Julie’s album Blackbird is available online and to order!

Julie’s new album Blackbird is now available on Bandcamp, and on CD either from us or from Bandcamp, and it’s receiving some very nice compliments!

Here’s how Mike Norris of the EFDSS Classic Folk podcast introduced it on his show:

I must say this is a very welcome addition to our folk music scene. Julie’s fine singing of our traditional classics accompanied on many by her husband Gavin is a real pleasure.

The lovely Keith Kendrick had this to say:

Julie has a fine voice that could sing any kind of song but this CD shows off her particular and truly amazing skill for interpreting traditional songs and ballads. Of her generation she has surely emerged as one of the best.

Paul McCann writing in Essex Folk News adds:

Julie trained classically when she was young… her classical trained background shows in her perfect diction and the exquisite timing and phrasing… Gavin’s guitar style is thoughtful and precise, and complements the voice perfectly, while his melodeon accompaniment on two songs from children’s song collections is playful and also sympathetic… Lovers of traditional song will enjoy this album very much, and it will bear many further listenings.

And this from Steve Vernon and Barry Lister of the Sidvalleyradio Folkshow:

Well, that was lovely. Thank you for sending it in Julie and we’re looking forward to playing more.’

[Of the track Lavender’s Green]’This track I really like. It shows off Julie and Gavin’s interest in old songs – not just folk songs but old songs generally. You’ll recognise this song as you’ve heard it before, but you might not have heard it sung as nicely as this.’ – James Fagan speaking on the Sheffield Live radio programme Thank Goodness it’s Folk

Here are a couple of samples!

Green Broom

Green Broom, sung by Julie and Gavin Atkin. We learned the song after listening to traditional singer Sam Larner’s excellent performance of the song.

In Yonder Old Oak

In Yonder Old Oak sung by Julie and Gavin Atkin, and learned from Kent’s famous singing family The Millens of Smarden. For more from us, see http://singdanceandplay.net

The image of rural life painted by Helen Allingham is taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Julie sings with Gav’s melodeon

Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron and Nobody Knows You when You’re Down and Out are a couple of songs we’ve been singing in the sessions and folk clubs lately – so we thought it was time to share them.

Dashing is a bit of a departure for Julie, who usually leaves traditional songs to others (but may sing a few more now). I gather from our pal Barbara Brown that it was collected at Minehead by Cecil Sharp – and that he got it from a Captain Lewis. That makes a nice connection, so thanks Barbara!

Nobody Knows You is a prohibition era song about how life can go all wrong for the black market booze dealer. Well, if he or she don’t like their friends, perhaps that’s something to do with the sort of people they hang out with…


Gavin sings Worcester City

I learned this song as a teenager from the famous Leader album of songs collected in Lincolnshire by Percy Grainger more than a hundred years ago.

But somehow have never got around to singing it in public before our gig at our Folk at the Royal Oak gig this week. We think it’s quite a story, so here it is… Beware young men!