Friday, June 29, 2007

Nic Jones


Tony Hendry:
There is a dramatic quality to the life of Nic Jones - a life smashed and slowly mended, music lost and partly found. "Banish Misfortune" is the chosen tune. Ralph Jordan, producer of this seismic 128-minute double CD, has done a mighty bit of banishing. Building on Dave Emery's work on In Search Of, this digitally remastered collection of club, concert and studio recordings shows why Nic got to be a hero. Here is a singer of mature confidence and insight. An influential guitarist of effortless skill. A surgeon of the tradition, adept with scalpel and suture. An original whose style has never dated and is unsurpassed.

Thirty one tracks on the album, each a good reason to buy it. Here are just five. "Boots of Spanish Leather" - from Bob Dylan via Tony Rose. "Billy Don't You Weep For Me" - never was a broadside ballad brought more thrillingly to life. "Rapunzel" - his reflection on a favourite fairy tale of daughter Helen. "Clyde Water" - a better arrangement than the Penguin Eggs version, with superb guitar break and coda in his classic percussive style. And the closing "Ten Thousand Miles" - a song already taken up by many younger singers.

I could go on. There are songs from Jeff Deitchmann, Anne Lister, Cyril Tawney, Tucker Zimmerman, and Ivor Cutler... five short tunes… "Yarmouth Town" as tribute to Peter Bellamy… many a bold escape from the folk police… fun along the way. Most of the material was never put down on record, and some discoveries and re-discoveries are exciting enough to register on the Dylan Bootleg Series earthquake scale. The sound quality compares well with the tired tapes and ravaged vinyl of my pre Penguin Eggs collection.

Nic's album notes are a tease - witty and revealing on how and why, silent on when and where. In Search Of showed his repertoire as the 1982 car crash loomed, but these recordings have a longer span - probably from mid 70s, since I could detect nothing from early days. As a pointer, there are live performances of three songs each from Noah's Ark Trap ( (1977) and From The Devil To A Stranger (1978) but nothing from Ballads and Songs (1970) or Nic Jones (1971). In case you didn't know, those four vinyl albums remain in the clutch of Celtic Music and have yet to be re-issued in CD format. Nic is only one of the Leader and Trailer label artists affected. Some misfortune takes an age to banish.

One more reason to buy? "The Prickly Bush", where Nic takes his usual liberties with the tune but the true love saves the day in the end, as she ever did. The artwork for this CD includes Helen's beautiful drawing of Nic and his wife Julia.

Disc 1:
01. The Jukebox As She Turned
02. Bonny George Campbell
03. Roxburgh Castle
04. Boots Of Spanish Leather
05. Warlike Lads Of Russia
06. Prickly Bush
07. Captain Glen
08. Billy Don't You Weep For Me
09. Fare Thee Well My Dearest Dear
10. Plains Of Boyle
11. Icarus
12. Rufford Park Poachers
13. Oh Dear, Rue The Day
14. Love Will You Marry Me
15. On A Monday Morning
16. Yarmouth Town
17. Master Kilby

Disc 2:
01. Jimmy Allen
02. William Of Winesbury
03. Nine Times A Night
04. Annachie Gordon
05. Taoist Tale
06. Rapunzel
07. Clyde Water
08. Hamburger Polka
09. Barbara Ellen
10. Wanton Seed
11. Sonny Brogan's Mazurka
12. Dives And Lazarus
13. I'm Going In A Field
14. Ten Thousand Miles


Anonymous Manila said...

Oh dear. No, I'm sorry, I definitely disagree with this. If you know anything about Nic Jones' history, and you love his music, then buy his CDs. To download this album (lovingly put together by friends and family) is wrong. And this time I don't care if I upset anyone.

29 June, 2007 22:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's most important is that people hear this music. Celtic Records seem to have a vendetta against Jones's music. The more people hear this music the better for Nic, and being able to download his music means 10 times as many people will hear it, due to people not being able to afford to buy it. We all know Nic's unfortunate life, but the music lives on, and listening is more important than buying. Love you Nic.

30 June, 2007 10:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to stay out of this but I do agree with manila. The 4 'lost' albums are suitable for ripping but the 3 'new' ones are a different matter.

See the 'In Search of...' comments for my take on it.

"The more people hear this music the better for Nic" - in what way is it 'better'?

Do you mean 'poorer'?? I'm not sure Nic can bank 'love'!


30 June, 2007 12:30  
Blogger Ratatoskyr said...

"Listening is more important than buying?" What kind of crap is that? Nic's label is royally screwing him, now "anonymous" is suggesting his fans do the same. Nice.

And at least some of the "lost recordings" are available for sale on Jones' web site, including
"Penguin Eggs."

Do the right thing, and pass the man some cash.

30 June, 2007 13:37  
Blogger vagabond kiwi said...

there's a lot of music out here on the internet- sure there some folks who just leach from every source- but I think for most music lovers, if something really touches them they want the cd/lp/dvd even if the have lossless d/loads. Its just a question sometimes price point and availability ( hard for some world citizens ). The most played songs on radio/mtv also generally sell a lot- even if folks have always taped them etc. Most d/l were never sales at all, some generate fans who buy up the discography- and then every remaster, deluxe, bonus , original master tapes , format change- its messy business & all is in a flux. we are going to get petrabytes with giga or terrabyte wifi/ internet- so make it good , easy , convenient, well-priced & pretty much indispensible & folks won't d/l possibly poorly ripped , badly tagged , incompetently rar-ed cds.

ps think nic jones needs investment in listening time.

ps a meaningless comment glad to see happy birthday is still raking it in- yeah messy as hell - glad the record companies and managers have never screwed any muscians

30 June, 2007 17:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not everyone can afford to buy this, we are not all wealthy people. However I agree that we should make sure Nic gets something from his music. I intend to do exactly that. However, if you have the 'lost recordings' put them up here for us all to download.

30 June, 2007 17:46  
Anonymous Manila said...

Well, I seem to have upset a few people. My statement stands - I don't care.

To vagabond Kiwi I say - Nic jones is not Coldplay or Led Zeppelin. There will be no deluxe editions, bonuses or MTV features. He is simply one of the finest English folk singers who ever lived. He does not need 'investment in listening time.' If you have an email from Nic and his wife saying it's ok to download his CDs for nothing then I promise I will shut up and say nothing more on the matter. As for being a 'world citizen', I live in the Philippines. The wonderful thing about the internet is you can go to Nic's website and, I'm sure, they will gladly accept an international money order, a cheque, or even a transfer by Western Union, in exchange for mailing you the CD.

To 'anonymous' I say - I am not a 'wealthy man.' I don't, for example, have a car. Do you suggest I steal one? I am glad you think Nic should get 'something for his music.' But don't toss him a few coins. The going rate for these albums is clearly stated on his website. If you can't afford them, buy a bargain bin 'Best Of The Carpenters' album.

To Roger and ratatoskyr I say - thank you. The fact is, Roger pricked my conscience.

Guys, I hate making enemies. It's not in my nature. I played in a folk group years ago and whenever I met Nic he was kindness itself. But right is right, and wrong is wrong. I don't give a toss about Dave Bulmer, so if you have any of the 'lost albums' I will beat you to the download. But if you want this album, please pay for it.


30 June, 2007 20:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I mean no offense to Nic Jones when I say this, and I know people's hearts are in the right place, but what about all the other artists on the blogs? They don't count because they weren't in an accident?

If the music weren't posted, would any of us know who ("artist") was beforehand to even consider a purchase?

In my case I can answer a clear NO.

In other words, these downloads are NOT lost sales. They're POTENTIAL sales that didn't exist before. No radio station is out there playing Nic Jones today, how would I know or care who he is without hearing the music?

The only exception is the small percentage of people who a - had heard of Nic Jones previously and b - were considering a purchase that they no longer have to make. Folks, those numbers are a lot smaller than you might think. You're seeing people download and making a rather bad assumption that these are people who, with money in hand, would have gone out and made a blind purchase of Nic Jones. I'm sorry but that is NOT the reality of the situation.

I do go out and buy CDs I find on blogs if I really like them, (i.e., want to hear them more than once or twice) and they're available. Most of what I download is simply not available for purchase. But practically everything I ever got from this blog was a complete mystery to me upon download.

Figure this - two weeks ago I had no idea who Nic Jones was, now I know his story and once I hear him, if I like it you can bet I'll go out and buy his music.

By the same token, if anyone can find and RIP some of the completely unavailable material from Nic (and this seems to be impossible), THEN we can talk about whether the available recordings should or shouldn't be up.

Please folks, I understand the dismay, but keep your heads on. Otherwise I'd have to ask - why are you here in the first place?

30 June, 2007 20:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penguin Eggs is available from Mollie Music.

The 4 'lost' albums are:
Nic Jones
Ballads & Songs
The Noah's Ark Trap
From the Devil to a Stranger

These 4 were available on blogs but got zapped.

I agree it's hypocritical but manila, I and others are simply fighting Nic's corner (I'd expect fans of other artists to do the same). I think Nic's case is slightly different - he didn't choose to retire, couldn't embark on a new career and has been shafted on the back catalogue.

Life dealt him a series of bad hands - if you like the music please contribute in any way you can


30 June, 2007 21:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone in the USA can buy this and other Nic Jones at I just purchased 'Penguin Eggs' there.

30 June, 2007 23:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure Nic doesn't need you fighting in his corner. Belive me, you all need to re-examine your lifes and views. The other anonymous brought up a good point, the other artists don't count to you because they wern't in accidents? Back to the point of affordability. If you don't have a car, I don't suggest stealing one, but I suggest asking for rides from people who do, just like borrowing music from people who do. Good try though manila, but think out your points more properly. These downloads are potential sales. I bought Nic's recordings when they were first released on vinyl. There are plenty of artists who didn't "choose" to retire. Some died of drug overdoses, some in accidents. Nick Drake may have died accidently, or commmitted suicide, but alot people have no problem downloading his music, instead of his family getting the money. I think alot of this comes from almost demented fandom. They feel a need to protect someone, who they don't know and have never met, just beacuse they like his music. That kind of fandom can lead to dangerous attachment.

01 July, 2007 04:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

like a previous poster, this is the first time I've heard Jones' music.

What I've heard will certainly cause me to buy much more of his music.

In fact I've just ordered copies of Penguin Eggs (2-one for friend) and In Search of...

To me it is only mediocre artists who will lose sales because of music blogs: those of real quality (such as Jones) can only benefit from their work being more widely known.

01 July, 2007 05:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and the fact that they want to "fight" for him, implies that he can't fight for himself. He survived alot in his life without you guys, he can do more without you guys.

01 July, 2007 07:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"They feel a need to protect someone, who they don't know and have never met, just beacuse they like his music."

You assume a lot don't you?

BTW wrong on 3 counts - well done!

It's between you and your conscience at the end of the day, that's all we're saying.

BTW don't ask me for a lift!

02 July, 2007 03:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you got his address? I'll send him cash and a note of thanks. It's that good, but I have no use for CD's and so on (just clutter and trash for me).

02 July, 2007 14:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Certainly have.

What I would suggest is sending a cheque etc payable to N Jones to Nic C/o Mollie Music 52 Newland Park Drive York YO10 3HP.

To avoid putting anyone in a difficult situation re downloading etc I'd just say you're repaying a loan ;)

Thanks doing this & I know what you mean about CD's



02 July, 2007 20:45  
Anonymous YetanotherAnonymous said...

I do not want to get involved in the rights & wrongs or morals of the issue on sharing music, it is true Nic does need support, that is the the reason I paid for a number of his works in the past years. However, the Game, Set & Match I felt was let down badly in the technical department, and unworthy of the possible quality obtainable on CD. Let me explain further, before the howls of protest begin.. I know it was sourced from amateur tapes, taken at gigs, plus other less than perfect studio quality takes, but with a little work using even a simple editor, the results could have been so much better.
Now to the reason I will NOT be buying "Un-earthed" That too has tracks culled from live sessions, and although the compilers have done a good job with most tracks, some are well short of what they could be: 10 minutes with Cool Edit
on "Nine Times a Night" & Willy of Winesbury" has remove most of the annoying background, some clicks and made these tracks far more listenable, bringing out the pure beauty of Nic's art... Nic 10/10 for your songs: Mastering engineers
5/10, you should be able to do better, at least for my money..

03 July, 2007 00:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nic has said himself somewhere that he's sad that these recordings with their quality issues are what will be seen as his legacy apart from Penguin Eggs.

Partly due to the accident partly down to Mr Bulmer.

Financials aside that's one of the saddest things about this situation.

Personally I thought 'Unearthed' was the best of the 3 'new' albums - for the songs featured but take your point about the quality.

In defence I think these were produced by mates as a favour so perhaps time / resources were limited.


03 July, 2007 01:51  
Blogger John said...


I appreciate your blog and downloads very much, although my view on the Nic Jones currently available albums is to remove them. I have Noah's Ark Trap and From The Devil To A Stranger on vinyl and I will rip them for you as an alternative. Can you let me know how I can get these to you?

04 July, 2007 00:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It easy to say "wrong on three counts" and not list them. Probbably because the three counts are non exsistent.

04 July, 2007 04:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging by the way you type, I wouldin't think you were able to operate an automobile.

04 July, 2007 04:07  
Anonymous Manila said...

I agree totally with John. And what a brilliant offer! Lizardson, would you consider removing the links on that basis?

04 July, 2007 11:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok then seeing as you asked:

"They feel a need to protect someone, who they don't know and have never met, just beacuse they like his music."

I don't 'feel a need' to 'protect' Nic - I just think right is right and believe in karma.

I don't know Nic but I have chatted to a couple of people who do, I have met him, once, only for a couple of minutes - nice bloke

It's not 'just because I like his music' otherwise I'd be on here defending the rights of Sandy Denny's daughter, Nick drake's family, Tom McConville etc etc etc. In fact I wouldn't be on blogs at all except to rat on them to the artists.

Does that help in demonstrating you were assuming too much, defending an indefensible position and generally letting yourself down?

As I said Nic is a special case. I've expressed this view on many blogs - it's a small gesture on my part for an artist I respect.
And as I also said IT'S BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CONSCIENCE (as it would be if I burgled your house!)

Some people eh?

05 July, 2007 00:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John, best thing to do is upload them yourself at and then post the links in this thread! Lizardson is likely to post them on the main page when he sees them.

05 July, 2007 05:54  
Anonymous Manila said...

I guess everyone just ran out of steam. It's a shame. If I understood him correctly JOHN made a fabulous offer - 2 long lost gems in exchange for removing the downloads to Nic Jones' freely available new albums. Somebody say yes! :-)

07 July, 2007 00:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Does that help in demonstrating you were assuming too much, defending an indefensible position and generally letting yourself down? "

Not really. You description reaks of obsession. I would wary of any claims you made of meeting Nic Jones. Also, you make too much of so little. You met someone who met him. That how many immature high school arguments start. You like to use the word conscience alot, but I doubt you have ever examined yours. I also doubt you know much about karma or eastern religious principles. All you know about karma was probably downloaded from a John Lennon forum. It is all down to you just liking his music, and also an irrational pitty you have for someone who doesn't need or want you pitty. It's sick. You still failed to really cite how i was wrong on three counts. You don't know Nic, and you haven't proved the validity of your irrational attachment. Nic is not a special case, you are. I think the word "Special" asyou use it is offensive and ignorant, what you really mean by "special" is "damaged". I think karma will catch up to you much sooner than anyone else who downloads the album.

07 July, 2007 06:07  
Anonymous Manila said...

re the above ramblings of 'anonymous', can everyone just agree with him so he can collect his prize and get to his psychiatrist on time?

07 July, 2007 14:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes he's right, completely, he's the one true holder of the truth - we're all but minnows. Misquided minnows at that.

We should be grateful he could take time out from his other lordly duties to visit us and spread the fruits of his wisdom..

08 July, 2007 07:56  
Anonymous streaker said...


I love Nic Jones music very deeply. Many of his songs are sublime, deep and truely great. I have everything available but the "lost" albums unfortunately. I would love to hear The Noah's Ark Trap and From the Devil to a Stranger. My opinion is that it is unfair to Nic considering the circumstances mentioned above to rip the material he is currently putting out but with regard to these unavailable albums I believe at this point it would be a great service to lovers of his music like myself to have them available any way possible. Otherwise it could be ten years or never before they are available again and the copyrights cleared. If anyone could suggest how I could get a CD-R of these two recordings I would be deeply grateful.

08 July, 2007 16:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

axwgoNo issue with ripping the 'lost' albums - although I know Nic and Julia wouldn't condone such actions :)

If you like them and want to show your appreciation then see comments above

08 July, 2007 19:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much like a child to resort to name calling and sarcasim when unable to say anthing intelligent. As for the psychiatrist remark, watch yourself, comments like that will get you into trouble. Maybe you should consider the possibility of a psychologist of this very forum.

09 July, 2007 05:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Anonymous' - now you're calling me a liar and doing that assuming thing again.

How on earth can you possibly think you know what I know or why I believe what I believe?

Are you really that confident in your own abilities? It smacks of self-delusion.

Reading the various posts you've clearly lost the argument on here.

Why not take yourself and your issues soemwhere else?


11 July, 2007 07:44  
Anonymous Fluffy said...

Greetings madly argumentative people.

1) I'll happily provide rips of ALL FOUR of Nic's 'Lost' albums.

2) I firmly agree with Manilla and co, however: if the man wanted you to have these recordings for free then he'd have set up a website to host them, not to sell them.

3) As for the circular 'people will buy them because they've found them for free on the internet whereas they wouldn't otherwise because they won't have heard them / of them' ... well... hardly difficult to debunk. Firstly, set up a blog devoted to reviewing / discussing rare music, perhaps with a link to amazon et al somewhere at the bottom. Secondly, and if that's not enough to entice the noble blog scourer, if said individual really must have something for nothing, stick up one or two representative tracks.

17 August, 2007 00:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fluffy, that would be great. I have them all apart from "Nic Jones" (1971)... any chance you could provide a link for that?

15 September, 2007 20:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Manila and other posters who think this is entirely, entirely wrong. There might be some slight justification in making the earlier albums available because of Dave Bulmer and Celtic Music, but there is no justification whatsoever in making this one available.
And, just to make a further point, I'm annoyed myself on a personal level as this blogger has put my own recorded material up elsewhere on his blog. As you can see, I'm not dead. A lot of artists featured on this blog are not dead either, but need income from sales of their music in order to keep producing music. In the case of my recording on this blog, the copyright for the recording is not mine, and I'm not able to pass on copies of it myself because I'm an ethical person and I obey the law on copyright. This blogger doesn't. It's very simple. This kind of free download is illegal distribution. You can try to justify it in whatever terms take your fancy, but it is illegal. And unethical.

31 October, 2007 19:05  
Anonymous Manila said...

As you will see from my posts, I am no one to talk about the rights and wrongs of posting copyright albums. Personally, I feel that any CD which is easily available should NOT be posted, but the long-lost, OUP stuff (particularly those now owned by a certain gentleman) is fair game. In defence of Lizardson, however, I would say that this blog is a labour of love. He does it because he truly loves this music and wants people around the world to hear it (unlike other blogs, where it's simply 'come and get some free stuff'). He is also a fair man. If 'anonymous' feels he is losing income (or is being harmed in any way) due to a post here I would advise him to ask for the removal of the link. Harvey Andrews did so, very politely, and the download was instantly removed.

Despite appearances, I honestly don't think anyone here wants to harm the interests of the people who produce the music we all love. It's just that occasionally people get over-enthusiastic.

05 November, 2007 17:48  
Blogger woodbine and ivy said...

This shouldn't be here. Nic doesn't want it here. Does he have to grovel to you personally to stop you stealing his work?


01 December, 2007 10:12  
Blogger woodbine and ivy said...

QUOTE: "In defence of Lizardson, however, I would say that this blog is a labour of love. He does it because he truly loves this music and wants people around the world to hear it (unlike other blogs, where it's simply 'come and get some free stuff')"

Right. That's why he feels the need to protect his identity by calling himself Lizardson, the name I'm sure his parents gave him. Call it what you like, but stealing is stealing. You're not Robin Hood, you're not some anti-corporate hero striking a blow against 'the man' or any such shit. You're just some bloke chancing his arm by stealing stuff off fairly obscure, fairly skint musicians. Until recently you had my friend Pete's album up here to steal. He hasn't even finished paying for recording it, let alone got to make any money! Where do you get off posting it for free? Do you want him to not be able to afford to bring another album out? Or don't you give a shit? Probably not - he can become another great lost artist to exploit.

Meanwhile - leave Nic Jones alone. Whatever you may self-aggrandise yourself into believing, you ain't doing him any favours.

Another thing: each time you give away an out of print album you make it less likely that it will ever be officially reissued in a way the artists you parasite off might stand a chance to earn a few quid. Think on.


01 December, 2007 10:30  
Anonymous Woodbine said...

Good to see you've done the decent thing.

Thank you.

01 December, 2007 17:12  
Blogger RickK said...

"Another thing: each time you give away an out of print album you make it less likely that it will ever be officially reissued in a way the artists you parasite off might stand a chance to earn a few quid. Think on."

This might be the dumbest thing I've ever read on any blog. And it seems to have come from "god."
Go figure.

02 December, 2007 08:31  
Anonymous woodbine said...

Yeh, ok, RickK. Stealing is good. Buying music makes me a loser. Having an opinion makes me god. I assume anything that's yours is mine, then? Grow up.

30 December, 2007 06:34  
Blogger Ian said...

An interesting perspective that I read somewhere was that the people who download the most are those with the biggest legal collections of music. I for one download then almost always buy or delete. In some cases (Kist o Gold, for example) I own the vinyl but it is unusable and the download is better quality.
I bought two previous CDs of Nic's 'finds' and they just gather dust - in both cases I have ripped a few tracks to listen to in the car. I would love to hear this so that I can decide whether it is worth the money, otherwise I won't bother.
Some of you never buy the music you download. Shame on you.
To me, a CD costs far less than a night out in the pub, or a meal out, and lasts far longer than the memory. Thaat makes it incredibly good value.

09 May, 2008 00:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Simon Simopath

09 August, 2008 18:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know Folk Yourself (the blog, naturally) ?
Wake up people !!!!

Simon House

17 September, 2008 22:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can i just say i agree wholeheartedly with anonymous?

23 September, 2008 05:48  
Anonymous wrongwayup said...

Interesting discussion, and one that I'm sure isn't often held on music sharing blogs. I have, in fact, downloaded all the albums I could find of Nic Jones, and that includes the newer ones. But his music is so fantastic, that I will most likely purchase whatever albums are available for sale. I have done that in the past. On the other hand I've also downloaded albums here that I already own on vinyl or CD, just to have it as MP3.

04 April, 2009 05:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have all the albums in mp3 if you want..
Cheers Jenny

01 June, 2009 20:31  

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