Various Artists

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Format: 4CD

Cat No: FRQCD30
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Release Date:  16 October 2006

Label:  Free Reed

Packaging Type:  Box Set

No of Units:  4

Barcode:  5051078903026

Genres:  Folk  

  • Description

    Free Reed's award-winning Revival Masters series of box-sets has so far explored the careers of some of the greatest folk and folk-rock stars.

    This UK label's next release dedicates four CDs and a 156-page book to the music and traditions of Mid Winter?.

    the period that Americans now refer to as "the holidays".

    Most of the key elements and a great many of the songs that make up what we call the Traditional Christmas began life in America, but as this set shows there are midwinter traditions which stretch back hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus ? including practices both pious and pagan, which were among the first exports from Britain to the New World.

    The set's 115 recordings include music and readings from both sides of the Atlantic and cover an astounding range of traditional genres ? from Sacred Harp to the Sheffield Carols, big ballads to blues, singer-songwriters and tradition-bearers, living legends and recent stars.

    For the first time in its Revival Masters series, Free Reed is proud to include a who's who of stars of the American folk scene: Joan Baez, Jean Ritchie, Leadbelly, Loudon Wainwright III, Richard Farina, "Blind Boy Grunt", John McCutcheon, John Fahey, Mahalia Jackson, Jeff Warner, Debra Cowan.

    And the greatest names in British Folk: The Watersons, Peter Bellamy, Maddy Prior, Shirley Collins, Young Tradition, Sandy Denny, Martin Carthy.

    Folk Rock too: Richard Thompson & Jethro Tull offer unique tracks.

    Exclusive new recordings from (among others) John Tams, Steve Tilston, Martha Tilston, Martyn Wyndham-Read, Laura Hockenhull, Maggie Boyle & Gary Boyle.

    Rare source recordings from great traditional performers including Phil Tanner, The Copper Family, Scan Tester, Buell Kazee, Leadbelly, Sacred Harp, May Bradley and Fred Whiting.

    To complement the classic and new songs and tunes of the Midwinter season, the set features readings by John Betjeman, Robert Frost, T S Elliott, Tony Barrand, Jim Lawton, Boris Karloff and even a rare on-disc appearance of Free Reed's author-and-compiler Nigel Schofield.

    Never before has an exploration of the traditions that span the holidays of mid-winter brought together such a collection of essential recordings with an authoritative, in-depth and copiously illustrated text.

    Here you'll discover that Christmas traditions have deep and sometimes startling roots: among the scores of topics explored are - wassailing, mumming, feasting and fasting, traditional sports (including the only true game of football!), the evolution of Santa Claus, a range of Nativities and the question of "just who were the wise men?" Covering the time of year between Advent and Plough Monday, here's a set that proves that an "Xmas" album isn't just for Christmas ? it'll last the whole season round.

  • Tracklisting

    1. Gower Wassail (first part)
    2. Stopping by Woods
    3. The River
    4. Skater's Waltz
    5. Christmas is now drawing near at hand
    6. The Spirit of Christmas
    7. from Hamlet Act 1 Christmas Is A Comin'
    8. Xmas Island
    9. The Humstrum
    10. Sound your instruments of Joy
    11. Wassail
    12. Snow Falls
    13. Wintergrace
    14. Cherry Tree Carol
    15. Red & Green Christmas
    16. Emmanuel
    17. Song to Mithras
    18. The Meadowhall Carol
    19. God bless the birthday boy
    20. Moving on song
    21. Christmas eve can kill you
    22. Workhouse boy
    23. Snow is on the ground
    24. Christmas comes but once a year
    25. Jack Frost & The Hooded Crow
    26. The Night before Christmas
    27. Christmas Tree
    1. READING: Luke 2:1
    2. Christmas must be tonight
    3. On the morning of Christ's Nativity John McCutcheon
    4. Shepherds Arise
    5. READING: Luke 2:8
    6. Hark Hark What News
    7. Once in royal David's city
    8. The Three Harks
    9. Wexford Carol
    10. I sing of a maiden
    11. Lullay My Liking
    12. Silent Night
    13. The first Nowell
    14. READING: Matthew 2:1
    15. Star in the east (Brightest
    16. Astrologers' Journey
    17. Journey of the Magi
    18. Follow the star
    19. Herod & The Cock
    20. Coventry Carol
    21. The Carnal & The Crane
    22. Go tell it on the mountain
    23. On Christmas Day
    24. Jesu Joy of Man's desiring
    1. Fire & Wine
    2. In the winter
    3. Papa ain't no Santy Claus
    4. Winter flowers
    5. Christmas in Prison
    6. Jogging along with my reindeer
    7. Cardboard Christmas boxes
    8. Comfort & Joy
    9. First Snow in Brooklyn
    10. Lady gay
    11. Peace o'er the world (Bradda Anthem)
    12. Oh What A Lovely War
    13. Christmas 1914
    14. Christmas isn't what it used to be
    15. Christmas (edit)
    16. Ghost of Christmas Past
    17. Christmas morning
    18. Days of Holly & Mistletoe
    19. Huron Carol
    20. The King
    21. The Christmas Hare
    22. Chariots
    23. Remember Bethlehem
    1. Old Christmas / Shooting
    2. Apple Tree Wassail
    3. Gloucestershire Wassail
    4. The Oxen
    5. The Burning Babe
    6. Bushes and Briars
    7. Poor Ditching Boy
    8. Reading Clock Almanac
    9. Dunstan Lullaby
    10. Watts' Cradle Hymn
    11. Boar's Head Carol
    12. The Grinch
    13. Hunting the Wren
    14. Cutty Wren
    15. The Wren (The King)
    16. First Christmas away
    17. Miner's dream of home
    18. Excerpt
    19. Happy Christmas (War is
    20. None but One
    21. Mari Llwyd
    22. Carol for the New Year
    23. The Oxplough Song
    24. Three Ships suite
    25. Gower Wassail (reprise)
    26. Midnight chimes
    27. The January Man