Rogues & Vagabonds-Live at the Cuckoo / Various
Having been interested in Folk songs and Folk and Morris Dancing for as long as I can remember it seemed a natural thing to do to try and capture some of the best Traditional unaccompanied singers (known to me over the past 25 years or so) and their songs, while being still young enough to sing them. I am mindful of Father Kenneth Loveless's words in his later years, saying that he would like to have been recorded years before, when his voice was better, but that in any event saying, 'At least I'm recording this before I die' which with most performers being around the half Century mark, prompted me to be the motor behind pulling the strings together for this double CD. Although the original intention was to record purely unaccompanied singers, Patsy turned up late with her guitar! For me, this exception is definitely worth it. These songs have been, and are, sung in Pubs and Clubs and wherever people gather up and down the Country and the singers recorded here are well used to performing them. This double CD only really scratches the surface of their repertoire (individual photos and musical Biogs are included in the booklet provided ). I am thankful that we have at least preserved the voices and individual style of the singers featured here, in this unique genre, before disappearing in the mists of time! Pete Coley -------- REVIEW--FOLK ON TAP--SUMMER 2005 'Ladeeze and Gentlemen,The Cuckoo is pleased to present the assemblage that is Rogues and Vagabonds for your delight,courtesy of Mr.Pete Coley.I thank yew!' This is roughly the gist of this two-CD set recorded last September at The Cuckoo at Hamptworth. The assembled company of 15 singers did the business,individually singing their song(s) while their compadres dutifully joined in on the chorus-that is with a couple of exceptions.One singer,known simply as Patsy,brought her guitar along and did it all by herself. Another,Alf Woodall-not blessed with the sweetest of voices,apparently-performed a monologue,which the others punctuated each verse with'If it wasn't for the Houses in Between'. The songs are predominantly traditional, 'Hard Times Of Old England', 'Miner's Life', 'Three Jolly Boys' and 'The Holly and The Ivy' being amongst the roster. Of the contemporary, Graham Miles' 'An Evening in Summer' and John Tams' 'Rolling Home' are welcome inclusions. An enjoyable romp that is best experienced with a few beers, after all, there's no reason why the performers should have the edge. COMMENT I have really enjoyed 'Rogues and Vagabonds'. The songs are great and such a lovely atmosphere. I think many more people should do what you have done and record all the brilliant voices who might not get round to doing it otherwise. It's good for the singers - and important for posterity. Maggie Boyle.