [feat. Alf Edwards] Singer/Songwriter

Jim Jones At Botany Bay 3:09 A.L. Lloyd The Great Australian Legend Singer/Songwriter

The Grey Cock 4:34 A. L. Lloyd England & Her Traditional Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Outlandish Knight 4:12 A. L. Lloyd England & Her Traditional Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Prickly Bush 3:30 A.L. Lloyd English & Scottish Folk Ballads Singer/Songwriter

The Cruel Mother 6:42 A.L. Lloyd English & Scottish Folk Ballads Singer/Songwriter

Fitting Out 3:40 A.L. Lloyd, Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger Musical Score from the Film "Whaler Out of New Bedford" Singer/Songwriter

The Whaleman's Lament 2:41 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

Farewell to Tarwathie 2:57 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

Off to Sea Once More 6:27 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

All for Me Grog 2:12 A.L. Lloyd English Drinking Songs Singer/Songwriter

John Barleycorn 2:49 A.L. Lloyd English Drinking Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Unfortunate Rake 2:59 A.L. Lloyd & Alf Edwards The Unfortunate Rake Singer/Songwriter

 

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I would recommend A L Lloyd with Alf Edwards, effectively where it all began AFAIK.

 

Welp, that just cost me another $13. That man has just tons of tracks on iTunes in general off a number of albums, and a decent chunk of them are the solo concertina-voice combo I was looking for. As I was getting towards a dozen I got a lot more selective about only buying ones I especially liked, as there were just so many. Here are the ones I picked up:

 

Daughter, Daughter, Whistle 2:14 A.L. Lloyd The Foggy Dew and Other Traditional English Love Songs (Remastered) [feat. Alf Edwards] Singer/Songwriter

Jim Jones At Botany Bay 3:09 A.L. Lloyd The Great Australian Legend Singer/Songwriter

The Grey Cock 4:34 A. L. Lloyd England & Her Traditional Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Outlandish Knight 4:12 A. L. Lloyd England & Her Traditional Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Prickly Bush 3:30 A.L. Lloyd English & Scottish Folk Ballads Singer/Songwriter

The Cruel Mother 6:42 A.L. Lloyd English & Scottish Folk Ballads Singer/Songwriter

Fitting Out 3:40 A.L. Lloyd, Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger Musical Score from the Film "Whaler Out of New Bedford" Singer/Songwriter

The Whaleman's Lament 2:41 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

Farewell to Tarwathie 2:57 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

Off to Sea Once More 6:27 A.L. Lloyd Leviathan! - Ballads & Songs of the Wailing Trade Singer/Songwriter

All for Me Grog 2:12 A.L. Lloyd English Drinking Songs Singer/Songwriter

John Barleycorn 2:49 A.L. Lloyd English Drinking Songs Singer/Songwriter

The Unfortunate Rake 2:59 A.L. Lloyd & Alf Edwards The Unfortunate Rake Singer/Songwriter

 

 

Call me old-fashioned but I still prefer CDs to digital downloads if possible even though the first thing I do with a CD is rip it to a media server!

 

I think I have every A L Lloyd-related CD currently available, but if I don't I'll order it...

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This is a great topic from my perspective and I will be following up any recommendations here that are new to me when I get time.

 

However, as much as I admire and would love to imitate many of the artists mentioned, I've always found it quite difficult to discern exactly what the players are actually doing.

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