Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Ian Campbell Folk Group
"This is The Ian Campbell Folk Group" 1963

The Ian Campbell Group were probably the most well known and respected folk music group to come out of Birmingham. Ian Campbell was born June 10, 1933 in Aberdeen, Scotland and his family moved to Birmingham in 1946. He formed the Clarion Skiffle Group in the mid 1950s along with his sister Lorna who was also the singer. They were later joined by guitarist Dave Phillips and banjo player Gordon McCulloch, and by 1958 were known as the Ian Campbell Four.

By 1960, McCulloch had been replaced by John Dunkerley and the group was also joined by violinist Dave Swarbrick (born April 5, 1941 in London). The group became well known on the local folk music scene and played regularly around Birmingham, often appearing at The Crown Pub on Station Street. It was there that they played on a live recording that was released as Ceilidh At The Crown in 1962. The following year, the group was signed to Transatlantic Records and released their first album entitled This Is The Ian Campbell Folk Group. At around this time, Dave Phillips left and was replaced by Brian Clark.

Sleeve Notes:
The first thing that strikes you when you listen to the Ian Campbell Folk Group is the rich texture and blend of vocal and instrumental sound. The Campbells are no three-chord City-billies, busking their way through a few favourite songs. The second thing that strikes you is that you haven't heard any songs about the Chain Gang, the Dust Bowl, or any of those other subjects close to the heart of the Coffee Bar Cowboy. In fact you are listening to a programme of British songs—and liking it.
The Campbells live in Birmingham where they run their phenomenally successful "Jug of Punch" Folk Club, but Ian and Lorna come from Aberdeen and it is from Scotland and the Border country that they draw much of their material. "TWA Recruiting Sergeants" a favourite of the great traditional singer Jeannie Robertson of Aberdeen; the classic ballad "The Unquiet Grave"; "Johnny Lad" and "The Wee Cooper O' Fyfe" come from Scotland. "The Keel Row" and "The Waters Of Tyne" come from the north-east of England.
The Campbell Group's repertoire reflects the growing interest in songs from the town as well as the country. "Down In The Coal Mine" is sung to one of the jauntiest of Irish tunes. The moving "The Jute Mill Song" is a recently composed song by Mrs. Mary Brookbank of Dundee, and "The Apprentice's Song" is Ian's own composition. The other recent song is Pete Seeger's setting of the Idris Davies poem "The Bells of Rhymney".
Older, but still on the theme of work, we have the sea song "Homeward Bound" and the shanty "Blow Boys Blow". From Australia come the fantasy "The Drover's Dream", and the wry but realistic "Rockin' The Cradle"; from England the pastoral "To Hear The Nightingale Sing".
Vocally and instrumentally, the Campbells possess a rich and remarkable variety of talents. They are fast establishing themselves in the top flight of international folk entertainers. It is hoped that this album will be another major step in that direction.

Ian Campbell—lead vocals
Lorna Campbell—lead vocals
Brian Clark—lead vocals and guitar
Dave Swarbrick—fiddle and mandolin
John Dunkerley—banjo and melodica
with the additional participation of:
Dave Phillips—bass
Brian Brocklehurst—bass

This album was released in the US (on the Elektra label) as The Ian Campbell Folk Group. The song order is slightly different with 2 having been omitted—"The Jute Mill Song " and "Homeward Bound'. The Elektra release also contains short biographies of the band members and more extensive Sleeve Notes by Ian Campbell. This is... was also re-released (in full) on the Contour label, as Presenting the Ian Campbell Folk Group, with still different Sleeve Notes (see back cover: click).

Sample pic: 1, 2


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who are interested, search and you'll find a .rar file that I posted in Emule months ago, it's my vynil album rip.
Cheers, Franz

17 August, 2009 09:50  

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