Ralph McTell: Songs For Six Strings Vol II


Format: CD6-strings-album

Genre:  Folk (contemporary)

Tracks: 20 (18 songs)

Playing time:  75

Availability (out of 3): *

Related website(s):  http://www.ralphmctell.co.uk

My rating: 10/10

I like…   The range of song topics and moods, the powerful lyrics and great tunes, Ralph’s natural stage manner

I’m less keen on…  Its being hard to source! 


I was in two minds whether to review this album in view of its present scarcity. In the end I have done so, as used copies will be available at times, and in any case it is a worthwhile album to review!


early-ralphRalph McTell’s musical career has spanned almost 50 years. He is best known for his song “Streets Of London”, for which he won an Ivor Novello award. In 2002 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Continue reading “Ralph McTell: Songs For Six Strings Vol II”


Kelly Joe Phelps: Brother Sinner And The Whale


Format:  CDProduct Details

Genre:  Blues (acoustic)

Tracks:  12

Playing time:  51 minutes

Availability (out of 3):  ***

Related website(s):   http://www.kellyjoephelps.net;   (unofficial) http://riverratjimmy.pagesperso-orange.fr/pages/gear.htm

 My rating:  9/10

I like: Minimal arrangements, upbeat and more plaintive songs and moods, interplay of voice and guitar

I’m less keen on :  Minimal sleeve notes


Soon after seeing TV footage of Kelly Joe Phelps at the Cambridge Folk Festival years ago I bought his debut album, “Lead Me On.” In my opinion Continue reading “Kelly Joe Phelps: Brother Sinner And The Whale”

Gallagher and Lyle: Willie And The Lapdog


Format: CD/vinylw-lapdog-cover

Genre: Folk (Contemporary)

Tracks: 12

Playing time: 33 minutes

Availability (out of 3): *

Related website(s):  http://www.bennygallagher.com

My rating: 10/10

I like…   The range of moods, the thought-provoking and evocative lyrics, the arrangements

I’m less keen on…  – 


This was one of the first albums that I bought (on vinyl, back in the early 1970s!) I’d started to take an interest in music in my mid teens, and in a bid to be cool I had also begun to buy the music newspaper “New Musical Express” or “NME”. This was, of course, pre-internet, and that newspaper, and its rival “Melody Maker”, was peppered with fairly extensive adverts from mail-order suppliers of albums and trendy tee-shirts.

This album was reviewed in the NME to considerable acclaim; strangely, Continue reading “Gallagher and Lyle: Willie And The Lapdog”

Vamm: Vamm


Format:  CD

Genre:  Folk (Traditional, Celtic, Instrumental)

Tracks: 10

Playing time: 45 minutes

Availability (out of 3): **

Related website(s): (1)  http://www.catrionamacdonald.co.uk;   http://www.patsyreid.com;   https://maritandrona.bandcamp.com


My rating: 9/10

I like…   The vibrancy, the interweave of the instruments, the uplifting, upbeat tunes

I’m less keen on…  I’d have liked a bit more information on the sleeve – minor gripe!


I was lucky enough to spot the CD in my local library and, having listened to it (was £1.00 ever better spent?!), Continue reading “Vamm: Vamm”

Doc Watson: On Stage

SummaryProduct Details

Format:  CD

Genre:  “Country” (American Folk)

Tracks: 24

Playing time:  71 minutes

Availability (out of 3):  **

Related website(s): www.docsguitar.com

 My rating:  10/10

I like: Stripped down arrangements, varied songs and moods, inclusion of instrumentals, “live” setting

I’m less keen on :  –



A friend lent me a vinyl edition of this back in the early 1990s. As soon as it began to play Continue reading “Doc Watson: On Stage”

Martin Carthy: Essential


Format:  CD (2 discs)

Genre:  Folk (Traditional)

Tracks:  34

Playing time:  141 minutes

Availability (out of 3):  ***

Related website(s) (unofficial): https://carthyonline.wordpress.com

 My rating:  10/10

I like: Several tracks blow me away (instrumentals and vocal); poignant songs, light-hearted songs, upbeat instrumentals, melodic tunes

I’m less keen on :  –



Martin Carthy is little known outside folk circles but is a legend Continue reading “Martin Carthy: Essential”

Big Bill Broonzy: The Bill Broonzy Story


Format:  CD

Genre: Blues (Acoustic)

Tracks: (for 3-CD set) 67 (including “chat”)

Playing time: (for 3-CD set) 202 minutes

Availability (out of 3): 3-CD set: * / 2-CD set: ***

Related website(s): http://www.broonzy.com

My rating: 10/10

I like…   The strong voice, the driving but melodic guitar, the strong blues lyrics, the “chat” between songs, the sound quality

I’m less keen on…   At times I skip some of the “chat” tracks – but only at times! 

n.b. this review is of the earlier 3-CD set that I own, but much of it will apply to the current 2-CD edition


I first came across Big Bill Broonzy’s name Continue reading “Big Bill Broonzy: The Bill Broonzy Story”