Strictly Roots Top 5 At 5 Countdown – w/e 01/06/14

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well. Here I sit, in my usual workspace, just going through what I have been listening to lately. Perhaps you are doing the same, wherever in the world you are sat. I hope you enjoy this chart, I hope it influences you in some small way, and I hope it lets you access a small part of the tradition, and leads you on to other musical discoveries. That’s what it’s about after all, discovering new and exciting music which you may never have come across before. Today we’ve got music from Ireland, England and the US, both old and new.


The Wolfe Tones – The Boston Burglar

The Wolfe Tones are one of Ireland’s longest serving bands, first forming back in the 1960s and since putting out many, many studio and compilation albums. Here, they take on the well-known and well-attested Boston Burglar, a song which has been found in many different versions and locations. This version is taken from their 1976 album Across The Broad Atlantic.



Spiers and Boden – Oswestry Wake/Morgan Rattler

For me, English traditional and traditional-based instrumental music doesn’t get much better than this. Aside from their song work, S&B always put together some amazing tune sets, like this one, captured at Cleckheaton festival back in 2011. Originally recorded on their 2001 album Through & Through, this set displays the verve, power and control that saw them at the forefront of new English traditional music for so long, and which continues with their work with Bellowhead.



The Barely Works – Byker Hill

Bringing a new definition to the word ‘eclectic’, the Barely Works blended traditional English roots with ska, bluegrass, jazz, world sounds…you name it. Although only together for a matter of five years in the 1990s, their sound continued to influence groups like Flook and E2K. Here, their rasping, rolling sound takes on the traditional Byker Hill, a recounting tribute to the coal miners of the east end of Newcastle. I’ve loved this song since I first heard it, so it takes it’s rightful place in the Strictly Roots collection.



Sam Bush – Eight More Miles To Louisville

I love Sam Bush, the pioneering newgrass and bluegrass mandolin player and singer. With a career spanning six decades, and work with bands like the New Grass Revival, Strength In Numbers and the Flecktones, his distinct style has delighted audiences the world over. Here is is, live for KDHX, with guitarist Stephen Mougin, on Grandpa Jones’ Eight More Miles To Louisville.



Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys – Oozlin Daddy Blues

From 1937, here is the incomparable Bob Wills. Wills brought the Western Swing sound to the world, laying the foundations for many subsequent artists by blending country with jazz, blues and more, and bringing a professionalism and showmanship to his performances. Oozlin is one of his very finest pieces. Be sure to check out the links in all of my descriptions and get involved in the music!





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