Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ralph McTell "Eight Frames A Second" (UK Folk 1968)

McTell was raised in post-WWII London with his mother and a younger brother as Ralph May. His father left home when he was two. He began to show musical talent when he was seven, when he began playing harmonica. When skiffle bands became all the rage in England, Scotland and Ireland, McTell began playing ukulele and formed his first band. Later in his teens, he began playing guitar.
At the College Jazz Club in London, McTell first heard Ramblin' Jack Elliott sing Jesse Fuller's "San Francisco Bay Blues." Elliott's performance proved to be a revelatory experience for the shy, young, impressionable McTell. He took his earliest cues from the great blues and folk singers: Elliott, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Robert Johnson and Blind Willie McTell. He took his adopted last name from blues singer McTell, and his songwriting inspiration from the writings of Jack Kerouac and John Steinbeck. After a few years hanging around London, he took off to travel along the south coast of England and the rest of Europe, where he made his way around hitchhiking and busking. While busking around Europe, he met his wife Nanna; shortly thereafter, they had a son.
McTell tried a conventional career as a teacher, but continued playing the folk clubs around London. He began a long tenure at Les Cousins in the Soho section of London and there he began to make a name for himself. A music publisher was so impressed by McTell's early songs that he secured a recording deal for him. His first album, Eight Frames a Second, was released on the Transatlantic label in 1968. With a gentle voice, superb guitar playing skills gleaned from his days as a ukulele player, and a level of modesty that showed through on stage, McTell began incorporating his own songs into his live shows, which were mostly blues in those days. By July 1969, McTell was booked at the Cambridge Folk Festival and in December of that year was headlining his first major London concert at Hornsey Town Hall. By May 1970, McTell completely sold out the Royal Festival Hall and was booked to play the Isle of Wight Festival alongside Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. He made his first U.S. tour in 1972 and returned to London to sell out the Royal Albert Hall in 1974, the first British solo act to accomplish such a feat in 14 years.

01. Nanna's Song
02. The Mermaid And The Seagull
03. Hesitation Blues
04. Are You Receiving Me?
05. Morning Dew
06. Sleepytime Blues
07. Eight Frames A Second
08. Willoughby's Farm
09. Louise
10. Blind Blake's Rag
11. I'm Sorry - I Must Leave
12. Too Tight Drag
13. Granny Takes A Trip


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly i am too late.....deleted...
But thank you for your work posting this great album


31 August, 2006 05:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very very much for the repost of this wonderful album!!!

Best wishes to you

21 May, 2007 05:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely album

17 January, 2008 02:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More McTell, please! Spiral Staircase or Streets would be great.

21 February, 2008 05:50  
Blogger Unknown said...

thank you man .. you are unbelievable!

10 August, 2008 01:25  

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