Mudcat Café message #2776736 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #125329   Message #2776736
Posted By: RoyH (Burl)
30-Nov-09 - 10:23 AM
Thread Name: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
Subject: RE: Review: Roy Harris' Champions of Folly
I'd like to thank Roberto and fellow posters above for their kind comments on the album 'Champions of Folly'. You've sent my thoughts whizzing back to 1974 when it was recorded at Livingstone Studios in Barnet. Martin Carthy played guitar and dulcimer, Vic Gammon played melodeon and concertina, and the late Bobby Cambell played fiddle and mandola. Fine musicians all, and they deserve loud praise for their efforts because all the backings were worked out on the day. No prior rehearsal, we just got our heads together in the studio, tried out a few ideas and then got on with it. Musicians of their calibre can do this. They each did their utmost to back my singing in the best way possible, and they succeeded. I have huge respect for all of them, and still admire the spirit of co-operation they showed that day.
      Brian,Mick,and Katlaughing,I'm flattered and honoured by your comments. Wheatman, 'The Beggar's Song' is great to sing. Enjoy it. The album title 'Champion's of Folly' is a quote from the song 'Bold Lovell' on which Martin played guitar most splendidly. Some years ago I was being interviewed on Dick Pleasants radio show in Boston,USA,when this song was played. The studio phone rang and a voice said it was '...wonderful how Mr Harris could sing like that and play like that at the same time!' Well, I had to tell the truth, but I almost didn't!.
This thread comes at a propitious time for I have been trying to find a way to spread the word that my years of retirement (okay, semi-retirement) from the folk scene are over. During the 1980's I suffered a mental and physical breakdown that took away my voice and confidence to such a degree that at one stage I was barely able to speak.In the '90's during a long bout of depression I announced my formal retirement and put the folk scene at arms length as far as singing was concerned. Things gradually improved but it wasn't until 2003 that I undertook another tour, this one to celebrate my 70th birthday. It went reasonably well,and I managed a few more gigs but still felt nervous and got depressed easily. But now, greatly heartened by my friends in the USA giving me the Eisteddfod Festival award ('...for a lifetime of service...') I am back in full voice and ready to go again. I have a couple of festivals booked for 2010, and would welcome more. Folk clubs too - I could be your oldest guest of the year!. I don't expect the volume of work I used to get, but I'm here if you want me.There will be no more retirement for me, I intend to sing until I die.