Signup for a folk alley account

Making a list & checking it twice

December 1, 2006

Hey Folk Alley Cats and Kittens

I wanted to find out what music y'all are giving for Christmas this year and. . . what recordings are you hoping to find in your stockings? I just heard a translated, yodeled version of Little Drummer Boy on one of the Swiss radio stations and it shot me straight into holiday mode (how could it not?)! I hope it's a joyous and peaceful time for all of you!

Posted by Stephen Ferron at December 1, 2006 4:52 PM


I've been trying to find that animusic2 DVD..really like that one multi-instrumental on combo stringed acoustic fantasma (what I call it, since it's not real).
Hmmm...I wonder if Jake Shimabukuro has recorded a holiday album... something about "Sleigh Bells" and "It's Starting to Look A Lot Like Christmas" on Uke amuses me.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 2, 2006 4:53 AM

I'm makin' a list and chicking it twice..........i want to touch you, hold you, smell your skin...make your skin feel alive with warm. I want to find the lost
sensation again.

Posted by: Lynnae Burns at December 2, 2006 8:10 PM

Come again (perhaps I shouldn't have asked that..)?
I do not recall those lyrics to any song. I was thinking that it's most probably not lost, just got cold enough out to numb it away! Got down to 26 degrees here the other night. Even duck tape wouldn't stick to the pipe insulation.

Stephen - "Little Drummer Boy" YODELED!?
I've heard Cat and dogs "singing" Christmas songs before, but...yodeling? THIS I've got to hear!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 2, 2006 8:51 PM

Music from band's I want this xxx-mas:

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Country Joe and The Fish
Chocolate Watchband
The Electric Prunes
Sopwith Camel
Atomic Rooster
The Collectors
The C.A. Quintet
HP Lovecraft

Send all CDs to Folk Alley. In care of me.

Posted by: Chris Boros at December 3, 2006 7:00 PM

Uhm, Chris...those seem to be a pair of fishnet stockings you want filling! (And if you think I mean one thing, it's most probably another, or several!)

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 4, 2006 9:40 AM

..or perhaps you're not merely fishing, but trauling for those CDs..

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 4, 2006 9:41 AM

"Smokey Mountain Christmas" by the Cumberland Gap Revival Band. Yes, it was released back in '97. No, I haven't found another CD that puts the holiday sound into the house quite like it. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" on hammer dulcimer! Yay!

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at December 4, 2006 9:47 AM

I want a USB turntable to bust my vinyl down to MP3...

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 4, 2006 9:50 AM

...and Lynn's phone number!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 4, 2006 9:51 AM

Chris, you are really into those more obscure 60's bands aren't you? Were ANY of those recordings ever put on CD? I could see maybe one or two might have been, but all of them? Good luck! I would check the record stores for the vinyl.

Posted by: Jack Swain at December 4, 2006 12:01 PM

Yes--it seems there is tons of this stuff on CD. I'm just discovering a lot of it now. I wasn't even born when these bands did their thing. There's just something about the sound of the late 60s that I love!

Posted by: Chris Boros at December 4, 2006 2:49 PM

I've been listening to last year's Christmas releases and I'm really loving the Skaggs Family Christmas and the Chanukah album by the LeeVees. As far as what I want - the Sufjan Stevens Christmas box set and some Ben Harper and maybe the new Guster. I was really hoping that I would get the Jack Johnson Curious George soundtrack, but I gave up and bought it on my own (along with some Rosemary Clooney). I gave my brother Richard Shindell's latest for his birthday.

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at December 4, 2006 4:32 PM

I really can't get enough of that first Fairport album Chris, and I know you're a fan. Those first couple of records (Fairport is a house on Fortis Green near where I live, and the cover of Unhalfbricking was photographed in Totteridge just across the road from where I'm sitting now) were the spur that pushed my schoolfriends and I into forming bands and gigging.
I'd love to get Pyewackett's vinyl in digital form, and a number of other non-famous bands from the London scene - one of the folk record labvels from that time (and earlier) was Dingles, which also ran a club in Tottenham Court Road - I played there in about 1983, during a rail strike which eventually saw the club out of business.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 4, 2006 5:23 PM

My all time fav Christmas album is something a (now late) friend recorded to a cassett tape for me in about 1988, and it is sung with rough and tumble gusto to the Anglo concertina and a simple drum by several guys in the North Eastern US who sound as if they're from the British Isles somewhere. The songs are traditional to the British Isles.
My personal tape is simply marked with a hand drawn holly leaf and berry and no label, unfortunately.
Someone once told me the names of the three singers., so it's in my memory somewhere...
If I can find my tape, I'll list the songs, and see if you all recognise it so I'll know what I'm looking for.
It's been on my wish list for 28 years!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 4, 2006 9:47 PM

My favorite Christmas album is the first John Fahey Christmas album. I used to have it at one time, but I don't know if it was stolen with most of my records many years ago.

Posted by: Jack Swain at December 4, 2006 9:54 PM

The theft of vinyl is a grave offence, in my opinion, and a back breaking one at that. Look for the thief with the funny walk. Dead give away.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 4, 2006 10:07 PM

My favorite Christmas album is the Kingston Trio's Last Month of the Year, which Joe Gunderman burned to CD from my vinyl for me (handy to have friends with equipment). I also really love the Roches' We Three Kings and Barenaked Ladies' Barenaked for the Holidays (which I made Jim Blum add to the Folk Alley playlist).

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at December 5, 2006 9:29 AM

Barenaked for work is sadly not an option in the NHS!

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 5, 2006 11:48 AM

I thought y'all just smeared yourselves with woad, or bear grease, or something over there.

Posted by: Jim Pipkin at December 5, 2006 1:43 PM

Yeah ... and danced around rocks, stuff?

Posted by: Jack Swain at December 5, 2006 6:05 PM

Only on the weekends. Weekdays we spend trying to find a virgin.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 5, 2006 7:37 PM

I'd have to endorse all of Anne's Christmas picks. The Kingston Trio album still makes me smile every time I hear it. The Roches' version of Good King Wenceslas is one of my favorites. I still like the Joan Baez album that had the Peter Schickele instrumental interludes. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Christmas album is also good (sounds just like 'em). But my favorite (favourite?) is one from Huw's neck of the woods: the first King's Singers Christmas album which features, among other things, an a capella version of 'God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen' in 5/4 (when I was a child I thought it was called God Rescue Married Gentlemen). The unrecorded album I'd love to hear: A Girlyman Christmas.

Posted by: Stephen Ferron at December 6, 2006 3:38 AM

"..(when I was a child I thought it was called God Rescue Married Gentlemen).."
That's priceless, Stephen!
Hey! What about an album of all of those carols, like Steven's, which we as children misunderstood?
Hmmm..what might some of the titles me?
"The Frist Snow Well"
"We Three Kings of Orion Tar"

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 6, 2006 7:34 AM

Very cool (and suggestive!) suggestions so far, folks. My favorite is still John McCutcheon's winter album (can't recall the title). Aside from Christmas in the Trenches, it's a nice, festive collection of music.

BUT...I also have a request for the Folk Alley management. Back before this place was the wonderful Alley, it was a nice little site at WKSU. And every holiday season, I would hunt down the page with the archives for the "Ornaments and Icing" show Jim put together for NPR. Nice collection of holiday tunes, including rare live performances.

Is that archive still available online anywhere? I'll Google it here soon, but just thought I'd ask.

Posted by: Mike Smith at December 6, 2006 10:52 AM

Today's Folk Alley news gives me my favourite album of the year, and I haven't heard it yet! Swarbrick and Carthy release a new record! This is a true miracle, as poor old Swarb has no real business being alive after the last couple of years. They are a duo to watch for - try and see them on video or whatever. If Carthy is a god Swarb is the devil, in the traditional fiddle playing sense and in both appearance and occasional past behaviour. I cannot recommend these two more highly.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 7, 2006 7:42 AM

I said, "It's been on my wish list for 28 years!"
I'm no mathmatician, and no typist either, obviously. Should read only "18" years.

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at December 7, 2006 8:15 AM

Rupis Dance by Ian Anderson is getting FA play at the moment, and it shows a return to form. He's not been this good since tull won the Grammy for Best Newcomer after they decided to sound like Dire Straits for a living (Dire Tull as a friend of mine dubbed them!).
To cross the pond and look at newer blood - Arlington Priest sound mighty fine. As does Martha Wainright.

Posted by: Huw Pryce at December 7, 2006 11:40 AM

Huw--I'm listening to the Carthy/Swarb record right now. Good stuff!

Posted by: Chris Boros at December 7, 2006 4:31 PM

Mike-- Not only are the Ornaments archives safe and sound, Jim and Joe broke down and created an all-new hour for this year (Chad & Jeremy, Peter Yarrow, The Wailin' Jennys, Nanci Griffith, Adrienne Young and vintage Joan Baez with an intro by Schickele). All are included in the Folk Alley holiday stream. We have a new, pretty web site for all of the Ornaments programs (where the national listeners can find them more easily) at

Posted by: Ann VerWiebe at December 11, 2006 6:08 PM

Anne: Thank you for the early holiday gift--I just heard the announcement on the regular stream and tuned in. Very cool. Thank you, and best wishes to all the Alley Cats for a blessed holiday and peaceful new year.

Posted by: Mike Smith at December 12, 2006 10:09 AM

"My all time fav Christmas album is something a (now late) friend recorded to a cassett tape for me in about 1988, and it is sung with rough and tumble gusto to the Anglo concertina and a simple drum by several guys in the North Eastern US who sound as if they're from the British Isles somewhere..."

JoLynn, sounds like you might be talking about Nowell Sing we Clear. Tony Barrand, John Roberts, Fred Breunig and Andy Davis ring a bell? We just heard them again after a several year hiatus. Their live concerts are high energy, pokes at our politicians, little historical tidbits, lots of inuendo--fun for everyone in the family

Posted by: Nancy at December 13, 2006 11:41 PM

Nancy, thanks for remembering who it was. . . I also had a feeling that they're who JoLynn was referring to. In fact, they can be found at:
Lots of fun and much of what I like about folk music.

Posted by: Stephen Ferron at December 14, 2006 8:26 AM

When I was boy at Catholic school, the class was asked by the nuns to draw a manger scene. I drew one with a fat guy in the corner...Round John Virgin! Nuns never did like me that much.

I played my annual Xmas concert with David Gardner (champion Scottish fiddler on the east coast) down in Chesapeake, Va last Tuesday. First time I've played my guitar in five months due to a finger/shoulder injury. My shoulder's doing better but the finger has heeled back crooked and looks pretty ugly. But I managed two songs, Sans Day Carol, and The Holly and the Ivy on the guitar. Does anyone out there know of a recording of a song called The Nailsbourne Beast Song? I'm recording it next year and was wondering if anyone else has yet. It's from Somerset, UK.

I've uploaded my friend Sam, the Singing Prairie Dog and friends doing a couple of carols on Folk Alley Open Mic. Take a listen any Prairie Dog fans out there. And don't forget your favorite Prairie Dog this Christmas....Merry Christmas one and all!

Posted by: Stephen Moore at December 19, 2006 12:57 AM

Here is our choir and congregation singing Christmas carols at Midnight Mass. Got me in the spirit, for sure. (Click on Carols at top of chart).

Or click here:

Is this folk?

Posted by: Richard Schletty at December 28, 2006 10:43 AM

Stephen Ferron and Nancy - YES! That's it! "Nowell Sing We Clear". I looked at the link, and haven't heard it yet, but I do recognize a few of the names from the group and the lyrics are the same, so that has to be the one!
Thanks you so much for solving a long standing mystery for me!

Posted by: JoLynn Braswell at August 13, 2007 8:53 AM

Registered users can post comments in the blog. Please register or log in to share your views.

Support Folk Alley During Our Spring Fund Drive!


Recent Topics



December 2014
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
   1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31         

December 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

January 2011

December 2010

November 2010

October 2010

September 2010

August 2010

July 2010

May 2010

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

December 2008

November 2008

October 2008

September 2008

August 2008

July 2008

June 2008

May 2008

April 2008

March 2008

February 2008

January 2008

December 2007

November 2007

October 2007

September 2007

August 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

April 2007

March 2007

February 2007

January 2007

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

February 2006

January 2006

December 2005

November 2005

October 2005

September 2005

August 2005

July 2005

June 2005

May 2005

April 2005

March 2005

February 2005

January 2005

December 2004

November 2004

October 2004

September 2004

August 2004

July 2004

June 2004

May 2004

April 2004

March 2004

February 2004

January 2004

December 2003

November 2003

October 2003

September 2003

August 2003