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Jack Armstrong plays small-pipes instrumentals and accompanies vocals from Isla Cameron and Bob Davenport, who also sings with The Rakes Band. This album contains the most characteristic songs and tunes from Northumbria, the ancient kingdom, which included what we now call Tyneside and Wearside in the County of Durham. Outstanding is Bob's stark recitation of CHEVY CHACE, after the Battle of Otterburn of 1388.

1. THE LADS OF ALNWICK/ JOHNNIE ARMSTRONG - Instrumental by Jack on small-pipes - 1'45"

2. THE BONNY LASS O' BENWELL - Bob with the Rakes & Jack on fiddle - 2'18"

3. THE REDESDALE HORNPIPE - (As #1) - 0'55"

4. WILLIE'S DROWNED IN YARROW - Isla (unacc) - 1'42"

5. CHEVY CHACE - Bob reciting with Jack's pipes - 1'58"

6. THE WILD HILLS O' WANNIES - (As #1) - 1'29"

7. DURHAM GAOL - Bob with The Rakes - 2'07"


9. O CAN YE SEW CUSHIONS? - Isla (unacc) - 1'58"

10. THE BORDER WIDOW'S LAMENT - Bob with Jack's pipes - 4'42"

11. MA BONNY LAD - Isla with Jack's pipes - 1'48"

12. CUSHIE BUTTERFIELD - Bob with The Rakes - 2'20"

13. BONNY AT MORN - (As #1) - 1'33"

14. THE THREE RAVENS - Isla (unacc) - 2'27"

15. BUY BROOM BESOMS - Bob with Jack's pipes - 2'03"

16. WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE HARRIN'S HEID? - Isla & Bob with The Rakes - 2'26"

17. SALMON TAILS UP THE WATTER - (As #1) - 0'42"

18. KEEP YOUR FEET STILL GEORDIE, HINNY - Bob with The Rakes - 2'46"

19. DAME GET UP AND BAKE YOUR PIES/ LAVENDER'S BLUE/ - Isla with Jack's pipes - 2'08"

20. BOBBY SHFTO - As previous - 1'00"

Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy, London 1963 and first published on Folktrax cassettes 1980.

JACK ARMSTRONG. His father, also a player, bought him a new set of small-pipes on the day he was born at Wide Open, Newcastle, in 1904. Both worked at Dinnington Colliery. In 1948 Jack became piper to the Duke of Northumberland and was the most respected player of this instrument until his death in 1978. He can also be heard on FTX-122.

ISLA CAMERON, an actress, also born in Newcastle, who, during the 50's and 60's, became the most sought after singer whenever a "natural style" of performance was required.

BOB DAVENPORT, also born on Tyneside, is an artist and craftsman who has made a name folk-singing in London's more Bohemian and Irish pubs.

THE RAKES BAND first played with Bob in 1958 and have continued with him for the last 35 years. Led by Reg Hall (melodeon/ piano) the other members are Paul Gross (fiddle) and Michael Plunkett (whistle).

#1. As the Duke's piper, Jack played these two tunes annually at the Shrovetide Football Match at Alnwick.

#2. As today "burd" means a female guy.

#3. The first tune Jack learned. The Rede is "a nice trout burn" (stream).

#4. Part of a longer Border Ballad (Child #215).

#5. (Child #162). Extract of famous historical ballad after the battle of Otterburn of 1388.

#6. Slow version of jig best known as "The Tenpenny Bit".

#7. Words by the miner-poet, Tommy Armstrong (1848-1919), who raised funds for local pit disasters with his songs. Tune is "There's nae good luck aboot the hoos" or "The Washing Day".

#8. Jack named the first after the lane where he first heard it whistled and the second after a local hill.

#9. Isla called this "an ancient Scot's nurse's lullaby".

#10. Fragment collected by Sir Walter Scott from the recitation of James Hogg, the Etrrick bard, which is said to relate to the execution of a Border freebooter hanged from his own tower by James V.

#11. Fragment collected by Sir Richard Terry. The tune is not unlike "Blow the wind, southerly".

#12. Composed by Tyneside poet, George Ridley, Bob's great-great uncle.

#13. A major version of this first appeared in Bruce-Stokoe 1882, but was later corrected to a minor key in Stokoe-Reay 1899 and Whittaker 1921. See FTX-122.

#14. This version from Melismata (Child #26).

#15. Supposed to have been swung by a Newcastle character called Blind Willie Purvis (1752-1832).

#16. Version of "The Jolly Herring" song known in other parts of Britain. See Kennedy 1975, FTX-027, FTX-079 (Ireland), FTX-100 (Gypsy), FTX-041 (Somerset).

#17. Composed by the father of Jimmy Allen, piper and poacher, but words have been lost.

#18. By Joe Wilson to the tune of "Darling Nelly Gray".

#19. Three Northumbrian children's songs. The Shafto's were a famous Durham city family.

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