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The Watersons: Mighty River of Song

Mighty River of Song

Mighty River of Song
The Watersons

Topic Records TSFCD4002 (4 CD and 1 DVD, UK, February 16, 2004)

This 4 CD box celebrates the history of The Watersons. It contains a DVD reissue of the Watersons video of 1965, Travelling for a Living.

Press Release

The Watersons - Mighty River of Song

  • The ultimate box set - a must for any folk fan
  • 4 CDs, 1 DVD, 52 page full colour booklet in large 6"x12" box
  • 86 tracks of The Watersons - group, solos, offshoots & guests
  • 39 tracks previously unreleased, many more are out of print
  • strictly limited edition of 4000 - a collector's item

This is the package that everyone has been waiting for. The ultimate collection from four decades of the most famous and influential family of folk musicians in England. Mighty River of Song is 4 music CDs with 86 tracks of The Watersons as a group, solos, duos, trios, guests, group offshoots and almost all permutations of the group members you can imagine. Fifty of these tracks are previously unreleased or out of print. There is also a DVD of the acclaimed Travelling for a Living documentary, a breathtaking “on the road” film from the mid '60s, a 52 page lavish full colour booklet profusely illustrated with a wealth of archive photos and extensive notes, and a fully illustrated “family tree” style discography.

It is a plain incontestable fact that The Watersons rank as one of the most original acts ever to emerge from the period of greatest artistic foment in England's recent cultural history. The Watersons were sometimes likened to the Beatles in that their highly original sound was utterly distinctive and highly influential outside the boundaries of the narrow confines of the folk scene, inspiring new generations of musicians. Mighty River of Song traces the remarkable story of the extended Waterson family through four decades of incredible music and includes gems from throughout their career together with a wealth of rare, live and previously unreleased recordings. Mighty River of Song is a comprehensive overview of the Watersons and their place in the English Folk Revival.

Tracks

All tracks are performed by The Watersons unless otherwise stated (Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson and John Harrison before 1968; Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy after 1972)

CD 1

  1. Here We Come A-Wassailing (Roud 209) (1.29)
    from Frost and Fire
  2. The Folksons: Blood Red Roses (Roud 931) (2.22)
    Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson, John Harrison and Pete Ogley, vocals
    fragment - previously unreleased live performance from 1964
  3. Let the Bulgine Run (Roud 810) (2.41)
    Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson and John Harrison, vocals; Mike, guitar
    previously unreleased live performance from 1964
  4. The Ploughboy (Roud 346; G/D 3:418) (3.17)
    recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, June 4, 1965; from Folksound of Britain (LP)
  5. Holbeck Moor Cock Fight (Roud 211) (1.39)
    recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall, June 4, 1965; from Folksound of Britain (EP)
  6. The Greenland Whale Fishery (Roud 347) (2.37)
    from New Voices
  7. The Derby Ram (Roud 126; G/D 3:645) (2.37)
  8. Hal-an-Tow (Roud 1520) (2.08)
  9. Mike Waterson: John Barleycorn (Roud 164; G/D 3:559) (3.22)
    all three from Frost and Fire
  10. Lal & Norma Waterson: The Barley and the Rye (Roud 23268) (1.25)
    previously unreleased; intended for the unreleased Topic LP Folk Union One (1966)
  11. The Thirty-Foot Trailer (3.32)
  12. I Am a Rover (Roud 1112) (5.03)
    both from The Watersons
  13. Rap Her to Bank (Roud 1786) (1.43)
    from the The Watersons recording sessions; later released on Early Days
  14. Three Score and Ten (Roud 16873) (3.49)
    from the soundtrack to the BBC documentary, Travelling for a Living
  15. The Jolly Waggoners (Roud 1088) (2.57)
  16. Twanky-Dillo (Roud 2409) (3.42)
    both from The Watersons
  17. The Whitby Lad (Roud 261; Laws L16; G/D 2:260) (3.18)
  18. The Morning Looks Charming (Roud 580) (2.06)
  19. Willy Went to Westerdale (Roud 2792) (1.59)
  20. The White Cockade (Roud 191) (3.40)
  21. Lal Waterson: Stow Brow (Roud 185; Laws K18; G/D 1:20) (3.26)
    all five from A Yorkshire Garland
  22. Lal & Mike Waterson: The Bird (2.28)
    demo recorded at home in Hull circa 1970; previously unreleased
  23. Lal & Mike Waterson: Red Wine Promises (3.04)
    previously unreleased demo for Bright Phoebus, recorded in London, 1971
  24. Lal & Mike Waterson: Song for Thirza (4.23)
    demo recorded at home in Hull circa 1970; previously unreleased

CD 2

  1. Pace-Egging Song (Roud 614) (3.58)
  2. Boston Harbour (Roud 613) (1.57)
  3. Mike Waterson: Sweet William (Roud 273; Laws K12; G/D 6:1245) (3.43)
    all three recorded live at the Down River Folk Club, Loughton, on October 20, 1974; previously unreleased
  4. Souling Song (Roud 304) (4.20)
    from Various Artists: Voices in Harmony
  5. Lal & Norma Waterson: Barney (Roud 1322) (3.02)
  6. Mike Waterson: Three Day Millionaire (1.38)
  7. The Good Old Way (Roud 23864) (3.30)
    all three from For Pence and Spicy Ale
  8. The Light Dragoon (Roud 162; Child 299; G/D 7:1470) (3.08)
    recorded live at Folkfestival '76 Dranouter
  9. Lal & Norma Waterson: Jenny Storm (2.29)
    from A True-Hearted Girl
  10. Mike Waterson: Tamlyn (Roud 35; Child 39; G/D 2:330) (11.00)
    from Mike Waterson
  11. Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy (Roud 8366) (4.32)
  12. Heavenly Aeroplane (Roud 7384) (2.25)
  13. Emmanuel (2.49)
    all three from Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy
  14. Mike Waterson: Swansea Town (Roud 1416) (4.27)
    from Mike Waterson
  15. Norma Waterson: The Unfortunate Lass (Roud 2; Laws Q26) (4.29)
  16. Lal Waterson: The Welcome Sailor (Roud 604; Laws N29) (3.18)
    both from A True-Hearted Girl
  17. Lal & Norma Waterson: Young Billy Brown (Roud 945) (2.25)
    recorded live at the Tithe Barn, Laycock, July 1977, during the Chippenham Folk Festival; previously unreleased
  18. The Khaki and the Blue (The Ploughboy) (Roud 163) (3.18)
    recorded live at the Tithe Barn, Laycock, July 1977, during the Chippenham Folk Festival; previously unreleased
  19. The Whitby Lad (Roud 261; Laws L16; G/D 2:260) (3.13)
    recorded live at the South Street Seaport, New York, July 5, 1978; previously unreleased
  20. Mike Waterson: The Black and Bitter Night (7.17)
    From Peter Bellamy's ballad opera The Transports

CD 3

  1. The Prickle Holly Bush (Roud 144; Child 95; G/D 2:248) (4.09)
    from Green Fields
  2. Peter Bellamy: When I Die (Roud 7697) (2.46)
    Peter Bellamy, vocals, Lal, Mike & Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Heather & Royston Wood, vocal harmonies,
    from Peter Bellamy: Both Sides Then
  3. I Went to Market (Roud 544; G/D 8:1666) (3.36)
    recorded live at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, 1981; previously unreleased
  4. Martin Carthy & Mike Waterson: The Furze Field (Roud 1037) (3.15)
    from Green Fields
  5. The King's Song (Joy, Health, Love and Peace) (Roud 19109) (1.27)
    recorded live at the Iron Horse, Northampton, USA; previously unreleased
  6. Swarthfell Rocks (Roud 1578) (5.02)
    recorded live at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, 1982; previously unreleased
  7. Lal & Norma Waterson: Meeting Is a Pleasure (Roud 454; G/D 6:1192) (2.24)
  8. Mike Waterson: Doing a Bit (2.31)
    both recorded live at the Knaresborough Folk Club, 1982; previously unreleased
  9. Young Banker (Roud 3321) (3.12)
  10. Chickens in the Garden (Roud 2552) (2.38)
    both from Sounds of Yorkshire
  11. Martin Carthy: A Stitch in Time (2.38)
    recorded live at the Udazkenean Festival, Donostia, Spain, 1986; previously unreleased
  12. Mike Waterson: All I Have Is My Own (The Brisk Lad) (Roud 1667) (2.22)
    recorded live at the Udazkenean Festival, Donostia, Spain, 1986; previously unreleased
  13. Brave General Wolfe (Roud 624; Laws A1) (4.46)
    recorded live at the Folk Union One 25th Anniversary, Hull, 1986; previously unreleased
  14. Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy: May Song (Roud 305) (2.18)
    recorded at William Noble's Barn, Denby Dale, Yorkshire, September 27, 1986.
    From the EFDSS sponsored cassette, The Holme Valley Tradition: Will's Barn
  15. Harvest Home (Sheepshearing) (Roud 1379) (2.23)
  16. Gower Wassail (Roud 209) (3.23)
    both Lal, Mike, Norma & Rachel Waterson and Martin Carthy, vocals;
    recorded live at Wisconsin University, Madison, USA, for Simply Folk, Wisconsin Public Radio, 1988; previously unreleased
  17. Mike Waterson: Rumpsy Bumpsy Toralee (Tumble and Cut Me Bum) (Roud 1212) (2.35)
    recorded live at the Góilin, Dublin, Eire, March 14, 1988; previously unreleased
  18. The Waterdaughters: John Ball (3.25)
    Eliza Carthy, Lal, Maria & Norma Waterson, vocals;
    from the A True-Hearted Girl CD
  19. The Waterdaughters: A Stor Mo Chroi (Roud 3076) (3.56)
    Lal & Norma Waterson, vocals;
    recorded live at the Leicester Tradition Folk Club, 1988; previously unreleased
  20. Stormy Winds (Roud 284) (3.18)
    Lal, Mike, Norma & Rachel Waterson and Martin Carthy, vocals;
    recorded live at the Bracknell Folk Festival, July 1987; previously unreleased
  21. Blue Murder: Mole in a Hole (4.38)
    Jim Boyes, Dave & Heather Brady, Lal, Mike, Norma & Rachel Waterson and Martin Carthy, vocals; Jim Boyes, banjo; Martin Carthy, guitar;
    recorded live at the Bracknell Folk Festival, July 1987; previously unreleased

CD 4

  1. Hilda's Cabinet Band (2.19)
    from Richard Thompson et al.: Hard Cash
  2. Mike Waterson: The Rambling Irish Man (Roud 12937) (4.34)
  3. There Are No Lights on Our Christmas Tree (3.51)
    Martin Carthy, lead vocals; Mike & Norma Waterson and Jill Pidd, vocals;
    both from Singing in the Seasons, December 1, 1990;
    Recorded at McCabe's, Santa Monica for Folkscene KPFK Los Angeles; previously unreleased
  4. Norma Waterson: Coal Not Dole (3.05)
    recorded live at the 1991 Augusta Folk Festival, Elkins, USA; previously unreleased
  5. The White Cockade (Roud 191) (3.34)
    Lal, Mike, Norma & Rachel Waterson and Martin Carthy, vocals;
    recorded live at the Whitby Folk Week, August 1990;
    from the cassette From the Humber to the Tweed
  6. Cob-a-Coaling (Roud 9234) (2.00)
    Ann, Mike & Norma Waterson, Eliza & Martin Carthy and Jill Pidd, vocals;
    from Various Artists: Voices: English Traditional Songs
  7. Waterson:Carthy: T Stands for Thomas (Roud 419) (3.54)
    recorded live at the Beverley Folk Club, June 1992; previously unreleased
  8. Blue Murder: I Bid You Goodnight (Roud 15632) (3.14)
    from Out on the Rolling Sea
  9. Mike Waterson: McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy (4.25)
    from No Masters
  10. Mike Waterson: Jack Frost (2.28)
    demo recorded in 1996; previously unreleased
  11. Waterson:Carthy: Pleasure and Pain (5.12)
    recorded live at the 1996 Cambridge Folk Festival; previously unreleased
  12. Waterson:Carthy: Stars in My Crown (Roud 22423) (3.03)
    alternate mix to the Common Tongue recording; this mix previously unreleased
  13. Waterson:Carthy: Flowers of Knaresborough Forest (Roud 3812) (5.34)
    recorded live at The Boatrace, Cambridge, 1997; previously unreleased
  14. Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy: There Ain't No Sweet Man Worth the Salt of My Tears (2.01)
    recorded in London, 1998; previously unreleased
  15. Waterson:Carthy: Black Muddy River (4.07)
    recorded at The Fiddler's Bristol, November 27, 1998; previously unreleased
    previously unreleased - recorded live 1998
  16. Lal Waterson & Maria Gilhooley (Marry Waterson): Just a Note (1.48)
    from A Bed of Roses
  17. Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy: Earth (3.06)
    from Les Barker: The Wings of Butterflies
  18. Eliza Carthy: Stumbling On (3.38)
    from Red
  19. Norma Waterson: Poor Boney (Roud 2539) (3.43)
    recorded live at Newcastle Live Theatre, April 2, 2001; previously unreleased
  20. Blue Murder: Bright Phoebus (2.53)
    alternate recording to the one on Shining Bright; previously unreleased
  21. Maria Gilhooley (Marry Waterson) & Oliver Knight: My Sweet Lullaby (5.19)
    from Mysterious Day

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Bob Hudson for the press release text.