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Brass Monkey

Biography

The history of Brass Monkey begins in 1973 with John Kirkpatrick playing with Martin Carthy in the Albion Country Band, one of Ashley Hutchings' many creations. (Carthy played with Hutchings before that in 1970-71 in Steeleye Span – another one – and again later in 1977-78.) Martin Brinsford joined Carthy and Kirkpatrick for Plain Capers (1976), a recording of Morris Dance Tunes from the Cotswolds. Howard Evans, who was with the Albion Band in 1978, joined the other three, together with Roger Williams, to form Brass Monkey in 1979. At some stage the band was briefly called the Martin Carthy Band. (see the short YouTube video of Jolly Tinker at the 1982 Cambridge Folk Festival).

Brass Monkey produced two LPs, Brass Monkey in 1983 and See How It Runs in 1986. On the latter, Roger Williams was replaced by Richard Cheetham. Both LPs were re-released on a CD, Brass Monkey, in 1993.

After a long break due to problems finding gigs for such a large band, they reformed in 1997 and recorded three more CDs with either Richard Cheetham and/or Roger Williams. Howard Evans died in 2006. In 2008, Brass Monkey recruited Paul Archibald as trumpet player and they started recording a new CD for Topic Records.

Musicians

Brass Monkey are
Martin Carthy: vocals, guitar, mandolin;
John Kirkpatrick, vocals, button accordion, melodeon, treble, baritone and bass Anglo concertinas;
Howard Evans, trumpets (1979-2006†);
Paul Archibald, trumpets (2008-);
Martin Brinsford, mouth-organ, C-melody saxophone, drums, percussion;
Richard Cheetham, tenor trombone, sackbut;
Roger Williams, bass trombone, tuba

Discography

1982

Martin Carthy Band at the 18th Cambridge Folk Festival

1983

Brass Monkey, Brass Monkey, LP, Topic 12TS431

1986

Brass Monkey, See How It Runs, LP, Topic 12TS442

Loudon Wainwright III, More Love Songs, LP, Demon FIEND 79

1988

Various Artists, The Derby Tup Presents…, cassette, BBC Radio Derby DTP-01

1993

Brass Monkey, The Complete Brass Monkey, CD, Topic TSCD467

1996

Various Artists, The Voice of Folk, CD, Topic TSCD705

1997

Various Artists, New Electric Muse, Volume 2, 3 CD, Castle Music ESBCD 517

1998

Brass Monkey, Sound & Rumour, CD, Topic CD TSCD501

1999

Various Artists, English Originals, comp. CD, Topic TSCD706

Various Artists, The Folk Collection, comp. 2 CD, Topic TSCD707/8

2000

Various Artists, And We'll All Have Tea… English Folk Anthology, comp. 2 CD, Retro R2CD 40-106

2001

Brass Monkey, Going & Staying, CD, Topic TSCD531

2002

Various Artists, The Acoustic Folk Box, 4 CDs, Topic TSFCD 4001

2004

Brass Monkey, Flame of Fire, CD, Topic TSCD550

Various Artists, The English Collection: A Definitive Collection of Classic English Folk Music, CD, Highpoint HPO6010

2005

Brass Monkey, The Definitive Collection, CD, Highpoint HPO6011

Various Artists, Folk Awards 2005, 2 CD, Proper Folk PROPERFOLK01

2008

Various Artists, Huntingdon Folk 4, CD, Speaking Volumes SVL 14CD

2009

Brass Monkey, Head of Steam, CD, Topic TSCD575

2013

Brass Monkey, The Best of Live: 30th Anniversary Celebration, CD, Park PRKCD 125, 2013

See also