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AL Lloyd - Bramble Briars and Beams of the Sun (Fellside)

Star rating: 

Beautifully packaged two-disc collection of thirty-three traditional English ballads from one of the architects of the 1950's British folk revival. Based mainly on Francis J Child's English and Scottish Popular Ballads, Bert Lloyd recorded several volumes of these songs, which were never released in the UK. Fellside now present these recordings on BRAMBLE BRIARS AND BEAMS OF THE SUN, together with an impressive 56-page booklet written by Vic Gammon, former director of the Folk Music Degree course at Newcastle University.

The collection is packed with familiar ballads, each performed unaccompanied by Lloyd and no doubt heard performed by many of the singers who have frequented this country's many folk clubs and festival stages in the subsequent six decades; singers as diverse as Martin Carthy, Bob Dylan, Nic Jones, Anne Briggs and The Watersons to more contemporary singers and musicians such as Martin Simpson, Jackie Oates, June Tabor and Bellowhead, songs as popular as Scarborough Fair, Lord Bateman and The Unquiet Grave, but also lesser known ballads such as Robin Hood and the Bold Peddlar, Six Dukes Went A-Fishing and Herod and the Cock.
Any singer with enough bottle to get up, raise their head and their voice to deliver an unaccompanied Child ballad in a public arena, would do little better than to have a listen to this collection of songs, each delivered by a singer who knows his song well before he starts singing. 
Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky