The Young Tradition iTunes Tracks

The Young Tradition

+ {Royston Wood & Heather Wood}

Steeped in the old tradition, from a period long before the English folk revival took hold, The YOUNG TRADITION (Peter Bellamy and Royston Wood) actually got together in 1964, although it would be months later, with the addition of Heather Wood (no relation), that the triumvirate were properly formed. Taking their cue from earlier oral folk groups such as The COPPER FAMILY, the trio based themselves around the south of the country (Bournemouth and Surrey), releasing LPs under the auspices of Nat Joseph, boss at Transatlantic Records.
THE YOUNG TRADITION (1966) {*6}, included trad fare such as `Byker Hill’, `Lyke Wake Dirge’, `The Bold Fisherman’ and `The Banks Of Claudy’, while the album was lauded for its patronage of musical times long thought forgotten. Quite Baroque or Elizabethan in their unique chamber-folk approach, two other sets appeared in relatively quick succession: SO CHEERFULLY ROUND (1967) {*6} and GALLERIES (1968) {*7}, the latter featuring guest spots from organist/arranger DOLLY COLLINS and fiddler DAVE SWARBRICK, already known in folk circles due to their respective associations with SHIRLEY COLLINS and MARTIN CARTHY; the Early Music Consort (David Munrow, Christopher Hogwood, and Rod and Adam Skeaping) gave the album its medieval flavour.
Disgruntled by the direction the trio were taking, BELLAMY upped sticks and almost immediately delivered solo albums for Transatlantic producer Bill Leader; the trio’s shelved 1969 recording, THE HOLLY BEARS THE CROWN {*6}, a festive collaboration with SHIRLEY and DOLLY COLLINS (plus Adam and Rod Skeaping), went unheard until its belated release in the mid-90s. Meantime, Royston joined The ALBION COUNTRY BAND, then SWAN ARCADE; Heather subsequently joined Crossover.
Billed as by ROYSTON WOOD & HEATHER WOOD, NO RELATION (1977) {*6} would prise back a few fans (helped no doubt by having names like BELLAMY, HUTCHINGS and NICOL on board); among several trad tunes of course, Royston briefly became a songwriter with `The Cellar Door – Lovin’ Bessie’, Heather also on the lonesome, `Foolish, Incredibly Foolish’. Tragically, Royston was to die on 8 April 1990, after three weeks in a coma following a car accident in the US. If that wasn’t sad enough, PETER BELLAMY committed suicide a year later.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Aug2015

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